February 23, 2018
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.

Person of the Day: Segovia

Today is the 119th birthday of Andrés Segovia, arguably the most important classical guitarist of the modern era. It was his devotion to the classical repertoire, especially that of J. S. Bach, that awakened the general culture to the possibilities of guitar. After him the world of music changed.  This was owing not only to his vision, but his towering virtuosity. Bach’s Sarabande Gavotte en Rondeau below.  Enjoy.

Santorum Campaign Store Item of the Day

The hottest prospective item in the Santorum store is this prototype of the Foster Friess Aspirin Dispenser. This handy device, in the image of the top Santorum donor, automatically pops out a tablet from between the knees, at the slightest rise in room temperature. This is very effective political device.  It is guaranteed to get women to vote . . . for someone else, of course.

Happy Birthday Sydney Poitier

The great Sydney Poitier turns 85 today. One of the great film actors of all time; perhaps the most groundbreaking.  With Jim Crow still viciously alive in the 50’s and 60’s he stood for black power, integrity and equality in art and life.  And with this one cinematic slap, nothing was ever the same again. From in the Heat of the Night. Happy Birthday, Mr. Tibbs.

Cab Calloway and Me

Next Sunday will see the premiere of Cab Calloway Sketches on PBS (check your local time), which is a wonderful doc by Gail Levin in which I was asked to render Cab almost life size on a wall.  The amazing animation at the end has Cab jumping off the wall and dancing with Alvin Ailey’s brilliant Matthew Rushing.  Animation by Asterisk Studios. Very honored to be involved in this tribute to the hide-e-ho man. Always a big fan of his and the great Harlem Renaissance. I saw Cab when I was a kid. Unforgettable.

Watch Steve Brodner sketches Cab Calloway Part 2 on PBS. See more from American Masters.

My Mohammed Cartoon of the Day

King Mohammed IV of Morocco has an interesting view on freedom of speech.  He’s against it.  On February 8th he had a cartoonist arrested for daring to draw a caricature of him.


A few days later a young protester was sentenced to prison for 3 years for criticizing the king in a Youtube video.


I think the king might warm to the art of caricature if he was more exposed to it. Seems to me to be a good idea to offer him another take to help him through this transitional period.


Thanks to the great caricaturist Leo Martins in Brazil for this story.