Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa's coming

Only a few days until the big guy and his reindeer do their fly-over. And what better way to get you in the mood than listening to Springsteen telling you who's on the horizon whilst viewing different Christmas scenes as well as Eartha Kitt exhorting jolly old Saint Nick...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

'Tis the week of Christmas

Santa is coming at the end of this week so don't be a Grinch (and I'm speaking to all the Grinchs out there, of which I know one)! Don't let your heart be 10 sizes too small. Hope that Saint Nick brings you presents rather than just coal in your stocking (of course that depends on whether you've been naughty or nice...well have you?)! If you want a good chuckle watch "A Christmas Story" - a couple clips are below to remind you why this movie is such a hoot. And, if you've never seen "A Christmas Story", why not?

Film trailer:

One of the great all-time lines from the film:

That damn pink bunny suit - you've got to watch this:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Soul Sacrifice - Then and Now

First, the Woodstock version:

Now, a recent version:

Both versions are fabulous because everything Carlos does is over-the-moon fabulous. However, the Woodstock version was "in the moment" and was Santana making his historical debut, showcasing the genius to come. Probably the most intense 10 minutes of musical history.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


If Zenyatta doesn't get "horse of the year" then the awards are friggin' fixed and Jess Jackson used his considerable wealth to buy the award for Rachel Alexandra because there is NO WAY IN HELL Rachel Alexandra can hold a candle to Zenyatta. Having never lost a race in her career, Zenyatta has a perfect lifetime win ratio (something R.A. doesn't). And, that asshole Jess Jackson a) wouldn't run Rachel Alexandra against Zenyatta (becuae he knew Zenyatta will crush R.A.); b) he skipped the Breeder's Cup and, again, ducked out on an opportunity to run R.A. against Zenyatta and c)after the Triple Crown he picked softer races for her to run in because he knew she couldn't win against stiffer competition.

In any event, watch one of the BEST horse races in current history as Zenyatta just slams it in the Breeder's Cup Classic race (The Breeder's Cup is the World Thoroughbred Championships - sorta like the Super Bowl for thoroughbreds except there's 2 days worth of championship races in every division and the "best of the best" come from all over the world to compete). The Breeder's Cup Championship IS the BIG KAHUNA in the world of thoroughbred racing and the Breeder's Cup Classic is THE showcase race, being worth $5 million - yes, that's right - the Classic is a $5 million race. And Zenyatta faced the "boys" in one of the deepest Classic fields in years and while she runs last for a bit of the race when she's ready to go she just gets up and blows away the competition - just friggin' nails them.

So, sit back and watch this AMAZING race as the AMAZING Zenyatta runs her streak to 14 for 14 and ends her career in just amazingfrickinstyle.

Watch all the proferred videos as they all have something to offer - WATCH ALL OF THE EACH VIDEO.

I wept like a baby watching this race when it ran live, I still gets tears and a lump in my throat every time I watch it and if you have any soul at all so will you. Just a beyond words demostration of art in motion.

Following is a great extended pre-race video as Zenyatta dances for the crowd:

The race and post-race comments/reactions:

The race by itself:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

But the dog ate my computer disc, Professor.You mean the final wasn't optional? Seriously, I can't submit a semester's worth of work on the last day?

No, it's not a Tale of Two Cities. 'Tis Tales of Woe Week (or, as it's commonly known, Finals Week). Students are proffering all sorts of delightfully creative "reasons" as to why they can't met deadlines, don't have their work done, yada yada yada. Typical and Predictable - yes. Entertaining - yes. Convincing - not so much.
"No Excuses" 'tis the musical selection for this post.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Symphony of Brotherhood

The artist is Miri Ben-Ari and she is known as "the hip-hop violinist".

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Bucket List

Everyone knows about "the bucket list" - it's the wish list of things we want to do before we "kick the bucket". Well, Machu Picchu is in the "top 5 places I want to experience before I die" section of my bucket list. Below is Pablo Neurda's "The Heights of Macchu Picchu". While most people are only familiar with section VI I've included the entire 71 page piece. I've kept the spelling and grammar exactly as Neruda wrote the piece. Also, "Top of the World" will be playing as you read this because those I've spoken with who've been to Machu Picchu say it truly is as if one is standing on top of the world. Plus Eddie Van Halen's guitar rifts totally kick ass (you REALLY need to crank your speakers up to listen - it'll make you want to move your body and rock)! So, grab your favorite relaxant (liquid or otherwise), enjoy the images (there are also some more images in an earlier post - June or July, I think - just scroll down, you'll find them and they're cool images), the music and the poetry, think about the experiencing of this magnificent place and just "be".

"The Heights of Macchu Picchu" - Pablo Neruda

From air to air, like an empty net,
dredging through streets and ambient atmosphere, I came
lavish, at autumn’s coronation, with the leaves’
proffer of currency and – between spring and wheat ears –
that which a boundless love, caught in a gauntlet fall,
grants us like a long-fingered moon.

(Days of love radiance in discordant
bodies: steels converted
to the silence of acid:
nights disentangled to the ultimate flour,
assaulted stamens of the nuptial land.)

Someone waiting for me among the violins
met with a world like a buried tower
sinking its spiral below the layered leaves
color of raucous sulphur:
and lower yet, in a vein of gold,
like a sword in a scabbard of meteors,
I plunged a turbulent and tender hand
to the most secret organs of the earth.

Leaning my forehead through unfathomed waves
I sank, a single drop, within a sleep of sulphur
where, like a blind man, I retraced the jasmine
of our exhausted human spring.

Flower to flower delivers up its seed
and rock maintains its blossom broadcast
in a bruised garment of diamond and sand
yet man crumples the petal of the light he skims
from the predetermined sources of the sea
and drills the pulsing metal in his hands.
Soon, caught between clothes and smoke, on the sunken floor,
the soul’s reduced to a shuffled pack,
quartz and insomnia, tears in the sea,
like pools of cold – yet this is not enough;
he kills, confesses it on paper with comtempt,
muffles it in the rug of habit, shreds it
in a hostile apparel of wire.

No: for its corridors – air, sea or land –
who guards his veins unarmed
like scarlet poppies? Now rage has bled
the dreary wares of the trader in creatures,
while, in the plum tree’s coroner, the dew
has left a coat of visitations for a thousand years
pinned to the waiting twig, oh heart, oh face
ground small among the cavities of autumn.

How many times in wintry city streets, or in
a bus, a boat at dusk, or in the denser solitude
of festive nights, drenched in the sound
of bells and shadows, in the very lair of human pleasure,
have I wanted to pause and look for the eternal, unfathomable
truth’s filament I’d fingered once in stone, or in the flash a kiss

(That which in wheat like yellow history
of small, full breasts repeats a calculus
ceaselessly tender in the burgeoning
and which, always the same way, husks to ivory –
that which is ghost of home in the translucent water
belling from the lone snows down to these waves of blood.)

I could only grasp a cluster of faces or masks
thrown down like rings of hollow gold,
like scarecrow clothes, daughters of rabid autumn
shaking the stunted tree of the frightened races.

I had no place in which my hand could rest –
No place running like harnessed water,
Firm as a nugget or anthracite or crystal –
Responding, hot or cold, to my open hand.

What was man? In what layer of his humdrum conversation,
among his shops and sirens – in which of his metallic movements
lived on imperishably the quality of life?

Being like maize grain fell
in the inexhaustible store of lost deeds, shoddy
occurrences, from nine to five, or six,
and not one death but many came to each,
each day a little death: dust, maggot, lamp,
drenched in the mire of suburbs, a little death with fat wings
entered into each man like a short blade
and siege was laid to him by bread or kinife:
the drover, the son of harbors, the dark captain of plows,
the rodent wanderer through dense streets:

all of them weakened waiting for their death, their brief
and daily death –
and their ominous dwindling each day
was like a black cup they trembled while they drained.

Irresistible death invited me many times:
it was like salt occulted in the waves
and what its invisible fragrance suggested
was fragments of wrecks and heights
or vast structures of wind and snowdrift.

I had come to the cut of the blade, the narrowest
channel in air, the shroud of field and stone,
the interstellar void of ultimate steps
and the awesome spiral way:
though not through wave on wave do you attain us, vast sea of death,
but rather like a gallop of twilight,
the comprehensive mathematics of the dark.

You never came to scrabble in our pockets,
you could not pay a visit without a scarlet mantle,
an early carpet hush enclosed in silence,
a heritage of tears, enshrined or buried here.

I could not love within each man a tree
with its remaindered autumns on its back (leaves falling
n their thousands),
all these false deaths and all these resurrections,
sans earth, sans depths:
I wished to swim in the most ample lives,
the widest estuaries,
and when, little by little, man came denying me
closing his paths and doors so that I could not touch
his wounded inexistence with my divining fingers,
I came by other ways, through streets, river by river,
city by city, one bed after another,
orcing my brackish semblance through a wilderness
till in the last of hovels, lacking all light and fire,
bread, stone and silence, I paced at last alone,
dying of my own death.

It was not you, grave death, raptor of iron plumage,
that the drab tenant of such lodgings carried
mixed with his gobbled rations under hollow skin –
rather: a trodden tendril of old rope,
the atom of a courage that gave way
or some harsh dew never distilled to sweat.
This could not be reborn, a particle
of death without a requiem,
have bone or fading church bell dying from within.

Lifting these bandages reeking of iodine
I plunged my hands in humble aches that would have
smothered dying
and nothing did I meet within the wound save wind in gusts
that chilled my cold interstices of soul.

Then up the ladder of the earth I climbed
through the barbed jungle’s thickets
until I reached you Macchu Picchu.

Tall city of stepped stone
home as long last of whatever earth
had never hidden in her sleeping clothes.
In you two lineages that had run parallel
met where the cradle both of man and light
rocked in a wind of thorns.

Mother of stone and sperm of condors.

High reef of the human dawn.

Spade buried in primordial sand.

This was the habitation, this is the site:
here the fat grains of maize grew high
to fall again like red hail.

The fleece of the vicuña was carded here
to clothe men’s loves in gold, their tombs and mothers,
the king, the prayers, the warriors.

Up here man’s feet found rest at night
near eagles’ talons in the high
meat-stuffed eyries. And in the dawn
with thunder steps they trod the thinning mists,
touching the earth and stones that they might recognize
that touch come night, come death.

I gaze at clothes and hands,
traces of water in the booming cistern,
a wall burnished by the touch of a face
that witnessed with my eyes the earth’s carpet of tapers,
oiled with my hands the vanished wood:
for everything, apparel, skin, pots, words,
wine, loaves, has disappeared,
fallen to earth.

And the air came in with lemon blossom fingers
to touch those sleeping faces:
a thousand years of air, months, weeks of air,
blue wind and iron cordilleras –
these came with gentle footstep hurricanes
cleansing the lonely precinct of the stone.

You dead of a common abyss, shades of one ravine –
the deepest – as if to match
the compass of your magnitude,
this is how it came, the true, the most consuming death:
from perforated rocks,
from crimson cornices,
and cataracting aqueducts,
you plummeted like autumn
into a single death.
Today the vacant air no longer mourns
nor knows your shardlike feet,
forgets your pitchers that filtered the sky
when the knives of the lightning ripped it open
and the powerful tree was devoured
by mist and felled by wind.
It sustained a hand that suddenly pitched
from the heights to the depths of time.
You no longer exist: spider fingers, frail
threads, tangled cloth – everything you were
dropped away: customs and tattered
syllables, the dazzling masks of light.

And yet a permanence of stone and language
upheld the city raised like a chalice
in all those hands: live, dead and stilled,
aloft with so much death, a wall, with so much life,
struck with flint petals: the everlating rose, our home,
their reef on Andes, its glacial territories.

On the day the clay-colored hand
was utterly changed into clay, and when dwarf eyelids closed
upon bruised walls and hosts of battlements,
when all of man in us cringed back into its burrow –
there remained a precision unfurled
on the high places of the human dawn,
the tallest crucible that ever held our silence,
a life of stone after so many lives.

Come up with me, American love.

Kiss these secret stones with me.
The torrential silver of the Urubamba
makes the pollen fly to its golden cup.
The hollow of the bindweed’s maze,
the petrified plant, the inflexible garland,
soar above the silence of these mountain coffers,
Come, diminutive life, between the wings
of the earth, while you, cold, crystal in the hammered air,
thrusting embattled emeralds apart,
O savage waters, fall from the hems of snow.

Love, love, until the night collapses
from the singing Andes flint
down to the dawn’s red knees,
come out and contemplate the snow’s blind son.

O Wilkamayu of the sounding looms,
when you rend your skeins of thunder
in white foam clouds of wounded snow,
when your south wind falls like an avalanche
roaring and belting to arouse the sky,
what language do you wake in an ear
freed but a moment from your Andean spume?

Who caught the lightning of the cold,
abandoned it, chained to the heights,
dealt out among its frozen tears,
brandished upon its nimble swords –
its seasoned stamens pummeled hard –
led to a warrior’s bed,
hounded to his rocky conclusions?

What do your harried scintillations whisper?
Did your sly, rebellious flash
go traveling once, populous with words?
Who wanders grinding frozen syllables,
black languages, gold-threaded banners,
fathomless mouths and trampled cries
in your tenuous arterial waters?

Who goes dead-heading blossom eyelids
come to observe us from the far earth?
Who scatters dead seed clusters
Dropping from your cascading hands
to bed their own disintegration here
in coal’s geology?

Who has flung down the branches of these chains
and buried once again our leave-takings?

Love, love, do not come near the border,
avoid adoring this sunken head:
let time exhaust all measure
in its abode of broken overtures – so
here, between cliffs and rushing waters,
take to yourself the air among these passes,
the laminated image of the wind,
the blind canal threading high cordilleras,
dew with its bitter greetings,
and climb, flower by flower, through the thicknesses
trampling the coiling lucifer.

In this steep zone of flint and forest,
green stardust, jungle-clarified,
Mantur, the valley, cracks like a living lake
or a new level of silence.

Come to my very being, to my own dawn,
into crowned solitudes.

The fallen kingdom survives us all this while.

And on this dial the condor’s shadow
cruises as ravenous as would a pirate ship.

Interstellar eagle, vine-in-a mist.

Forsaken bastion, blind scimitar.

Orion belt, ceremonial bread.

Torrential stairway, immeasurable eyelid.

Triangular tunic, pollen of stone.

Granite lamp, bread of stone.

Mineral snake, rose of stone.

Ship-burial, source of stone.

Horse in the moon, stone light.

Equinoctial quadrant, vapor of stone.

Ultimate geometry, book of stone.

Iceberg carved among squalls.

Coral of sunken time.

Finger –softened rampart.

Feather-assaulted roof.

Mirror splinters, thunderstorm foundations.

Thrones ruined by the climbing vine.

The blood-flecked talon’s law.

Gale at a standstill on a slope.

Still turquoise cataract.

Patriarchal chiming of the sleepers.

Manacle of subjugated snows.

Iron tilting toward statutes.

Storm inaccessible and closed.

Puma paws, bloodstone.

Towering shadow, convocation of snows.

Night hoisted upon fingers and roots.

Window if the mists, heartless dove.

Nocturnal foliage, icon of thunderclaps.

Cordillera spine, oceanic roof.

Architecture of stray eagles.

Sky rope, climax of the drone.

Blood level, constructed star.

Mineral bubble, moon of quartz.

Andean serpent, amaranthine brow.

Dome of silence, unsullied home.

Sea bride, cathedral timber.

Branch of salt, black-winged cherry tree.

Snowcapped teeth, chill thunder.

Scarred moon, menacing stone.

Hair of the cold, friction of wind.

Volcano of hands, dark cataract.

Silver wave. Destination of time.

Stone within stone, and man, where was he?
Air within air, and man, where was he?
Time within time, and man, where was he?
Were you also the shattered fragment
of indecision, of hollow eagle
which, through the streets of today, in the old tracks,
through the leaves of accumulated autumns,
goes pounding at the soul into the tomb?
Poor hand, poor foot, and poor, dear life…
The days of unraveled light
in you, familiar rain
falling on the feast-day banderillas,
did they grant, petal by petal, their dark nourishment
to such an empty mouth?
Famine, coral of mankind,
hunger, secret plant, root of the woodcutters,
famine, did your jagged reef dart up
to those high, side-s;ipping towers?

I question you, salt of the highways,
show me the trowel; allow me, architecture,
to fret stone stamens with a little stick,
climb all the steps of air into the emptiness,
scrape the intestine until I touch mankind.
Macchu Picchu, did you lift
stone above stone on a groundwork of rags?
coal upon coal, at the bottom, tears?
Fire-crested gold, and in that gold, the bloat
Dispenser of this blood?

Let me have back the slave you buried here!
Wrench from these lands the stale bread
of the poor, prove me the tatters
on the serf, point out his window.
Tell me how he slept when alive,
whether he snored,
his mouth agape like a dark scar
worn by fatigue into the wall.
That wall, that wall! If each stone floor
weighed down his sleep, and if he fell
beneath them, as if beneath a moon, with all that sleep!

Ancient America, bride in her veil of sea,
your fingers also,
from the jungle’s edges to the rare height of gods,
under the nuptial banners of light and reverence,
blending with thunder from the drums and lances,
your fingers, your fingers also –
that bore the rose in mind and hairline of the cold,
the blood-drenched breast of the new crops translated
into the radiant weave of matter and adamantine hollows –
with them, with them, buried America, were you in that great depth,
the bilious gut, hoarding the eagle hunger?
Through a confusion of splendor,
through a night made stone let me plunge my hand
and move to beat in me a bird held for a thousand years,
the old and unremembered human heart!
Today let me forget this happiness, wider than all the sea,
because man is wider than all the sea and her necklace of islands
and we must fall into him as down a well to clamber back with
branches of secret water, recondite truths.
Allow me to forget, circumference of stone, the powerful
the transcendental span, the honeycomb’s foundations,
and from the set square allow my hand to slide
down a hypotenuse of hairshirt and salt blood.

When, like a horseshoe of rusting wing-cases, the furious condor
batters my temples in the order of flight
and his tornado of carnivorous feathers sweeps the dark dust
down slanting stairways, I do no see the rush of the bird,
nor the blind sickle of his talons –
I see the ancient being, the slave, the sleeping one,
blanket his fields – a body, a thousand bodies, a man, a thousand
women swept by the stable whirlwind, charred with rain and night,
stoned with a leaden weight of statuary:
Juan Splitstones, son of Wiracocha,
Juan Coldbelly, heir of the green star,
Juan Barefoot, grandson to the turquoise,
rising to birth with me, as my own brother.

Arise to birth with me, my brother.

Give me your hand out of the depths
sown by your sorrows.
You will not return from these stone fastnesses.
You will not emerge from subterranean time.
Your rasping voice will not come back,
nor your pierced eyes rise from their sockets.

Look at me from the depths of the earth,
Tiller of fields, weaver, reticent shepherd,
groom of totemic guanacos,
mason high on your treacherous scaffolding,
iceman of Andean tears,
jeweler with crushed fingers,
farmer anxious among his seedlings,
potter wasted among his clays –
bring to the cup of this new life
your ancient buried sorrows.
Show me your blood and your furrow;
say to me: here I was scourged
because a gem was dull or because the earth
failed to give up in time its tithe of corn or stone.
Point out to me the rock on which you stumbled,
the wood they used to crucify your body.
Strike the old flints
to kindle ancient lamps, light up the whips
glued to your wounds throughout the centuries
and light the axes gleaming with your blood.

I come to speak for your dead mouths.

Throughout the earth
let dead lips congregate,
out of the depths spin this long night to me
as if I rode at anchor here with you.

And tell me everything, tell chain by chain,
and link by link, and step by step;
sharpen the knives you kept hidden away,
thrust them into my breast, into my hands,
like a torrent of sunbursts,
an Amazon of buried jaguars,
and leave me cry: hours, days ad years,
blind ages, stellar centuries.

And give me silence, give me water, hope.

Give me the struggle, the iron, the volcanoes.

Let bodies cling like magnets to my body.

Come quickly to my veins and to my mouth.

Speak through my speech, and through my blood.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rembrandt and Raphael

A Record Price at Christie's Old Master Sale

A Rembrandt painting unseen in public for nearly 40 years sold for a record 20.2 million pounds ($33.2 million) at auction in London on Tuesday, the highest ever paid at auction for the 17th century artist. Christie's said that "Portrait of a man, half-length, with his arms akimbo", painted in 1658, fetched the 4th highest-price paid at auction for any old masters painting. It was bought by an anonymous client bidding via telephone, Christie's said. The record for a Rembrandt previously stood at 19.8 million pounds (then $29 million) in December 2000 for "Portrait of a lady aged 62." The Rembrandt was the star lot in Christie's auction of old masters and 19th century works, which have stood up relatively well during a financial downturn that has hit much of the rest of the world art market. "We are delighted to have been able to exhibit this masterful portrait for the first time in nearly forty years leading up to the auction, and to have seen it realize such a strong price that reflects its importance and magnitude," said Richard Knight, international co-head of old masters at Christie's. The last time the 1658 Rembrandt painting was sold at auction was in 1930 when it fetched 18,500 pounds. It later went into a series of private collections in the United States and was last seen in public at an exhibition in Detroit in 1970. The top price at auction for any old master picture is 49.5 million pounds ($77 million) for "The Massacre of the Innocents" by Peter Paul Rubens set at Sotheby's in London in 2002.

along those same lines.....

San Diego Museum of Art Participates in Collaborative Examination of Rembrandt and His Circle

SAN DIEGO, CA.- On view at The San Diego Museum of Art December 5, 2009 through March 7, 2010, From "Rembrandt’s Studio: The Prints of Ferdinand Bol" will focus on printmaking in Rembrandt’s Holland and document the efforts of the Dutch painter and printmaker Ferdinand Bol to arrive at his own style while working with Rembrandt, the greatest artist of his time.

"From Rembrandt’s Studio: The Prints of Ferdinand Bol" is part of a joint effort with the J. Paul Getty Museum, among other museums in Southern California, to examine Rembrandt’s influence and work.

The exhibition brings together works from the permanent collection at The San Diego Museum of Art, a major group of loans from the collection of George C. Kenney II and Olga Kitsakos-Kenney, and additional loans from other California collections. Together, these constitute one of the world’s most complete sets of Bol’s etchings.

Impressions of nearly all of Bol’s etchings will be juxtaposed in the exhibition with examples of Rembrandt’s own graphic work of similar subjects. This exhibition is one of the first dedicated to Bol, the important but relatively little-known artist who worked alongside Rembrandt from the mid-1630s to 1642.

“Even after setting up a practice of his own, Bol remained one of Rembrandt’s most devoted and talented followers, and many of Bol’s works have long been mistaken for those of Rembrandt himself,” said John Marciari, curator of European art at The San Diego Museum of Art. “Because of the unique interplay between student and mentor, Museum visitors should leave the exhibition not only with an appreciation for Bol, but also with a clearer sense of ‘what makes a Rembrandt print a Rembrandt.’”

The San Diego Museum of Art’s exhibition is timed to coincide with "Drawings by Rembrandt and His Pupils: Telling the Difference", a major exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles December 8, 2009 through February 28, 2010. The exhibition, focusing on the artistic relationships between Rembrandt and his followers, will also provide the opportunity to study drawings by Rembrandt and Bol side-by-side.

Within San Diego, The San Diego Museum of Art joins forces with the Timken Museum of Art to present a strong combined showing of Rembrandt and Bol in Balboa Park.


“Head of a Muse”, by Raphael, sold for £29.2m, a world record price for any work on paper to go under the hammer, Christie's said. It was also a world record price for the artist.

Raphael's Head of a Muse was drawn as a study for a figure in Parnassus, one of the series of four frescoes in the Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican which was commissioned by Pope Julius II and which was executed between 1508 and 1511.

The drawing, which was offered at public auction for the first time in more than 150 years, had been expected to sell for £12m to £16m.

It was bought by an anonymous client on the telephone.

The previous record price for a work on paper was Danseuse au repos, a pastel by Edgar Degas, which sold in New York in November last year for US dollars 37,042,500.

Benjamin Peronnet, from Christie's, said: "Raphael is universally recognised as one of the greatest artists in history, and we are extremely excited to have sold a beautiful drawing by his hand which played a major part in the execution of one of the masterpieces of European art.

"This truly exceptional drawing offers us a glimpse into the working mind of a genius.
"The drawing is not only a work of genius in its own right but is also related to one of the artist's great frescoes in the Vatican and has come down to us in remarkable condition."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dave Matthews Band opens PBS's ACL

Dave and the guys kicked off PBS' s 35th season of Austin City Limits on October 3rd. A link to the full hour is listed below. Grab your favorite adult beverage and/or relaxant - maximize your screen to Full and enjoy!

There's also a video below of the band playing "Cornbread" - it isn't from the ACL festival or program - I just like the song (it makes my body parts move and makes me wanna do things of a physical nature), the clip and Dave's last comment and expression before Carter kicks in that rocking drum beat of his so....there you have it!

p.s. Leroi was still alive when the piece above was filmed and you'll see him in the clip.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Summer Bird Does It Yet Again

Soul Sacrifice will start playing in a moment for a colt who has run with a lotta soul this year.

Summer Bird adds Gold Cup to credits - David Grening

ELMONT, N.Y. - Summer Bird stated his case for being crowned 3-year-old champion while trying to enter the conversation for Horse of the Year with an easier-than-it looked one-length victory over Quality Road in Saturday's 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.

Summer Bird added the Jockey Club Gold Cup to victories earlier in the year in the Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes, becoming just the 10th 3-year-old to capture all three races in the same year. He's the first to do it since Easy Goer in 1989. Others to do it include Temperence Hill, Arts and Letters, Damascus, One Count, Twenty Grand, Man o' War, Sword Dancer and Gallant Man.

"It's been 20 years since a 3-year-old won the Belmont, Travers and the Gold Cup," trainer Tim Ice said. "I think it does put him in an elite group and he should be named 3-year-old [champion] colt."

Ice said Summer Bird will more than likely be pointed to the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 7, a decision that will be made after the colt is evaluated for a few days.

Summer Bird had already shown his prowess over a wet track in the Travers Stakes, splashing his way to a 3 1/2-length victory that day. When the skies opened up at Belmont earlier in the day, it turned the main track into a quagmire. Ice believes track surface "wouldn't have mattered" for Summer Bird in the Gold Cup.

"He won the Belmont on a fast track," Ice said. "He's definitely a racehorse, it doesn't matter how the track comes up."

Under Kent Desormeaux, Summer Bird broke well out of the gate and assumed fourth position early as Tizway set the early pace hounded by Quality Road, who pushed Tizway through an opening quarter in 24.96 seconds and a half-mile in 49.73 seconds.

Summer Bird moved into third while racing several paths off the rail midway down the backstretch. At the 4 1/2-furlong marker, Quality Road went after Tizway, and Desormeaux had Summer Bird follow him. Summer Bird confronted Quality Road leaving the five-sixteenths pole, and the duo raced together until the eighth pole, when Summer Bird began to edge away. Though it appeared as though Quality Road was fighting back, Desormeaux said Summer Bird was "idling."

"At the quarter pole he spit past Quality Road, and he was idling," Desormeaux said. "He's trying to be the best I've ever ridden."

Summer Bird eventually drew away inside the sixteenth pole en route to the win. Quality Road finished second, 4 1/2 lengths clear of Tizway. He was followed in the order of finish by Macho Again, Dry Martini, Sette E Mezzo, and Asiatic Boy.

Summer Bird, owned by Drs. Kalarikkal and Vilasini Jayaraman, covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.51 and returned $4.50 as the favorite.

"Kent said Summer Bird was hanging a little bit," Ice said. "He said it was a lot easier than it looked. He had horse left and he [had] no doubt that he was going to win the race. He makes the lead and if you head him he's going to dig back in. I was feeling pretty confident inside the sixteenth pole."

Quality Road, who finished third in the Travers, ran an improved race though jockey John Velazquez said he thought his horse was "timid" over the off going.

"I think he's better on a fast track," Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Quality Road said. "Summer Bird relishes this kind of surface."

Summer Bird will most likely ship to Southern California within 10 days to prepare for the Classic, run over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface. While many believe Rachel Alexandra has cemented Horse of the Year, Ice said that his horse should enter contention with a win in the Classic.

"Not necessarily he'll win Horse of the Year," Ice said. "But I think it should be close."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Off to San Francisco

On tap for this trip will be the deYoung (of course), amongst other delights. As the old saying goes, "A fun time will be had by all".

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

'Twas THE concert of the summer

Comments to come but, for now, - the concert was FANAMAZINGTASTIC - they played for almost 3 hours!!! Even though I was sicker than sick there was no way I was going to miss this concert, especially since the tickets were VIP as was the parking and the Lounge pre party.

Until I post my comments I'll give you a few links to some live performances (not from the 9/12 concert but fabulous nonetheless). There's also an interview with Tavis Smiley from last Monday).

Once you open the links and start the video enlarge it to full screen: (this is the Tavis Smiley interview - it's a great interview)


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The live meet has run its last race

Alas (and alack) the 2009 Del Mar meet has, sadly, ended.

I had some off days when as the old saying goes - "I couldn't hit water if I fell out of a boat".

I had some good days where some of my picks came in and some didn't.

I had some absolutely fabulous days when all my long shots came in and I won every race I bet.

Above all, whether 'twas an off day, a good day or a fabulous day, I was privileged to watch the artistry of the horses as they did what they love to do most - run, run and run some more. They are truly beautiful athletes and Del Mar is a beautiful track. So, combining these majestic animals, a fab track, some "adult beverages", the sun, the cool ocean breeze it all adds up to another season of superb racing. I can't wait for next year!

Let the Learning Begin

Bookopolis by Eric Drooker

The Fall semester actually began a couple of weeks ago. However, as is the case every semester, the first two weeks are consumed with the adding and dropping of students. This year, due to the shortsighted stupidity of California's "governor" (and I use the word loosely) and his insistence on closing the state's budget on the backs of/at the expense of students (as well as senior citizens) while protecting his wealthy buddies there were massive cuts made to the colleges. As a result, the add/drop period was even more problematic and dire. It's also the reason I now have 174 students in my classes.

It is absolutely inane and mind bogging that education cuts were made. Education is our most precious commodity and resource Our students are our future but how can we have a future if we don't educate said students? And how can we educate our students if classes are cut (I'm not talking about a few class sections, I'm talking about hundreds upon hundreds of class sections). Furthermore, the "governator" isn't finished yet - we have been told there will be even more major midyear cuts. This is just absolute stupidity at its worst. How in the world can we remain a competitive country if we can't provide education? The United States is supposed to house "the best and the brightest". However, we are quickly losing any semblance of that with this continued educational free fall. For God's sake - corporations that mismanage their companies are being bailed out - ungodly raises are given to the executives of the aforementioned while our economy is in its present state and people don't have food to eat or roofs over their head but we can't educate our students? More and more I feel like I'm living in a third world country rather than in the United States of America. I could go on and on about this topic for the remainder of the year and never even scratch the surface.

In any event, now that add/drop period has passed and the Labor Day holiday completed, it's down to the business at hand - educating my students. It's nice to see all the bright shiny faces of those students who are both hungry and thirsty for knowledge. By the end of the semester they will be sated and ready to both face and change the world, armed with knowledge acquired from their old activist English Professor.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Celebrating the true meaning of Labor Day

As a Vice-President for the AFT - American Federation of Teachers (hence the image of the educator above) Guild - in my hometown I am proud to celebrate this day. For some this day has turned into just another day off for partying. For others it has come to symbolize the end of summer and wearing white. However, I think it's important that we remember what this day truly symbolizes and how important it remains for worker's rights to be protected. To that end I'd like to share two articles this Labor Day. The first article is a history of this day from the U.S. Department of Labor and the second piece was written this morning by Dr. Walter Brasch, Professor of Journalism at Bloomsburg University.

Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
Founder of Labor Day
More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers. Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold." But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.
The First Labor Day
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883. In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.
Labor Day Legislation
Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.
A Nationwide Holiday
The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement. The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television. The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

Labor Day: The Unknown Holiday
by Walter Brasch

"It’s Labor Day, and that means millions of Americans are celebrating. Most Americans have no idea what Labor Day is, other than self-serving political speeches, hot dogs, burgers, a pool party, and the last day of a three-day holiday. Few even know that Labor Day exists to allow people to remember and honor the struggles for respect, dignity, and acceptable wages and working conditions for the rank-and-file employees.

We don’t know that the Knights of Labor created the first Labor Day in 1882 and that Congress made it a national holiday in 1894.

Almost none of us, including life-long union workers, know the personalities of the labor movement. About Mother Jones (1830-1930), the militant “angel of the coal fields” for more than six decades. About “Big Bill” Haywood (1869-1928) who organized the Industrial Workers of the World, a universal coalition to fight for the rights of all labor. About cigar-chomping Samuel Gompers (1850-1924), the first president of the American Federation of Labor, a job he held for 38 years.

We don’t know about Sidney Hillman (1887-1946) who led strikes in 1916 to reduce the work week to 48 hours, from the standard 54–60 hours, and then helped create the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) before becoming a major political force for workers during the labor-friendly Roosevelt administration.
Missing from our collective knowledge is the life of Saul Alinsky (1909-1972), known as the “father of grassroots political campaigns” who worked alongside Cesar Chavez (1927-1993) who used Alinsky’s tactics to organize the United Farm Workers.

Most of us probably never heard about Eugene Debs (1855-1926), Joe Hill (1879-1915), and thousands of others who went to prison or were murdered defending the rights of the workers not only to organize, but to demand better working conditions. The names of Tompkins Square, Cripple Creek, Homestead, Lattimer, Lawrence, and dozens of other places where police forces massacred workers are unknown. We don’t know about the Avondale mine fire that killed 110, because of faulty construction of the colliery and a disregard for worker safety, or of the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory, where 148 women, some as young as 12, working under brutal sweat-shop conditions, died because a fire door was chained. We won’t become involved in the struggle, risk our jobs and futures. That’s someone else’s responsibility. We’ll just follow inane rules and complain privately.

Most Americans, and certainly most journalists, don’t know the story of Horace Greeley, a social activist and the nation’s most prominent ante-bellum publisher, who created The New York Typographical Union for his typesetters and printers because he believed they needed representation. Most journalists also don’t know about Heywood Broun (1888-1939), one of the nation’s best-paid columnists who risked his own financial stability to create The Newspaper Guild in 1935 to help those reporters making one-hundredth of his salary. Most media don’t even have local stories about Labor Day, preferring to run nationally-distributed stories and not “waste” any of the few reporters they have left.

The national syndicates and wire services, plus a few socially-conscious newspapers, may make the effort to find a current labor leader who will say organized labor is having a tough time but is still strong and vital, the only recourse against poor working conditions and unfair labor practices. The stories will tell us that about 12.4 percent of all workers are in unions, down from a peak of 35 percent in 1954, but the reporters don’t dig into myriad ways of intimidation by Management, or of the professionals who mistakenly believe because they are professionals and not workers they don’t need unions.

The reporters may interview the workers. An elderly man’s remembrance of his life in the coal mines or breakers, and what Black Lung did not only to his own health but to his family and friends. They might chat with an elderly woman who worked 12-hour days six days a week for $3–$4 a day in the heat and humidity of a garment factory. They may talk with a few current workers who tell us the Recession has cut deep into their lives, but they work hard and are pleased that they still have a job.

Some stories may even dryly point out statistics—that the unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is 9.7 percent, up from 4.8 percent when the Recession began in December 2007, that 14.9 million Americans are unemployed, up from 7.4 million. The stories might even note that 9.1 million Americans work part-time either because their hours and wages were “downsized” or because they couldn’t find full-time work. Another 2.3 million Americans are “marginally attached,” according to the BLS; these are unemployed Americans who aren’t listed as “unemployed” because they haven’t looked for work in four weeks; of these 2.3 million, about 760,000 are “discouraged”—their unemployment benefits have run out, they have tried to find work, but have given up.

Meanwhile, corporate executives are taking multi-million dollar bonuses for improving the “cash flow.” Even if executive management makes significant mistakes, and the “return on investment” isn’t what the Board of Directors expects, or the companies fail because of management incompetence and greed, almost all CEOs and their immediate underlings have the “golden parachute” that allows a soft drop from employment, yielding termination packages that amount to millions of dollars and considerable benefits and bonuses that no working class person will ever receive.

Business euphemistically claims because of “downsizing,” “rightsizing,” and “outsourcing,” mostly to foreign countries, the “bottom line” is improved; corporate investors are being “optimally compensated.” Since the recession began, more than a year before President George W. Bush left office, about 4.3 million Americans have been “downsized,” according to data compiled by Challenger, Gray and Christmas Inc. Data collected by NowPublic reveals that 2008 was “the worst year for layoffs and job losses in the United States since World War II.” Although terabytes of data reveal the Recession is slowing under the massive Obama stimulus package, another one million Americans will be laid off this year. Recent Department of Labor studies report that American workers are “the most productive” ever. That’s because not only are they are doing so much more to compensate for their fellow workers having been laid off, but because they live with the fear if they don’t work even harder they, too, may be laid off or lose promotions in an economy that went as far south as our manufacturing plants.

Of course, there are some industries that have gained in the past year’s plunging economy. Retail sales, which the Department of Labor reports as having the lowest average wages, is gaining workers. But, that’s because it’s just “good business sense” to hire 75 low-paid part-timers and save the cost of benefits than to hire 50 full-time clerks. Only about 16 percent of all retail workers even receive health care benefits, according to the BLS.

To the 50-year-old who worked hard for one company more than half of his life, showed up for work on time, left on time, and tolerated the company’s banal preaching about everyone is “part of our happy family,” and then is laid off as an “economy measure,” the numbers don’t matter. To the worker who put in 20 years in one job, and then is fired for reasons that would be questionable under any circumstance, the numbers don’t matter. To the $20,000-a-year worker who is told she won’t receive a raise because “we’re having a bad year,” but sees upper management not only get raises and more stock options, but also hire other managers, all of them making five times or more than her salary, the other numbers don’t matter.

But, millions of Americans will have their bar-b-ques and family reunions, they’ll splash in the ocean or hike mountain trails, and they will have no idea why the struggle for worker rights must be fought every day by every worker."

Have a wonderful Labor Day and please continue to support the tireless work done to ensure every worker's entitled rights. We continue on because the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.

Richard's Kid Shocks in the Pacific Classic

Richard's Kid Roars in Pacific Classic Upset – Jack Shinar

Richard’s Kid, sent off at odds of 24-1, charged from far back with jockey Mike Smith aboard to win the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) before a crowd of 42,549 at Del Mar Sept. 6, nipping Einstein by a neck in an exhilarating finish.

Purchased recently by Arnold Zetcher, Richard's Kid, a 4-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid, earned his first graded stakes win and sixth victory overall in 19 starts.

"I told Mike Smith before the race to give me a Hall of Fame ride and that's what he did," winning trainer Bob Baffert told TVG immediately after the race. "He's been getting stronger and stronger. He's been training great here. I was going to send him somewhere else, but he was doing so well here I told (Zetcher), 'Let's take a shot.' I bought him for the synthetics. Now we'll enjoy (the win)."

In taking the Pacific Classic, Richard's Kid defeated both the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) winner Einstein and the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) victor Rail Trip, who finished third as the narrow 5-2 favorite. The final time for the 1 1/4-mile Polytrack race was 2:02.39.

Richard's Kid, who rallied on the far outside to get up, earned a berth in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) because the Pacific Classic is a "Win and You're In" race for the classic division.

"Look at who we beat today," said an overjoyed Zetcher. "Einstein, Rail Trip, and all those other great horses. I've been in horse racing a long, long time. This last year has been incredible."

Richard's Kid raced second-to-last in the 12-horse field for much of the journey, but launched his bid on the outside near the quarter pole. Rallying five paths wide coming off the turn under encouragement from Smith, he avoided traffic and kept charging. He collared Einstein just before the wire even though Smith lost his whip deep in the stretch drive.

"He was just smooth as silk out there today," said Smith of the winner. "He's a big, heavy-muscled horse; the kind that tends to tie up on you. But he was just doing great today. Every step he made along the way was a good one. He just was rolling all the way. So sweet."

Smith won the Pacific Classic previously with Came Home in 2002.

The five-time grade I winner Einstein was in a perfect stalking position three wide for Julien Leparoux, surging to the front approaching mid-stretch ahead of Parading and Rail Trip, who had weaved his way between horses to challenge. Einstein had their measure in deep stretch, but could not quite hold off the surprising Richard's Kid.

"He made his move just when we wanted him to and we were all but there," Leparoux said. "And then he got beat. But it was very important that he run like this today. After his last race (fifth in the Arlington Million, gr. IT) he had to show well today. And he did."

Einstein, who made his reputation on turf, showed he is not adverse to synthetic tracks with his impressive win in the March 7 Santa Anita Handicap. Trainer Helen Pitts-Blasi said she would point him to the Breeders' Cup Classic as well.

"How can you knock a horse that gives 110% every time," she said. "He ran a winning race, but he just got caught. I was tickled to death (with how he ran)."

Rail Trip, who finished three-quarters of a length behind Einstein, also turned in a huge effort in defeat. He managed to slip through tight quarters, working into contention between horses for Jose Valdivia Jr. He angled in for room in deep stretch, but came up a little short.

"He's never been behind horses before," Valdivia said. "But today he was. I'm used to just pushing the button on him and having him go. But today we had to wait for other horses. It made the difference."

Less fortunate was second choice Colonel John, who was stuck at the rail on the turn and into the crowded homestretch with Garrett Gomez. He fought his way out, but could not find enough room to make an impact. Colonel John finished fifth behind Parading, who bid on the outside of Einstein and had dead aim, but was outrun to the wire.

Gomez said he was happy saving ground at the rail, but the situation changed quickly.
"All of a sudden the leaders backed right up into us and we had nowhere to go," Gomez said. "I had to wait and follow (Rail Trip) through the hole and by then it was too late. Racing luck."

Tres Borrachos, tracked by Mast Track and Misremembered, led the field the first mile through fractions of :23.16, :47.42, 1:12.53, and 1:37.37, but all three weakened abruptly after that.

Unlike his opponents, Richard's Kid was shortening up for the Pacific Classic after placing second in the 1 1/2-mile Cougar II Handicap in his synthetic track debut on Del Mar's Polytrack Aug. 5. He made a huge late run in that race as well in his second start as part of the Baffert barn, but came up a nose short to Unusual Suspect. In preparation for the Pacific Classic, he turned in a bullet :58 4/5 five-furlong work Sept. 1.

Richard's Kid had lost five races in a row since his only prior stakes win, which came in the John B. Campbell Stakes at Laurel Park in February when the Maryland-bred colt was part of Richard Small's stable.

The dark bay colt earned $600,000 for the Pacific Classic victory and has now banked a total of $759,370.

Bred by Fitzhugh, Richard's Kid is out of Tough Broad, by Broad Brush.

Richard's Kid paid $50.80, $22.20, and $12.40. The 7-year-old Einstein, who ran in the Stronach Stables' silks after being purchased by Frank Stronach at the start of the week, returned $6.40 and $4.80. Rail Trip was $3.80 to show.

Parading and Colonel John were followed by Song of Navarone, Awesome Gem, Global Hunter, Informed, Misremembered (the only 3-year-old in the field), Tres Borrachos and Mast Track.

If you want to watch the race here's the link:

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Like Father, Like Son

He is no longer the "other Bird".

Summer Bird flew out from underneath the shadow of Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird Saturday with a surprisingly easy 3 1/2-length victory in the Grade 1, $1 million Travers Stakes over a sloppy Saratoga track in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Hold Me Back, the longest shot on the board at 17-1, rallied from last to be second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Quality Road, the 3-2 favorite. He was followed in the order of finish by Charitable Man, Warriors Reward, and Kensei. Our Edge, who set the pace for the opening half-mile, was eased.

The Travers victory coupled with his win in the Belmont Stakes in June should put Summer Bird atop the 3-year-old division heading into the fall.

"To me he is the champion colt right now," said winning trainer Tim Ice.

Considering Summer Bird didn't make his first start until March, that's quite an achievement.

"For him starting his first race in March, to be where he's at now could only show what a great horse he is," said Ice, who trains Summer Bird for Drs. Kalarikkal and Vilasini Jayaraman.

Summer Bird is the 30th Belmont Stakes winner to also capture the Travers. The last one to do it was Birdstone, who happens to be Summer Bird's sire.

When Birdstone won the Travers, he did it in a driving rainstorm that had developed just moments before the race began. Saturday, Summer Bird had to do it over an extremely sloppy track made that way by heavy rains Friday night and day-long showers on Saturday.

But from the time he left the gate, Summer Bird showed jockey Kent Desormeaux that the slop was not going to be an issue. Expecting to be next-to-last in the seven-horse field, Desormeaux found himself a relatively close fourth as Our Edge set the pace, stalked by Jim Dandy winner Kensei.

Summer Bird was four wide on the first turn and then moved up into a stalking third while remaining four wide down the backside. He was simply galloping through the sloppy surface while Our Edge ran a half-mile in 46.88 seconds. Kensei, took over from a tiring Our Edge at the half-mile pole while Desormeaux maintained a hold on Summer Bird.

"I could have went to the front at the seven-eighths pole," Desormeaux said. "For at least a half a mile I had him under restraint."

Leaving the five-sixteenths pole, Desormeaux decided to open the race up and began to ask Summer Bird for run. By the quarter pole he had a length lead, and turning for home he continued to widen his advantage.

"I thought, let's stretch them out from here and force them to keep up with me instead of allowing it to be a European style of race," Desormeaux said. "With that being said, I got to my breaking point where I thought it was time to go, which was the five-sixteenths. I let him go and he took off full of run."

Ice says people have been calling his horse the "other Bird" for a while, but he doesn't really care anymore.

"They can call him the other Bird if they want, but he's won the Belmont and the Travers," Ice said.

"Take it from there."

Summer Bird covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.83 in the slop.

If you want to watch the race -

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ginsberg and Drooker

Note: Adult language and themes present in the following poem

By Allen Ginsberg


I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,

who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,

who passed through universities with radiant eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,

who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,

who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,

who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,

who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after nightwith dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls,

incomparable blind streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping towards poles of Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the motionless world of Time between,

Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,

who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light of Zoo,

who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford's floated out and sat through the stale beer afternoon in desolate Fugazzi's, listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox,

who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brooklyn Bridge,

a lost batallion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills off Empire State out of the moonyacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,

whose intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the Synagogue cast on the pavement,

who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall,

suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grindings and migraines of China under junk-withdrawal in Newark's bleak furnished room,

who wandered around and around at midnight in the railway yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts,

who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome farms in grandfather night,

who studied Plotinus Poe St John of the Cross telepathy and bop kabbalah because the universe instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,

who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary indian angels who were visionary indian angels,

who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,

who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Oklahoma on the impulse of winter midnight streetlight smalltown rain,

who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the brilliant Spaniard to converse about America and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship to Africa,

who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving nothing behind but the shadow of dungarees and the larva and ash of poetry scattered in fireplace Chicago,

who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the FBI in beards and shorts with big pacifist eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incomprehensible leaflets,

who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism, who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square weeping and undressing while the sirens of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also wailed,

who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons,

who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in policecars for committing no crime but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,

who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts,

who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,

who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love,

who balled in the morning in the evenings in rosegardens and the grass of public parks and cemeteries scattering their semen freely to whomever come who may, who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath when the blond & naked angel came to pierce them with a sword,

who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden threads of the craftsman's loom,

who copulated ecstatic and insatiate and fell off the bed, and continued along the floor and down the hall and ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,

who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning but were prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sunrise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked in the lake,

who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver—joy to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses' rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,

who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and picked themselves up out of basements hungover with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemployment offices,

who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open full of steamheat and opium,

who created great suicidal dramas on the appartment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,

who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of the Bowery,

who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,

who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts, who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates of theology,

who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish,

who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom,

who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,

who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for an Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade,

who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, gave up and were forced to open antique stores where they thought they were growing old and cried,

who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister intelligent editors, or were run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not even one free beer,

who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of the subway window, jumped in the filthy Passaic, leaped on negroes, cried all over the street, danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed phonograph records of nostalgic European 1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans in their ears and the blast of colossal steamwhistles,

who barreled down the highways of the past journeying to each other's hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude watch Birmingham jazz incarnation,

who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had a vision to find out Eternity,

who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver & brooded & loned in Denver and finally went away to find out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,

who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying for each other's salvation and light and breasts, until the soul illuminated its hair for a second,

who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for impossible criminals with golden heads and the charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet blues to Alcatraz,

who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the daisychain or grave,

who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hypnotism & were left with their insanity & their hands & a hung jury,

who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturerson Dadaism and subsequently presented themselves on the granite steps of the madhouse with the shaven heads and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy,

and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psychotherapy occupational therapy pingpong & amnesia,

who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia,

returning years later truly bald except for a wig of blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible madman doom of the wards of the madtowns of the East,

Pilgrim State's Rockland's and Greystone's foetid halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rocking and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a nightmare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the moon,

with mother finally *****, and the last fantastic book flung out of the tenement window, and the last door closed at 4 A.M. and the last telephone slammed at the wall in reply and the last furnished room emptied down to the last piece of mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted on a wire hanger on the closet, and even that imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of hallucination—

ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you're really in the total animal soup of time—and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrating plane,

who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soulbetween 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deusto recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head,

the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death,

and rose incarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the suffering of America's naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio

with the absolute heart of the poem butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.


What sphinx of cement and aluminium bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?

Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!

Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy judger of men!

Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgement! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments!

Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!

Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovas! Moloch whose factories dream and choke in the fog! Moloch whose smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!

Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! Moloch whose name is the Mind!

Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!

Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! Light streaming out of the sky!

Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisable suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible madhouses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!

They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pavements, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!

Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstacies! gone down the American river!

Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!

Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs! Ten years' animal screams and suicides! Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on the rocks of Time!

Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving! carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the street!


Carl Solomon! I'm with you in Rockland

where you're madder than I am

I'm with you in Rockland where you must feel strange

I'm with you in Rockland where you imitate the shade of my mother

I'm with you in Rockland where you've murdered your twelve secretaries

I'm with you in Rockland where you laugh at this invisible humour

I'm with you in Rockland where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter

I'm with you in Rockland where your condition has become serious and is reported on the radio

I'm with you in Rockland where the faculties of the skull no longer admit the worms of the senses

I'm with you in Rockland where you drink the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica

I'm with you in Rockland where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the harpies of the Bronx
I'm with you in Rockland where you scream in a straightjacket that you're losing the game of actual pingpong of the abyss

I'm with you in Rockland where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul is innocent and immortal it should never die ungodly in an armed madhouse

I'm with you in Rockland where fifty more shocks will never return your soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a cross in the void

I'm with you in Rockland where you accuse your doctors of insanity and plot the Hebrew socialist revolution against the fascist national Golgotha

I'm with you in Rockland where you will split the heavens of Long Island and resurrect your living human Jesus from the superhuman tomb

I'm with you in Rockland where there are twentyfive thousand mad comrades all together singing the final stanzas of the Internationale

I'm with you in Rockland where we hug and kiss the United States under our bedsheets the United States that coughs all night and won't let us sleep

I'm with you in Rockland where we wake up electrified out of the coma by our own souls' airplanes roaring over the roof they've come to drop angelic bombs the hospital illuminates itself imaginary walls collapse O skinny legions run outside O starry-spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is here O victory forget your underwear we're free

I'm with you in Rockland in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-journey on the highway across America in tears to the door of my cottage in the Western night.

*The piece shown is Blood on the Moon and was supposedly inspired by the Moloch portion of Ginsberg's poem. The artist is Eric Drooker.