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Late Late Night FDL: Ben and Me

By: Saturday September 20, 2014 10:00 pm

Ben and Me.  This Oscar nominated Walt Disney Productions cartoon was released on November 10, 1953.

Directed by Hamilton Luske. Produced by Walt Disney. Based on the book by Robert Lawson. Story by Bill Peet. Story Adaptation by Winston Hibler, Del Connell, and Ted Sears. Art Direction by Ken Anderson and Claude Coats. Visual Effects Animation by George Rowley. Animation by (in alphabetical order) Les Clark, Eric Cleworth, Hugh Fraser, Jerry Hathcock, Ollie Johnston (“Ben”), Hal King, John Lounsbery, Don Lusk, Cliff Nordberg, Wolfgang Reitherman, Harvey Toombs, and Marvin Woodward. Layouts by Hugh Hennesy, Thor Putnam, and Al Zinnen. Backgrounds by Dick Anthony, Al Dempster, and Thelma Witmer. Voices by Sterling Holloway (Amos Mouse / Narrator), Hans Conried (Tom Jefferson / Crook), Charles Ruggles (Ben Franklin – uncredited), and Bill Thompson (Governor Keith – uncredited). Music by Oliver Wallace.

Grab your popcorn, put your feet up on the coffee table, and try to only throw soft items at the screen please. This is Late Late Night Firedoglake, where off topic is the topic … so dive in. What’s on your mind?


Late Night: Thrawn Janet

By: Saturday September 20, 2014 8:02 pm

Exorcising Thrawn Janet

Dakine featured Robert Louis Stevenson today and in comments Jon73 told us he thought Stevenson’s “Thrawn Janet” was one of the best horror stories ever written. Unfamiliar with it (and with Hallowe’en drifting closer), I went in search of “Thrawn Janet.” I was thinking Janet gets thrawn off a cliff or something, but “thrawn” is (chiefly) Scottish for twisted or crooked (also perverse or ill-tempered).

To set it up:

“Thrawn Janet” is actually Janet M’Clour, an “auld limmer” (“A light woman; a strumpet; in weaker sense: A jade, hussy, minx.”) who marries the Reverend Murdoch Soulis. The locals distrust Janet, however, thinking that she’s a witch, and they finally throw her in “the water o’Dule, to see if she were a witch or no, soum or droun.”

I easily found the text online and surprisingly came upon this narration by Scottish playwright Alan Bissett. Listen carefully, it is very Scotsy which takes some getting used to unless your a verry auld Scot.

The illustration uptop is by William Strang but there are others, here’s M.A.C. Quarello’s series. And something from Delijume at DeviantArt.

Saturday Art – Sila: Breath of the World, by John Luther Adams

By: Saturday September 20, 2014 6:40 pm

This year’s Pulitzer Prize for Musical Composition was awarded to my longtime friend and colleague, John Luther Adams.  The award was specifically for a spacious new orchestral work of his, commissioned by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Become Ocean.  But the prize for Adams, as is the case with others so honored, also reflects upon the Alaska master’s record of unique achievement over the decades.  The composer has long, at least up until recently, suffered having his name in the shadow of San Francisco-based composer, John Adams, with John Luther Adams often being called “the OTHER John Adams.”  I’ve long referred to JLA as “the REAL John Adams.”

Become Ocean was first performed in Seattle in 2013.  The Seattle Symphony gave the work its New York City premiere on May 6th, 2014.  WQXR Radio in New York has archived the sound file of that performance at their web site.  It is a powerful, spacey and ultimately gripping wall of sounds.

In midsummer, Adams had a new work, commissioned by Lincoln Center for their Out of Doors Festival, receive its first full airing in the center’s Hearst Plaza, between the Metropolitan Opera and the Juilliard School of Music.  The new composition, Sila:  Breath of the World, is a new look at an idea he hit upon fully in the earlier outdoor masterpiece, Inuksuit.

Both Inuksuit and Sila are aleatoric, in that no two performances of either work will closely resemble any others.  A lot is left up to chance and to the environmental ambience of the outdoor performance space.

Anne Midgette, writing of Sila‘s premiere for the Washington Post, described the performance:

Brass players stood like sentinels along the edge of an upthrust triangle of grass against the backdrop of a New York cityscape gilded by the late sun. Below them, women in black gowns moved through a reflecting pool, barely rippling, like chips broken off the Henry Moore sculpture thrusting out of the water behind them. From the hum of the city emerged a barely audible rumbling of drums, growing louder. Then winds, and then the brass, began to unsheathe arpeggios, rising patterns of notes, growing gradually louder, like encroaching waves on sand, and the women in the pool raised megaphones and began to sing.

The world premiere of John Luther Adams’s “Sila: The Breath of the World” Friday night at New York’s Lincoln Center had the visual aesthetic of a music video, the vibe of a cultural Happening — some 2,500 people congregated on Hearst Plaza, between the Metropolitan Opera and 65th Street, to watch — and the sound of Richard Wagner as channeled by John Cage. 

Upon watching a video of that performance, I wrote:

Fracking Cannot Fail, But Only Be Failed

By: Saturday September 20, 2014 5:20 pm

We’ve known for a while that fracking wells have serious integrity issues. A couple of years ago Anthony Ingraffea reported on extensive well failures in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale. In June Ingraffea and a team of researches at Cornell followed up with a study estimating forty percent of Marcellus wells will fail over time. Newer wells appear to show higher leakage rates than older ones, so structural integrity is an increasing risk. Since there is no financial or regulatory incentive to build them well, they are getting less and not more reliable.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Mark Schapiro, Carbon Shock: A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of a Disrupted Global Economy

By: Saturday September 20, 2014 1:59 pm

One thing is for certain about climate change, to borrow the words of the title of the new book written by author, journalist and activist Naomi Klein: it changes everything. Just about a month before her book came out though, so too did another one singing a similar tune: Carbon Shock: A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of the Disrupted Global Economy, authored by investigative journalist Mark Schapiro.

Saturday Art and Archaeology: Unique Discovery in Pennsylvania Dig

By: Saturday September 20, 2014 12:40 pm

Long hours patiently sifting through dirt and checking constantly for relics sometimes yield results that make those times golden, and that happened this summer in a dig in PA. The archaeological society of Venango County has worked for the past summers on an inhabitated locale that has turned up finds of tribal pottery and tools, evidence of processing and cooking, post holes for lodges, and among those artifacts has produced a remnant of woven appearance now being tested for composition that may be fabric. If this find proves to be fabric, it will be the only such piece found in this state for the late Woodland period from which these relics date, around 1150 – 1300 B.C. Charcoal dating has already established that period as the time of inhabitation from which the excavated relics originate.

Heady times in archaeology sometimes occur with no prior warning, and thanks go to Susette Jolley, who so delicately discovered, recognized, and brought the fabric to the attention of her fellows, so all concerned helped preserve the discovery.

Providing Context for the People’s Climate March Sunday

By: Saturday September 20, 2014 11:15 am

On Sunday, Sept. 21, thousands will march in New York City in advance of the U.N. Climate Summit next Tuesday, where nations will meet to discuss potential solutions to curb carbon emissions.

Carbon Shock: A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of a Disrupted Global Economy – Book Salon Preview

By: Saturday September 20, 2014 10:40 am

“In Carbon Shock, veteran journalist Mark Schapiro takes readers on a journey into a world where the same chaotic forces reshaping our natural world are also transforming the economy, playing havoc with corporate calculations, shifting economic and political power, and upending our understanding of the real risks, costs, and possibilities of what lies ahead.”

More Troubles in Kansas for the Wizards of Oz

By: Saturday September 20, 2014 9:15 am

The November 2014 election campaign in Kansas wasn’t supposed to work like this. Four years ago, Sam Brownback swept into the governor’s mansion, Kris Kobach became secretary of state, and the GOP in Topeka began to enact a sweeping agenda made up of every item on every conservative’s wish list. Two years ago, when a number of Republican state senators blocked a few of the most extreme items on that list, conservatives primaried them out of the legislature. But today, Brownback, Kobach, and Senator Pat Roberts are in deep, deep electoral trouble. These Wizards of Oz have only one campaign strategy open to them, and it’s not one that has a lot of success in Kansas . . .

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