February 5, 2014
"Scott and his men never made it back to England; they died of starvation and exhaustion on their return trip. Though they reached the South Pole, they were second to Roald Amundsen’s Norwegian team, who brought five times more cocoa."

Outside extols the manly virtues of hot chocolate.

February 3, 2014


Gushing from the mouths of stone men
To spread at ease under the sky
In granite-lipped basins,
Where iris dabble their feet
And rustle to a passing wind,
The water fills the garden with its rushing,
In the midst of the quiet of close-clipped lawns.

Damp smell the ferns in tunnels of stone,
Where trickle and plash the fountains,
Marble fountains, yellowed with much water.
Splashing down moss-tarnished steps
It falls, the water;
And the air is throbbing with it;
With its gurgling and running;
With its leaping, and deep, cool murmur.

And I wished for night and you.
I wanted to see you in the swimming-pool,
White and shining in the silver-flecked water.

While the moon rode over the garden,
High in the arch of night,
And the scent of the lilacs was heavy with stillness.

Night and the water, and you in your whiteness,
bathing !



From The Glebe, Vol 1, No. 5, published 1914.

Found in The Modernist Journals Project.

February 1, 2014
Morrie Turner, comics pioneer, RIP

Do you remember Wee Pals? Can you imagine being scared of it?

January 28, 2014

MR. TAVENNER: Mr. Seeger, prior to your entry in the service in 1942, were you engaged in the practice of your profession in the area of New York?

MR. SEEGER: It is hard to call it a profession. I kind of drifted into it and I never intended to be a musician, and I am glad I am one now, and it is a very honorable profession, but when I started out actually I wanted to be a newspaperman, and when I left school —

CHAIRMAN WALTER: Will you answer the question, please?

MR. SEEGER: I have to explain that it really wasn’t my profession, I picked up a little change in it.

CHAIRMAN WALTER: Did you practice your profession?

MR. SEEGER: I sang for people, yes, before World War II, and I also did as early as 1925.

MR. TAVENNER: And upon your return from the service in December of 1945, you continued in your profession?

MR. SEEGER: I continued singing, and I expect I always will.

MR. TAVENNER: The Committee has information obtained in part from the Daily Worker indicating that, over a period of time, especially since December of 1945, you took part in numerous entertainment features. I have before me a photostatic copy of the June 20, 1947, issue of the Daily Worker. In a column entitled “What’s On” appears this advertisement: “Tonight-Bronx, hear Peter Seeger and his guitar, at Allerton Section housewarming.” May I ask you whether or not the Allerton Section was a section of the Communist Party?

MR. SEEGER: Sir, I refuse to answer that question whether it was a quote from the New York Times or the Vegetarian Journal.

MR. TAVENNER: I don’t believe there is any more authoritative document in regard to the Communist Party than its official organ, the Daily Worker.

MR. SCHERER: He hasn’t answered the question, and he merely said he wouldn’t answer whether the article appeared in the New York Times or some other magazine. I ask you to direct the witness to answer the question.

CHAIRMAN WALTER: I direct you to answer.

MR. SEEGER: Sir, the whole line of questioning-

CHAIRMAN WALTER: You have only been asked one question, so far.

MR. SEEGER: I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs. I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked, especially under such compulsion as this. I would be very glad to tell you my life if you want to hear of it.

MR. TAVENNER: Has the witness declined to answer this specific question?

CHAIRMAN WALTER: He said that he is not going to answer any questions, any names or things.

MR. SCHERER: He was directed to answer the question.

MR. TAVENNER: I have before me a photostatic copy of the April 30, 1948, issue of the Daily Worker which carries under the same title of “What’s On,” an advertisement of a “May Day Rally: For Peace, Security and Democracy.” The advertisement states: “Are you in a fighting mood? Then attend the May Day rally.” Expert speakers are stated to be slated for the program, and then follows a statement, “Entertainment by Pete Seeger.” At the bottom appears this: “Auspices Essex County Communist Party,” and at the top, “Tonight, Newark, N.J.” Did you lend your talent to the Essex County Communist Party on the occasion indicated by this article from the Daily Worker?

MR. SEEGER: Mr. Walter, I believe I have already answered this question, and the same answer.

CHAIRMAN WALTER: The same answer. In other words, you mean that you decline to answer because of the reasons stated before?

MR. SEEGER: I gave my answer, sir.

CHAIRMAN WALTER: What is your answer?

MR. SEEGER: You see, sir, I feel-

CHAIRMAN WALTER: What is your answer?

MR. SEEGER: I will tell you what my answer is.

(Witness consulted with counsel [Paul L. Ross].)

I feel that in my whole life I have never done anything of any conspiratorial nature and I resent very much and very deeply the implication of being called before this Committee that in some way because my opinions may be different from yours, or yours, Mr. Willis, or yours, Mr. Scherer, that I am any less of an American than anybody else. I love my country very deeply, sir.

CHAIRMAN WALTER: Why don’t you make a little contribution toward preserving its institutions?

MR. SEEGER: I feel that my whole life is a contribution. That is why I would like to tell you about it.


Pete Seeger’s testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), August 18, 1955.

January 20, 2014
Big Dog Needs Home….

So, my very large dog just bit one of my son’s friends rather badly.

Does anyone out there know someone who would love to have a very large dog, ideal livestock guardian, great with adults, not so good with children under 10?

He’s great with adults, fine with my daughter (who’s 11), but always wants to keep my son (8) and his friends in line, kind of thinks my grandson (3) is some kind of cat or raccoon.

This is him - a Great Pyrenees:

January 17, 2014

Before 1914, the world belonged to everybody. Everyone went where they wanted to and stayed as long as they pleased. There were no visa, and I am still amazed by the awe of young people, when I tell them that before 1914, I travelled from India to America without owning or ever having seen a passport. (…)

Everywhere countries defended themselves against the foreigner. All the degradations which once were created for dealing with criminals, were now used for normal travellers before and during their trip. You had to let yourself be photographed, from the right and from the left, in profile and en face, the hair cut so short so that your face could be seen; you had to give fingerprints, first only the thumb, then all ten fingers; you had to present credentials, references, helth certificates, invitations and the addresses of your relatives; you had to bring moral and financial guarantees; you had to fill in forms and sign them in three or four copies; and if only one sheet of all this paperwork was missing you were lost. (…)

If I count how much time I spent filling in forms, the hours spent waiting in administration offices and being searched and questioned, then only I feel how much human dignity has been lost in this century, which as young people we dreamed of as one of freedom and world citizenship.


Stefan Zwieg, The World of Yesterday, 1941.

January 17, 2014


We’ve decided to get a little crazy and post both on the Jewish and Christian Sabbaths. There’s a lot of Sabbath to burn through, so this means double the Sabbath for you! Onward and upward to “The Wizard.” (Sorry, we know it’s not sundown yet. Please forgive us.)

JOHN: I do not know what I think of “The Wizard” on any given day….

Here’s the thing with “The Wizard.” It’s there right up top to remind you that what you’re listening to is, in its own fractured way, an electric folk-blues band. We’re a half step removed from Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, and maybe a full step from Fairport Convention or The Pentangle, which were kind of witchy, our-pagan-forefathers, this-is-what-magic-is-like bands. (Pentangle’s influence is a lot clearer on Masters of Reality, when "Solitude" kind of comes out of nowhere and mellows everyone out; Sandy Denny left Fairport Convention and wound up singing on Zeppelin IV.)

English kids with electric guitars were making super noisy versions of Chicago blues… heck, Sonny Boy Williamson was drifting from British band to British band. Psychedelia happened when Jimi Hendrix turned on in London, and even without the same blues chops, crazy new psychedelic bands were alluding to grey-haired folk-blues singers in their band names….

Before Black Sabbath really knew what heavy metal was (which basically means before any of us knew), there was a part of them that was ready to get really high and sit around a campfire with acoustic guitars and, yeah, a harmonica. That eventually got all stripped away and wrapped in chrome and iron, but in the beginning, this was the scene they were in.

Music simple and old, fractured into an pharmaceutically-fueled electric era.

January 16, 2014
Jumble Gym, with its 17-year-old creator, Andrew WK. 
found via Andrew WK Week, celebrating Phillip Crandall’s 33 1/3 book, I Get Wet.

Jumble Gym, with its 17-year-old creator, Andrew WK.
found via Andrew WK Week, celebrating Phillip Crandall’s 33 1/3 book, I Get Wet.

January 7, 2014

Gabriel Brown and His Guitar, “I Get Evil When My Love Comes Down”

What Zora might have been listening to in that last photo.

January 7, 2014

Happy Birthday Zora!
Gabriel Brown playing guitar as Rochelle French and Zora Neale Hurston listen- Eatonville, Florida
State Archives of Florida


Happy Birthday Zora!

Gabriel Brown playing guitar as Rochelle French and Zora Neale Hurston listen- Eatonville, Florida

State Archives of Florida

Liked posts on Tumblr: More liked posts »