Starless & Bible Black

I turned the big 5-0 today so forgive me for indulging in a little sentimental nostalgia… I’ve been digging through a lot of old “progressive” rock music by the usual suspects. I’m especially attached to this piece because it was one of the very first things I threw on the platter of my new stereo with great excitement in my very first apartment (a terrific sub-let in a somewhat decrepit old home built in the 20s that actually had a piano in the dining-slash-bedroom — not that I can play, but that didn’t stop me from endlessly meandering on it).

Pre-Internet, I wasn’t sure where the title came from. I knew it was by Dylan Thomas, but that’s all. In fact, it’s from a radio play that he wrote called Under the Milkwood that was broadcast on the BBC in 1954. “It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courter’s-and-rabbits’ wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea.”

Another absolute fave of that time:

Pandemonium seesaw… I ran for the door, ringmaster shouted, “All the fun of the Cirkus!” Brilliant.

Anyway, an open thread if you wish… and, of course, feel free to embed cool tunes in the comments.

Cotler Shreds Defamatory Flyer

Not literally (although I wish he had just for effect), but figuratively. Perhaps it’s high time the Liberals started vigorously debunking Harper’s vituperative propaganda more immediately and hitting back with some vicious groin kicks of their own. Enough of this “nice guy” bullshit — it sure hasn’t done much for their standing with the public to date, so what’s to lose? Besides, as Frank McKenna said the other day, the only way to deal with “thugs” is to fight back.

Note: The audio seems to be wonky on this video, so you really have to crank the volume. Maybe they’ll re-post it with better quality (hint, hint).

Update: Ariela Cotler also fires back at the latest Conservative smears.

A Woman Among Warlords

Via Pacific Free Press (This is What Courage Looks Like): Malalai Joya is an Afghan politician who has been called “the bravest woman in Afghanistan.” As an elected member of the Wolesi Jirga from Farah province, she has publicly denounced the presence of what she considers warlords and war criminals in the parliament. She is the author of “A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice.”

From the Toronto Star article posted this past Thursday:

“Canada should pull its troops out now,” she said in Toronto on Wednesday… And, she says, U.S. President Barack Obama, who is considering a surge in troop levels to battle Al Qaeda and the Taliban, should think again.

“The United States should go, too. As long as foreign troops are in the country we will be fighting two enemies instead of one.”

Yes, she says, there is a risk of civil war, as happened when the Soviet Union gave up the fight against U.S.-backed Afghan Islamists 20 years ago. But it would still be better than “night raids, torture and aerial bombardment” that killed hundreds of Afghan civilians while the Taliban made steady gains.

But of course, her warnings will go completely unheeded and the reckless March of Folly will continue unabated for years to come.


Larry and the kids at Countdown provide an entertaining compilation of late-night comedians’ takes on the Goin’ Rogue media promotion.

Update: Martha Stewart speaking of Palin: She’s “a very boring person” and “kind of a dangerous person” because “she’s so confused… anyone like that in government is a real problem.”