Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jackson’

Letter From New York 01 27 16 Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and Michael Jackson all get in a car…

January 27, 2016

As I type, the train is sliding south towards New York City.  To my right, the sun is setting and the fading glints of golden sun are reflecting off the ice floes in the Hudson.

Friends warned me yesterday when they heard I was coming in to bring my boots.  The city is warming up and the snow is melting, creating rivers at the intersections.

There are a couple of meetings and then I get to see Kevin, my nephew, and to give him his wedding anniversary present to carry back to Washington, DC, where he and Michelle live.

Ammon Bundy, of the Oregon Stand-Off fame has been captured while one of his top lieutenants and frequent spokesperson for the group, was shot down after, reportedly, charging at the police.  According to reports, the dead rancher, LaVoy Finicum, had vowed to die before he went to jail.

About eight occupiers are still within the Refuge and are managing a live YouTube stream from there.  One faced the camera and said, “They’re coming to kill us.”  The FBI has been taking a patient stance on this one, letting time play out.

Playing up, or perhaps acting out, is Donald Trump who won’t appear on the Fox Republican Debate because Megyn Kelly is one of the moderators.  He used the word “bimbo” in relation to her in a tweet.  The tweet went : “I refuse to call Megyn Kelly a bimbo, because that would not be politically correct. Instead I will only call her a lightweight reporter!”

What would a day right now be without another piece of mind from The Donald?

Perusing the entertainment news this evening, I fell upon a story of a new film, based on a Vanity Fair story, that has Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando all jumping into a car together to reach New York after 9/11.  The movie that will star Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson.  Brian Cox is Marlon.  Wait, Joseph Fiennes is a white actor best known for “Shakespeare in Love.”  Ahhhhhh, what are they thinking?  We’ll find out someday.

But what a concept, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and Michael Jackson in a car crossing America, together!  Sounds like an absurdist play… I think.

The Iranian President is visiting Italy.  A museum there covered its statues of naked men and women to be sure he wasn’t offended. When Italian journalists questioned this, no one has taken responsibility.  It happened but no one seems to have ordered it.  President Rouhani didn’t ask for it.  The Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, didn’t suggest it.  The head of the museum is shrugging his shoulders.

Do you remember the DeLorean?  It is making a comeback!  A company has been formed and will make about four a month, to be sold for about $100,000 a piece.   It’s the car Marty McFly and Doc Brown flew into the future with in the “Back to the Future” series of films.

The Fed has hinted today that it is possibly still on track for a March rate hike which caused another day of market swoons.  But not for Facebook, it soared on rising revenue! But Apple, darling Apple, fell after reporting its best quarter ever but folks are worried it doesn’t have much up its sleeve for the future.

After the Nazis occupied Denmark and began ordering Jews to wear a yellow star, the Danish King started doing the same in an act of solidarity with his Jewish subjects.  Today Danish lawmakers passed a law that allows Denmark to seize the valuables of refugees seeking asylum there. 

It doesn’t seem a very Danish thing to do and underscores how frightened Europe is about the influx of immigrants.  The Danes are going to make the immigrants live in specific areas or camps which is going to increase their isolation and their dependance on the Danish government.

The US, historically, simply lets immigrants in and lets them go about their business, making us incredibly diverse and relatively peaceful in our diversity.  Europe doesn’t seem to be following our example — we haven’t done it perfectly but over time we have gotten more right than wrong.

The golden tinged sun has set; it is dark, the city approaches…

Letter From New York 07 27 15 From the side of creek…

July 27, 2015

As I begin to write this, I am seated on the deck. I realized I had the choice of writing at my desk or being here on the deck so I moved my laptop out here.

It is an elegant day in Claverack. The sun is glinting through the trees and the birds are singing all around me. Jazz is playing on Pandora. The creek is mirror like today, reflecting the green trees hanging over the water. It is warm and a shade humid but not uncomfortable.

I lazed around the house this morning reading and visiting with a friend who was up for a day and a half. Around two, I finally did the errands I had meant to do much earlier in the day and then it seemed too late to head into the city so I returned to the cottage to do a little work and write.

The New York Times’ T Magazine is up, shooting over at Jim Ivory’s house [Merchant Ivory Films], just down the road from me. I ran into Jeremiah today, a friend who is helping with the shoot while having lunch at Relish, across from the Train Station.

It is a day, here, of pastoral beauty.

The world is not quite like that. The Shanghai Exchange fell 8.5%, a move that rattled world markets. The Chinese government is intervening though it didn’t move quickly enough to stop today’s slide. There are market jitters everywhere because of China and the ongoing Greek situation, one that doesn’t seem resolved yet though not in the news as much.

Boston has terminated its bid for the Olympics in 2024. Resistance to the bid was rising among the denizens of the city. Everyone capitulated and that might not have been a bad thing.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock the last couple of days [and I have almost been] you will have known Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, died after months in a medically induced coma. She was found in a bathtub [as was her late mother] and never recovered. Tragedy follows tragedy and it is so sad. Did she have a chance? Probably but probably not many supported her in having that chance. The American entertainment industry has created a small industry of tragic stories, going back as far the dawn of the movies.

Huckabee, one the many Republican candidates for the Presidential nomination, said a deal with Iran would march Israelis to the ovens. Ouch. Lots of people are working to distance themselves from that comment. Though some are not.

In one of the most interesting stories I heard on NPR today as I was driving is that “Jihadi John,” a Kuwaiti born British citizen who fell in with IS, is now on the run from IS. He was responsible for some of the worst of the beheadings. Now that he has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi, he apparently feels his value to IS has diminished and he is fleeing for his life. Prime Minister David Cameron so wants to bring him to justice…

The humidity has slipped away and it is remarkably pleasant sitting on my deck. A while ago mosquitoes began to plague me. I went to my iPhone and went to my apps and set off the mosquito repellant app and they actually have disappeared, hounded away by a noise I can’t hear but which makes them really unhappy. Have not seen a mosquito since I activated it.

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the 11th President of India, and the foremost promoter of both its nuclear and space programs, died today. He is a personal friend of my friend, Howard Bloom, writer and theorist. Howard has been in my life since 2008 or so, maybe earlier. A producer friend introduced me to him. He has had a remarkable life. He was a public relations maven and handled Michael Jackson, Queen, Mellenkamp, you name it, back in the 70’s and 80’s, Bloom was the man for the big groups and individuals.

He’s amazing. So apparently was Kalam, who died while giving a speech. Not a bad way to go.

The sun is beginning to set. It is a perfect night in Claverack. Soft, cool breezes are beginning to blow across my land. The creek no longer is so brilliantly reflecting the trees; the sun has fallen too low for that.

The world is not content. I am.

Letter From New York 05 29 15 Riding up the Hudson, ruminating on the world…

May 30, 2015

It is a stunningly beautiful day as I ride the train north, having slipped out of town early. To my left, the Hudson runs wide with sun glints coming off the silver grey surface of the water. It is sunny and warm, with a soft breeze blowing with low humidity. Saturday will probably be like this though there is rain in the forecast for Sunday with cooler temperatures.

My mood is better today; I feel less weighted by the world and its events. I feel more accepting that there is ONLY so much I can do individually and that as long as I feel I am doing that, I can breathe a little easier.

It is still a crazy world. In my home state of Minnesota, a Muslim couple was picking up their son at the home of one of his friends. While waiting for him in the car, they were approached by a woman with a rifle who forced them out of the car and marched them at gunpoint to the house where they told her their son was so that they could prove it to her.

The boy was there.

The woman is facing charges of assault, terroristic threats, terroristic threats-reckless endangerment and maybe some more.

This kind of occurrence just strikes me as so un-Minnesota like. You know, Minnesota nice, it’s baked into us.

She must have skipped that part of the cultural indoctrination.

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is being charged with lying to the FBI about cash withdrawals from banks that allegedly were going to “Individual A.” Apparently, Hastert was paying hush money to a man for inappropriate behavior years ago when he was a schoolteacher and a wrestling coach. Everyone who knows the Former Speaker is shocked as he always was a “stand-up” kind of guy.

He has made no statements but has resigned from his law firm and from the Board of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

In reading about this I was reminded that the Speaker of the House is second in succession for the Presidency. The thought of John Boehner being two heartbeats away from the Presidency is sobering, at least to me.

In the midst of probably the worst sports scandal in the last century, FIFA President Sepp Blatter was re-elected. While it seems unbelievable to me, he had a lot of support from Africa and South America, enough to propel him back for another term. The aftershocks of this affair will continue for a long time and there may be more arrests.

Cuba has been taken off the list of states that sponsor terrorism, paving the way for the normalization of relations. Visiting Cuba is on my bucket list, has been since I read Hemingway who had a home there.

Dressed in a burka, an IS devotee blew himself up at a mosque in Saudi Arabia, killing four, including himself.

In Pakistan, gunmen hijacked buses and ended in a battle with security forces. Nineteen civilians were killed.

North Korea, widely suspected of the hack attack against Sony Pictures, has something called Bureau 121, a cadre of 6000 hackers devoted to discovering ways to create digital trouble. Apparently, many of them operate out of China, some in the basement of well-reviewed restaurant.

Not a happy thought.

Out in California Michael Jackson’s fantasyland named “Neverland“ is for sale for $100,000,000. But now it’s called Sycamore Valley Ranch. It’s a stunning place for those who have a spare hundred mil.

The rain ravaged states of Texas and Oklahoma are going to be receiving drinking water from the breweries of Anheuser-Busch, which halted production of beer at one plant in Georgia and switched to canning drinking water, which is desperately needed. At least thirty-seven are dead in the two states.

Amazon is planning to create its own private label for a variety of foods. Called Elements, its first products were diapers and baby wipes. It is also opening data centers in Ohio that will employ about a thousand people. Amazon just keeps on growing…

Ross Ulbricht, creator of Silk Road, a dark Internet site for the sale of drugs, was sentenced to life in prison today.

The train is rolling into Hudson and I need to gather my things up and make my way over to my car for the short drive home before dinner at the Dot!