Why I like Justin Bieber

April 5, 2011

Even though it seems he is out there almost in excess, not many people I talk to know Justin Bieber’s story. He’s not the Monkees of this generation. He writes music, taught himself the drums, piano and guitar by age seven, I think it was, is perhaps the first artist to gain a fan base by posting on YouTube, and is an upbeat guy with a conscience on top of that. And his songs are singable and danceable and catchy, at least to young people like himself. Who else better to express the feelings of kids than a kid?


Meditating students from around the world | David Lynch Foundation

January 21, 2011

Meditating students from around the world | David Lynch Foundation.

Open letter to Camille Paglia, in response to your panning of Lady Gaga

September 12, 2010

I grew up on Joplin, Tina Turner–saw Joplin at the Harvard Stadium in 1970, went to Woodstock the year before. I love Lady Gaga. She creates singable, danceable songs one can listen to over and over again. In acoustic versions, or covers, their depth and versatility become clearly apparent. She depicts death and violence–those are a part of life and have always been a part of rock (“I’m goin’ down to shoot my lady, I caught her messin’ ’round with another man.  Then I gave her the gun! I shot her!”) as has exploitation (“Yes, I can see that you’re just 16 years old, no I don’t want your I.D.”). She also portrays joy, confusion, every emotion as would any working artist. She is a full, strong musician, attended Julliard, not fake in any way. She borrows from popular culture–so did Shakespeare, who stole from the classics as well. He made them his own, so does she.  He created art that had not been created before, taking his genre to a new level, so does she. To be perfect and plastic physically is the apex of the attractiveness ideal today–she gets it, so what? How many other people do, and can embody it? But, bottom line, no one is writing songs like she is. And she’s got a great voice. And can dance, and choreograph in a way that is not just warmed over Michael Jackson for a change! (Great artists always take what is going on and take it to a level of absurdity, and that’s what she does. Look at what Michelangelo did with the Mona Lisa–painted it over and over, created the epitome of a Renaissance painting, to the point where there is no expression, no real color, and it’s the best.)

Apollo 11 Politiku

October 14, 2009

Irene Cullen Gravina Politiku
Someone had to run/ The office for the moon walk/ Little Aunt Irene

These were published with contributions from several NASA scientists and others involved with the moon missions. My Aunt Irene, who now lives in Burlington, MA, was a key administrative assistant to the director at NASA at the time, and oversaw a phalanx of secretaries when it was headquartered in Cambridge, MA. Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susanna-speier/apollo-11-politiku_b_237934.html

Paul McCartney’s new song

April 7, 2009

Dogs do make good nannies.

April 7, 2009

Test/interesting too.

April 7, 2009

From Henry

April 6, 2009

turn now and rise

Wrest the matter into your own

hands – and Nature’s laws

Charles Olson


March 19, 2009

I heard “In the Air at Night” by Phil Collins on the radio, and saw Don Johnson in my mind, driving down an open Florida highway, in a scene from “Miami Vice.”  Our friend Dennis used to love that show, praised for its cinematic qualities back in the ’80s.  He would sit in front of the TV in the large Victorian mansion where we rented rooms to RISD and Brown students.  Dennis was a salesman, and a good one.  He always had a smile for people and could make anyone laugh.  As a single 40 year-old with the scars of a bad case of acne he must have had as a young man though, he was lonely.  He came from a large family.  When I was down or upset he would say, “What are you complaining about?  You’re living in a mansion, married to a doctor…”  When Lindsay was only a few weeks old he would hold her while he watched Miami Vice so we could go out.  A few years later, he and another friend, Virginia, were hit head on by a drunken driver on a backcountry road in Iowa.  She died instantly.  Dennis lived as a paraplegic for years, with “phantom” pains in his lower body the doctors could not explain.  Maybe 10 years ago now he passed away.

Making friends on badbadrubberpiggy.com

March 19, 2009

My 17 year-old posted, with our help, for the first time on badbadrubberpiggy.com.  She received several promising “welcomes.”  In reply, she said she wanted to talk to “the gay who called me dude.”  This received an angry response regarding the sender’s true sexuality.  In apology, she cited her problem with spelling, but was told that was obvious, given the fact that she spells her screen name “Haszard.”  That mispelling is intentional, she answered, and I don’t know what has happened since.