Saturday, July 04, 2009

Bleeding Cool

For hardcore comics fans only: (and yeah, I know I'm like a month late posting the news. Chris found out where he went right away, but I haven't been online lately to post!!)

Rich Johnston (and his excellent comics industry news/gossip column, Lying In The Gutters) has left Comic Book Resources (CBR) to be lead writer on Bleeding Cool, a website hosted by Avatar Press. Working now for a publisher, he's technically not as "neutral" as being on what was a "plain ol' news site", but on the other hand he's getting paid (is my understanding) and frankly being able to pay bills and get food is good. So I'm glad for him and his family.

At Bleeding Cool, Johnston's new posts are set up more like individual blog posts than the weekly column format like the Lying In the Gutters had set up, so it's all broken up into little pieces as often as he posts (which definitely seems more frequently.) The new format takes a little getting used to, if only because it's not obviously identified as his own post.

I'm also just square enough to wish it were more obvious where I could specifically find Rich Johnston's posts on the site. I had to do a site search because I'd left the link info Chris sent me on my desk somewhere and I couldn't find it right now. I mean, I can find Warren Ellis' interesting and brilliant posts easily -- it's listed right on the sidebar (watch out if you have delicate language issues. Both columnists are British! :)

Interesting development, this ... I wish him the best and look forward to visiting more often now.

Abraham Lincoln's National Day of Prayer

I thought this would interesting reading fare since it's the 4th of July and all:

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

A Day Of National Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer

Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.

And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty seventh.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward, Secretary of State.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Jesus Junkie

Yeah. It's come to that.

And y'know, sometimes it's just flat out hard to be a good disciple. And just when you think you're making headway, you do something stoopid and come off like a complete jerk to someone and you didn't mean to. Or it was a misunderstanding or someone misheard something or someone's got a chip on their shoulder, and folks are unnecessarily grieved and bummed. And what kind of example is that? This stoopid stuff hurts.

sigh.

It's hard. But ya keep trying. It's worth the effort. I hope I'm getting better at all this.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Cultural Heroes At The Downtown Nashville Library

February 19th Chris and I headed over to the Main Gallery at the Downtown Library to see the unveiling of the 6th colossal portrait head in a series sculpted by Alan LeQuire.

The first five heads are of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Lead Belly, Paul Robeson and Woody Guthrie. Giant size -- (no seriously, they are enormous!) -- what was also striking to me was looking at each of them in turn and enjoying the specific sculpting of each. They are not all rendered in the same way, so the details of the sculpting work itself is captivating. The 6th head was placed at the end of the gallery, covered with a large, beautiful piece of fabric and tassel. Intriguingly hidden until it was time ... And it's one thing to see them, but a whole new other thing to listen to Mr. LeQuire explain what motivated him to create this colossal head series, which he calls "Cultural Heroes" and why these folks are important people to him (and should be to us all) and why he wanted to memorialize them in this particular way.

When LeQuire finished his intro, his little daughter Acadia pulled the drapery off the 6th head, and we saw the sculpture of singer Marion Anderson.

The audience just gasped.

What a reaction! It was thrilling! But how could we not react that way? Looking at her you'd swear she was in mid song, on the moment of the intake of breath, and that music was just going to burst out of her mouth any second. It was breathtaking. And impressive how the moment was so powerfully captured. (And if you've ever sung a song with any heart at all, you intimately know that moment from the singing POV. WOW!) It was amazing.

The Cultural Heroes: Sculpture By Alan LeQuire exhibit will continue through May 31. There will be several more programs involving this exhibit, including a talk & slideshow by Mr. LeQuire on Sat. March 21rst, a sculpture demo he will do on Saturday April 18th, and a Walking Tour of his artwork, starting at the Library's front doors on Saturday, May 9th.

I also highly recommend Mr. LeQuire's Atelier classes, which begin again at the LeQuire studio, this Thursday, March 5th at 5:30pm.