Unlikely bedfellows: ASJA joins Pacific Legal in suing California over freelance assault

Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher sponsored anti-freelance bill in California
Image of Gonzalez Fletcher, author of the anti-freelance bill in California, from Ballotpedia.

Sometimes news strikes a personal chord, and that’s how I feel about the state of California’s latest assault on freedom. A new law authored by state Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher has brought together two unlikely bedfellows—the American Society of Journalists and Authors and Pacific Legal Foundation.

Gonzalez Fletcher’s law is a brazen assault on the freelance writing profession as I know it. Continue reading “Unlikely bedfellows: ASJA joins Pacific Legal in suing California over freelance assault”

From pogonip to Leap Day, TOFA is full of surprises and tips

The Old Farmer's Almanac 2020 photo by Indie Art South
Photo: Indie Art South

In today’s digital world, a publication enduring for 228 years is a thing of wonder. If you dive into the pages of The Old Farmer’s Almanac 228th Anniversary Edition, you’ll see why this book has made its way to millions of homes over the years. From explaining what the word pogonip meant to American Indians to little known facts about Leap Day in the leap year of 2020, TOFA has you covered. Continue reading “From pogonip to Leap Day, TOFA is full of surprises and tips”

Big double standard as radio ‘presenter’ goes full book burner over ‘Fairytale’ song

Still snip from 'Fairytale of New York' with Kirsty MacColl and The Pogues on YouTube.
Still snip from ‘Fairytale of New York’ with the late Kirsty MacColl and The Pogues on YouTube.

I’ve praised the song “Fairytale of New York” (The Pogues) for quite some time. I know the lyrics. I know there’s a term in there that in the USA, is derogatory if it’s used to insult a gay person, but not derogatory if a gay person uses it to describe a fellow gay. You still with me on this double standard thing?

As a matter of fact, ‘faggot’ isn’t the only derogatory word in music, but at present, it’s the only word getting attention. Sadly if that’s your primary takeaway from this epic song, you’re cheating yourself. A person described as a BBC radio “presenter” banned this song because of a single word. Continue reading “Big double standard as radio ‘presenter’ goes full book burner over ‘Fairytale’ song”

Parties ping pong control of Congress; both fail on copyright matters

laptop graphic IAS
Photo/Indie Art South

American angst is in the news these days, with much of the country divided as though the federal government is a football team with partisan fans on each side of both major parties. The US Constitution is also in the news these days, and spend some time on Twitter, you’ll soon see constitutional scholars multiplying like rabbits. Despite all the furor, fact is both major parties have for a very long time ignored the duty of Congress regarding copyrights spelled out in the Constitution. Continue reading “Parties ping pong control of Congress; both fail on copyright matters”

Recording group Gunboat Diplomats livens up holidays with ‘relentlessly chipper’ song

New Year celebration 1940
New Year Celebration 1940; National Photo Company Collection; gifted by Herbert A. French, US Library of Congress.

Musical group Gunboat Diplomats never ceases to surprise me, and the latest release holds to that standard. I’ve praised the work of this recording group before, often calling attention to their lyrics for artistic merit. Some of their songs have dark undertones—I really like that. I mean, how many musicians write songs with a nod to Albert Camus? I’d wager more than half of those under 40 couldn’t pick Camus out of a literary lineup on paper. Continue reading “Recording group Gunboat Diplomats livens up holidays with ‘relentlessly chipper’ song”