Gladys Knight spoke about singing the national anthem for Super Bowl Llll in an interview posted by the NFL on YouTube. Amid criticism from a small but vocal collection of activists, Knight has maintained her calm and is sticking to her decision to sing the anthem. Knight has seen and participated in all aspects of the Civil Rights movement, recounting having to give separate performances for white and black audiences in the South of yesteryear.
Tongues wagged for a week about a Gillette ad purporting to set behavioral standards for US males, with many including me, criticizing the corporation for sanctimony and stereotyping. The ad dominated social media like tabloid Twitter for days. Another ad aired during the championship football games on Sunday, sponsored by Verizon. “The Team That Wouldn’t Be Here,” stands in sharp contrast to the Gillette messaging.
Does the moon inspire you? If so, Sunday evening into Monday should send your imagination soaring. Late Sunday evening into the wee hours of Monday, a total lunar eclipse will occur. The moon will appear to be red. Many of us in the US, barring clouds, will be able to see it. The January moon is popularly called the wolf moon. Thus, we have a Super Blood Wolf Moon. Do people really get a little crazy when natural phenomena like this occur?
My indie arts family is psyched for the national college football championship game tonight between the Clemson Tigers and Alabama’s Crimson Tide. I didn’t know until yesterday that Imagine Dragons will do the halftime show. I hadn’t listened to much of that band’s music, but when I saw a columnist dissing them as halftime entertainment while expressing positive feelings about their music, I revisited their song “Zero” and a couple others. The columnist suggested a great musician would’ve been a better fit for the gig. I disagree.
At present social media like Facebook and Twitter are experiencing chaos. This was predictable. When you have massive numbers of humans from around the globe interacting, you have a landscape akin to the ‘Wild West’ of yore. Toss in bots, insert human screeners who make decisions to block people like a famous pastor (his page was restored), and media who snark among themselves like tweens on a middle school playground, chaos is no surprise. What’s next in 2019 when it comes to arts communities?
Part 3 of 3 What was the world of poetry like before most Americans gained access to the Internet? For one thing, fewer poets were published. In order to get into a print magazine, your work was vetted by an editor. Universities controlled most public readings. In one sense, you had to be known to the ‘knowns’ in order to climb the ladder of publication and rewards. Although much has changed since that time, much remains the same.
Pt. 2 of 3 Jennifer Reeser, in case you missed the first article in our series about her, is no ordinary writer. Exceptional poet, widely praised translator, essayist, and reviewer, Reeser has long refused to confine her intellect to one form or genre. Years ago, a famous poet’s son who became an accomplished writer told how his father “made his head.” As with everything, seeds of one’s future are sown at a very young age.
Pt. 1 of 3 Let’s face it. Poetry can be boring. On the other hand, poetry can be exhilarating when the writer dares to tread on murky ground. Jennifer Reeser does the latter. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and in her own collections, and you never know what subject she will tackle next. A master sonneteer and expert at other forms as well, her poems fall flawlessly on the ear. Among those I found extremely interesting is Reeser’s collection The Lalaurie Horror, described as a “poetic ghost tour” of a mansion once owned by an alleged female serial
Each night I take about 30 minutes to read news before I go to bed. For some reason, this usually relaxes me, a fact that confounds my husband. Last night, the opposite happened. I read a news story about a murder, and the details are permanently impressed on my memory. The story was about the killing of a baby.
I encountered the band Gerry and the Schaks quite by accident. I’d read a fascinating novel, The Ruby Tear Catcher, by Nahid Sewell, and after I’d written about the novelist for a national magazine, I remained connected with Nahid via Facebook. One day I was scrolling down notifications, and saw a post she’d made about her husband’s music. I clicked on it. I loved what I found.