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.
We took in the musical ‘1776, A Musical Revolution’ at the Alhambra theater in Jacksonville, FL last week, and if you didn’t, you missed a great show. It was no small feat for the creators, Sherman Edwards (music and lyrics) and Peter Stone (the book), to come up with a presentation that made history funny, witty, and informative. There were some amazing actors on board too. Throughout the night, the audience laughed and applauded, with many recognizing not much has changed in terms of partisan rancor.
Halloween is approaching, and the natter class is having the customary argument about which costumes are offensive because the wearer might be culturally ‘appropriating’ someone else’s heritage. Yet millions of US children and adults of all cultural persuasion will dress up on October 31 and hit the streets or parties to celebrate. Halloween is traditionally silly. Taking the award for silly is a city whose officials have banned clown costumes.
Sometimes when you’re listening to coverage about extreme weather events, you just have to laugh. Last night, I was watching the 11 o’clock news. The coverage opened with content about Hurricane Michael and its impact on Florida. The reporter breathlessly noted breaking news in an area the storm would likely target. What was the breaking news?
If you’re old enough to remember how things were when you were young, it’s easy to sometimes wonder how artists revise or omit key moments in history. I was young when the United States won the space race with what was then the Soviet Union. I remember the day the US landed humans on the moon, and I remember astronauts working to plant the US flag. Now ‘First Man’, a film about that accomplishment starring Ryan Gosling is drawing controversy for erasing the US flag from the account.
If you were addicted to the HBO series Deadwood, welcome to the club. If you were left hanging and disappointed when the series stopped without closure after three seasons, welcome to that club too. News is breaking that should cause us to rejoice. The Deadwood jig is not up. It’s back on, but not all our wishes are being granted.
Societies have honored those who died in war dating to antiquity. In the US, we pay tribute on the last Monday in May. There is still an argument about who was the first to celebrate Memorial Day in the US, but there is unity in paying homage to those who’ve given their lives for country and flag. In the South when I was a young girl, I remember my grandmother buying artificial poppies from veterans collecting money for various causes on Memorial Day. Because the day was a holiday that demanded little in the way of celebration, everyone had their
I have trouble with TV. Right now, every time I hit a new channel, it’s all about the royal wedding, crime, or psycho chefs. There’s not much I can sit through these days. I have too many books lying around and they’re a lot more interesting. That said, I do have a few shows I like to watch. Two of the features I do watch are among the most popular shows in the US and the UK.
Over Mother’s Day weekend, we took a road trip north on I95 to see my mother. My husband laughs at my complaints about that highway. Traffic slowdowns. Crazy drivers. Monotonous landscape. Some terrible patches needing serious repair. Sometimes we hop off onto a secondary road just to get off 95 for a minute. So I was ecstatic to spot an immaculate ’56 Chevy when we stopped for gas.
Today is International Women’s Day. Many women’s contributions throughout history are just now beginning to surface. As civilization has advanced, our playing field has become more level in many countries. One woman whose name is probably not mentioned in most school classrooms is Mercy Otis Warren. It’s time to meet her.