Thursday, May 31, 2012

Doc Watson

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Performance Perfection, Or: Why Television Talent Shows Don't Matter, Part 3

Laurence Olivier as Archie Rice in The Entertainer

If you want entertainment instead of warblers, screamers, and low-rent vaudeville, you can experience this even if the art form is at the bottom of your list.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

 For all the men and women who gave their lives defending our magnificent experiment in government called the United States of America.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bob Dylan's Birthday

The artist at work in 1963
The legendary songwriter, Bob Dylan, turns 71 today. No better time to listen once more to his signature song! This YouTube post has the lyrics so the uninitiated can follow along and fully appreciate the man's work.

The American West, 150 Years Ago

Zuni Indian Pueblo, New Mexico 1873                          USGS Library
The Atlantic posted a new photo essay today featuring the work of Timothy O'Sullivan. The thirty-four photographs were taken during government-sponsored expeditions into the western frontier in the years following the Civil War. Many of these photos may not be new to our readers, but the scenes they capture are simply too compelling to ignore, especially for those who have stood in O'Sullivan's footprints. Do enjoy.

H/T to Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.

Walt Disney: Our Rare And Wonderful American Conservative Utopian

Charles C.W. Cooke has a fine article in the May 28 issue of National Review. The subject is the great American "imagineer," Walt Disney. Even in the early and often shaky days of his cottage industry, Disney stayed focused on planning bigger and better experiences for his audience. Over time, the imagination and scale resulted in Disneyland and later in his very own "World" in the wetlands of central Florida. Today, his "Worlds" are indeed all over the world and, though he left us nearly fifty years ago, a huge portion of what we choose as entertainment still bears his imprint.

What is so interesting about Cooke's article is his description of the evolution of Disney's public politics and persistence of his utopian philosophy. Unlike virtually all of his fellow utopians who built their worlds on leftist, collectivist concepts, Disney chose to build his new world on traditional American values. The tipping point was a single event in the late 1930s that threatened those values and changed him into a conservative activist for the rest of his life. Here is your link to the rest of the story.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Performance Perfection, Or: Why Television Talent Shows Don't Matter, Part 2

 If you want entertainment instead of warblers, screamers, and low-rent vaudeville, you can experience this even if the art form is at the bottom of your list.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Summer Wind

As a man who loves the heat and sweat of a subtropical summer, there is something very comforting about the formation of the season's first tropical storm, especially so close to the Georgia Bight. There is no wish for destruction that comes with the winds, torrential rains, or high flood tides. Rather, it is the realization that the climate cycles have reconfirmed what we can expect from the trade winds that brought our ancestors to the New World. In fact, the first such storm in 1495 left Christopher Columbus and his crew begging for salvation and motivating their captain to venture in such storms only "in the very service of God."

In coastal Georgia, the trades usually creep in softly around the middle of May. They bring in the high cirrus and horsetails as well as the puffy fair-weather cumulus that race over the beach. The clouds sweep inland twenty miles or so where they meet the uplifts of diurnal heating enhanced by the incentives of an onshore flow. Often, the result is a brisk and exciting line of thunderstorms sometimes extending from the city-state of Charleston to the  Players Club fairways at Ponte Vedra Beach.

For years, OTR watched the light show over Savannah arcing north and east toward Hilton Head and sometimes moving to his coast when the land breezes swept in early. Such a magnificent show. By the early morning hours, a quiet southeasterly breeze resumed, embracing the island in salt-saturated humidity and a haze that turned golden with the sunrise. The Boat-tailed Grackles skirmishing in the oleanders nearby served as a natural alarm clock.

The trade wind days last into September to be replaced by weeks of spectacular warm, dry, cloudless days, cool nights and warm water lasting into November. Of course, the occasional tropical storm can interrupt the coastal idyll that is the norm on the sea islands. It is to be expected and respected by those who share the fragile boundary of life at the ocean's edge.

N.B. Tropical Storm Alberto is off Charleston and drifting southwest toward the Sea Islands of Georgia, but should move out to sea in a day or two.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Elizabeth Warren's Campaign Theme Song

OTR saw this video around 2:00AM this morning, but was too tired to follow through with posting. It's a clever production that says a great deal about where our culture was fifty years ago and where it is today.

The truth is painful enough. The hypocrisy may be fatal.

H/T to Instapundit at 2:00AM, Power Line at a much more reasonable hour.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Will Obama Be Thrown To The Wolfe Next Tuesday?

John Wolfe, a perennial candidate
Next Tuesday could shock some readers if they use the legacy media as their sole news source. There are two Democratic candidates for President on the Arkansas primary ballot. Barack Obama is one of them. John Wolfe is the other. A poll last week has Obama leading Wolfe 45 to 38. This is another manifestation - see the primary results in Oklahoma and West Virginia - of the sweeping discontent with Obama in his own party. Could the unknown John Wolfe wreck Obama's chances for a second term in the same way that the well-known Eugene McCarthy did to Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968?  John Hinderaker's post at Power Line has the details.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Performance Perfection, Or: Why Television Talent Shows Don't Matter

If you want entertainment instead of warblers, screamers, and low-rent vaudeville, you can experience this, even if the art form is at the bottom of your list.

If 8:43 is simply too much, the serious excitement begins at 5:00.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Searching For Transportation's Golden Mean

We have a long way to go in the United States to ween ourselves from virtual dependence on the automobile for any and all transportation. In east metro Atlanta, the emergence of foot and bike trails and the accommodation of bicycles on many county roadways is a positive development. The enthusiasm for these alternatives comes from the establishment of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, a nearly 40,000 acre site literally "over the hill" from OTR's woodland home. Regional growth will likely bring heavy rail to and through the area supplementing existing public transportation before 2020.

The great diversity of transportation options will most certainly improve the quality of life for Atlantans. The key is achieving a successful balance, though there are some who would prefer the bicycle or any alternative to the automobile. Others would disagree.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day Of The Dirigible

LZ 129 Hindenburg lounge                Source: Bundesarchiv Bild 147-0639/CC-BY-SA 

Last week we went back to the future through the mid-20th century visions of the American illustrator, Art Radebaugh. This week, The Atlantic staff writer, Megan Garber, has posted a fine article on the dirigible. Though short on copy, the post has some terrific illustrations of both the reality and fantasy that these rigid airships brought to the national experience. There's no doubt that given the appropriate technology, at some future time we will enjoy the scale and luxury that these vehicles envisioned. Be sure to follow up on the airship website Garber mentions. Readers may find the comments enjoyable as well.

How Sears And Roebuck Helped Shape The Blues

Here is a fascinating article on how Sears spurred the Blues in America by making guitars affordable and accessible to singers in the Mississippi Delta over a century ago.

On receipt of $1, Sears would send you a guitar C.O.D. The 1897 catalog offered buyers twelve guitars starting at $4. The top of the line model was $27.

H/T to Ed Driscoll at Instapundit

Sunday, May 6, 2012

High Earners Will Migrate To Avoid New Taxes On Wealth

It is a mixed bag, but top U.S. earners will leave a location to avoid a new "wealth tax" if they have the freedom to do so. Research tells us that retirees and others who receive the bulk of their earnings from investments have no problem escaping. As expected, business owners and high-earners who are still on the job don't have as much flexibility. The bottom line indicates that such taxes are statistically insignificant as motivators for relocating. Perhaps the search for real meaning with this issue rests with finding the tipping point at which those business owners would indeed move. There are reports that southern California's tax policy may be driving businesses out, but taxation is only one of many variables at work there.

Regardless, yesterday's socialist victory in the presidential election in France should come with a warning to our Blue State tax-and-spenders. The victor, Francois Hollande, intends to impose a 75% tax on "annual incomes over one million euros ($1.3 million)." Well before his election, French inquiries about London homes priced above one million pounds increased  as much as 30% while those from other European nations declined more than 15%. Because France taxes its citizens on a worldwide basis, these inquiries likely came from those willing to renounce their citizenship. Even pride has its limits.

This issue bears watching here as mobility is a significant American characteristic already compromised by a long, painful and seemingly endless recession.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco De Mayo: Just Another Day In Mexico, Except in Puebla

That's right, friends. Cinco de Mayo in Mexico is a regional celebration of the victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Outside the capital city and state of Puebla, today is pretty much just another Saturday. For Mexicans, the big national celebration is September 16, Independence Day.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is something else entirely. What originated in 1862 as a local celebration of the victory by Mexican gold miners in northern California has spread across the United States as a celebration of Mexican culture. Like many American holidays, official and otherwise, Cinco de Mayo has grown in popularity in recent decades due to heavy commercial promotion, especially by the alcoholic beverage industry.

Whatever the reason for its popularity, it's a great time to enjoy a small portion of the rich Mexican cultural  contribution to the American experience:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Big, Bright Perigee Moon Coming This Weekend

Today, our friends at alerted readers to the perigee moon - one closest to earth - coming on Saturday and Sunday. The full moon will be 14% larger and 30% brighter than others this year. Nothing like seeing a full moon rising over the ocean. Hope the weather cooperates for all the coastal folks around the world.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Everything You Wanted To Know About Marxism/Socialism/Communism But Were Afraid To Ask

Real-world experience beats the classroom every time.

H/T to Smorfia48 via Moonbattery

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Beltane 2012

The Celtic festival day, Beltane, occurs on May 1 and is a cross-quarter day marking the beginning of summer in the ancient calendar. The celebrations began last night night, proceeded through the day with the welcoming of the sun, the selection of the May King and Queen, a Maypole Dance, and much feasting late into the evening. OTR supposes this festival gets plenty of attention if it occurs on the weekend; otherwise, it's likely just another day in the week unless your a hardcore Celt. Regardless, here is some music to honor the spirit of day.

Hope your Beltane was a happy one! Sumer is icumen in.