Friday, January 26, 2007

A favorite thing...

Reaching out to pet one of my cats on the back of the head, and watching him stretch his neck to meet my hand.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Is the Congressional Black Caucus racist? (Hint: yes)

In her column "Black Caucus: Whites Not Allowed", Josephine Hearn reports on the unwritten rule governing membership as Rep. Stephen Cohen (D-TN) experienced it.

Even though Cohen's constituency is predominantly black, and even though the bylaws of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) do not prohibit non-blacks from joining, the Caucus remains exclusively black, as it has done since its founding in 1969.

It seems that "practice" and "preach" are pretty far apart on this subject. I guess it was felt by CBC members that only black people are qualified to address areas of concern to black people.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is a member; perhaps he is only half-qualified.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Music: Old, New, and Newport

The local PBS station showed some highlights of Newport 2006, in superb High Def.

Chris Botti was out first, playing with his trademark graceful fluidity. He was followed by The Bad Plus, a quirky trio full of stop-start tightness that was impressive in its precision, but which did little for me musically (kind of like Rush).

Also on stage were the Robert Glasper Trio. Glasper's piano work was unremarkable, although his pliable arachnidian fingers creeped me out. More remarkable was his drummer, who played like an 800-pound butterfly.

Savion Glover came out and clomped about in his herky-jerky style that called to mind (a) one of those street bums with the squeegees that clean car windshields in police dramas, and (b) Joe Cocker in tap shoes.

Dr. John was in the right place and the wrong key, or maybe I just didn't care. Also present was Angelique Kidjo, a scary looking woman who resembled Grace Jones in a pants suit.

It's too bad they didn't show Dave Brubeck, John Pizzarelli, or Jane Monheit.

Also on my DVR was the Oprah show featuring the wonderful Corinne Bailey Rae. I caught only a glimpse of her a few weeks ago on "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip", but I was intrigued. This time I got to see two complete performances and an interview. Rae has "it"; she's unhurried, unaffected, lovely, and sings in her own voice. She can go as far as she wants.