Monday Open Thread: April 15 is Bessie Smith's Birthday

April 15 is the 105th day of the Gregorian Calendar year,
Setting Orange, Discord 32, 3185 YOLD (discordian),
And let us not forget 13.0.6.7.6 by the Mayan Long Count


Bessie_Smith_(1936)_by_Carl_Van_Vechten


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Today is also, among other things, Universal Day of Culture and World Art Day. Now, culture, aka culcha, is many things to many people, some of them are addressed by implication and reference by today's featured artist, Bessie Smith:
Up in Harlem every Saturday night
When the highbrows get together it's just so right
They all congregate at an all night hop
And what they do is oo bop bee dap
Oh Hannah Brown from way cross town
Gets full of corn and starts breaking 'em down
And at the break of day
You can hear old Hannah say
'Gimme a pigfoot and a bottle of beer
Send me again, I don't care, I feel just like I wanna clown
Give the piano player a drink because he's bringing me down

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Yeah, the highbrows, and those who are all so tut, tut, tut, refined and snooty, sometime, somwhere, are going to have to break down and live a little, more or less like all of us real people, so let your hair down and boogie, because:
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WE MUST MAKE "BOOGIE MUSIC" THE ESSENTIAL FACTOR IN THE LIFE OF ALL.
IN PRESENTING THE SONG TO THE WORLD WE MUST THEN EXPLAIN AND
JUSTIFY OUR POSITION BY FORMULATING A DEFINITION OF "BOOGIE MUSIC" IN SETTING FORTH IT'S MAIN PRINCIPLES IN SUCH A WAY
THAT THEY ALL UNDERSTAND INSTANTLY THAT THEIR SOULS THEIR LIVES
IN EVERY RELATION WITH EVERY OTHER HUMAN BEING IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE DEPEND ON "BOOGIE MUSIC" AND THE RIGHT COMPREHENSION AND RIGHT APPLICATION THERE OF - Alan Christie Wilson (The Blind Owl) 1968

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Twenty years of schooling and they put you on the day shift, look out kid, ...

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On this day in history:

1755 – Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language was published.
1817 – Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc founded the American School for the Deaf.
1865 – President Abraham Lincoln died.
1892 – The General Electric Company was formed.
1912 – The RMS Titanic sank
1924 – Rand McNally published its first road atlas.
1936 – The Arab revolt in occupied, misnamed "Mandatory" Palestine began.
1945 – Bergen-Belsen was liberated.
1960 – Ella Baker led a conference that led to the creation of SNCC.
1989 – the Tiananmen Square protests began
1994 – The Marrakesh Agreement rcreating the WTO was adopted, further empowering corporations and corporatists.
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Born this day in:

1452 – Leonardo da Vinci, painter, sculptor, architect
1707 – Leonhard Euler, mathematician and physicist
1793 – Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve, astronomer
1843 – Henry James, author
1858 – Émile Durkheim, sociologist, psychologist and philosopher
1894 – Bessie Smith, singer and actor
1924 – Neville Marriner, violinist and conductor
1930 – Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, educator, politician, first elected female head of state

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Died this day in:

1927 – Gaston Leroux, journalist and author
1980 – Jean-Paul Sartre, philisopher
1986 – Jean Genet, novelist, poet and playwright
2000 – Edward Gorey, poest and illustrator
2001 – Joey Ramone, singer and songwriter
2002 – Damon Knight, author

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Holidays, Holy Days, Festivals, Feast Days, Days of Recognition, and such:

Jackie Robinson Day (United States)
Tax Day, (United States, Philippines)
Universal Day of Culture
World Art Day

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Music goes here, iirc, well,


Universal Day of Culture

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Bessie Smith
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The Titanic

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Boogie Music

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Gratuitous Encryption Zone
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Also:

Extinction Rebellion US Call to Action
April 15 - 22 2019

more here: https://xrebellion.org/take-action-april-15-22-2019

Image is a photograph of Bessie Smith by Carl Van Vechten that has aged its way into the public domain

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It's an open thread, so do your thing

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Raggedy Ann's picture

Honoring Bessie Smith this fine day. Love her music.

It's tax day ~ although I had to pay, it wasn't much and I'd rather use my money and pay than let them use my money interest free!

Have a lovely start to your week, everyone! Pleasantry

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Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

enhydra lutris's picture

@Raggedy Ann
was fantastic.

Tax day is for folks like you and me. Corporations on a calendar year not filing n extension file in March but most have fiscal years and file extensions. Most wealthy also routinely file extensions. If you can owe them, but not enough to incur penalties, owing them is financially wisest, but interest rates these days are laughable, so the financial gain is minimal.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Just on some news unrelated to the American election: an update on the Panama Papers scandal. It caused some moderate hoopla in Canada, and the Canada Revenue Agency (our IRS) sprung into action.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/panama-papers-cra-tax-recovered-charges...

I was glad to read too that other countries are also getting theirs and holding tax dodgers accountable.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Le Frog

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

The Aspie Corner's picture

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

enhydra lutris's picture

@The Aspie Corner
and the details don't matter, except to those who were paying enough attention to catch the lies about her statements early on.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lookout's picture

held annually in nearby Chattanooga is undergoing changes this year...
https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/breakingnews/story/2019/mar/18/bessi...

Thanks for all her songs that you featured.

Yesterday the wind was howling, reminds me of this one...

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout
a cool idea, too bad it is going away. Thanks for the music. TO me, "low post" is a description of a group of basketball plays.

Have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

QMS's picture

Sweet, thanks! Otherwise known as boojee woojee...

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Listen to your higher mind.

enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS
thanks for reading and have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Leonardo Da Vinci reminded me:

Leonardo di Caprio is a wonderful name for a modern actor, no? From What's Eating Gilbert Grape on, I think Leo d C is an underrated actor. Then again, I'm no film critic.

I binge watched The Medicis on Netflix and enjoyed it. (Binge watching is my favorite way to enjoy TV anymore. Maybe my only way.) But what the hell was Dustin Hoffman doing as Giovanni de' Medici?--another great name, btw.)

I don't think that Leo Da V. appeared in The Medicis, as did other famous Italian artists of yore whose patrons were the Medicis. Well, actors portraying them appeared.
Show business being what it is, the actor in the series who portrayed Lorenzo de' Medici, aka Lorenzo the Great (another great name, literally) is, IMO, the best-looking actor in the series, even though Lorenzo was famous for not being handsome, as well as for his greatness.

Of course, the real-life Medicis were, on and off, essentially the government of the city-state of Florence. Their patronage of the arts was therefore tantamount to governmental patronage of the arts, except that the works of art that they commissioned were in their homes, not for the public to enjoy until later. (Same for overt monarchs, who were also patrons of the arts.) The Medicis also controlled the papacy for a time, sometimes with members of the Medici family as popes and sometimes with hand-picked popes who were not family members. And their intimacy with the papacy resulted in their bank prospering. (So, here we have bankers qua government, instead of the puppeteers of government, with religion thrown in. (De' Medicis ruled, literally!)

Of course, popes, were heads of state and also patrons of the arts patrons of the arts. Thank goodness(?) for patrons of the arts. https://www.neh.gov/grants/listing?keywords=

Gotta love Bessie Smith and I gotta love Janis Joplin. Joplin covered a Bessie Smith song and also bought Bessie a tombstone because Smith's family had lacked the money to do so. (The ashes of Janis, who died at age 27, were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.)

In that the surname Joplin reminds me of composer Scott Joplin, aka the King of Ragtime, I think it a fine surname for a singer. Especially one like Janis Joplin who, at a young age, paid homage to her musical roots/heritage.

I can find videos of Bessie Smith singing the song that have far better audio than the ones of Joplin's cover, but here goes:

(Does my ADD look fat in this post?)

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Anja Geitz's picture

@HenryAWallace

Of course, the real-life Medicis were, on and off, essentially the government of the city-state of Florence. Their patronage of the arts was therefore tantamount to governmental patronage of the arts

You could also look at their patronage of the arts as a way to demonstrate their wealth and power. Just as their family emblem was strategically placed throughout the city of Florence, the art work that they supported was primarily showcased inside Italy's churches.

Interesting to think of artists now and then. Now, an artist creates their artwork and then tries to find a buyer. During the Renaissance, an artist needed a patron, or a buyer (usually the Church) to commission the artwork before the artwork began.

My favorite story of that time was when the Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel. While Michelangelo's early training was as a fresco painter, his true love was sculpting. Lifespans being typically short during that period, Michelangelo was concerned how many years he had to create a body of sculpting work. The Sistine Chapel took ten years of his artistic life to complete. Ironically the artwork Michelangelo was most keen in creating was sculpting the Pope's Tomb. Of course when I say "Tomb" I am not referring to the modern day version. The sketches Michelangelo did for Pope Julius II Tomb were the size of a small house and quite extravagant. Chomping at the bit to begin the work on the Pope's Tomb (which would have been quite a prestigious commission at that time as opposed to painting the vault of a chapel), Michelangelo was devastated when Pope Julius instead asked him, and finally had to threaten Michelangelo with ex-communication, to paint the Sistine Chapel.

If you look closely at the figures on the Sistine Chapel, you will see how Michelangelo incorporated his sketches of the Popes Tomb on the ceiling. Essentially "sculpting" the artwork. Every time I visit the Sistine Chapel, I think about Michelangelo's true love, his sculpting, and wonder how he would feel to be best known for the wonder and beauty that is the Sistine Chapel, and then I tear up at the poignant irony of his immense achievement.

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

@Anja Geitz

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Anja Geitz's picture

@HenryAWallace

Who could tell a good story, and Michelangelo was her favorite subject. My benefit. Never missed a class.

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

enhydra lutris's picture

@HenryAWallace
and then, but not much. Being a patron of the arts is one of those things that has merit in its own right, but is too often funded by ill gotten gains. A dilemma if there ever was one.

Thanks for the tunes,especially both versions of Black Mountain Blues. I've always liked both versions, and Scott Joplin, of course.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

Morning el et al.

XR is doing it. 33k by their estimate.

Good link here

https://news.yahoo.com/extinction-rebellion-activists-threaten-bring-075...

Have a good one, all...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma
and have a great day.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

has now come out with a statement backing Assange, saying Germany should offer him political asylum.

https://www.taz.de/Nach-Festnahme-von-Wikileaks-Gruender/!5587431/

So now it’s both “extremes” (the Left / Die Linke and the AfD) against the silence of the multi-party Atlanticist-captured center and center-lefters.

Of course there’s no chance of Merkel or the Social Democrats in the ruling coalition doing any such thing. In that sense the stance of the Left and AfD parties could be dismissed as empty posturing by the opposition without any actual consequences. I still think it’s the right thing to do.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@lotlizard
parties are espousing Assange's cause, though, of course, no NTO central government is remotely likely to.

Have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

Thanks for hosting today's OT, and honoring a very wonderful singer. What a lovely talent to have. A singing voice.

Tax day and my eyes are still bleary from peering at the teeny tiny print on the new 1040 tax form, which is now only have a sheet, God knows why. And for reasons that are too complicated to go into, I cannot file my taxes on-line, which means I still have to get my State Tax form printed out and do that.

Ugh. What an odious task.

Apologies for being such a bummer. But why, oh, why, does this process have to be so awful!?!

Here's hoping everyone else has a better day! Smile

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

enhydra lutris's picture

@Anja Geitz
years ago we arranged to generally have excess withholding. That means that we set a small refund for spending on our spring trip, which gives me an incentive to crank out the returns as soon as I can in January or February, giving me a wonderful feeling of freedom as April nears.

Happy to provide the OT, wish they were all this easy, simply find and highlight a fabulous talent. Bonus, I get to listen to a lot of it while selecting videos.

Thanks for reading and have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

I typically like to get a jump on things and not wait until the last moment. But not with this. Big mental block I suppose. And when it's over, I put it completely and as far away in my mind as I can. Until, the next year. A bit illogical, I know. But something inside me just doesn't want to give the treasury my money until the last possible moment. Hence my yearly ritual of gnashing my teeth.

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke