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The (Entirely Rushed and Somewhat Half-Assed) Lit City Blues Endorsements

The Quiet Man texted me yesterday and asked for my thoughts about the upcoming election, which caused to lean back in my chair and say, "oh, yeah. There's an election coming up on Tuesday." So, despite fighting whatever form of seasonal crud ran through the family last week before landing on me and having minimal sleep and absolutely no motivation to do anything, I sat down took to the internet and did my homework.. This is what I came up with.

City Council: Our Fearless Leaders declared a 'Climate Emergency' at some point this year, which made my eyes roll so far back in my head that they just did a full 360 and popped back up the other side. I mean, part of me gets it- but, at the same time: come on, people. Have y'all seen the cost of living in this community? Too many people who work here can't afford to live here and if you have a city where that is increasingly the rule and not the exception to the rule we've got a problem. Still think that the &…

Pour One Out for Deadspin

So, over the past couple of days in protest of a mandate handed down by their new owners, a large swathe of staff resigned from Deadspin rather than comply with the dictum from their new owners to quote 'stick to sports.'  I have no idea what this means for the overall quality and future of the site, but it felt pretty final. It felt like a hammer blow to me- which is sort of a shame, because over the years, Deadspin has been one of the websites that I usually check on a fairly regular basis. Maybe it'll stagger on, a shade of it's former self, but I kind of doubt it.

While there was a certain amount of schaudenfreude** out there about Deadspin's implosion, there was also a lot of solidarity for their writers in my Twitter feed. The current media landscape is something I have no direct knowledge of but seems absolutely brutal these days. Facebook and their 'pivot to video' a couple of years back seems to have been utter bullshit- and there were rounds of la…

Bookshot #124: Empire Falls

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The Quiet Man has been recommending this one to me several times over the past few years and I finally snagged it from the Public Library and I can see why he reccommended it- the way Russo draws all of these characters is brilliant, subtle and thoroughly complete. They're all- from major to minor characters, fully three dimensional and realized from the top of the head down to the tips of their toes-- which, in my experience, anyway, is a rare and magical feat when authors can pull it off.

Empire Falls is the story of a small town in Maine and the people that inhabit it- opening with a history of the town and the Whiting Family that dominated the textile industry that made it so propserous it then flips forward to the present day where Miles Roby has been working at the Empire Grill for 20 years, having dropped out of college to come home to take care of his mother and keep an eye on his brother. His ex-wife Janine is about to get remarried to local fitness club owner Walt Comeau.…

I Figured It Out: Random Song Edition

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So, way back in the day- I'm talking late 80s, early 90s, when music was incredible and I would spend the days of halcyon youth listening to things like Open House Party with John Garabetian on my trusty old stereo (complete with tape deck and CD player) I heard a song. For years I've had snatches of this song in my head-- just the refrain, "You'd better hope and pray that you make it safe back to your own world."

Never known the band. Never known the song title. Never in all these years of having a smartphone bothered to run it down on the old Googles, until last night, on a whim, as I was folding some laundry, I decided to give it an old Google and you know what, dear reader? The internet provided. Behold, 'Stay' from a band named Shakespear's Sister.

A little excavation on the Wikipedia revealed the following: it's a British-Irish/American pop and alternative rock duo. (Okay then. Bit of a mouthful, but okay.) And it was formered by singer-song…

Netflix & Chill #68: Booksmart

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Watched On: DVD/Redbox
Released: 2019
Starring: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte, Jason Sudeikis
Rotten Tomatoes: 97% (Tomatometer), 77% (Audience Score)
Pick: Mine

There was a lot of hype surrounding this movie when it dropped in the spring and when the Missus was away for the weekend with the Mother In Law, a snagged it from Redbox (along with Toy Story 4 and Spider-Man Far From Home for the kiddos) and when I got them to bed, I sat down and gave it a watch to see what all the hype was about.

Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) are two high school seniors who have been best friends since childhood but are considered pretentious and stuffy by their peers. Amy has been out for a couple of years now and has a crush on a girl named Ryan (Victoria Ruesga). Molly urges her ask her out before they graduate. Going to the bathroom, Molly then hears her classmates talking about her and confronts them by revealing that she got into Yale while …

This Week In Vexillology #297

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This week, we continue our march through the strange and off the beaten path category of 'unrecognized' countries out there in the world. We're still sort of sticking in the Russian periphery, but we're not picking on the Republic of Georgia anymore: Transnistria and the Republic of Artsakh!

First up, let's talk Transnistria:
Internationally recognized as part of Moldova, Transnistria is a little narrow strip of land that's sandwiches between the River Dneister and the border of the Ukraine. It's history is a little complicated: it became an autnomous polity in 1924 when the Soviets proclaimed the Moldavian ASSR- which included today's Transnistria- but not anything from Bessarabia, which was at the time, a part of Romania. Eventually, the Soviets took Bessarabia, melded it together with what was the Moldavian ASSR at the time and created more or less modern Moldova.

This lasted until perestroika and glastnost really got going. The liberalization kicked…

This Week In Vexillology #296

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We started a theme of all countries strange or 'not-quite-officially-recoginized' countries last week and we're moving forward with it this time a look at Abkhazia and South Ossetia.  Let's start things off with Abkhazia. Let's unpack the flag before we get into the ins and outs of the Republic of Abkhazia itself. Adopted on July 23, 1992. Right off the bat, it's interesting to look at. The hand, the stars, the green and white stripes-- it's a unique combination and actually kind of striking when you step back and really think about it. There's a sort of odd echo of the Stars and Stripes that is undoubtedly something of a political statement on the part of the Abkhazians-- even if it's a subtle and perhaps out and out unconscious one. The red canton is based on the banner of the old Kingdom of Abkhazia-- so what about the hand? Well it means 'Hello to friend! Stop to Enemies!'' The seven stars stand for the seven historical regions of the…