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Last month, when everyone was passing round links to this video, I fell in love with it. It's such a brilliant pastiche and reworking of the material, so perfectly realized by the vid makers (whoever they are). And it made me go back and dig up my old Broadway cast CD, and prowl around on YouTube and iTunes searching out various versions and productions of Les Miserables.

And despite whatever one might say about the overblown bombastic quality of some of those Cameron Mackintosh musical extravaganzas, I sat here at my computer watching scenes from Les Mis and hearing the words of the idealistic students willing to die on the barricades for their dreams of a better world, and weeping when I thought of what has happened to my country over the last eight years. And wondering if we really dare hope for actual change. And hoping.

And so, because tonight is the exact time specified for the actions of this video in its stage directions/subtitles, there can be no better time to present you with an encore performance of


While browsing 'friends of friends' this morning, I ran across this video, recommended by zoethe and it inspired me to post it on my LJ (also I really wanted an excuse to make a few posts using my Ballot Box icon - see last entry).

I love this little detail from Thomas Nast's 1880 political cartoon for Harper's Weekly and several years ago I made it my icon for early November. An old-fashioned Ballot Box, from the days of real, countable, verifiable paper ballots, stands on a pedestal incised with the words "Liberty - No Man - No Party - No Country Can Destroy It". The Ballot Box is crowned with a liberty cap (which Nast converted from the (red) bonnet rouge icon of the French Revolution to a "Stars-and-Stripes" version) surrounded by the victor's laurels and adorned with a star-shaped "US" badge.

Years ago I borrowed this image from a copy of the cartoon we had in our collection at work, and put it on that year's ballot form for elections in my professional association, changing it slightly by adding the initials of that association to the cap just over the star. And when I wanted to make this icon, I couldn't locate the original cartoon, so I took a copy of the old association ballot, whited out the group's name and inked the stripes back in the positions I remembered they should have, and scanned it for my LJ icon. But you can't really appreciate it at 100 pixels by 100 pixels, and courtesy of my friend Google I found the following full version, along with many cool images related to paper ballots, at a webpage from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History:


title or description

Eek! On the full cartoon, you can see that Nast's original caption read "The Coming Crown." A Republican victory, and an everlasting Republican form of government. Presumably back in 1880, Nast was calling for a GOP victory for that year, but not for a Rovian "permanent Republican majority", rather for an everlasting version of that form of government to which Benjamin Franklin referred in his famous words, "A republic, ma'am, if you can keep it".


May it be so, please God. May it be so.


In which I break down and attempt a meme

Meme from many friendslist entries:
1. Take a picture of yourself right now.
2. Don't change your clothes, don't fix your hair...just take a picture.
3. Post that picture with NO editing (except resizing if they are HUGE).
4. Post these instructions with your picture.

Well, THAT resolution worked out about as well as most New Year's resolutions, didn't it?

But here it is, June 1st. What better time to make another stab at "posting regularly" :-)

And a good time to look back at how far I've come since last year, too -- back then I was just starting to recover from surgery, with a huge incision that didn't fully close til sometime in July. I was staying with a friend, away from my own stuff, and feeling rather cut-off from my normal life. And looking forward (if that's the word) to a lot of stressful moving -- both my office and my home -- and wondering where it would all end up.

And now, here I am on a perfect June Sunday, sitting in front of an open window in my third floor brownstone apartment with the beautiful woodwork, looking out at green leafy treetops and listening to birdsong and the sound of the breeze rustling through the leaves.

ETA: And now it's June 23rd, and I'm back from a most enjoyable and thought-provoking weekend at 4th Street Fantasy Convention in the Twin Cities, and a whole bunch of things have happened in between (as is the nature of Life). The draft of this post disappeared into the ether back in the day, and magically re-appeared just now under the guise of "do you want to post from a saved draft?" when I meant to wrestle a few words about 4th Street onto the screen, and I can think of nothing better to do than to post the June 1st thing and then Do It Again! Post Early and Often!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all and to all a good night!

from HLC in NYC
whose resolution for 2008 is to post regularly in LJ :-)
Well, I'm home.

I've just been in hospital for a week having part of my large colon removed due to complications of diverticular disease -- I realize I should put this under an Ick! linkie-thing but my brain is pretty fried at the end of a long day wondering if I'd be released today or have to stay over again as I did yesterday, and then packing up and coming home, and getting ready to go stay at a friend's while I recover, and I can't deal with the coding. So there's the brief edition.

Suffice it to say, the op went quite well all things considered (though I have an ostomy bag now for a few months) and I'm doing OK with coping with the various new attachments.

I missed all of you a great deal == probably never catch up with all of Bear's posts -- and I'm looking forward to catching up as I lounge around recovering ;-)

I have just about the best Real Life Friends (and family) that there are.

And Doctors and Nurses are pretty damn kewl human beans.

More anon.


Merry Christmas to All!

For all my friends who celebrate, may the light and warmth and joys of the season be yours. (And may there be Peace on Earth!)

O Tannenbaum O Tannenbaum
O Tannenbaum O Tannenbaum
Last Christmas a German friend invited me to see a real Christmas tree in the old style, with real candles.

Election Day

I voted.

I went at mid-day and the turnout seemed pretty light - there was one person ahead of me for my Election District, and I didn't really see any lines for any of the, maybe three, maybe four, ED's whose voting macines were all in the one big room.

My polling place is a couple of blocks away, at a residence for the blind, and they were having a bake sale, so after casting my ballot I scored a couple of cupcakes, one chocolate and one seemingly vanilla, but as it was wrapped in green saranwrap I couldn't yet swear to it :-)

I have to keep my fingers crossed that this election goes as the people actually vote, and not as some crypto-corporate-fascist group alter the voting machines to make it come out.

And that it is the start of a turnaround for the country, and a return to the values of the Republic for which our Flag stands, and all that.
I can't believe that no-one on my f-list (which includes several very active communities) has posted a single message since the middle of the night -- is something wrong with LJ this morning?


Maggie 7/15#2

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