RIP, Joan Rivers

Another comedy legend has gone to the two-drink minimum in the sky following a surgery. And yeah, her last years were not her finest, but she remained true to herself until the very end.

It is not an overstatement to say that if there had been no Joan Rivers, there would be nowhere near the number of fearless female comics as there are today. Rivers busted that glass ceiling in such a way that it could never, ever be put back together again.

I hope when she arrived at the Pearly Gates, God said to her, “Can we talk?”

Mother’s Day 2014

On any given Saturday morning, after the cartoons were done, I would be gently pushed outside the front door, the lock would click, and Mom’s voice would come through the panel, “Don’t come home before lunch, unless fire or insurrection!” and I’d be off.

I would come home from my adventures and present some special rocks I had found, or some bird feathers and she would Ooh and Ahh over them. She kept the feathers in a special glass on the windowsill so she could admire them, which only led to more feathers.

When I got slightly older, and the inevitable bullying began, Mom took me in the backyard and taught me how to box, guarding with my right, punching with my left, and putting my shoulder into it. The bullying stopped. She also taught me how to body surf in the ocean, and how to spit watermelon seeds like a champ.

She was the crusher of spiders, and the kisser of skinned knees; she tied our ties and combed our hair; she was a master of flashcards and an ace poker player.

Hallmark holidays sells cards and candy, but if you are lucky enough to still have your mother on this mortal plane, make her day (and yours) and give her a visit or a call. Or even a bird feather. You’ll be glad you did.

Food for thought

Tante Marie Cooking School has long donated food to the shelters and foodbanks in SF, and Mary started a unique program years ago called Food Runners. It started as a way for restaurants to legally donate food to shelters rather than throw it out, and it has expanded from there. It is one of those only in San Francisco things, that as a model has started to spread to the rest of the country.

It’s a great reminder that all year long there is a great need to feed those less fortunate (in spite of what the GOP says, fortune plays a huge role in our very class-based society); we tend to think about it more during the holidays, which is a Dickens hangover. The need exists year ’round.

(Mary is really like that in real life. Great cook, but even better human being.)

RIP Nelson Mandela

The Spitballing flag at MPS World HQ is at half-mast as Nelson Mandela, one of the great good men of this world, has died.

I’m sure that everywhere there will be worthy tributes to Mandela, but I found that Right Wing Watch has a unique perspective: they’ve documented many of the indignities that Mandela suffered at the hands of the Xristian Xrazies and Republicans. It’s a great read, and reminds us that the Xrazies have been crazy for a long while and any hope that they might be redeemed are just that: hopes.

Mr. Mandela changed the world for the better, and he will be greatly missed.

Retirement fitting a dog

This is Kaiser the dog’s last day on the beat in Plymouth MA, getting a retirement honor guard and final salute:

And one for the records:

And yeah, that’s how you treat a hero.

(BuzzFeed)

Obama directs flags to half-staff…

Scissorhead Mike Flugennock.

…in honor of Neil Armstrong. Scissorhead Mike Flugennock gives us a very noble tribute in honor of the late Lt.. Armstrong. That flag, in the Sea of Tranquility will be the one exception, and rightly so.

I cannot say enough to express my hero-worship of Armstrong. I think my boyhood me understood better than my adulthood me ever will that giants do walk amongst us.

RIP Gore Vidal

If I flew a flag here at The Hut (world HQs of the MPS media empire), it would be at half-mast today. Gore Vidal has passed away at age 86.

Besides being a gifted writer of novels, screen plays, and essays, Mr. Vidal was an unparalleled and fearless wit. Listening to him take on Norman Mailer and William Buckley remains a treat for me.

Mr. Vidal also was a champion of the people and the Constitution. He fought as hard against the illegal Iraq War as anyone I know–probably harder–and drew lightening for it. My guess is that his last regret was not outliving Dick Cheney.

RIP, Gore Vidal. You will be missed. (And thanks for all the words.)

(LATimes)

Ride, Sally Ride

too easy of a line

RIP Sally – gone way too soon – a true hero, the stars will shine brightly for you

btw– how fast will the fundies pretend that Sally Ride doesn’t even exist.  Sally leaves behind her partner of 27 years – Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy. Due to the wonderful and humane nature of the GOP and religious assholes that exert way too much control on our lives – Dr. Shaughnessy is not entitled to any of the spousal benefits so deservedly earned by Sally Ride.

Ride-s