Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #22: Bizarro-Congressman Says GOP Not Racist

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #22: Bizarro-Congressman Says GOP Not Racist

In this space last week, I pontificated on the hypocrisy of the Republican Party’s slapping Iowa Rep. Steve King on the wrist (fairly hard) for his overt racism without ever uttering a murmur about the 800 pound gorilla of racism, His Petulance King Donald The Last. Well, there was at least one other response to this story, and it appeared last week in the newspaper U.S.A. Today.

The piece was written by Congressman Will Hurd, Republican from Texas’s 23rd District. Rep. Hurd is something of an endangered species: he is the only black Republican in the House of Representatives. There have been only six others since the onset of the Great Depression; the fact that there’s only one such representative in 2019 does not inure to the benefit of his party’s image.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #22: Bizarro-Congressman Says GOP Not Racist”

Brainiac On Banjo #023: How Much Stuf Is Too Much Stuf??? By Mike Gold

Brainiac On Banjo #023: How Much Stuf Is Too Much Stuf??? By Mike Gold

If you need further evidence that the big money people are banking on wide-spread legalization of marijuana, you need not look further than the folks at Mondelēz International, current owners of Nabisco. They manufacture the all-time favorite food of stoners, Oreo cookies. And it seems the folks who make Oreos have a keen eye on the bounding weed market.

A couple days ago my editor texted me about this new product called “MOST Stuf Oreos.” More than Mega Stuf, more than Double Stuf, this stuff has enough Stuf to put your average American into a diabetic coma. She alerted me that it just came out, is a “limited-edition,” and is presently available at places such as Target, Walmart, and Rite-Aid. Well, there’s a Rite-Aid near me, and it is a drug store so it must be healthy, and I inferred my editor was making an assignment.

So the next day I labored out to the drug store where I secured the last package of Most Stuf Oreos they had.  Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #023: How Much Stuf Is Too Much Stuf??? By Mike Gold”

Brainiac On Banjo #021: Raymond Loewy, Jony Ive, Bill Maher, and Stan Lee… by Mike Gold

Brainiac On Banjo #021: Raymond Loewy, Jony Ive, Bill Maher, and Stan Lee… by Mike Gold

Back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, from time to time my friends and I would gather in the schoolyard and call out the makes, models and years of the cars driving by. You could do that back then, as damn near every car had its own identity, its own look and style. They were so distinctive that I think we could have ID’ed most of these cars by their silhouettes, as though we were World War II Civil Defense car spotters.

Between The Great War and The Great Vietnam Fiasco, the concept of “style” was critical to our culture. Movie theaters weren’t simply big rooms with white sparkly screens – many were cathedrals of film designed to inspire you to appreciate the entirely of the moviegoing experience. Drug stores had soda fountains that were overrun with chrome-plated art deco machinery. Designers unleashed mountains of energy defining the environment shared by four generations, led by the brilliant Raymond Loewy, who created the look of cars, refrigerators and other household appliances, furniture, corporate logos and packaging, and airplanes. In fact, he teamed-up with President John F. Kennedy in 1962 to design Air Force One.  Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #021: Raymond Loewy, Jony Ive, Bill Maher, and Stan Lee… by Mike Gold”

History Lesson: Mary, Queen of Scots

History Lesson: Mary, Queen of Scots

This article is an attempt at context. Often, in our popular culture, we are fed a view of history that is intended for one singular purpose. Money. The producers of the historical product are attempting to reap financial rewards for producing a work that is usually historical fiction. Therefore, as the film Mary, Queen of Scots is about to go into general release, we felt we would give some context to the known events of Mary Stuart’s life.

Mary was born on 8 December 1542. That was four hundred and seventy-six years ago for those without a calculator handy. This woman existed, and she lived to age of forty-four. Mary was the only child of King James V of Scotland and his wife Mary of Guise. She was also James’ only surviving legitimate heir. On 14 December that same year, at the age of 6 days old her father and king died, making her the Queen of the Scotland.

Mary’s Heritage and the Rough Wooing

It cam wi’ a lass and it will gang wi’ a lass!

James V of Scotland

In order to truly understand the complicated circumstances of Mary’s life, we need to know her heritage. Yes, she was the Queen of Scotland as an infant, but her familial lines are drenched in power. Mary’s paternal grandmother was Margaret Tudor, the older sister of Henry VIII of England. At the time of her birth, she became forth in line to the English throne behind her grand-uncle the King, his heir, and only legitimate son Edward, his oldest daughter Mary, and Elizabeth, who was born from Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn. Should all of those people die before having children, Mary would be Queen of England. This was a very powerful position for her to be in, and everyone at the time recognized it and did what they could to use it to their own advantage.

To reiterate, we are looking to give context here. When Mary was born, Henry VIII was fifty-one years old, Edward was 5 years old, Mary Tudor (AKA Mary I, AKA Bloody Mary) was twenty-six, and Elizabeth was 9. At this time, there were political tensions including battles between England and Scotland. There was a peace agreed to that was struck and sealed in the Treaty of Greenwich on 1 July 1543 which included a betrothal between the heir to England, Edward, and six-month old Mary, Queen of Scots.

Continue reading “History Lesson: Mary, Queen of Scots”

Happy Birthday America?

Happy Birthday America?

This year I noticed a lot of folks using the phrase “242 years ago” and then making some statement about the start of the American Revolution.

One Facespace pal took the opportunity to point out folks picked up guns 242 years ago and that’s why freedom is earned.

Here’s the thing: July 4th revolves around the signing of the Declaration of Independence in July, 1776. Not the start of the war. Continue reading “Happy Birthday America?”