Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Korean CD Reissue of my 1972 Twice Upon a Rhyme Album Just Released

This new Korean CD reissue of my 1972 album Twice Upon a Rhyme just came out - you can read more about it on Ebay (click on the picture)....



And, if you'd like a taste of the music, try my MySpace music page, or my Infinite Regress post about about Twice Upon a Rhyme.

Reviews of Twice Upon a Rhyme on Rate My Music ... with reviews like this, "it's a cool LP, and definitely addictive, 'relics of summer psychedelics, an ever dwindling splinter, browse around, while the world dies down...' think lush green osmosis into a hazy glen campfire as the night flashes on the glimmering trees and warm air, butterflies and summer loves and long walks on dirt roads"...

MSNBC Rings in the New Year with Stale Programming

War continues to rage between Israel and Hamas in the Middle East, Blagojevich appointed Burris to the Senate, and the Senate is threating not to seat him, and Obama's new administration is now just 20 days from assuming office....

And how is MSNBC covering this?

With another doc-bloc "marathon" trumpeted to begin on New Year's Day ... as well as canned non-news specials for Hardball and Countdown which have been airing all week, and just this morning, we were treated to a rerun of Morning Joe Scarborough. Where is the logic in rerunning a morning news show?

I continue to hope that MSNBC comes to its senses, and ends its abdication as a go-to, live news operation on late-night weekends and holidays. The news, after all, takes no vacations.

In the meantime, here's a loud, discordant horn, as MSNBC rings in the New Year with more, stale programming.

See also MSNBC Runs Canned 'Doc Bloc' as Mumbai Burns ... MSNBC Doc-Blocked Again for Three Days

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blago Is Right to Appoint Burris to Senate Seat

I think Rod Blagojevich was right to appoint Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama's US Senate seat from Illinois.

As I wrote 10 days ago, Blagojevich has not been found guilty of anything. He has not even been indicted by a grand jury. He has not been impeached or found guilty in a subsequent trial.

He has been publicly accused by a Federal prosecutor. I think it is crucial to the rule of law in our society that we don't allow accusations to derail or short circuit our legal processes. The law in Illinois calls for the governor to make this appointment. To not make the appointment would be allowing a Federal prosecutor to call the shots - to decide, in effect, who cannot be Senator. Is this the kind of power we want prosecutors to have?

Democrats in the US Senate are saying that Burris might not be seated. They should bear in mind that when the Congress tried unseat Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in the 1960s, the Supreme Court found that the House had acted unconstitutionally, and Powell was reseated. And the Powell case involved charges against him - that he had misappropriated funds. In contrast, no one has brought any charges against Burris.

To refuse to seat a Senator duly appointed by a governor, because the governor has been accused - not indicted or found guilty - of a crime, would be a dangerous precedent indeed.

The L Word Returns for Final Saucy Season: A Sneak Preview Review

I was fortunate to see the first four episodes of The L Word's final Season 6 - set to begin on January 18 - and thought I would give you this sneak preview review, which will be major spoiler free.

To begin with the biggest news, Showtime's advertisements for the finale season have been telling you that Jenny's dead, so you presumably know that already. We see Jenny's body, taken out of the pool in which she drowned, in the very first scene, as all our other favorite players react in the house. Now, television being what it is, I often point out that, unless you see a head blown to smithereens right in front of your eyes, the deceased may not really or permanently be that way. (Look, for example, about what 24 is apparently doing with Tony Almeida in its new season, also to debut in January.) So, although I promise I saw nothing that indicates Jenny may not be really dead, and she likely really is, I just wanted to mention the possibility that maybe she isn't....

The first four episodes, and I assume most or all of this season, go back three months before Jenny's death, and tell everyone's story leading up to her body in the pool. The one common theme is that just about everyone has a motive .... Everyone.

Freud is famous for saying that sex and death - libido and thanatos - are the primary factors in our deepest psychology, and there's certainly plenty of great sex in this new season of The L Word, always one of the attractions for me (yeah, heterosexual men enjoy seeing women make love). But babies also play an important role in the story this season - not only adopted, but one of the major characters is pregnant, and you might just be able to logically figure out who.

Some fine new characters and actresses are on the show this season. Lucy Lawless, of Battlestar Galactica fame, is the great-looking cop who is investigating Jenny's death, and Elizabeth Berkley - I thought she gave a powerful performance in Paul Verhoeven's 1995 Showgirls, I don't care what they say - is on the show as Bette's college roommate, and Bette still has some kind of feelings for her....

We're in for a real treat in the finale season of The L Word, saucier, sexier, smarter than ever, where the characters not only jump into bed at the drop of a hat, but fall in love and break each others' hearts like everyone did back in high school, and that's fun to see, too. And this year, The L Word even has a flavor of political urgency, as characters consider marriage against the outrageous reality of Proposition 8 in California...

See also (from reviews of Season 5)
: The L Word Concludes with Powerful Lessons











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"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book


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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Caroline Kennedy in 30-min New York 1 Interview: "Deep Respect for Constitution" Central Issue

Caroline Kennedy sat for a 30-minute interview yesterday with Dominic Carter on New York 1 television. As Carter indicated several times, Caroline was not given the questions beforehand, and there were no preconditions about what could or could not be asked during the interview.

What came across most during the interview is Caroline Kennedy's commitment to public service - not a sense of entitlement, as some of her myopic critics have said, but a devotion to serving the public that comes from her family, and, yes, her name. Think about it. Here is a woman whose father and uncle were assassinated - one President, the other campaigning for President. She has raised a family, could remain in private life, work as a lawyer and author, out of the limelight, but instead she has a burning desire to do put herself out and do whatever she can to help her country. Given what we've seen in all too many of our politicians of late, this is a rare quality indeed.

And her views on the issues are excellent. I was especially impressed with her "deep respect for the Constitution". In an age in which we go to war without a Declaration, in which the FCC daily tramples on our freedoms of speech, in which prosecutors throw reporters in jail for not giving up their sources, we have a crisis in respect for the Constitution that goes far beyond the abuses of the Bush administration. I don't recall either current New York Senator making respect for the Constitution such a crucial issue.

New York 1 does not have embeddable videos. You can see the entire 30-minute interview right here. Tell me you don't think the state of New York and our country would be uplifted with Caroline Kennedy in the Senate.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

MSNBC Doc-Blocked Again for Three Days

Christmas programming on the three all-news cable stations: live news on CNN, live news on Fox, and ... a 3-day Doc-Bloc, Lock-Up, "Marathon" on MSNBC!

Now, hard news today is admittedly light, but Fox had an important report about Ahmadinejad's upcoming speech on Channel 4 in the UK, CNN had some new analysis of Rahm Emanuel and Rod Blagojevich, and both had stories about troops celebrating Christmas, and the holidays around the world.

Over on MSNBC, beginning yesterday at 3pm, we've been treated to yet another round of documentaries, and a promise from David Shuster as he signed off yesterday that MSNBC would break in with any breaking news. Now, I have nothing against documentaries, and, in fact, I think they can make powerful and original contributions to our culture. But they are not the same as live news, or even replays of news that happened a few hours earlier. A documentary about Caylee Anthony - which has been on MSNBC at least three times since yesterday - is certainly topical, but right now MSNBC is showing a documentary from its "Crime and Punishment" series, "People v. Alfred Garcia". Ever heard of him? Do you want to?

This year, Christmas and Chanukah are being celebrated at the same time. Chanukah commemorates oil lamps that miraculously burned for eight days, when Judah and the Maccabees stood up to the Seleucid Empire. In remembrance of those days of light, presents are given for eight days.

If I could give a Chanukah present to MSNBC, it would be eight days of uninterrupted all-news programming. This would set them up well for the fierce competition in the all-news cable business in the New Year.

See also MSNBC Runs Canned 'Doc Bloc' as Mumbai Burns

Monday, December 22, 2008

New York Times Publishes Fake Letter Criticizing Caroline Kennedy

The New York Times just apologized for publishing a letter purported to be from Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris, who wrote about Caroline Kennedy that "in my opinion she has no qualification whatsoever to bid for Senator Clinton’s seat" and her bid was "appalling".

The letter was published this morning, and now, after a day of damage, the Times says "we have already expressed our regrets to Mr. Delanoë's office and we are now doing the same to you, our readers." The letter was not written by Mr. Delanoë.

This isn't as bad as Jayson Blair, and his fictional and plagiarized reporting that went on for several years at the New York Times, but it's still plenty appalling. The Times says it is their "procedure to verify the authenticity of every letter. In this case, our staff sent an edited version of the letter to the sender of the email and did not hear back." And they published the letter, anyway.

This is the kind of error that could happen at a college newspaper - which, if it did, would become an important object lesson about what not to do when editing and publishing a newspaper. But at The New York Times, the newspaper of record?

The Times can't go back a day in history, and undo its publication of this letter. But with every day that passes, it is increasingly clear that newspapers are no more immune to errors than blogs or any other form of communication, and should not be treated with any greater respect. Everything anyone reads, in any venue, should be taken with a healthy grain of salt.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Politics in Brotherhood Season 3 Finale Even More Intense than in Illinois

I don't know whether Brotherhood will be coming back for another season - I surely hope that it does - but tonight's finale tied up a lot of loose ends, even as it left a lot more to be told.

Tommy is now Speaker of the House. His first shrewd gambit to get there was turning in and on Kilpatrick and Donatello, certainly not the most immoral thing to do, given that the bribe money that passed between the two, and Tommy delivered, was not Tommy's idea. But Declan got in the way of Tommy's plan, and talked Kilpatrick into turning on Tommy.... Fortunately for Tommy, Freddie was already willing to do what was necessary, and kill Kilpatrick before any further damage was done. Donatello, in the hospital with a heart attack and stroke, may not survive too much longer in any event.

So Tommy becomes Speaker, and he's beholden to Freddie for killing Kirkpatrick, and in fact giving Freddie the go ahead to that. Freddie made it look like a suicide, so the Feds are not likely to suspect, though Declan might, and Tommy knows.

And where do we stand with all of this? Well, I think Freddie (well played by Kevin Chapman) was a much more interesting character this year than in the first two seasons, and he was something close to, if not heroic tonight, at least stepping up and doing what he needed to do. It was Declan's fault, after all, that Tommy's first plan fell through, which would have had Kilpatrick going to prison not being killed. As I said last week, I don't like Declan one bit, and I'm glad his plan to ruin Tommy was foiled. And Tommy ... well, his hands were always a little dirty, and now they are even more so, but he, too, did what was necessary to survive.

Michael, who was out of control most of the episode, did an even more noble thing in the end, enabling not only himself but Tommy and his whole family to survive. The scene when Tommy tells Michael he has to go, and Michael understands, was one of the best in the series.

Colin and Kath didn't work out - no real surprise - but Michael's gone when they both get back to Providence, separately. Michael puts in a call to Rose, from a public phone from somewhere out of town, to tell her he's ok. So, he leaves town, just as the series began with his coming back to Providence after so many years.

A fitting ending for this season, but I hope not for this powerhouse series, which as I've said in previous reviews this year has become more relevant than ever, especially given the unfolding events in Illinois.

See also: The Caffees and Blago in Brotherhood ... Brotherhood Is Back for a Third Season, and Better Than Ever

And from Season 2: Checking in Brotherhood Season 2 Episode 6: The Simmering Stu and Episode 9: The Anti-Thanksgiving Gem ... Season 2 Finale






The Plot to Save Socrates


"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book


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Friday, December 19, 2008

Blago Refuses to Resign - I Think That's Good for the Process of Law

Rod Blagojevich just announced that he won't resign as Governor of Illinois, and will fight the charges that Federal Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald made against him.

I think that's for the good of the country - seriously. Our laws say that people accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty. Not only has Blagojevich not been found guilty in a court of law, he has not even been indicted by a grand jury. All that has happened is a Federal prosecutor has brought very serious charges against him.

For all I know, the charges may well be true. But the point is that I don't know, and neither do most Americans. What we know is that we live in a society governed by laws. If a duly elected governor is obliged to resign because he is accused, not because he is found guilty, what does that say about our laws? Should a prosecutor have such power?

I think not, especially when that power could not only remove a governor, but stop the state of Illinois from sending one of its two Senators to Washington. I know that Harry Reid has said the US Senate would not seat anyone appointed by Blagojevich - but it's not even clear that the Senate would be sustained in court if they tried to do that in this case (those decisions can always be challenged in court, and I wonder if a judge would uphold voiding a Governor's appointment on the basis of his being accused not convicted of a crime).

Laws are designed to protect all of us. Let's not short-circuit them by behaving as if someone has been convicted, when he has only been charged.

Bones as Precursuor to Heroes

I just saw "The Superhero in the Alley," the superb Episode 12 of Season 1 of Bones, which I'm at last getting around the seeing via Netflix. The episode was aired on Fox on February 8, 2006, and contains some very evocative elements ...

1. Bones and Booth solve the crime with the help of a comic book, written by the victim.

2. The victim, physically ill, writes in the comic book of a super hero - the victim, except in the comic book he is a super hero.

3. Lots of the action takes place in the Karma Comic Book Store, on the top of floor of which are a group of role-playing heroes and villains.

4. We see a stylized version of the ending in a new or completed issue of the comic book.

Now both this episode of Bones, and Heroes, which debuted in September 2006, owe a lot to the X-Men and similar stories in comic books and movies. And Heroes, of course, is a vastly different story than "The Superhero in the Alley".

But I think "The Superhero in the Alley" on Bones should be recognized as an important television precursor of Heroes.






The Plot to Save Socrates


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"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book


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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Obama's Problem with Pastors: Round 2

Well, it turns out Barack Obama may have a problem with pastors. Wright was the most serious misstep in Obama's successful campaign for the Presidency. And Warren is the worst thing Obama has done - inviting Warren to give the inauguration invocation - as President-elect.

The only good news about this is perhaps Obama will learn from these experiences, and not do something similarly damaging when he's actually President, and his decisions have far greater consequences.

As it is, though, this two-for-two, with two very different but reprehensible pastors, should be more than enough to make us see the wisdom of separation of church and state in this country.

Warren sees brothers marrying sisters, polygamy, and adults marrying children as the same as gays getting married (see video below). In a genuinely free society, in which the government does not tell consenting adults what to do, the only business that government should have regarding any of the above is preventing and punishing child abuse.

We're apparently still a way off from that society. Maybe Obama is even doing its cause a favor by keeping it so prominently on the front burner.

My wife and I will still watch the inauguration with pleasure, but not when that bigot gives the invocation.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Clemons on Maddow Offers This As a Criterion for Caroline Kennedy in the Senate: "Can She Get Grilled By Bloggers"?

I just saw Steve Clemons, publisher of the political blog, The Washington Note, make the following argument on the Rachel Maddow show against Caroline Kennedy being appointed to Hillary Clinton's US Senate seat from New York: "Can she get grilled by bloggers?" Clemons asked Rachel. His apparent and unwarranted assumption that Caroline Kennedy cannot withstand such grilling is some kind of evidence, in Clemons and I guess Rachel Maddow's thinking, that Caroline Kennedy should not be appointed.

Now, I can well understand, as someone who writes a fair number of blogs myself, why someone with a political blog would think that the "grilling" it might give a new Senator is somehow an important indicator of whether she or he would make a good Senator.

But here are a few other factors which seems slightly more important: Can she inspire and lead by her example? Doe she have the intellect to make sage decisions, and the moral courage to stand up for them? Does she understand power, and thereby how to work with it, around it, beyond it, to give the people of New York and the United States the best possible representation in the upper house of our Congress?

Caroline Kennedy's life and work suggest that she is strong in all of those areas.

And, if she is not, there is another group - not bloggers - that will be "grilling" her in just two years, when she must stand for election, and two years after that, when she would need to run for that Senate seat again - the voters of New York.

"Can she get grilled by bloggers?" If they are on the level of analysis you showed on Rachel Maddow's show tonight, Mr. Clemons, I would hope that Caroline Kennedy or anyone in office would ignore you.

Proof of Intelligent Life: Heroes, Lost, Fringe Take Three of Top Five in DVR'd and TiVo'd Shows

Great news for fans of science fiction on television today. Nielsen announced its 2008 list (January-November) of the most watched television via TiVo and DVR. And although the Tuesday and Wednesday editions of American Idol took the top two places, Heroes, Lost, and Fringe were in the next three places, as 3rd, 4th, and 5th most watched television on the viewers' rather than the networks' schedule. Battlestar Galactica did great, too, registering the biggest increase in TiVo and DVR viewers.

Hey, this is good news for Infinite Regress, too - all of those are devotedly reviewed here.

What this shows is something I've always known: science fiction attracts not only the most imaginative, deepest audiences, but people who understand that the great value of science and technology is the control it gives us over our lives and choices. Watching television on television's schedule is for coach potatoes of a bygone age. The discerning television viewer, who looks at a fine television show the same as a fine movie or book, watches the show on his or her times, just as we decide when to read a book and how much of it.

On-demand and television via DVD and Netflix are part of the process. But the cutting edge of the new golden age of television is via TiVo and DVR, and it's gratifying to know those who appreciate a good science fiction show are leading the revolution.




The Caffees and Blago in Brotherhood

Michael Caffee continues to be admirably reliable in blasting away those who push him too far in his business. He started this season of Brotherhood killing US Attorney Ellis Franklin when Franklin squeezed him just a little too much, and in Episode 3.7 he let Nozzoli have it.

But it wasn't a clean kill - a picnicking family saw the shooting - and it looked in the coming attractions as if Nozzoli wasn't killed, even though Michael shot him three times.

And there remains the harrowing question of what Michael is going to do about Kath and Colin, now that the helpful FBI has shown him the picture of the two of them kissing. My prediction: I can't quite see Michael killing a member of his family, or Kath, as furious as Michael is. Michael has always been protective of his family, even when he has reason not to. Of course, he did beat Colin, so anything is possible ...

The other big question is what's going to happen with Tommy. There are two parts to this -

1. What will Tommy do? With the Speaker in the hospital with a serious heart attack, and Tommy a very possible replacement - will he resist stepping up? Eileen certainly doesn't want that. But I think Tommy has politics inescapably in his blood.

2. Will Declan bring Tommy down? I'll tell you: I really don't like Declan. Fine acting by Ethan Embry, but the character really bothers me. He's a loser with his wife, I don't know what he really wants as far as being a good detective. If anyone goes down, I would rather it be Declan. Maybe Michael will put Declan out of his misery.

This season of the Brotherhood has really been a fine chess match, and, as fate would have it, ever closer to politics in our real world. Gov. Blagojevich of Illinois would fit perfectly in the Rhode Island of Brotherhood.

Hey, bring Blago on for a cameo next season, if he's not locked away. He wouldn't hold a candle to Jason Clarke as Tommy Caffee, and Jason Isaacs as Michael is in an Emmy-deserving class of his own, but Blago in black would work just fine in some political wheeling and dealing scene, and, hey, it's cable, so they wouldn't have to bleep his language.

See also: Politics in Brotherhood Season 3 Finale Even More Intense than in Illinois ... Brotherhood Is Back for a Third Season, and Better Than Ever

And from Season 2: Checking in Brotherhood Season 2 Episode 6: The Simmering Stu and Episode 9: The Anti-Thanksgiving Gem ... Season 2 Finale






The Plot to Save Socrates


"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book


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Monday, December 15, 2008

Heroes 3: Augmented

Being a meta-person myself, I've always thought the most interesting powers on Heroes were those which in some unusual way played off the other powers - causing them to vanish like a super-temporary-eraser (the Haitian), absorbing the powers of others like a super sponge (Arthur and, in a different, deadly way, Sylar), and now...

In the final episode of volume 3 - 3.13 to be exact - Ando gets a great power of augmentation, or intensifying the powers of those heroes around him.

This causes Matt to read the minds of everyone in the city at once - not very useful - but Daphne to travel super super fast, faster than the speed of light, in fact, which, if some quantum mechanical theories and applications of Einstein's are right, can allow the superfast traveler to travel through time. Works for me. And for the series.

Meanwhile, it's makeup, breakup, everything is shakeup, to quote the Mamas & the Papas in "Creeque Alley", as I've done before, in at least one review, of Heroes. A few villains are gone, at least one hero, and, as for everyone else...

Heroes will back the Monday after the Superbowl, and I'll be watching.

See also Heroes 3 Begins: Best Yet, Riddled with Time Travel and Paradox ... Sylar's Redemption and other Heroes and Villains Mergers ... Costa Nuclear ... Hearts of Gold and the Debased ... Seeing the Future Trumps Time Travel ... Superpowered Chess with Shifting Pieces ... Villains and Backstories ... The Redemption of Sylar ... Thoughts on the Eclipse, Part I ... The Lore of the Comic Book Store ... Hiro's Time Traveling Closure




Space, Time, and Blogging in The Sarah Connor Chronicles

"We all know how reliable bloggers are," John sarcastically observed in Episode 2.13, the Fall finale, of The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Hopefully, he'd feel differently about this blog, and you will, too...

As for the episode, it was powerful, and game-changing, although not in the subtlest way. Then again, subtlety was never the strong suit of any of Terminator stories, not to mention the Terminators.

The most interesting part of tonight's episode, for me, was former agent Ellison schooling the reborn Cromartie. Why is Ellison doing this? He knows how bad Cromartie can be. I'm guessing that Ellison may be on the way to developing a good Terminator, in Cromartie's form.

Also significant is what more we learned of Riley, though her ultimate allegiance - whether to John or Jesse, and what about Sarah, if John and Jesse have different views of whether to protect or get rid of her - has yet to be determined. What is very clear, at this point, is that Jesse is not the nicest person. War with metal in the future probably did that to her - but she's even tougher than Derek.

And what of Sarah? I don't know - the least believable part of tonight's story is that she is being taken in by some kind of UFO - from outer space or the future, it's hard to say - and, if the coming attractions are any indication, John's father Kyle is among them. Meaning, what? Kyle wasn't really killed at the end of Terminator 1, the very first movie?

We'll see in February, when The Sarah Connor Chronicles will have the tough competition of Lost as another series that travels through time...

See also 2.1 Cameron's Back ... 2.2 Firing on All Cylinders ... 2.3 Who, Truly, Is Agent Ellison? ... 2.4: Meet Allison ... 2.5: Unpacking the Future ... 2.6: Terminator Mom, Human Daughter ... 2.7: The Saving Robbery and Cromartie ... 2.8 Perspectives and Death ... 2.9: An Idiot's Guide to Time Travel in The Sarah Connor Chronicles ... 2.10: Riley Lashes Out at Facebook ... 2.11: Cameron Meets A. E. Housman and Andre Bazin ... 2.12 Sarah Connor Chronicles in Triple Time






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"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book


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Californication Season 2 Comes to an End Laughing

Last night's Season 2 finale of Californication on Showtime had what has to be one of the funniest, falling-down-laughing scenes I've ever seen on television. Hank had been mumbling all season that he wasn't sure if he was the father of Sonja's baby. He said it again, a few times, right before the baby came out ... and, ta da! ... the baby is black! Hank was right, he's off the hook, Sonja realizes the father was an African-American barista she had forgotten about, and Hank's "Yes!" victory air-pound on the floor is hilarious!

Life is working out pretty well for just about all the other characters in Californication - Becca's boyfriend loves her, Karen has a job back in New York, she's feeling good about Hank and happy to leave Becca in his good keeping, Hank's even ok with Mia going on tour with his book - yeah, life's taking a good turn for everyone - with the exception of course of Runkle, whose masturbation once again gets him into trouble.

And I guess life didn't work out too well, either, for Lew Ashby, who died last week. He was a great character, though - the musical equivalent to Hank's writer - and Hank's book about him could well be the beginning of a new day for Hank's writing.

Speaking of writing, Tom Kapinos gets big creds for sparkling great dialog in Californication. David Duchovny continues to be perfect as Hank, so does Evan Handler as Runkle, and you couldn't ask for anything more from Callum Keith Rennie as Lew. The women were all fine, but I especially liked the newcomers Daisy (Carla Gallo), Janie (Mädchen Amick), and Surfer Girl (Michelle Lombardo), who, come to think of it, was also on in 2007. Anyway, I hope we see all of them back next year, and hear more Warren Zevon, whose "Keep Me in Your Heart" was a great theme for last night.



See also: Sneak Preview of Californication Anew and reviews of Season One: 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5 ... 6 ... 7 ... 8 ... 9 ... 10 ... 11: Pivitol Mia ... Californication Comes ... To a Season's End







podcast review of Californication, Season One





Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dexter 3.12: Season's Happy Endings?

We knew Dexter would survive this Season 3 finale - the series is too superb to have a Season 4 without him. But I was surprised by the number of other happy endings, or at least happy and good steps forward for major characters, that came to us in this finale. These include -

1. Dexter and Rita getting married. Yes, there was a little blood at the end on Rita's white dress, but that was more symbolic than indicative of anything immediately dangerous.

2. Deb getting promoted to detective, against all odds, and getting back into her good relationship with Anton, against even greater odds.

3. Angel coming clean with LaGuerta about how his need for human contact led him to a prostitute, who has become the love of his life, that's ok with LaGuerta, too (which does make sense).

4. Dexter forgiving his father.

5. The two bad guys, Ramon and King the skinner, successfully vanquished.

I still think that Miguel went far too easily last week - and, come to think of it, that's a surprise happy ending, too.

I'm going to keep thinking, though, about this finale. The season was in many ways the best of the three. And maybe its biggest surprise of all that, on some days, everything can indeed work out right, is a surprise worthy of this excellent series.

It's certainly more than enough to make me wish Season 4 was starting tomorrow. I can't wait to see how some of those happy endings start to unravel.


See also Double Surprise ... Psychotic Law vs. Sociopath Science ... The Bright, Elusive Butterfly of Dexter ... The True Nature of Miguel ... Si Se Puede on Dexter ... and Dexter 3: Sneak Preview Review









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"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book


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Throwing the Shoe at the First Amendment

It's hard not to burst out laughing when you see the first part of the journalist throwing two shoes at George Bush at a press conference in Baghdad today, but the second part has some horrible echoes of assassinations (see the video below), and the incident raises some serious questions about the First Amendment.

Muntadar al-Zeidi, the shoe-thrower, is an Al-Baghdadia television correspondent, according to AP as reported by Bloomberg News. Muntadar al-Zeidi was taken into custody, and Fox News reported this afternoon that Al-Baghdadia and other Iraqi journalists have called for his release, on grounds that his shoe-throwing is protected under the First Amendment.

To begin with, it serves little purpose to note, as Fox commentator Julie Banderas said to her colleague Gregg Jarrett, that Iraq has no First Amendment. That's true, but the far more important point is whether shoe-throwing constitutes a kind of speech or press, and therefore deserving of First Amendment protection, if Iraq did have a First Amendment, or if a similar incident happened here.

The answer, I would say, is clearly no. Throwing a shoe may indeed be a political statement, but it is also a form of assault, as Banderas did correctly observe. If the shoe is steel-tipped, it could do serious damage - like taking out an eye.

Here's a handy check list:

"This is the farewell kiss, you dog," al-Zeidi said when he threw the shoe. Protected under the First Amendment.

"This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq," al-Zeidi said as he was being led away. Also protected under the First Amendment.

Throwing a shoe - or, in this case, two? I don't think so. Throw the book at him.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cyberbullying and Antidote: The Music of the Truth on Earth Band, and an Interview

Continuing to do what I can to focus attention on the pernicious and deadly problem of cyberbullying and destructive use of false identities on social media such as MySpace and Facebook, I interviewed the band Truth on Earth. We talk about their new song, "Shot with a Bulletless Gun," and I play the full 6-minute version ... the response of 3 talented teenage women to cyber bullying ... If you spend any time on any social medium, or you have family who do, you don't want to miss this special episode of Light On Light Through.

The podcast page with all the trimmings is here.

Or, you can listen to the podcast right here on this handy little player...







See also Cyberbullying Mom Got What She Deserved

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Golden Opportunity Missed with Blag's Bleepin' Golden

Here's what may seem like a minor issue, regarding the Rod Blagojevich outrage, Patrick Fitzgerald's press conference about it yesterday, and the media's reporting of it.

Fitzgerald told us that he had a recording of the Illinois Governor, speaking of his duty to appoint someone to fill Barack Obama's Senate seat, saying, "I've got this thing, and it's bleepin' golden."

Now, we all know that Blagojevich never said "bleepin," he said "fucking" about the big money he might make from the Senate appointment, and "fuckin'," about many other things, all in the complaint transcript, easily available online. My question is: why could not Fitzgerald have quoted Blagojevich verbatim - are we all five year-old children, who can't take hearing that word?

It's not as if "bleepin'" didn't tell us exactly what Blagojevich said, anyway. So its advantage is, what? Our ears are not singed by the real word?

I know, the FCC doesn't care much for that word on television, and has been inclined to fine networks that broadcast that word on television millions of dollars - even though we have a First Amendment in this country. CNN is apparently so desirous not to offend, that it added a disclaimer at the top of the above mentioned transcript: "This document contains language that some readers may find objectionable." Fox and MSNBC, to their credit, posted just the transcript.

Not that there's really anything wrong about posting the disclaimer, except that it caters to a worry that media should not have. Print, broadcast, web media should put up the truth on the page and screen, just as it is.

In an ideal world, Fitzpatrick would have spoken just what Blagojevich said, and the media would have broadcast that. And what would the FCC have done, gone after Fitzgerald and thousands of media outlets around the country?

Just something to think about, for next time.

See also Of Asterisks, Black Swans, Thom Yorke, and D*ck

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Heroes 3: Hiro's Time Traveling Closure

Well, Sylar's back to full evil, Arthur's dead - courtesy of Sylar, with some help from Peter - but the real story in last night episode 3.12 of Heroes was Hiro's.

The episode was entitled "Our Father," and fathers Arthur, HRG, and Kaito played important roles. But the highpoint of the show was Hiro and his mother - or, more precisely, Hiro 10 years old in real age and mind, Hiro the adult but 10 years of age in his mind, Hiro the adult with adult memories - and his mother.

It was one of the tenderest sequences in the entire series. Hiro gets the meet his mother, whose healing powers 16 years ago are not enough to save her. But she is able to see her son, one last time, and he her, as he always wanted, and it was satisfying to see that kind of closure.

She gives Hiro her catalytic "light," as well as his memories back, but Arthur shortly takes them away, before he himself is killed. It looks as if Ando will pick up the mantle, and finally become a hero himself, though, truthfully, he's been a hero all along in his only human way.

I'm going to miss Elle, and I'd like to see a lot more of Ali Larter in whatever triplet she plays, but I'm keyed for the Fall Finale next week.


See also Heroes 3 Begins: Best Yet, Riddled with Time Travel and Paradox ... Sylar's Redemption and other Heroes and Villains Mergers ... Costa Nuclear ... Hearts of Gold and the Debased ... Seeing the Future Trumps Time Travel ... Superpowered Chess with Shifting Pieces ... Villains and Backstories ... The Redemption of Sylar ... Thoughts on the Eclipse, Part I ... The Lore of the Comic Book Store ...






The Plot to Save Socrates


"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book


more about The Plot to Save Socrates...

Get your own at Profile Pitstop.com



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates
.... FREE!

Leno in Daily Prime Time is Revolutionary Move

Jay Leno's move to prime time, with a five-evening a week 10pm show on NBC, is the most significant development in network television programming in decades. Far more significant than just a new series, a daily interview show in prime time on a network is revolutionary, a shake-up of the very programming logic of television, that we haven't seen in decades.

NBC's 1am "Tomorrow" with Tom Snyder in 1970s and ABC's "Nightline" with Ted Koppel in the 1980s are the most recent examples that come to mind. Those two shows changed the nature of late-night programming by putting on news, and paved the way for all-news cable. But late-night draws fewer viewers than prime time.

Leno's new show will compete with cable news - a rerun of Keith Olbermann's Countdown on MSNBC, but the first runs Anderson Cooper's "360" on CNN, and Greta Van Susteren on Fox. Indeed, I think Leno's new show can be considered as much a migration of cable to network as late night network to prime time. The success of NBC's Saturday Night Live forays into prime time is a recent precursor of this move.

There's also no doubt that the politics-comedy-interview mix is in the air. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have been soaring for years.

Network television, in general, has not. It has been losing viewers. Will Leno at 10pm staunch the tide?

It will be fun to see.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles in Triple Time

Episode 2.12 of The Sarah Connor Chronicles tonight gave us a triptych of Lauren, a new character, through time...

Her family in 2008 is on Skynet's hit list. Sarah and Cameron show up to save them. The family's not too cooperative, but Lauren, their teenage daughter, gets what's going on better than her mother and father.

Meanwhile, six months later, the mother has been saved, and is pregnant, but badly wounded. Lauren's taking care of her, as best she can. Derek comes by to protect her, and help her deliver her baby - a girl. The baby survives, but not the mother.

And in 2027, Skynet has unleashed a deadly illness. Derek goes out to save a survivor, and meets Jesse, for the first time. The survivor is Lauren's baby sister - grown up now - and she has immunity to the illness. Derek and Jesse get her back to the main camp, and are injected with the immunity factor. They survive, and are thanked by Lauren, still on top of her game.

If only all missions to thwart Skynet's will went so well. But while the over-all plotline wasn't furthered very much, it was nice to see the story play out across three inter-cutting times. And Samantha Krutzfeldt did a memorable job as Lauren. She would make an excellent continuing character - a human equivalent of Cameron.

It also was good to see how Derek and Jesse first met in the future. I have a feeling that a lot of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, at least this season, will depend upon what happens with their relationship.

See also 2.1 Cameron's Back ... 2.2 Firing on All Cylinders ... 2.3 Who, Truly, Is Agent Ellison? ... 2.4: Meet Allison ... 2.5: Unpacking the Future ... 2.6: Terminator Mom, Human Daughter ... 2.7: The Saving Robbery and Cromartie ... 2.8 Perspectives and Death ... 2.9: An Idiot's Guide to Time Travel in The Sarah Connor Chronicles ... 2.10: Riley Lashes Out at Facebook ... 2.11: Cameron Meets A. E. Housman and Andre Bazin






The Plot to Save Socrates


"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book


more about The Plot to Save Socrates...

Get your own at Profile Pitstop.com



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates
.... FREE!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Give Shuster a Shot at MSNBC's 1600 Pennsylvania Ave

Politico.com reports that David Gregory, who will be taking the helm on Meet the Press, will be moving on from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, formerly Race to the White House, on MSNBC. David Shuster will be filling in for this week, or until a successor is announced.

First, I'll miss David Gregory on Pennsylvania Ave/Race - his show was one of the most crisp, informative on all of television, low in histrionics, high on the exposition and debate of useful opinions. In many ways, it's been my favorite on all of TV.

But David Gregory therefore certainly merits his promotion to Meet the Press, where his talent for cool, intelligent interview will well serve the classic show and the American people.

And what's to become of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? I'm watching David Shuster on the show right now, and he's doing a fine job. Indeed, though he had at least one misspeak in the two years we have just concluded of election coverage - regarding Chelsea Clinton's campaigning for Hillary - that wasn't the end of the world, and Shuster came back to do consistently excellent, top-notch reporting and hosting (of regular afternoon programs, and subbing for evening programs, like 1600). Shuster has shown himself tough, able to ask big politicians incisive questions, and do this with style and humor.

I don't know who else MSNBC is considering, but I say, give Shuster a shot at 1600 Pennsylvania MSNBC job.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Dexter 3.11: Double Surprise

Whoah! Dexter 3.11, the next to last epsiode of the season, totally, doubly surprised me, with two great twists:

1. I never saw Masuka behind Dexter in the trunk - I was sure, as I'm sure everyone else was, that Miguel was behind the kidnap. In retrospect, the Masuka prank-start of his carefully planned bachelor party for Dex makes perfect sense - Masuka had only been talking his head off about the party for the past 2-3 episodes. But I never saw it coming...

2. And even more stunning was Dexter's taking out Miguel, in the classic Dexter way. I thought Miguel would be little more difficult to put down...

What does this mean? Well, about Miguel, that he wasn't that good a killer and planner as we the viewers may have been led to believe. After all, everything that he knew about this kind of killing, he got from Dexter, who only shared part of his savvy with his almost-friend. Again, in retrospect, there wasn't much reason for us to ever believe that Miguel could get Dexter - his only chance might have been to arrest Dexter, by surprise...

And what surprises are in store for us in next week's season finale? There will be some kick in the solar plexus, something unexpected, that's for sure, that's the Dexter way. I'm thinking: maybe Debra will finally get a glimpse of Dexter's true nature - a possibility the series has been flirting with for three years now. Certainly Deb's looking into Dexter's father could provide a dangerous avenue to this...

And/or ... I don't know, but I still can't buy Miguel being put away quite that easily ... And, come to think of it, why did Dexter use the wire on Miguel's throat, rather than chop him up? Or maybe he did, but that's not what Miguel looked like, in the coming attractions ... We'll see...

In the meantime, give Dexter the show credit for scoring another surprise upset - a double upset - of our expectations this week, which is all to the cool and good.



See also Season's Happy Endings ... Psychotic Law vs. Sociopath Science ... The Bright, Elusive Butterfly of Dexter ... The True Nature of Miguel ... Si Se Puede on Dexter ... and Dexter 3: Sneak Preview Review









The Plot to Save Socrates


"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book


more about The Plot to Save Socrates...

Get your own at Profile Pitstop.com



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates
.... FREE!

Are People Who Don't Want Caroline Kennedy in the Senate Tone Deaf to the Cosmos?

My post about why NY Governor Paterson should appoint Caroline Kennedy to be the next US Senator from New York has encountered various kinds of opposition on Facebook, Open Salon, and MySpace - by no means a majority of commentators, but a significant number - so I thought I'd say a little more about why this seems to me such a manifestly and self-evidently good idea.

I'm tempted to say that people who don't feel this way are tone-deaf to the cosmos. But I know that some who oppose this idea are not, and, besides, those kinds of characterizations are not likely to impress anyone unless they already agree with me.

So let me try, instead, to unpack this a little more.

It's not just Caroline Kennedy's name, exactly, that I think would make her appointment to the Senate so appropriate. It's whose daughter she is, and how Americans came to know her when JFK was in the White House. I can't picture 1961-1963, and what I saw and still see of it on television, without Caroline at her father's side, or somewhere close to him, and therefore to us.

That's what I mean about correcting the cosmos, and what was taken from us in the 1960s, by appointing Caroline Kennedy to the Senate.

But if that was the sum total of why I thought she should be in the US Senate from New York, that wouldn't be enough. I wouldn't endorse making anyone a Senator, just on the basis of their 3-to-6-year old self having been in our hearts all of these years, even Caroline Kennedy.

So there's also this: Caroline Kennedy played a crucial role in the election of Barack Obama. She came out, stepped up, and powerfully endorsed him at a time when his victory in the Democratic primaries, and his Democratic nomination for President, was far from certain. She did not have to do that - did not have to risk her name and reputation by attaching it to someone who might not have gone much further, if the close primary battles had turned out a little differently.

But Caroline Kennedy did step forth, and that showed both political courage and acumen. She is not just JFK's daughter - she is someone who clearly has inherited her father's wisdom and political bravery.

That's why it's so clear to me that having Caroline Kennedy in the Senate would not only help heal a very deep cosmic wound, but would put an outstanding person at the service of our country.



See also: Righting the Cosmos: Why Caroline Kennedy Should Hillary's Seat in US Senate

Friday, December 5, 2008

Righting the Cosmos: Why Caroline Kennedy Should Take Hillary's Seat in the Senate

MSNBC has been reporting all day, via Andrea Mitchell, that Caroline Kennedy would be interested in Hillary Clinton's US Senate seat. New York State Governor David Paterson would need to appoint her.

I have heard lots of commentary about this today, some to the effect that Caroline Kennedy does not have sufficient experience to be a US Senator.

I see things differently.

First, I think the Senate, of all positions in government, requires the least nuts-and-bolts political experience - indeed, maybe none. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was never elected to public office - he did serve as domestic policy adviser to Richard Nixon - and did a fine job as Senator from New York. More than experience, the Senate requires a reflective, philosophic mind, able to see the deeper, broader issues. Hillary Clinton has done a good job as Senator from New York as well, and she never held any prior elected or appointed public office.

Caroline Kennedy has shown that kind of perceptive, contemplative mind in her writing and editing. Her Profiles of Courage in Our Time, in which she assembled essays from 14 recipients of the Profiles in Courage award, ranging from Bob Woodward to John McCain, is a fitting successor to her father's Profiles in Courage.

And, yes, there's her name, and this relates to what I see as setting things right in the cosmos. There was something taken from us, ripped and drained from our country, when JFK and then RFK were killed. Something more than political, although that of course was part of what was lost. There is no way we can go back in time and change that. But Caroline Kennedy in the US Senate would be one way of correcting, restoring some of the balance that was lost.

I hope David Paterson appoints her.



See also: Are People Who Don't Want Caroline Kennedy in the Senate Tone Deaf to the Cosmos?

'Grandpa' Actor Finally Identified in 'Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer' Video

Still my favorite Christmas song (written by Randy Brooks, performed by Dr. Elmo), and here's the best video...



And, after all these years, I believe I've identified the talented actor who plays Grandpa - it's Lee Stein, a librarian and biologist in Philadelphia, science fiction fan, and, as fate would have it, one of my Top Friends on MySpace....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lyrics to Paul Levinson's Twice Upon a Rhyme, 1972

I'm delighted to announce that, in a few weeks, Big Pink Music in South Korea will be issuing a special new CD of my 1972 album, Twice Upon a Rhyme. I just sent the lyrics and liner notes to Big Pink - and I thought I would post the lyrics here, as well (they are below the album covers), for all 13 songs on the album. (The Korean release will also have two new bonus tracks.) More details about the album, including samples of many of the songs, over here.

***December 1, 2009:  Twice Upon a Rhyme now on iTunes and Amazon and eMusic

***December 31, 2008: New Korean CD Reissue of my 1972 Twice Upon a Rhyme Now Available, with Three Bonus Tracks

Reviews of Twice Upon a Rhyme on Rate My Music




TWICE UPON A RHYME

Paul Levinson with Ed Fox and Peter Rosenthal, Happysad Records, 1972


TODAY IS JUST LIKE YOU
Words & Music by Paul Levinson
April 1969

Ooh, today the sky is blue
You know your eyes are too
Today is just like you

Yeah, the sun is everywhere
Just like your golden hair
Today is just like you

What a beautiful day, girl
You’re the same way, girl
Hope you both stay girl, and

Oh, see how the colors glow
Just like the love you show
Today is just like you

What a beautiful day, girl
You’re the same way, girl
I sure hope that you both stay girl
‘Cause tomorrow will shine, and
Life will be fine, as
Long as you’re mine girl, and

Wow, I got your love somehow
The perfect time is now
Today is just like you
Today is just like you


LOOKING FOR SUNSETS
(IN THE EARLY MORNING)
Words & Music by Paul Levinson & Ed Fox
March 1969

We wander a wet and windy shore
Washed by the morning hour
Looking for last night’s flower
On the floor

We drank of the dark red wine before
Now that it’s turned to water
We hope that the day is short
And knock on evening’s door

(chorus)
Looking for sunsets in the early morning
Always longing for more
Looking for sunsets when world is dawning
And love is hiding from the roar

The morning rolls out its awning like a store
Baby, we won’t go shopping
We’ll search ‘till the sundials stop
And love begins to pour

(chorus)


GENTLE BLUE CHERRY BELL
Words & Music by Paul Levinson & Ed Fox
December 1968

Lie down by the lavender lakes
And watch as the sugary snowflakes
Float in a musical suite

(chorus)
Gentle blue cherry bell
Of soft white fringes
Gentle blue cherry bell
My whole night hinges
On you

The dusk is a soft silken drape
That falls on the lyrical landscape
Set to a love sonnet’s beat

(chorus)

(bridge)
See the night
There’s light all around
I see the night
It’s bright on the ground
While in the sky
The pastel play, the breeze ballet
Is breathtaking, I’m shaking

(chorus)



I’M SEEING YOU IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT
Words & Music by Paul Levinson & Ed Fox
January 1969

The first time that I saw you girl
I didn’t blink an eye
Seen so much more before you
Just as common as the sky
But now a sun is rising
As I look at you tonight
I’m seeing you in a different light

I’m not sure what’s occurring
But it all fits into place
‘Cause something warm is stirring
As I gaze into your face
It’s life that’s advertising
And the signs are big and bright
I’m seeing you in a different light

I’m seeing you in a different light . . .

The blush of Aphrodite
Is alive upon your cheek
I’ve seen the light despite me
What a fool I was last week!
But now I’m realizing girl
It’s love at second sight
I’m seeing you in a different light


LEARN TO LEARN
Words & Music by Paul Levinson & Ed Fox
February 1969

The Friday sidewalks sure look crowded
Crowds rushing home with Sunday eyes
And me, I walk among the clouded
Into a night of starless skies

I’ve got to learn to learn
Not to hide my face from the sun
Now the truth is dawning
I’ve been one with no one

Lost in the wilds of misconception
Mistaking love’s embrace for chains
I feel the depths of my deception
My world is cardboard when it rains

I’ve got to learn to learn
That away is the worst way to run
In the glow of morning
When the day is so young

I’ve got to learn to learn
That a love song is meant to be sung
In the warmth of morning
When the world is so young


LOOKS LIKE A NIGHT
(I WON’T CATCH MUCH SLEEP IN)
Words & Music by Paul Levinson & Ed Fox
May 1969

Looks like a night I won’t catch much sleep in
I’m wide awake on you girl
The kind of night that is well worth keeping
Tomorrow and through, girl,
A lifetime or two

I close my eyes but instead of sleepin’
I’m well aware of you girl
The shades of sky slowly fade and deepen
But you’re bright as new, girl
You’re taking me to

A world of falling rain fountains
Ice blue streams and apple green mountains
If you love me and really mean to
I’ll be always loving you

Looks like a night I won’t catch much sleep in
I got the day in you girl
Your kind of light hits me soft and sweepin’
I smile when you do, girl
You’re beautiful too



RAINCHECK
Words & Music by Paul Levinson & Ed Fox
December 1968

Girl, you’ve got love to give me
But I can’t take it now
You’d spend your weekends with me
But I can’t make it now

(chorus)
Take a raincheck
Please don’t stay
Save all your lovin’ for a sunny day
Take a raincheck
But don’t go far
Soon as I’m able I’ll be where you are

Girl, it’s a nasty forecast
With dark clouds overhead
But soon as the storm has blown past
I’ll make good on what I said

(chorus)





YOU ARE EVERYWHERE
Words by Paul Levinson
Music by Paul Levinson & Danny Kaley
August 1967

I watch the treetops
Catch the breeze, shed their leaves
Like tears upon the ground

I watch the raindrops
In the sky, and I cry

For in everything I see you
You are always there
In the rain and in the trees
You are everywhere, yeah, you are everywhere

Icy waves leaping
In the sea, how the high tide
Drenches all the shore

I see willows weeping
As they cry, so do I

For in everything I see you
You are always there
In the skies and in the seas
You are everywhere, yeah, you are everywhere

Although your love is gone
My love still lingers on

For in everything I see you
You are always there
In the rain and in the trees
In the skies and in the seas
In the waves, baby, and in the breeze
You are everywhere, yeah, you are everywhere



FOREVER FRIDAY
Words & Music by Paul Levinson & Ed Fox
June 1969

In the near and distant past
I have passed
Near the steeples, and the windows
Were stained and strange
And the ring of voices out of range
And I found I couldn’t sing

(chorus)
It’s forever Friday
As I see the world in my way
Sunday’s just a shadow play, for me
It’s forever Friday
As I walk the ghost-town highway
Just a mirror-glass away
From the seventh day

In a far and touching word
I once heard
Morning raining, and the windows
Shined open clear
In the light of one alive idea
And I glimpsed of everything, but now

(chorus)


THE SOFT OF YOUR EYES
Words & Music by Paul Levinson
October 1968

Like a sun that starts to rise
In the cream of morning skies
And gives its gentle glow
So as the soft of your eyes

Like a very special prize
Long kept hidden in disguise
But now I really know
So as the soft of your eyes

And there’s always a place for me
Here, in the soft of your eyes
And a kind loving face for me
Here, in the soft of your eyes

And the time forever flies
And the dreaming knows no ties
Just warm familiar flow
So as the soft of your eyes


ANTIQUE SHOP
(THE COMING OF WINTER)
Words by Paul Levinson
Music by Peter Rosenthal
June 1968

Brief patches of light
Sneaking through the rusty leaves
Brief snatches of sight
Slipping past the autumn thieves

(chorus)
Relics of summer psychedelics
An ever-dwindling splinter
Browse around while the world dies down
Witness the coming of winter

Few flowers to smell
Pretty face already shed
Few hours to tell
Many things that might be said

(chorus)

(bridge)
But don’t let your mind stray too far
It might get hung up on a faded buttercup
Or tuned down to the muted sound
Of half-forgotten seas
And the soft as cotton breeze


NOT YET READY TO SAY GOODBYE
Words by Paul Levinson
Music by Linda Kaplan & Paul Levinson
October 1968

Things been getting’ worse, lately
Been lovin’ in reverse, lately
Almost time to say we’ve had our fill
Seems from here the road is all downhill
Don’t you believe it girl, we’ve something still

(chorus)
Hey, we’re not yet ready to say goodbye
“Sure gonna miss you” just won’t get by
Goodbye don’t make it
We can’t forsake it
We’re not yet ready to say goodbye

Life’s been down on us, lately
Been causin’ quite a fuss, lately
Breakin’ up would be the simple cure
But the treatment would be mighty poor
Long empty evenings never feelin’ quite sure

(chorus)

(bridge)
Can’t say so long – it’s been so long
Can’t say that’s all – ‘cause that’s all wrong

(chorus)


THE LAMA WILL BE LATE THIS YEAR
Words & Music by Paul Levinson & Ed Fox
November 1968

(a brief question and answer period)

Children don’t you know it’s past your bedtime
You’ve been waiting all day for the sun
Didn’t come so now it’s eyes-are-red time
He’s been holding out on everyone

People all been cold for such a long time
Never seen the likes of this before
He would always come and bring the warm time
Maybe he don’t love us anymore

(chorus)
The lama will be late this year
The lama will be late this year
I fear he’s been delayed
Heaven knows where he’s strayed
We’re gonna have to wait this year
The lama will be late this year
The lama will be late this year
I fear we’ve been repaid
The mistakes we have made
We’re gonna have to wait this year

It’s time all right and yet it’s not the right time
Maybe there’s some thing we’ve gotta learn
We’ll just keep on spinning through the nighttime
‘Till we light the way for his return

(chorus)



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