Blogging is a confession

“Another company, AutoWeb, disclosed last week that it had paid its chief executive $1.7 million in 2019 — a week after it received $1.4 million from the same loan program.”
Large, Troubled Companies Got Bailout Money in Small-Business Loan Program, by Jessica Silver-Greenberg, David Enrich, Jesse Drucker and Stacy Cowley, NYT, 26 April 2020

How can any company that can pay it’s CEO $1.7 million in any year be considered a “small” business? What the hell is wrong with these people? I wonder. Also, would you buy a used car from Steve Mnuchin? I wouldn’t. And, lastly, is ANYONE vetting these applications? Or is it just first come (to the trough) first served? America! Straighten up and fly right, dammit.

“I also want to just extend in terms of numerical considerations and numbers, a depth of gratitude for all of you that signed up for the gov website. Remember, just two days ago we had a call to ask for people to volunteer their time, intention, their passion, and their sense of purpose to a cause bigger than themselves and we would match that cause geographically to an area of interest. Over 22,000 people just in the first day signed up and went on that site. I just want to thank all of you that did do that and all of you that are thinking about it, just remind you”
Gov. Gavin Newsom California COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 23, by, 23 April 2020

“Security experts said that the I.R.S. had opened up the door to fraud by requiring so little data to claim the money. ‘The stimulus site is a little bit like ringing the dinner bell for hackers,’ said Brian Stack, the vice president for dark web intelligence at Experian. The I.R.S. did not respond to request for comment.”
‘Pure Hell for Victims’ as Stimulus Programs Draw a Flood of Scammers, by Nathaniel Popper, NYT, 22 April 2020

“Margaret Atwood, who has created dystopias from Gilead to the collapsed civilisation of Oryx and Crake, has spoken: our locked-down world might be ‘an unpleasant, frightening, disagreeable place you don’t want to be’, but it is not dystopian. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Emma Barnett, Atwood said that ‘a dystopia, technically, is an arranged unpleasant society that you don’t want to be living in. This one was not arranged. So people may be making arrangements that aren’t too pleasant, but it’s not a deliberate totalitarianism. It’s not a deliberate arrangement.’ What it is, said Atwood, is ‘an emergency crisis’. ‘Being in an unpleasant situation such as the blitz, that’s not a dystopia. It’s an unpleasant, frightening, disagreeable place you don’t want to be, but it wasn’t arranged by a government that is in control of you,’ said the author of The Handmaid’s Tale. Atwood compared the conspiracy theories about 5G spreading the coronavirus to reactions when the plague hit Europe in the 14th century.”
Margaret Atwood: Covid-19 lockdown is not a dystopia, by Alison Flood, The Guardian, 16 April 2020

Now, doesn’t everyone feel so much better?

“Collage in many ways has been the dominant form of the late modern era, affecting such areas as music (sampling) and architecture (the incorporation of preexisting elements into new constructions). But for all of its links to other forms of art, the cut-paper collage is a specific tradition all its own, which may now seem to be narrowed by the extinction of most paper ephemera, although it always had a retrospective quality. It is usually dated back to Dada, but is actually rather older (I have on my wall a collage that looks very mid-Twenties Surrealist—sea creatures and mythological characters disporting themselves amid oversized flowers against a field of stars—but was made by an English clergyman in 1864). Collage effortlessly vaporizes the line between high and low; it has been practiced simultaneously by avant-gardists and folk artists during its entire history. It has its own schools of thought and lines of transmission. I’m particularly alert to the currents that run from Rodchenko and Lissitzky and Moholy-Nagy, and from Max Ernst and Hannah Hoch and Kurt Schwitters, to Jess and Bruce Conner and Joe Brainard and my contemporary Richard McGuire. In making my collages I feel as if I’m engaging in a conversation that runs back and forth across the decades.”
My Quarantine: The Calm of Collaging, by Luc Sante, NY Books, 23 April 2020

Well… I installed a collage show at KAFN Adams Hill shop (near where I was taking art classes at GCE) in the first week of March. Sigh, however, KAFN is still open and the 14 collages are still up. Although I stopped making collages last year (I’m like Patti Smith; I get to have a rock death without dying) I wound up making collage postcards (actual little collages with the show information on the back) for the show that KAFN could give to their loyal customers or sell. When I dropped off the collages, KAFN looked like it was doing a pretty good take-out business. Please join me in thinking positive thoughts for them. Thank you!

“Like many people throughout the country, I am spending too much of my quarantine life obsessing about the future. What will our world look like once we are finally past this Covid-19 health crisis? Like everyone else, I long for a return to normal. But when we finally do step out from our “stay-at-home” orders, we will surely be stepping into a new normal, and one that will hold major implications for many institutions, including public libraries.”
Public Libraries After the Pandemic, by Sari Feldman, PW, 17 April 2020

“A leading US public health official warned on Tuesday that a new wave of coronavirus hitting the US next winter could be ‘even more difficult’ for America to deal with than the current outbreak. And in a double blow for the prospect of ending the coronavirus pandemic, a US trial of the controversial treatment Donald Trump has referred to as ‘like a miracle’ has produced poor results. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) federal agency, warned that a wave of coronavirus next winter would coincide with the normal influenza season.”
CDC chief warns of ‘even more difficult’ wave of coronavirus next winter, by Joanna Walters, The Guardian, 21 April 2020

“Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction: Namwali Serpell, The Old Drift: A Novel (Hogarth)
“Biography: George Packer, Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century (Knopf)
“Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose: Emily Bernard, Black Is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine (Knopf)
“Current Interest: Emily Bazelon, Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration (Random House)
“Fiction: Ben Lerner, The Topeka School (FSG)
“Graphic Novel/Comics: Eleanor Davis, The Hard Tomorrow, (Drawn & Quarterly)
“History: Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South (Yale University Press)
“Mystery/Thriller: Steph Cha, Your House Will Pay (Ecco)
“Poetry: Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic (Graywolf)
“Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction: Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf (Riverhead)
“Science & Technology: Maria Popova, Figuring (Knopf)
“Young Adult Literature: Malla Nunn, When the Ground Is Hard (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers”
Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Revealed on Twitter, by Jason Boog, PW, 17 April 2020

“Elsevier and ExactCure have announced a collaboration aimed at developing personalised model simulations to improve the dosing of Covid-19 related therapies. ExactCure is a personalised medicine start-up that uses AI technology to reduce medication errors. Combining this platform with data from PharmaPendium, which includes searchable FDA/EMA drug approval documents as well as pharmacokinetic and efficacy data, will help to shed light on potential therapeutic targets.”
Elsevier and ExactCure review 20 drugs for Covid-19 therapies, by Research Information, 17 April 2020

Do You Have Kids? is a timely work of narrative nonfiction in which the author delves into the increasingly broad-based phenomenon of women without children. It’s for women of all ages who do not have children–whether by choice or by chance, single or coupled, gay or straight–who want their experiences explored, acknowledged, and validated. Do You Have Kids? is designed to be a life-long resource for women without kids and anyone who wants to better understand them.”
Rights Roundup: Titles Selling Amid the Pandemic, by Porter Anderson, Publishing Perspectives, 24 April 2020

“Most young people who get COVID-19 get pretty nasty flu-like symptoms but fight off the infection on their own with bed rest and over-the-counter pain medication. Some, though, have a severe, even deadly, case. Why is it that someone who seems healthy and has no underlying conditions could be killed by this virus when so many of their peers pull through just fine? Let’s break down what we know and what research is needed to answer this COVID-19 mystery.”
Why Are Some Young, Healthy People Getting Severe COVID-19?, by Kaleigh Rogers, 538, 23 April 2020

“Several leading publishers, along with Digital Science’s ReadCube, are part of an initiative to facilitate access to literature relevant to Covid-19 research. The COVID-19 Research Pass (CRP) programme provides direct access to more than 26 million articles and is available to anyone studying or writing about Covid-19.”
Initiative to open up Covid-19 research further, by Research Information, 24 April 2020

“The Postal Service needs more than relief — it needs reinforcements. I have a three-step solution that will strengthen the post office, provide financial security to millions of Americans and reinvigorate our voting rights.”
Where’s the Nearest Bank and Ballot Box? Try the Post Office, by Kirsten Gillibrand, NYT, 26 April 2020

I hope I get to vote for you someday, Ms. Gillibrand. Also, is it even possible to be a nation state without a Post Office? Think about it.


A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians.
Frank Zappa
Yeah, Frank, that’s what all your musicians said, and still say, about you.

A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up.
Mae West

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad.
Albert Camus

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A good indignation brings out all one’s powers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A great man is always willing to be little.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.
Albert Camus
Is this about me, Albert? Again?

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