Pastis Casts Pearls Left and Right

Comics Flash! Stephan Pastis continues to trigger folks left and right in “Pearls Before Swine“!

And as pointed out on my Facebook thread, the creator of “The Family Circus” (Bil Keane, and now his son Jeff) and Pastis are friends and collaborate on parodies. Others have pointed out the obvious link to George Carlin‘s famous monologue …


Song of the Day #1903 & #1904

Songs of the Day: Dawgma / Swing ’39 [YouTube link] are two songs that were performed back-to-back on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in support of the 1978 quintet album, “Hot Dawg,” featuring David Grisman on lead mandolin, Mark O’Connor on guitar, Mike Marshall on rhythm mandolin, Rob Wasserman on bass, and the immortal Stephane Grappelli on violin. The September 13, 1979 show can be seen in its entirety [YouTube link]. The artists even play the gypsy jazz classic, “Minor Swing“, as an encore (previously highlighted in 2013 as a “Song of the Day“) over the closing credits [YouTube link]. “Dawgma” was composed by Grisman in that characteristic style of his, merging jazz and bluegrass; “Swing ’39” was composed by Grappelli and his old bandmate, the legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, with whom he formed the Quintette du Hot Club de France back in 1934. He was 71 when he appeared on “The Tonight Show“, and is as fleet of finger as he ever was. I was privileged to see him in-person with David Grisman at Avery Fisher Hall (now “David Geffen Hall“) on October 2, 1981 and again, with his own quartet, at The Bottom Line in Greenwich Village, on April 25, 1983. On this date, in 1908, Grappelli was born. He was born in Gaie Paris—pun intended; when he passed away at the age of 89 in 1997, he left behind his life partner of 25 years, Joseph Oldenhove. The virtuoso violinist also left behind an extraordinary musical legacy, having recorded with everyone from Yehudi Menuhin and Yo Yo Ma to Paul Simon and Pink Floyd [YouTube links].

Remembering Hiromi Shinya

Back in December 2021, I shared my very personal thoughts on Hiromi Shinya, a trailblazing doctor who saved my life—and the lives of countless numbers of people through his remarkable innovations in endoscopic medicine. Today, his daughter, Erica Shinya Kin, posted an obituary through legacy.com on the New York Times. It is a wonderful tribute to this great pioneer. Check it out here.

Hiromi Shinya, 1935-2021

Another Side to Eric Fleischmann: Soy! Live!

My friend Eric Fleischmann has published widely at the site of Center for a Stateless Society, including, recently, some very fine, original essays on the thought of individualist anarchist Laurence Labadie. I have previously written about his work on Notablog, here and here (where he critiqued my monograph, “Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation“). In addition to his developing scholarship, he’s a regular rabble-rousing activist anywhere he goes!

Not many people know of yet another side to Eric. His “secret” was safe with me—until now. Check him out tonight with the band Soy, which will run a live show, taped on January 2, 2022. He is a roaring lion on stage! It’s at 7 pm (ET) tonight! Don’t miss it!

Song of the Day #1902

Song of the Day: Paradise by the Dashboard Light, words and music by Jim Steinman, is a piece of musical theater that became a staple of classic rock radio when it was released in 1978 as the third single off the album, “Bat Out of Hell“, the 1977 debut album of singer and actor, Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday). The Platinum 8+ minute track, featuring both Meat Loaf and Ellen Foley on vocals, was produced by Todd Rundgren, who plays guitar on the track. When the song came out—even as it was played endlessly in its full album glory—I had a certain sentimentality for it. Any song that features the rather ‘suggestive’ play-by-play of Hall of Fame Yankees shortstop and hilarious sports announcer, Phil Rizzuto, gets Major League Points in my book. Yesterday, Meat Loaf passed away at the age of 74. Check out one of his biggest hits [YouTube link].

Song of the Day #1901

Song of the Day: Light Switch, words and music by JKash, Jake Torrey, and Charlie Puth, is the lead single from Puth’s forthcoming album, “Charlie“. This one has been in the making on TikTok for months on end. The video is an uptempo “exercise” in fun. “You turn me on like a light switch,” Charlie sings. This Puth fan is looking forward to the new album. Check out Charlie working on the song and the new video, which made its debut today [YouTube links].

Kafka, The Girl, and the Doll …

H/T to my friend Larry Abrams; there’s even an illustrated book about this tale.

Kafka, the year before his death at 40.

At 40, Franz Kafka (1883-1924), who never married and had no children, walked through the park in Berlin when he met a girl who was crying because she had lost her favourite doll. She and Kafka searched for the doll unsuccessfully.

Kafka told her to meet him there the next day and they would come back to look for her.

The next day, when they had not yet found the doll, Kafka gave the girl a letter “written” by the doll saying “please don’t cry. I took a trip to see the world. I will write to you about my adventures.”

Thus began a story which continued until the end of Kafka’s life.

During their meetings, Kafka read the letters of the doll carefully written with adventures and conversations that the girl found adorable.

Finally, Kafka brought back the doll (he bought one).

“It doesn’t look like my doll at all,” said the girl.
Kafka handed her another letter in which the doll wrote: “my travels have changed me.” The little girl hugged the new doll and brought her happily home.

A year later Kafka died.

Many years later, the now-adult girl found a letter inside the doll. In the tiny letter signed by Kafka it was written:

“Everything you love will probably be lost, but in the end, love will return in another way.”

Scholarly Publishing Collective Launches – JARS Free Till March 31st!

A Major Announcement Today:

The Scholarly Publishing Collective (the Collective) is pleased to announce that its online content platform is now live, with content from over 130 journals published by Michigan State University Press, Penn State University Press, SBL Press, and the University of Illinois Press.

Through the Collective, managed by Duke University Press, publishers have access to resources that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive, such as a best-in-class web platform, proven customer relations and library relations teams, and a network of global sales agents with insight into university press content. Journals are hosted on the Silverchair hosting platform, which is home to Duke University Press’s publications as well as publications from the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Wolters Kluwer, and many other distinguished publishers.

Through the Collective’s partnership with Silverchair, publishers benefit from fully responsive journal websites that adapt to any display size and have a user-friendly, easy-to-navigate interface. Features of the platform include support for advance-publication articles; the ability for non-subscribers to purchase access to full issues and articles; the ability to search and filter results across journal, publisher, or Collective content; robust usage statistics; and support for supplemental data files, including media.

“Being part of the Scholarly Collective will take Penn State University Press’s commitment to journals publishing to a new level. We’re excited about this exciting growth opportunity for our society partners, our library friends, our contributors, and the editors of our journals,” said Patrick Alexander, Director of Penn State University Press.

The Collective platform currently hosts the journals content of four publishers migrating from the JSTOR Journal Hosting Program, which is ending after 2021. All content is temporarily free to access until March 31, 2022.

“Duke University Press has developed infrastructure for our own publishing program that we can share with our fellow UP journal publishers and society publishers to support them at a time when sustaining their journals program is critical to sustaining their overall mission. Through the Collective, the partners expand their ability to disseminate, promote, and increase the impact of scholarship. More than fifteen years of investment and experience and skill-building have gone into being able to do this, and we want to leverage our experience for our Collective partners,” said Allison Belan, Director for Strategic Innovation and Services at Duke University Press.

What does this mean for The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies? Simple! Go here and check out our contents (going back to 2007; all contents going back to 1999 are still available on JSTOR)—free till March 31, 2022. (And speaking for myself and my coauthor, Pavel Solovyev, check out “The Rand Transcript Revealed” in all its full-color glory on the site!)