Entertainment

Dispatch from New Orleans

Submitted: Mar 10, 2010
By: 
Gary McMillen

From time to time we are fortunate enough to receive a dispatch from New Orleans sent by Gary McMillen, an old friend, dynamite writer and photographer -- Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Ghosts, Gumbo and Hurricanes

 

Hot, dark and spicy---look into a bowl of gumbo and see the reflection of the city of New Orleans.  Throw the recipe out the window.  Empty the freezer.  The key to a good pot of gumbo is lots of different ingredients.  Chicken, crabs, okra, cayenne pepper, oysters, smoked sausage and shrimp: stir it all up and serve over rice. 

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The academic inn

Submitted: Feb 02, 2010
By: 
Leopold Kohr

 


When the fascist regimes rose in Europe, scholars could continue their work by taking refuge in countries whose universities remained unaffected by government pressure. They could go to France, Canada, the United States. But since then, a new and infinitely vaster danger has arisen to unfettered academic activities. This is the irresistible pressure emanating from the explosive dimensions of modern mass societies, which can educationally be accommodated only by universities of vast scale. Though these are no less destructive to scholarship than tyrannical governments, one can no longer escape their strangulating effect, as was possible under fascism, merely by taking refuge in other countries. There are none left which do not share the mounting pressure of their increasing multitudes. Geographically, only flight to another planet could solve the problem.

Yet, there is one last way out. This is for scholarship to change its location not geographically but institutionally; to flee not from the earth to another planet but from the university to another establishment, an institution which by nature is immune to persecution from mass pressure because of the intrinsic smallness of its material frame; and from ideological pressure because it exerts a dissolvent effect on all solidified ideas as a result of the fragmentising radiation to which it exposes everything. This institution - the last refuge of the humanities - is the inn.

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A raptor rescue

Submitted: Jan 23, 2010
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

1-15-10
Stockton Record
Look out below...Alex Breitler
http://blogs.esanjoaquin.com/san-joaquin-river-delta/2010/01/14/look-out-below/
Golfer Kyle Bowers of Stockton got a birdie Thursday. But not the kind he wanted.
Bowers had just arrived at the sixth hole of The Reserve at Spanos Park early Thursday afternoon when he ducked into the bathroom, a Porta Potty-like facility with a tank.
He lifted the toilet seat and was about to do his guy thing when he saw a face staring back at him.
The ghost-like face of a terrified barn owl.
“Oh my gosh… what is that?” he thought.
It was pretty dark in there, but Bowers could see the owl bobbing its head around. He quickly guessed that the owl had gone down an unscreened vent from the roof to the tank, and couldn’t find its way back out.
For some reason, nature was no longer calling. So Bowers started calling for help.
Just reach in there and grab the bird from the back, someone told him. No way, he said, fearing the owl would whip its head around and gash his hands with its beak.
He told the cart lady who sells drinks. She didn’t know what to do. The front desk wasn’t much more help.
“I’ll be honest, the golf course didn’t want to do anything,” Bowers said.

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The Kid lies as usual

Submitted: Dec 01, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Anyone who does not already know that Rep. Dennis Cardoza, the Pimlico Kid - Merced, is a lying "sack of offal" (in the felicitous phrase of Fitzgerald of the Stockton Record) should not be trusted around public funds, should not be permitted to vote on any issue or be left alone with children. We all know that. But in the following little love note to Westlands and Metropolitan of Southern California, the Kid surrenders his heart and soul -- hook, line, bottle and bookie -- to the oligarchy of water, land, finance and insurance. Nobody who can get up in the morning, tie his or her shoelaces and go to work or go look for work believes anything the Kid says anymore. We all know he's just doing his daily assignment of kissing gold-plated butt in the middle of a regional economic depression. He's just doing his job.

We hope our readers enjoyed their holidays.

Badlands Journal editorial board

12-1-09
Congressman Dennis Cardoza
http://co113w.col113.mail.live.com/default.aspx?n=1430739263
Dear Friend:

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Nunes, the tragic hero

Submitted: Jul 19, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

You have to hand it to Rep. Devin Nunes, Tragic Hero-Visalia, he’s a performer. In fact, you have to stand in line to hand it to him, behind national PACs, agribusiness and oil and gas to hand it to him. He’s raised nearly a million dollars for his campaign next year and if some strong Democrat contender lurks in Nunes’ district, that contender lurks below the surface so far.

 

The Costoza, representatives Jim Costa, D-Fresno and Dennis Cardoza, Fairy Shrimper- Annapolis/Merced, are not in Nunes’ league. The political theater-going public, knowing this, has dispensed a mere $350,000 and change to each of these chorus boys. . The fourth member of the Valley congressional delegation, Jerry McNerney, Goose Egg-Pleasanton, who represents the actual Delta, tries to keep the Altamont between him and the Valley as much as possible. Closer to Mother Nancy, McNerney gets nearly half a million.

 

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California water: some recent theological texts

Submitted: Jul 12, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Every culture has its sacred texts. Chinese, the Sumerians, Indians, Persians, Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, Arabs -- and on and on. You name the culture and we'll name the sacred text -- from the I Ching to the Koran and beyond. It is the world's greatest literature,

the true treasury of the deepest human values and highest human visions.

 

In California, we have the water news. Because we are so young, dynamic and full of the belief that economic growth equals population growth, the notion that natural resources, especially water, may have limits, has created a theological crisis here in California.

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When East is East and West is West, who pays the bills?

Submitted: Jun 14, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

As the inveterate, hairy-chested managing editor of the Sun-Star heads off to embeddedment in Iraq again (because a female reporter went twice!), Tom Frazier asks real questions about a local issue: Who is paying for the Michelle Obama event? While the Imperial Tharp is Inshalla-ing to a fair-the-well about his upcoming war junket, Frazier is calling out the imaginary “feral dogs” of the press to find out what happened. Yo, Frazier, there are no feral dogs of the local press. They all been bought by UC Merced so long ago few still remember the UC inserts that once a month paid the bills back in the late 1990s. And the tame dogs of the local press are all bouncing their heads off the pavement and crying “Inshalla.” We would believe in Tharp’s conversion to Islam if he were going to what Genl. Petraeus even calls “the graveyard of empires,” Afghanistan.
But who cares where Tharp goes at all? Presumably McClatchy and the University of California – just as long as the Sun-Star doesn’t provide the answers to the embarrassing questions Frazier is asking.

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500 times on the blackboard

Submitted: May 26, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Members of the Badlands Journal editorial board wish to apologize to our readers for the spelling in yesterday's post, originally titled, "Socery." As soon as we discovered it, we changed it to try to restore our dignity. The offending, spelling-disadvantaged editor is currently halfway through his assignment, writing the word, "Sorcery," 500 times on the Badlands blackboard.

"You make fun of somebody misspelling a really complicated word like "Chihuahua" (spelled "Chiewahwah" on a sign observed in town) and those young scientists out at UC Merced for spelling "spirit" "sprit," and you can't spell a perfectly ordinary three-syllable English word!" said the outraged board to the offender. "Judge not, if you cannot spell it! Your membership on the editorial board is hanging by a thread."

The offender offered no explanation, hung his head, accepted his punishment and is now covering the blackboard with "sorcery." We hope that this exercise will exorcise the Misspelling Demon running free in town from Badlands and we urge local journalists and PR practitioners to take prophylactic action. Remain calm but hang dictionaries in every doorway.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

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The dogs bark but the caravan moves on

Submitted: May 18, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

As Badlands pointed out recently, there is a new young couple among the Valley's witless Democratic congressmen, the Costoza, replacing the Pomboza, which met a timely demise with the dis-election of former Rep. Richard Pombo, Buffalo Slayer-Tracy, in 2006. The swing man in both duos is Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Shrimp Slayer-Annapolis MD, who still claims to represent the 18th Congressional District of California, which includes three cities with some of the worst foreclosure rates in America, Merced, Modesto and Stockton and one county, Merced, with the second highest unemployment rate in the nation this month.

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Education to Elegance with a Sprit of Tradition

Submitted: May 03, 2009
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

The now famous UC Merced Valentine campaign to invite First Lady Michelle Obama to speak at the May 16 commencement exercises featured the following legend, found at this link:

http://www.mercedsunstar.com/167/v-story_images/story/684187.html

Education to Elegance with a Sprit of Tradition
UC Merced Commencment May 16, 2009

Since, as we say in the press, this message had pass through many sets of eyes, we wondered if "sprit" had an academic meaning that has escaped us all these years. However, the only definition we could find was:

sprit: a spar that crosses a fore-and-aft sail diagonally. (Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary)

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