Progressivism and the 2016 Election

Viewing the 2016 election simply through the prism of stopping Donald Trump strikes me as a big mistake. It’s reminiscent of how the GOP has spent the last eight years solely trying to stop Obama. Progressives need to have confidence in their vision and in a set of policies that can win over those disaffected voters who currently see Trump as their only alternative. This is not a time for us to be timid and it’s not a time for us to shrink into defensiveness.

“The Private Works of Puncher and Wattmann” (2015) by Joseph M. Colombo

Joseph_Archives_webFrom their website: “The dynamic bass clarinet/marimba duo Transient Canvas (Amy Advocat, bass clarinet & Matt Sharrock, marimba) has been blazing its own trail in the world of contemporary music since 2011. In under five years, they have premiered over 60 new works, essentially creating an entirely new repertoire for their unique instrumentation.”

Here’s a recent performance of theirs of a piece that was composed by Joseph M. Colombo, a young San Francisco-based composer whose career I’ve been following for… well, let’s just say for quite some time. It’s a 2015 piece called The Private Works of Puncher and Wattmann and there’s nothing about it that isn’t terrific. Enjoy.

Nevada and South Carolina

If you’re like me, here’s your soundtrack for tonight’s results from Nevada’s Democratic caucus and South Carolina’s Republican primary:

Hillary Clinton, a deeply flawed candidate who almost certainly cannot win in November (and who wouldn’t exactly represent a step forward for the country even if she did), looks like she’ll be squaring off against Donald Trump, the embodiment of almost everything that is wrong with the U.S. in 2016. If you’re looking for a silver lining concerning tonight’s results, you’re going to have to look elsewhere. I got nothing.

On the Inexhaustible Wonderfulness of Dogs

If you’re not a dog lover, please feel free to pass over this post.

If you are a dog lover, though, then check out this beautiful short film tribute that a man named Ben Moon created for his beloved dog, Denali. (Or, if you’re someplace where it wouldn’t be appropriate to weep out loud for ten minutes or so, then just bookmark it and watch later.)

I’m grateful for every single one of my days that has Max in it. (Thank you, Sunada Yuko Takagi, for finding this video and sharing it.)

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Random Thought (May 8, 2015)

Caitlyn JennerAs more and more of our social and cultural norms seem to get determined by what’s popular on so-called reality TV, I find myself wondering if that’s really the best place to find role models. I wish Caitlyn Jenner nothing but good things during her transition and beyond but, to tell you the truth, I’m not entirely comfortable watching her story as it unfolds according to some publicist’s careful script. It doesn’t feel like a genuine personal odyssey as much as a well-orchestrated run-up to what will no doubt be another blockbuster reality TV series.

I don’t know anything about what’s on Caitlyn Jenner’s mind as she navigates her journey so I’ve got no criticism to offer. In general, though, there are better places to look than reality TV if you want to find real heroes.