Friday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Good morning! I’m back in Chicago, summer is on the way (we will have some rain this week), and it’s May 26, 2017: National Blueberry Cheesecake Day, probably promoted by Big Blueberry. Like all good Jews, I prefer my cheesecake plain, but if you must add something, let it be cherries or, lacking those, blueberries or strawberries. In the U.S., it’s National Paper Airplane Day, and in Australia it’s “National Sorry Day,” commemorating the abysmal treatment of the nation’s indigenous population,

On this day in 1868, the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson ended: he was acquitted by a single vote. No President so far has been convicted after impeachment (which, after all, is just the charge). On May 26, 1896, Nicolas II became Russia’s last Tsar. After terrible Russian losses in the Great War, he was forced to abdicate in 1917 and then, a year later, the Bolsheviks executed him along with his entire family and some of their servants. The family’s remains were discovered in 1976. verified by DNA testing, and now rest in St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg, where I’ve seen their tombs. Finally, on May 26, 1998, Australia held its first National Sorry Day.

Notables born on this day include Al Jolson (1886), Dorothea Lange (1895), John Wayne (1907), Peggy Lee (1920), Miles Davis (1926), Stevie Nicks (1948), Sally Ride (1951), and Helena Bonham Carter (1966).

Lange was most famous for her photos documenting the misery of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. The photo below, called “Migrant Mother,” was taken in 1936 in California, and was one of a sequence of 6 photos you can see here. It was her most famous photo. Roy Stryker, photographer and head of the Farm Security Administration, for which Lange worked, said this about the photo:

When Dorothea took that picture, that was the ultimate.
She never surpassed it.  To me it was the picture of Farm Security.
She has all the suffering of mankind in her, but all the perseverance too.  
A restraint and a strange courage.

In honor of NicksDay, I’m showing once again what I think is the best live extemporaneous performance of rock on video. Nicks was getting her makeup applied for a Rolling Stone shoot, and they played the instrumental track of “Wild Heart” in the background. Nicks began singing to it, accompanied by her sister-in-law on harmony. A person with a camera happened to catch her singing. The video is mesmerizing, and I watch it all the time.

Those who died on this day include Edsel Ford (1943), Sydney Pollack (2008), and Art Linkletter (2010; his real name was Arthur Gordon Kelly and he was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is taking a teleological view of evolution:

Hili: Were dinosaurs roaming here once?
A: Probably yes.
Hili: And were there any mice?
A: Not yet.
Hili: So there is a progress after all.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy tu kiedyś chodziły dinozaury?
Ja: Raczej tak.
Hili: A myszy były?
Ja: Jeszcze nie.
Hili: A jednak jest postęp.
And in nearby Wloclawek, Leon is stoned. Look at that face!

Leon: This catnip is delicious!


  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Yeah, that clip of Ms. Nicks is mesmerizing. It’s all right there — why crazy is cool, why crazy is fun, why crazy is hawt. And why, when combined with that kind of talent, it can be damned near lethal.

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    As Andrew Johnson just missed being impeached it should be noted one of the various reasons was – who would replace him. He had no vice president so the replacement would have been Ben Wade, pres. pro tempore of the Senate. Today it would fall on VP Pence, not much of a choice either.

    • rickflick
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      I’d take Pence over Trump any day of the week. He may be totally nuts, but he’s not crazy totally nuts. 😎

      • Randy schenck
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        I suppose the advantage Pence has is simple one of experience. Trump has absolutely none and Pence has some. However, both are equally unqualified for the job, there is little question of that.

        • nicky
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

          The fact that Pence has some experience makes him more dangerous, in a sense. He will get things done, and probably all of them things you really don’t like, to put it mildly.

      • nicky
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Yes, I’ll take Pence over Trump any day of the week too, except from Monday to Sunday. Trump is a lumbering clown, Pence an insidious ayatollah.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      @Randy “As Andrew Johnson just missed being impeached…”

      He was impeached [charged, in his case, with eleven articles of impeachment]

  3. Larry Smith
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Re: Nicks clip: Brilliant, unaffected and unadorned… really shows the power of song for music’s sake, not done for money or fame…

    This made me think of this clip of Rickie Lee Jones singing “Anna.” Though done as part of a (never broadcast) TV show, her off the cuff vocals and sweet Barbie story show a vulnerability and talent that are hard to match:

  4. Lars
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I see that Hili is rather effectively photobummed by her friend the dog.

  5. Posted May 26, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I usually agree with the musical tastes of Professor Ceiling Cat but when it comes to Stevie Nicks, I agree with the South Park team that she sounds like a bleating goat. Granted, a VERY TALENTED bleating goat, but a goat nonetheless.

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