Thanksgiving Repost


Things have changed since I originally wrote this (I made a couple of edits to reflect that).  But I’m still grateful for everything I was then, and more.  And if you’re as grateful as I am, please take a couple of minutes to visit The Greater Good sites (I get there through  You don’t have to buy anything or donate money.  You just click to give.  Give a little back.

I hope everyone has a happy day, without too much stress. Remember to be grateful every day, not just today.

I’m thankful for having all the basics, for food and shelter and clothing. I’m grateful for my health. That I have the luxury of fancy electronics and cable television. I’m grateful for all the wonderful people in both my real life and my virtual life. I’m grateful for the right to vote and free speech. So, thanks to whatever higher power exists, and thanks to everyone here (including me) that helps make all these things possible. And a special thanks to that poor turkey that gave up its life for my holiday meal.

Right now, I really grateful that I can listen to this wonderful song, the only Thanksgiving-themed song that is any good. And I hope you’ll be grateful that Arlo Guthrie spent nearly 20 minutes singing/talking about “Alice’s Restaurant.” Enjoy, and have a great time eating yourselves stupid.

“You can get anything you want at Alice’s restaurant (excepting Alice).”

Repost: “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”


I thought I’d post this a little earlier than Christmas Eve this year.  There are many ways to help the hungry in every community and every corner of the world.  But none are as easy as the links below.  


Bob Geldof did a good thing when he got all his friends and colleagues together to record this song.

Sadly, it’s still relevant (although the hairstyles aren’t, thank goodness).  There is still famine around the world.  So take a minute out of your busy Christmas, and help feed the world.  It won’t cost you a thing.

The Hunger Site

Free Rice

Gone to the Movies: Milk


Danny Elfman went from being a slightly deranged pop-rock  musician singing about “Little Girls” to one of the finest and most respected film composers today. One of my personal favorites is his score for Milk, Gus Van Sant’s moving biopic about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay legislator of any sort elected in the United States (he was on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors).  Sean Penn won an Oscar for his portrayal of Harvey (which was masterful by any standard), and Dustin Lance Black won for his screenplay.

But Elfman did not win for his gorgeous score.  Now I know part of the reason I like this music is because I associate it with a film I love, but it’s also really good music that fits the film very well.  By turns tender and funny and elegiac, the score is filled with lush orchestration built around a recurring theme, a refrain if you will (I freely admit that I don’t know much technical language about music, but I’m pretty sure that’s right).  It evokes many different emotions, but the most common one is the biggest theme of the film–and arguably of Harvey Milk’s life: Hope.

Which leads me to my real reason for choosing this beautiful, hopeful music for today’s post, and it has nothing to do with music.  I’ve mentioned visiting The Breast Cancer Site before.  It’s the easiest way to give to charity ever.  Each page donates to a different cause (you click, the sponsors give), and you can give more by purchasing items from their store.  Every year, The Greater Good Network posts the results of all that clicking.  In 2012, visitors to the site who clicked or bought products donated the following:

42.6 million cups of food for hungry people around the world.

8,633 acres of rainforest were protected.

4,546 mammograms for women.

366,740 books to kids.

Healthcare for 505,003 children

4,564 hours of research and therapy for Autism.

235,136 meals for veterans.

68.3 million bowls of food for animals in shelters.


Now that’s what I call hope.  If you don’t click already, start today.