Friday, April 25, 2008

In Memory: Ella Fitzgerald, Edward R. Murrow, and Clifford D. Simak

Today is Friday, 25 April 2008.

On this date in 1988 died Clifford D. Simak, journalist, novelist, and short story writer. (He was born on 3 August 1904.)

Simak wrote highly regarded science fiction for more than half a century. (I don’t regard science fiction as a ghetto or genre: all fiction is fiction, and particular pieces either speak to one or not.)

Two of his novels are among my favourites. I admire how the Wikipedia article on Simak speaks of Way Station. The novel “... is in the midst of all of the science fiction paraphernalia a moving psychological study of a very lonely man who has to make peace with his past and finally manages to do so, but not without personal loss.” City is nicely characterized by its first two sentences. “These are the stories that the Dogs tell when the fires burn high and the wind is from the north. Then each family circle gathers at the hearthstone and the pups sit silently and listen and when the story’s done they ask many questions: “What is Man?” they’ll ask. Or perhaps: “What is a city?” Or: What is a war?”

I highly recommend both.

Memorable Birthdays

Ella Fitzgerald was born on this date in 1917; she died on 15 June 1996.

Edward R. Murrow was born on this date in 1908; he died on 27 April 1965.


McCain: Still Screwing Women

As is well known, John McCain began wooing Wife No. 2 (the wealthy Cindy) before he dumped Wife No. 1 (not wealthy).

Yesterday, speaking to journalists in New Orleans, McCain said he opposed a law defeated yesterday in the Senate which would have made it easier for women who are victims of pay discrimination to sue sexist employers.

"I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what's being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems. This is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system."

At least he’s consistent.


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