wNaked News
In which my articles, poems and random thoughts will appear. See also my website at stewalbert.com


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wSaturday, April 30, 2005


My central website is http://hometown.aol.com/stewa/stew. For information on Stew Albert's new book --"Who The Hell Is Stew Albert?" go to http://www.redhen.org/stewalbert.htm or Amazon.com. If you want a signed copy get in touch with me at stewa@aol.com Most of my movie reviews written during the period of my Hep C chemotherapy appear at: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/thirdpage/stewreviews.html Thank you Third Page

------------------------

Watch What You Say

If Muslim,
don't get angry at Bush
and
be saying extreme revolutionary words
cause tough words
can earn you a life time
in a Christian's prison
maybe even wearing
iron mask.

If Jew
don't kibitz dark jokes
about Dubya
with implied threats
against meshugina menace
cause you may get taken off the air
be broadcasting instead
on prime time prison grapevine.
------------

In Recovery

Throwing dimes at poor
as he is stealing their quarters
while stomping on middle class dreams
Dubya is winning pundit's faint praise
as comeback kid
recovering from his reelection.

------
Day In The Life -- I just finished reading Murdered By Capitalism by John Ross. It's a very left wing, funny surrealistic treat, combining memoir and magic realism to present us with an 1890s to the almost present history of the American left. It's point of political view is sort of Ward Churchill (see earlier blogs) on fantastic LSD. In the process Ross, who mostly lives in Mexico takes a day of the dead turn and visits several cemeteries where he conducts hilarious interviews with many dead revolutionaries, including Emma Goldman and William Z Foster. Reading this book offers a pleasurable way to learn some ordinarily very left-out but very important American history.

---
Snow Falling On Cedars -- It hard to believe this subtle film about war, love and racism with its graceful slowness and a powerful appearance of Max Van Sydow is an American movie. I thought I was watching a Swedish classic dubbed into English. We are in the early 1950s (or maybe the late 40's) and a young fisherman washes up in the morning tide and the coroner rules it homicide. An equally young Japanese fisherman and farmer is indicted for murder. The film centers on the trial. The Japanese guy may have some motive to kill and there is also circumstantial evidence against him. But through many flashbacks we come to doubt his guilt, in the process a doomed teen age interracial love affair is revealed and the cruel post Pearl Harbor roundup of the Japanese is agonizingly portrayed. This harsh history has left many grudges, cynicism and much bitterness but did it produce murder? The film is based on a best selling novel which eloquently portrayed the physical beauty of an island in the American northwest. Matching the book on this score was a genuine challenge. It is a challenge that the film version meets in splendid fashion.


posted by stew at 10:07 AM


wFriday, April 29, 2005


My central website is http://hometown.aol.com/stewa/stew. For information on Stew Albert's new book --"Who The Hell Is Stew Albert?" go to http://www.redhen.org/stewalbert.htm or Amazon.com. If you want a signed copy get in touch with me at stewa@aol.com Most of my movie reviews written during the period of my Hep C chemotherapy appear at: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/thirdpage/stewreviews.html Thank you Third Page
--------


School Days, School Days

Speaking before kids
most just fine and mellow
but not forgetting
the few
fulsome fresh faces
of future fascism
figuring
maybe newspapers should be licensed and censored
and
making brave demonstration of public prudery,
cause the Abbie Hoffman bioflick is R rated
they left the classroom
including girl in mini skirt
headed
for unwanted pregnancy and child.

When they returned
I managed
to be finding way
to proclaim "fuck"
cause at 65
high schools still make me rebel.
----
Day In The Life -- I spoke at a high school yesterday. I did two classes. Some scenes from the Abbie Hoffman film Steal This Movie were shown and in one class I read a selection from my memoir. I talked about the Yippies and the relevancy of 60's protest in the current Bush era. This is a 60's oriented history class which is regularly exposed to extremely liberal views, it also hears from many conservatives. The class seemed mixed, a third on the liberal future activist side, a third on the right wing Bush side, and the rest fighting sleep. I do this class every year, twice a year and I did notice that my standard jokes got fewer laughs than usual. A recent national poll revealed that quite a few high schoolers favor forms of press censorship so I polled the class realizing I was in an atypical open minded environment and was surprised to find six or seven kids who are not exactly firm believers in the Bill Of Rights. Also some of them still think there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I guess my lesson for the day is that even if they are regularly exposed to the truth (like in this class) some people, including young people will opt for believing in lies or worse.
---
We saw Spartan, a brilliantly directed David Mamet film staring Val Kilmer, the President's daughter is kidnapped and Kilmer playing a government agent with a license to kill and torture is put on the case. Kilmer is great, managing to combine frightening cold blood with death defying passion. At first the whole caper seems apolitical. The President's daughter was in the wrong place at the wrong time and her kidnappers just want to sell her into third world prostitution, they don't even know who she is. As the plot develops a shadowy and highly political conspiracy is discovered, one sinister enough to be worthy of the Bush administration's darkest tendencies. There is a lot of cinema noir here and naturally some of the best scenes are shot in semi darkness. The dialog is crisp and smart. The killings abrupt and unsentimental and they come as easy as pulling the switch on a night lamp. The Clinton era spawned films about Presidents who cheated on their wives, Spartan includes that element but the film takes it to new and far more evil levels. It is cinema truly appropriate for our times.


posted by stew at 9:54 AM


wThursday, April 28, 2005


My central website is http://hometown.aol.com/stewa/stew. For information on Stew Albert's new book --"Who The Hell Is Stew Albert?" go to http://www.redhen.org/stewalbert.htm or Amazon.com. If you want a signed copy get in touch with me at stewa@aol.com Most of my movie reviews written during the period of my Hep C chemotherapy appear at: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/thirdpage/stewreviews.html Thank you Third Page
--------

Power to The People

Dubya
looking for alternative energy
for pumping his prime,
remembering bright lights of Hiroshima
a million suns of limitless power
inspiring return trip
to nuclear reactors
proclaiming with passion

no man is a three mile island.

---
Day In The Life -- Today, I will be speaking to and performing for several suburban high school classes. I'll try to survey the kids attitudes. I do this every year and it's interesting to study the changes. One constant is they always laugh at drug jokes.

----
There was a writer on the Daily Show last night complaining about how touchy-feely teaching methods were making kids less able to compete in the global market. I wonder if she's ever heard of the high school steroid athletic scandals or the blood on the tracks way little league baseball is played these days.


posted by stew at 8:30 AM


wWednesday, April 27, 2005


My central website is http://hometown.aol.com/stewa/stew. For information on Stew Albert's new book --"Who The Hell Is Stew Albert?" go to http://www.redhen.org/stewalbert.htm or Amazon.com. If you want a signed copy get in touch with me at stewa@aol.com Most of my movie reviews written during the period of my Hep C chemotherapy appear at: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/thirdpage/stewreviews.html Thank you Third Page
--------

Sometimes Free Speech

Always
used to say
back in the day
Victory for the Vietcong
proclaiming desirable red triumph
while puffing on joint
in headlines of Berkeley Barb braggadocio
nothing ever happened to me
except I got high.

After 9/11
a Muslim cleric told his posse
we must defend the Taliban
against America
no one who heard
his divine puffery
ever got to Afghanastan
but a jury just said
he's going to prison for life
for having waged war against America
with his mouth
without firing a shot.

-----
Day In The Life --I'm reading a fun book, Killed By Capitalism by John Ross. It's a great fusion of memoir, novel and history of the American left. Ross was once a member of a Maoist outfit called Progressive Labor. So was I. He became disillusioned and quit. So did I. While a member of the organization he secretly violated the Party's ban on drugs. He smoked pot and took speed. I did not. I figured I gave my word and I kept it, till I quit. Now the funny thing is I was always a sort of suspect guy in PL, I wrote funny poetry and everyone thought I got high. But Ross was a Party star, a role model because he was the chief organizer of a tenants union. And now I find out he was always high. Funny thing is I feel disillusioned with PL all over again.
---
Jane Fonda was on Bill Maher's Real Time last night. Still stunning, she's also not afraid to be brilliant in public and she retains her old ideals and brings them up to date by opposing Bush in Iraq. Though she still is a bit too serious, she ought to relax more and occasionally just kibitz. Maybe she should have married a Yippie and not Tom Hayden? After all, Jane , while sitting in her sport's car, once said to me, "get in cutie," she was a dangerous driver. But I wasn't worried about crackups. I would have died happily.


posted by stew at 8:45 AM


wTuesday, April 26, 2005


My central website is http://hometown.aol.com/stewa/stew. For information on Stew Albert's new book --"Who The Hell Is Stew Albert?" go to http://www.redhen.org/stewalbert.htm or Amazon.com. If you want a signed copy get in touch with me at stewa@aol.com Most of my movie reviews written during the period of my Hep C chemotherapy appear at: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/thirdpage/stewreviews.html Thank you Third Page
--------

All Aboard

Are crazy Christians
cracking up
like lightening
Japanese train
picking up wild speed
cause
they be thinking
their jumping Jesus
is just around the corner?

Over reaching,
Bush and buddies in Christ
approval ratings going way down
cause Americans want money not mullahs
but Democrats also in downer tubes
because their train
never gets out of the station.

----
Day In The Life --- I've been picking out the CD's for our month vacation. Our musical tastes stopped changing in the 70's. If we buy a new album it will be something like Judy Collins singing Leonard Cohen songs. Oh wait, we are looking at the Dixie Chicks because they passed the anti-Bush political test. Anyone have any tips on new albums?

I'll be speaking at a suburban high school this Thursday. I do it every term, (even when I was on chemo) it's a way of keeping tabs on the present.

---
Returners -- is a Japanese Sci-Fi flick about a very cute time traveling girl who goes back to the past (our present) to wipe out alien invaders who will eventually destroy the future. She is morally hyper and she hooks up with a young handsome guy who is a sort of good natured gangster-killer who is partners with an old woman who always sits at a computer. There are lots of good fight scenes, a really evil villain and the chemistry between the young partners is fun. The film's conclusion confirms Japan's post Hiroshima preference for pacifism.


posted by stew at 8:45 AM


wMonday, April 25, 2005


My central website is http://hometown.aol.com/stewa/stew. For information on Stew Albert's new book --"Who The Hell Is Stew Albert?" go to http://www.redhen.org/stewalbert.htm or Amazon.com. If you want a signed copy get in touch with me at stewa@aol.com Most of my movie reviews written during the period of my Hep C chemotherapy appear at: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/thirdpage/stewreviews.html Thank you Third Page
--------

Good Morning America

Early morning rain
falling gently
on many methods of barbaric mood.
War prisoners on all sides being murdered
while American prisons fill up with back men
while wages fall
while Christ rises on television
crucifying the filibuster.

End times for democracy?

-----------
Day In The Life -- Jessica went to SF and her second year law student finals. I found out she doesn't like jazz. How can that be? Oh right, her mother doesn't care for jazz either. Heredity on the female side.

We went to the second night Seder at Gretta's. Why do we have a second Seder exactly like the first? Why do we say at the second Seder --"Why on all other nights do we eat leavened bread?" When it's not true because we said the same thing the night before, at the first Seder-- and we ate only unleavened bread (matzoh)? It gets repetitive. (My father always used to worry about this issue.) But this second Seder was fun, very nice people and really great food.

-----
I am starting to worry about Deadwood's version of Calamity Jane. She really is drinking too much.


posted by stew at 8:38 AM


wSunday, April 24, 2005


My central website is http://hometown.aol.com/stewa/stew. For information on Stew Albert's new book --"Who The Hell Is Stew Albert?" go to http://www.redhen.org/stewalbert.htm or Amazon.com. If you want a signed copy get in touch with me at stewa@aol.com Most of my movie reviews written during the period of my Hep C chemotherapy appear at: http://www.emptymirrorbooks.com/thirdpage/stewreviews.html Thank you Third Page
--------

Passing Over?

Seder bonds
of ancient slaves proclaiming freedom,
there must be some way out of Bush,

four cups of wine
four questions,
a saga
told again
in cadences of communism
and
Chasidism,

at the shores of a red sea
but not yet seeing
the waters divide.

Are we going in anyway?

-------

Day In The Life -- I introduced Paul Krassner at the Wordstock event. Glad to do it, he is a very old pal, and I'm always pleased to plug my book. A funny thing happened on my way to the intro. Paul did not (for a moment) recognize me. It was because of my short hair cut. For decades he has known me as the blond guy with long very curly hair. The chemo knocked out my curls, my hair looked weird so I had it cut short. And Paul was tricked by the absence of a very familiar image. He did figure me out after a few seconds probably by the east coast tones of my voice.

Last night's Seder at our home was one of the best ever. Probably because of the interesting mix of characters present of diverse religious attiudes, of diverse ages, politics, races and professions. Diversity does love company. And of course our daughter was there.

----
Shark Tale -- It's all about a vegan shark who won't eat living creatures and a very egotistical and weak-minded fish who by accident gets the unearned reputation of being a shark killer. The mellow shark's father played by Rebert Deniro is a kind of Mafia boss who is deeply disappointed by his son's gentleness and tastes in cuisine. The film is colorfully and imaginatively animated but the plot is silly even for a movie about talking fish.


posted by stew at 9:26 AM