Ithaca Blog

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Teachout Draws Out Progressive Heart And Muscle In NY

New York City did not come through for Teachout over Cuomo, but 20 or so upstate counties did. Tompkins County was her biggest win, with over 70% of the vote. But even less liberal neighbors like Cortland, Schuyler and Seneca counties went for the upstart progressive over the big-cash incumbent.

It is a strong statement against big money corrupting our government. It is also a major statement against fracking. It is an historical outcome and represents new forces in politics. It's not a de facto victory but it is a de jure one. It's a good day.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

In My Book (Thank You, John Lennon)

I have written a book about the Brooklyn of old - about my childhood - a self-published, unconventional book.

It is not a very straightforward narrative and its chapters are almost like poems, or spoken pieces. Well, they are short, anyway.

I can't blame anyone but myself for the oddness except maybe John Lennon. He wrote a book in 1964 called "In His Own Write" which made me think of writing.

He wrote wonderfully, but strangely. He wrote very short items you couldn't really call stories. It was just writing.

It was the first book I ever bought. I loved the music of the Beatles, especially appreciating Lennon's part in it. I knew he was wordy, funny, tough, a little crazy, and all of that resonated with me. I didn't know about the book until a few years after it was written. I bought it right away. I was just a kid. (It's funny to me now to think of a ten-year old buying a book for himself.)

The book amazed me with its humor and style. I read it over and over, loving the word-play and rule-breaking.

What I couldn't know as a kid was Lennon's debt to Lewis Carroll. And, a bit, James Joyce. I realize it now.

And mine to him. Despite his celebrity, and occasional outlandishness, he was modest of aspect. He used to speak of his lack of education, which he regretted. He taught people, despite it.