You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Famous People’ category.

This Twitter bot tricks angry trolls into arguing with it for hours.

High anxiety: The surreal and disturbingly dreamlike paintings of George Tooker.

How to turn a broken terra-cotta pot shard into a lovely flower pendant.

Colin Kaepernick’s exile is a labor rights violation. Unions should come to his defense.

Mother of two wakes up at 4 am to create 18th century furniture for dollhouses and the details will amaze you.

The shockingly simple, surprisingly cost-effective way to end homelessness.

A jeweler called her $130 engagement ring “pathetic.” The woman’s response goes viral.

The women reporters who sparked the #MeToo movement are already being written out of the story.

Your Christmas decorations can’t compete with the light-up Millennium Falcon on this family’s roof.

Studies show that husbands stress women twice as much as children.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Advertisements

Yesterday I saw the entire Internet explode in grief because Aretha Franklin died. She was an amazing talent and she will be missed. I’m not going to write too extensively about her since so much has already been posted online. Instead I’m just going to post this clip from the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers where Aretha made this memorable appearance as the sassy diner owner who also sang her song “Think.”

As you may know, this past weekend was the one-year anniversary of the Unite the Right protest in Charlottesville which resulted in the horrible death of Heather Heyer. As for Donald Trump, he has steadfastly refused to denounce the white supremacists and their actions last year. There were quite a few vigils for the victims of Charlottesville (such as two events I went to in the same week on August 14 and August 16) but I find it telling that Donald Trump has refused to distance himself from these latter-day Nazis and KKK members and has said little about Heather Heyer or the other people who were victimized by the alt-right.

For the first anniversary of Charlottesville, one of the original organizers of the Unite the Right rally, Jason Kessler, wanted to do a repeat performance in Charlottesville. When he was denied a permit for his little shindig, he decided to move the event north to my hometown of Washington, DC. He probably figured that since Donald Trump is basically a racist fascist sympathizer, President Trump would be flattered if a group of his most loyal alt-right supporters would have a march to Lafayette Square (located just across from the White House) then have an Unite the Right 2 rally.

Except things didn’t turn out that way. Donald Trump decided to head out of town this weekend. (After all, even though they are his most ardent supporters, they aren’t rich like he and his cronies are so they really don’t matter at all, except for getting their votes at the ballot box in 2020.)

I decided to head down even though I knew that I would be risking my life in doing so. I’m just fed up with all of the hatred of the poor, minorities, and women that has sprung up gradually since Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980 and it has continued through the years until the hatred grew and grew and it’s now this big monster that is a threat to this country. I’ve experienced some of this hatred myself ever since I was in elementary school when the kids called me “retarded.” This taunting went through high school. Even though the teasing stopped during my freshman year at Anne Arundel Community College, I was still frequently looked down upon like I was some kind of an inferior lowlife freak (mainly from those who went to my high school—the students who went to different high schools and didn’t know about my so-called “retarded” reputation treated me like I was a human being). I ended up permanently moving from Glen Burnie as an adult because I knew that, no matter what I did, these people would never see me as anything other than someone who is inferior.

But I will admit that my experiences with facing this kind of hatred is nothing compared to an African American, as the families of people like Travon Martin, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, and numerous others will attest.

Going downtown to face those Nazis wasn’t an easy decision for me. I still remember vividly the car that was intentionally plowed into a group of people by that alt-right scumbag in Charlottesville. There was a possibility that something like that could’ve happened to me. I was still waffling on the fence about going to DC last Sunday until I saw this trailer for Michael Moore’s upcoming documentary, Fahrenheit 11/9.

Watching that preview only strengthened my resolve to go ahead with my plans for last Sunday. I was all ready to go downtown with my camera, take photos of these alt-right assholes, then plaster them all over social media in the hopes that someone will recognize these assholes and they either lose their jobs or get evicted from where they are living or their neighbors shun them or something equally bad happens to them.

I knew that there was a chance that I would end up like Heather Heyer but I swallowed that fear and headed downtown anyway. I began to realize that this is what a soldier in wartime has to deal with, especially if he or she is sent to the front lines.

Before I left home I took out a blank sheet of paper and wrote down my name, address, the phone numbers of my next of kin, the cell phone number of my housemate (who had just left for a week-long trip visiting relatives in New Jersey the day before), and the phone numbers of my church and the minister. Then I folded the paper and put it in the pocket of my shorts. I felt that should the worst happen to me like what happened to Heather Heyer last year, at least some people will be notified so they could plan some kind of a memorial service for all of my friends, relatives, and acquaintances.

So I took the Green Line Metro from the Greenbelt station. As I was about to board the train I noticed a bunch of people leaving the train who looked like they were cosplaying as their favorite anime and video game character. I remembered that the annual giant East Coast anime convention known as Otakon was that weekend and it was the third and final day when the entire con pretty much closes down after 3 p.m. (I used to go to Otakon but I haven’t been since 2013 because I grew tired of paying at least $75 for a weekend pass only to encounter huge crowds everywhere I went. Besides my finances have gotten increasingly dicey so I really can’t afford major splurges like Otakon at the moment.) So I boarded the Green Line train and switched at L’Enfant Plaza. While I was switching trains I saw this artist who was engrossed in doing this sketch right in the Metro station.

Artist

I switched to the Silver Line then got off at Federal Triangle. I made my way to Freedom Plaza, where many of the counter protesters had gathered.

Counter Protest Rally in Freedom Plaza

I arrived late in the afternoon just in time for the beginning of the march to Lafayette Square. I managed to get a few pictures of people with their signs.

Counter Protest Rally in Freedom Plaza

Counter Protest Rally in Freedom Plaza

Counter Protest Rally in Freedom Plaza

Counter Protest Rally in Freedom Plaza

Counter Protest Rally in Freedom Plaza

Counter Protest Rally in Freedom Plaza

Counter Protest Rally in Freedom Plaza

Counter Protest Rally in Freedom Plaza

As you can see from the photos there was a mix of people of all ages, races, gender identities, and sexual orientations. One of the people in the next photo even gave me free bottled water after I shot this picture.

Counter Protest Rally in Freedom Plaza

Counter Protest Rally in Freedom Plaza

Counter Protest Rally in Freedom Plaza

Eventually the march began from Freedom Plaza. I heard people with microphones or bullhorns warning us that this march was risky since we would be directly confronting the Unite the Right 2 people. People’s spirits were up despite the risks involved and the fact that it was very humid outside. (Fortunately the day was cloudy so we didn’t have to deal with being in direct sunlight.)

Counter Protest Rally in Freedom Plaza

So the march started to move towards Lafayette Square.

The March From Freedom Plaza to Lafayette Square

The March From Freedom Plaza to Lafayette Square

The March From Freedom Plaza to Lafayette Square

The March From Freedom Plaza to Lafayette Square

There were Secret Service people around, especially as we started to get closer to Lafayette Square.

The March From Freedom Plaza to Lafayette Square

There was a street musician on the march route who serenaded the marchers with his rendition of “Stand By Me” while singing this altered lyric, “No, I won’t be afraid. No I won’t be afraid of the KKK. For as long as you stand by me.” He also earned a lot of tip money that day (as you can see in the photo below).

The March From Freedom Plaza to Lafayette Square

The March From Freedom Plaza to Lafayette Square

The March From Freedom Plaza to Lafayette Square

The March From Freedom Plaza to Lafayette Square

The March From Freedom Plaza to Lafayette Square

The March From Freedom Plaza to Lafayette Square

We finally arrived at Lafayette Square where there was a huge police presence (some of them on horseback) along with extensive barricades that completely blocked the other end of Lafayette Square.

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

There was another street musician in Lafayette Square who was playing his violin while earning a huge amount of tips in the process.

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

So we all crowded into one end of Lafayette Square while trying to see if anyone had seen any alt-right Nazis or KKK people there. I overheard someone who was sitting in a tree saying that she could barely see them because they were located so far on the other side of the park. So we all waited patiently as we heard thunder and saw a few lightning bolts appear before the rain really started. (Which is why you can see plenty of umbrellas in some of these photographs.)

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

At one point a guy approached me asking if I want a free sign that he had just made up. Apparently he had created a bunch of signs and he decided to give them away. I took him up on his offer. Here is what that sign looked like.

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Here’s a glimpse of the White House in the distance.

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

PETA was there as well along with two costumed folks.

Counter Protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington, DC, August 12,2018

Lafayette Park has long been home to this 24-hour-a-day/7-days-per-week anti-nuclear protest camp that has been there since Ronald Reagan occupied the White House. It has continued even though both of its original founders are now deceased. I saw that this camp had been moved from its usual spot at the edge of Lafayette Park that’s closest to the White House all the way over to where the counter protesters were gathered. (Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of that site.)

After waiting for a while I pulled out my smartphone looking for news on the alt-right protesters only to find out that a whopping 20-25 protesters from the other side had shown up. The counter protesters outnumbered the alt-right protesters. When I read later news reports, I saw how pathetic the turnout really was on the other side.

Unite the Right was a pathetic failure

There were plenty of reasons for the pathetic display. But the basic issue is that Charlottesville was a complete disaster — a moment that was supposed to somehow win white nationalists favor, but actively turned much of the nation against them when they engaged in violence and, in one case, literal murder.

White nationalists dwarfed by crowds of counter protesters in Washington

The showing from “Unite the Right 2” participants fell far short of the hundreds that organizer Jason Kessler was expecting, based on his event permit application.

Kessler, who organized last year’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, blamed the low turnout on logistical issues and confusion regarding the group’s transportation — a claim echoed by at least two men who spoke to reporters. “People are scared to come out after what happened last year,” one of the men added.

Rally by White Nationalists Was Over Almost Before It Began

After weeks of hype, white supremacists managed to muster just a couple of dozen supporters on Sunday in the nation’s capital for the first anniversary of their deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va., finding themselves greatly outnumbered by counterprotesters, police officers and representatives of the news media.

Unite the Right: White nationalists outnumbered at Washington rally

As a small group of white supremacists gathered for their second “Unite the Right” rally, the rain began to fall.

Much like the sodden pavements outside the White House, the follow up to last year’s rally in Charlottesville was nothing more than a damp squib.

This last article explains why I never saw any alt-right protesters nor was I able to come up to them close enough so I could get a shot with my camera.

‘Hell no’: counterprotesters outnumber white supremacists at White House rally

To protect their safety and that of others, officials had organised a special route for the parade. Kessler and his companions were escorted onto the metro. A special car was prepared for them, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported. In downtown Washington, police officers said they planned to clear part of the metro station platform to escort Kessler up to the street. As he came up the elevators, he was met with hundreds of news photographers and a roar of outrage from protesters amassed waiting.

In Lafayette Park, in front of the White House, Kessler and his tiny group of supporters were taken away to their own distant corner of the park talked to each other in front of journalists. Cordoned off and dozens of meters away, too far to even see him, a crowd of thousands of counter-protesters waved signs and shouted their disapproval.

In a nutshell, the tiny alt-right group showed up at Lafayette Square earlier than originally scheduled then decided to cut their rally short when the rain came down and leave the area. So the counter protesters won this round simply by outnumbering the alt-right.

To be honest, I don’t even know what Jason Kessler was thinking when he decided that DC would be the perfect place to have his little hate rally. With the exception of having a white supremacist currently occupying the White House, he was holding a rally in hostile territory. There is an African American majority living in that city. Plus there are plenty of Latinos and LGBTQ folks who also call DC home. There was no way in hell that they were going to sit back and let the alt-right have their rally with no blowback at all. Especially since it was the one-year anniversary of that brutal murder of Heather Heyer at the hands (or maybe I should say car) of a white supremacist.

Hell, many of the local bars and restaurants in DC had decided that they would not serve any white nationalists.

I arrived in downtown DC while bracing myself for the likely possibility of a violent confrontation. In the end it turned out that I stood a greater chance of being struck by lightning than getting killed by a Nazi. I’m glad that no one was killed on Sunday and that the alt-right were too minuscule to provide much of a threat.

I grew tired of sitting in the rain with my umbrella so I decided to head back to the nearest Metro station that was opened. Metro, in its infinite wisdom (sarcasm), decided to close the two Metro stations that were closest to Lafayette Square. I ended up walking several blocks until I found the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro station. While I was walking I saw a group of black-clad antifa demonstrators blocking the corner of 13th and G Streets, Northwest. I didn’t know why they were doing this. They managed to get this white car that was headed in the antifa’s direction to turn around and drive a different route. Here are a few photos of what I saw on my way back to the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro station.

Counter Protesters Agains the Unite the Right 2 Protesters

Counter Protesters Agains the Unite the Right 2 Protesters

Counter Protesters Agains the Unite the Right 2 Protesters

I just kept on walking towards the Metro station. It’s just as well that I kept my distance because I read some news stories about antifa and they weren’t flattering at all:

Unite the Right 2018: antifa attacks police and journalists in Charlottesville and DC

At Unite the Right, black-clad antifa again give peaceful protesters a bad name.

I would rather focus on the fact that the counter protesters won through largely peaceful means. However, I read this opinion piece that sounds pretty alarming: I was at the sad white supremacists gathering. It didn’t fool me. Their movement is rising.

It sounds like the counter protesters have won a battle but it hasn’t decisively won the war—yet. We’ll see how things turn out in the mid-term elections this November. In the meantime, here’s a video I also shot at the counter protest that included all kinds of footage ranging from shouting some unique slogans (such as “Oy Vey! Oy Vey! Nazi Scum Go Away!”) to street musicians serenading the counter protesters as they made their way to Lafayette Square.

Here’s hoping that there won’t be a Unite the Right 3 anywhere in the United States next year.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

The real reason employees have no loyalty to corporations.

World Cup 2018: The moral clarity of Pussy Riot’s protest.

Contrary to the title of Trump’s first book, The Art of the Deal, former NBC president explains how bad Donald Trump is at negotiating deals.

An artist has been accused of plagiarizing Japanese artists and using others’ work without credit.

Bitcoin is not a good way to get started with investing.

Study finds that Trump voters are driven by fear of losing status, not economic anxiety.

Lucky the translucent lobster may be one in a 100 million.

Here’s why no one should ever own an Amazon Echo or any other voice assistant product.

How movie stars conquered the “gig economy.”

The delights of parsing The Beatles’ most nonsensical song, “I am the Walrus.”

Celebration, Florida: Six bizarre realities of life in a town owned by Disney.

How for-profit prisons have become the biggest lobby no one is talking about.

The Brady Bunch house is for sale.

The Hitler family is alive and well—but they are determined to end the bloodline.

This woman had the perfect response when ICE agents boarded her bus.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I’m currently on Medium.com’s mailing list even though I haven’t written anything for them since 2016 (when I wrote this opinion piece called Kids and the Internet). For the past couple of years or so I’ve been getting links to a series of political commentaries by Caitlin Johnstone. She’s an Australian writer who’s based in Australia yet devotes the bulk of her political opinions to American politics. (Which is curious mainly because I have Australian acquaintances whom I know from online and they have posted plenty online about their current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and it’s not exactly high praise either. It’s not like there’s nothing going on in Australian politics that is worth writing about.)

Caitlin Johnstone fashions herself as a progressive left person yet there have been heavy criticism of her from the left, which you can read here, here, and here. I’ve read some of her stuff off and on. Sometimes I agree with her and other times I don’t. Her opinions are a pretty mixed bag with me.

So I came across the latest email from Medium which had this link to the latest commentary from Caitlin Johnstone: In a Corporatist System Of Government, Corporate Censorship is State Censorship. She goes into the issue of how corporations in American have gotten so much economic and political power that they can silence a person’s freedom of speech.

I basically agreed with the premise of that article. Until she used Alex Jones as an example of someone who has become the victim of too much corporate power.

Alex Jones is a bad example of too much dominance of corporate oligarchy. On the surface it seemed like he’s being ganged up by corporations this week as he lost his accounts with nearly every single social media platform with the exception of Twitter.

But then you start to remember why Alex Jones has become such a public lightning rod and it is far wider than his Infowars show. He had repeatedly attacked and insulted the parents of the children who were ruthlessly shot to death by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School by saying that this incident is a hoax. What Jones said on the air has resulted in these parents being harassed with death threats by Jones’ fans. It’s no wonder these parents have filed a defamation lawsuit against him. More recently, Jones’ own lawyer is seeking to make the addresses of those beleaguered parents public, which will only lead to more harassment from unhinged Jones fans if the judge allows the lawyer to get his own way.

It’s bad enough that these parents had to bury their own children but to needlessly endure harassment from Jones and his fans on top of that is unconscionable.

But that’s not the only isolated incident. I still remember when Alex Jones promoted that since-discredited Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which held that Hillary Clinton and other top Democratic leaders ran a satanic child sex ring from the basement of a pizza parlor in Washington, DC called Comet Ping Pong. That resulted in a man bringing a gun to Comet Ping Pong, which scared the hell out of the owner, employees, and customers.

If you read the Twitter feed of Jones’ ex-wife, Kelly, you’d get an impression that Alex is not exactly playing with a full deck of cards either on the air or in real life.

Had Jones limited his on-air discussion to crazy talk like gay frogs, I would be defending his right to free speech no matter how repugnant I personally feel about the majority of his views. But when he uses his show to attack regular ordinary everyday people like the Sandy Hook parents or those who work for Comet Ping Pong who only wanted to serve tasty pizza to its customers while providing encouragement for his fans to attack and threaten those people as well, then he’s being little more than a bully who deserves to be punished for his actions.

You don’t have to take my word for it. This week four law professors who specialize in freedom of speech issues made a friend of the court filings in another slander lawsuit against Alex Jones that had been filed by a former State Department official and Democratic Party activist saying that Jones should not be hiding behind the First Amendment on the grounds that “false speech does not serve the public interest the way that true speech does. And indeed, there is no constitutional value in false statements of fact.”

Since Caitlin Johnstone is Australian, I can easily forgive her for not knowing that the U.S. Supreme Court had decided a long time ago that there are certain instances when freedom of speech can be limited—one example is falsely yelling “FIRE!” in a crowded movie theater when there is really no fire. Yes, I think corporate censorship is a real concern and how corporate censorship can threaten the Constitution is a real issue that needs to be discussed in public. But I think she’s way off-base for using Alex Jones as an example of the excesses of corporate censorship because he does not deserve any kind of compassion after what he did to make the lives of the Sandy Hook parents a living nightmare on top of that nightmare they were going through with losing a child to gun violence.

Alex Jones deserved to lose his various social media platforms this week.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

UCLA has a digital archive of over 1,800 children’s books dating from 1728-1999.

Americans are receiving unordered parcels from Chinese e-criminals and they can’t do anything to stop them.

An explanation on what is an animation pipeline.

A study shows that most artists make very little money, with women faring the worst.

Galapagos finches are caught in the act of becoming a new species.

Why incompetent people think they are amazing: An animated lesson from David Dunning (of the famous Dunning-Kruger Effect).

True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.

Time capsule letters from the 18th century found in the butt of a Jesus statue.

Check out these crochet amigurumi toys based on video game characters like Plants vs. Zombies and Super Mario Bros.

Everything you always wanted to know about the Krampus but were afraid to ask.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Creators are making longer videos to cater to the YouTube algorithm.

Monica Lewinsky has a reckoning with her relationship with Bill Clinton. We should too.

In a surreal twist, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano starts raining shiny green gems.

Why it’s fair to compare the detention of migrants to concentration camps.

A look at the 29 most hilarious pizza box drawings.

Why the U.S. will descend further into violence and chaos.

Nicaraguans have lost their fear of dictatorship and it’s an amazing thing to watch.

A gruesome discovery in a trash deposit proves that Jamestown colonists resorted to cannibalism.

What if Trump had been a Russian asset since 1987?

Jesus stood up to the Roman Empire and he would resist the U.S. empire today.

Man decorates the roof of his house with a life-sized Millennium Falcon.

Unlike most millennials, Norway’s are rich.

How the Trump presidency is resurrecting the Jim Crow era.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I’ve just read the news about First Daughter Ivanka Trump closing down her fashion line. While I feel bad for the employees who will be losing their jobs, I have zero sympathy for Ivanka Trump.

Actually she was someone whom—under entirely different circumstances—I would have felt sorry for because she didn’t have it easy despite growing up in wealth and privilege. Try to imagine being a kid who’s old enough to learn about the media coverage of her parents’ divorce along with her father’s open affair with Marla Maples (who later became his second wife for a brief spell). Try to imagine growing up with a father publicly saying all kinds of sexually inappropriate things about his own daughter, which The Daily Show has archived in this two-part series: Don’t Forget: Donald Trump Wants to Bang His Daughter and Again, Don’t Forget: Donald Trump Wants to Bang His Daughter.

While I would love to feel sorry for her, I just can’t do it. Ivanka chose to work for her father after she finished college—the same father who said those sexually inappropriate things about her. She has spent the bulk of her professional career working for her father. When her father was elected president, Ivanka moved with her family to Washington, DC in order to serve as an advisor to her father.

I still remember when Donald Trump first arrived at the White House I read about some people expressing hopes that Ivanka Trump would serve as some kind of a moderating force for her father in the White House—a kind of a softer version of a social justice warrior. That was definitely wishful thinking on their part because, to date, I have yet to see Ivanka take any kind of a major stand on an issue while urging her father to support that issue. It’s like this Daily Beast headline says: How Ivanka Trump’s Loyalty to Her Father Killed Her Fashion Label.

The rationale for people hoping for Ivanka to be a social justice champion in the Trump Administration was the fact that she claimed to be a “feminist” while also publishing the book Women Who Work. If these people had read closer about Ivanka Trump, they would have realized that she was never going to be a white wealthy female version of Martin Luther King. There were the women who work in those factories in Third World countries making her clothes and shoes for her fashion line who were paid very little while working in poor conditions with little occupational safety and they were frequently separated from their own children. There was also the fact that she was very reluctant to give maternity leave to her own female employees working in her U.S. offices.

Her fashion label won’t be missed. Her clothes didn’t impress me at all. In fact, I’ve seen better designed clothes at Target. Then there were the accusations that her fashion line has plagiarized the designs of some of the shoes from Aquazurra. Even if I was a major supporter of her father, I would not be interested in wearing anything from her fashion line because her clothes, shoes, and jewelry were mediocre at best and possibly plagiarized from others at worst.

I’ll end this post with this Saturday Night Live fake ad from last year which skewered Ivanka Trump (played by Scarlett Johannson) and it still remains among my favorite parodies of Donald Trump and family.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

The day after the Fourth of July I had to travel to Rockville in order to run an errand on behalf of the boss at my day job. I decided to take the Metro to Rockville instead of driving because I know from previous experience that the Rockville-Bethesda area tends to be a total nightmare car commute during the week (especially during rush hour). The place where I needed to go happened to be located just a few blocks away from the Rockville Metro station so I thought it would be no big deal.

Except I made a wrong turn out of the station and I didn’t realize it until I reached St. Mary’s Catholic Church with its adjacent graveyard. This particular cemetery is famous for having the graves of a family of authors—F. Scott Fitzgerald, his wife Zelda, and their daughter Scottie. They are buried alongside other members of the extended Fitzgerald family. I first took photos of this gravesite for this blog back in 2012 where I used my Canon EOS Digital Rebel DSLR camera. (I basically focused on F. Scott, Zelda, and Scottie’s joint grave where they are buried together.) I took more photos of the same gravesite in 2015 when I used my Droid Ultra smartphone. Compared to my previous photos, I noticed that someone had left offerings on the grave, including flowers, pens, and a bottle of Tanqueray gin. I also took photos of the graves of the extended Fitzgerald family members who were also buried there next to the most famous literary Fitzgeralds.

It’s now 2018 and I found myself back at the same gravesite with a new smartphone (a Samsung Galaxy J3). I took a new photo of the same grave with my new smartphone. The one thing I noticed is that, compared to my 2015 visit, there were far fewer offerings left at the grave. If you look closely enough towards the bottom edge of the photo below, you’ll see that someone had left offerings of a pen, a pencil, a button (huh?!?), and a purple guitar pick (say what?!?). Okay I can see the pen and pencil since the Fitzgeralds were writers and maybe I could understand the button since they all wore clothes with buttons on them throughout their lives. But a guitar pick?!? I had never heard of F. Scott, Zelda, or Scottie picking up a guitar or some other stringed instrument (such as an ukulele or a mandolin). I only knew all three as writers. Well, in any case, I took a new photo of the grave with my new smartphone camera for the heck of it.

I didn’t dawdle in that cemetery too long partly because I had previously visited it and partly because I was in Rockville on an errand that I needed to get done. Fortunately the building I needed to go to was within a short walking distance from the church and cemetery. The big downside is that the entire nation was under this horrible heatwave where the temperature went up to the high 90’s so making that short walk was like taking a walking tour of Hades.

Once I finished my errand I headed back to the Rockville Metro because it was just too hot to hang around the area too long. On my way back to the Metro station I saw this interesting circular sculpture that had writings in a variety of languages. I took a few photos of this sculpture then went back on the Metro towards home.

Once I reached the Metro station I decided to kill time waiting for the next Metro train by checking my phone. I happened to fire up my Twitter app when I learned about the sudden death of Ed Schultz, which was so shocking to me that I wrote this post about him and my memories of him (including the times when my tweets were aired on Schultz’s old MSNBC show).

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Baroque-inspired portraits of black girls highlight their amazing natural hair so other girls would stop hiding it.

Millennials born in the 1980s may never recover from the Great Recession.

Retro ads reveal sky-high prices of now archaic technology.

White people should be more afraid of other whites than they are of people of color.

Couple have been using same 1950s appliances for more than a half a century—but they’re finally ditching them.

The Goler clan spent years in their isolated, inbred town until the cops showed up.

Why the coming collapse will happen in the United States.

Tech investors are increasingly investing in midwest tech companies instead of Silicon Valley.

Why does Donald Trump normalize corruption? Because Bill and Hillary Clinton normalized it.

MIT economist warns that the U.S. has regressed to a developing nation status.

Disney and Pixar offer free online animation and film classes.

How Sears CEO Eddie Lampert may come out ahead even if his retailer goes out of business.

22 things you won’t believe are in the Bible.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Previous Entries

Categories

Advertisements