Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Shrove Tuesday 2016

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras parade at Universal Studios - Orlando in 2015

When most people hear the phrase Mardi Gras, they tend to conjure up images of colorful parades, parties, and celebrations, especially the ones which take place each year in New Orleans.

Most of those people are unaware that such celebrations are the conclusion of Carnival, a Christian season that begins on the Feast of the Epiphany and ends on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

The day before Ash Wednesday is often referred to as Fat Tuesday, (the English translation of "Mardi Gras"), a day for enjoying all sorts of foods which are often foregone during Lent. Although I do plan on indulging in some pre-Lent treats today
(40 days is a long time), I prefer the term "Shrove Tuesday," a reference to the penitential aspects of the Lenten season which begins the next day.

"And goodness knows you have done a lot for which you need forgiveness."

I have that in common with every other human person, yes...

Voting, Again

Today is the New Hampshire Primary, and so we'll be subjected all day to the usual breathless "analysis" of events that haven't even happened yet. It will be an actual relief when real results take the place of the poll data, which we've been buried under ever since the Iowa Caucuses concluded last week.

I don't know if the polls will turn out to be as mistaken today as they were when Iowans actually voted, but I certainly hope they are. If the predicted victory by asshat Donald Trump in the Republican half of the primary comes to pass, I'm not sure New Hampshire voters will ever be able to live down the shame of making such an idiotic choice.

"It's still a free country, right?"

Yes, which means the people of New Hampshire can express their preferences at the ballot box just like the rest of us...I'm just saying that if they fuck up and pick Trump, they'll deserve all the opprobrium which will come their way...


From the pen of Henry Payne, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

I don't really enjoy going to movies by myself, so it was a rare treat when my best friend Skip and I took in a matinee on Saturday during his visit this past weekend. We took in The Finest Hours, an old-fashioned "popcorn" movie which I highly recommend.

At a particularly tense juncture in the film, one of the Coast Guard rescuers begins to sing "Haul Away Joe," a traditional sea shanty. He is soon joined by the other three men on the rescue boat, and the effect of the scene is to help you understand the bond that seamen share with one another. It is one of the most moving moments in the film.

I was not familiar with the Irish rock band Kodaline, which is featured on the film's soundtrack album (last week's Music Recommendation). They've only been around for a few years, and have had only modest chart success to this point. I enjoyed their contribution to the film's score, and hope it brings their music to a wider audience. They deserve the attention.

The band's latest album, Coming Up for Air, was released one year ago today (February 9, 2015), and peaked at No. 113 on the Billboard 200.

Today's send-off is Kodaline's rendition of "Haul Away Joe," which plays over the movie's end credits. Enjoy...

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