Saturday, August 20, 2016

Streisand's never been 'hip'

I wrote about Barbra Streisand's concert for the community newsletter POLLY'S BREW and have had a ton of e-mails asking if I had anything else to add.

For those who missed my column, this week Barbra came to town and gave a pricey concert.

I don't dislike Barbra but I'd never spend that kind of money on anyone except maybe Cass Elliot if she were still around.

I love Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell, for example, but they'd never charge that kind of money.

My brother got tickets and he took my mother and I. 

He bought three ticket -- one for him, one for our mom and then thought he'd find someone easy for the third ticket.


My husband likes rock and soul and he's fit into the family so well for decades because they share that.  My father likes the blues as well.

But we're not really a Broadway family.

Celine Dion, for example, has no fans in my family -- not even my brother.

But he and my mother like Barbra and usually see her movies together.

And my mother and he love Barbra as a singer.

I don't dislike Barbra and when they couldn't find anyone else to go with, I said, "Sure."

I wrote about how Barbra did two sets.  She had a break in between and I won't bore you by again going into the bad novelty act that came on between the two sets.

Each of the sets was roughly one hour.

The concert, if you don't know, is because Barbra needs some quick cash to buy a painting at an auction.

So she's doing something like seven or nine cities in this 'tour.'

She talked more than she sang.

She's for Hillary Clinton, of course.

She's been treated poorly, she felt.

Hold on let me grab something from Wikipedia.


That's the cover of Barbra's 1973 album THE WAY WE WERE.

One of the great crimes?  They airbrushed her nose in that photo.

That's probably the big news I left out of the column I wrote.

I didn't think it was accurate -- her 'sadness.'

I've checked with C.I. since and it's not.

Babs had complete control in her Columbia contract from day one and by the mid-to-late 60s, it included approval of all photographs.

So if this was one of the great crimes, Barbra perpetuated it on herself.

The stories weren't that entertaining and she should have sang more and shared less.

Especially since so much of the concert -- basically the entire second set -- was about her new or forthcoming album.  Not sure which, my brother and mother could tell you.  It's either out or due out, I don't know.  She sings Broadway songs as duets with various actors.


The other thing that irritated me -- my column focused only on the music -- was her looking down her nose at her own music.

She did a medley of "A Woman In Love" and "Stoney End."

The first song was written by the Bee Gees and is from the Barry Gibb produced album GUILTY.

GUILTY remains her best selling album of all time with over 5 million copies sold in the US alone.

"A Woman In Love" was one of Barbra's rare number ones.

The reality is, Diana Ross had the hits, not Barbra.

She wasn't radio play.

She sold albums.

Nothing wrong with that.

But she needed hits to sell albums.

And "A Woman In Love" wasn't just a hit, she marketed it in later years in remarks about how it was about empowerment (lyrics include "It's a right I declare . . .").

"Stoney End" is an incredible song written by the late Laura Nyro.

Peggy Lipton, Diana Ross and Linda Ronstadt have all covered it.

As Michael Douglas has noted, in need of a hit, Babs did a note-by-note rip off of Laura's version of her own song.

It gave her, in 1970, the second top ten hit of her career -- a recording career that began in 1963 with her first solo album.

"Stoney End" was her second top ten hit.

Absorb that.

So Barbra runs them together in a medley -- no, it did not work -- and then looks down her unairbrushed nose at the two songs and makes an insulting remark about how she recorded them when she was trying to have hits and be hip.

(Her last hit was in 1996 with "I Found Someone.")

She made clear that she wasn't about being 'hip.'

Of course, her middle-of-the-road recordings made clear she wasn't hip by 1968, if you ask me.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday:

Friday, August 19, 2016.

Starting with the US presidential race . . .

4.7m children in need humanitarian assistance - that’s almost 1 in 3 children in the country

When are candidates going to have to answer how to address this issue?

Especially anticipating Hillary Clinton's response since she voted for the Iraq War and supported it for years as a US Senator and then came back around to supporting it as a Secretary of State.

Where are your answers, Hillary?

You unconvincingly use terms like "regret" and "sorry" -- briefly use them -- but where is the act of contrition, Hillary?

Where is your effort to fix what you have done wrong?

The children of Iraq suffer.

They suffer by living in the continued illegal war that you helped unleash.

The children of Iraq suffer from birth defects from the chemicals used in the war.

The children suffer by becoming refugees.

By losing one or both parents.

What is your answer, Hillary?

What is your proposal as Iraq has become a country with one of the youngest median ages in the world?

What is your proposal as children suffer?

It takes a village?

I guess pushing your responsibilities off on a collective is one of avoiding your mistakes/crimes.

Resilience of people in is being stretched to breaking point. Thousands who fled are still displaced

But you're running for president and you should be able to answer basic questions like what are you going to do about the refugee crisis in Iraq?

8 months pregnant in an airport shelter, the fate of one

You're going to change the world for women and girls -- that's what Gloria Steinem and other idiots keep insisting.

So what are you going to do for the women and girls above?

Gloria's not doing a damn thing for them.  She doesn't care about them.

Can we assume the same of you, Hillary?

Or how about Phyllis Bennis.

Phyllis has been the great dabbler when it comes to Iraq.

She picks it up from time to time as though it's a seasonal sport.

She went on DEMOCRACY WHEN? this week to say Hillary is right about Donald Trump.


When she's attacking Donald Trump for failing to aid in creating a new Red scare?

(Considering Phyll's politics, I am surprised.)

When he's saying we don't need to be involved in all these wars?

When, Phyllis, when is Hillary spot on in her criticism of Donald?

Phyllis then wanted to crib from this site and pick up the point I've been making for months, Hillary needs to answer questions about Iraq that go beyond her 2002 vote and address what she would do today.

Thanks for cribbing, Phyllis, but next time call me so I can walk you through the points you haven't put in the time to brush up on.

To defend Hillary, a new push has emerged: "Rape is okay!!!!"

Writer Liza Featherston (author of FALSE CHOICES: THE FAUX FEMINISM OF HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON) notes this disgusting and disappointing trend in a series of Tweets and reTweets:

  1. Yup. I thought they'd just ignore the Bill rape stuff, not create a "woke rapist" trope.

Sometimes I think ppl in One PIerrepont Plaza must read these media apologetics, snicker: CAN YOU BELIEVE WE ARE NOT EVEN PAYING THESE PPL

I expected Woke Tim Kaine. Nothing HRC does is shocking, it's the creative intellectual gymnastics of her supporters that continue to amaze.

I did not expect that to get behind idea of defeating Trump, we'd be asked to believe in crazy Russian conspiracies, rape apologetics.

These people recoil at "lesser evil" frame. Offended by the very idea Clintons could be "evil" and will not stand for it.

I expected to often agree with Democrats, once primary was over. Hey, Trump sucks amiright? But still with the most ridiculous commentary!

What's the single most reactionary position we can get Hillary supporters to defend before the primaries end?

I predict...male prerogative to rape and still be a feminist.

Throwing poor women off welfare. War.


How to be a male feminist ally: schedule a post-rape phone call to unpack & apologize.

Feminism is a big tent. But I didn't know it had seating section for rapists.

If you're writing think pieces saying that it's OK if Bill Clinton is a rapist pls ask yourself where you went wrong in your life.

Liza's got the Tweet of the week with the last one:  "If you're writing think pieces saying that it's OK if Bill Clinton is a rapist pls ask yourself where you went wrong in your life."

On Iraq, again, what would Hillary do?

After driving Sunni is out of their homes gov.t left them  with no shelter no water no food

This is an ongoing war and people are suffering.

Presidential candidates need to be discussing this and laying out plans.

Turning to violence, Thursday, the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack and fighter aircraft conducted five strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Mosul, four strikes struck three ISIL tactical units and destroyed 38 ISIL oil tanker trucks, five ISIL vehicles and six ISIL assembly areas and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Ramadi, a strike destroyed two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL shelter.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

And bombs in Baghdad (not dropped from on high) killed 5 people and left nine more injured.