Sunday, July 1, 2018

Cats Cradle by Jonathan Napolitano (2018)

A Cat Haven

“Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he, who is cruel to living creatures, cannot be a good man. Moreover, this compassion manifestly flows from the same source whence arise the virtues of justice and loving-kindness towards men. ”
Arthur Schopenhauer [1788–1860], 
The Basis of Morality (1840), p. 233

Cat Lovers: Some people are really fond of cats, real cat lovers (ailurophiles). Such is exemplified in a short piece on a cat-dedicated couple that Emily Buder posted for The Atlantic (June 19th 2018): “Cats are like potato chips, reads a sign in Bruce and Terry Jenkins’s home. You can’t just have one! In fact, the Jenkinses have 30. They have devoted their retirement to caring for this plethora of elderly cats, transforming their home over the years into a makeshift feline senior center. ‘It’s kind of a big family,’ says Terry Jenkins in Jonathan Napolitano’s short documentary, Cats Cradle. ‘It gives me the opportunity to be with more cats than I possibly could ever have imagined.’” This is not a “cat lady” who has been ascribed societal attributes of eccentricity or of craziness in her devotion to elderly cats; no, this is a cat couple who share the same love of animals. There is nothing wrong with that, and a whole lot that is right. Beautiful to watch these furry felines and the humans who tend to them. There is much good and truth in what Schopenhaeur says.
Courtesy: The Atlantic; Youtube

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Happy Canada Day (Fête du Canada) to my fellow Canadians; I am taking some time off and will return in August.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary (2016)


Chasing Trane: If you have the opportunity, view this 2016 video documentary on John Coltrane, the jazz legend (I viewed it recently on Netflix); and then get your hands on some of his music. I have been posting some of what touches me the last week or so. Coltrane’s music gently yet persuasively moves the human, both heart and mind, in a positive direction. It has the power to heal, the power to uplift the broken and contrite heart, the sore and famished soul, and the power to bring about wholeness to those who are currently poor in spirit, which I believe is a larger number than those in power have awareness of, let alone openly acknowledge.
Courtesy: Youtube

Friday, June 29, 2018

Top Cat: All That Jazz (1961)


Top Cat: “All That Jazz” (Ep. 3; October 11,1961). The alley cats reside in a 1960s ghetto of limited opportunities, hemmed in by pool halls and bowling alleys and banged-up trash cans and broken white picket fences. And run-ins with the law. It’s a puuurfect portrayal of poor cats who want a piece of the action, even if the show’s creators never had this in mind. This might be an animated cartoon, and its characters act their comedic parts, but the unhappy reality it portrays is often no laughing matter, as growing inequalities normalize in America—and the war on the poor becomes normal, too. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Except it is worse today to be poor, since the differences are greater. If the people on the bottom look for a way out of their poverty, out of their circumstances, at times relying on ill-conceived or get-rich-quick schemes to get out of the “inner-city ghetto,” it all makes perfect sense. Such is the power of the American Dream. The urban landscape might change over the years, it might even be prettified and gentrified, but the heart of man remains the same.
Courtesy: Youtube

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Cat Concerto (1947)

The Cat Concerto (1947), a Tom and Jerry animated short (Episode 29; April 26, 1947), for many the best-known of this cartoon series showing the continuing conflict for domestic dominance between Tom (a house cat) and Jerry (a house mouse). Domestic bliss does not exist. Jerry is Tom’s nemesis, his antagonist, befitting the symbolic battle between a cat and a mouse, and yet the relationship between the two is symbiotic. The music is from Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C-sharp minor, S.244/2. The animation is by Kenneth Muse, Ed Barge and Irven Spence; the musical supervision by Scott Bradley; and the story and direction by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.
Courtesy: Youtube

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

My Balcony Garden: The End of June (2018)

Concrete Gardening

Green Growth: A month into my vegetable gardening initiative, here is the look of my sixth-floor balcony garden. There is real growth. Moreover, since my last posting (May 27th) on this subject, I have added two more plants—a yellow bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) and a spearmint (Mentha spicata)—to the modest urban garden: a total of four plants. Beginnings are often small, humble in origin. I plan to post again in two months, hopefully of plants showing the full fruits of their labour.
Photo Credit: ©2018. Perry J. Greenbaum