Saturday, October 25, 2014

Obituary: Jack Bruce

Rock musician Jack Bruce, 71, one of the best bass guitarists in the business and best known for playing bass in the 1960s rock band Cream, has unfortunately passed away.

He wrote an autobiography a few years ago, and I will have to buy it.

That group was something else, not least the fact that Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker did NOT get along. Hell, I am sugarcoating it--they HATED each other with a passion. The feud allegedly went on for decades, across continents. They even hated each other despite the fact Baker was living in South Africa (tax reasons) and Bruce was in Britain. Poor old Eric Clapton had to run interference and try to be a peacemaker during the Cream days.

It wasn't surprising the group last only a few years. I should revise that to say it is a miracle the group lasted as long as it did.

Bruce had battled ill health and drug addiction over the years.


Born to musical parents in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1943, Bruce played in various dance bands and jazz groups before joining the Graham Bond Organization in 1962, where he met drummer Ginger Baker. He later joined John Mayall's Blues Breakers and met guitarist Eric Clapton, leading to the formation of Cream.

Bruce went on to record solo albums and front bands, releasing more than a dozen solo LPs over the next four decades, including his latest, "Silver Rails," in March. Cream reunited briefly in 1993 for the band's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

However, Baker's official fan page did note Bruce's passing and made some nice remarks, so perhaps the feud might have been exaggerated a bit.

A more recent appearance, from 2005:

Obituaries, News, and Whatever Else

Obituary: RFK press aide, one-time NPR president, and journalist Frank Mankiewicz, 90, died on Thursday.

The cause was heart failure.

Yes, he was a family member of "THE" Mankiewiczes of Hollywood fame. His father was Herman J. Mankiewicz, who with Orson Welles co-wrote the celebrated 1941 movie Citizen Kane. His uncle was a famed Hollywood director, Joseph Mankiewicz, best remembered for his work on the equally acerbic film All About Eve. Frank's son Ben is a host of Turner Classic Movies. His brother Donald is a novelist and screenwriter. Another son, Joshua, works as a journalist for NBC.

After all, the last name isn't that common, so of course people are going to think there had to be a connection between Frank and the others.

Frank, though, was very famous in his own right:

He became a journalist and lawyer and, inspired by the Kennedys, went to Washington at the dawn of the New Frontier and took an executive position at the Peace Corps, full of idealistic hopes. What he encountered were assassinations, the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandals.

His face became familiar to the nation in 1968 as a spokesman for Robert F. Kennedy’s campaign for the White House, conveying the euphoria over the senator’s triumph in the California Democratic primary and then, within hours, grimly announcing Mr. Kennedy’s death by an assassin’s bullets in Los Angeles.

Four years later, joining a ragtag crew of eager young faces from Massachusetts and South Dakota, Mr. Mankiewicz coordinated Mr. McGovern’s all-but-hopeless presidential campaign, laced with moral outrage against the war, undermined by the selection of a running mate with a history of nervous disorders, and ultimately flattened under President Richard M. Nixon’s re-election steamroller.

The Time piece on Vergara doesn't go far enough to condemn the forces trying to take over public education and destroy what few protections teachers have.

The cover doesn't help the magazine's credibility, let me tell you. What the cover should have labeled it, based on the article, is the "War on Teachers by Billionaires." That would be more accurate.

Just where the hell do these filthy rich people get the idea they have the right to gut the public sector when they themselves are not accountable to the voting public?

As noted by the blogger, the reporter didn't question those "statistics" supporting the plaintiffs. When it comes to "firing" teachers, school districts pull all kinds of semantic games in order to claim they "fire" "few" teachers when in fact teachers are dumped and forced out all the time.

The fact is "school CEOs" already have total control of their workforces to the point of abusing the law in order to ruin workers' lives.

Oregon should repeal that utterly wrongheaded "assisted suicide" law naively approved by voters.

It's yet another case of "libertarianism" that doesn't think through the implications of using third parties to actually murder patients or be accessories to murder and how easily that can be abused. All these people care about is the "right" for a patient to die, to hell with using third parties to do the dirty work the patient is too chickenshit to do himself or herself.

The disability community isn't persuaded, let me tell you, that "assisted suicide" is anything benign.

It is NOT ethical whatsoever to have the medical profession killing patients, either directly or indirectly.