‘I grew up in total ruins’: Irmin Schmidt of Can on LSD, mourning and musical adventures

The last founding member of the visionary German band left alive, the 81 -year-old remembers how he repudiated his Nazi father to discovery freedom in music

In the dining room of his jogging farmhouse in Provence, Irmin Schmidt pours a glass of rose in preparation for being interviewed. At 81, he is twinkly, genial company, a little at odds with the image he projected as the keyboard player in Can, the Cologne band once described as” the most influential and worshipped avant-garde band of the late 20 th century “. While his bandmate Holger Czukay used to play up for the camera, Schmidt tended to stare sternly down it from between a pair of immense sideburns, every inch the serious musician who had trained under Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Since the band split up in 1979, he has induced solo albums, conducted, written cinema scores, penned an opu. He says he doesn’t much concern himself with the past. He is dismissive of Can’s brief late-8 0s reunion on the grounds that it” voiced too much like Can” and balked at a suggestion that he should join an all-star Can tribute group at the Barbican’s 2017 celebration of the band’s 50 th anniversary:” It was a wonderful performance they did, but I entail, playing a Can piece as a sung, having to learn the fucking piece and remember it …” He giggles.” We never cared about what people expected. I always imagined if one day we would go onstage again, people would think:’ No, this isn’t Can. This is another group- we are in the wrong place .'”

Can in 1973( left hand: Jaki Liebezeit, Michael Karoli, Holger Czukay( standing ), Irmin Schmidt and Damo Suzuki. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

But, of late, he has been dwelling on the band’s history. For one thing, 2017 left him the sole survivor of Can’s original four-piece line-up. Guitarist Michael Karoli succumbed of cancer in 2001, while drummer Jaki Liebezeit and bassist Holger Czukay both succumbed last year, the latter in the disused Weilerswist cinema that had once housed Can’s Inner Space studio, and where Czukay had continued to live after the band broke up. And then, at the urging of Hildegard, his partner of 51 years and Can’s manager since the early 70 s, he has co-authored, with Rob Young, a definitive biography of the band, All Gates Open.

It is a fascinating book , not least because Schmidt’s life was extraordinary even before he formed Can. Born in Berlin in 1937, he can remember ensure Allied aircrafts strafe a German military train with gunfire while he was an evacuee in Austria; returning to Germany in 1946, he found it” absolutely flattened by bombing. I grew up in these total wreckings. That was an experience that is still deeply within me: growing up in this town, this land, where everything was devastated, all the buildings, all the culture .” His teenage years were marked not only by the usual teen surliness but by an obsessive ferocity over his homeland’s recent history: he was expelled from school for using its student publication to expose his educators’ Nazi pasts, while his relationship with his father- another Nazi supporter who had done nothing to intervene when their Jewish neighbours were taken to Auschwitz- was ” pure war “.” Always asking,’ Why did you do this ?’,’ Why didn’t you do that ?’,’ How could you? How could you ?’ I think there is this kind of … mourning within me which I can never get rid of .”

By all accounts a brilliant musician from an early age, he was already a professional classical pianist when he signed up to study under Stockhausen at Cologne’s Rheinische Musikschule. Czukay was a fellow pupil, and Schmidt is rather proud of the fact that, when Stockhausen was subsequently played a selection of experimental German stone tracks, he rejected all of them except Can’s 1971 track Aumgn.” When he found out who had made it, he said:’ Well, of course it’s good- these were my students .'”

Schmidt was all set for a life in classical music until a 1965 journey to New York changed his mind.” Germany was very strict; there was this phrase’ serious music ‘. But in New York, there was no barrier- people is no more than interested in whether music was wild and interesting and beautiful .”

On his return, energised by both rock music’s more avant fringe- Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, the Velvet Underground- and by the funk of James Brown and Sly Stone, he recruited Czukay, free-jazz drummer Liebezeit and Karoli. None of them seems to have had any notion what they want to get do, other than attain” new music “.” But when we came together, we all knew what the other had done and where he came from and what he was able to do, and we all had quite a confidence- a brilliant jazz drummer, a bass player who was classically developed but was also a strange and powerful musician, a guitarist who was immensely gifted and inventive, very sensitive. It was that atmosphere of 1968: let’s dare something, let’s have an adventure, we will find an art .”

Can in full flow performing on German TV in 1970

But even given their backgrounds and the work they put in- they improvised for 12 hours a day, seven days a week, recording everything on tapes pinched by Czukay from Stockhausen’s studio- the art that Can saw seems utterly extraordinary. While their music was avant garde, it never sounded like a cerebral workout. Quite the opposite. It was raw and propulsive and funky, Liebzeit reacting against his free-jazz background by playing hypnotic, cyclical dancefloor grooves.” That was something we had in common ,” Schmidt tells.” We wanted music that relates to the body. Holger and me, with all this Stockhausen and contemporary music experience, we wanted to be free- we definitely didn’t want intellectual games. If it was intellectual, it never indicated. It was even banned in interviews: if I would start talking about sophisticated things, Holger would always butt in:’ I’ve never read a volume in my life !'”

They recruited vocalists – first American expat Malcolm Mooney, afterwards an itinerant Japanese street performer called Damo Suzuki- and between 1969 and 1973 released five of the most acclaimed and influential albums in rock history: Monster Movie, Soundtracks, Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi and the sublime Future Days. They began playing gigs, always completely improvised.” Ask Hildegard how awful we were when it didn’t work ,” chuckles Schmidt.” The astounding thing in the concerts that went totally wrong, where we didn’t get the groove and it didn’t come together, was that the public didn’t run away or scream’ Shit !’- they suffered with us, they didn’t give up. You felt that empathy, and very often we’d play a second situate and it would click .”

Indeed, how quickly Can found an audience is one of the more remarkable aspects of All Gates Open. Devoted that the contents of their albums bore almost no resemblance to any music that had come before, you might expect them “mustve been” greeted with bewilderment, but no. They had reached singles in Germany and won music press polls. Schmidt recollects a gig in Glasgow where one punter expressed his delight by jumping onstage and hugging him so tightly that one of his rib transgressed. They enjoyed themselves in time-honoured rock’n’roll style: Schmidt’s method of killing day on the road involved ingesting” a microscopic dose of LSD” and then taking the wheel. “Wonderful!” he insists , noting my horrified expres.” You get extremely concentrated, but it is like driving through a movie. You have to drive extremely carefully. Never had an accident .”

It was, he says,” the most wonderful hour of my life “; but still, from the outside, life in Can seems curiously stressful. As well as the constant, obsessive rehearse, and the high-wire act of their improvised gigs, there was the ongoing tumult of German counter-culture, which had curdled from hippydom to political indignation to terrorism and which Can did their best to conscientiously avoid (” I met Andreas Baader in a commune in Munich once and from the first position, I didn’t like him ,” says Schmidt ). Both Mooney and Suzuki left in cloudy situations- the former had a nervous breakdown, the latter joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses- and it’s seducing to wonder if day-to-day life in Can wasn’t a contributory factor. Schmidt tells no: he guesses Mooney’s precarious mental state was down to the fact that the report was dodging the Vietnam draft and thought he would be caught, while Suzuki was ” not fragile at all … He guessed:’ That was Can and now that’s enough .’ Maybe he also felt that it would become a routine, which we actually felt that later on it was .”

Can in 1972 in their Inner Space studio where they created their groundbreaking albums. Photo: Courtesy of Faber and Faber

They never found another full-time vocalist, though in a fascinating instance of what-if, Can super-fan John Lydon contacted the band’s office in the wake of the Sex Pistols’ split, offering his services.” Maybe it would have been wonderful ,” says Schmidt, “but it was too late”: Can had run its course. They had always argued ferociously about their music, but the divisions in the band were becoming too broad, and their albums were audibly less focused than they once had been; the spontaneity that had fuelled them had sagged.

The second part of All Gates Open, a selection of interviews and periodical entries edited by journalists Max Dax and Robert Defcon, is testament to Can’s nonpareil ability to turn the most curmudgeonly musicians into gushing fans: the late Mark E Smith , nobody’s definition of a suck-up, seems genuinely overawed to satisfy Schmidt (” He kept nuzzling me ,” he smiles ); Portishead’s Geoff Barrow describes himself as” a stalker” and pumps Schmidt for information about how Can did it. The thing is, Schmidt says, he doesn’t really know. Something inexplicable happens between the four of them, that all his musical educate can’t get to the bottom of.” Like in physics ,” he says.” Different components, when they come together, it creates something new. And that’s what Can is. It’s not the sum of us four – it’s something new .”

All Gates Open: The Story of Can , by Rob Young and Irmin Schmidt, is published by Faber& Faber( PS25 rrp ). To order a transcript for PS21. 25 with free UK p& p, go to guardianbookshop.com

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Roseanne deserves her banishment, but well lose a lot with her | Suzanne Moore

I cant forgive her these latest awful tweets, yet she was once a rare voice that connected conservative and liberal America, tells Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore

As the new king of primetime, Richard Madeley said of Roseanne Barr’s disgusting tweets that sedatives don’t build you racist. Barr, whose show has now been cancelled, left Twitter after comparing a woman of colouring to an ape and then reappeared claiming that the sleeping pill Ambien had made her say these nasty things. She has also said that she is being picked on while other celebrities are not.

Her excellent casting has distanced itself from her outbursts, but still she goes on. Watching this woman has for some time been like watching a auto crash, and yet her talent is undeniable.

When I first considered that Barr was on Twitter, years ago, I was delighted. A working-class heroine is something to be. Or it was at one time. She wrote about imperfect, complicated blue-collar life with edge. In the 90 s there was no dishwasher in the Conner family house. They went to the mall, the phone was on the wall, the protagonists were overweight but had a sex life, jobs were hard to come by and the women were often smarter than the men. All of this was an inspiration, with Roseanne as the wisecracking self-styled slobby” domestic goddess”.

And then Barr unravelled before our eyes. Physically self-loathing, she had numerous plastic surgeries. She claimed to have been abused by her mothers after memories went inundating back. Twenty years after building those allegations, she said that going public with them was a terrible mistake.

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Roseanne Barr’s TV reveal cancelled after ‘abhorrent’ tweets- video report

As a child she had Bell’s palsy. She nearly died in a car accident at 16 and had such traumatic head injuries that she ended up in a psychiatric organization for eight months. In 2012 she operated for presidential nomination. She claims Donald Trump stole her Twitter act.

The euphemism used for her is “troubled”. These latest tweets, as obnoxious because this is, are nothing new- Barr has been tweeting outlandish conspiracy theories and racist rantings for ages, from rubbish about chemtrails to vicious Islamophobic insults. Her is supportive of Trump came as no astonish. That trajectory was visible. She tells of herself that she is a radical and not a liberal, and there is something uncomfortable there that the media establishment don’t want to reckon with.

When she marriage Tom Arnold in 1990, he and Barr claimed that the latter are America’s worst nightmare-” white junk with money “. The thing is, though, the Conner household were smart. They were presented reading actual books.

The reaction to Barr’s new show was critically mixed but she got 18 million viewers. Can you represent Trump voters sympathetically on Tv? Yes- and Barr did just that. Roseanne and her sister Jackie( the wonderful Laurie Metcalf, in” Nasty Woman” T-shirt and pussyhat) bicker over Roseanne’s is supportive of Trump, which is portrayed as being about jobs rather than social policy. Money is tight. Dan and Roseanne are shown eking out their expensive medication, swapping statins for anti-inflammatories. Race and gender-fluidity figure( they have a black granddaughter ). Grandson Mark wants to wear feminine dres and is protected by Dan. Family rises above politics.

To me this is important, as the liberal bubble of so much popular culture is surely big enough to include a little bit of “otherness”. This is not the view of Roxane Gay, who wrote:” We cannot reach people who build dangerous, shortsighted political choices. We confess, as Jackie does, or we resist, as hopefully the rest of us will .” She was saying that the myth of a white working-class voting for Trump has to be bust, because so many of his voters were middle-class. So it is not only about jobs.

Now, though , no one has to resist the entice of watching something complicated and funny and uncomfortable, because Barr has said inexcusable things. This is her own fault- but what a waste of her gifts. At a period when politics is so polarised, anyone who can show a dialogue between sides is important. In the UK and the US, the liberal media talks largely to itself and wonders how the right stays in power.

Roseanne Barr has always been a peculiar mixture of liberal and utterly reactionary social attitudes. And what do we with do that in a tickbox culture? Don’t we expend a lot of our lives learning to separate the art from the artist, usually in the case of great all those people who do bad things but attain great art? So while I don’t think Barr can be forgiven the latest awfulness, I hope we don’t be borne in mind that she made some fantastic ground-breaking television. Once.

* Suzanne Moore is a Guardian columnist

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Wearing glasses may really mean you’re smarter, major study finds

Its not just a pop culture trope a University of Edinburgh study has found intelligent people are 30% more likely to have genes related to poor eyesight

If you wear glasses I’ve got some good news: you may well be smarter than the average person. A new analyse published in the journal Nature Communications has found that needing to wear glasses is associated with higher levels of intelligence. But you probably knew that already.

In the study, the largest of its kind ever conducted, researchers from the University of Edinburgh investigated cognitive and genetic data regarding over 300,000 people aged between 16 and 102 that had been gathered by the UK Biobank and the Charge and Cogent consortia. Their analysis found” significant genetic overlap between general cognitive function, reaction time, and many health variables including eyesight, hypertension, and longevity “. Specifically, people who were more intelligent were almost 30% more likely to have genes which might indicate they’d need to wear glasses.

While being more intelligent may be linked to poor eyesight, it’s also connected with a lot of positive health benefits. Researchers procured negative correlations between cognitive function and a number of health problems, including angina, lung cancer and depression.

Of course, it’s important to remember that these are all simply correlations not conclusive connections. And it’s worth noting that what constitutes intelligence is subjective and can be difficult, if not impossible, to measure. Further, linking intelligence to DNA are to be able to lead into bogus” race science “.

Forget genetics though- there’s plenty of empirical proof that wearing glasses, whether you need them or not, makes people think you are more intelligent. A number of studies have found people who wear glasses are viewed as smarter, more dependable, industrious and honest. Which is why a lot of defense lawyers get their clients to wear glasses at trial. As lawyer Harvey Slovis explained to New York magazine:” Glasses soften their appearance so that they don’t seem capable of committing a crime. I’ve tried cases where there’s been a tremendous quantity of evidence, but my client wear glass and got acquitted. The glasses create a kind of unspoken nerd defense .”

Andy Porwitzky (@ DoktorAndy)

Isaac Asimov’s critique of the “ugly girl with glasses becoming popular” from 1956 is spectacular. pic.twitter.com/ toxMCVRLgA

October 30, 2016

It’s not just defense lawyers who use glass as a stage prop. Glasses are regularly used as shorthand in pop culture to connote that their wearer is intelligent. In the case of women, there’s also a well-worn” ugly girl who removes her glass and is revealed to be beautiful” trope. Isaac Asimov has a wonderful criticism of this in his essay The Cult of Ignorance. In the essay, which went viral when it was tweeted by an appreciative reader last year, Asimov writes:” The glass are not literally glass. They are merely a symbol, a symbol of intelligence. The audience is taught two things;( a) Proof of extensive intelligence is a social deterrent and causes unhappiness;( b) Formal education is unnecessary, can be minimised at will and the resulting limited intellectual developing leads to happiness .”

Justin Bieber wearing glass and, for some reason, holding a snake. Photo: Christopher Polk/ Getty Images

While America hasn’t changed much when it comes to its suspicion of intellectuals, the symbolism of glasses has begun to shift. Prescription-less glasses have become something of a way accessory, worn by people who want to look sophisticated or cool. Not everyone is impressed though- GQ called wearing fake glass” bottom-of-the-barrel hipster behaviour “. However, that hasn’t stopped a lot of celebs from enthusiastically scraping the bottom of that barrel. Justin Bieber is just one high-profile fan of fashion glass. I’m quite the belieber in his sophisticated-glasses seem, even if some may say he’s making a sight of himself.

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The ‘catsuit’ Serena Williams wore to the French Open is mom goals.

Serena Williams has returned — and in spectacular fashion.

For the first time since giving birth to her daughter, the 36 -year-old entered Grand Slam play at the 2018 French Open in Paris, dominating Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic in straight defines.

But it was the message behind her uniform that got many fans talking.

Photo by Matthew Stockman/ Getty Images.

All-black, with an eye-catching neon stripe wrap around the middle, the uniform’s symbolism resonated far outside the stadium.

“I feel like a warrior in it — like a warrior princess various kinds of, ” the tennis star explained. “( A) queen from Wakanda.”

Wakanda, of course, is the fictional, mystical African nation home to Marvel’s Black Panther. The superhero film tore up the box office earlier this year, earned rave reviews from critics, and inspired a wave of black pride fashion amongst the film’s stars and moviegoers.

Photo by Matthew Stockman/ Getty Images.

Her “Black Panther” get-up rapidly sent Twitter abuzz with the word “catsuit, ” as Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim pointed out in an interview with the athlete soon after her victory.

“You can’t beat a catsuit, right? ” Williams told with a smile.

“[ This uniform represents] all the mamas out there that had a tough pregnancy and had to come back and try to be fierce in the midst of everything.”

The uniform’s design had a practical use for this fierce new mom too: Its extra-snug fit helped avoid blood clots, according to The Guardian.

And for Williams, that feature is critical.

The tennis champ has been candid about the health challenges she’s endured since giving birth.

Her daughter was born via emergency C-section after the baby’s heart rate fell dramatically during contractions, the tennis starring wrote for CNN in February. In the following days, a number of health complications — including a pulmonary embolism in Williams’ lungs, a large swelling of clotted blood in her abdomen, and a tear in her C-section wound due to intense coughing — stimulated her road to recovery anything but smooth.

“I nearly succumbed after giving birth to my daughter, Olympia, ” Williams wrote , noting how luck she was to have had quality health care — unlike many new mothers in the U.S. and around the world. “I consider myself fortunate.”

Williams’ story and circumstances are uniquely hers, of course.

Not every new parent is a wealthy, world-renowned athlete with the type of resources and luxuries at their disposal to be winning Grand Slam matches mere months after giving birth.

But Williams — in her marvel ous catsuit — still has a message for new parents that’s good to keep in intellect: You get this .

“For all the moms out there who had a tough recovery from pregnancy — here you go, ” the starring wrote on Twitter, sharing an image of her competing in Paris. “If I can do it, so are you able. Love you all !! “

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Trevor Noah on Roseanne: ‘You know who I blame for this? Donald Trump’

Late-night comics discussed the cancellation of Roseanne after the stars racist tweet about a former Obama adviser

Late-night hosts on Tuesday discussed the cancellation of the hit sitcom Roseanne after its namesake star posted a racist tweet comparing Valerie Jarrett, the African American former adviser to Barack Obama, to an ape.

Trevor Noah

” We were off for a week and it is really absolutely amazing to be back on the air ,” Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah began.” We got the British remake of Get by. God himself got #MeToo’d. The North Korea summit crashed harder than Solo. Harvey Weinstein got to live out his handcuff fantasy. And the NFL announced that players are welcome to publicly protest, as long as they do it in private .”

” But let’s move on today’s big news breaking in Hollywood ,” he told, before depicting news segments encompassing ABC’s decision to cancel its highest-rated present after Roseanne Barr’s tweets.


” That’s right, Roseanne’s show’s cancelled because she tweeted out racist stuff ,” Noah continued.” You know who I blame for this? Donald Trump, that’s who. He makes all of his supporters think they’re as impervious as he is .”

” Come on, everyone, you can tweet what it is you want ,” the host joked, imitating Trump.” Nothing happens !”

” But it’s not the same for everyone else ,” Noah added.” It’s like he’s superman telling normal people to follow his result .”

Jimmy Kimmel

Meanwhile, ABC’s own Jimmy Kimmel discussed Roseanne and his own network’s response to her behavior.

” While we’re on the subject of terrible things posted online today, the biggest narrative of the working day today was Roseanne ,” Kimmel said.

” You’re not going to believe this ,” the host added, sarcastically,” but she tweeted something outrageous. I know. The chairman did it, too. It’s crazy .”

Kimmel went on:” ABC decided to cancel their highest-rated prove, Roseanne, following a tweet in which Roseanne compared an African American woman, a former adviser to chairperson Obama, to an ape, which did not sit well with ABC management or anyone with a brain .”

The host then has pointed out that pulling the plug on Roseanne, which just recently finished the first season of its reboot, and its 10 th overall,” is a big blow to business “.

” We don’t have much on this network ,” Kimmel joked.” We’re hoping the NBA finals goes 11 games this year. We’re still airing America’s funniest home videos .”

” Roseanne was very bigly hit for ABC ,” he continued.” Hear me out: merely because Roseanne is gone, doesn’t mean the whole show has to go. The indicate must go on, that’s what we say in show business .”

” With that told, I have an idea that I think induces this work for everyone ,” the host concluded, before airing a taunt advertising for Dan, a sitcom featuring all the Roseanne characters, except Roseanne, and starring her husband Dan Connor, played by John Goodman.

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Parkland parents helped shut down this ‘active shooter’ video game.

A video game simulating a school shooting has been shut down before its launch — largely due to Parkland parents denouncing it .

Following in the footsteps of both Roseanne Barr’s TV demonstrate and problematic scenes from the movie “Show Dogs, ” a video game called “Active Shooter” has been nixed due to public outcry. The game simulates local schools shooting and allows players to play either the school shooter or a SWAT team member.

Screenshots of gameplay released by the inventor paint a horrific scene: If you’re playing the shooter, you use your semi-automatic rifle to gun down students, educators, law enforcement, and anyone else you feel like murdering in a school house. A digital counter maintains track of how many civilians and cops you’ve killed.

Screenshot via Revived Games/ Acid Publishing.

The game was published by the game studio Acid Publishing of Moscow and was slated for release on June 6 through Valve Corp.’s online gaming store Steam.

Parents of victims of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting raised their voices loud and clear to denounce the game.

Fred Guttenberg, whose 14 -year-old daughter Jaimewas one of 17 people killed by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, wrote about video games on Twitter: “I have insured and heard many horrific things over the past few months since my daughter was the victim of a school shooting and is now dead in real life. This game is perhaps one of the worst.”

Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina was also murdered in the Parkland shooting, wrote in a statement on Facebook, “It’s disgusting that Valve Corp. is trying to profit from the glamorization of misfortunes affecting our schools across the country. Maintaining our children safe is a real issue affecting our communities and is in no way a ‘game.'”

A Change.org petition was created to put pressure on Valve not to release it. More than 208,000 people have signed it, as of this writing.

The people spoke — and it worked. Valve will not be putting video games on their site.

The beauty of persons under the age of social media is that people can speak up and accountability can be set into motion. Thanks to the Parkland parents and others describing negative attention to the game, Valve decided not to set it on their site. They also released a statement explaining who was behind making it.

“This developer and publisher is, in fact, a person calling himself Ata Berdiyev, who had previously been removed last fall, ” Valve’s statement told 😛 TAGEND

“Ata is a troll, with a history of client abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation. His subsequent return under new business names was a fact that came to light as we investigated the dispute around his upcoming title. We are not going to do business with people who act like this towards our customers or Valve.”

Washington Post writer Alex Horton made an interesting observation about the game’s trailer, which had now been been removed from Steam’s site: All of the “civilians” demonstrated are women.

If a video game created by a Russian “troll” where you can play a school shooter and gun down girls isn’t a emblem for America 2018, I don’t know what is.

We the people have power. Let’s keep using it.

Having free speech and living in a free market system means that our voices and our actions can help determine different types of products that succeed and those that don’t. When something that people find vile, cruel, or dangerous rears its head, we can use the collective power of our voices and purchasing power to pressure companies to closed it down.

Let’s keep speaking up. It’s working.

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This teen went viral on the way to his graduation. He’s a lesson in perseverance.

When Corey Patrick boarded the bus in his graduation gown, he didn’t expect to go viral. He just wanted to alumnu with his friends.

Patrick had attended school in Tarrant, Alabama, since the fourth grade. So when his family moved far away from his high school he decided that he was going to do whatever it took to stay with his classmates. For him, that entailed getting up at 4:30 a.m. every morning so he could catch the bus at 5:41 a.m. It was a journey he took every morning this school year.

He find himself on that same bus the morning of his graduation .

According to WBRC, Patrick’s family didn’t have the transportation to get him to his ceremony. He didn’t even know if they’d be allowed to make it to watch him cross the stage. But the same perseverance that helped him earn his diploma — “I had to do what was necessary for me to walk this year, ” Patrick said — pushed him to take the bus one more time. And so he put on his gown and strolled to the bus stop, same as always.

Patrick’s journey caught the attention of his bus driver, who took a pair of paintings as he headed to his graduation ceremony.

The bus driver posted the photos to Facebook, citing Patrick’s determination as an inspiration. She didn’t know who he was, she only knew the young man in the graduation gown was doing his best to create a bright future for himself.

You tell me this ain’t Determination he got on my bus to go to his Graduation no one was with him I pick him in Elyton…

Posted by Dee Bee on Monday, May 21, 2018

“I did it to inspire people on my page, ” the driver said of the photos. “I didn’t do it because I knew him. I only did it because he got on my bus and I was inspired that he got on by himself and he was so determined to get onto with no one backing him.”

Patrick wasn’t looking for any praise, but his tale touched the hearts of thousands.

Shortly after the post published, it has started to rise. And as it amassed thousands of likes, people had the same question: Who was the young man and what could they do to help?

Soon, Patrick was identified by members of the community — including one of his former teachers — and “members attention” he’s received has been overwhelmingly positive. For a young man who was described by his mother as “quiet, reserved, and humble ,” it’s likely been just plain overwhelming as well. Patrick’s family was gifted a new vehicle by radio personality Rickey Smiley, and a GoFundMe campaign has raised over $25,000 for the new grad. According to the New York Daily News, Patrick’s also reportedly received a full scholarship to Jacksonville University.

Patrick’s hard work is a clear reminder of how important it is to keep going.

There’s no denying it must have been hard for Patrick to get out of bed earlier today every day to get to school. And he had to wait for hours after school to take the bus home, often not getting back home until 7:00 p.m . — merely to get up and do it all over again the next day. But he never stopped.

No matter what Patrick does next, it looks like he won’t let setbacks get him down. And that’s not just a lesson for graduation season. That’s something we can all strive for every day.

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The rise and fall of Roseanne: how TV’s biggest show fell apart

The decision to axe the reach sitcom resurgence aims debates over the off-screen bigotry shown by its starring, Roseanne Barr

ABC’s decision to cancel Roseanne- after its eponymous superstar compared Valerie Jarrett, a black former adviser to Barack Obama, to an ape- send growls through the entertainment industry. Barr’s tweet, in which she also “joked” that Jarrett had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, caused a public outcry, resulting in swift condemnations of Barr from her own casting mates and, ultimately, the network’s unprecedented decision to pull the plug on its ratings juggernaut merely one week after its season finale.

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Roseanne Barr’s TV display cancelled after ‘abhorrent’ tweets- video

In a statement constructed hours after Barr’s tweets, which quickly prompted calls for the network to discipline her, ABC Entertainment chairwoman Channing Dungey called Roseanne’s post” abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values”, announcing the sitcom would be cancelled. In a tweet, Disney CEO Bob Iger echoed Dungey’s statement and told:” There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing .” Jarrett, who on Tuesday night will serendipitously appear in an MSNBC town hall called ” Everyday Racism in America”, called Barr’s comments a” teach moment “.

The network’s cancellation marks something of a denouement to Barr’s rapid return to the public eye and subsequent fall from grace. It was only a few months ago that Roseanne, which went on a two-decade hiatus before ABC resurrected the series for a 10 th season, earned Donald Trump’s seal of approval following its season premiere, which, with 18 m spectators, was television’s highest-rated comedy telecast in nearly four years.

Barr, a vocal supporter of Trump’s who in February told ABC” we’re lucky to have him as a chairperson “, reportedly even received a congratulatory call from him after the season premiere. Aside from its colossal viewership, critical honors followed the reboot, too. Roseanne was praised for having its finger on the political pulse and harnessing the appeal of the original series, which Barr herself once called” television’s first feminist and working-class sitcom “.

Indeed, the show’s espouse by the political right reflected just how radically its starring had changed her tune since the ninth season finale aired in 1997.” I wrote on the original Roseanne where we used to denounce nativism, racism& homophobia ,” Danny Zuker, the executive heads producer of ABC’s Modern Family, wrote on Twitter Tuesday.” Nauseating to assure what she’s become .”

Roseanne Barr and John Goodman. Photo: Moviestore Collection/ Rex

In spite of the revival’s popularity, accusations of combating racism and insensitivity continues to road Barr, whose on-screen alter ego Roseanne Connor plays a working-class Trump supporter (” He talked about tasks- he said he’d shake things up “) at odds with her liberal sister Jackie and struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs. In an episode that aired earlier this month, for instance, Roseanne suspects her Muslim neighbor is constructing a bomb, saying they’re probably from “Talibanjistan.” Predictably, the episode was roundly criticized as Islamophobic, a charge Barr responded to on her social media platform of choice.

” I like to do TV episodes about REAL ISSUES& REAL Person ,” she wrote.” That’s what I do. Next season will be even more current events-I will challenge every sacred cow in USA .”

There was also pushback to an apparent dig made by Roseanne’s character at two racially diverse ABC programs, black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat. In one episode Dan, Roseanne’s on-screen husband, says that the couple slept through” all the indicates about black and Asian households ,” to which Roseanne sarcastically replies,” They’re just like us !”

Although the prove rarely invoked Trump after its premiere, inducing only cursory references to contemporary hot-button topics like gender fluidity and national anthem protests, its erstwhile starring has a pattern of trafficking in the same kinds of culture wars and conspiracies as the president. Barr’s tweet about Jarrett was not even the first time she’d compared a black female Obama official to an ape: in a since-deleted tweet from 2013, she called former national security adviser Susan Rice a” man with big swinging ape balls “.

Barr’s also tweeted about “Pizzagate” and the assassination of DNC staffer Seth Rich; falsely claimed Chelsea Clinton was married to a nephew of George Soros; and called Hillary Clinton an “anti-Semite” and Huma Abedin a” filthy nazi whore “. In March, she said Trump” has freed so many children held in bondage to pimps all over this world”, parroting a rightwing conspiracy about pedophilic, Hollywood-controlled sexuality rings.

And when Barr ran for president as a representative of the Peace and Freedom party, she wrote a letter to Congress citing the Boston Marathon bombing as an example of the Obama administration” contriving false flag terror attacks to remove the second amendment “.

Laurie Metcalf and Roseanne Barr in May. Photo: Stephen Lovekin/ Variety/ Rex/ Shutterstock

Barr’s history of rogue, racist or untrue statements meant that ABC was taking a risk developing a new season of Roseanne, a risk that, until Tuesday, had indisputably borne fruit. But while the sitcom was lauded for tapping into a demographic many considered underserved, constructing Barr a rightwing icon, there remained a drumbeat of trepidation about her incendiary social media presence.

When asked last August about the possibility that Barr’s tweets would stimulate the display “untenable,” ABC’s president Channing Dungey told:” I try to simply worry about the things that I can control .” And in an interview with the casting of Roseanne, co-showrunner Whitney Cummings said she” became the PC police” while working on the reveal:” I was the’ you can’t say that anymore’ and’ now this is the word we use’ one ,” she told the Hollywood Reporter.

Before ABC’s decision to cancel Roseanne, which had already been picked up for an 11 th season, some of Barr’s colleagues carried their objection to her posts on Twitter. Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer on the series, announced she’d be leaving the display, and Sara Gilbert, who plays Roseanne’s daughter Darlene, tweeted that” Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our casting and crew or anyone associated with our present .” Emma Kenney, who plays Darlene’s daughter Harris, also chimed in:” I am hurt, embarrassed, and disappointed ,” she wrote.” The racist and distasteful commentaries from Roseanne are inexcusable .” Other performers, like Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle and Debra Messing, denounced Barr’s comments and called for her to be fired.

But the reaction to Barr’s racism was not entirely reproachful. Alex Jones, the alt-right radio host, expressed his support for Barr, writing” it’s time for you to strike back against these THOUGHT POLICE and really shake them up !” while English media personality Katie Hopkins added,” Never apologise @therealroseanne It merely promotes the bastards .”

Once the dust settles on the partisan combat provoked by ABC’s decision, though, Roseanne’s cancellation marks another example of a prominent celebrity falling on their own sword while many wait for those higher up in the government to be held to a similar standard.

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The real meaning of Memorial Day isn’t just about the military it’s about forgiveness.

In the years following the bitter Civil War, a former Union general took a holiday originated by former Henchmen and helped spread it across the entire country.

The holiday was Memorial Day, and the 2018 commemoration on May 28 marks the 150 th anniversary of its official nationwide observance. The annual commemoration was born in the former Confederate State in 1866 and adopted by the United States in 1868. It is a holiday in which the nation honors its military dead .

Gen. John A. Logan, who headed the largest Union veterans brotherhood at that time, the Grand Army of the Republic, is usually credited as being the originator of the holiday.

Civil War Union Gen. John A. Logan. Photo via the Library of Congress.

Yet when Logan established the vacation, he acknowledged its genesis among the Union’s former enemies, saying, “It was not too late for the Union humen of the nation to follow the example of the people of the South.”

Cities and townships across America have for more than a century claimed to be the birthplace of Memorial Day.

But I and my co-author Daniel Bellware have sifted through the myths and half-truths and uncovered the authentic story of how this holiday came into being .

During 1866, the first year Memorial Day was observed in the South, a feature of the holiday emerged that made awareness, admiration and eventually imitation of it spread quickly to the North.

During the inaugural Memorial Day observances in Columbus, Georgia, many Southern participants — especially females — decorated graves of Confederate soldiers as well as those of their former enemies who fought for the Union .

Shortly after those first Memorial Day observances all across the South, newspaper coverage in the North was highly favorable to the ex-Confederates.

“The action of the dames on this occasion, in interring whatever hostilities or ill-feeling may have been spawned in the late war towards those who fought against them, is worthy of all praise and commendation, ” wrote one paper.

On May 9, 1866, the Cleveland Daily Leader lauded the Southern girls during their first Memorial Day.

“The act was as beautiful as it was unselfish, and will be appreciated in the North.”

The New York Commercial Advertiser, recognizing the magnanimous deeds of the women of Columbus, echoed the sentiment. “Let this incident, touching and beautiful as it is, lend to our Washington authorities a lesson in conciliation.”

To be sure, this sentiment was not unanimous. There were many in both parts of the U.S. who had no interest in conciliation.

But as a result of one of these news reports, Francis Miles Finch, a Northern judge, academic and poet, wrote a poem titled “The Blue and the Gray.” Finch’s poem rapidly became part of the American literary canon. He explained what inspired him to write it 😛 TAGEND

“It struck me that the South was holding out a friendly hand, and that it was our obligation , not only as conquerors, but as men and their fellow citizens of the nation, to grasp it.”

Finch’s poem seemed to extend a full pardon to the South: “They banish our fury forever when they laurel the graves of our dead” are members of the lines.

Almost immediately, the poem circulated across America in books, magazines and newspapers. By the end of the 19 th century, school children everywhere were required to memorize Finch’s poem.

Not simply poems: Sheet music written to commemorate Memorial Day in 1870. Image via the Library of Congress.

As Finch’s poem circulated the country, the Southern Memorial Day holiday became a familiar phenomenon throughout America.

Logan was aware of the forgiving sentiments of people like Finch. When Logan’s order establishing Memorial Day was published in various newspapers in May 1868, Finch’s poem was sometimes appended to the order.

It was not long before Northerners decided that they would not only adopt the Southern custom of Memorial Day, but also the Southern custom of “burying the hatchet.”

A group of Union veterans explained their aims in a letter to the Philadelphia Evening Telegraph on May 28, 1869 😛 TAGEND

“Wishing to inter forever the harsh impressions engendered by the war, Post 19 has decided not to pass by the tombs of the Confederate sleeping in our lines, but divide each year between the blue and the gray the first floral offerings of a common country. We have no powerless foes. Post 19 thinks of the Southern dead only as brave men.”

Other reports of reciprocal magnanimity distributed inside the North, including the gesture of a 10 -year-old who made a wreath of flowers and sent it to the overseer of the holiday, a Col. Leaming in Lafayette, Indiana, with the following note attached, published in The New Hampshire Patriot on July 15, 1868 😛 TAGEND

“Will you please set this wreath upon some rebel soldier’s tomb? My dear papa is interred at Andersonville,( Georgia) and perhaps some “girls ” is likely to be kind enough to set a few blooms upon his grave.”

Although not known by many today, the early evolution of the Memorial Day vacation was a manifestation of Abraham Lincoln’s hope for reconciliation between North and South.

Lincoln’s wish was that there be “malice toward none” and “charity for all.” These hopes were clearly fulfilled in the magnanimous actions of citizens on both sides, who widened an olive branch during those very first Memorial Day observances.

This narrative originally appeared on The Conversation and is published here with permission .

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America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo review a hero at the Golden Gate

One Filipino migrants struggle to live her American dream after two years in a prison camp induces for a blazingly fearless debut novel

While serving as a medic in the revolutionary New People’s Army in the 1980 s, Geronima, called Hero for short, is captured by the Filipino military. After two years in a prison camp she weighs less than 90 lb and cannot bear to be touched. Hero’s mutilated thumbs and cigarette-burn scars are not easy to hide but she maintains her emotional meanders to herself after joining her uncle’s family in California at the beginning of America Is Not the Heart .

Hero guards another secret too: she favor daughters. In this blazingly fearless debut fiction, Elaine Castillo renders a faggot hero with a history of suffering on a par with tragic Jude from Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life ( 2015 ). She also probes the same disconcerting topic: can such a profoundly traumatic past ever actually be redeemed by love?

Much of the fiction is set at the start of 1990 s. Heaving with digressive sub-stories, untranslated dialect and jarring gearshifts in style, at first America Is Not the Heart somewhat resembles the hyperactive maximalist fiction that reached its zenith with David Foster Wallace during that decade.

In a startling opening riff in the second person, we gratify nurse Paz as she makes the leap from the Philippines to the San Francisco Bay Area in the hope of a better life( and so paving the route for new spouse Pol, and eventually his niece Hero, to follow on family visas ). For a Filipino generation who spent their lives” dreaming of America, singing its lyrics” the hardships of settling in their adoptive country are powerfully voiced here:” As for loving America or not loving America, these aren’t your problems, either. Your term for love is survival. Everything else is a story that isn’t about you .”

The American dream offers a salvation myth, which lures seekers to a country where a surgeon like Pol can become a” poorly paid security guard at a computer chip company “. Frequently harking back to the privilege of the clan in the Philippines, we feel girded for a panoramic household saga about the disillusionment of the Filipino-American diaspora.

After resolving on Hero, however, the novel observes its feet, all the better for planting them on modest ground. Hero’s new life in America is confined to cleaning Paz’s house and ferrying her daughter Roni to school until she satisfies a beguiling makeup artist named Rosalyn. Swapping exuberances for manga comics and British indie rock leads in time to red-hot sex crashes in vehicles and kitchens.

Hero’s circle slowly expands. Despite her broken thumbs, she can manage work in a eatery thanks to some dextrous adaptations, but it remains to be seen whether she can open her damaged heart to the besotted Rosalyn. Flashbacks to her stint in the guerrilla insurgency leave us in no doubt about why this is so excruciating for Hero. The novel is a possibility set in an unpicturesque part of the Bay Area- and Hero takes her sweet time to even visit the” glamorous red-bridged seaside city” to the north- but Castillo infuses their fragile fag romance with a luminous naturalism.

At a period when the US president is making ominous swipes against” chain migration”, the hugely talented Castillo provides a nuanced and persuasive take from the other side. America, to many disenchanted settlers, may not be the heart, but it sometimes provides a more hospitable corner where someone like Hero can begin to regain her own:” It was only that a small, small door inside of her had been left ajar , not thrown open, and things started to emerge, sluggish and night-blind .”

America Is Not the Heart is at its most moving when tracking the smaller, arduous steps by which consolidation actually happens, whether social, culture or emotional. It seems that some dreamings, albeit the ones not outsized enough to be blazoned in neon, can come true in America after all.

* America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo is published by Atlantic( PS14. 99 ). To order a transcript for PS12. 74 go toguardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p& p over PS10, online orders merely. Phone orders min p& p of PS1. 99

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