Dorothea Buschell. d. April 13, 2020

With my cousin Dorothea, August, 2018

 

Follow the ongoing saga of my cousin Dorothea. Had her own long held family burial plot in a Jewish cemetery. Victim of Covid-19 in a Brooklyn nursing home, where they did not answer the phones for three weeks, and never informed the family she died. Then they buried her without telling us. In a catholic cemetery…

The City

The City (follow up article)

The New York Times (What We’re Reading)

The New York Post

The Times of Israel

The Jerusalem Post

The Daily Voice

The Jewish Voice

 

 

Little Richard — Brushes With the King

Boosler and Little Richard at Florida Sunfest

Years ago, I was hired to emcee a three day music festival in Fort Lauderdale. I ran back and forth between multiple stages all day and all night. All the concert goers were seeing me constantly, over and over again, and I had to keep it fresh, so I did. Comics will tell you the crowd gets restless when waiting for the music act they came to see, so I had to be funny/honest; when an act was delayed, I told them I wished I would get off too, but we were all waiting for the music, right?

Sunday night, Little Richard was to be the closing act on one of the main stages. Anticipation was high of course. By now the audiences and I were old friends, so it was going well, but Richard just never came out, and the crowd was getting restless. So I turned it all into a bit, “I’m gonna run backstage to see what’s what”, and I’d bring them updates when I ran back out. “Ten minutes tops. Want to just talk to each other and I’ll come back to introduce him?” “No! Stay!” “Okay.” Ten minutes, twenty, thirty. Again, the crowd wanted answers. “I’m going backstage, be right back.” I did and came back out. “He’s coming! I actually saw him leave his dressing room and start to walk the hallway, he’s coming!!” Everyone clapped and whooped and I was so relieved. And then: nothing. No Little Richard. Nothing. “I’m gonna go backstage and see what’s what.” I went all the way back to his dressing room, passing a phalanx of Little Richard bodyguards in suits, all speaking into their walkie-talkies as I made my way down the line, one after another relaying the information: “Little Richard doesn’t like his pants.” “Little Richard doesn’t like his pants.” “Little Richard doesn’t like his pants….”

I went back onstage and said the only thing I could, “Little Richard doesn’t like his pants”… to the sounds of agonized groans. To this day when my husband yells to me “Come on! We’re gonna be late!” I yell back, “Little Richard doesn’t like his pants!”

 

This Little Richard story comes from John Brower

“Toronto September 13, 1969; “The Rock and Roll Revival”. Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee, Gene Vincent and Bo Diddley, with a few other acts thrown in: The Doors, John Lennon with the first iteration of The Plastic Ono Band, Alice Cooper (who brought a chicken), Chicago and a few others I’m missing.

Lennon was a late addition, The Doors were booked to close, but outside John’s dressing room Jim, and Bill Siddons, were trying to explain to John that The Doors wanted him to close. Backstory, the Saturday show was a ticket sales bomb on the Monday, it was almost cancelled and everyone but John knew it. He had been signed on at the last minute and agreed to come only if they could play, brought Eric, Klaus and Alan White on drums. Siddons and Jim were afraid everyone would leave after John, who was incredulous and kept saying, “But you’re the headliners. I’m worried everyone will leave after you if we close”. Richard was within earshot in a narrow hallway under the bleachers and came over in his most regal and commanding presence and proclaimed, “I will close the show, the way it should be closed by me The King. You know that Mr Doors, you know that Mr Promoter, you know that Mr Lennon.”

The four of us stood speechless and I saw in Jim and John’s faces a reverence and respect that they most likely would not muster up for few if any others. Rock and roll had been called, claimed and owned by Little Richard. He was due on next and graciously agreed to do so but as he  walked down the canopy towards the stage, in his lilting falsetto he almost sang. “I am The King.” The Doors did close, no one left after John played and the rest is history. Richard gave a performance that many publications acknowledged owned the  festival and some said it relaunched a career that as we know never ended.

I have seen some things in my time but this moment of Little Richard getting Jim and John to almost bow their heads in respect and stand in star-struck silence was the best. You can see his performance and the other original rock legends in the doc Sweet Toronto by Pennebaker. It’s worth it to see Little Richard who knew that both John and Jim were in the wings watching, give a performance that left fans and critics alike on their feet the whole time and in the palm of the hand of a master.”

 

National Comedy Center’s Tribute to George Carlin – May 12, 2020

Elayne is part of an All – Star tribute to George Carlin, presented by the National Comedy Center Museum. https://comedycenter.org/carlin-announcement/

Stream free at 8pmET/5pmPT on May 12 at comedycenter.org/Carlin.

It will be available on the National Comedy Center’s Facebook page via Facebook Live and at comedycenter.org/Carlin.

In this 1975 photo originally released by NBC, comedian George Carlin is shown in a promotional photo for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” Carlin, 71, whose staunch defense of free speech in his most famous routine “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television” led to a key Supreme Court ruling on obscenity, died Sunday June 22, 2008. He went into St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. Carlin served as host of the “Saturday Night Live” debut in 1975. (AP Photo/NBC) ** NO SALES ** ORG XMIT: NYET159

Twitter – Where Comedy Goes to Die

Twitter users seem to come in these flavors; outrageous or outraged, educated/helpful, smart/reasonable, idiots/trolls, funny. Being a comedian, I always tried to lead with comedy. Now after eleven years of providing comedy on twitter, I have been banned.

On March 24th, in the midst of a raging pandemic where social distancing and home quarantine were our best bets to prevent even larger scale death and illness, ImpeachedSCROTUS declared he “wants the churches opened up and raring to go by Easter”. Many of his supporters celebrated. Most reasonable people were horrified. Twitter, rightly so, exploded in rage and incredulity. I too was incensed, but so tired of feeling incensed by his daily insanity, and I didn’t want to add to the vitriol. Suddenly, my darling Andy Kaufman tapped me on the shoulder and I realized I could go completely in the opposite direction and it would be sublime. I do love satire. I tweeted:

“Listen libtards, u’ve got it all wrong. This country needs to stay strong & show the world we know what’s best! I agree with r president & encourage every #MAGA supporter to lock arms, get out there & go back 2 work together asap! @realDonaldTrump #NotDying4WallStreet #HugMitch”.

It could not have been any clearer that this was satire. “Libtards” is what the “right” calls us on twitter, so coming from a known comedian with forty plus years of democratic activism and material, it was funny. In case it wasn’t clear enough, the hashtags were there as a confirming wink. Yet liberals attacked. When you’re that incensed, you cannot see. The comments were hilarious, the threads so entertaining, I doubled down to the point of ridiculousness until people “got it”. The “right” continued to tweet “no one was going to prevent them filling their churches”, “God was bigger than Covid”, the virus was “a hoax”, etc., and I went right along with them, tweeting:

“Put on those red hats and spit in each other’s faces, just to show the world we are men and we are not afraid. Ha!”

I mean, could you get any sillier? Yet those are the two tweets, posted on March 24th, for which I was banned on April 6th. I had posted seventy subsequent tweets, so someone had to comb through those and work pretty hard to “find something” on me. But what? Those tweets were clearly comedy from a comedian and echoed exactly what the “right” was tweeting.

Twitter gives you no specifics, just cuts you dead and says you violated their rules. The only rule I could find that they, unbelievable as it is to me, might have applied, is against “encouraging self-harm or suicide”. Yet ever since, against the recommendations of every medical professional in government, The Impeached has incited his followers to “open up the country”. Hundreds if not thousands of people left their homes weeks ago and gathered closely together, most without masks or protective gear, to demand cities re-open. The coming weeks will no doubt reap the deadly results of this reckless “encouraging of self-harm or suicide”, yet SCROTUS’ and the republicans’ twitter accounts are doing just fine.

Everyone is trying to define comedy’s place in the new world. Twitter told me to delete my tweets to keep my account. I would never sell out my comedy heroes or comedy that way. Twitter deleted my tweets anyway. And yet, I remain banned, over nothing. All comedians should chafe at censorship that is ignorant at best, arbitrary at worst. We should all object to the hypocrisy of a platform that bans the comedy so needed today, but freely allows deadly misinformation, incitement of harm and encouragement of hate while claiming it doesn’t. I am thanked every day on all other social media for providing laughter during this awful time. So if this banning badge of honor means I have to find a two bedroom to share with Captain Crozier, then I am proud to do so.

 

 

The Week, November 29, 2019 – Wit & Wisdom

Wit & Wisdom

The Week included a classic quote of Elayne’s in its Wit & Wisdom column on November 29, 2019, which had been earlier quoted in Forbes Magazine.

“Polarizing people is a good way to win an election and a good way to wreck a country.”
Columnist Molly Ivins, quoted in The Virginian-Pilot

“An American will build a house in which to pass his old age and sell it before the roof is on.”
Alexis de Tocqueville, quoted in Lapham’s Quarterly

“Let others praise ancient times; I am glad I was born in these.”
Roman poet Ovid, quoted in AmericaMagazine.org

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
George Orwell, quoted in TheBulwark.com

“My ancestors wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because even in biblical times, men would not stop to ask directions.”
Comedian Elayne Boosler, quoted in Forbes.com

“When politicians decide to do nothing, they decide to do a great deal in a world that is not standing still.”
Conservationist Norman Myers, quoted in The New York Times

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
Author Douglas Adams, quoted in BBC.com