"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can break my heart..." Linda McCartney

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Sticks And Stones

In Brotherly Love, Civility, Feelings, Morals, Music, News, Society on October 7, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Conscience: a personal sense of the moral content of one’s own conduct, intentions, or character

with regard to a feeling of obligation to do right or be good. Conscience, usually informed

by acculturation and instruction, is thus generally understood to give intuitively authoritative judgments regarding the moral quality of single actions.”

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online

Once upon a time, good conscience used to be a character component PARENTS, some sort of faith, and community instilled in their children. Children also learned from the example of community leaders– their teachers, their preachers and their neighbors.
Train up a boy according to the way for him; even when he grows old he will not turn aside from it.”–Probverbs 22:6
It’s disturbing to me how the media is making it appear as though all of a sudden there’s this prolific increase of lack of good judgement and good conscience. The truth is, this is a social phenomena that has been going on for quite a long time.
Without a conscience, there can be no empathy.  Conscience is the little voice behind you saying:  Do you really wanna say, do, wear that? Conscience is: The awareness of a moral or ethical aspect to one’s conduct together with the urge to prefer right over wrong.- The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary
I don’t believe more Internet cyber-etiquette classes are gonna cut it here.
Linda McCartney very famously and poignantly put it this way:
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but *words* can break my heart.”
That, literally, is what’s at the heart of this matter. People not stoping to consider anyone’s humanity– their  feelings– anymore, probably because their own are so dulled down.
“…how can YOU speak good things, when YOU are wicked? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”— Matt 12: 34, 35
Words are powerful.  They are double-edged swords.  They have the capacity to heal and humiliate. Words can kill! They kill the spirit. People who think it’s fun or funny to kill another person’s spirit are, in my opinion, MURDERERS!

The cumulative effect of all of this seemingly innocuous, funny ha-ha mendacity is that it slowly, insidiously, bit by tiny bit, transforms potential friends and talented individuals into frightened, uncertain, helpless victims. Victimization leads to frustration. Frustration leads to anger. Anger devolves into resignation. Resignation leads to self-loathing and creates The 21st Century Zombie. Going through the motions of living on the outside. Dead on the inside.

It’s a slow and wretched existence. First of all, the psychological and emotional energy it takes damping down all that pain, reigning it all in– persevering and enduring, often with no end in sight every day. It. Is. EXHAUSTING!

Job only had to endure his torment three years. So did Jesus Christ.

Because you’re the victim, you have to do all the work. No one must ever know you’re angry, annoyed, disappointed, hurt, scared– fighting the good fight all by yourself in your head and in your heart.

Second, if you fail to understand how victimization works–  Poof! All of a sudden you’re not only a problem, you’re the one with the problem. You’re the difficult person, the malcontent, the complainer, the irritating source of all the friction. You don’t know how to “go with the flow.” You’re INFLEXIBLE! Everybody has bad stuff happen to them. You need to develop a “thick skin.” You have only yourself to blame. You should stand up for yourself!

“How does it feel to be a problem?”– W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk

These young people know: Tyler Clementi, Megan Meier, and Hope Witsell, just a few of the former members of the sad and tragic fratority of the walking wounded– the living dead.  Then there are the countless unnamed victims who dull their pain with alcohol and drugs and sexual promiscuity or acting out rages.  “How does it feel to be a problem?”

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?— Bob Dylan

There are so many more stories like theirs in the naked city and silent suburbs.  Not only are children, teens and young adults bullied in schools and on college campuses all across America, but adults are being bullied in the workplace as well. People with children, and car notes, and student loans, and mortgages, and credit cards to repay are being forced to quit their jobs (another form of suicide) to escape the harrassment.

It’s neither fun nor funny to deliberately or maliciously make another human being feel like a victim, to kill their spirit.  When someone physically assaults you, or steals your property, or you lose a limb as a result of medical incompetence or malpractice, the law’s the remedy for you.  But when someone hurts, or assaults, or maims, or lacerates your feelings, where’s the remedy for you?

“Ouch! That hurt my feelings! Quick! Call the police!?”

Society says you just need to suck it up, act like an adult, shake it off, grow up, be a man, turn the other cheek, give it to God. But when mean people, their lies and their hateful machinations interfere with your ability to sustain or even have quality of life itself– when it interferes with your pursuit of happiness–  it’s a tad harder to just shake off.

And the effort. It takes soo much out of you, requires soo much energy.  It’s soo exhausting. Nowadays not even your home is a safe haven, or shelter from the storms or respite to recharge and gain your bearings and endure another day. There’s a note posted on your door. A message on your answering machine. An email in your inbox. A text on your mobile phone. A video on Youtube.

They’re following you home.

You want a friend you- can rely on
One who will never fade away
And if you’re searching for an answer
Stick around. I say  It’s coming up, it’s coming up
Its coming up like a flower
Its coming up. Yeah– Paul McCartney and Wings

No rest for the weary.

What needs to be talked about more, everywhere, is being of good character and valuing a good conscience. Having a good FICA score is not an indicator of good character! All that demonstrates is that you can pay your bills. And yet, that’s all we publically associate character with– a record of bill paying. No wonder no one really cares or has any regard for how anybody feels any more.

True happiness and joy rests in having a good conscience.  You get a good conscience by having goodwill towards everyone every day and all the time. It’s not how well you treat people, it’s how well you make them feel. A lot of the time, being good to one another requires no money at all.
When we can get back to being a society who cares more about the emotional health and well being of people and less about their credit scores, there may be hope for less of these true and tragic stories of people who are just plain mean to other people.
C’mon People now, Smile on your Brother
Everybody get together, try to love one another right now!
Right now!
Right now!

♫This Is The End

In Death, Despair, Life, Music, Musicians on January 26, 2010 at 11:49 pm

“Love conquers all.” “Every cloud has a silver lining.” “Faith can move mountains.” “Love will always find a way.” “Everything happens for a reason.” “Where there is life, there is hope.” Oh, well… They gotta tell you somethin’…” Charlize Theron as Aileen Wournos in Monster (2003)

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes…again

Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need…of some…stranger’s hand
In a…desperate land

Lost in a Roman…wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
Waiting for the summer rain, yeah

There’s danger on the edge of town
Ride the King’s highway, baby
Weird scenes inside the gold mine
Ride the highway west, baby

Ride the snake, ride the snake
To the lake, the ancient lake, baby
The snake is long, seven miles
Ride the snake…he’s old, and his skin is cold

The west is the best
The west is the best
Get here, and we’ll do the rest

The blue bus is callin’ us
The blue bus is callin’ us
Driver, where you taken’ us

The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived, and…then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door…and he looked inside
Father, yes son, I want to kill you
Mother…I want to…fuck you

C’mon baby, take a chance with us
C’mon baby, take a chance with us
C’mon baby, take a chance with us
And meet me at the back of the blue bus
Doin’ a blue rock
On a blue bus
Doin’ a blue rock
C’mon, yeah

Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

It hurts to set you free
But you’ll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die

This is the end

Mend your fences with your families
Keep up with your friends
Don’t burn your bridges
Forgive your mean mom
Because
If God is your only friend,
Well then, my dear
You are
Pretty much
screwed

Decide! It’s Your Decision

In Despair, Life, Living, Music, Reading, Society, Unemployment on January 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm

No temptation has taken you except what is common to men.  But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear..,”   I Corinthians 10:13

I guess this basically means, then, that if you’re like me and have a high threshold for emotional and psychological pain, He can let it go on ad infinitum. But can you?

They say that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Is this really true?  Only if you’re Job.  Death is not the worse thing that can happen to you, you know.  God let Satan do anything he wanted to Job short of taking his life.  In the end, Satan had to leave Job just as he found him– alive and only wishing he were dead.

Job’s ordeal only lasted a whopping three years.  Come to think of it, so did Jesus’. So how do you cope when your ordeals are recurring, last much, much, much, much longer and there is not a locust, wild fig tree or even a false friend in sight?  What do you do?

Here’s a few things I didn’t do:  I never turned to drugs (prescribed or otherwise) or alcohol or sexual promiscuity to anesthetize my pain. I have never sought revenge against any other person or been involved in any deliberate acts of unkindness toward anyone. I have never committed an act of violence upon any person, or skulked about in parking lots or back offices plotting to have someone fired. I never willfully set out to hurt anyone or kill anyone’s spirit.  That’s murder as far as I’m concerned.

These are the usual ways the majority of people, (at least almost every single person I have ever met in my life) seems to deal with insecurity, unresolved adolescent issues, undiagnosed borderline personality disorder or “temptation…beyond” what they could bear.

I did take up smoking cigarettes for a time.  The rituals of smoking– the lighting of the cigarette and with what, the having of the cigarette with coffee and after meals, standing outside alone inhaling, then exhaling, watching streams of cigarette smoke disappear into the still, night air…  I did find comfort in that.

It was something to do, a way for me to regain control and a sense of routine during those stark times when I needed to occupy my hands and my thoughts.  But I hated the ash, and the smell of the ash, and the discarding of the ash.  The expense became prohibitive.  It was ridicules, so after a time, I just stopped. I didn’t need a buddy or a patch, or a scary PSA.  I just needed to decide.

Just how much can one person “bear?” What does “beyond” mean? Those filthy, dirty, discolored people you see pushing shopping carts filled with all their stuff and sleeping in subway tunnels–  do they know?  Those people who snap and kill their wives, or boyfriends, or parents, or child, or classmates–  do they know?  Schizophrenics, or people living with mental illness or who have suffered severe mental breakdowns–  do they know?

“…He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear…”

What about the millions of people who each year commit suicide?  Is the “what you can bear” threshold beyond life worth living? At that eleventh hour and fifty ninth second, did they cry out to God in their pain, agony and solitude and saw nothing beyond “beyond” at all to be afraid of?  Did they become like God, “KNOWING good and bad?” (Gen. 3:5) Is that why they did it? Could it be death is highly underrated?

” No temptation has taken you except what is common to men.”

Poverty, homelessness, disease, mental illness, abandonment, betrayal, isolation, hurt…  All human conditions “common to men.”  You’re not special, or unique, or being singled out for punishment or future increase.  You don’t get to stop bearing all things life burdens you with.  You don’t get to surrender your torment and become numb. Miracles ceased upon the death of the last apostle, so don’t overstay your welcome during the sackcloth and ashes phase of grief. Is there a limit to endurance?  Yes there is and guess what?  You determine it!

“…but along with the temptation He will also make the way out in order for you to be able to endure it.”

Popularity is people liking you.  Happiness is You liking you.

“Love… bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” I Cor. 13:4, 7

Some people have families who help assuage the pain.  The rest of us do not.  Some people have a circle of friends who help assuage the pain.  The rest of us do not.  Some people have a so-called church home, or a job, or a community or a passion or even a dog to help help assuage the pain. The rest of us..?  Well, we just have to like ourselves more.

“No temptation has taken you except what is common to men.  But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation He will also make the way out in order for you to be able to endure it.” I Cor. 10:13

We just have to endure.

I hurt myself today
to see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
the only thing that’s real
the needle tears a hole
the old familiar sting
try to kill it all away
but I remember everything

what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
upon my liar’s chair
full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
beneath the stains of time
the feelings disappear
you are someone else
I am still right here

what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt

I will let you down
I will make you hurt

if I could start again
a million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

Hurt | performed by Johnny Cash

Mother’s Little Helper

In Civility, Death, Despair, Feelings, Life, Music, Musicians, Society, The Bible, Twitter, Unemployment on January 10, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I think I’ll just let these lyrics speak for me here and now.  It’s my story, only without the “little helper.”  But I think on it. We’re not designed to be perpetually alone.  Even Adam had Eve.  I think I’m being conversant. In my mind I want to be helpful or funny. Only year after year, decade after decade, I find I am characterized as a “know-it-all.”   The penalty for this harsh, unsparing indictment is death, first by insult, then some public humiliation, then banishment.  You may not work, earn money or live.  It’s a death sentence. Life without the possibility for parole.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards penned and produced this tune in 1966. Unlike the paradoxes of the bible, the language here is straightforward and impossible for even the lowest level of understanding to miss.  It’s a great song. Mostly because She is Me.  I hope I will find my “little helper.”

♫What a drag it is getting old

“Kids are different today,”
I hear every mother say
Mother needs something today to calm her down
And though she’s not really ill
There’s a little yellow pill
She goes running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper
And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day

“Things are different today,”
I hear every mother say
Cooking fresh food for a husband’s just a drag
So she buys an instant cake and she burns her frozen steak
And goes running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper
And two help her on her way, get her through her busy day

Doctor please, some more of these
Outside the door, she took four more
What a drag it is getting old

“Men just aren’t the same today”
I hear every mother say
They just don’t appreciate that you get tired
They’re so hard to satisfy, you can tranquilize your mind
So go running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper
And four help you through the night, help to minimize your plight

Doctor please, some more of these
Outside the door, she took four more
What a drag it is getting old

“Life’s just much too hard today,”
I hear every mother say
The pursuit of happiness just seems a bore
And if you take more of those, you will get an overdose
No more running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper
They just helped you on your way, through your busy dying day  

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

In R&B, Rap Music, Sesame Street, Television on January 9, 2010 at 3:04 am

Seems there’s another Rap versus R&B debate raging.  Does rap music affect the community more than R&B? Hmmm…

I recall listening to the stories my grandmother told.  A woman born in 1908, she annually, deliberately and melodically relived the pain of the “disappearance” of not one but two sons, both of whom (in separate instances, six years apart) rose early in the morning to go to work at the steel mill.  They  never made it back home and were neither seen nor heard from again.

I recall  the sneering, disdainful voices of men, (who knew if they were really police officers or not) as they reduced my proud, educated  but physically small father to a puddle of mutter of “Yes sir” and “no sir” as we made our way by car from the Bronx to Charleston, SC every summer to spend with the grandparents there.

Grandma owned and operated a funeral home.  Her venerated pastor, the Reverend Preleau, owned his church and  the corner grocery store.  Her youngest son owned and operated the neighborhood juke joint.  There was a church and a candy store on every corner.  There was a launderer, several beauty parlors, the numbers runners.  Only time whites came into our little slice was to collect on the penny insurance policies everyone in the neighborhood seemed to have.

The teachers in our school were surrogate parents.  As were any and all neighbors sitting out on their front porches, listening to our speech, observing our behaviors.  No one paid for child care. Everyone, it seemed, was our “cousin.” Our neighborhood was pretty self-sustaining.  Integration was not what was discussed much around grandma’s dinner table.

There was much more conversation whenever a “colored” appeared on TV.  People literally shouted from their windows to announce “colored on TV!” People stopped what they were doing and gathered to watch. Mother and Grandma especially liked Moms Mabley, Nipsey Russell, Louis Armstrong, Judy Pace, Brock Peters, Flip Wilson, Nat King Cole, Bill Cosby, Diahann Carroll, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ivan Dixon, Georg Sanford Brown, Cicely Tyson, Harry Belafonte, Joe Tex, Jackie Wilson, Scatman Crothers— Mahalia Jackson.

We listened intently to Tony Brown, Julian Bond, Jesse Jackson, Dr.King, Malcolm X, John Lewis, Thurgood Marshall.

But the music–  the music was ubiquitous.  It was always, always, always on.  I can’t remember ever awakening to a day without music.  And the music galvanized the community.  It was restorative and painful; inciting and exciting.  It was fun and upbeat.  It was sober and melancholy.  It was silly and serious but most of all it was wholly and completely and uniquely ours.

In 1964, Dr. Martin Luther Jr. delivered the opening address to the Berlin Jazz Festival:

“Jazz speaks for life,” King said. “The blues tell the story of life’s difficulties — and, if you think for a moment, you realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph. This is triumphant music.”

No one but a Black woman could sound like Aretha Franklin or Tammi Terrell or Gladys Knight or Chaka Khan.  No one other than a Black man could sound like David Ruffin, Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson or Donny Hathaway.  R&B integrated and synthesized the best of jazz, blues, swing and gospel.  Anybody who wasn’t Black at the time could only try to imitate it and failing that, try to squelch it.

R&B will always be associated with the Civil Rights Revolution.  Indeed, R&B is its soundtrack. This is triumphant music, from “Patches” by Clarence Carter, to “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye and all the myriad voices before, during, after and in between. To this day I vividly remember where I was and what I was doing when I first heard “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud),” “Thank You For Lettin’ Me Be Myself,” “Hot Fun In The Summertime” “Respect,” “Ball Of Confusion,” “Respect Yourself,” “A Change Is Gonna Come,” “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler),” “Living For The City,” “Summertime” (Billy Stewart version)…  So, so, so many songs.

The power, the TRUTH, the authenticity of real instruments and virgin voices influenced the consciousness of the whole country and brought together an entire community, collectively informed and encouraged by a uniquely shared experience– Like one big “Sunday go to meetin’.”

Rap music has its place.  It speaks for a generation and an experience that is truth and authentic to many.  But it’s not spiritually or politically transformative.  Its focus is individual and narcissistic rather than universal and transcendent.

It invites others to merely listen to their sorrow not know it. There is no narrative growth and change. Cadence, technique and technology without the heart.  Rap is the People Magazine of “music” (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Rap says ‘If you buy this, I get money,’ while R&B says ‘If you feel like I do, we can all be free.”

R&B is voice.  It is a soul.  It is a living soul– with voice.  It is connected to a history that traversed continents and centuries, took lives and liberties,  and required legislation and the law (gradually, in fits and starts), to change.

One thing is not necessarily better than the other, but to use a line from Sesame Street “one of these things is not like the other.”  Oil is not like water however both may successfully fulfill a specific purpose.  Which now is  more affecting than the other?   The one that performs best when the need is most great.

Up In The Air

In Books, Economy, Feelings, Film, Life, Living, Music, Unemployment on November 30, 2009 at 10:58 pm
Help!  I need somebody,
Help!  Not just anybody,
Help!  You know,  I need Someone…,
Help!
Look at me. Still here. Languishing unhappily in this place some might call Hell.  I listened to Jason Reitman today as he discussed, in an interview with Robert Seigle on NPR what he learned from his experience working with “real people who had lost their jobs” for his newly released movie Up In The Air” starring George Clooney and Vera Farmiga.

“If you’d asked me before I did this movie, ‘What’s the worst thing about losing your job in this type of economy?’ I would’ve probably said the loss of income,” Reitman explains. “But as I talked to these people, that rarely came up. What people said, time and time again, was: ‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.’ … It was really about a lack of purpose. They would say, you know, ‘After I finish this interview, I’m going to go get in my car, and I have nowhere to be.’ And I can’t imagine thinking that every day.”

“I can’t imagine thinking that every day” young Mr. Reitman said.  We’re not just thinking it, Mr. Reitman.  We’re feeling it and that, I can tell you from experience is far, far worse.

You can’t  imagine getting up every morning with no one in the entire world expecting you.  No one even knowing or caring if you’re  even ALIVE or not.  Days blend into weeks.  Weeks into months.  You check and recheck the calendar constantly to remind yourself what day of the week it is.  Or watch The Today Show.

There is no greater hell than to have to begin and end each and every day having had nothing to do.  Nothing to think about.  No Where to be.  No one to be with.  No one who gives a shit.

No one says “See you tomorrow.”  I  go whole days, weeks and months without ever having to part my lips to make a sound.  I can go equally as long not ever hearing the sound of my own name.

The phone never rings.

Death of a SalesmanYou are absolutely right, Mr. Reitman.  It is not the loss of income that is the thing.  I used to always joke if I wanted to work soley for money I’d be a prostitute.  No, it’s not the loss of an income that we miss most.

Work is the anchor of a life. Look what happened to Willy Loman, for gods sake. Everything you do in life is because you work.   Work is not a privilege.  It’s a RIGHT!  There can be no Life, Liberty or PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS without WORK!  Work is the American dream!

Once you have your job and feel secure in it and have adapted to the routine of collecting and managing the paycheck, that’s when L.I.V.I.N.G begins. Every plan, every decision, every thought, even your commute to and from work each day is dictated by the completion of at least eight hours and the blessed assurance you’ll  repeat that routine again tomorrow.

Before work you may do a load of laundry, drop the kids off with the caregivers, stop at a drive through for a McGriddle, stop at the dry cleaner, plan dinner while you’re driving.  Once you get to work, you chit-chat about those mundane, shared experiences with co-workers, grocery shop on your lunch hour, use online bill payer at work, pitch in for birthday cards and cakes for co-workers you hardly know (or may not even like) .

After work, you complain about traffic, listen to your car radio (or iPod), pick up the kids, stop at the grocery store or Pet Smart or Target or just head straight home because dinner has to be made, the dryer has to be emptied, the floor needs to be vacuumed, homework needs to be done.  Bills need to be paid.  Everybody has to pee.

Meal time, bath time, bedtime,  quiet time.  All the while your mind’s already reflecting on tomorrow’s in-basket, e-mails that need to be responded to, deadlines, projects, special assignments or just the every day joy of the every day routine of everyday people doing what they do every day–  anchoring their lives so they can orbit all the things they really love and care about.  The JOB is the sun.  Family.  Friends.  Food. Music, TV and NPR all nourished by the Sun’s life-giving, life-sustaining  perennial rays.

Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They DoThere is no community without  people who are working. Studs Terkel wrote a book about it.  Real people don’t give a shit about “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.”  All they wanna do is work so they can live in the same neighborhood they grew up in, make their parents proud and live close to them, grow their childhood friendships, marry their childhood sweethearts, share the old neighborhood and their most cherished memories with their children and then check out realizing some content with the measure of their life. People have to be working to do that.

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before.

I’m estranged from my family, too ashamed to let them know where I am and how I’ve ended up.  I force myself to be cheerful and happy seeming around my only child because I don’t want to worry him or be a burden to him.  He’s all I have–  That’s human.

And then there is my dog.  He’s what keeps me alive right now.  I will not relinquish him. I will not surrender him. I will not give him up.  I love my dog.  He’s here with me every day.  He sleeps in the bed with me. He keeps me hanging on with hope that tomorow… maybe tomorrow something excellent will happen to me at last.  Maybe I just might survive this depression/recession– decession.

Or maybe I’ll just end up like those elephants in Africa who don’t survive the drought or the long trek toward water.  I’m prepared for that, too.

I the meantime I hope.  Maybe once again I will be able to do a load of laundry, drop my dog off at the pet sitter, stop at the drive though for a McMuffin, drop off the dry cleaning, eat  birthday sheet cake at the office, plan dinner, save for an Elton John concert…  Be not afraid everyday.  Be normal.
When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way.
But now those daya are gone, I’m not so self assured,
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors.
Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won’t you please, please help me
Help me..,
HELP me…
Oooooo…. ♫♫

Just Like A Tree…

In Despair, Despair Inc, Life, Music, Religion on October 6, 2009 at 10:30 pm

The thing about characterizing yourself as “spiritual” or “non-practicing,” or “non-religious” is that you are alone. Without a community it’s like being a big tree in a South American rain forest. You’re doing your thing, your roots are firmly entrenched in the ground, but you stand alone, surrounded by a lot of other great trees. There’s no connection.

You don’t go to church.  You don’t attend meetings or fraternize with any like-minded others at all.  You are a great tree.  Firmly planted.  Roots deeply entrenched.  Shading none.  Sheltering no one. Bearing no fruit. You are neither lamp nor light.  You’re lost and alone and afraid.

Dear God…
is there somebody out there?
Is there someone to hear my prayer?
I’m a simple man with simple words to say
Is there some point in asking?
Asking for more only got us where we are today
Lost and alone and afraid
Give me, love for the lonely
Give me, food for the hungry
Give me, peace in a restless world
Give me, hope for the children
Give me, a worldwide religion
Give me, peace in a restless world
Dear God, can you hear me crying?
A whole world crying
Looking for something to say
We had it all and we threw it all away
Is there somebody watching
Somebody watching over the mess that we’ve
made
We’re lost and alone and afraid
Give me, love for the lonely
Give me, food for the hungry
Give me, peace in a restless world
Give me, hope for the children
Give me, a worldwide religion
Give me, peace in a restless world
And we need to know there’s something good
Though all our years of solitude go on and on and on…
Give me, love for the lonely
Give me, food for the hungry
Give me, peace in a restless world
Give me, hope for the children
Give me, a worldwide religion
Give me, peace in a restless world
Dear God..,
is there somebody out there,
Is there someone to hear my prayer..?

♫♫The Sound Of Silence

In Art, Death, Feelings, Life, Music on September 30, 2009 at 8:02 pm

The thing about music is once you have it in you, it’s yours forever.  No other art form burrows so deep inside your heart and your head like music.  You feel it. You crave it.  It creates sensations inside.  It makes you leap to your feet or can place you gently into a chair.  It makes you grimace, it makes you smile, it makes you laugh out loud.

It resurrects memories and sights and smells and tastes.  You see colors.  It reunites you with loved ones– or vice versa, the living and the dead.  It blurs the constraints of time or alters them completely.  Suddenly you’re twenty-five year old son or daughter is two again or you yourself are nineteen.  Music is the most powerful art form.

It’s not like a movie, or book or theater.  You can play whole songs in your head; your intimate, personal, private soundtrack  anytime, anyplace, anywhere. It’s portable.  No batteries required.  No equipment necessary.  It is all yours.  No one’s inner audio library is exactly like anyone else’s. No one may judge the sounds in your soul.

You can feel it by yourself or you can feel it in a group.  It can envelope you in melancholy and with the next cut, ecstasy. And the emotional explosion of excitement you experience when just one person relates to your inner sea. Music makes you feel good and makes feeling bad even better.

People fear death because they can feel just how much they’ll miss their music. Like a premonition– A foreboding.  Music is the moon that swells the tide of your being.  Music is your soul and your soul is you. What would it be like when music is turned off? It’s the SILENCE we’re all so afraid of.

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence

♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫…

♫So much to say, so much to SAY, so much to SAY, so much to SAY…

In Blogging, Books, Music, Reading, Twitter on September 22, 2009 at 12:33 pm

http://www.synthstuff.com/mt/archives/2006_09.html http://blogs.jobdig.com/wwds/2009/01/06/will-rogers-still-the-best/ First among many famous Tweeters whose fleeting thoughts are memorialized in writing.  How much more would they have said if there were, first, alive today,  and “egonomically” Favrd clever?

Jack Handey

The World’s  First Tweets, though, continue to outlast even these venerable thinkers

9“…and so there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Does anything exist of which one may say: ‘See this; it is new?'” Ec 1:9, 10

But wait...    There's more! Still rockin’ the Pithy. Succinct. Bound.

Remember when thoughts used to be fleeting?

♫So much to say, so much to say,  so much to sell, so much to say…
I deleted my Twitter account today.Webcock
I am just not all that clever.

little baby…♫

IF You Can Keep Your Head When All About You…

In Agape Love, Brotherly Love, Celebrities, Civility, Current Events, Elvis Costello, Manners, Morality, Morals, Music, self control, Society on September 14, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Courage is:

  • Following your conscience instead of “following the crowd.”
  • Refusing to take part in hurtful or disrespectful behaviors.
  • Sacrificing personal gain for the benefit of others.
  • Speaking your mind even though others don’t agree.
  • Taking complete responsibility for your actions…and your mistakes.
  • Following the rules – and insisting that others do the same.
  • Challenging the status quo in search of better ways.
  • Doing what you know is right – regardless of the risks and potential consequences

Source:  http://drlill.com/

On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Gal. 5:22,23

CHARACTER COUNTS! WeekMake character your cause for celebration

October 18-24, 2009 could be the best thing that ever happened to your town. We offer all the free resources you need to celebrate: lesson plans, Red Ribbon Week tie-in activities, and so much more!  Register here »

Serena Williams.  Kanye West. South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson. Jesse Jackson.  Barbara Bush. Elvis Costello.  Rush Limbaugh.  Glenn Beck:  October 18-24, 2009  is Character Counts Week!  Pass it on.

http://www.johnwmacdonald.com/blog/2006/03/brigitte-bardot-protests-in-ottawa.htmlBrigitte Bardot was convicted of provoking discrimination and racial hatred for writing, in her ardent defense of animal rights, that Muslims are destroying France saying she was:

”tired of being led by the nose by this population that is destroying us, destroying our country by imposing its acts.”

Vice President Dick Cheney’s  “joke” suggests a widely held belief of there exists a culture of generational incest in West Virginia:

“So I had Cheneys on both sides of the family and we don’t even live in West Virginia..,”


Don Imus on the the Rutgers women’s basketball team:

IMUS: Awesome rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some hardcore hoes.
IMUS: That’s some nappy-headed hos.

Don Imus, on Gwen Ifilldistinguished journalist, moderator and managing editor of Washington Week and senior correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer:

“Isn’t the ‘Times’ wonderful.  It lets the cleaning lady cover the White House.”

Barbara Bush on hurricane Katrina evacuees in Houston who lost everything back in Mississippi or Louisiana…

“What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas..,   And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway so this is working very well for them.”

Costello “called James Brown ‘a jive-ass n****r’.” Of Ray Charles?’ He said, ‘Screw Ray Charles, he’s nothing but a blind n****r.’

Michael Richards…

‘Nuf said.

I could go on and on. I’m gonna channel Marvin Gaye here–  “What’s going on?”  Is the whole world losing its mind?  Whatever happened to a little som’ sompin’ called self-control?

Dictionary.com defines self control as “control or restraint of oneself or one’s actions, feelings, etc.” It’s interesting to note synonyms include discipline and levelheadedness. In the world of personal morality, then, has it really come to pass..? One day morality is in, and the next day it’s OUT?

You don’t have to be anti this or pro that to appreciate self-control.  It’s not about clinging to religion or right wing conservatism or any of these descriptors tossed about to silence those we disagree with or to disguise or justify why “WE” don’t like “you.” People are just opening their mouths and letting the toads plop wherever they may.

WHAT’S GOING ON!!!?

In the cases of Don Imus and Michael Richards, these men had deluded themselves into believing that just because they hung with Blacks who “reclaimed” the “N” word and other equally crass expressions often degrading of women, they were in the fratority. They felt safe to use the expressions themselves, after all “everybody knows I’m not a racist!” They actually believed they were not only down with them but down like them. Imus has said he’s learned his lesson.  Hmmm…  That’s easy for you to say, Don, now that you’re able to go on making a living.

More than racism is rearing its ugly head as these remarks and all the other recent verbal faux pas clearly demonstrate. These tiny thumbnails should be starting to switch on our collective alarm bells. These are no mere slips of the tongue. These are revelations, a heads up if you will pointing out what really lies beneath. Attention needs to be paid!

In the sixties, the hippies mantra was love, love, love. Today..?  What’s going on?  Where is the love?

http://www.elsarings.com/tennisbracelet/playersgallery_serena_williams.htmlIF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

Kanye-West-u07.jpgIf you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

http://www.slate.com/id/2140061/If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

If  |  Rudyard Kipling

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