Four-Play (Week #10) (Pop/Rock Waltzes)

Welcome to my tenth Internet Blogcast… one where we’ll deconstruct music a bit more than I normally do. But… not to worry, my readers / listeners… advanced musicology degrees are not required. Everything will be as easy as repeatedly counting out 1 – 2 – 3… 1 – 2 – 3… 1 – 2 – 3…

Indeed, songs with ¾ time signatures, latter day waltzes, are this week’s Four Play focus.

Again… not to worry… having two left feet on the dance floor will still present no barrier to enjoying these tracks. As one who’s not called a lefty based solely on my politics, trust me when I say, it’s totally cool for us to be tapping our toes while seated on the sidelines.

All kidding aside, it’s intriguing how days of yore ballroom dancers (of the 18th century onward), if they were to materialize into the here and now, could easily waltz to the songs titled: Mr. Bojangles… How Can I Be Sure… Disney Girls… and Manic Depression.

Since these musical masterpieces are all fully capable of speaking for themselves… that’s my cue to shut up and deliver the goods… well… except for my performing some routine, blogcast housekeeping duties…

For starters… the video title to Manic Depression, below, is a link to a more electrified, Karaoke version.

Additionally… while few DJs can please all the people all the time, I do encourage you, my listeners, to be musically adventurous… marching in lockstep is nowhere near as fun as (literally and figuratively) dancing to the beat of a different drummer.

“Still not my ‘cup of tea,’” you say? Not to worry. With 3 more blogcasts still remaining in my blog experiment’s 13 week run… you never can tell what you’ll be hearing seven days from now.

For any of you who may’ve missed past posted programs and/or would like to give ‘em a listen again, everything is neatly archived in my music category.

Blog response will be akin to Arbitron / Nielsen “radio ratings”… so… if you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard, click that “Like” Star. Of course, comments (as well as song requests) are always welcome, too!

 

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band ~ Mr. Bojangles

Young Rascals ~ How Can I Be Sure

Beach Boys ~ Disney Girls

Diversus Guitar Ensemble ~ Manic Depression (Jimi Hendrix Cover)

 

 

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99 Word Blog (#026) Poetic Justice Rules?

What if the 2016 elections involve a crisis reminiscent of Gore vs. Bush? Let’s say lower courts permit Hillary Clinton’s ballot recount and Donald Trump appeals upward to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Due to Antonin Scalia’s death, the remaining eight ideologically deadlocked judges would be unable to decide… meaning Clinton’s lower court victory would stand.

If her recount then made her POTUS, the Republicans, who’ve blocked President Obama’s attempt to appoint Scalia’s successor, would have only themselves to blame!

A clear-cut case decided by Poetic Justice!

Would Obama’s appointee have ruled pro-Hillary, anyway? Well, that’s something we’ll never, ever know.

 

99 Word Blog (#025) Burkini Ban Banned

 

The League of Human Rights petitioned the French Court to ban the burkini ban because it contravenes civil liberties and upsets Muslims and feminists.

The Conseil d’Etat agreed to suspend this discriminatory law… however smaller minds could yet prevail to reverse this decision.

In that event, millions of rational folks, inclusive of moi, will want to know, exactly, how anything expressed in my limerick, below, makes France any safer.

 

The nude beach patrol cops from France, Nice,

Enforce dress codes that disturb the peace,

Muslim women feel stress,

When they’re told to undress,

By the gun wielding fashion police!

Cleo, Theo & Cosmo (Bus Stop Chat #002): Unwelcome Wagon

For those who’ve missed Chat #001 to this fictional series, the one paragraph synopsis, below, will adequately get you up to speed. If you’d prefer to first read the full, introductory post, it’s archived in my “Cleo Theo Cosmo Chats” category.

The twenty-something carpenter / homebuilder Cleo, fiftyish Catholic theologian Theo and thirtyish cosmologist Cosmo all call the bustling metropolis of Upland their home. Their similar Friday a.m. work schedules and dependence on public transportation first caused their paths to cross in mid-August ‘16. The punctually late buses usually afford them plenty of time to engage in caffeine buzzed, political and social commentary. From day one, these three newfound friends have established an immediate rapport, respect and resolve to chat on a weekly basis.

The blue/grey overcast dominates the sky as Cleo and Theo near the bus stop bench from opposite directions… both spotting the already seated Cosmo. Once the cordial greetings are exchanged, Cleo, true to her previous week’s word, treats her new friends to an on-the-fly bagel and strawberry jam breakfast. Their cups of java, each has already purchased from various fast food eateries, complete the menu.

But, this Friday, Cleo’s smiling face is only short-lived.

“I got a distressing email this morning… from my brother Alberto.” Barely able to choke back her tears, she continues, “He, his wife, Olivia, and their three young children live in a small Midwest community where the mayor and city council, yuppies all, suffer from a massively snooty ‘tude. They’ve recently passed an anti-blight ordinance designed to ensure homeowners keep their neighborhoods’ appearance presentable. Of course, at face value, this doesn’t sound like a bad idea but… damn it… these arrogant bastards are brutally insensitive towards some of the very people they’re supposed to serve. They’ve failed to realize that not everyone is drawing six and seven figure incomes the way they do.”

“No doubt their new ordinance boasts plenty of sharp teeth, too,” Cosmo chimes in.

“Damn right! They have a fleet of code enforcement cars. The clowns behind the wheels go out on patrol through each and every neighborhood… ferret out and issue tickets to anyone in violation of the mayor’s new, stringent community standards.”

“I’m already beginning to catch a whiff of the political stench, Cleo,” says Theo.

“You got that right! They’ve singled out my brother and sister-in-law, who’ve each been juggling multiple, low paying, part time jobs. Their combined incomes barely cover their regular bills… and now… they’re facing down the mayor’s ultimatum… either fix up their humble house or face down a stiff fine.”

“My dear God,” Theo exhales, “This is so typical of draconian laws… I mean, to kick someone who’s already down… that’s sinful.”

“Yeah, tell me about it.” Cleo says trying, barely succeeding at containing her anger and frustration, “They already cannot afford to make these major repairs and now the city is threatening them with an additional financial burden!”

“I presume a home equity loan is out of the question?” Cosmo asks… Cleo’s frown already answering.

“They haven’t tried that yet,” she elaborates, “But Al and Liv are already in thousands of dollars of credit card debt. It’d be a miracle if the banks were to ever approve their application… I mean… not with their tanked out credit scores.”

“So what’ll happen if they fail to fix things up?” asks Theo.

“The mayor will gleefully condemn their home and heartlessly toss them out into the street.”

“That makes these code enforcers out to be the drivers of the mayor’s unwelcome wagons.”

“Well put Father Theo,” Cleo says.

Silence descends upon the three as Cleo wipes away a tear. With a sniffle she continues, “I’d offer my financial support to Al and Liv but… I’m not faring much better than they are. Besides… they’re both aware I’m struggling, too, and would never want to drag me down with them. What’s so damned frustrating is that, with my carpentry skills, I could fix up their place free of charge… were it not for the fact we live thousands of miles apart.”

“So what are they going to do?” Cosmo queries.

“It would appear their only option is to sell their home and use the proceeds to rent an apartment. And going that route will not be easy, either… this house has plenty of sentimental value… it’s been in Liv’s family for three generations.”

“Wait a sec, Cleo,” interjects Theo, “I’m sensing a diabolically evil plot. Doncha see… the mayor is cozying up to real estate agents, house flippers…”

“And I’ll bet home construction firms and home improvement retailers prominently factor in there, too,” interjects Cosmo, “Corruption, collusion… you know… all that under the table dirty wheeling and dealing.”

Cleo nods her agreement, “Don’t think I haven’t already considered all that crap. To be sure, each of those evil, big biz entities would then show the mayor and city council their undying gratitude via hefty campaign contributions.

“Cleo, your story saddens me down to every cell of my being,” says Cosmo.

“It’s heartbreaking,” adds Theo.

At that moment a gentle rainstorm moves in… not unlike tears from above. Up pops their three umbrellas as they wait in somber, contemplative silence. One by one, as their busses pull up, they bid their so-long-till-we-meet-again next Friday farewells… and head off to work.

 

A note to my readers: My game plan is to post these Cleo, Theo & Cosmo Bus Stop Chats on most, but not all, Fridays. These three fictitious characters will engage in political / social commentary… sometimes in agreement… other times not. But either way, the important thing, here, is that no matter how heated a discussion may get, they’ll remain civil towards each other… which, btw, is the way it should be… but usually is not… in our real world.

99 Word Blog (#024) Banned Burkinis

Following a succession of deadly jihadist attacks in France, 15 municipalities overreacted by banning the burkini (Muslim swimwear). Lately, profiling cops have been knocking themselves out… strictly enforcing this discriminatory beach dress code.

It’s truly astounding that in a society where beachgoers publicly parade around in the buff, we’d find Siam, a harmless Muslim woman, getting harassed for being fully clothed.

The lack of nudity is the real distraction, here. Instead of investigating the truly life-threatening terrorist threats and trying to prevent attacks… here we witness four cops… FOUR ARMED COPS… squandering their time… ordering this woman to strip.

99 Word Blog (#023) Donny Manhandles Rudy

The above video vignette, where Donald Trump gets “fresh” with the in drag Rudy Giuliani, aired last night on Stephen Colbert’s CBS Late Show.

If this represents T&G’s true sexual identities, then they’re hypocrites for passing themselves off as straights to their fellow, straight-laced Republicans.

IF straight, their playacting ridicules gays and transvestites. Trump’s forced, unwanted sexual advances… to say the least… demostrate what an oinker he is. More worrisome… he’s emboldening rapists.

If one laughs ONLY at the hypocrisy aspect, I suppose that’s OK. If one laughs for any other reason… what does that say about our society?

99 Word Blog (#022) Two Olympians’ Hearts of Gold

On 08/16/16, two Olympians, running the 5,000-meter race, collided… American Abbey D’Agostino and New Zealander Nikki Hamblin. For D’Agostino, who’d sustained painful knee ligament injuries, her new top priority had become helping Hamblin… urging her onward…

“Get up, get up! We have to finish! This is the Olympic Games. We have to finish this.”

Afterwards, Hamblin helped D’Agostino into a wheelchair.

Abbey and Nikki had been the last to cross the finish line but their good sportsmanship, sense of community and hearts of gold are worthy of Olympic Gold. Our troubled world could learn much from these two women.