Hey Burrzil [sic]… Should We Pertest [sic] This?

 

FULL DISCLOSURE: To be monolingual is not something I am particularly proud of. Worse yet, there have been a few occasions where I’ve not even done full justice to my own native tongue… e.g., mispronouncing / misspelling words. Mrs. H, my high school sophomore English teacher, once publicly humiliated me in the classroom… right in front of dozens of my peers. But… in retrospect… I am indebted to her for she had spared me far worse embarrassment later on… oh… say… during that all-important job interview where first impressions always matter.

The inescapable truths… [1] we learn to enunciate from the way words are spelled (and vice versa) and [2] we must remain dilligent to ensure our errors are the exception and not the rule.

Of course, such truths are not always self-evident to all. Let’s explore this further…

In my homeland, what little that’s left of trustworthy reportage is left in the capable, learned hands of National Public Radio (NPR) personnel. We, their levelheaded listeners, can find little fault with their relevant, informative, reality based, reliably sourced, fact checked news content. Would one not expect such qualities to go hand-in-hand with a firm grasp on something as elementary as grade school taught phonics? Not so.

While NPR’s on-air journalists / staff announcers all speak, otherwise, letter / picture perfect English, how is it even possible that they so persistently mispronounce nearly every last damned word prefixed with “PRE” and “PRO”… i.e., as if the first three letters are “PER”?

The most flagrant error I can cite was a reporter’s mispronunciation of the word protestor… his mutilating it into the non-word “pertestor”. Seeing how he had repeated this error several times within the same story, how could that possibly be some random slip of the tongue?

Such flubs also occur when news coverage focuses upon current events transpiring in Berzil… Burrzil… oh… wait a minute… they must be talking about South America’s Brazil.

True, those of us, who know better, can auto-correct. But what about some just-starting-out-in-life, intellectually curious student? What if this child starts to wonder where in the world Berzil / Burrzil is located? Based, solely, upon the mispronunciation, it would be difficult to locate that land in any of our atlases. And, that would probably be frustrating as hell. Oh, eventually… either independently or via a parent/teacher intervention… the kid would find out… but… would it not be more efficient to correct phonics flubs prior to On-Air / Internet transmission?

SIDEBAR: I totally stumped WordPress spellcheck with both spellings… i.e., Berzil and Burrzil. If AI cannot figure this out… hmm… maybe this problem is far bigger than we think?

We still need to dig a bit deeper into this name game issue, too.

In a sense… in our post 9/11 world… where there’s a veritable alphabet soup of new-to-us names of nations (and leaders, too), have we not all become just-starting-out-in-life, intellectually curious students? Which does beg the question…

Just how can any of us be certain both NPR and we are even pronouncing everything correctly when their reporters cannot even properly pronounce Brazil?

To help NPR air personnel avoid embarrassing themselves further, what management really needs to do is hire a team of overseers who could channel Mrs. H’s brand of educational tough love!

 

 

 

Seventeen Come Sunday (Sunday Song Series)

Throughout the ages, life enriching, mind expanding, mood elevating orchestral performances have been within earshot of anyone who’ll dare to be musically adventurous… bold enough to “go there”. For all who do (or yearn to) march to the beat of a different drum… awaiting you is our featured Sunday Song Series Week #42 track…

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ English Folk Song Suite I – Seventeen Come Sunday

I know. I know. Some deem classical music to be uncool. Within the first few played notes, they’re apt to cut and run towards the nearest red X’ed circular exit sign. That’s no exaggeration, either. The YouTube view counts on such vlogs oft languish in the “dusty” absolute zero zone.

So… why risk featuring such music in this venue? Because [1] I dig that different drumbeat and [2] when it comes down to lackluster site “hits”… well… hell… I could’ve written “The Book”. If the tracks I do spin and blog about here brand me the musical misfit / literary leper… HEY… it’s no skin off my… uh… nose.

I suppose my “sordid” musical past is “to blame”… i.e., my experiencing nearly an entire lifetime’s worth of classical music. There are countless examples, but, to cite just a few…

As a young’un and tween, playing in “heavy rotation” on my monaural record player was Johann Strauss’ The Blue Danube Waltz, op.314. And no kidding… there were even the 6:30 p.m., M-F airings of NBC-TV’s Huntley / Brinkley Report, which featured… as its closing theme song… a brief segment from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, 2nd Movement… conducted by Arturo Toscanini

As a teenager, there were plenty of Sixties era orchestrally enhanced rockers. Instantly coming to mind is the Beatles’ A Day in the Life. And, as the Moody Blues could readily attest, it is possible to base and build an entire, half century long (and still counting) career upon Classical Music’s rock-solid foundation… starting with their entire album Days of Future Passed.

But that was the past… as for the future…

Our Sunday Song Series will be back seven days from now. Hopefully, you’ll be back, too?

 

ADDENDUM: Those above linked musical selections, if played back in their entirety, will take a bit over one hour. With time constraints being what they are in our lives, why not experience these tracks whilst cooking, dining, tidying up the joint, balancing the ol’ checkbook, studying… or even whilst creating your next blog post? Of course… that would mean missing out on some superb artwork which accompanies the Strauss vlog.

 

 

Newton’s 3rd Law Governs Both Physics and Politics

PREFACE: While the late Dr. Carl Sagan’s views / summations still profoundly resonate within the hearts and heads of critical thinkers everywhere, regrettably, he may’ve been prematurely optimistic. After all, Cosmos… both his published book and PBS aired TV miniseries predate… by nearly four decades… our post-Obama America and world.

 

No advanced degree in Psychology is prerequisite to our having a handle on basic human nature… or more to the point… to our understanding of how inflammatory rhetoric… targeting one nation… oft generates a shedload of contagious contempt, mistrust and malaise that can ripple outward to span our entire globe. As you may’ve already surmised… long sigh… ONCE AGAIN… we are talking about Donald J. Trump.

Were he either book or people smart, he would not be resorting to snorting out, daily, his wildly unpresidential, savagely undiplomatic, monumentally ignorant and/or insane on-camera tantrums and online Tweetstorms. Check out just one sample of his verbal defecation…

“Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force.
In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration.”

As if what? The Trumpster expects his bluster to bully the enemies of his own making? Force them into waving the white flag? Not a chance! Instead, the demeanor of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani… understandably… predictably… has been far from submissive. A far more apt assessment would be aggressive… as in their aggressively relaunching their nuclear WMD, R ’n’ D program.

While it’s true that Iran’s reactions are totally consistent to human nature… or more to the point… are strongly rooted in human survival instincts… our understanding them, as such, should not be akin to our unconditional acceptance of an unacceptable nuclear armed world.

Nukes must be deemed an ALL or NOTHING prospect. And it’d be far, Far, FAR better to opt-in to the latter. Humanity’s only hope is for my compatriots’ diligence (enough to elect a new POTUS come Election Day 2020) and for Iranian patience (enough to temporarily ignore that DC ignoramus until our ballots Constitutionally oust him).

In retrospect, Trump’s worst blunder was flipping off the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) thereby granting Khamenei and Rouhani carte blanche.

There are deeper issues afoot, too… e.g., our world’s insatiable thirst for Iran’s oil, which could lead to unholy alliances long before they begin test lobbing missiles. Undoubtedly, their allies would fight against Trump were he to ever be stupid enough to provoke a new endless, no-win war. One that might even escalate to a nuclear WW-III ( . or ? – your choice)

Setting that abhorrent abstract aside… The yuge [sic] question remains. Have Khamenei and Rouhani been playing right into the small-minded, Dirty Dealer Donny’s (tiny) hands? Are they now ruffling Tweetie’s feathers to the point where their genocidal, sworn nemesis will, someday, carry out his indefensible, inhumane threat to wipe Iran off the map?

Donny’s own words (uttered during his 2016 campaign) do paint an unflattering portrait of him… portray him as an itchy trigger-fingered sociopath. Check this out…

“Mr Trump, the Republican nominee, was said to have (thrice) posed the question during an hour-long briefing on foreign affairs, saying: ‘If we have nuclear weapons why can’t we use them?’”

Is it any wonder why the national security issue is driving Iran down a rocky road that could very well lead to a nuclear dead end… with emphasis on the word, “dead”.

Reality Check #1… All foolhardy Donny has managed to do is trigger, yet, another insane round of the nuclear arms race… one which cannot be contained within the Iranian borders. Other nuclear nutties (e.g. Kim Jong Un) are bound to pile on.

Reality Check #2… IF humankind is to survive, we can no more accept Trumpian nuclear machinations than the nuclear ambitions of Iran (or for that matter of any other like-minded nation). Changing Donny’s nuclear launch codes and then denying him access to the new sequences would be humankind’s first giant leap on the path to nuclear sanity.

Reality Check #3… While it would take calm, sane leadership to prevent humanity’s annihilation, there’s next to nothing about the Trumpster that’s either placid or lucid. He, himself, IS the roadblock to denuclearization.

To cut to the chase…

• Left to their own devices… stupid little boys playing with their nuclear toys could be the death of us all.

• It’s entirely possible that the world’s most dangerous world “leader” throughout recorded human history… is none other than Donald J. Trump. (btw… considering his love of himself and superlatives… he might even mistake that previous sentence for a compliment).

• The fake prezzy’s dangerous high drama can only succeed were Iranian leadership stupid enough to believe the welfare of their people hinges upon caving into unhinged Trumpian threats / demands.

• In all likelihood, both Khamenei and Rouhani will deem a nuclear armed Iran to be their one, best shot at securing their homeland’s well-being / survival.

• The ultimate irony, here, is how the Trumpster… most assuredly no man of science… has actually proven how Sir Isaac Newton’s 3rd Law… “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”… not only governs physics but politics, too. In other words…

• The Trumpian mission to denuclearize Iran WILL nuclearize Iran.

 

 

 

 

 

An Autocratic Entity’s Defining Moment

 

Most of us have seen the cinematic disclaimer, which… in part… reads…

“Any Resemblance to Actual Persons, Living or Dead, is Purely Coincidental.”

Well, earlier this new day… upon waking up from my overnight slumbers… this thought dawned on me…

With only minimal modification… such legalese could also become a political disclaimer.

More to the point… re one particular unethical, unAmerican, totally totalitarian entity and his entire, unethical, unAmerican, totally totalitarian regime… this could be their Defining Moment…

“Any Resemblance to Actual, Honorable Americans, Living or Dead,
is Superficial, Unintentional and Purely Coincidental.”

 

 

 

 

 

To Be or Not To Be Bellicose… That Raises Questions

 

Forgive my tardiness… but… even now… three days later… it’s still too damned early to determine what the capricious, Trumpster’s Iranian stance could devolve into. For someone who adamantly maintains his admin remains “cocked and loaded”, devolve is not too strong a word.

So… would the fake prez ever reverse the reversal of his decision to attack? All any subsequent flip-flop would require is his being [1] goaded by one of his psychotic, crackpot, chickenhawk, going for the jugular advisors or [2] branded a wimp by a similarly programmed FOX talking head. At that point the (alleged) prezzy could easily go ballistic… in more ways than one.

Once consumed by such end-stage outrage, it’d be damned near impossible for him to ever wrap his warped mind around the far gutsier, diplomatic, presidential brains over brawn approach.

Let’s get dead serious. If… and that’s a YUGE IF… the Trumpster’s narrative has even been truthful, he had been a scant ten minutes shy of provoking and embroiling the U.S. in yet another splattered red blood / spilt red ink, no-win, endless war… or worse.

Let’s momentarily don our backseat headshrinker thinking caps. Developmentally speaking, it would take a toddler to be oblivious to the fact that retaliatory attacks [1] intrinsically involve collateral damage and [2] rarely, if ever, accomplish anything other than triggering the vicious cycle of ever-escalating, deadlier counterattacks… or worse.

Taken at face value, the Toddler-In-Chief MIGHT BE commended for what appears to be his sudden growing / wising up. Just-in-the-nick-of-time, he had a “well duh” epiphany… i.e., the loss of human life is disproportionate punishment for Iran’s destruction of an unmanned drone.

But, even that offers up little reason to be liberal with our praise. There still are unanswered questions, such as…

• Would not the Trumpster’s team of eager-beaver, sociopathic advisors… just to hard sell carnage to their boss… have proudly / giddily trotted out their PowerPoint charts / pie-charts, graphs and print-outs emblazoned with red, ginormous font, storyboard / page-topping death toll stats?

• Would not that self proclaimed “stable genius” have been sufficiently brilliant to understand the deadly ramifications PRIOR to ordering such an attack?

• Why did he / his advisors ever even consider such overkill in the first place?

• Might there be another factor in play?

Seeing how fact checking has recently exposed the fake prezzy’s 10,000th lie… his pathetic whoppers backdating to his unsubstantiated, Election Day fraud allegations and inflated, Inauguration Day crowd size estimates… why would we not find his “To Be or Not To Be Bellicose” Iranian account suspect… or to translate this into Trump-speak… “FAKE NEWS”?

The regrettable truth, fake news can also heighten world tensions… which could easily, eventually mushroom… in more ways than one.

Ergo… as for that aforementioned possibility of awarding a commendation to #45?

FORGET IT!

 

 

 

Raconteurs’ 11yr. Hiatus Now Over (Sunday Song Series)

Last week, on two successive telecasts, CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert booked the Detroit hard rockers, the Raconteurs, to perform selections from their long anticipated new album, Help Us Stranger. If you missed either or both programs… or wish to reprise them… the linked song titles… Help Me Stranger and Bored And Razed… will get you there.

Of course, that above vid… Sunday Driver… another of that very album’s noteworthy tracks… is more consistent to this blog’s musical theme… making it the perfect Week #41 addition to our Sunday Song Series.

CAUTION: DON’T OPERATE HEAVY MACHINERY WHILE VIEWING THESE VERTIGO INDUCING VISUALS

J/K

Seeing how this amped up track amply speaks for itself, there’s not much left to say… save to say… you’re cordially invited to earwitness our next Sunday song… seven days from now…

 

 

 

Try DownPlaying This

The Beatles’ 1964 Stateside Tour involving their February 7th arrival in NYC (at the newly christened JFK International Airport) and appearance on Ed Sullivan’s nationally televised variety show (on the 9th) could not have been better timed.

Americans, still in deep mourning following the 11/22/1963 assassination of our youngest, ever, 35th President… John F. Kennedy… desperately needed a reminder that life could go on.

To all horrified by that grotesque gun violence… especially this (then) 9-year-young boy and my contemporaries… John, Paul, George and Ringo were the embodiment of youthful exuberance. While their prime-time TV debut showcased their unique interpretation of rock ’n’ roll… one eventually becoming the soundtrack of life for an entire generation… something even more significant was in play… namely… how their raucous energy / high decibel music was the perfect Rx for blowing away that lingering, pervasive, suffocating, Dealey Plaza stench.

So… why the need to rehash this nearly 56-year-old tragedy?

Because of the swamp monster, who has been masquerading as the 45th president. Even though he is alive and (physically) well… well…

Ever since the orderly transition of power to that disorderly doofus, We… America’s critical thinkers… have been mourning the 01/20/2017 death of the presidency… the death of democracy, decency, intellectualism, logic, liberty, peace and genuine patriotism… the death of joy, itself.

From that day forward… uh… better make that backward… We have been in deep mourning… in desperate need of a lifeline. But, where to go to find that?

My reader(s)… just when I had begun to suspect those DC Washington Woes had indelibly stained my mood… my entire outlook on life… a deep shade of blue… somehow… someway… on some entirely different plane of consciousness… I wound up free associating the power of music… its stain remover / curative capabilities. Lo and behold, the Fab Four came to mind.

True, I could not step into a time machine to re-witness the birth of the Beatles. But, the next best, equivalent was well within reach… my access to CDs representing JPGR’s entire, recording studio produced discography.

Last week… I decided to PB that massive, Beatles soundtrack in chronological order. No sooner had Sir Paul’s 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 counted in I Saw Her Standing There than I felt my much needed grin begin… followed, a scant nanosecond later, by my buoyant mood… those lofty spirits persisting while tracking (at a clip of one or more CDs per day) until I polished off all 13 Beatles albums plus the two Past Masters volumes. And there were a couple of bonus tracks, too… namely… Free as a Bird and Real Love (McCartney, Harrison and Starr’s 1995 collaboration / overdub of their tracks with the late Lennon’s two previously recorded vocal tracks).

Even upon completion of my musical adventure last Friday, I could still revel in the fact that this was far from over. Hence, my spending the better portion of this week listening to these bonus Beatles albums… [1] Star-Club Live! in Hamburg, Germany 1962, [2] Live at the BBC, [3] Yellow Submarine Songtrack, [4] 1! [5] Let It Be Naked / Fly on the Wall and [6] LOVE.

My parting recommendation… should you ever find yourself feeling down about anything, try taking your fave recording artist / band out for a spin. Once that smile returns to your face, I’m sure you’ll concur that the healing power of music can never be downplayed.