The King of the Beasts gets put in his place… and rightfully so!
A few days ago, while chatting on the phone with my nonagenarian next-door neighbor, we soon discovered how we’ve both been ruminating re the sorry state of our homeland and world. More to the point…
We share the POV that the Trumpian / Dystopian cancer has been rearing its ugly head… indeed taking root… primarily because too many of our compatriots are absolutely clueless regarding what Real American Values actually are / what basic human decency truly involves. I could go into a litany of the particulars, but will reserve such a discussion for another blog… another day.
Anyway… after a few moments of silence… I realized we were both pretty much bummed out. So, to slightly lighten things up, I half joked that… considering our homeland’s plunge into Donny’s bottomless pit of ignorance (e.g.,  his being all fired up on “clean” coal,  his flat-out refusal to respect time-honored scientific principles, etc.) it’d be wise for we, who debunk Donny… to… at the very least… visually fit in with his retrograde society’s motif.
And follks… most assuredly… I’m already on top of that! For starters, I’ve been letting my grey beard grow long and wild.¹ Indeed, I could already easily blend in amongst a gathering of Dark Ages men.
Hey, who knows? That, alone, could easily save my very life. Think about it. You never know when Nazi Donny will start rounding up the scientifically inclined folks, intern us in concentration camps, put us on trial for heresy and burn us all at the stake. Whew… now that’s what I’d call a witch-hunt! Yeah, yeah, I know I’m conflating the Dark Ages / Colonial / WW-II eras, but… that too… serves a purpose… namely… to point out that those who fail to learn from history, stupidly, repeat it!
Naturally, we, who hope to blend in, will also need to conform to a period-consistent dress code… so… to that end…
As a public service… and to further everyone’s assimilation into Donny’s Dark Ages… I’m providing the following two dress for regress videos… based on illustrations in the Luttrell Psalter…
Let’s examine the synergy among  The literary masterpiece Grapes of Wrath authored by John Steinbeck,  the dust-bowl, Depression-era, poverty-stricken people pics snapped by photographer Dorothea Lange and  this post’s Vid of the Day song, Don’t Give Up composed by Peter Gabriel.
These three distinct forms of human communication interacted thusly. Gabriel drew inspiration for his song from Lange and I drew inspiration for this post from Steinbeck, Lange and Gabriel.
And while our avenues of creative expression have differed… in this instance, all roads do lead to the same destination… i.e. our concurrence that the devastating Haves vs. Have Nots socioeconomic schism has been plaguing civilization, practically, from time immemorial.
From there, I travel onward to point out how  this class war has been dramatically intensifying ever since Inauguration Day 2017 and  commoners (such as yours truly) could NEITHER expect the ethics and empathy barren fake prez to ever stand down in that war NOR depend on him to even deliver any commiserating, reassuring, “nothing to fear but fear itself”, folksy, FDR-esque Fireside Chats.
NOPE, not when fearmongering and fomenting misery within the masses is the entire Trumpian shtick… not when he’s too damned preoccupied with burning down America and too intent upon Tweeting 7+ billion souls into an early, irradiated, mass grave.
Considering that Black Hole of Republican leadership, where not one photon of common sense and compassion can ever escape outward, there can be no help from DC. We’ll have to deal with our profound despair / depression… all on our own.
That’s where motivational music such as Gabriel’s Don’t Give Up can come to our rescue. And that’s precisely what Gabriel had in mind when he penned and performed his duet with Kate Bush.
That’s where the video’s imagery… the embracing couple, slow dancing beneath our Moon as it eclipses the Sun… enlightens us… suggests that when we turn to and stand by each other… unite to face down the dark days of despair… we can emerge re-energized / revitalized at the moment the sunlight begins to reappear… that… since total eclipses are relatively rare… maybe… just maybe our dark days will be few?
Even if we have yet to find a kindred spirit to validate us / commiserate with us… trust me when I say that such people do still exist. I am speaking from my recent, almost jaw dropping, personal experience and do plan to blog more about it soon… likely later this week.
There is one more song interpretation worthy of mention. That Don’t Give Up resolve can also serve as a rallying cry for us to vote… i.e., cast our ballots to cast out our sworn, political enemies from office…. ASAP!
In the event that YouTube issuess ever cause the above vid to vanish, Peter Gabriel’s sentiments appear below…
Peter: “In this proud land we grew up strong… We were wanted all along… I was taught to fight, taught to win… I never thought I could fail. No fight left or so it seems… I am a man whose dreams have all deserted… I’ve changed my face, I’ve changed my name… But no-one wants you when you lose.”
Kate: “Don’t give up ’cause you have friends… Don’t give up you’re not beaten yet… Don’t give up I know you can make it good.”
Peter: “Though I saw it all around… Never thought that I could be affected… Thought that we’d be last to go… It is so strange the way things turn… Drove the night toward my home… The place that I was born, on the lakeside… As daylight broke, I saw the earth… The trees had burned down to the ground.”
Kate: “Don’t give up you still have us… Don’t give up we don’t need much of anything… Don’t give up ’cause somewhere there’s a place where we belong… Rest your head… You worry too much… It’s going to be alright… When times get rough… You can fall back on us… Don’t give up… Please don’t give up.”
Peter: “Got to walk out of here… I can’t take anymore… Going to stand on that bridge… Keep my eyes down below… Whatever may come… and whatever may go… That river’s flowing… That river’s flowing. Moved on to another town… Tried hard to settle down… For every job, so many men… So many men no-one needs”
Kate: “Don’t give up ’cause you have friends… Don’t give up you’re not the only one… Don’t give up no reason to be ashamed… Don’t give up you still have us… Don’t give up now we’re proud of who you are… Don’t give up you know it’s never been easy… Don’t give up ’cause I believe there’s a place… There’s a place Where we belong…
Kate & Peter: (Repeat 4 times) “Don’t give up… Don’t give up… Don’t give up.”
One week ago, during Brett Kavanaugh’s p.m. Q ’n’ A portion of the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, Republicans’ demeanor had become literally LOUD and clear. Reading between their lines, their ‘tude could be summed up, thusly…
Let’s get this GD thing over with so we can summon the tailor for our boy Brett’s SCOTUS robe fitting!
Little doubt, they had already had this thing all sewn up, anyway! Hell, about the only one missing was the needle and thread expert who had custom made the window dressing for the Senate Chamber.
To better identify the bad actors in question, we are speaking of a Men’s ONLY, Republican cabal boasting 11 wackadoodle Senators and 1 beer addicted, wigged out, wannabe SCOTUS judge. Stunning ignorance, rabid irritability, glaring irrationality, wild irrelevance, social ineptness and crude, rude insensitivity are the individual components that… when combined… become this unbecoming, dirty dozen’s ferocious misogyny.
I could not and still cannot help but wonder how I could come of age within that same, eons old, sexist era… which they had… YET… emerge with my soul / DNA-deep respect for women and sensitivity to gender equality issues.
I believe that playing a significant role in my proper upbringing was the song featured in this post’s Vid of the Day… (to now quote Wikipedia) “the feminist-themed million-selling You Don’t Own Me, which held at No. 2 for three weeks behind the Beatles’ I Want To Hold Your Hand.” But, far more impressive than these stats were Lesley’s Lessons.
I was barely a 9-year-old when I first witnessed the courageous, progressive, 17-year-old Lesley Gore march up to the front-lines of a male dominated world to boldly proclaim, “You Don’t Own Me!” She had arrived at an opportune moment to instruct a boy, who’d soon be heading into adulthood, that no woman ever wants to be owned and objectified. A real man always respects a woman’s feelings.
On a related matter… while visiting any social network, YouTube included, it has become second nature for me to peruse the comment sections. I certainly was pleased to discover I had not been the only Sixties era, young male who had benefited from Lesley’s Lessons. Said Mr. J.G….
“Awesome lyrics and moodiness– perfect for the sixties. Some guys I knew back then were pigs, and many of them married and dominated and abused their wives who said very little about it to anyone. The seeds of Women’s Lib movement being sewn [sic] in songs like these.”
Males who can properly navigate You Don’t Own Me’s straightforward sentiments will never be steered wrong.
My interpretation of Lesley’s Lessons and (for the benefit of any righties who might accidentally click by to read this) my translation from English to Republican vernacular…
A relationship must ALWAYS be an equal partnership… NEVER a hostile takeover!
On this day, Ayesha and I began following each other’s blogs and I thank her for raising my awareness re  her fine writing style and  the indomitable spirit of a science/tech savvy, published author and Afghani feminist, Ms. Fatemah Qaderyan.
Were there such a thing as a Thesaurus where words and pictorial representations get cross-indexed, then, whenever we’d be looking up synonyms for terms such as intellectual curiosity, courageousness and heroism we’d find portraits of Qaderyan.
Indeed, this young woman won’t settle for anything less than life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… to see that her gender’s curiosity, imagination, dreams and ambitions are all rewarded… not punished like some sort of crime.
Regrettably, such a stance places her in the unenviable position of being in defiance of the Taliban… jihadists notorious for their barbaric, sociopathic, misogynistic traits… not unlike the set in stone, faults of a certain fake prez whose travel ban had, temporarily, denied Qaderyan entry into the U.S.
Without revealing much more of her eloquent speech to the attendees of May 2018’s Oslo Freedom Forum… she speaks of paying dearly for standing her ground… tells of societal demands for female submissiveness… where what should be the full color palette of female optimism gets splattered with the dreary shade of black… the blackness of bullets… and lurid red… the redness of spilt blood.
While Fatemah Qaderyan’s eyes do well up and spill over with sorrow, they also gleam with hopeful optimism. Her story is guaranteed to cause every clearheaded, warmhearted soul to regard her as the feminist hero who she truly is… to wish we all could’ve been among the Forum attendees who had given her a standing ovation.
Watch this must see video!
The Major-General’s Song from The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan… already a catchy tune in itself… does truly lend itself to the parodies of most sharp-witted songsmiths.
SIDEBAR: Another G & S composition from H.M.S. Pinafore, even got incorporated into the plot of the big screen, Star Trek flick, Insurrection.
Well, it was during one of my recent, (nearly daily) YouTube talent searches, that I had the good fortune of stumbling onto the genuinely, stable genius of Randy Rainbow and his spot on, musical op-ed piece regarding the present-day, UN-stable, Odious Oval Office Occupant.
As for the NSFW aspect to his lyrics, it’s all quite mild… mere clinical, textbook terminology straight out of Gray’s Anatomy. In an era where broadcast journalists have been left little choice but to quote, on air, the unexpurgated, un-presidential vulgar language, one would expect that, by now, most of us would’ve become fully desensitized. But, to keep it totally real, RR’s parody is far from obscene when juxtaposed to the obscene admin headed by…
THAT brown shirted, white sheeted, robber-baron Putin hugger… THAT fear/warmongering, saber rattling, nuclear madman/gun nut… THAT slayer of Lady Liberty and Mother Nature, mocker of the disabled, aged and infirm, loather of LGBTQs and abuser of women and children!
Not much else to add… save to say… Step #1 in chasing away the blues is to marginalize / lampoon whatever is causing these blahs. True… I am not really a shrink… I just play one on the www. Nonetheless, I regard Mr. Rainbow’s wild rollercoaster ride upon the musical clefs as a surefire, overall mood elevator. My Rx to you is to listen to his performance as many times as is necessary.
Once we roar with laughter and soar miles above Donny Downer’s Downward Dive into the Dark Ages, Depression and Despotism, we can renew our faith in English theologian Thomas Fuller’s proverb… “It is always darkest just before the Day dawneth”… oft contemporized thusly… “The darkest hour is just before the dawn”.
At that point, we can restore our sky’s the limit belief that… somewhere out there… the dawn of a new day / a new era exists. There can be a rebirth of the America… as envisioned by our Founding Fathers… so long ago.
To keep this (mostly) on a positive note…
Mega-kudos to you, Ms. Ecklund! I commend you for your mastery of the ukulele, limitless singing talent, pleasant cheerful speaking voice and clever witty manner you’ve utilized to cope with ill-mannered comment posters and their absolutely inaccurate, totally uncalled for rude and vulgar remarks.
I cannot begin to fathom what motivates some individuals. Mind you… they login to a SOCIAL media platform, check their manners at the door and then go out of their way to single out and unleash their UNSOCIABLE tirades against an obviously wonderful, beautiful human being… such as you.
It would appear that such individuals are either unaware of… or have chosen to defy… the following wisdom…
If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
That said, I am so glad that you were able to use their own words to illustrate your point… to morph their negatives into something positive… to make this a teaching moment… to deliver your much needed lesson of kindness all across the www.
We can only hope that hearing their own words will help them reclaim their hearts, take your message to heart and establish some semblance of civility.