Street Level’s Virtual Saturday in the Park

While taking care of some business over the phone, yesterday, Angel, the customer service rep and I briefly chatted as she tapped away at her computer keyboard. Since it was the start of our homeland’s Independence Day, holiday weekend, she asked me if I had made any big plans to celebrate? My reply…

“Nope, I’ll be staying home and staying safe. There’ll be plenty more July 4ths in the future and, once this pandemic is over, there’ll be even more reason to celebrate them.”

Of course, seeing how there’s been this sudden, stateside resurgence of COVID-19, who the hell knows if that’ll be July 4, 2021… 22… 23…

Well let’s keep a good thought that it won’t drag out beyond 21.

Anyway, after hanging up the phone, I got to thinking about where I would’ve gone to celebrate. Seeing how I’m easy to please, I probably would’ve wound up visiting my favorite local park.

However, from what I’ve been hearing, there’s been this dramatic increase in foot traffic on my favorite nature trails, so, even though the odds of COVID-19 transmission are lower in the great outdoors… well… let’s just say I’ll be content to zone out on my blog ending clip’s content. Perhaps. it’ll prove therapeutic to you, too? Check it out…

As for our main clip, which tops off this post, we’ll be giving a listen to keyboardist Robert William Lamm’s composition, Saturday in the Park, which was originally recorded by his band, Chicago. His lyrical narrative will draw upon our communal, pleasant reveries of how, in better days, it was oh so easy to let the good times roll within sunshiny, fresh air, natural environs.

While I could’ve readily tracked down a Chicago studio or live performance, instead, I’ve opted, to showcase Street Level’s “Virtually Quarantined”, split screen, (figuratively and quite literally) out of this world, cover rendition.

To quote their YouTube set up blurb…

“Since we couldn’t play for you collectively during the quarantine, we got together individually to record this one for you. We thought it would be appropriate since, in 2020, Saturday actually does fall on the 4th of July! Also, it might be the first day we can actually perform again!”

Setting my sights way down the temporal road, I’m banking on Saturday, July 4, 2026, which will be our very next opportunity to live out this track’s lyrical sentiments.

Obviously, Lamm had not anticipated a global pandemic when he penned this song back in 1971. Nonetheless, the last lyric to his song’s bridge doth offer up… to us all… his most apropos, one liner, pep talk…

“Listen children all is not lost, all is not lost, oh no, no…”


Stay Safe… Stay Home… Stay Healthy…







My Review of a July 4th Pyrotechnics Display


Normally I would not attend July 4th fireworks shows because they [1] glorify war and the decibel levels [2] trigger the nightmarish flashbacks of war veterans suffering from PTSD, [3] negatively impact all who must endure autism, [4] freak out house pets and [5] spook the crap out of living in the wild creatures… great and small.

Beyond that are the air quality issues caused by [1] the traffic jams (both before and after) and [2] the nasty chemical composition of the fireworks themselves. On this particular night there was so much smog that it actually “seeded” the clouds and caused brief rain showers.

Additionally, the bumper to bumper, snail’s paced traffic also made life difficult for one team of ambulance paramedics. One can only hope their patient made it to the hospital before it was too late.

So why did I even bother attending my hometown’s 15 minute long festivities? Because I could not avoid them… the pyrotechnics people had practically set up shop in my own home’s backyard (in actuality… at my stone’s throw away, once-upon-a-time high school’s football field).

All fhe while I was typing this (about an hour ago) the low engine rumble and honking horns were further disturbing the peace as their owners continued filing out and heading for home.

Oh, btw… the visual aspect of the fireworks was stunningly beautiful.

One has to wonder if such an assessment… a mere footnote… makes any of this worthwhile.

About the only way this would become a rewarding, enriching experience is if it heightened genuine patriotism and inspired parent / children teaching moments re the importance of empowering wise presidents who… when settling international conflicts… will always rank warfare dead last.




Mouth vs. Muth: Fireworks of a Different Nature

I refuse to name, by name, the above video’s pathetic, Y-chromosomed organism… for the following reasons…

• Shooters must always be denied the Internet infamy they hunger for. Publicity can only embolden… in this case… cause others of his ilk to seek the high elective offices, which they must always be denied. True… technically speaking… and to the best of our knowledge… that villain is unarmed (in the conventional sense). Nonetheless, he is shooting off his mouth… i.e., a lethal weapon in need of a holster / muzzle.

• By rendering him nameless, this facilitates each reader’s ability to Fill-In-The-Blank… to finger-point / make examples of other, equally culpable, notorious Fascists. Know this. He is but one of countless other conspirators who, left unchecked, will slam the wrecking ball into Liberty, Equality and Basic Human Decency… reduce the very American Dream, itself, to rubble.

Of course, rendering such a miscreant generic does present a problem. We will still need to call him something. Common obscenities do instantly come to mind… and would do him justice… but let’s not sink down to that level. Hmm… why not dub that bastard, Benedict?

Let’s now dig deeper to direct our attention to Benedict’s honorable colleague… State Senator Katie Muth… who had been attempting to speak on behalf of the formerly homeless Philadelphia man, John Boyd. So, why, in God’s name, did mister hothead deem it necessary to relentlessly shout her down?

• For starters, can we all agree that we must not drag God into this?

• Might Benedict’s temper tantrum be a textbook example of arrested development / poor toilet training? One can certainly see how this elitist could get all whiny and cranky since no self-respecting nanny… from out of his gilded past… would ever be a party to changing a (purportedly) continent (alleged) grownup’s soiled / overloaded (metaphorical?) diaper.

• Could he be channeling his misguided loyalty to / hero worship for a (diapered?) misogynist fake prez, who needs no further introduction? Shared hatred towards womankind could certainly account for Benedict’s catapulting a shedload of his undue and indefensible, seething disrespect and contempt.

• Might Benedict believe his “number two” smells better than anybody else’s? To be sure, [1] that very notion reeks and [2] belongs nowhere near any representative form of government. In actuality, the only thing that rude dude IS representing amounts to his own, pathetic, disgustingly odoriferous ideology… little doubt… the indefensible mindset that ONLY elitists are entitled to be seen and heard. We, the common-folk voters, must never empower the likes of unlikable him.

• Or maybe he had been driven into a state of panic? Senator Muth had been, indirectly, [1] exposing the stealthily waged Trumpian Class War against the less fortunate souls of our world and [2] drumming up some much needed political blow-back. What Benedict likely fears the most is a clued in, incensed electorate whose cast ballots could result in a monumental ass kicking at the polls… as in… our expeditiously kicking Trumpian fat fannies, such as his, out of office.

Just for the sake of completeness, we must consider one remaining possibility.

• Albeit it highly unlikely, might Benedict actually be at war with himself? Might what little that remains of his conscience be causing pangs of guilt to occasionally flare-up? After all, no human can forever aid and abet the cruel and inhumane Trumpian class war (against the impoverished masses) without that taking its toll. Of course, it does require both brains and courage for anyone to [1] confront such faults and failings and [2] self-correct. And since it’s unlikely he was ready, willing and able to do so, he had little choice but to [1] wimp out, [2] reset his micro-brain to Trumpian default settings and [3] revert to knuckle dragging to avoid standing upright… standing for upright human decency.

One can only hope that Benedict will someday, hopefully soon, emerge the humane victor and join what little is left of civil society.

While I totally admire Senator Katie Muth for [1] having been the adult in the room, [2] keeping her cool and [3] resisting the temptation to get in Benedict’s face to yell, “Shut the F up!”… well… the sad truth is that Trumpians sneer at civility and deem it an exploitable weakness.

Oh, how I yearn for the day where such a pessimistic outlook can only be seen in our rear-view mirrors.

End of blog? Not quite yet…

On this occasion… the 243rd Birthday of America…

I’ll readily admit that this has not been your typical “Happy Birthday Blog”. But I cannot think of a more meaningful way to express such a sentiment than to [1] further expose the abject Anti-Americanism which Trumpian politics / policy stands for and [2] launch some fireworks of a different nature… i.e., send upwards, the red flare of distress regarding the Trumpian conspiracy, a plot which threatens to snuff out Lady Liberty… wherever she may try to reside and flourish… be that in your homeland or mine.

Can freedom endure? Can we / our descendants persevere? Just how many more genuine, 4th of July celebrations can there be? Well… only time… and liberal, 2020 Election Day changes… if any… will tell…




Is “4” Just a Meaningless Digit on a July Calendar Page?


Some Americans refer to today as Independence Day. Others call it the Fourth of July. I’m certain even antiquity’s Philo of Byblos… purportedly the author of the very first Thesaurus… would’ve viewed such terminology as synonymous. But… that was then and this is now.

It goes without saying that our contemporary Thesauri would readily concur… with that leading to my incurring reader reactions such as…  “Mere linguistics!”… “What’s the diff?”… or worse yet… “Who the F cares?”

Well I do care, dammit! So should you. This really does exceed semantics and synonyms… which leads me to declaring my following, heartfelt, holiday sentiments to, you, my American compatriots… and btw… I welcome and invite, you, my international friends and followers, to read along, as well.

Be you a private citizen or public servant, to truly get into the holiday spirit… to love it and live it year-round… one must harbor full-bodied, three dimensional thoughts unfettered by stick-figured, (barely) one dimensional intolerance.

If that above paragraph already, accurately, describes you…

Congratulations! You’re a liberated, humane human being! An independent thinker!

However… for any of you who have yet to do so… it’s never too late to wholeheartedly declare your own independence from the tyranny of small-mindedness.

That above, congratulatory statement applies to / awaits anyone who’s ready, willing and able to fully embrace an American / Global society which has not forsaken our most vulnerable… the newborns, elderly and infirm… is inclusive of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, age groups, classes, righteous creeds, and agnostics / atheists.

To not freely accept such sentiments? Well… long sigh… our society suffers. The 4th of July becomes just another day… a meaningless digit on a July calendar page.

Folks, this does bear repeating…

It’s never too late for anyone to wholeheartedly declare their own independence from the tyranny of small-mindedness.

What better day to do so than Now… Today… Independence Day!


Four-Play (Week #2)

My blog experiment to feature a four track long musical set per week per post continues… this being Week 2 of my projected 13 week run. If you missed last week’s post, it’s archived in my “music” category.

As for today’s post, I’ve segued some music specifically themed to celebrate this Independence Day here in America.

Oh… btw… I had a rough time deciding which YouTube clip to choose from for Neil Diamond’s track… so… if you’d like to view the alternative version’s imagery, my typed in artist/song title headline, below, is also a clickable link.

Don’t expect any in depth musical analysis because I present the selections you hear, here, purely for the enjoyment of great music.

I do realize that tapping into my vast musical library can involve genres, which cannot possibly please all the people all the time. So… if today’s selections are not your “cup of tea”… do click back again… you never can tell what you’ll be listening to next week.

Blog response will act as my Arbitron / Nielsen “radio ratings”… so… if you’ve enjoyed my “show”, click that “Like” Star. Of course, comments are always welcome, too!


Chuck Berry / Linda Ronstadt / Keith Richards ~ Back In The USA

Chicago ~ Saturday In The Park

Simon & Garfunkel ~ America

Neil Diamond ~ America