Today! Today! Today! (A 9/11 Memorial BlogCast)

It’s been quite awhile since the self-imposed suspension of my monthly BlogCasts. But, seeing how the content, herein, engenders the spirit of community, not unlike that felt during 9/11 memorial services…

Today! Today! Today is the day to hit the comeback trail!

For those who may be new to this site, these BlogCasts, typically, feature anywhere from 3 to 5 musical selections that thematically, visually, instrumentally… sometimes even tonally… all tie together quite nicely to make a more impactful impression.

As for the specific music, at hand, we’ll get a snapshot of where America was, is, and (if we’re lucky) can be all about.

For starters, our blog topper vid, America, melds Neil Diamond’s emotionally driven, lyrical sentiments with YouTube videographer Johnny Kim’s smartly edited photo montage.  My mega-thanks to Kim, for I could ALMOST envision the (circa early 1900s) Ellis Island arrival of my own maternal and paternal grandparents.

Suffice to say, this emotionally uplifting vid offers up a welcome breath of fresh air. And that’s no easy task, considering the gloomy, funky, stale storm clouds of intolerance which hang over the White House these days. If only restoring America’s image… as a welcoming nation… were as easy as clicking onto that playback button, right?

Let’s now move along to Simon and Garfunkel’s performance of America. This track takes on a dramatically different meaning when accompanied by YouTuber Eric Schantz’s skillful edits, which reveal Saginaw, Michigan’s urban decay. Suffice to say…  we’re viewing a textbook case of greed ruining a once grand city and state. If left unchecked, it can only metastasize nationwide. Sorry to say, no matter how frequently roaring political rally throngs chant “Make America great again”, this cannot possibly come true until that hollow mantra gets backed up by substantive actions of a green nature.

BTW, be sure to keep an eagle eye out while playing back this vid. Amidst the drab scenery, you’ll discover all of the song lyrics appearing as graffiti, spray-painted on buildings, fences, vehicles, overpasses… and everything else in between.

With Michigan being my lifelong home state, I’ve felt a strong bond with this song ever since its April 1968 release date. Additionally… I’m pretty sure that, as a little boy (road tripping with my parents and sister) we did pass through Saginaw on our way to Minnesota to visit my above-mentioned grandparents.

For this BlogCast finale, I’ll also be making my own cinematic statement. You see, not unlike the B&W Kansas cross-fade to the technicolor found within the Land of Oz… less dreary / more cheery times are ahead… all courtesy of the late great Ray Charles’ rendition of America the Beautiful… visually enhanced by YouTuber 12mulligan.

Their combined creativity provides us a view of The Real America. Wow! I really do get a sense of being home, again. And, to quote one of the most memorable lines from that Wizard of Oz flick…

“There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home!”

I now thank you for stopping by and cordially invite you to check out my Sunday Song Series presentation that hits the www… when else… each Sunday… usually between midnight and six a.m. in the U.S. Eastern Time Zone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day Meditations

Ever since the United States of America set forth on its march towards independence… some two and one half centuries ago… our servicemen and servicewomen have been selflessly and courageously fighting and dying while protecting and defending the downtrodden masses… securing the path to liberty and prosperity for both their freedom loving compatriots and other like-minded peoples spanning our globe.

While, by my very nature, I do favor pacifism, I know fully well that such an ideal must be tempered by pragmatism. As such, I know these truths to be self-evident…

[1] peace does not always come easily
[2] freedom is not always free of charge… and as such… and regrettably…
[3] soldier patriots oft wind up paying freedom’s hefty price tag with their very blood

It is with all such sentiments in mind that I now stand upon my native soil on this Memorial Day, to express my undying gratitude… to direct my civilian salute heavenward to these exemplary servicewomen and servicemen.

Oh, if only I could end this blog right here and now… but…

It is with all such sentiments in mind that I now must also issue warnings about a looming threat to freedom / peace… namely… the resurgence of grotesque white supremacy.

I would never want to see past battlefield victories to have been for naught… specifically those wars where our troops defeated America’s Confederacy and Germany’s Third Reich… respectively… emancipating the slaves and liberating the Jews.

There is an urgent need to uproot / eradicate the choking, poisonous vines of racism. Bad actors… to name but a few… Bashar al-Assad, Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin and Donald J. Trump are all working overtime… independently and/or in collusion… to do their damnedest to suffocate life, liberty… joie de vivre itself… again.

Indeed, oppression can only thrive wherever and whenever a leader (such as DJT) is ignorant and/or ignoble… e.g., each and every time he…

[1] flips off Constitutionally stipulated congressional / judicial oversight / stacks the judicial deck
[2] stifles free speech / brands journalism fake news and journalists “enemies of the people”
[3] insulates himself with Orwellian sycophants who vomit forth putrid, “alternate facts”
[4] alienates / pisses off longstanding, honorable allies until they all despise him / the U.S.
[5] tears up mutually beneficial international treaties so no one will ever come to our aid again
[6] meets secretly with / sucks up to sworn enemies who deem him a patsy, not a pal
[7] welcomes / encourages foreign meddling into our free elections
[8] deems Nazis and Klansmen “fine people”
[9] erects walls, tears down bridges and wrests infants / children from their asylum seeking parents’ embraces
[10] makes war criminals his war heroes
[11] bosses around We The People who, in reality, are his bosses
[12] demands acceptance of his wretchedly unacceptable, patently offensive, avarice driven agenda
[13] conflates patriotism with blind loyalty, as in, exclusively to him

While I will always honor soldiers who’ve fought and died to secure a better life for us, would not each future Memorial Day service be even more meaningful were we to elect a new, honorable, mentally stable Commander-In-Chief who would ensure their long ago, hard-fought battle victories had not been in vain?

 

 

 

My apologies for this late posting. Internet magic cannot happen when connection problems block the path to the www.