Do U-2 Have a Sunday Story 2 Share? (Sunday Song Series)

Week #28 of our Sunday Song Series features U-2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday… the reality based, gory story a.k.a. “The Troubles” (Irish: Na Trioblóidí). As for all that went down on that ill-fated day, you can opt to read the in-depth backstory and/or settle for my following (overly simplistic) synopsis…

The Protestant government, known for discriminating against Catholics, oft deployed British troops and paramilitary forces whenever their inter-communal rancor spilled over into the streets. Yet, in spite of the demonstrations having been non-violent on that particular Sunday, the bristling with adrenaline / testosterone soldiers NEEDLESSLY opened fire to slaughter UNARMED civil rights activists, bystanders and even children.

Such bloodshed is eerily similar to 1970’s May 4th National Guard killing and maiming of Kent State University students protesting the Vietnam War and its Commander-In-Chief… one Richard (Tricky Dicky) Nixon… the prez who had been every bit the crook he said he wasn’t… and more. I remember this carnage so vividly because [1] the victims / fatalities had been cut down at such a young age (barely two years older than I had been) and [2] this was the very event which I credit with permanently politicizing me leftward.

It’s safe to say that you, my readers, wherever you hail from within our vast, violence prone world, have your own similar stories to tell and if you’d like to share your own insights, there’s plenty of room for you to express yourselves within the comment section below.

For me, it was… still is… difficult to accept how Kent State could’ve ever, possibly, gone down in my homeland when we SUPPOSEDLY had… still have… [1] the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment and [2] The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 to protect us from such military perpetrated massacres… be they on Sunday or any other day. To e.g. their detailed terms… respectively…

“Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

And…

The use of the U.S. Army to aid civil officials in enforcing the law or suppressing civil disorder is prohibited unless expressly ordered to do so by the president.

Of course, that presidential wiggle room is the real kick in the ass. Voluntary compliance with such laws presumes a mentally sound, unbeholden, genuinely patriotic American president is parking his butt behind the Oval Office desk.

And such a characterization (most assuredly) had neither been applicable to Tricky Dicky (then) nor to the fake prez (now).

The stark reality, here, is that back in 2016, my own homeland’s foolish voters elected [1] a vacuous, vane, vile, vulgar, volatile and violence fomenting, vengeance seeking autocrat who sucks up to Vladimir Putin and [2] regards ALL liberal activism to be a personal affront worthy of his meted out punishment.

To punish people who peaceably assemble to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, would he ever bark out his shoot to kill marching orders to the troops he commands?

Well now… seeing how he already has troops stationed along the American / Mexican border… at the very least… he’s half way there. Furthermore, with the vast majority of that man-child’s actual adult advisors (who once-upon-a-time had kept him in check) now having been flung from his admin’s constantly revolving door, what he’ll do next will depend solely upon whether or not his narcissism will continue to distract him.

We can only hope that U-2 or some other song composer(s) will never need to pen new, Americanized verses for Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Let’s all meet up back here for our next Sunday Song… hopefully a selection that’ll prove a bit more pleasant… seven days from now!

 

 

 

 

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April BlogCast ~ Timeless Heartfelt Sentiments

 

Welcome to our monthly musical get-together.

We, who came of age in the Sixties… an era seething with military madness, political unrest and societal upheaval… had no shortage of songs interwoven with antiwar, political and social commentary. These TIMELY and TIMELESS song lyrics pointed squarely at (in some cases with the middle digit) the aggression and injustices, which were sullying and degrading humanity all across America and throughout our world.

Throughout the decades that followed, when liberal minded presidents were at the helm, we did manage to take some baby steps towards extricating ourselves from such ills. But… to keep it real… there were also conservatives who would not stand for any part of what we stood for… who were (still are) hell bent on undoing any and all progress. Which means…

There still is so much of our work that remains undone.

More recently, Barack Obama, our nation’s very first biracial President, did offer average Jane and Joe Americans that sunny ray of hope. But his plan to effect change we could all believe in head-on collided with political gridlock… “courtesy” of his obdurate opponents. Net effect, these archconservatives had been the political equivalent of an endless, total eclipse of the sun.

And considering how the present-day, backward, reptilian brained, Tyrant-o-saurus Rex has been on a national and international rampage… making his primary ongoing mission to muddy and cover up each and every forward moving footprint his predecessor had left… well… now more than ever, there is an ever-growing need to “air” this month’s BlogCast songs.

On a more positive note, if such lyrical sentiments are ever, truly taken to heart by the powers-that-be, we could wind up with an energizing soundtrack that’ll, eventually, fight and win the war against aggression, oppression and discrimination in all of their grotesque, deplorable forms. Well, at least we can dream about it, right?

You likely noticed those two capitalized and italicized “T” words at the outset of this blog. The TIMELY and TIMELESS quality of this music has the capability of engaging critical thinkers wherever we may be… at the very least… inspiring a far greater liberal turnout at the polls this midterm election year.

On a more technical note: Admittedly, choosing between featuring original recordings vs. cover versions was a tough call. To resolve this, I’ve formatted the covers to appear onsite and link to the originals offsite over @YouTube. For any of you, who choose to click onto the smaller font’s artist/song names beneath each vid’s main title, you’ll be treated to a comparative study of the earlier artists’ interpretations / renditions.

So, sans any further delay, let’s all ear and eyewitness how all of these recording artists have so adeptly and passionately infused their heart and soul into the musical mix. Be these songs Sixties era or more recent, they’ve kept my hope alive… and hopefully yours too… hope for a better global society and better tomorrows.

 

Lena Markley & Brother Sanford ~ Get Together

Youngbloods ~ Get Together

“L” Debois ~ What’s Going On

Marvin Gaye ~ What’s Going On

VazquezSounds ~ Blowin’ In The Wind

Bob Dylan ~ Blowin’ In The Wind
Stevie Wonder ~ Blowin’ In The Wind

Justice Collective ~ He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother

Hollies ~ He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother

 

In parting… all I can add, here, is…

As consequential, expressive and inspirational this program’s timeless songs have been, what a shame that the political wasteland we are presently slogging through has made them so desperately needed and damned relevant. Maybe someday they’ll be played purely based on their musical merits. Someday…

Thank You for listening, viewing and reading. I’ll be posting my next monthly BlogCast during the first week of May ’18.

To access past programs, click onto my BlogCasts and Music categories.

If you’ve found our musical get-together enjoyable, don’t forget to like, comment and share. Those options can be accessed by clicking onto each blog title.

 

 

 

December Blogcast… Holiday Music With A Message

If you’re ISO hyperactive, chattering chipmunks, a melting down snowman and/or a sleigh-riding / joyriding Santa getting involved in a hit and run slaying of beloved Grandma, etc., this Blogcast will certainly fall short of your expectations.

While such inanity might play out well were we still living in a make-believe, winter wonderland where all is well… WELL… what can I say? We know that’s not true.

Insanity best describes the reality of post Election Day America… a troubled land where far too many folks (not content with making horrific choices up and down their recently cast ballots) have been going on a “celebratory” rampage… one which has, to date, resulted in over 900 hate crimes. And it’s safe to say that they’re far from finished.

Which all provides the perfect lead-in to my holiday Blogcast and my twofold goal. The five tunes I’ve selected will…

  1. Validate those of us, who, year round, already live the spirit of this holiday season.
  2. Remind those who have lost their way that it’s high time to do some serious soul searching… to spark what little compassion may still lurk in their hearts. Maybe then, they’ll stop intimidating and abusing women, ethnic and religious minorities, the LGBTQ community and the aged and disabled?

Well… we can only hope. I mean this, supposedly, is the season of hope… right?

Let’s all keep some good thoughts while giving a listen to the four remaining musical selections…

 

Peter, Paul and Mary ~ Don’t Laugh at Me

New song “One Woman” (International Women’s Day – 3/8/13)

Mint Juleps ~ Every Kinda People

The Workers ~ Let’s Work Together

If you’ve found the above musical, political and social commentary to your liking, meet me back here for my next Blogcast on January 1, 2017.

 

 

Violence is NOT the Answer

 

Donald Trump’s victory has, justifiably so, upset all well-informed and principled people. We’re fully aware how the next president will be a vain, avaricious, dogmatic, undiplomatic, intellectually incurious, soulless creature, who gets off on mindless discrimination, hatred and violence, which targets women, LGBTs, racial minorities, non-Christians, the aged, ailing and disabled. In addition to his unleashing societal ruin we know he’ll soon be inflicting perhaps irreversible, irreparable, economic and ecological devastation upon our world.

Within nanoseconds of his victory, Trump “successfully” emboldened legions of his low information and amoral deplorables, who, with increasing frequency and severity, have been going off on a celebratory rampage. On his behalf, they’re scrawling racist and sexist graffiti everywhere… are intimidating anyone who doesn’t measure up to their waspy standards…. are ambushing women with a barrage of dirty deeds and obscenities. His evil influence has even poisoned America’s youngest minds to the point where school kids are taunting and threatening their own classmates. [Related Story #1] [Related Story #2] [Related Story #3] [Related Story #4]

While we might be able to hold our noses and take Trump’s victory in stride, it’s been the post Election Day stench wafting off of these grotesque white supremacists and their atrocious displays that we can NEVER stomach!

It has been liberals’ anticipation of Trump’s ugly America and our watching, in horror, as this nightmare is already coming true (two months prior to Inauguration Day), which have caused our outrage to spill out into the streets… our own demonstrations, oft times, deteriorating into violence.

The fact that prez-elect Trump has, so far, only paid lip service towards healing divided America, amply demonstrates how he is either a lousy leader or, worse yet, a sadist who is enjoying what’s rapidly and rabidly becoming a feeding frenzy of hostility.

We, who can still think rationally, need to take a time-out to better understand what we’re going up against. Donald Trump possesses a closed mind attached to closed ears that rarely, IF EVER, listen to anyone. This fact raises some tough questions… such as…

  1. Beyond the emotional catharsis, just what is it that we hope our demonstrations will accomplish?
  2. Could we ever cause Donny to experience an epiphany… suddenly feel the resultant onrush of warm, heartfelt, decent human feelings? NOPE… not gonna happen!
  3. Could we ever teach him to respect humanity? NOPE… not gonna happen!
  4. Could we ever convince him to either mend his wicked ways or abdicate the power he is intoxicated with / addicted to? NOPE… not gonna happen!

Folks, Trump is beyond reason… beyond redemption… and worse yet, politically speaking, totally untouchable. With the soon to be restored, rightwing, judicial juggernaut on the U.S. Supreme Court bench… there’ll be no rulings against him… with the U.S. House and Senate’s rightwing chokehold… they’ll never impeach and remove him from office.

So… does this mean correcting this situation is utterly hopeless? That resistance is futile?

In a word… NO.  We must continue raising awareness regarding all the damage which Trump and his deplorables are doing, while being mindful of the fact that, as reprehensible as their conduct is, we must NEVER sink down to their level.

We must always take the high road to deal with these hate crimes… e.g., use our cell phones to first record and preserve visual evidence against all perpetrators and, next, encourage all the victims, along with any eyewitnesses, to call the cops.

As for our political demonstrations, we need to play some mind games… use psychological warfare… as it were…

Prime example: Let’s consider how, throughout the 2016 campaign, we saw Donny feeling rapture whenever he whipped up his supporters… got them to throw punches at any naysayers, who were attending his rallies. This all suggests that our best demonstrations could involve no demonstrations at all!

Folks, don’t you get it? The ultimate way to piss off narcissist Trump just might be to totally ignore him. Our use of passive resistance would deny him his perverse satisfaction, which could utterly devastate him… make this cowardly bully so despondent he’d tuck tale and skulk back into the pool of primordial goo from whence he spawned.

Of course I’d be remiss to not mention the inherent danger that he’d simply delude himself into believing that zero protests mean everybody now loves him.

So… realistically… long sigh… our protests must continue.

And whenever they do occur, we must never let our passions excessively govern us. We must never walk our anger down Trump’s low road. Our brains must trump brawn when we demonstrate… our movement needs a more proactive and productive methodology and venue.

The Internet / Blogosphere would provide visibility and accessibility to our noble cause… be the go-to place where our war of words can be fought and won.

We’re also going to need to find true blue liberals in the real world… candidates who are strong (but nonviolent), smart, charismatic, politically and emotionally baggage-free… folks, who’ll work within the system to change the system for the better… who’ll run for elective office at the federal, state and local levels… who’ll be funded by grass roots strategies… the few bucks here and there / small contributions from everyday, average Janes and Joes.

True, this will all take time but the sooner we start… the better. Equally true, it’s unlikely we’ll ever win over many of Donny’s deplorables but, then again, the whole idea would be to marginalize them while we energize the electorate… especially the apathetic voters who, had they not sat out the 2016 elections?

Well… we would’ve elected Hillary Clinton as our first woman president… and, would not now be facing down the dismal prospects of Donny’s Dark Ages for 4 to 8 years… as well as having to suffer the consequences regarding what are sure to be his handpicked, emotionally impaired and supremely ignorant Supreme Court judicial hacks… who’ll outlive him by 2 to 4 DECADES!!!