September BlogCast ~ A Heartfelt Plea for Harmony

 

My greetings to all of my WordPress blogging colleagues, followers and visitors! If you’re just here to hear the music, scroll down and start clicking away… these four selections will amply communicate my intended sentiments, which I’ll now further expand on… i.e., should you choose to read onward…

Initially, I found it tough to set the proper mood for this installment of our monthly musical get-together. I had to scuttle my original “hot fun in the summertime” theme… deeming it insensitive and inappropriate in the wake of all the death and destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey… considering how life may never fully return to normal for the millions of flooded out, uprooted survivors in Texas. My heartfelt condolences to folks who lost loved ones and hopes that you, who have survived, can restore your lives as much as possible and can find happiness again.

I’d have to ditto my mood barometer reading regarding all who were recently maimed and slaughtered during the eerily similar, vehicular ISIS terrorist attacks against Barcelona and Cambrils, Spain AND Nazis / Klansmen terrorist assaults against Charlottesville, Virginia. My wholehearted condolences to the all the good people who lost their loved ones and best wishes that the surviving victims recover speedily and as completely as possible. Hopefully, someday soon, happiness will be yours once more.

As if those meteorological and ideological storms weren’t bad enough, already, we, of good conscience, have also been deeply in mourning over the loss of the American presidency. And by saying “presidency” I’m referring to the monumental, leadership vacuum that’s been sucking the air out of the Oval Office… sucking the life force out of my homeland and our global community… all perpetrated by an ethically barren, morally bankrupt, avaricious and vicious, Orwellian, stick-figure figurehead.

In times of trouble, a nation’s citizenry should be able to count on their leader for a comforting pep talk… an FDR-esque, folksy fireside chat as it were… but… alas… long sigh…

Folks, it’s downright depressing and disgusting to observe the cannibalistic, parasitical, so-called prez…

  1. Feeding off the post-hurricane apocalypse’s human suffering… just to sate his voracious narcissistic hungers… just to erect a smokescreen to enshroud his nefarious, fascist political agenda.
  2. Feasting off the ISIS terrorist attacks in Spain just because that’ll wrongfully validate his flat-out hatred of all Muslims1. It is stunning how… practically in the same breath… he lavishes praise upon un-american [sic] Nazis and Klansmen… sucking up to them just so they’ll help reelect him in 2020.

Net effect, the so-called prez, has wildly emboldened these domestic terrorists. Left unchecked, these co-conspirators… the pathetic “prez” and his deplorable pals… will violently subvert all that the real America stands for. We’re likely witnessing the rebirth of Nazi Germany.

So what the hell does that make the so-called prez? An Adolf Hitler / David Duke hybrid? Did some nefarious, eager beaver recombinant DNA scientist mutate him? Did a psychotic psychosurgeon lobotomize / reprogram him? Or was he “merely” born and/or reared that way? Whatever the cause of his mental illness/illnesses, we can only wish him a speedy, complete and permanent recovery. In this modern medical era, no one should be condemned to live out one’s life bouncing off the rubberized walls… be they real or hallucinated.

The real America’s survival… indeed the survival of the whole world… depends on a sane presidency and sound minded leaders elsewhere, too. How else could we ever hope to see our global population live in harmony?

That plea for harmony is from where I now take my musical cue… set the tone for this month’s BlogCast.

Folks, I find the negativity of what I just blogged… to say the least… disturbing. What else can I conclude than negative leaders bring out the worst in me, indeed, in every like-minded, warmhearted, ethical patriot who truly gives a damn? And that has got to change… starting with the legal, orderly and peaceable ouster of such negative entities.

But, until the day that becomes reality… I believe the following music will provide an ear and eye opening… a mind expanding and mood elevating experience.

Accompanying only my sparse, supplemental commentary, I’ll now let the songwriters’ and singers’ sentiments speak for themselves.

Ray Stevens ~ Everything Is Beautiful

Admittedly, I would’ve preferred this track’s religious undercurrents to have been more inclusive of faiths other than Christianity… but… when we consider the less globalized era in which this song was first composed and recorded, would not genuine believers of all religious stripes be forgiving? Additionally, I sincerely believe one can also be agnostic and still be fully capable of concurring with the overall message of unity. Oh, btw, you can also give a listen to an alternate track featuring a duet performed by Ray Stevens and another of this month’s BlogCast featured artists, Glen Campbell.

The New Seekers ~ I’d Love To Teach The World To Sing

Many decades ago a slightly, lyrically modified, abridged version of this song became the soundtrack to a Coca Cola™ commercial, which you can view here.

Glen Campbell ~ Try A Little Kindness

I joyfully rediscovered this track just one week ago upon purchasing the late Mr. Campbell’s greatest hits CD… after finding it while grocery shopping at my local supermarket superstore. I first heard Campbell perform on the late Sixties era, “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” TV show… a program with a distinctly, politically progressive POV… from where I derived own liberal attitude. Campbell died just a few short weeks ago on August 8, 2017. You can access a video tribute.

Peter, Paul & Mary ~ Weave Me The Sunshine

Peter Yarrow will now introduce this BlogCast finale… thusly…

“‘Weave Me The Sunshine’  became a very big hit in South Africa and in Brazil and ultimately of course it’s a song that has found it’s way into many churches and synagogues.”

About all I could possibly add, here, (as is true with nearly all folk music) it’s nearly impossible not to sing along with this upbeat and uplifting tune. And I recommend that we all add our voices… sing it loudly… sing it proudly… trump all of those negative vibes. Let us all spread outward its unifying, harmonizing message (indeed, the messages from all four of these songs) to all four corners of our world.

Thank you for listening on this day. If you LIKE what you heard, click back here

for my next BlogCast on Sunday, October 1, 2017.

Past programs are archived in my BlogCast and music categories.

 

 

 

1 We, who still can and do think clearly, fully realize that ISIS has mutilated and muddied true Islam and now exploits it just to justify their deadly, bloody attacks.

 

 

 

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Dormant Seeds? Unpromising Soil?

Over fifty Junes ago, my parents, sister and I wound up moving into a 30-year mortgaged, freshly constructed, three-bedroom ranch and went on to transform it into our home.

For our folks, that momentous occasion had been nothing short of a financial miracle considering the paltry income of public school teachers of that early sixties era AND how The Great Depression of 1929 had put both of their lives and livelihoods on hold… had caused them to meet, marry and get into the baby making biz quite late in life. How late?

Well… by the time I had graduated from college, my Mom and Dad were both in their early sixties and in the early phases of failing health.

It was my heartfelt, undying love and gratitude for all they’d done for me, which had motivated me to put my own life on hold… to not only accept but also embrace the intergenerational, caregiver role-reversal.

In the end, I wound up inheriting my boyhood home. That’s where I’ve been “hanging my hat”, ever since the age of seven. I am so deeply rooted here I literally know my microcosm right down to the flowerbeds… i.e., where my Mom, who’d been an avid horticulturalist, had planted her flowers.

And that’s where today’s story actually begins…

Our My home’s roof has an overhang, which oft prevents the rains from adequately reaching every flower. Even the shortest such drought is apt to result in deadly consequences. And that’s precisely what had happened.

While I’d been busily tending to other higher priority matters in my life, I had neglected to water Mom’s prized, purple Irises. Five years ago, their blooms and foliage had all but vanished off the face of the earth… or so I had thought…

Just mere months ago, while tending to her precious daffodils, out of the corner of my eye, I had spotted something green. Several double takes rapidly confirmed the “impossible”. One tiny, fragile Iris leaf was poking through the soil… desperately seeking out the warmth of the early spring sunlight. I immediately redirected my sprinkling can’s nozzle and, ever since, this plant has been the recipient of my intensive care.

In the past several weeks, several dozen more leaves have appeared, as well. While I’m unsure, yet, if this resurrected Iris has regained sufficient strength to bloom this growing season, I’m still keeping my fingers crossed.

I cannot help but walk away from this experience without considering the more significant, symbolic message here…

My Mom’s Iris is living proof of Marcus Tullius Cicero’s timeless wisdom…

“While there’s life there’s hope.”

To dig a bit deeper…

In view of America’s January 2017, horrific, deplorable, corrupt power shift… we can only hope that the imperiled seeds of human decency can weather and survive the present-day drought of intellect and morality, which is presently overhanging DC… one that poses a serious threat to noble ideas and ideals such as brotherhood, civility, empathy, philanthropy, honesty, transparency, ethics, liberty and justice for ALL.

In light of both my Mom’s rejuvenated Iris AND of how the authors of truly great literature are oft advocates of the above listed inventory of virtues, this brings to mind the late author Carl Sagan’s wisdom. His analogy has never been more relevant…

“Books are like seeds. They can lie dormant for centuries and then flower in the most unpromising soil.”

Will there be a sufficient number of folks, who still give a damn, to counteract the drought. If so, it’ll be up to us to fill the sprinkling cans… to ensure we redirect their spouts at all the hard to reach places… and then?

We’ll hope with all our hearts that it won’t take centuries for the precious seeds to bloom anew.

 

 

Еще четыре года? (Translation: Four More Years?)

 

DISCLAIMER: Google’s online English to Russian translator is responsible for my above headline… I hope it’s correct.

Historically speaking, the GOP’s evil elite has long resorted to the gerrymandering of legislative district boundary lines to make it difficult, if not impossible, for Democrats to win elections. These Republicans also resort to vile, voter suppression tactics to disenfranchise minorities who typically vote for Democrats.

That “1-2 punch” means far too many Americans no longer have any say in who will represent their best interests… while ironically… Russia’s cyberattacker, Vladimir Putin, gets to freely choose who will represent his best interests (e.g. #45).

Elections devoid of ethics and ethnic diversity are what conspired to establish last November’s one party rule… i.e., the GOP domination of the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Republican legislators, now drunk with absolute power (which corrupts absolutely), have marginalized and muzzled their Democratic counterparts to the point where the latter party might as well not even show up for work anymore.

Liberal lawmakers can expect whatever valuable input they have to offer to get summarily rejected by conservatives who’ll flat-out refuse to even take sixty seconds to hear them out. If things were any more petty than they already are… well… here’s a for instance…

If a Democrat were to ever exclaim, “Wow! What a beautiful sunshiny day it is!”… even when there’d be irrefutable visual evidence that the sun was indeed out… a Republican would still snarl, “Oh shut the F up! It’s raining outside because I say it’s so!” And he’d next likely further punctuate that by sticking out his tongue, thumbing his nose and/or whipping, upward, one or both middle digits.

Hmm… hardly seems fair when we consider how liberals comprise roughly half of the electorate. In other words… no one is representing us… addressing even the tiniest of our concerns, anymore.

Since Inauguration Day, #45 and his team of coconspirators, in flagrant violation of the U.S. Constitution / Bill of Rights’ 1st Amendment have been skulking off in the shadows and working overtime to intimidate and muzzle liberal investigative journalists, bloggers and protestors who, after all, are “just” doing their patriotic duty.

“The Admin” has also been plotting to expand the radius of the rightwing propagandists… namely, via repeal of the Johnson Amendment to the U.S. Tax Code which prohibits all 501(c)3 non-profit organizations (e.g. churches) from endorsing or opposing political candidates. If successful, “preachers” (without losing tax exempt status for their respective churches) could legally use their pulpits as bully pulpits.

The net effect… rather than theologians lecturing on spiritually uplifting topics such as peace, love and tolerance… a.k.a. brotherhood… their Big Brother dictated “sermons”, would become the echo chambers for the FOX “News” / noise machine. Parishioners would be forced to earwitness preachers pontificators delivering seething, scathing tirades that’ll unjustly slam the more cogent, fair-minded Democratic agenda, while, simultaneously, promoting rightwing greed, environmental terrorism, racism, misogyny and intolerance towards non-Christians and the LGBTQ community. No doubt these religious charlatans will also be donating a hefty percentage of each Sunday’s collection plate… not to help the hungry and homeless… but to reward the already wallowing in wealth, Godless, GD GOP!

Oh, btw… a heads up for Americans… (in violation of the 1st Amendment) expect church attendance to become mandatory… after all… Big Brother would never permit anyone to escape hearing his “alternative facts” and other such crap.

Perhaps the most disheartening and horrifying aspect of America’s downfall is the total disconnect we’ve been hearing whenever some broadcaster shoves a microphone in front of the mouth of any of #45’s diehard supporters. Just the way they invariably gush forth their absolutely indefensible, unshakable and amoral adulation for him, it’s obvious how they’ve become oblivious to all the (perhaps) irreparable damage their “king” is doing on their behalf.

Seeing how nearly half of our electorate is aboard #45’s crazy train… and with all due respect to true Americans who’ve been protesting with words and deeds… in their attempts to derail it… it would appear that #45’s overthrow of America has far deeper, freedom choking ramifications than many liberals have even begun to suspect.

Within our near future, that is, if #45 doesn’t first Tweet the U.S. into a nuclear war, ONE of these THREE outcomes to occur…

  1. He will so thoroughly muck up domestic and international affairs that he’ll tuck tail and run like hell for the nearest exit signs… after which the GOP will gladly dump the whole disgusting mess unto a Democrat’s Oval Office desk (a situation akin to how President Barack Obama wielded a pooper scoop to clean up after W’s herd of stampeding elephants).
  2. He will run for reelection in 2020, at which time we can expect the cheering, “Four More Years” Putin to “vote” AGAIN! At that point, if truly patriotic American liberal dissenters have not all been rounded up and imprisoned in his concentration camps, a second American Revolutionary War may be the only way to restore the vision of America’s Founding Fathers.
  3. My predictions will prove to be dead wrong. America’s Founding Fathers will have written sufficient protections into the U.S. Constitution so, in spite of the current crop of political sots, We The People will be able to sober them up, survive and “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”