The Woodstock Nation: RIP? Or just MIA?

From August 15th thru 18th, 1969… while festival goers were reveling within their newly established Bethel, NY, Woodstock Nation… I was stuck at home… back in Michigan… stuck in my early teens, too. The only way I could’ve ever counted myself amongst Woodstock’s estimated 500,000 souls, would’ve been to run away from home, hitchhike and… upon my eventual return… REALLY face the music… a.k.a. parental repercussions / getting “grounded for life”. Bummer! <—Now, there’s a word in desperate need of carbon dating!

Mom and dad’s (understandable) protectionism… in a sense… had already been grounding me… and for doing nothing wrong, too. Over the past half century… just for fleeting moments… I’ve oft wondered. What would I have had to lose had I flown the coup for about a week? Well, here’s what I actually did lose by nearly always being the obedient son: The ability to treasure the lifelong memories of having actually been there.

Of course, even from afar, I did manage to catch this monumental music event’s sense of belonging, anyway. Funny how that sort of “buzz” was fully capable of bridging that 1000km gap. How so?

The Woodstock Nation-State was just as much
a state of mind. And in my mind, it still is.

The Woodstock state of mind does transcend the music, too. From my perspective, it is to believe in enriching society with essential liberty, peace, love, tolerance, equality, inclusiveness, diversity, ecological sensitivity and fiscal sobriety.

But, to transition back to the music… ultimately… I did finally get to hear a portion of what I had missed, thanks to [1] the tireless, audio engineers, who had kept the onsite tape recorders rolling, [2] Cotillion / Atlantic Records for releasing these performances as a 139 minute duration, vinyl triple album on May 11, 1970, and [3] the progressive rock, FM radio DJs, who kept on playing these LPs in heavy rotation. BTW, as a young teen, my parents would not permit me view the R-rated Woodstock motion picture so, to me, this festival had remained heard but not seen.

Eventually, in a manner of speaking, I did get to “time travel” for a virtual visit to Bethel, too! This was courtesy of a local band performing at one of my high school’s Friday night dances. These four musicians covered… no it was much more than that… these showmen had all faithfully recreated Sly & The Family Stone’s Woodstock performance of I Want To Take You Higher. Their frontman’s spirited pep-talk adeptly mimicked / echoed Sly Stone’s style / sentiments. And that energized / encouraged us to shed our inhibitions… to participate in a hip, sing-along where we repeatedly sang / chanted “I want to take you higher”, while enthusiastically, joyously, rhythmically waving our peace sign, gesturing hands high in the air!

Oh, how both the times and crowd mentality have changed these past fifty years. How so?

• Instead of upraised arms to revel in our freedom, lately, within the political arena, we’ve been witnessing arms upraised in thinly veiled salutes to fascism.

• Instead of the index and middle fingered gesture of benevolence / peace… lately, nearly everywhere we look… absent the index finger… this becomes the gesture of malevolence / hatred. And, far worse, within ubiquitous pop up war zones, the index fingers too frequently get routinely repurposed as trigger fingers.

• Instead of chants that take us to a higher plane of existence, currently, rallies become the venue for rowdy crowds to chant “campaign slogans” such as  “Send them back!”, “Send her back!” and “Lock her up!”

But… it’d be a bummer to end this post on such a sad note… especially on the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock.

“I want to take you higher” was / still is Sly Stone’s goal… and mine too…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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…

 

 

 

A Walk Through the Land of Broken Dreams…

What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted serves as both song title and question posed to us all. We are invited to traipse alongside singer Jimmy Ruffin and song composers James Anthony Dean, Paul Riser and William Henry Witherspoon as… together… we walk through the land of broken dreams.

With each subsequent, soulfully, dolefully sung lyrical couplet, memories of our own failed interpersonal relationships are inevitable. Caring souls, everywhere, can relive and relate to the universal feelings of loss… identify with those tearstained, heavyhearted moments from our past.

Several days ago, while playing back this Sixties era, Motown musical masterpiece / classic, I realized that… as is true with all superbly crafted poetry… these lyrics cast their spell on more than one level.

The addressed feelings of emotional distress are not unlike what transpires following the actual death of a loved one… even the death of one’s country… the death of Lady Liberty.

Indeed, patriotism… the love of one’s homeland… is no different.

And what description more aptly sums up the breakup of our relationships with our present-day, troubled world… indeed, the breakup of my relationship with my ideologically fractured, broken down homeland… other than “the land of broken dreams”… the end of the American Dream?

While my love of country has not wavered in the least and I’ve always sensed that my country has loved me in return (well… at least up until January 20, 2017), there IS a diabolical political force afoot and his wicked intent is to make damned sure that my love… my compatriots’ love… shall forever remain unrequited.

In a sense, America’s oppressor is not unlike a narrow-minded, stone hearted, selfish, egotistical, domineering father figure who… just to ensure relationships never blossom between suitors and his daughter, Lady Liberty… imprisons, shackles and gags her in the depths of his dingy, dank, stone walled and iron barred dungeon.

To extend this… he does so just to prevent patriotic love relationships between country and countrywomen / countrymen.

“Daddy” is flat out denying us all the opportunity to experience sweet Libby’s delightful aspect… the freedom gleaming in her eyes, the warmth of her welcoming smile… her soft whispers of unconditional patriotic love.

I can only hope that you, my international readers, are never forced to share in my anguish… in all true Americans’ anguish… experience our heavy hearts and eyes welled up with tears.

And folks… to now quote Dean, Riser and Witherspoon… “I can’t stand this pain much longer!”

 

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Since in our online lives there can be breakups with / breakdowns to musical links, I’m also including a more enduring presentation of these compelling song lyrics which have now… at least for me… taken on a even deeper meaning. Maybe you feel the same way, too?

 

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted

Songwriters: James Anthony Dean / Paul Riser / William Henry Witherspoon

 

 

 

As I walk this land of broken dreams
I have visions of many things
But happiness is just an illusion
Filled with sadness and confusion

What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Maybe

The roots of love grow all around
But for me they come a-tumblin’ down
Every day heartaches grow a little stronger
I can’t stand this pain much longer

I walk in shadows searching for light
Cold and alone, no comfort in sight
Hoping and praying for someone who’ll care
Always moving and goin’ nowhere

What becomes of the broken-hearted
Who had love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
Help me please

I’m searching, though I don’t succeed
For someone’s love there’s a growing need
All is lost, there’s no place for beginning
All that’s left is an unhappy ending

Now, what becomes of the broken-hearted
Who have love that’s now departed?
I know I’ve got to find
Some kind of peace of mind
I’ll be searching everywhere
Just to find someone to care
I’ll be looking everyday, I know I’m gonna find a way
Nothing’s gonna stop me now
I’ll find a way somehow
And I’ll be searching everywhere
I know I gotta find a way
I’ll be looking

 

 

Relighting America’s Beacon ~ Vid of the Day

 

Programming the human brain is not unlike programming a computer…

Garbage IN = Garbage OUT

Even though the un-American, fake prez has a head that’s akin to a massive landfill… a wasteland overloaded with ideological garbage… he’s still fully aware of that above equation. As a garbageman / programmer his singularity of purpose is to install malware… e.g., his zero tolerance immigration policy.

He ceaselessly exploits / plays into his constituents’ preexisting unreasonable and unfounded prejudices and phobias. And just prior to clicking onto “restart”… just to further fan the flames of their racial bias and fears of cultural differences… his programming also involves his BOGUS claim that undocumented immigrants are “stealing” employment opportunities from Americans.

Hmmm… let’s update our minds, instead, with the installation of this reality based “software” (version 6.20)…

Job loss is far more about bad business practices such as the upward redistribution of wealth, outsourcing and automation… far more about bad governance, which perpetuates the abysmal status quo… e.g. the sky high cost of higher education.

In the end, our undereducated society is ill prepared / ill equipped to apply for and fill the high tech and highly specialized job openings of the 21st century.

In short… it’s far easier for reckless businessmen and feckless, elected leaders to blame illegal immigrants than to offer up meaningful societal changes. To further clarify this, let’s also install this IF/THEN scenario…

IF avaricious CEOs (playing out their real life game of Monopoly) weren’t demanding exorbitant annual salaries and obscene perks… IF they truly believed in providing pleasant working conditions and paying a living wage / offering vital benefits to each and every industrious, average Jane and Joe worker… IF affordable college education and vocational training were both readily available…

THEN a symbiotic relationship would develop between labor and management…THEN full employment would become possible… THEN poverty would be eradicated… THEN immigrants would be welcomed… THEN political, emotional, ideological and national boundary lines would first blur… next vanish… THEN a genuinely global society / community could bloom and flourish.

THEN Neil Diamond’s America would become far, Far, FAR more than exquisitely delivered, pride inspiring song lyrics. As I type… as you read the final four lines of this post… keep in mind this song’s repeated, spirited, joyous rallying chants of “TODAY!”

 

Let’s restart our minds! “TODAY!”
Let’s restart our search for benevolent leadership! “TODAY!”
Let’s restart America! “TODAY!”
Let’s restart our entire World! “TODAY!”

 

 

Who Is He? / Who He Is! (One Quick Limerick #044)

 

He’s bankrupt of values and brimming with vanity,
He batters* less fortunate with inhumanity,
He’ll smooch alt-right / gun nut rump,
On free press / speech, He’ll take dump,
He suffers from ignorance and/or insanity.

 

* try subbing in the word “bullies”

 

July Musical BlogCast ~ Pleas For Freedom

Welcome to my July BlogCast. In a land called America (soon to celebrate its 241st birthday) there is supposed to be liberty and justice for all.

How shocking it is that such age and wisdom do not walk hand in hand. How appalling that still unresolved ethnic, religious and gender issues sow the seeds of deadly oppression and hate crimes.

Where all people are not allowed to be free there can be no true, free society.

Each of this month’s recording artists have so powerfully presented their appeals for freedom that there’s absolutely no need for any further DJ type set up.

Let’s let the music speak for itself…

 

Beyoncé ~ Freedom

Ardee ~ #BlackLivesMatter (Freedom)

Pharrell Williams ~ Freedom

Thank you for clicking by for a listen. If you like what you’ve heard today, be sure to stop back again on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 for my next regularly scheduled monthly BlogCast.

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