Sunday Song Series “Bares” It All

 

I welcome you to week #14 of our Sunday Song Series. Once upon a time, the late Scott Weiland (musician / singer / songwriter of the 1990s band Stone Temple Pilots) spoke of this week’s musical offering…

Naked Sunday is about organized religion. About people who tell others what to do and what to believe. They switch off people’s minds and control the masses. It gives me a feeling of isolation, when I think about it. Organized religion does not view everyone as equals.”

When I think about it, too, I feel a need to expound / expand on Mr. Weiland’s sentiments. Let’s consider the devastating effect, which terrorists, televangelists and pedophile priests have had on organized religion… the multiple thousands of lives they’ve ruined. OBVIOUSLY, their deplorable and/or deadly deeds, can never solve any of our worldly woes… only severely worsen those that already exist and even add more to that already too long list.

It beats the hell out of me how anyone could ever believe that persecution, perversion, violence and homicide / mass murder could ever result in the betterment of humankind. The only thing worse than their attempting to add fine print clauses to abrogaate a commandment such as Thou Shalt NOT Kill is for them to attract “disciples” who’ll blindly follow them to the ends of the Earth. Each and every time that occurs, that’s one step closer to the end of Earth.

Look, I’m not saying organized religion is intrinsically bad… so long as the devout keep it all in the proper perspective.

It matters not which respectable religious sect strengthens / elevates our souls… so long as it also strengthens / elevates our interpersonal relationships and, eventually, society as a whole.

To successfully accomplish this, people must understand that our Creator is not a slacker who’d ever need to outsource tasks to mere mortals. And, since no, one, respectable religion is better than the other, our Creator does not expect us to proselytize either.

So what, pray tell, should be the duty of the devout?

Doncha think that living the Golden Rule would suffice? Hell, that can and does work out fine for agnostics / atheists, too!

Our Sunday Song Series will continue seven days from now.

 

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BlogCast Special: A 9/11 Soundtrack

 

This time around, our musical get-together doesn’t require much of a set up at all. In fact, my above headline says it all.

Simply scroll down, click away and, while listening, be sure to remember all the good people we lost or who got wounded on this day, sixteen years ago… all their surviving families and dear friends… all the victims who live on, forever physically scarred, challenged and disabled.

Remember, too, all who’ve met similar fates while fighting on the side of good during the subsequent wars on terror… as well as all the innocent bystanders residing in the vicinity of those battlefields.

And never forget that the ongoing, more recent terrorist attacks, still spread like raging cancers all over our world and are no less damaging and deadly.

 

Tom Paxton ~ The Bravest

Mary-Chapin Carpenter ~ Grand Central Station

Be sure to also check out MCC’s interview.

Sheryl Crow ~ God Bless This Mess

Eagles ~ Hole In the World Tonight

If you LIKE what you heard, click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast scheduled for Sunday, October 1, 2017.

Past programs are archived in my BlogCast and music categories.

 

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.

 

 

 

Remembering Our First Job

 

Most of us can fondly recall the very first time we ever heard those magic words, “You’re hired!” In our younger days, when our résumés presented no appreciable work history, landing that first job depended more upon how well we had answered the interviewer’s questions… especially those queries specifically designed to help evaluate the level of each applicant’s work ethic, intellectual curiosity and personal integrity.

Indeed, to harbor such virtues was (hopefully still is) to earn each prospective boss’s trust… allay her/his legitimate concerns that we might be unable to meet the company’s expectations.

Of course, next came our very first day on the job… typically starting with the probationary phase where we’d remain under the constant, watchful gaze of superiors… where it’d be totally up to us to prove and improve our talents… to meet and exceed said expectations… in short… to earn our keep.

Well, nowadays, when it comes down to “hiring” / electing our representatives to government positions… well… long sigh… sad to say… it seems that expectations-wise, the bar has become set really, Really, REALLY low.

For proof, one need not look far. There’s an extraordinarily, inexperienced new hire punching the Oval Office time clock. If he, indeed, actually possesses even a minimally genuine work ethic, even a smattering of intellectual curiosity and one milligram of personal integrity… well… he’s certainly doing his very damnedest to totally deep six any evidence such virtues exist within his psyche. More to the point…

  1. So far… he has taken an inordinate number of (golfing) breaks, which I suppose is not all bad. After all, it’s whenever he IS “on the job” that the real damage begins. His idea of “a job well done” is to mass-produce chaos. More specifically… his battle plan is to unleash economic and ecological devastation… belittle and browbeat society’s young, disabled, aged and ailing… taunt, demean, objectify and assault women… harass and dehumanize the LGBTQ community… ratchet up racial and religious intolerance… exploit and crush the working poor… promote and proliferate corrupt corporations and cronyism… inculcate, abroad, feelings of distrust, disgust and flat-out hatred towards America, which can only trigger more terrorist attacks, conventional warfare and perhaps even thermonuclear exchange / mutual assured destruction (MAD).
  2. So far… his cocksure, Mr. Know-It-All bluster all but ensures the permanence of his closed minded, ignorance. Indeed, he exhibits an absolute unwillingness to learn one damned thing and possesses / is possessed by a resolve to fight off, tooth and nail, anyone even attempting to educate him.1
  3. So far… be it his improper upbringing / arrested development or his being a sociopath… he cannot even be trusted to know the difference between right and wrong… that amply proven by his own relentless attempts to quash FBI director James Comey’s investigation of the whole effing mess re Russia… and then firing said director for not knuckling under.

Remembering Our First Job, again, I now ask you, if any of us had ever, similarly, turned our workplaces upside down, don’t you think we’d have been called on the carpet? Maybe even heard the words, “You’re fired!”?

Oh, what a shame that there’s no such probationary period during which an utter failure of a prez could be pink-slipped. Oh, what a pity we cannot utter #45’s favorite “You’re Fired” catchphrase and then promptly show him the door.

Regrettably, impeachment and removal from office is a task left up to the U.S. Senate and House… both legislative bodies, at present, suffering from Republican majorities and inhabited with spineless, pathetic old men. Very few of them could ever be counted on to prioritize patriotism over petty partisanship AND may even share some (if not all) of #45’s deplorable character flaws. Needless to say, left unchecked, the so-called prez will continue hammering away at America and our world until there’s nothing left.

That means, Vladimir Putin permitting, our next opportunity to “drain the swamp” and elect new respectable, responsible legislators and a new, respectable, responsible president won’t arrive (respectively) until 2018 and 2020.

That’s when my blog title, Remembering Our First Job, will take on a far more significant connotation. What this must entail is our NEVER forgetting that, via the ballot box, WE are the bosses of our leaders… NEVER vice versa.

Citizens, not just in America, but also living in every freedom and democracy loving nation, worldwide, must ALWAYS actively participate in each and every new election cycle… view all candidates to be the job applicants they are and then interview and vet them… leaving no stone unturned. To not do so?

Well… as of my blog posting time, in the past, scant six months, we’ve already seen the massive damage done because too many fools had said, “You’re hired” to an entity who, indisputably, is devoid of a genuine work ethic… is sorely lacking an insatiable intellectual curiosity and… when it comes down to possessing a rock solid level of personal integrity… the bogus businessman is morally bankrupt.

Remembering Our First Job is also to fearlessly roar out, “NEVER AGAIN!”

 

 

1The former head of the United Negro College Fund, Arthur Fletcher, had summed it up best when he coined the phrase to lament, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste!”

 

99 Word Blog (#012) Grave Repercussions?

Recently, Donald Trump mentioned former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails… tacking on the following “invitation”…

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

So, what’d stop Russia’s cyberspace invasion from including devastating attacks upon America’s financial institutions, power / communications grids AND nuclear power plants?

Fear of retaliation.

However… terrorists do not feel such fear.

They, too, heard Trump’s “invitation”. How will they RSVP?

What’ll germinate from the seeds Trump has sown in terrorists’ fertile “minds”?

Another 9/11?

99 Word Blog #002

re Donald Trump’s acceptance speech…

“I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.”

Trump humble? Really?

“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.”

Trump’s own violence inciting stump speeches are a “yuge” part of this crisis and threaten our very way of life. He does not grasp this danger and is not fit to lead our country.