I Do Believe In Spooks, I Do Believe In Spooks, I Do, I Do…. (2014Feb26)


I Do Believe In Spooks, I Do Believe In Spooks, I Do, I Do….

Wednesday, February 26, 2014          1:00 AM

A Thought:

So I wanted to say to all my friends that in spite of my being atheist, I still believe in the impossible—and I believe in magic, spirits, UFOs, and anything else—but having said that, I don’t believe any of us really knows anything—thus it would be idiotic not to believe in the unknown.

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The thing about most religions is that they seem convinced they have specific knowledge of something none of us can possibly know—like what ‘happens’ after we die. I haven’t the slightest idea, but I don’t think anyone else does either. And I’m highly suspicious of anyone who says they do.

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People say, “You have to have faith in God”, but all I really need is to have faith in the person or persons saying that. If God wants me to have faith, he/she/it should say so, and stop all this passive-aggressive nonsense. If someone wants me to have faith, they need to start with first principles—why should I trust the person speaking? I’d be likelier to clap for Tinker-Bell than to pray to a God who is at once so unknowable—and yet so well-known-and-understood by the leadership of these religions.

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Another Thought:

I saw a TV ad for a drug—the announcer was saying something about side-effects ‘may include swelling of the lips or throat’, but I misheard it as, ‘smelling of the lips’—and that got me thinking about random side-effects—this is a bit that Colbert (on his ‘Report’) does a lot—and I came up with—

Side-effects may include:

smelling of the lips, lobster-jaw, enphlegmation of the flamm, kitten-sneeze, and boxer/brief bruising..

(But, with my useless memory, I may just be sub-consciously plagiarizing Colbert for half of these.)

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Yet Another Thought:

I’ve just burned my newest CD of improvs—a full hour and twenty minutes worth of what I consider some of my most listenable piano-playing ever—if I could just remove my first 1,332 videos, maybe someone might actually listen to the last 15—still, I had to post the 1,332 to get here, so nix mox…

I’ve also written an entertaining essay or two (although, as with my music, amongst the dross of hundreds of essays) but it has become clear to me that there aren’t a lot of people looking online for witty banter in essay form—who’da thunk it?

Lately I’m really upset about my hands shaking—drawing wild pictures was always my big crowd-pleaser, and now that I have the globe for an audience—I can’t draw!

Sucks to be me. But only once in a while…

Godessette

I am now———-Thoughtless. 

‘til later….

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A Great Bounty (2014Feb24)


Please enjoy:

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Seven Songs from the Sixties:
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[NOTES & CREDITS]
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Strangers in the Night
[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]:
“Strangers in the Night”
is a popular song credited to Bert Kaempfert with English lyrics by Charles Singleton and Eddie Snyder. Kaempfert originally used it under the title “Beddy Bye” as part of the instrumental score for the movie A Man Could Get Killed. The song was made famous in 1966 by Frank Sinatra.

“Strangers In the Night”
Song by Frank Sinatra from the album Strangers in the Night
Released 1966
Recorded April 11, 1966
Genre Traditional pop
Length 2:35 (original album/single version, incorrectly listed as 2:25 in the original back cover)
2:44 (extended version from “Nothing But the Best”)
Label Reprise
Writer Bert Kaempfert, Charles Singleton, Eddie Snyder
Composer Bert Kaempfert
Producer Jimmy Bowen

Strangers in the Night (1966)
Writer : Bert Kaempfert, Charles Singleton, Eddie Snyder
Composer : Bert Kaempfert
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Suzanne
[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]:
“Suzanne”
Song by Leonard Cohen from the album Songs of Leonard Cohen
Released 1967
Genre Folk
Length 3:48
Label Columbia
Writer Leonard Cohen
“Suzanne” is a song written by Canadian poet and musician Leonard Cohen in the 1960s. First published as a poem in 1966, it was recorded as a song by Judy Collins in the same year, and Cohen himself recorded it for his 1967 album Songs of Leonard Cohen. Many other artists have recorded versions, and it has become one of the most-covered songs in Cohen’s catalogue.

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The Sweetest Sounds (1962)
Song by Richard Rogers

The Sweetest Sounds
[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]:
“The Sweetest Sounds”
Song from No Strings
Published 1962
Writer Richard Rodgers
Composer Richard Rodgers

“The Sweetest Sounds” is a popular song, written by Richard Rodgers (unlike most of his compositions, writing both music and lyrics) for the musical No Strings, in 1962. It is also used in the film adaption Cinderella starring Brandy, Whitney Houston and Whoopi Goldberg in 1997. Barbra Streisand recorded the song for “Barbra Streisand…And Other Musical Instruments”. Sergio Franchi recorded the song in 1963 on his RCA Victor Red Seal album Broadway, I Love You. Ella Fitzgerald’s swinging version can be heard on her Verve Records release “Hello, Dolly!”. The melodic theme appears to have been inspired by an orchestral figure in the final movement of Johannes Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 (Brahms) (measures 64-80).

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Those Were The Days (1968)
Writers: Boris Fomin and Gene Raskin
Those Were the Days (song)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the All in the Family theme song, see All in the Family#Theme song.
“Those Were the Days”
Single by Mary Hopkin
B-side “Turn! Turn! Turn!”
Released 26 August 1968 (US)
30 August 1968 (UK)
Format 7″ single
Recorded mid-July 1968
Genre Folk[1][2]
Length 5:05
Label Apple
Writer(s) Boris Fomin and Gene Raskin
Producer(s) Paul McCartney
“Those Were the Days” is a song credited to Gene Raskin, who put English lyrics to the Russian romance song “Dorogoi dlinnoyu” (“Дорогой длинною”, lit. “By the long road”), composed by Boris Fomin (1900–1948) with words by the poet Konstantin Podrevskii. It deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism.

Georgian singer Tamara Tsereteli (1900–1968) and Russian singer Alexander Vertinsky made what were probably the earliest recordings of the song, in 1925 and in 1926 respectively.
The song is featured in the 1953 British/French movie Innocents in Paris, in which it was sung with its original Russian lyrics by the Russian Tzigane chanteuse Ludmila Lopato, but is probably best remembered in English-speaking countries for Mary Hopkin’s 1968 recording, which was a top-ten hit in both the US and the UK. On most recorded versions of the song, Raskin is credited as the writer, even though he wrote only the later English lyrics and not the melody.

History:

In the early 1960s Raskin, with his wife Francesca, played folk music around Greenwich Village in New York, including White Horse Tavern. They released an album which included the song, which was taken up by The Limeliters.

Raskin had grown up hearing the song, wrote lyrics in English and then put a copyright on both tune and lyrics. The Raskins were international performers and had played London’s “Blue Angel” every year, always closing their show with the song. Paul McCartney frequented the club and, after the formation of The Beatles’ own Apple Records label, recorded the song with Mary Hopkin, McCartney’s agent having purchased the song rights from Raskin’s.

The song was subsequently recorded in over twenty languages and by many different artists and Raskin was able to live very well on the royalties, buying a home in Pollensa, Mallorca, a Porsche Spyder and a sailing boat.

At the peak of the song’s success, a New York company used the melody in a commercial for Rokeach gefilte fish, arguing that the tune was an old Russian folk-tune and thus in the public domain. Raskin successfully sued and won a settlement, since he had slightly altered the tune to fit his lyrics and had taken out the valid new copyright.

Although the song was popularized in the early 1960s by The Limeliters, Welsh singer Mary Hopkin made the best known recording, released on 30 August 1968, shortly after Hopkin had been signed to the Beatles’ newly created Apple label. Hopkin’s recording was produced by Paul McCartney and became a #1 hit in the UK Singles Chart.

In the US, Hopkin’s recording reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Billboard Easy Listening charts for six weeks. In the Netherlands it topped the charts for 2 consecutive weeks.

The Russian origin of the melody was accentuated by an instrumentation which was unusual for a top ten pop record, including Balalaika, clarinet, hammer dulcimer, tenor banjo and children’s chorus, giving a klezmer feel to the song.

Paul McCartney, who produced the session, also recorded Hopkin singing “Those Were The Days” in four other languages for release in their respective countries: Spain, Germany, Italy, France.
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A Time For Us
-Romeo and Juliet (1968 film soundtrack)

[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]:

Romeo and Juliet 1968 film Soundtrack album
Released October 8, 1968
Genre Film score
Label Capitol
Producer Neely Plumb

The soundtrack for the 1968 film Romeo and Juliet was composed and conducted by Nino Rota.

It was originally released as a vinyl record, containing nine entries, most notably the song “What Is a Youth”, composed by Nino Rota, written by Eugene Walter and performed by Glen Weston. The music score won a Silver Ribbon award of the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists in 1968 and was nominated for two other awards (BAFTA Award for Best Film Music in 1968 and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score in 1969).

The soundtrack is referred to as “Original Soundtrack Recording” on the front cover with further credits to the film itself.

Composition:

The original track list includes anthems, song snatches, compositions for the ball and for a strolling trombone player.
The neo-Elizabethan ballad “What Is a Youth” is performed by a troubadour character as part of the diegesis during the Capulets’ ball, at which Romeo and Juliet first meet. The original lyrics of “What Is a Youth” are borrowed from songs in other Shakespearean plays, particularly Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice.

Although Rota’s original manuscript is believed to be lost, the love theme is known to have an original published key of G minor. Romeo’s theme was described as “a slow-paced minor key idea, first played by a solo English horn with strings”. In the scene, where Romeo sees Juliet dancing with her family, the theme is sounded by a solo oboe over a background of tremolo strings.

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The Times They Are a-Changin’ (1963)
Song by Bob Dylan

[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]:
“The Times They Are a-Changin'”

Single by Bob Dylan
from the album The Times They Are a-Changin’
Released January 13, 1964 (album)
March 8, 1965 (single)
Format 7″
Recorded October 23 – 24, 1963 at Columbia Studios, New York City
Genre Folk
Length 3:15
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Bob Dylan
Producer Tom Wilson

“The Times They Are a-Changin'” is a song written by Bob Dylan and released as the title track of his 1964 album, The Times They Are a-Changin’. Dylan wrote the song as a deliberate attempt to create an anthem of change for the time, influenced by Irish and Scottish ballads. Released as a 45 r.p.m. single in Britain in 1964, it reached number 9 in the British top ten and was Britain’s hundredth best selling single of 1965.

Ever since its release the song has been very influential to people’s views on society, with critics noting the general yet universal lyrics as contributing to the song’s everlasting message of change. The song ever since has been an occasional staple in Dylan’s concerts. The song has been covered by many different artists, including The Byrds, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Simon & Garfunkel, The Beach Boys, Joan Baez, Phil Collins and Bruce Springsteen. The song was ranked #59 on Rolling Stone’s 2004 list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Inspiration and composition:

Dylan appears to have written the song in September and October 1963. He recorded it as a Witmark publishing demo that month, a version that was finally released on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991. The song was then recorded at the Columbia studios in New York on October 23 and 24, and the latter session yielded the version that became the title song of Dylan’s third album.

Dylan recalled writing the song as a deliberate attempt to create an anthem of change for the moment. In 1985, he told Cameron Crowe: “This was definitely a song with a purpose. It was influenced of course by the Irish and Scottish ballads …’Come All Ye Bold Highway Men’, ‘Come All Ye Tender Hearted Maidens’. I wanted to write a big song, with short concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way. The civil rights movement and the folk music movement were pretty close for a while and allied together at that time.”
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Try To Remember (1960) from “The Fantasticks” –
with music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics by Tom Jones

[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]:

“Try to Remember” is a song from a 1960 musical with music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics by Tom Jones, “The Fantasticks”.

It is the first song sung in the show, to get the audience to imagine what the sparse set suggests.
Its lyrics famously rhyme “remember” with “September”, “so tender”, and “December”, and repeat the sequence -llow throughout the song:
Verse 1 contains “mellow”, “yellow”, and “callow fellow”;
verse 2 contains “willow”, “pillow”, “billow”;
verse 3 contains “follow”, “hollow”, “mellow”;
and all verses end with “follow”.

“Try to Remember” was originally sung by Jerry Orbach in the Original Off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks.
“Try To Remember” made the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart three times in 1965 in versions by Ed Ames, Roger Williams, Barry McGuire, The Kingston Trio, The Sandpipers, and The Brothers Four. Patti Page released a version in 1965 on her album Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Andy Williams released a version in 1966 on his album The Shadow of Your Smile. Perry Como released a version in 1968 on his album Look to Your Heart.
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The Finger On The Button (2014Feb20)


Thursday, February 20, 2014               12:52 AM

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The beauty of the world can be so sharp it cuts—the singer’s voice, the crystal etched, the colors of the paintings, the smell of weather outside the front door—it’s really quite painful when one fully opens oneself to it. So, with paradoxes like that, it seems lunatic to expect our society to make the least bit of sense. Michelangelo said that there is no beauty without some strangeness of proportion—and the Japanese craftspeople always add an imperfection to finish their works, as a concession to the Universe. We research scientific minutiae without the slightest regard for all the really big, completely unanswerable questions in life. We speak of differences of opinions and orthodoxies of faiths—we know nothing, we understand nothing—we care only for ourselves, except when love kills our sense of self-preservation.

I was just watching “The Life of Emile Zola” (1937) on the TV—its ending focused on Zola’s championing of Alfred Dreyfus, the French Officer falsely accused of treason and kept imprisoned on Devil’s Island even after the French War Dept. were informed of his innocence—just to save the Army Ministers from the public embarrassment. It is a damning portrayal of corrupt authority and the injustices it forces on all of the people they purportedly serve. Then, before I turned off the TV, CNN showed footage of the Kiev riots, in Ukraine.

Those Ukrainians were protesting their government’s choice to sign a trade agreement with Russia, rather than sign a trade agreement with the EU. Many people were killed and hundreds wounded as Kiev riot police clashed with huge mobs of protestors—I couldn’t say what the truth is, concerning the Trade Deals, but I do know that it is much easier to have a meeting with concerned groups’ leaders than to start a pitched battle in the streets of the capitol city.

There’s been a lot of news stories lately about legislation that is in the interest of banks and corporations, rather than the good of our country’s citizens. These, combined with recent rulings allowing unfettered financial support to political campaigns, are only two of the many unsettling changes we seem to face in 2014. Capitalism has evolved into a modern weapon, and the taking hostage of our government is its most threatening act. We were fine with using it against other countries, subsuming their living culture into our consuming culture, but now that it has turned on us we are at a loss. What can we do against the owners of everything, even those who own the right of self-expression, i.e. the media moguls? How do we fight an enemy that we use as a reference source? How come history is so full of stories about corrupt leadership and self-interest among authority, yet we still act as if our leaders are honorable folk?

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When I see a parade of legislators on TV, each making statements more ignorant than the one before, I always wonder why anyone takes these people seriously. Whenever they lobby to roll back some piece of modern progress I am stunned to hear them advocate racism, sexism, rejection of science, rejection of our social conscience, and the social services it compelled.

These are double-whammies in that a supposedly sane and educated person mouths these foul sentiments and that our media amplifies their ‘legitimacy’ by covering such things in lurid detail, leaving no even-stupider sentiment go unheard in the process. There should be a military base somewhere, with a guy whose finger is on the button, ready to call ‘bull-squat’ on any of these distracting idiots, and cut them off from all media notice with the touch of a red button. Now, that’s national defense. Call it Home-brain Defense—stupidity, psychos, and rank fiction will no longer be tolerated.

Trouble is we’d probably have to impeach every member of both houses, at least 48 governors, and who knows how many mayors.

Beautiful Weather We’re Having…

This Means War (2014Feb19)


Wednesday, February 19, 2014          12:21 AM

Whenever our ethics are discussed the conversation goes on and on—like philosophy, it’s all just a bunch of words we use to entertain ourselves. But whenever such issues become a question of income, we fold like cheap lawn-chairs. When it comes to supporting our loved ones, we will brook no risk to the family’s shelter and security. Having had personal experience of the question, I can’t argue the point—like all behavior based on our instincts; there is no rebuttal, no matter how intellectual or attractive the alternative view.

But foresight is part of our nature as well. Long-term threats allow us to break out from domestic security and go to war. And war is just as much a part of human nature as protecting ones family. Wars were much simpler back when the paradigm was one-leader-vs-another leader, one nation against another. But modern warfare is more about fairness in leadership—one country after another exploding into violent rebellion against the powers-that-be, who (let’s face it) are often more concerned for themselves than for the needs of their citizens.

We here in the USA are struggling to hang on to the image of ‘protectors of democracy’ while ignoring some of the more egregious retaliations against popular uprisings throughout the globe—and while becoming, through corruption, a bastion of Capitalism rather than a bastion of Constitutional laws and humane ideals.

Being public-spirited is no longer considered a serious part of one’s character. It’s okay to be a liberal activist or a tea-partier protestor, or an advocate for a specific cause; it’s okay to be angry and forceful and even unreasonable in support of one’s views. It is not okay to simply want to make a contribution to our communities’ maintenance and progress—today’s civic duty is to pick a side and fight like hell.

And so, we have fought amongst ourselves, goaded by extremists of every stripe who are, in turn, funded by more well-heeled extremists with a big stake in continued, unregulated Capitalism. Our global civilization’s growing complexity, coupled with its sudden ability to talk person-to-person with virtually everyone else in the world, has filled our media and our minds with struggles and debates and injustices and dangers. We have become used to this chaos teetering on the edge of our self-extinction, this roiling debate fueled by the urgency of a world grown more fragile with every technological miracle we dig up.

We are so inured to our ‘situation’ that we now accept ‘apocalyptic’ as a new entertainment genre. What worries me about all those movies and shows is that they describe the horrendous aftermath of just one thing going wrong. No one has yet shot a movie where everything goes wrong at once. But there are scores of issues that threaten our health, our happiness, our lifestyle, our rights, our freedom, and our equality. I’m guessing at some point we will all realize that discussing all this stuff is not enough.

We will eventually go to war against Capitalism. And our beloved USA will almost certainly be on the wrong side of that fight. What is today our strength will become the millstone ‘round the neck of our tomorrow. When rebels start agitating against big money—corporate or personal—they will find, I fear, the United States leading the fight against them. By destroying (or absorbing) all alternative socio-economic cultures, Capitalism has become a twisted exaggeration of the system that once allowed ethics and power to work hand in hand—by becoming the only game in town, Capitalism slowly but surely eclipsed every other ‘value’ we once valued.

Money has become power. Once, capital was mere wealth—a questionable luxury, as often responsible for unhappiness as is stark poverty. But now one can buy security teams, private jets, and multi-media opinion generators, etc.—things that promote a disconnection between the money-empowered and the money-enthralled.

But the skewed perspective imposed on us by Capitalism is not a scientific fact—it is a consensus. It is a collective choice. Once capital ceases to be the choice of the majority, its power will evaporate—but that can only happen in a world with a viable alternative—and what could that be? I wish I knew.