Deb-Blog

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Love Is the Answer”

This song keeps popping in my head lately, thankfully. My friend David put it there following the death of Glen Campbell. Leave it to a musician to find a deep cut of a Glen Campbell recording of a song written and originally performed by Todd Rundgren.

It’s a good reminder that our greatest strength is love. Last week should have reminded everyone of that. Sadly, it did not. But division, hate and violence never win because love always eradicates it. Last week should also remind us that constant vigilance is needed toward those who wish to conquer with hate.

I’m not surprised Joseph McCarthy, Adolf Hitler and today’s Republicans attack artists. Artists speak truth. That is art. Their “identity politics” moniker to dismiss anyone acknowledging systematic and historic inequality, injustice or plain hardship upon fellow citizens is another attempt to divide and hush us. So to all the creatives, stay right where you are. Satirists must mock Nazis. Techies must shine ten-story messages on Trump’s properties. Musicians must sing of love and expose bigotry with music. Writers must broadcast the absurdity of hateful chants from the tacky, khaki tiki brigade. The fight for love gets more important every single day now. No rest. Resist.

“But there’s no easy way around it                   Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer”

And in homage to Glen Campbell, I submit his version. (RIP)

“Love will be a means, yeah, yeah
Shine on us all
Know that love can save the day
Just give it one more chance.”

No question we are at another global, moral crossroads. Sitting it out is not an option. Love is the answer. It’s true in any genre or any language. We’ve got to love one another.

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Eve of Destruction”

The roots of hate are deep. It’s been passed through generations in families, on right-wing hate radio, social media, Trump, US Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and via Russian marionetting (fueling actions from afar). Daylight helps but it must be eradicated root and branch, and outlawed, as Germany did to its Nazis after WWII. All terrorism in the name of fill in the blank is all the same. It is evil and wrong. I pity those who go through life with such a chip on their shoulder. But they don’t belong in a civil society. Let’s not forget, we all share this place, like it or not. Poisoning any part of it is done to us all.

Day by day, week by week, things are getting worse under the Trump regime. We not only had a savage attack right here in Charlottesville, VA yesterday by people carrying torches and opposing the removal of a statue of a traitor to our nation, but the President of the United States egged on a nuclear war with North Korea and then just replied when asked for detail, “You’ll see,” like the sniveling bully Scut Farcus in “A Christmas Story.” No, I didn’t forget he also threatened Venezuela. But the day’s still young and there are so many other countries to belittle when a wholly unfit narcissist binges on propaganda media, seeks constant adulation, controls the nuclear codes and has a Twitter account.

Just after the election, I shared my fear for our nation to a cashier I know at a local store who replied to me, “What’s the worst that could happen?” I replied immediately with, “Fascism.” She didn’t reply. Not hyperbole folks. This is how it happens. “Leaders” divide, threaten, keep us off balance and always, always tell us we’re in danger and “only [he] can fix it.” That is all authoritarian followers need to react accordingly. Hitler had his Brown Shirts of brainwashed civilians. Trump has his red caps, although don’t you think Orange Shirts is more fitting?

Even before Heather Heyer was murdered and many others severely injured by a kid so filled with rage, he used his car as a missile, this song came to mind: Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction.” It was written by P. F. Sloan about 53 years ago. We don’t need to change a word, really.

“The eastern world, it is explodin’,
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’,
You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’,
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’,
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?
And can’t you feel the fears I’m feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no running away,
There’ll be no one to save with the world in a grave,
Take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’,
I’m sittin’ here, just contemplatin’,
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation,
And marches alone can’t bring integration,
When human respect is disintegratin’,
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China!
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
But when your return, it’s the same old place,
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace,
Hate your next door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace,
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
You don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

No, no, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.”

Resist.

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Let There Be Peace on Earth”

Philando Castile is the victim of a violent death. His assailant was acquitted of all charges. I’m a Minnesotan, the state where this took place, I know people who knew and loved Philando. I’m white. He’s black. I don’t know what to say. But I can’t let today go by without dedicating this week’s interlude to him.

Dear heaven, the arc of justice is long. Bless all who love Philando and who share my grief.

We will remember you, Mr. Phil, and fight for justice. Some day.

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Goodbye Earl”

Now, don’t think too much into the words of this song. I don’t condone violence of any kind. But I have more than had it with Mango Mussolini. And I just needed a song that spoke to my level of frustration.  We’re going through the motions of a civil investigation but anyone with two brain cells knows he’s as dirty as a mobster can be. He and his entire ilk have got to go! I want my country back!

And so, I give you “Goodbye Earl,” by the Dixie Chicks. Again. I’m wishing no harm on anyone but I want, from the depth of my being, for that unfit being to go away from my government. And country. Enjoy!

 

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Nikolina”

Humor me. On my way to work in this Groundhog Day kind of schedule this week, I flipped on KFAI, a great local radio station (even open to amateurs, shout to Dale Connelly). To my surprise the intro to “Nikolina” played and I immediately knew it was a song Mom sang. Now, their version was in Swedish, but the one she sang was in English. And it’s a hoot! It says a lot about Swedish humor and, perhaps, where some of mine originates.

I guess Swedes can be a bit dark. Anyway, it brought back a memory for me I had not recalled in some time. It’s a song that made the US play charts, even though there were no play charts, in 1915. I live in an area where Swedes and Norwegians settled. Yes, we were once the new, funny speaking people.

I don’t know who the DJ was that morning, but your playing “Nikolina” sure brought a smile to the face of this Northern European! Yes, I sang along.

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “My Handy Man”

Crazy mind-numbing hours this week left me unable to conger up the name of an American icon. Now, no one should need a reason to feature Alberta Hunter. But that moment when I was telling a coworker I needed to “mow my lawn,” to which she asked if it was a euphemism, and I immediately sang a couple lines of “My Man,” only to be unable to remember Alberta Hunter’s name compels me to make her my feature this Sunday.

They broke the mold.

 

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “The No No Song”

I find myself singing absurd songs upon hearing more absurd stuff about “45.” I mean, the acts from the Oval Office and the criminality unfolding about same has become the comedy of the absurd. So while on the road this week, I replied to the news with Ringo’s “The No No Song.”

“No, no, no, no, i can’t take it no more,
I’m tired of waking up on the floor.
No, thank you, please, it only makes me sneeze,
And then it makes it hard to find the door.”

Sure, it’s about giving up reality-enhancing chemicals, but wouldn’t you agree our national politics feels like a step away from reality? Enjoy:

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “I Don’t Wanna Play in Your Yard”

It’s a children’s song from 1894, written by Philip Wingate and H.W. Petrie. I had heard “I Don’t Wanna Play in Your Yard” before it was part of the movie “Reds,” but that was the first time I became aware of its adult delivery. The words are as much about two quarrelling little girls, as it is the fractured love between Louise Bryant (Diane Keaton) and John Reed (Warren Beatty). I was humming it this morning in exasperation of the lunacy and danger that is President 45. It works for all cases.

Peggy Lee recorded it like mournful, lovelorn song. Enjoy:

None of the sane among us can rationalize with Trump or even understand him. So let’s boil it down to the most childlike message:

“I don’t want to play in your yard,
I don’t like you anymore,
You’ll be sorry when you see me,
Sliding down our cellar door,
You can’t holler down our rainbarrel,
You can’t climb our apple tree,
I don’t want to play in your yard
If you won’t be good to me.”

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “This Is Not America”

A lot of us feel this is not America.  My country doesn’t look the other way when a grifter family is using political position to make private business deals. My country doesn’t have a religious test or ban people of faith from entering. My country doesn’t make me feel like the Administrative and Congressional branches are the enemy of the people

But my country is strong. Those Founding Fathers really had their stuff together. I’m terrified we may face an attack here or get embroiled in a war or lose our Constitution. It’s bad enough we have an unfit, mentally imbalanced thing in the White House, but the Congressional majority is fine with this. Their calculation is to get as much draconian policy passed before his liability is too risky. That is, if we can still proceed to a full, independent investigation into its ties to Russia. I only hope we can withstand this violent attack. This is a thousand times worse than Watergate. This is the greatest crisis in my lifetime.

And so why not a little Bowie? That’s always good for the soul. “This is Not America” feels like a fitting choice after another horrible week with these clowns.

Honestly, I try to find a happy song for these interludes but we’re under such a pile of garbage, weekly reflection just isn’t very happy these days. Don’t get me wrong; life is good. I am a very happy person. But I care too much to ignore the carnage.

Peace.

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “No Time”

In part because of a busy schedule and because a lunatic is playing leader, The Monkees’ song, “No Time'” lyrics came to mind today, particularly the first line of gibberish:

“Hober reeber sabasoben
Hobaseeba snick
Seeberraber hobosoben
What did you expect?”

If you’ve heard Trump talk, well, that line will make as much sense as anything coming out of his mouth, And the video’s political theme provides appropriate relevance:

How can this be the 101st day that unfit being is still in office?

“Andy, you’re a dandy,
You don’t seem to make no sense.
Nevermind the furthermore,
The plea is self-defense

 No time, no time for you

I got no time, baby,
Got lots of better things to do.”