Deb-Blog

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Almost Like Praying”

The comparison of Bush’s Katrina to Trump’s Puerto Rico is flawed. Puerto Rico is Trump’s genocide. If he could get away with doing nothing, he would. And he almost has. We’ve lost so much of our goodness in nine months under an Administration who, through its disregard and profound incompetence, is annoyed that we keep harping about Puerto Rico.

His cult following contends Puerto Rico’s government is deliberately letting their citizens suffer to make Trump look bad. Such ilk is lost and dragging our country down to an immoral, failed state. What Puerto Ricans are enduring is unfathomable. They are clinging to survival and trying to keep their weak and sick alive! What kind of monster in power to help walks away after tossing paper towels, after his handlers had to convince him tossing cans of soup was not a good idea?

He spoke to them as if someone from his first-floor housekeeping staff broke a valuable vase and he had to interrupt his schedule to assure them he wouldn’t fire anyone. “I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack, because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico. But that’s fine.” Of course, it was a staged event with well-groomed people in a gated community who didn’t suffer great damage, yet still a bit “unwashed” for his comfort.

“…but if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina…and you look at what happened here… 16 people [dead] versus in the thousands .You can be very proud.” Translation into human being: “Quit whining. You should be thanking me for the handout, considering you are of little value to me.” He’s a gargoyle,  I never thought Barbara Bush’s cold and detached (redundant when describing Babs) remark about the New Orleans’ Katrina refugees packed into the Houston Astrodome would sound benign. “Most of these people are underprivileged anyway,” with a chuckle in her voice, ” so this is working very well for them.” But she just seems like an innocent, chuckling Mrs. Claus compared to this laboratory monster constructed by mating Veruca Salt and Bernie Madoff, tossing in Young Frankenstein’s abby normal brain and the Grinch’s heart before it grew ten sizes one day. You don’t need Stevie Wonder’s vision, Jesus’ words or even belief in a soul to see he lacks a soul.

By the way, Donny Trump, I saw Ricky Martin on “Ellen” twice the last couple weeks. He’s sending help and showed a video, much of which couldn’t be broadcast, due to the horrific, graphic nature. He said people are simply burying their dead in their backyards because there is no infrastructure for burials. We have no idea how many are dead. But the lives lost is only a fraction of their plight.

I ache for how many will continue to suffer or die. These are our fellow countrymen. And even if they weren’t, they are human beings in need.

Lin-Manuel Miranda recorded, along with many others, “Almost Like Praying,” to benefit Puerto Rico. The lyrics are simply every town in Puerto Rico. I leave you with your interlude:

“@realdonaldtrump, You’re going straight to Hell.” Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Puerto Rico, you are not alone. You are never forgotten. To contribute to the help needed in Puerto Rico, please visit HispanicFederation.org.

 

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Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Yer So Bad”

…I’ve got you to save me
Oh yer so bad, best thing I ever had
In a world gone mad, yer so bad

There is nothing better in a world of madness than being pulled from the darkness by a loved one who shares your perspective, gives Hell a proper can of whoopass, then escapes with you to a place distilled to the essence of what really matters in this life by sharing a damned, good time. You’re not denying all that is wrong; you’re just having a healthy suspension with the perfect partner. Call it crazy sanity, the good kind of bad.

Tom Petty‘s “Yer So Bad” speaks to pulling the veneer off hypocrites and others who want to appear like they have it together but are worse off underneath. Petty has a way of finding just the right words to tell off those who need telling. Conversely, he sure did nail the beauty and value of that loyal, imperfect and bit naughty person in one’s life.

I think “Full Moon Fever” is my favorite Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ album. “Yer So Bad” is on it, as is “Feel a Whole Lot Better.” About a year ago, “Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude” was “Feel a Whole Lot Better.” It was my mantra trying to cleanse us from Trump. Petty’s lyrics are always distilled, and pointed, like Rock and Roll lyrics should. Here are just a few of Petty’s words I relish:

“Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have kicked you around some
Who knows maybe you were kidnapped tied up,
Taken away and held for ransom
Honey, it don’t make no difference to me, baby
Everybody has to fight to be free, you see                                                You don’t have to live like a refugee”

“Good love is hard to find
Good love is hard to find
You got lucky, babe
You got lucky, babe
When i found you”

“”Cause somewhere deep down inside
Someone is saying, Love doesn’t last that long
I got this feelin’ inside night and day
And now I can’t take it no more

Listen honey, can you see?
Baby, you would bury me
If you were in the public eye
Givin’ someone else a try
And you know you better watch your step
Or you’re gonna get hurt yourself
Someone’s gonna tell you lies
Cut you down to size

“Don’t have to be ashamed of the car I drive
I’m just glad to be here, happy to be alive
It don’t matter if you’re by my side
I’m satisfied”

“Well I know what’s right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground
And I won’t back down
(I won’t back down)
Hey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down”

“Baby even the losers get lucky sometimes.”

Truth, no bull and joy for life. Tom Petty passed this week. He left us so many gems. I miss him. At a time when troubadours and satirists are keeping us sane, it’s even harder not to be able to enjoy what he might still offer. But “I’m satisfied.”

Tom Petty with two of his fellow “Traveling Wilburys,” Roy Orbison and George Harrison. Perhaps they’re playing together again, beyond this place.

 

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Gran Vals”

Is anyone else shifting their ways to find peace in this era of the coup? The destruction of our country is unbearable. I feel helpless at times, angry and sad at all times and tired. We’re going to keep mobilizing and fighting but we need pockets of sanity. I have my go-to shows and series to escape and, of course, friends are vital. These weekly, Sunday interludes that began while I did my second April Blog a Day Challenge as a filler for the off day of posts in 2015, but they’ve evolved as another way to reboot for another mud storm from the Nutter and Creep.

There’s just nothing funny about last week. Puerto Rico is a catastrophe. The Administrative response is nothing short of willful neglect. And this, on top of the usual crippling bills crafted by Congress, promoted by that grifting lunatic. So I went to a place in my mind that has been a constant since I was a child. The Como Park Conservatory is a wonderful structure built in 1873 in St. Paul, Minnesota. It’s part of Como Park yet stands alone as a place of constant beauty and bliss, that offers a colorful, warm, humid escape any time of year but especially on a dreary Minnesota winter day. I grew up in St. Paul so Mom and Dad and I spent countless days there. And it remains much the same. Additions to it always compliment the original.

Another constant of the Conservatory is the Spanish guitar music that plays in the background. It’s the same music played since I was a kid. I fell in love with the Spanish guitar there. I am no expert on this music style, but I know how it calms me, lowers my blood pressure. If you linger long enough you just may hear Francisco Tarrega playing “Gran Va;s.”

 

 

Let there be comfort to you and everyone today. My heart sends peace to all creatures suffering. Love will win.

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “What the World Needs Now Is Love”

“What the World Needs Now Is Love,” an eternally relevant song, was written in 1965 by Hal David (lyrics) and Burt Bacharach (music). It’s a plea to the creator.

Oh listen, lord, if you want to know.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.

With all the unprecedented hurricanes of Biblical magnitude, earthquakes and fires, combined with threats of nuclear war. I found myself searching online about the book of “Revelations” and end times this week. (Note: I didn’t find anything helpful. The self-described Christians think end times is a wonderful future and some believe the orange oaf is a positive player in ending life on Earth.) We don’t have a friendly ally in the Administration in Washington. I have never lived at a time so out of control and perilous. It’s hard to focus, let alone make decisions pertaining to the future. It’s all so horrifying and exhausting that end times might be a welcome relief!

Just last week, that ridiculous oompa loompa provoked nuclear war while addressing the United Nations and we have the remainder of the month to fight to keep health care – again! It’s a moment to moment battle with the Republicans and their clan leader. We must remember a universal truth that good always triumphs over bad. However, goodness has to get into the dirty fight to win. “What the World Needs Now Is Love” reminds us that in this epic battle for our democracy, what we strive to achieve is a greater good for all. All those who denounce cruelty on every level are in this together.

There are so many versions of today’s interlude, from Dionne Warwick to the earlier pop version by Jackie DeShannon and a solo recording by Burt Bacharach, as well as versions he did with Tom Jones and Elvis Costello. You will find many artists’ versions of the song. One was recorded last year by a host of  Broadway artists following the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shootings. And it accompanied scenes from Austin Powers and 1969’s Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice. I searched for an unplugged version by Burt Bacharach because surely one exists from some old TV show but the only one I could find was a shortened version he performed at the White House with the Obamas. I just wanted his craggy voice and piano. It had to be simple and live and Burt! I settled for two out of three:

 

Jackie DeShannon gives such a pure and simple delivery.

These past few weeks, I’ve felt so weary from our country’s condition. That’s why the chaos. It’s intentional. We must not give up. Vigilance is vital. There’s a reason why this song is still relevant and so many artists have recorded it. Love will trump hate. Let this song remind us all

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Rainbow Connection”

It’s seems time for a palate cleanse from the lunacy in D.C. I found myself humming this song (in a Kermit-like voice) the other day and it calmed me. I hope it does the same for you. “Rainbow Connection.”

Who said that every wish
Would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that
And someone believed it
Look what it’s done so far

We must have hope. Hope is a happy place.

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “You’re No Good”

Yet another week in which that skin of seven deadly sins has proven he’s no good, he’s cruel, careless and crazy. So here are words for every person who has ever been associated with, done business with or voted for Donald J. Trump as a way to learn, heal or to send his way:
Feeling better now that we’re through
Feeling better ’cause I’m over you
I learned my lesson, it left a scar
Now I see how you really are
You’re no good
You’re no good
You’re no good
Baby you’re no good
I’m gonna say it again
You’re no good
You’re no good
You’re no good
Baby you’re no good…
I’m telling you now baby and I’m going my way
Forget about you baby ’cause I’m leaving to stay
You’re no good
You’re no good
You’re no good
Baby you’re no good”

Linda Ronstadt performed the song and it was written by Ken Boothe. I have no sympathy for anyone fooled, snookered or duped by him. He appeals to base emotions and nothing more. One by one his cult is waking up. Not soon enough.

 

Enjoy another Resistance Sunday.

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Joe Hill” #LaborDay

Tomorrow is Labor Day. For most it’s lost its meaning. That’s probably intentional. For many, Labor Day is just another sale day at a retail job. For fewer, it’s a day off before the kids start school or the chance to snag some gadget for cheap on Amazon. Sales, barbeques and back-to-school lists certainly distract from a day meant to honor employees. But distractions serve our 1%-ers and so-called public servants well, don’t they? I’ll bet most of you are reading this on one of the greatest contemporary distractions right now.  Pay no attention as to why we have a day to honor workers – the vast majority – or the power within that number. Because when all the people who serve, create and make things become truly aware of their massive strength in unity, it tends to balance the social and economic playing field far too much for employers.

Joe Hill was an US immigrant, laborer and union organizer in the early 1900s. And he was charged with murder for which many, including his birth country of Sweden, believed he was scapegoated as a way to punish him for his prominent role in the IWW (International Workers of the World) or Wobblies to organize workers. The song, written by  Earl Robinson, speaks to his legacy, which lives on. Many folk singers have performed and recorded “Joe Hill.” I selected the version sung by Joan Baez at Woodstock.

Industry was new when the Wobblies were demanding safer workplaces, better wages and weekends off. And that era did achieve many of the protections we have for workers today. (Note: “Protections” for people are “regulations” on employers.) Society has changed tremendously since 1910. But the dichotomy between what an employer wants and what employees want continues. Only big business has lobbyists representing them with big checks to influence policy and tip the scales just the right way. Wages are set just low enough for those working at or near minimum wage to survive week to week, so long as the government subsidizes those people with housing, food and medical assistance. Meanwhile, unions seldom even get a seat at the table when Congress considers wages or trade. They’ve have lost membership drastically, from about one-third of all workers in the 1950s to about ten percent today. You can make a pretty strong argument that the loss of union membership has hurt the working class and is quickly vanishing the middle class.

Dad often said, “Some day, there will be a revolution in this country.” And when he said it, he was referring to the rebellion of the majority toward their cultural oppression and suppression; the oppression of economic power, public policy, bigotry, division and greed. Should there be a country-wide (world-wide?) workers’ strike? Long overdue. But a vast majority of workers can’t afford to take off a day and risk losing their jobs to fight it! Yet workers of every stripe have that power right now. The 1960s brought many causes for social justice together; minority rights, women’s rights, farm workers’ right, the right for 18-year-olds to vote. This could be another tipping point for we the majority. Never forget, those striving to make life better and fairer have the power. It’s the unity that secretly terrifies the ones who win through exploitation.

R.I.P. Joe Hill.

 

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “We All Shine On” (Instant Karma) #SundayMorning

I am no expert on Buddhism and Hinduism so my observation of karma is purely personal and anecdotal. But I have seen instant karma, meaning the Universe’s quick, balanced payback for a good or bad deed. I consider it a good thing when I do a slight but unfair act and get payback the same day. I like to think that means I have good karma. On the other hand, when someone “gets away” with murder or a great wrong of some kind, I believe when their karma is bad (and if you commit murder you already have bad karma) and the Universal payback comes long after but with a vengeance, that’s very bad karma. O.J. Simpson often comes to mind. But that’s just my anecdotal theory.

Naturally, I think of those in power today who are demonstrating acts of injustice and how their karmic balance may come. We’ve got a guy who intends to ban those of Muslim faith from the country, prevent and remove transgender people from the military and who is so xenophobic, wants to literally construct a wall in 2017 to keep people out. Some Nazis are now deemed “good people” by the Commander and Chief who invites Russian spies into the Oval Office and sends bills from a his own private business to the Secret Service for expenses to protect him. And this is perfectly reasonable to the GOP, apparently! Hurry karma! Please don’t let this be the planet’s karmic payback for humanity’s damage to her.

John Lennon’s words in “We All Shine On” speak to instant karma slightly differently, in that it comes without warning. I’m okay with that, too. If we don’t have it written in the Constitution that swift justice must meet a wholly unfit being installed as president by a foreign country, let it be karma. Let karma smite Trump and everyone colluding with him to profit from his office or destroy our institutions.

Instant Karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you off your feet
Better recognize your brothers
Ev’ryone you meet

I needn’t remind you that John Lennon and every member of The Beatles were about love and its power. The song actually has a lot more to say about being rooted in love, in love for oneself and everything else. This song always grounds me and I need that today. It’s a universal truth that love, indeed, Secretary Clinton, trumps hate.

Who in the hell d’you think you are
A super star
Well, right you are

It’s hard to peer out from the pall shrouding us these days. So let Lennon remind you of the greater self, the most superior of super powers: love.

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.