Thoughts

Whaz Up!?! Monday 27 September 2021


Howdy y’all!

My life has grown to be monotonous: I go to work, teach classes, plan classes, come home, cook and clean, plan more classes, sleep, get up and do it all over again. I have managed to push my planning out by about a week so instead of planning the next class or tomorrow’s classes, I’m actually doing the end of next week’s classes. So, that’s something.

The big national holiday Pchum Ben is coming up the first week of October, so we’ll be offline from 3 – 7 October. I’ll schedule a post or two but won’t be able to answer comments.

The monotony of my life makes this portion of the post a little dull, so I thought I’d share some musical discoveries that I’ve made. Since the death of Nanci Griffith, I’ve been listening to a lot more music. The shift from CDs to digital left me behind especially with all the copyright mishegas that occurred with peer-to-peer sharing. Anywho. Nowadays I que up something on Youtube and let it run through the algorithm. That’s how I found these two gems:

Rhiannon Giddens: She is a classically trained singer who left the opera to pursue a career in folk, blues, and old-timey music. She once played with the well-known and now disbanded Carolina Chocolate Drops. Her voice can be a bit refined for my rustic tastes, but damn, she’s good. Here she is doing my favorite, Shake Sugaree:

Down Home Music: A Journey through the Heartland. This is a documentary shot in 1963 by the German film maker, the late Dietrich Wawzyn, with the help of Arhoolie Records founder, Chris Strachwitz, for a German TV series on American jazz and roots music. They traveled across the US filming acts in large and small towns and communities wherever they were. It is a great peak into American music the year JFK was assassinated.

Let me know what you think in the comments. I’d be happy to hear your opinions and any music you’d like to share.

What I’ve Been Writing

Posts

Last week: I’m particularly pleased with the posts that I’ve made this week concerning the effects of mass psychosis and dark tetrad personalities, which are both caught up together.

  • Tuesday 21 September: Rising Political Violence: Authoritarians, Mass Psychosis, and Waves of Terror Make More Violence Inevitable was posted. It makes the prediction that MAGA Nation will produce more violence as the spell that the authoritarian GQP has cast over them deepens. They are gearing up for a chaotic and violent ’22 election. They are hoping that all the fear and uncertainty that accompanies the sporadic unpredictable violence of the base will be blamed on Biden for not protecting the public — classic terrorist tactic — and drive people, especially white people to vote GQP.
  • Wednesday 22 September: Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema: The Dark Tetrad in Action examines the evidence that both of the obstructing senators are squarely in the dark tetrad cluster of personality traits and that appeals to them to support Biden’s legislation just may fail as they are more beholden to their paymaster, less capable of feeling guilt, shame, or empathy, and really only concerned about their own needs.

This week: Because of my work schedule, I’ve had to schedule more posts. Write them over the weekend and in the odd moments of the week when I’m free and then post them later in the week. It is less than ideal since I try to comment on current events, but it keeps the posts from being all bunched together and improves their readership.

  • Wednesday 29 September: We’ll publish a post exploring the 15th Century European witch hysteria’s causes, events, and ending and drawing parallels to the pandemic and stolen election hysterias that MAGA Nation is currently experiencing. You won’t want to miss that especially in light of the Arizona fraudit releasing their results of awarding #Biden-Harris 300+ more votes and no fraud, yet continuing to expound upon the “oddities” of the election that they couldn’t explain because of their woeful ignorance of the way elections work. Christ, we’ve got a lot more crazy to get through before this is over.
  • Friday 1 October: We’ll re-blog a post from the Psychology @ Goldsmith’s blog concerning research they did into the effects that the first #COVID19 lockdown had on the political views of folks in Poland. As we keep experiencing waves of #COVID19, the findings keep being relevant and, I think, they’ll surprise you. I’ll say here that they aren’t good news for the Ol’ Pussy Grabber or the GQP.

If you’ve got an idea for a future post, questions about why something is happening in our politics or country or around the world, I’d love to hear them in the comments. I’ll do my best to ferret it out. Some of my best posts are the result of the discussions Bob and I have in the comments, so join the fun!

What I’ve Been Planning

I kinda liked featuring the calendar here. It’s been tempting ever since I did it that one time. I’m hungry, so I’ll take another bite of that apple:

  • Saturday 25 September: Rocky and Bullwinkle Day. I hope you did some moose and squirrel fun in their honor. It was my favorite cartoon as a kid. I loved everything from Sherman and Mr. Peabody, to Dudley Do-Right to Boris and Natasha to Rocky and Friends. It was the best. Now, “Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!” Let us know what your favorite moose and squirrel moments were in the comments.
  • SUNDAY 26 September: The anniversary of the first televised presidential debate between Nixon and Kennedy exposing Nixon to the be sweaty shifty character that he was.
  • Monday 27 September: Somewhat fittingly ironic, I suppose, the day following the anniversary of the first presidential televised debate is the anniversary of the release of the Warren Report investigating JFK’s assassination. I still find the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers to be a very depressing subject.
  • Tuesday 28 September: This year the celebration of International Safe Abortion Day is all about calling people to action to either legalize abortion where it is still illegal (no longer illegal in Mexico) or defend it where it is under assault (Ahem, the US). Tell us what you did to keep abortion safe and legal in the comments!
  • Sunday 2 October: The third anniversary of the grisly murder of Jamal Khashsoggi at the hands of the bone saw happy henchmen of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

That’s next week calendar. Let us know if you do anything to commemorate any of those days or if you have any special days coming up… in the comments.

What I’ve Been Reading

Blog

  • War! What’s it good for? Our favorite reflecting francophile wrote about Sebastian Junger‘s book War.” Given that we’ve just ended our war in Afghanistan, it was more than a timely read. Carol posts several excerpts as she gives an overview to the book. The post, the excerpts, and her insights all make compelling reading. Give it a visit and a like!
  • Pelorus Jack! Our favorite drawbridge operator reminds us of the heart-warming story of Pelorus Jack, the little Risso’s dolphin who could. He escorted ships through the treacherous Cook Strait in New Zealand from 1888 to 1912. What a story. It combines some of my favorite things: the drawbridge operator, dolphins, and ships.
  • As the debt ceiling falls, friend of the blog, Tengrain, gives us an amusing history lesson reminding us that it was the fabulous Newt “Permanent Majority” Gingrich who first weaponized the annual exercise in futility to introduce the dilemma that McConnell has presented the Dems with by promising to filibuster any attempt to raise the debt ceiling.
  • Roundup! It’s a daily cartoon roundup, boys! Head ’em up! Move ’em out! And, it’s all over at Scottie’s Toy Box! Go on over and sit a spell whilst he tickles your funny bone.

News

The Seven Hanging Odes. I am not unfamiliar with the history of Islam and the Arab Peninsula, I just don’t know it very well. This article sure filled in some blanks and left me hungering for more. Before Islam, there were these seven odes that describe the basics of Arab culture. They “tell of harsh desert life before Islam — endless warfare, secret lovers’ trysts, stout riding camels, and the sureness of fate.” Or, are they? The first edition was produced in the 8th Century (the century of Islam’s inception) by “a world-class forger and a known reprobate.” You decide and tell us about it in the comments!

Friends o’ the Blog

  • OF CABBAGES AND KINGS is BobCabKing’s blog where he generously links to other bloggers — always good for the SEO. You’ll find interesting posts from around the bloggosphere. Not only does he link to Ye Olde Blogge pretty often and comments, too, he links to many others. Check out what Robert has linked to recently!
  • Fair and Unbalanced is Burr Deming’s blog full of his pithy observations of the week’s news and newsworthy. He publishes a weekly list of the things HE’s been reading with a value-adding snarky introduction and commentary on each.
  • MOCK, PAPER, SCISSORS provides a daily rundown of the day’s news and events littered with a pleasing amount of snark, sarcasm, and the occasional profanity. Check out some of the fan favorite nicknames for various prominent people, Matt Gaetz, America’s favorite aging prom date, Steve Mnuchin, the walking typo and worst Bond villain ever. The news maybe difficult to swallow, it doesn’t mean it can’t be served up with a bit of tasty sauce.
  • MIKE’S BLOG ROUND UP provides links to some of the Interwebs smaller quality blogs. It has been hosted by Crooks and Liars. for nearly 20 years now. It’s daily, so you can’t go wrong dipping into their list to find some interesting reading.
  • INFIDEL 753  is Infidel’s blog where he makes some cogent and timely observations of the news from the world and publishes a list of things he’s been reading this week. I know I spend too much of my Monday there. Maybe you will, too, but it will likely be your Sunday.
Huzzah!
Jack

Enjoy this weekly summary of the happenings at Ye Olde Blogge? Then be a mensch and do one or more of the following:

  • Comment: Let us know if there’s a topic you think Ye Olde Blogge should address, put it in the comments. If you’ve got some music, a calendar item, or some other snarky observation to share, put ’em in the comments. We’d all love to see ’em.
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Image Attribution

Screen grab from Last.fm‘s YouTube channel’s Rhiannon Giddens — Shake Sugaree (Last.fm’s Sessions)

38 replies »

  1. Hiya Jack! Thanks for the mention! I was also looking at your upcoming calendar, and I hope you’ll also include the Women’s March for Reproductive Rights that’s happening on October 2nd, all over America. (No idea if it’s going international.) After the draconian laws recently enacted by the backward state of Texas, the entire country has to be on alert so that our rights to choose don’t get completely abolished. I’ll definitely be marching!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I Wassamatta U. that lovely college of zero intelligence was my favorite. Great music there. I hadn’t heard of her until you mentioned…what a voice!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s right, Wassamatta U. Man! I had forgotten that. I woulda put it on my resume if I hadn’ta forgotten. I guess it is a good thing I had, though, because I may never have gotten hired. Definitely want the athletic sweatshirt, amirite?

      Like

        • Howdy Suze!

          Shows that I’m giving people who screen resumes too much credit. Since I’m at the cusp of retirement and I’m reminded of it. Screw it. I’ll do it, too. Just for the LOLz as the kids used to say.

          That Rhiannon Giddens, though, man, she has a range, subtlety, expression, and fullness that you rarely see in blues, folk, and old timey music. She, of course, sings a wide range of music. Pretty amazing all the way around.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Giddens is wonderful – so talented and smart and unconfined by definitions of any musical genre. This one is a beautiful gut punch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vy9xTS0QxM

    And that reminds me of a bit of historical background to current doings and undoings on Capital Hill: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/09/john-c-calhoun-federal-spending-slavery-infrastructure.html

    Which somehow my slippery mind connects to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hrr7AbSv1BA

    Liked by 2 people

    • Howdy Bob!

      Knowing that Giddens hailed from North Carolina, I wondered if you’d heard of her or seen live. I figured you had. Those shows must be amazing. She’s a powerhouse: musical talent, voice, intellect, and charisma.

      The bit on Calhoun and the beginnings of the American monetary system was eye opening. Everything does indeed get back to slavery. It’s like a six degrees of separation thing. Perhaps that means that the more fundamentally evil it is, the fewer degrees separate it from slavery.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t seen her live, but been well aware. Her interview on Fresh Air (NPR) is excellent. [https://www.npr.org/2020/06/19/880242844/rhiannon-giddens-sings-slave-narratives]

        The degrees of separation thought rings true. The other one that does is with the witch hysteria. Odd, isn’t it that it was males who were hysterical despite having no uterus.

        Liked by 2 people

              • It relates to my thought that hate is not the opposite of love, but a defense against considering what one would have to do if one did love the other. The opposite of both is indifference. Actually feeling compassion for the stranger can be terrifying for those stuck in a Us Versus Them worldview.

                Liked by 1 person

                • That’s why no one wants to you answer, How are you? honestly. And, the whole “RUOK” thing was such a sham. No one really wants to know lest they get themselves involved in something they don’t know how to get out of.

                  Jack

                  Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      Also, it takes time and skill to actually deal with an honest answer that most people don’t have. We talk about building empathy in our students and we do, but we don’t give them the basic listening tools to help someone cope. We pay lip service to that. Mostly it is because the faculty lacks the skills and doesn’t want to acquire them. (A) We’re too overwhelmed with all the teaching and administrative duties that we put on teachers and (b) the all too human fear of the unknown.

                      One of the things that I’ve done every place I’ve worked is found someone who needs that short-term good listener counseling and just quietly and unobtrusively given it to them. There was a woman whose mother died at the school in Kenya who confided that she was having trouble getting over it. I invited her out for coffee and just did real basic grief counseling with her, conversationally. I doubt she even realized it was any more than a deep conversation with a friend. Another woman had had an abortion of the summer, and again, I did basic grief counseling just in the half an hour after she told me about it. When I was on tour in Xiin Jiang, my tour guide told about his cousin who had been expelled from university for cheating on an exam and was now suicidal. I spent an hour with her — luckily, she was an English major — and got her through the crisis. She’s now fixing to graduate university and has a thriving career as a fashion model.

                      It’s a shame that we don’t have a more empathetic culture that really values that kind of careful attentive listening and understanding of emotions. As you said so well earlier, when grief and fear are unmanly, we get rage; compasion, effeminate, cruelty. The patriarchy is inherently angry and cruel.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • There is a hunger to he heard. We see it in BLM, in Me Too, and in the shouting of the MAGAs as well (They were so fooled by one who pretended to hear. but was just parroting back.)

                      Patriarchy is that.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • To be heard and feel understood. That’s the therapist’s trick is helping the client feel understood. Most arguments are about feeling misunderstood. The essential position of both sides is “if I just explain it again, they will understand and agree with me.”

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I LOVE the agony in Simone’s voice when she’s pleading not to be misunderstood. It captures the feeling completely. Being misunderstood is one of the great human mental tragedies. It hurts more than we realize.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • It hurts even more than being ignored, and traumatizes the hope of ever being heard and understood.

                      What she could do with her voice is astounding. She had the range and the power to have done opera, but it seems nobody thought the world was ready for Black Butterfly, Mimi, or Carmen. Trying to imagine what she would have done with, say, “Un Bel Di Verdremo” for instance give me shivers. But then, so much of what she did do has that effect anyway.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      Her rendition of Pretty Little Girl with the Blue Dress On and her Irish tunes tell you all you need to know about her range and control. The vocal acrobatics of some of those bluegrass and old time songs are amazing. Her shift into the academics of old time music and performance of it is a gift greater than anything she could’ve contributed in opera.

                      And, her representation of the forgotten Black music of Reconstruction and Jim Crow speaks to not being understood and helps us all understand our own culture better.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I thought of another song I would want to hear her do, “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” from South Pacific. If he did, it’s not on You Tube.

                      One of the great voices, one of the great humans of our time.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I would love for her to do a Patsy Cline’s greatest hits album and the old Negro spirituals.From her website, though, she seems to have gone off in a more theatric director becoming the director of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Project (promoting collaboration between artists), and writing music for ballets and operas.

                      I sure would love to see one of her performances.

                      Also from her website, she was a MacArthur Award winner.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Jack, I think we’ve gotten our Simone and Giddens comment threads entangled, which is a great comment in itself on two huge talents. I find myself wishing that Simone could have lived to see Giddens’ career bloom, what a pair they would have made, like Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      Haha! So, we have. I just went back through the comment exchange. Still, neither were cast as Madame Butterfly etc. even though both could’ve been terrific. Maybe Rhiannon could do one of those posthumous album with Simone. Wouldn’t that be something.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

  4. Howdy Jack!

    My favorite segment of Rocky & Bullwinkle was absolutely the terrible puns of the Fractured Fairy Tales and a close second is where the segment wrap-up in which the announcer would give us a terrible pun and alternate episode title for the next installment.

    I think that explains a lot about me and my wretched blog.

    Regards,

    Tengrain

    Liked by 2 people

    • Howdy Ten!

      Yes, the puns were hysterical in their own dad-joke groany kind of way. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Jay Ward and friends taught an entire generation to pun, which explains not only your blog but a lot of what’s going on with our generation.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

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