Thursday, March 30, 2017

                               The numbers DO add up
Some of you may or may not remember bits and pieces of the "new math" being taught to 7th and 8th graders in public schools in the late '60s.

14+-20.   It equals -6.

But ... does anything less than 0 exist?

Actually, YES!
Let's say you have $150.  You purchase an item for $210.    150+-210=-60.
That's the amount you're in debt to your purchase:  $60.
Then you come by an extra $100.   Are you $100 ahead?
-60+100.   NO!   You're ahead by $40 (or +40).

It's kind of an abstract twist on the "basic arithmetic" you learned in grade school.
And one that makes perfect sense in this day and age of credit cards and on-line shopping.

                                        Another site to check out:

Song Analysis: Songbird

Not the 1987 instrumental hit by Kenny G.
The 1978 vocal hit by Barbra Streisand.

This song focuses on a woman who's a healer of sorts.  When someone's in distress or broken in spirit she's called upon to sing her special song, which seems to have a metaphysical effect of calming that person down and restoring their strength, faith, and emotional stamina.

However, when she's the one who needs restoring and reassurance she finds herself all alone with no-one there to help, assist, or guide her.
She ends up having to completely carry her own weight.  The "wizard" can't seem to work the same "magic" on herself with that "special song" of hers.

Song Analysis: The Weight

One take on this 1968 single by The Band:
The importance of pulling one's own weight.
Not neglecting  the things that need to be done.
And not to destroy or vandalize.

Whatever you neglect someone else will have to take care of, sooner or later.
And any mess you make someone else will have to to, sooner or later, clean up.
Whatever you destroy someone else will have to, sooner or later, replace.
Whatever you break someone else will, sooner or later, have to fix.

Another take on it:
If you take it upon yourself to be the one who "does favors for others" or who's "always offering to help or assist", a lot of those "others" will try to take advantage of your generosity (being that there are so many "desperate" types in need of "shedding their excess baggage"), often to the point of overwhelming you so-much-so you won't have time and energy left over to deal with your own personal issues.

Plus, a lot of times those same individuals are unwilling to return the favor and help you out when you're the one in need. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

I still have a bunch of coupons laying on my kitchen table.
Don't know if I'll use even half of them or not.

Now ...does it make any sense for the stores to send me a coupon for 40% off an item I just bought a couple days ago?
And the coupon expires in two weeks?
Like, I should just go ahead and start stockpiling a plethora of this one particular item just to "take advantage of" the 40% off?
An item I don't even use that often but still keep stocked for the occasions I do?  When right now I have enough packages of this item to probably last me a good year or so?  When there are plenty of other items I would need more often and more desperately?

I buy anything---even one time---and it shows up on the company's computer network.  And, suddenly, I'm getting "special offers" for it on a weekly or monthly basis.

These merchants need to permanently delete the "algorithm" program from their automation systems.

            The above is my Musing For Today

Just don't call it "Immigration" (revisited)

My stand on all this "immigration" controversy?

Simple:  If someone from another country wants to become a U.S. citizen they need to follow all the written protocols and stipulations laid down by this government which pertain to the acquisition of legal citizenship for said individual.  And with such applications subject to approval by the U.S. government.

And, if applying for temporary residency, individual must meet all clinical legal requirements necessary for approval by U.S. government.

And that those who are visiting the U.S. be subject to the scrutiny of Customs and Immigration officials, with no guarantee or promise of being allowed entry.

This is the way it is for most countries.

As for the U.S. officials:  Keep religion and race/ancestry out of your judgment calls when determining eligibility for entering the U.S..
Judge only by individual and legal merits.
And, yes, if someone has a criminal record, or lacks sufficient funds and support, or is deemed "not adaptable enough" to U.S. culture, it is perfectly reasonable for Customs and Immigration to turn said individual-in-question away and send them back to their home country (or current country of residence).

R.I.P. Chuck Berry

Well, it finally happened!
All these years we kept wondering how long Charles Edward Anderson Berry was going to still be with us.

Well, this is it!
Chuck Berry died yesterday at his home in Wentzville Missouri (on the outskirts of St. Louis).

We all knew it was inevitable.   It was simply a question of "WHEN, exactly?".

He was 90-years-old, and leaves quite a cultural/subcultural legacy behind.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Song Analysis: Make Your Own Kind Of Music

This 1969 hit by Mama Cass is, essentially, a statement about how most people don't really embrace the notion of individuality.

That if you ARE true to who you really are and accept your idiosyncrasies and uniqueness you'll have better self-awareness, for sure.
But the world itself, for the most part, will never have much in the way of any kind of appreciation for anyone who's a little "different" in any way.

If you're too much of an individual you stand to be blasphemed as being some kind of "freak" or "weirdo" or even a "sociopath".

Song Analysis: You Gave Me A Mountain

Frankie Laine is best known for his hits from the 1940s and 1950s, like MULE TRAIN and MOONLIGHT GAMBLER---and others like those.

But he was still alive and well and still active well into the 1960s, and still making the occasional "cameo appearance" on the mainstream singles charts, "slipping one in", from time-to-time.

In early 1969 he had a minor/moderate single hit with YOU GAVE ME A MOUNTAIN (a song written by Marty Robins.  Hence, the first line "Born in the heat of the desert").

This song, essentially, is an anthem about your quintessential "loser".  The type of guy for whom anything that's either normal, or that most people have no problem attaining, he has to strain himself and go out of his way to acquire the same.

When his wife leaves him, and he loses custody of and visitation rights to his only son whom he loves dearly, he (more or  less) cries out to God "That's the last straw!  All my life you put one obstacle after another in my way, but I made it through somehow.  But this one will break me for sure!  There'll be no recuperating from THIS divine atrocity!"
   The Trump Administration:  full-frontal Social Rank Fascism
It isn't like the Trump Administration is actually doing anything all that unique in its propensity towards social rank fascism.
Governments, essentially, have always been about favoritism towards the privileged and the aristocratic.
But, in times past, it's always been a tradition for governments to be rather covert about this aspect of ruling.   To often do sporadic token "favors" for the "average Joe and Jane" (you know, sort of like "Throw the dog a bone to keep him happy", or "Give the baby a pacifier and maybe he'll stop crying").
In the 1930s we had The New Deal
In the 1960s we had The Civil Rights Act
In the 1920s women finally got the right to also vote
...examples of such political "red herrings", no?

But now the current administration seems to be outright blatantly flaunting this leaning towards such favoritisms unabashedly, with no attempts made at any kind of pretense otherwise.  It's like:  "You're right.  All your worst suspicions about society are true.   Overprivileged and aristocrats are, indeed, the only people who matter.   Society really DOES wish all you second-tier and third-tier individuals would quit reproducing and just dig a hole, crawl into it, and die.   Just get out of our world once and for all".
The effect of this level of bluntness on a lot of us being similar to that of a relative or acquaintance coming out and finally telling you what they really think of you.

The phoney baloney "health care" bill the present administration is currently drafting to replace the (somewhat inadequate) ACA is but an epitome of where us "average" and "sub par" citizens stand with society at large.

The word "compunction" is nowhere to be found in the vocabulary of this present administration.
In fact, they seem to be openly delighting in and relishing their embracement of all manners of social rank fascisms.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Song Analysis: Is That All There Is?

"Once you've seen the Grand Canyon you've 'seen all there is to see'."
"It's the worst thing one could ever experience.  It can ruin your whole life, in fact."
"It's the one experience everyone should have.  Once you've had it, it'll change your life forever.  You'll never be the same afterwards."

The way certain things in this world are sensationalized and overly hyped by the general consensus
...but then, when you actually find yourself face-to-face with the situation or with the subject itself, it's never anywhere near as exciting, thrilling, or tragic as you anticipated.

It may affect you profoundly enough, but it ultimately ends up being "just another experience you had in your life".
You still go on being the same person you've always been, and your overall world views pretty much stay intact.

This 1969 hit by singer Peggy Lee summarizes this aspect of life quite impeccably. 

Song Analysis: Taxi

This 1972 hit by singer/songwriter Harry Chapin emphasizes the notion that it's just not "in the cards" for certain individuals to ever have their innermost aspirations in life realized.

That some people will just have to resign themselves to suffering the indignant rigors of mediocrity their whole life through.  Their lifetime will only be one of dreaming.

Chapin craftily and cunningly waxes poetic the inner frustrations of this ongoing chronic non-fulfillment.

This underlying theme is one similar to that of Paul Simon's SLIP SLIDIN' AWAY and The Statler Brothers' CLASS OF '57.
                                                    Adage For Today
Law enforcement only exists to expose and advertise all the warts of "the unwanted" and "the undesirables" for the whole world to see.