Tuesday, April 25, 2017

                                              Earth is not unique
So NASA scientists have discovered water on one of Saturn's moons.  And now they're speculating there "just might possibly be some form of life outside of earth".

Of course it could also mean that the earth is simply an integral part of the cosmos.  Which means the earth is but one of many "off-springs" of a "parental" universe, as is the solar system or the galaxy it's part of.

And that, since the earth is also a product of a greater universe, a lot of the elements found on this planet have universal origins.  So, naturally, it stands to reason that, if we have opportunity to explore far enough and long enough, scientists will invariably start finding a lot of "earthly" elements on celestial bodies.  But it doesn't necessarily indicate "potential life forms".

Sure, I believe somewhere in the universe other life forms exist.  But, much like in this galaxy, it'll be in the form of select planets in favorable positions in their given solar systems to produce the intricate type of life forms found on this planet.

I believe that because I think the universe is rigged and structured by intelligent forces unknown.  Who hold the concept of patterns and cosmic protocol to highest esteem.
Hence, earth, our solar system, and our galaxies are bound by the same formats and similar physical laws.  They're not unique, but "one among many of their kind".

Just what these "intelligent forces" are one will never know.  But they're greater than anything the limited concepts of any religion could (or would) ever perceive.

Of course I don't abide the likes of Creationism any more than I ever would any of the Evolution theories.
I think humans and their civilizations and governments have always existed for millenniums, and that humans have always looked and behaved the same way as well.
And that governments have always been pretty much the same as they are now:  despotic republics.  And, much like the present age, each one with their own false fronts.
                                               The real prejudice
In a perfect world everybody goes to the same training camp or gets mentored by those with years of experience in the given field.
That way employers can choose between candidates of equal stature, their main priority being whose personality or demeanor are most preferable to them.

But in the real world there are profound discrepancies in the educational opportunities afforded the children of the different races and social classes.

While the upper echelon offspring are given opportunities for a first-rate comprehensive learning experience, the lower tier offspring are only offered neglected. dilapidated and forsaken public institutions as their token "quota-satisfying" learning centers.

This results in a minority and low-income class who lack all the adequate and essential knowledge needed to break into a lot of industries, businesses, and occupations knowing what they need to know in order to function well enough within these institutions.
And all the "affirmative action" decrees are not enough to alleviate this dilemma if said groups are not afforded the same backgrounds as the more privileged ones.

Employers who either don't want to hire certain minority or low-class applicants, or who lay off a lot of minority or low-class employees after a brief employment---due to their having been found to be unqualified or under-qualified, are not the real bigots.
The real prejudice is the disparity between the educational opportunities offered to the different social classes.
The way it's rigged to keep those from one side of the tracks "lesser" than those from the other side.

CeleBirthdate: Barbra Streisand

Born Barbara Joan Streisand on April 24 1942 in Brooklyn.
She turned 75 yesterday.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Every normal man must, at times, be tempted to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats
                                           H    L    Mencken
Essentially, taking offense or being offensive is really not that much of a big deal.
Everything can't be to the liking of any one person, nor can the actions of everyone around us be to our liking.

The problem I have is that the world deems it such an immoral act to "offend another".  It's like the ultimate "sacred cow" to "never offend anyone".
As for those who would ever "butcher the sacred cow", they deserve nothing less than whatever revenge their society deems fit as retaliation for such a grave infraction.
The other guy is always more important than you are.   Their lives matter and yours don't.  Those in authority will always stand behind those who make even the slightest complaint against you (like the "good little 'community hatchet men'" they are).
Why those who file complaints against you also have so much authority and prestige of their own as well, who knows.....
Do they suddenly become "deputized" the minute someone does or says anything they find "offensive"?

Seriously, "being offended" is purely subjective.   It just means someone or something "rubbed you the wrong way" somehow.
It's just a personal reaction to words or deeds that either made you uncomfortable or that you think are inappropriate or destructive to the context in which said words are uttered or said deeds are done.
It's strictly a matter of one's personal perspective, priorities and prejudices more than anything.
It's not the kind of thing that should ever be subject to rule-of-law.

I actually think when a lot of people say something "offended" them, whatever they're talking about probably didn't really bother them that much.  They're simply tyrannical "power-and-control" junkies, exploiting social mores and popular prejudices for the purpose of damaging or destroying someone they feel some sort of animosity toward.
Every normal man must, at times, be tempted to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats
                                                                                                             H  L  Mencken
Just what is this fixation the world seems to have with "changing things" constantly?

Even if things are running smoothly and on cue and everything's working out just fine somebody will get the notion to change the rules, or rearrange the system, or tag on more procedures or more requirements.

Is the idea simply to throw off the personal ecosystem of another, to throw them into a state of total confusion and psycho-disarray?

Is it just another "power trip" on the part of whoever's in charge?
                           The demise of the "private citizen"
These days everyone is committed to some "cause", or have some personal affiliation with a select ideological or political group.

They're "a part of something" and identify themselves with whatever political belief, social causes, or idealistic demographic elements that comprise their "belief system" which they have committed themselves to.
There are so many folks running marathons, marching in the streets, or pitching another "cause", trying to be saviors or crusaders.

I hardly see people ever actually represent themselves.  There doesn't seem anything really intimate about most people.  They seem to be whatever their ancestry, social class, gender or domestic and social background "requires" their persona to be.  And it seems to be what they're "all about" as well.

It's like the average person is more of an "artificial intelligence" than a living, breathing, and FEELING individual.

Would the world be better off if each person minded their own business, just took care of their own life and issues, and stayed within their own boundaries?  Quit having to be "so involved with" society and problems that don't directly concern them?
Just stay home and enjoy their own interests and bobies and tend to their own responsibilities?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Communication
is a two-way street.

If you're transmitting, even at full power, and the receivers can't tune in to the frequency you're broadcasting on, your message is still not going to reach anyone.

If the other person doesn't want to understand what you're trying to say you can shout it in their face at the top of your lungs, every word-for-word explicitly, and all that other person will do is simply "take offense" at your shouting in their face so loud, or accuse you of being hostile and "threatening".

When others misunderstand you it's not always your fault, or because of any lack of effort on your part to get your message across to them.

The problem with it always being "up to you" to get a message across to someone else is that you become too dependent on the other guy's willingness to hear you out and accurately interpret whatever it is you tell them.
                                          The Pop Music Divide
You know how obsessed societies are about the concept of "multiculturalism"?
Wanting to bring together the most irrelevant elements into the same space?

Isn't it ironic that, in contrast, popular music, which at one time used to routinely comprise various elements from diverse sources, would wind up being one area to become so divisive within itself by forming numerous subcategories within each genre?

I grew up in the '60s, when rock n'roll and pop music was still normal, when it was the "catchiest" songs that got promoted on the radio, regardless of style or ethnic origins.

In the '70s is when it started to divide itself: at first into the "progressive/album rock" and "soft rock/singer-songwriter" subgenres.
Less than a decade later there would also be disco, punk rock, and "new wave".

I've since long gotten used to this "divide".
And, also, a lot of the performers in these subgenres had a few "token top-40 singles" of their own, making it easy to merge their signature songs alongside those of the more "mainstream" style performers.
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats
Any great words of wisdom ever spoken by the likes of Ronald Reagan or Art Bell can most likely be attributed to Mark Twain, Will Rogers, or the legendary writer/editor Henry Louis Mencken.

That said, let me ask you a question:
If a medical clinic makes an appointment for you with a designated provider months in advance, does it make any sense for their office to call you on the eve of the appointment date and leave a message on your VoiceMail telling you that you need to call their office back to let them know whether or not you want to confirm the appointment or cancel it?

I mean, what happens if you don't call them back?  Do they just take it upon themselves to up and cancel your appointment?

Why should they be putting that onus on you, instead of simply reminding you of your upcoming appointment?

As someone who relies on VoiceMail religiously, one thing I really detest to the hilt are the "Call me back!" messages.
It's recording whatever you say already!  You can say what you need to say while it's recording and I'll be able to hear it later on when I play it back!
That's why God created VoiceMail!  
So that the recipient doesn't have to be present when the call is made because he/she can STILL get the message later!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Heaven forbid any society should ever allow itself to fall into any kind of anarchy.

With "no-one in charge" we'd have only the most aggressive/predatory along with all the "pretty people" taking over everything.

Therefore, we need a "rule of law" environment to ensure a more even social climate.  A certain degree of "necessary tyranny" is paramount to creating a reasonably structured social climate.

What's tragic is when the "rule of law" becomes corrupt and starts leaning towards the most favored, popular dogmas, and common prejudices.
When that happens then even the "rule of law" becomes indistinguishable from anarchy.



                            The above is my Musing For Today

Song Analysis: The Big Battle

One of the underappreciated songs by the legendary Johnny Cash, this one from 1962.

This song makes the point of emphasizing that the biggest part of any battle or conflict is the aftermath itself.
The after-affects and consequences that have to be dealt with when the main conflicts are finally over are battles in and of themselves.

Not just damage assessments, but also the psychological effects on loved ones that linger on for the remainder of their lives.  The  grief and trauma of losing a beloved husband, brother, or son.

Although the effects on the surviving ex-soldiers don't get overtly mentioned in the lyrics, "the part that has blackened the sun" might collectively encompass that aspect figuratively.

Remember, this was 1962, and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome was not yet acknowledged, let alone regarded a clinical diagnosis, at this point in time.
However, it was still instinctively and subconsciously sensed by those who experienced intense traumatic situations---sometimes referred to as "shell shock".

Song Analysis: Lonely Island

An underappreciated early Sam Cooke classic (1958), this song describes MY "love life" to a tee.

You feel "removed" and relegated to the position of "just being an observer" while everyone else around you gets to "live life to its fullest".

Another song in this category is O' FALLING STAR by The Four Knights (out of 1956)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Song Analysis: Riki Tiki Tavi

This tongue-in-cheek song by Donovan, from the summer of 1970, essentially stresses the importance of one figuring out how to attain as much self-reliance as is possible for one to attain
...the notion being that a lot of the facilities people routinely depend upon are not sufficient or reliable enough to adequately meet one's needs.

The government agencies, the businesses and industries, the public and corporate services, the charities, the churches, the hospitals
...are, more often than not, plagued by incompetence, corruption, or their systems are too inadequate to always be effective enough.

With brief reference to elements of Kipling's THE JUNGLE BOOK as metaphors, this song stresses the need for self-sufficiency, alongside having self-knowledge to go along with it.





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                                    Burned-out on blogging?
Is it just my imagination, or are a lot of bloggers becoming more and more lax, posting less and less frequently?

Maybe everyone's run out of things to say.
That anything of significance worth pointing out has already "been said and done" dozens of times already.  Either "by now you get it or you don't".  That there is, for the most part, "no more to say".

Anymore most of the cerebral blog sites one comes across seem to be focusing on political dystopia and the eternally ongoing "Hatfields vs. McCoys" type relationships between the different races, nationalities, political partisan factions, and men and women.

I'm hoping "the art of blogging" doesn't end up "burning out" on itself.
All my life I've heard "You can't say that on the radio" and "You can't do that on television".
The censors always ruled when it came to the written, spoken, or staged.

Now there's a vague threat of that same thing happening to the Internet.
The internet has long been the refuge of those who seek unbridled and unrestrained self-expression of their deeper passions, attitudes, prejudices, and revelations of things most consider delusional, improper and inappropriate, or not in line with common beliefs and assumptions.
Unlike television, radio or magazines the internet always had this subtle "anything goes" demeanor about itself.

But a dark threat is looming around the corner.  That the time will finally come when everyone will say "You can't post that on the internet".
When the censors will finally also take over cyberspace and the internet will become like everything else in society:
*Puritanical
*Pigeonholing
*Another bastion of "correct thinking and behaving", where anything eccentric or unorthodox is looked upon as being "inappropriate" or "offensive"
*Another area dominated by the most popular and most privileged and influential
*Hidebound and over-regulated by anal-minded laws




               The above is my Musing For Today

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Song Analysis: Child Of Clay

I think this was the final single hit for pop singer  Jimmie Rodgers, released on the A&M label in late 1967.

This song summarizes the life of a man who had the bad luck of being the offspring of an immature and irresponsible couple who were always so caught up in their own personal issues they had no time to pay attention to their own son.  And who were so unworldly themselves there wasn't much they could have taught him anyway.

When he needed answers to the deeper and more personal and spiritual longings and questions in life there was nowhere for him to turn.

Desperate for some kind of enlightenment he sought knowledge from those around him.  But, growing up in a roughneck low-income environment, most encounters he had were with those who either were totally unenlightened or who were conspiring and full of ulterior motives.  Superficial and malicious types.  And who took advantage of his naivety to either mess with him or misguide him.   Those who couldn't care less about the more meaningful aspects of life.  They're in it just to "play games with each other and with other people's lives".

The influences on him growing up in this type of social climate eventually culminates in a cynical "What's the use?" demeanor that jades his own personality and character, resulting in his just being another "loser" and quintessential "no count" who winds up "never amounting to anything in life".

The song's implication being that most people, at birth, have some kind of potential.  But that, unless essential elements are in place for proper development, such potential can end up lost and go eternally unrecognized.

Song Analysis: Angie Baby

The metaphysical meets bubblegum meets soft pop/adult contemporary in this 1974 top-ten hit by Helen Reddy.

It's a brief tale of an extremely socially withdrawn adolescent girl who's obsessed with top-40 radio and songs who can't seem to positively connect to the outside world or with most in it ("autism spectrum" syndrome?)

In her mind she fantasizes having a secret lover with whom she can share her "top-40" utopia with.

But there's another character in the song:  A sexually deviant neighborhood boy who's been "eyeing" Angie for some time.
Cunningly he comes around when her parents are out and about, and, taking advantage of her loneliness and naivety, offers to "show her a good time", with totally ulterior motives all the way.

However, it seems Angie has a few "desires" of her own, and magical powers that far supersede any physical strengths that neighborhood boy may have.
The music from her radio paralyzes and hypnotizes him and, then, when she turns the volume down on her radio he gets socked into her little transistor.  This would-be sex offender winds up getting "owned" by a girl he's been stalking.
He, instead, ends up being Angie's "secret boyfriend", a guarantee her own lustful desires and pleasures will always be met anytime she feels the urge.

And, apparently, the boy more than gets what he was after as well.
And the searching party never turns up a trace of him, eventually giving him up for "dead".

Song Analysis: My Mind's Eye

The late 1960s saw the British Invasion merging with the emerging Psychedelic styles:   The Yardbirds;  The Spencer Davis Group;  The Status Quo;  Cream;  The Move;  The Moody Blues;  early Pink Floyd;  Procol Harum;  the latter-day Beatles (Revolver/Sgt. Pepper's and beyond) ...
...The Small Faces as well.

Essentially, this song by The Small Faces is an anthem of spiritual self-discovery.  Of cerebral revelations and enlightenment.  Of a greater awareness of the nuances and essences of life itself.  Only to be found within oneself and one's connection to all things eternal.

And of the new-found inability of someone who's experienced such to relate to all the "average" people around them, or to continue relationships with friends, family, lovers and acquaintances.
Suddenly everything about oneself is too deep for most anyone else to be able to relate to.