Posted by: bluesvuesbackporch | 17 April 2016

The French are Cooking — Franque23’s Blog

On the street, that is. The French work force is boiling mad and marching on the street. It’s true, these protests have been quietly covered by some US media, but for the most part the big news has remained the terrorist’s attacks, especially those in France and Brussels. Thing is, terrorism remains a threat full […]

via The French are Cooking — Franque23’s Blog

Posted by: bluesvuesbackporch | 29 October 2015

“The Last Word” – and I agree with her. Do you?

Please take a moment to watch this about-a-minute video and wisdom from Brenda Wood, one of the excellent presenters with Channel 11 news in Atlanta, Ga.  The Resources Officer who was fired for his unacceptable and unprofessional behavior was just one side of an increasingly disturbing story.  Just what do we expect teachers to do/be?  And parents…?

http://www.11alive.com/videos/news/2015/10/28/brendas-last-word/74768976/

Posted by: bluesvuesbackporch | 21 July 2015

Miércoles and Books

I remember watching Ernest Gaines on YouTube saying that if you want to write, read – a lot. I read – a lot. From three years old, when my Gram taught me, and sang to me, played (and showed me how, when I could reach the pedals) notes on the old upright player piano, I learned how to read, dance, and the crude beginnings of awareness of the piano (and an abiding love of music.)

Music…so much diversity in music – especially what I call, “World Music – music of the everyday; of struggles; labor; love; challenges; celebration, and more. Life happening is its own rhythm.

Life happening – and back to reading and knowing what has gone before so the Present can be understood in context, and the Future – based on that ability to assess intelligently – can be imagined, reasoned upon, and planned for individually and collectively.

I’ve been studying the history of our interactions in the Global South, reading as much as energy and eyeballs will allow.  There’s also a paper on Reagan almost done – coming soon.  Yes, reading and researching are enjoyable and informative.  I’m reading a book entitled, “Overthrow” by Stephen Kinzler.  In fact, allow me, please to share a few books, if I may.  Then I’ll go get another cup of coffee whilst you peruse the list.

Do you have a book or a list of them that you enjoy to share with me?  Cool.

In addition to “Overthrow” I recommend:

“Once Upon a Time in Russia” – Ben Mezrich.  My skills set includes languages – primarily Spanish, and then Russian, including the cultures, customs, history, etc.  It’s great fun!  My Italian is peripheral and rust, except the swear words.  There is just no time for it at the forefront in this moment.  Mandarin is the third language important and fun to me.  It’s a challenge, for sure.  I aced my accelerated (two semesters in one) Chinese class a while back, but was exhausted beyond almost anything, except for Math.  So back to the book.

I also love Soccer (Fútbol), and the owner of Chelsea FC in the UK is owned by an interesting Russian gent who – unlike many other owners who are neither from or in the UK – appears to like the club and soccer, as well as making mega-money from it.  This book mentions him, and is a great read on the Oligarchs, a bit of history, and you’ll learn new stuff.

“The Brothers” also by Stephen Kinzel.  What a fascinating book – and look at the Dulles Brothers, John Foster and Allen.  The prototypical W.A.S.P.s, born with all that the Dominant Class amenities and gifts possible.  It chronicles their lives in a way that takes you through the thinking of Cold War Ideologues and Puritanical belief systems (you know, let’s conquer/overthrew/confiscate/kill/torture, then we’ll show them it was all a plan of the White Protestant Upper Class God that intends to save your soul.)  Through presidents and advisors, it’s a real window into what’s really going on.

“Eaarth” by Bill McKibben.  Wow…Truth can be sipped or gulped down at once; but if we don’t begin partaking of the Truth, then we may be causing the extinction of the Human Race, because Mama Nature, yep, she’ll take back and heal what’s hers, and she doesn’t need us – in fact, she may prefer to be without us.  Essential reading, unless you’re living in the Koch-Kloud-of-Delusion called Climate Change Denial.

“Tropic of Chaos” by Christian Parenti.  This was a riveting read, and I shall read it again to glean more soon (I have a Kindle, so I can ‘highlight’ and virtually crink a page and my book is no worse for the wear.)  Climate Change changes everything.  EVERYTHING.  Drought, for instance, causes animals to die; people to become ill and often die.  If your water is already scarce (forget Kenya and Somalia, where I was going to give an example – think about Los Angeles/Southern California and Arizona), and it gets worse, how do you live in that location?  If you’re in an already poor country, and drought causes the aforementioned (which it is already), what do you do?  If your cow dies – your source of income and more – how long before you consider stealing something else, at least enough to survive?

If they have to leave that location, where do they go?  Then survival turns into Immigration, and we all know how kindly the rest of the world – especially the developed Western Hegemon – views immigration, right?  This book chronicles things you may not have thought of…THOUGHT being the operative word here, yes?

So those are the books for now.  I’ll probably share more, though.

Re-member:  Peace is Who We Are. Love is all there is.  (and please don’t tell me that being Peace makes you a wuss.  Have you ever tried being Peace? It’s sturdy, standing-up, even in-the-face-honest and sometimes afraid, but movin’

Cheers.IMG_7004

Posted by: bluesvuesbackporch | 22 June 2008

Pete Seeger

Just came back in from the porch, reading, to watch a PBS show on Pete Seeger. Now, if you don’t know who he is or how much of an American he really is, then Google him and do the research.
It was a fantastic, musical moving 2 hours, filled with the most wonderful folk songs and folk singers. Joan Baez…Arlo Guthrie…Peter and Mary, of Peter, Paul & Mary…Roger Guinn…Johnny Cash…and more…and Pete and his wife, son and grandson were in the show. It told about his life and his courage and how standing up for what you believe in can get you in trouble.
But you stand up anyway. Because, otherwise you have to sit down and do as you’re told.
Now, seems like I notice some similarities between then (the McCarthy years) and now (if you don’t agree with ‘us’ then you’re with ‘them’ and you’re not a ‘real’ patriot.) What a bunch of Malarkey. Pete was kept from working pretty much for 17 years. All because he told a senate hearing his opinions were his own and he wasn’t signing any loyalty oath. Kinda like wearing or not wearing a flag pin today. What hogwash. I recall Bill Moyers being incredulous at this because any creep with an agenda can put on a flag pin and pretend. A real patriot lives it – not wears it. Oh that’s not to say you shouldn’t or couldn’t. Do what you want. That’s the American way. But if you’re doing what you want, then you gotta let others do what they want – long as they’re not hurting anybody, right? Guess I figure if you’re not paying the rent, then you don’t have a lot of right to tell someone what to do or how to do it, you think?
Anyway, do you remember, “This Land is your land. This land is my land. From California, to the New York Islands..”? That’s Pete Seeger. “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” – another Seeger song. And he sang to the kids and had them sing along.
If you get a chance, catch the show on PBS. Courage and song together… Hard things to come by.
Maybe if we’d sing more together, we fight less. You think?

Posted by: bluesvuesbackporch | 22 June 2008

Singing


Y’know, the whole world is just plain full of Folk music.
When I lived in Ireland, we all sang.
We sang in the Pubs.
It was World Cup (Soccer) in 2002, and I watched Ireland play Spain – in Spain (it’s just a short hop across and it was BPO – before Peak Oil). And when I got back to Ireland, we went down to the Pub, and they were watching another game with Ireland. They lost and were knocked out of the World Cup.No matter. They were so proud of their team’s efforts. We all sat…some drinking…some eating…some playing cards or watching TV. It’s not like a bar or places here. It’s a family affair. And all of a sudden, an old gent in a business suit stands up and begins to sing! And a few of us join in. We clap, and then another sings another song. What fun this American had!

And when we visited my good friend, Millie, up in Gorey, after dinner we didn’t turn on the TV. We sang songs. I know all the old Irish songs – including a bunch of old Rebel ones (and of course, I’m married to a Brit, so that really thrills him, but bless him, he tolerates it, because for me, ‘Four Green Fields’ is a lovely song. My favorites (song by the late Luke Kelly) are ‘Dublin in the Rare old Times,’ ‘A Song for Ireland,’ and ‘Wild Rover.’
******************
But we Americans, by and large (ever wonder what ‘by and large’ actually means???) don’t sing. I think we are afraid of looking foolish. Now, I’m not talking about the folks in Appalachia, or mountain folk, or any of us who live far enough out in the country, or close enough to the land, or just plain old enough, that we remember that singing has always been a part of who we were as Americans.

We’d sing around the dinner table…of course sing in church (music is our longest term memory, did you know that? I remember all those hymns I learned as a child, sitting with my grandmother in the 3rd pew from the front on the left hand side where the minister read the Epistles)…and gatherings where we’d sing the folk songs of the day.

But now, we have TV for that…iPods…CDs…car radios and iTunes. We’re a nation of Listeners, but not much Singers. Oh, we might sing in the vehicle by ourselves. But, I can remember going on trips, or down to the Jersey shore, and my Dad would always sing – and we’d join in (my mom would too, but she couldn’t much stay on key. We used to tell her God hears ya’ in tune, just go ahead). He’d sing, ‘You are my sunshine….my only sunshine…you make me happy, when skies are gray.’ And then they’d sing a song they used to sing to one another when they were young…in the war years – ‘You’re My Darlin’ Coo-chee-coo.’ And Dad could yodel. Yep, he sure could. He’d sing, ‘From this valley they say you are going…’ and we all knew all the words after a while.

My grandmother always sang. We’d sing together. I learned all the way old songs from her. She’d be cleaning and sing. And she always laughed…like everything was funny somehow. Well, she lived to be 97, then went to sleep and transitioned to spirit, so I guess she knew something about it.

When we came back from living in Ireland, though, we had a Memorial Day party at my daughter and son-in-law’s house. We had some folks over, including an Australian horse hauler. After dinner (and they were warned), most of us sat out on the front porch and Geoff sang…I sang…the horse hauler, Ray, sang…but no one else would. Sad…Keep singing, okay? My gram, she had something there.

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