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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

SOCK IT TO ME BABY!!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Time Machine week 28

For those of you that think, what's Halloween without a horror story, this might change your mind.  It's October 31, 1972, 7:30-ish in the morning.  In the fog at Chicago's 27th street station, the engineer of one passenger train overshoots the station, stops, and backs up back to the platform.  But he had passed it far enough that it set off a "track clear" signal to the next train, 3 minutes behind.  The front of that train telescoped into the stopped first train.  Fortunately the station was near two hospitals, and the fire dept. was soon there in full force.  Their rescue efforts kept the death toll to 45, with 350 injured.

This will not be the worst disaster we visit today.



Welcome to a haunting Time Machine, the week that Chicago's Dialogue pts 1&2 and King Harvest's Dancing In The Moonlight first make an appearance to the American ear.  This week, the only song this year that goes number one on Billboard but NOT on Cashbox; the #3 Top Top Ten, as we slowly see the #5  take shape in a couple short weeks;  the #4 One-Hit-Wonder's next hit; and in honor of the World Series (or actually, just because of an odd coincidence), we'll talk some baseball.  Pass your ticket to the conductor... and prepare for the horrors that await....



I'm going to start off this week with the top 40 debuts, as there's a surprise inside (just like the toy in Cracker Jack).  Now you guys, let's hear no more Wayne Newton bashing, because his single Can't You Hear The Song makes it into the Cashbox survey at #40, up 5 spots.  Last week's big mover, the Temps' Papa Was A Rolling Stone, is next, climbing 16 spots to #38.  Mott The Hoople comes in at #37, up five with All The Young Dudes.  And that brings us to our surprise- a long song (7:24 on the single) that I didn't know called American City Suite by the duo Cashman and West.  Cashman is Terry Cashman, and West is Tommy West.  Now the two of them had started out with a gentleman by the name Gene Pistilli, and Cashman and Pistilli penned Spanky and Our Gang's big hit Sunday Will Never Be The Same.  The duo would also make a name as producers, credited with Jim Croce's works, as well as West's producing of Henry Gross' Shannon.  But the name Terry Cashman sticks with me because of this tune from the 80's:





American City Suite comes in at #34, up 9 places.

Two more songs debuted that week.  Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes' If You Don't Know Me By Now jumps 21 spots- tied for second for biggest mover in the countdown this week- from 48 to 27.  And a song that just missed the 40 last week- Alice Cooper's Elected- makes it this week, from 41 to 28.



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Our next stop is this week's Top Top Ten- the second of three top tens from the year 1975!  This one comes from the third week of August, and boy there are some memories here:

10- One Of These Nights, The Eagles.  Seemed like this song thrived on those hot August nights.

9- I'm Not In Love, 10cc.  I remember the fun we had trying to figure out what he was saying when he whispered, "Be quiet... big boys don't cry... big boys don't cry..."

8- How Sweet It Is, James Taylor.  A sure sign of my aging is my brain insisting this one was from a year or two later.

7- At Seventeen, Janis Ian.  One of those story songs that always pulls me in.

6- Fallin' In Love, Hamilton, Joe Frank, and Reynolds.  Actually "and Dennison" by this time.  One of those songs that will stop what I'm doing every time.

5- Why Can't We Be Friends, War.  Riding on my nephew's mini-bike, screaming out our own verses to the song as we flew over bumps and culverts along Lortie Road all summer.

4- Rhinestone Cowboy, Glen Campbell.  A lot of time on the lake listening to this lp on the 8-track.  Two of those songs- I'll Build A Bridge and Pencils For Sale- I still love more than the hits.

3- Someone Saved My Life Tonight, Elton John.  Another member of the "Mythical Top Ten" (see last week's episode).  I remember the local paper pointing out the lyric "My friends downstairs, rolling 'round the basement floor" as an example of the degeneration of song lyrics back then.  Boys, let me play you a few tunes from 2014...

2- Jive Talkin', the Bee Gees.  I wonder how long it was until this idiot knew this was the Bee Gees.  Like I said, idiot.

And the #1 from that week...




1- Get Down Tonight, KC and the Sunshine Band!  Do a little dance, make a little love...



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Our big mover this week, with a 25-notch leap from 67 to #42, the very latest "Let's Stay Together" clone from Al Green.  This one is called You Ought To Be With Me.

All right Martin, if you're so darn smart, YOU figure out how to get this keyboard to play another rhythm!  Frankly, I'm stumped!

We have five members of the You Peaked club this time around.  Rod Stewart stopped last week at 14 with You Wear It Well;  David Cassidy's Rock Me Baby ( nowhere near the song that Steppenwolf did, BTW) cashed out at #26.  Emerson Lake and Palmer topped off at #40 with From The Beginning; Eric Clapton's Let It Rain ended its run at 57.  And remember a few weeks back when Billy Preston had the week's biggest mover with the theme from the blacksploitation film Slaughter?  Well, it ran down swiftly, and stopped last week at a mere #46.  I think after the first wave who bought the 45 for his name ended, word of mouth might have finished it, 'cause that was some serious rank tunage!


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The #4 song on the One Hit Wonder's next hit list belongs to Kyu Sakamoto.  You should know his big hit Sukiyaki (if you're an old codger like me), which became the only Japanese language #1 in the US of A in 1963.  Before I get to that next hit, though, let me tell you about the death of this singer.


It was August (again with August today!) of 1985, and Japan Air Lines #123 left for a routine flight with 509 passengers and 15 crew.  Now, several months before, this plane had hit it's tail against the tarmac, causing a crack in one of the 2 bulkheads.  The prescribed fix for this from Boeing was to fit a splice bulkhead with three rows of rivets in between the two existing ones.  But, in order to make it fit, the repair workers split the splice- parallel to the crack- with one part getting one row of rivets and the other getting two.  Experts later testified that even this botched repair should have lasted 10,000 flight hours- but on August 12, 1985, #123 had logged 12,000+ hours with the repair.  There's mistake #2.

The plane lifted off that day (with Sakamoto among the passengers), and 12 minutes in, the bulkhead ruptured, explosive decompression followed, and the plane's insides collapsed around the restrooms.  The change of airflow ripped the vertical stabilizer off the plane, cutting the hydraulics as it went.  The pilots did an incredible job trying to control the plane long enough to land- four different expert crews in flight simulators couldn't touch the 32 minutes that they actually managed- but without power assists, everything they tried only made things worse.  They clipped one wing on a mountainside, tore the second off on another, rolled over and crashed.  Four passengers out of the 524 souls on board survived.

But the mistakes weren't done there.  US air personnel in the area pinpointed the wreck, but were told by a Japanese official (who remains anonymous to this day) to "stand down".  Funny how that phrase always seems to be famous last words for someone other than the ones about to die, eh?  Japanese forces puttered around until after nightfall before they found it, the chopper pilot that did finally find the wreckage erroneously reported that there were no survivors, and as a result dozens who might have lived froze to death on the mountainside until they actually sent investigators up in the morning.


And that is how we lost the wonderful voice of Kyu Sakamoto, who gave us later in 1963 this tune, which peaked at #58:






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Two songs enter this week's top ten, so two fall out.  The droppers are Use Me (5 to 13) and Go All The Way (6 to 15).


Leon Russell tightropes his way into the top ten at ten with, er, Tightrope.  It moves up one.

The Main Ingredient tumbles from 3 to 9 with recent #1 Everybody Plays The Fool.


Curtis Mayfield moves up one to #8 with Freddie's Dead.

Johnny Nash reggaes his way from 13 to 7 with I Can See Clearly Now.

The Spinners climb from 8 to 6 with I'll Be Around.

Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band move from 10 to #5 with Garden Party.

And at #4, we have Michael Jackson's Ben, which is significant.  Ben falls from #2 without having made the top.  However, it DID hit #1 on Billboard.  If you've been playing along for a while, you know that Billboard generally doesn't change as much at the top as Cashbox- CB will usually have all of the BB #1s, and add in six or so of their own every year.  But Ben is the ONLY song this year that made the top on Billboard but NOT on Cashbox- and that is an oddity!

Like a love song to a homicidal rat isn't odd....


Elvis moves up a notch to #3 with Burning Love.


The big move goes to the Moody Blues, with Nights In White Satin climbing from 7 to 2.


And the winnah and still champeen for a second week- Chuck Berry and My Ding-A-Ling!!!!!!



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Afterword to Arlee- I decided (well, remembered) to check out the Seals and Crofts songs you recommended.  When I tried on YouTube, all I found was an alternate take on See My Life.  But Spotify has the debut lp, and the original was FAAAAR better.  I'm listening to the rest now and anticipate them going into my ever-burgeoning playlist.  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Papal Bull and Chicken Shits

Just some observations on the world today.

First of all, at the risk of being understood, let me say I had NO (zero) problem with what Pope Francis said on evolution yesterday.  For a while, though, I thought I was the only one.  Liberal media made it sound like His Holiness was a step away from becoming an atheist;  Catholic FBers were shaking their head as if betrayed.  So let's set the record straight.


“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so. . . “He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fullfilment. . . “The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it. . . “God is not a divine being or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life. . “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.” 



Let me start out by saying that I pulled this quote set from an article by one dude in the New Republic, who used it as a backdrop to say (paraphrased) that the pope was still an idiot because he included God's involvement in the Big Bang.  He mentions that science has found no direct evidence for the existence of God or a human soul.  To which I would say that, other than heavily manipulated, untested mathematical formulae and a collection of microwave circumstantial evidence, you haven't proven the Big Bang either.  (Oh, I forgot, science can believe in that which they haven't seen, so long as it is not a CHRISTIAN scientist believing.)  He castigates Francis for believing that evolution is a process of random chance instead of " a combination of random mutations and deterministic natural selection"- never bothering to cross the bridge that for something to be "deterministic", someone has to be there to DETERMINE, or else it is still just... random.  He also throws in that evolution "was an accepted fact as early as 1870, roughly a decade after the theory was proposed by Darwin..."  when upon further review, I find that according to several sources, the theory had almost died out at the turn of the last century (it might help to inform the author that that means 1900), and until a "neo-Darwinian synthesis" was achieved in the 1930s (again to help the author, roughly 70 years from Darwin's hypothesis), it was only established fact in his mind.


Okay, having established once again that science today is composed largely of agenda driven atheists doing nothing more productive than looking behind bushes and calling, "I don't SEE you, God..."  I need to point out next that the liberal media was taken to task for the OMG the Pope believes in evolution reporting by one of their own- Time Magazine, who tried to explain that if a) you actually listened to what he had to say, and b) had any understanding of Church history, you'd know he had not made anything close to a drastic turn in Church policy, any more than he did last month when his comments on the gifts that the gay community had to offer, and how we should treat them, got turned mysteriously into the Pope supports gays.

None of that seems to matter to the media; the internet exploded all the same. Site after site after site ramped up the Pope’s words and took them out of context. Headlines like these added drama:
NPR: “Pope Says God Not ‘A Magician, With A Magic Wand.’
Salon“Pope Francis schools creationists.”
U.S. News and World Report: “Pope Francis Backs the Big Bang Theory, Evolution” (with a subhead: “Also, the pontiff says he’s not a communist”)
Huffington Post.  Sydney Morning Herald.  USA Today. New York Post.
 The list goes on and on. Only Slate did its homework.


They even go on to mention the New Republic article I've sited as the next day's crop of lunacy (as "more of the same with an analytical twist".).


Now the only thing I have a problem with in this whole thing is the "magic wand" part.  God could very well just whipped it up.  After all, He did speak all things into existence.  But the mechanics of it?  Now that is what we don't understand, whether we are the Pope, some secular humanist writing hack articles in the New Republic, or a hardened fundamentalist who insists on the "Young Earth" theory.  What I do know, however, is this:

Pro 8:22  "The LORD already possessed me long ago, when his way began, before any of his works. 
Pro 8:23  I was appointed from everlasting from the first, before the earth began. 
Pro 8:24  I was born before there were oceans, before there were springs filled with water. 
Pro 8:25  I was born before the mountains were settled in their places and before the hills, 
Pro 8:26  when he had not yet made land or fields or the first dust of the world. 
Pro 8:27  "When he set up the heavens, I was there. When he traced the horizon on the surface of the ocean, 
Pro 8:28  when he established the skies above, when he determined the currents in the ocean, 
Pro 8:29  when he set a limit for the sea so the waters would not overstep his command, when he traced the foundations of the earth, 
Pro 8:30  I was beside him as a master craftsman. I made him happy day after day, I rejoiced in front of him all the time, 



This, to me, sounds like a God who built.  Like Pope Francis said.

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Some other points from today:

Let's do some mental algebra here.  So liberals are supposed to be the ones who insist everything is PC- can't have sports teams that "disrespect" Native Americans, can't have white cops arrest black thugs because of "stereotyping", can't refuse to serve someone who espouses ideals you find repellant because that's discrimination.  So our current President is the poster child for PC- African American, liberal, cares about the "poor and downtrodden" who make up his constituency.  So, how is it, with an anonymous "administration official" saying in an interview that a foreign Prime Minister is "Chicken shit" today, this administration has officially taken the lead all time in non-PC statements apologized for?


Oh, wait.  He said it about a Jew, so it's okay.  I mean, Jesse Jackson called the Big Apple "Hymietown", and all he got was a Saturday Night Live skit that he even got to act in!



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So, I guess we should rename the football team the Washington Yids, right?


Yet both Catholics and Jews (the latter by a WIIIIIIDE margin) voted Obama both times.  Go figure.


Every country has the government it deserves.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Martin world news



ITEM:  Sometimes on these posts, a theme emerges, but I don't see the one here.  So let's just go from the bottom of my saved list up:

ITEM:  A Russian government entity has discovered the spreading agent for head lice- and you won't like it:

The selfie craze, where people cram together to fit into an arms-length photo, is the main reason for the spread of the parasites, according to the Kursk regional department of Rospotrebnadzor, a government body which advises on human well-being. Taking photos in such close quarters with another person's head means the lice can jump from one hairy home to another, it warns, noting that doctors have banned children with head lice from going to school.


Of course this department, roughly the equivalent of our dept. of sanitation, has a tendency to make pronunciations based on the political climate (i.e. banning food items from countries the government is mad at, on "safety" grounds).  And also some more bizarre pronunciations, such as this one from last year:

(The former head of the department, who had just been fired) also recommended avoiding sushi because of a risk of tapeworms and he proposed killing crows, which he described as feathered wolves, for allegedly spreading bird flu.


ITEM:  Well, there's a guy in Russia (since we're in the neighborhood) who rewally doesn't like decadent American celebrations- like halloween:

A Russian political activist has called on the government to ban public celebrations of Halloween, as part of a campaign against American influence.
Georgy Federov, a member of the Civic Chamber parliamentary scrutiny body, says people across the country have complained to him about "drunk youngsters dressed as corpses and monsters scaring decent members of the public on the streets". Celebrations in night clubs often "degenerate into orgies", he adds in a letter to Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, according to Izvestia newspaper. Referring to current "strained relations with the US", he says Halloween has been imposed on Russians and is foreign to their cultural traditions. "Some extremists use these 'holidays' for propaganda purposes... You need to launch counter-propaganda. We have our own traditional festivals, which at least do not run contrary to religious ethics and human morality," he says. Mr Federov suggests authorities could offer venues financial incentives "to stop decking themselves out with pumpkins and sham corpses". 


Q:  How do you use Halloween for propaganda?

A; Drunk guys in Obama masks passing out their cell numbers.


"...I  (urrp) luv ya, man..."
BTW, I'd like to find the night club were Halloween degenerates into an orgy.  In Ft. Wayne, they degenerate into shootouts...


ITEM:  Sometimes, the first line of an article doesn't really give you a true sense of an article... but is so good, you don't really care about the point trying to be made...


BEIJING, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A giant robot dragon battled a giant robot spider at Beijing's Olympic Park to commemorate 50 years of diplomatic ties between China and France.



Wondering who's the dragon and who's the spider?  Are the diplomatic ties actually spider webs?  Is France run by Peter Parker?


I told you, ever since DeGaulle quit, there's been something wrong with that country... and NOW I know why!

Actually, this was a screwy way to combine "Chinese culture with French art."  Well, all righty, then!


ITEM:  Maybe there are themes at work.  For example, super-heroes as a menace:

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Video captured on the Hollywood Walk of Fame shows a fight between Mr. Incredible and Batgirl being broken up by Chewbacca, Where's Waldo and Freddy Kruger.
The footage, captured by production company FilmOn.com, shows performers dressed as Mr. Incredible and Batgirl struggling about 5 p.m. Tuesday in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre. Chewbacca, Waldo and Freddy soon join in the action and attempt to keep the brawling superheroes apart, but Mr. Incredible is able to punch, kick and throw Batgirl onto the sidewalk before the group was chased off by bystanders.


Sorry my screen catch didn't get Where's Waldo... he was trying to find a way to be helpful from a distance.

ITEM: And for those waiting for the zombie apocalypse, here's some breaking news from real estate website Trulia:

When the undead rise up, hitting the beach in zombie-free bliss will not be an option. Honolulu is ranked as the most appetizing city for hungry zombies.
Residents of Honolulu will make easy targets for the walking dead, what with the city's high walkability and lack of hardware stores (where there are potential zombie-killing weapons). Honolulu also has a high hospital density, making it easy for zombies to find weak victims, and it is extremely congested, with some of the worst traffic in the nation.
New York is number two on the list, followed by Newark, Boston, and Washington D.C.
Trulia calculated the survivability of the cities using the following criteria: highest walk score, lowest hardware store density, highest hospital density, and most congestion.




Washington, DC?  I thought zombies ate brains...


ITEM:  On the subject of lists, CareerBuilder surveyed employers and came up with the following lists of excuses to not come into work:


  1. Employee just put a casserole in the oven.
  2. Employee’s plastic surgery for enhancement purposes needed some "tweaking" to get it just right.
  3. Employee was sitting in the bathroom and her feet and legs fell asleep. When she stood, up she fell and broke her ankle.
  4. Employee had been at the casino all weekend and still had money left to play with on Monday morning.
  5. Employee woke up in a good mood and didn't want to ruin it.
  6. Employee had a “lucky night” and didn’t know where he was.
  7. Employee got stuck in the blood pressure machine at the grocery store and couldn't get out.
  8. Employee had a gall stone they wanted to heal holistically.
  9. Employee caught their uniform on fire by putting it in the microwave to dry.
  10. Employee accidentally got on a plane.
Accidentally got on a plane, eh?  That reminds me...

ITEM:  TraveLodge surveyed its 500+ hotels in the UK, asking for the oddest room service requests.  Here are some of them...


Newcastle Central: "Can you tell me how many stars are in the sky tonight?"
Birmingham Airport: "Can I walk across the runway to get to the airport?"
Birmingham Moor Street: "I have lost my friend in the city centre - can you please go and find him for me?"
Cambridge Central: "Can you give me instructions on how to use the taps in your bathroom?"
Buckingham: "Can I walk to Buckingham Palace or do I need to take a bus?"
Ipswich Central: "How many beans are served in your breakfast?"
Lowestoft: "Does your pet policy cover reptiles? I never go anywhere without my 6ft long monitor lizard"
Derby Pride Park: "Do you have any rooms that I can clean? I like to clean"
Grantham A1: "My cat is bald - will she still be covered in your pet policy?"
Edinburgh Central Princes St: "Do the chips contain potato? I am watching my carbs"
Edinburgh Central Queen Street: " What time does the 1pm gun salute go off at Edinburgh Castle?"
Edinburgh Musselburgh: "Can you please store my lobster in your freezer?"
Brighton Seafront: "Can you stop the wind from blowing its spoiling my holiday?"
London Royal Park: "Do the royal family stay here often?"
Windsor Central: "Can you call Windsor Castle and find out if the Queen is in?"
Lutterworth: "What time does the 24 hour reception close?
Bournemouth: "I have brought a 24 hour car-parking ticket – how long does that cover me for?"
Newcastle Central: "Will your hairdryer make my hair longer?"
Leeds Central: "Can you stop the rain as its stopping me from falling asleep?"
Hastings: "Can the hotel team read and act a bed time story for my children?"
Dorking: "Do you offer a tucking-in service?"
Stafford M5: "Does my pet jaguar count as a cat in your pet policy?"
Edinburgh Central: "Can I borrow your suit as I have a big job interview and I have left my suit at home?"
Luton: "Can my boss be dropped by helicopter in the hotel car-park?"

And finally, the one that sparked my memories in the first place...

Gatwick Airport: "Does the plane pull up outside of the hotel or do you drive us to the plane in the morning for my flight to the Caribbean?"


Wait... do you take bus tokens?
ITEM:  We wrap this one up with the sad case of a man who got... er, less than he was expecting from a surgical procedure...


An Alabama judge has dismissed a second lawsuit filed by a man who says his penis was amputated during a circumcision gone awry. 
Circuit Judge Jim Hughey in Birmingham issued an order Wednesday throwing out the lawsuit filed by Johnny Lee Banks Jr, 56, and his wife against Princeton Baptist Medical Center and doctors he claims injured him.
It is the second lawsuit Banks has filed in the incident. Judge Hughey tossed Banks' original lawsuit in August. Hughey ruled it was not specific enough under Alabama's malpractice law.


Johnny hasn't given up, despite the fact his latest lawsuit has moved the date of the surgery from February to June...  But the hardest thing to believe is that his wife Zelda is also suing for "loss of consortium.  Why is that hard to believe?




Well, that's Johnny in the wheelchair... Perhaps it's best that we got no pictures of Zelda.


Okay, well thanks to BBC, UPI, HuffPost, and the Daily Mail for all the help.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Points and pictures

Point 1-  Well, two weeks since I whined about my KCAs being 1-5 in our fantasy league. Last week, we rolled up a 42-30 win, and this week we got the league's high score for the year thus far with 70 points!  Now, I just need Dallas's kicker to score 18 or less tonight.


From Scrappy's Landing


And the wooly worm says- not too bad a winter!!!!


Point # 2-  I was astounded that any team in NCAA football could do such a thing to a foe from their own conference, but TCU rang up an 82-27 win over Texas Tech Saturday.  So many points, in fact, the University said today that they had burned through all the fireworks they had ordered for the WHOLE season already, not even having enough for their last score!  That is 200 lbs of fireworks- enough for a fifteen minute show- used up in just under 5 home games.

In related news, five male cheerleaders whose job was to do push ups after every score announced from their hospital rooms they were quitting the squad.



Hark!  Is that Polly Purebread I hear?





Point #3- Here's yer situation:  Late fourth quarter, bears trail the Patriots Sunday by 4 touchdowns.  So far behind, in fact, that Tom Brady is already in the clubhouse having a sangria while backup Jimmy Garapolo finishes the string.  Suddenly, Lamarr Houston of the Bears breaks through the line, sacking the hapless rookie.  He jumps up and down with his arms crossed in celebration- and then falls on his butt.  His legs had given out.  His celebration of a meaningless event in a game his team had already lost caused him a season-ending ACL rupture.

Hmmm.  I wonder if that level of brain power is what got the Bears beat.

(NOTE:  Former Bear Brian Urlacher says it might just be because Bears QB Jay Cutler is an elite QB in paycheck only.  And Lovie Smith says, well I guess there is one good thing about being in Tampa now...)







I really wasn't looking for another squirrel pic.  But he POSED.  Stared at us, not moving, 15 feet away, until I took the photo.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday message- the appeal of Islam

I have been asking myself for a couple days now, what is it that is drawing these young western kids and adults into radical Islam?  I learned some interesting things on my way.

My first stop was an article about the difference between mainstream Islam and the radical side by Dr Usama Hasan in the BBC last year.  He points out that radical Islam either misinterprets or ignores Koranic teaching in four important areas- "Umma, Khilafa, Sharia and Jihad".  Umma refers to the Muslim as part of a state, and that this "state" is suffering ("Never counting the blessings", he adds) at the hands of the western infidel.  Dr Hasan  points out that where Islam preaches that "all the tribes were created so you can get to know one another", the Fundamentalists (his definition: "the reading of scripture out of context with no reference to history or a holistic view of the world") see this as an injunction to force all Muslims into a single nation which would then turn outward against the rest of the world.

Khilafa, or Caliphate, is the idea of creating a single theocratic state.  Sharia is Law, the semi-medieval law that was good for then but never intended to be used in an evolved society such as today (in fact, much of Dr Hasan's argument rests on interpreting what in the Koran was intended to be taken literally for all time and what was "just for back then."  As his spiritual journey started following and defending Fundamentalist teachings, but changed as he experienced "deeper and wider experiences of faith and life".).  And Jihad, he maintains, is to be interpreted as "social" struggle- but not violent, as Islam is "a pacifist faith".

So how do we go from there to here? Much of what I have read about the appeal of the radicals focus on three themes.

I. The recruit is confused, an emotional or social outcast, perhaps with drug problems.  Islam brings them solidity as they surrender (or "submit") their reality to someone more authoritative, someone who has a clear goal- and conveniently, a way to strike back against the life that is haunting them.

II.  The recruit is a typical western kid, with everything they could easily want at their fingertips, and no meaning to go with it.  They are taught that it is a society that gives them this cushy life that is the evil (kinda like the Occupy people?), and redemption and purpose lies in rejecting it all- and more than that; tearing it all down.

III.  The radicals are very good at recruiting, promising false blessings in this life, reward in the next, finding what ever it takes to pull these kids from a life they feel no attachment to into a life where they can be a hero, a martyr, work for something bigger than themselves, be part of a "tribe."  Kind of like joining a gang, except the concept of actually having a "higher" purpose.


Another article I read, "I was a liberal atheist, and then my son became a radical Muslim" in the Spectator earlier this month, adds some insight about why these kids feel disaffected in the first place.


"Two years ago this week, my stepson came home wearing an Arabic black thawb. He walked into the sitting-room, smiled defiantly at me and at his father, and asked us how he looked. We were a little shocked, but being English of course we said he looked very nice."

The kid does something, anything to get a reaction, a sign of notice from his parents, and he gets, "That's nice dear."  How seriously do you take YOUR child?  Kids don't "act out" without a reason.

"It all seemed so normal; it all was so normal. So much so that, when a prayer mat and textbooks on the Qur’an appeared on a shelf in his room, it came as something of a surprise. His father and I discussed his conversion between ourselves but, naively, we saw it as cosmetic change. This was, we reasoned, our boy’s version of going punk or vegan for a few months. We believed that this ‘conversion’ would be a harmless passing phase. We were wrong."


So, let's just stick our heads in the sand, and it will all go away.  That always works.


"Under the informal tutelage of his new friends, our boy eagerly took on the attitudes of his Muslim ‘brothers’ in place of his former personality. Why, he protested, didn’t I cook every night? Why didn’t I ‘look after’ him and his dad like a good (Muslim) woman would? I was lazy, I was ‘irresponsible’, he would say, a smug little smile on his face. I felt angry and sad. To keep the peace, I tried to take it as a joke, informing him that I had a career that involved more than just having babies. Gradually though, I found myself worn down by his attitude."


Step number three in alienating your child:  Act in your own interest ("keeping the peace") rather than theirs.  A side note to Christians- please note I am not harping on the "atheist" angle of this.  How many preacher's children have gone bad- for these very reasons?  Teaching them faith is important, but teaching them love- LOVE- is the at-all-costs thing.


If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (I Cor. 13:1)


"We challenged him, thinking reasonableness would see him acquiesce. But we were not dealing with a rational mind. Our Muslim boy would heed no evidence against his argument and neither did he require any evidence to justify his prejudices. He just shook his head at our ‘blindness’, our blasphemous absence of faith. We’d see, he said, the familiar smug smile appearing: it was all in the Qur’an. We should convert before it was too late. Some of you reading this might dismiss me as a bigot, prejudiced against a religion I do not understand. But please ask yourselves how you would feel if your child started spouting hate-filled bile against homosexuals, women, Jews, anyone in fact, who wasn’t a Muslim man? Every day we fought, struggled, wept and grieved for the boy. All we wanted was our son back."



By this point he wasn't listening.  He didn't need to.  He had a "faith" that force-fed him everything he "needed".  There was no more thought required.  But amazingly, slowly, this family began to WIN their son back.  What was the secret to this change back?


"He explains his reversion succinctly: ‘I realised that I was good enough, that I didn’t need to follow someone else’s idea of what I should be.’ He can now take responsibility for his life rather than seeking to blame others. He is maturing. He no longer needs the support of a tribe, which is what attracts Muslims from all backgrounds and nations to the idea of jihad. I’ve come to think that it is youth, not persecution or poverty, that these Islamic State groupies have in common, an embryonic sense of identity. For them, blaming America for the world’s problems is the equivalent of shouting at their parents that they ‘never asked to be born’."


(BTW, the author wrote under a pseudonym.)



We live in a society where we say we have love, but we don't TEACH love.  Do you teach your child what love is?  Do you talk to them, share with them, LISTEN to them?  Or is there always a bill to pay, an article to read, a chore to do, that gets in the way.

Funny, isn't it?  I went searching for the reason for radical Islam's appeal, and found it is the same appeal as that of gangs, drugs, sex, hate.  It ends up Todd Rundgren was right:


Name your price
A ticket to paradise
I can't stay here any more
And I've looked high and low
I've been from shore, to shore, to shore
If there's a short cut I'd have found it
But there is 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
Who knows why
Someday we all must die
We're all homeless boys and girls
And we are never heard
It's such a lonely, lonely, lonely world
People turn their heads
And walk on by
Tell me is it worth just another try
Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer
Tell me, are we alive
Or just a dying planet
(What are the chances)
Ask the man in your heart
For the answer
And when you feel afraid
(Love one another)
When you've lost your way
(Love one another)
And when you're all alone
(Love one another)
And when you're far from home
(Love one another)
And when you're down and out
(Love one another)
And when your hopes run out
(Love one another)
And when you need a friend
(Love one another)
And when you're near the end
(Love)
(We've got to love)
(We've got to love one another)
Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer
Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all
Set us free
Love is the answer...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Time machine week 27

It's October 24, 1972- the day Jackie Robinson died.  While baseball mourned, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat convened a special meeting of his military leadership.  At this meeting, he asked the progress on his orders to Field Marshall Mohammed Sadeq to prepare a war plan against Israel.  Egypt was still an economic shambles after the Six-Day War and Sadat felt only a successful war with their greatest enemy would buy him the popularity he needed to enact unpopular reforms.  Imagine his surprise when the assembled military men greeted his question with... well, surprise.  Apparently Sadeq, who was supposed to have a proposal ready three weeks ago, hadn't done anything- including telling the other Generals.  Needless to say, Sadeq swiftly found himself seeking alternate employment, and the plans eventually reached fared little better when sprang on Yom Kippur almost one year later.

Psst, Anwar... some things you really have to take care of yourself...


Welcome to this week's Time Machine- a week that saw our first tastes of the Osmond Brothers' Crazy Horses, Billy Paul's Me And Mrs. Jones, Gilbert O'Sullivan's Clair... and this classic from the convention floor...





This week, we have the #5 One-Hit-Wonder's next hit (because we accidentally did #6 several weeks ago); the #4 Top Top Ten (because #5 is coming up in just 3 weeks on our countdown!), a couple of Marvin Gaye cameos, a new #1, and the rollicking return of the 45 @ 45!  Hop in and enjoy!


Let us start this week with the One-Hit Wonder deal, where I count down my favorite "next best hit" for one hit wonders of the Martin era.  This week, a lady I love to feature, Miss Merrilee Rush!

And you can blame me?


 She had had the big hit Angel Of The Morning back in '68, hitting #7.  Her next biggest hit- peaking at #54 on Billboard in '77- was this one:






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This week, our top 40 was joined by 4 newcomers.  Emerson Lake And Palmer nudges up 4 to #40 with the beautiful From The Beginning.  One spot higher, a country/folk gentleman by the name of Sam Neely moves 6 spots with his first top 40, a tune called Loving You Just Crossed My Mind.  Sam would go on to have several minor pop and country hits, with this one being the highest charting.  His biggest country hit- 1974's You Can Have Her- peaked at 49 there and 34 here (his only other time in the top 40).  Seals and Crofts make their big hot 100 debut, moving twelve spots to #36 with Summer Breeze.  And the high debut belongs to the first of our Marvin Gaye cameos.  The song is a song of his called Don't Do It, and it is covered by The Band.  Marvin's original had peaked at #27 way back in '64, and this was the last of 2 times the legendary group would enter the top 40.


_____________________________________

(BTW, when you go to make a score line like that, don't accidentally hit "CNTRL" instead of "shift", or your page will rapidly shrink to near nothingness.  Just sayin'.)


Next up, a look at our two little features.  On the You Peaked roster, we have Hot Buttered's Popcorn, a huge hit in Europe, falling after a stop at #11.  Donny Osmond also tumbles after stopping at 16 with Why, and Mel And Tim's Starting All Over Again falls after stopping at # 18.  On the other side of the coin, our biggest mover this week on the Cashbox chart is the Temptations' Papa Was A Rolling Stone, shooting up 17 spots to #54.


Nope, wrong Rolling Stones...
________________________________

So we move on to the 4th biggest Top Top Ten this week, and it comes to us from 1970- the week of February 28th, to be precise:

10- Ma Belle Ami, the Tee Set.  A nice, soft, love song.

9- Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, BJ Thomas.  The song that began the 70's at #1 on it's slow way down.

8- Venus, Shocking Blue.  It's successor at the top spot, also taking it's time backing on down.

Merrilee Rush and Mariska Veres on the SAME show?  This might be my favorite TM post since the second Time Machine Beauty Contest!

7- Travellin' Band, CCR.  Not my fave from the boys, but "'tis enough, t'will serve".

6- Rainy Night In Georgia, Brook Benton.  This song defined melancholy.

5- Psychedelic Shack, Temptations.  Their "psychedelic era" has grown on me over the years.

4- No Time, The Guess Who.  One of my top 3 all time favorites, no surprise to see this song at it's peak in the Top Top Ten.

3- Thank You Fallettenme Be Mice Elf Again, Sly And The Family Stone.  Spelling problems notwithstanding, these guys started me on funk.

2- Hey There Lonely Girl, Eddie Holman.  Always was a sucker for a good falsetto.  Hey, he was just on the One-Hit Wonder feature a few weeks back!

Annnnnnd the biggest hit that week-

I think Art needed to re-think this lp cover...

1- Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon And Garfunkel.  One of the three biggest hits of the decade, and the best of the three IMHO.


___________________________________

We have three new top tens this week, which leaves us three droppers.  This week the fallen ones are Get On The Good Foot (10 to 17), Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me (5 to 18), and Black And White (9 to 20).

_________________________________

Before we get to this week's top ten, it's time to do a 45 @ 45!  This is the #45 song (or 45) on Cashbox's hot 100 this week 45 years ago, and we hit a song called Baby I'm For Real.  It was written by Marvin Gaye (his second cameo) for a group called the Originals.  The group was signed as backup singers for Motown, featuring on songs by Gaye aa well as both David and Jimmy Ruffin.  Marvin was trying to get through Berry Gordy's thick skull that he could write hit songs, and the Originals had been having troubles getting their own songs off the ground.  But they hit #14 with this one, and in 1970 would hit again big with their tune The Bells.  Among the members of this group was vocalist CP Spencer, who was also a founding member of the Spinners waaaaay back in 1954-5; and Freddie Gormon, Brian Holland's original songwriting partner, who got co-credits on big hits like Martha and the Vandellas' Please Mr. Postman and another recent One-Hit Wonder group, the Reflections, and Just Like Romeo And Juliet.


______________________________________


And now, this week's top ten- which features 5 of the ten tunes on the #5 Top Top Ten which we'll feature in three short weeks!


Rick Nelson and his Stone Canyon Band crash the Garden Party at #10, up 7 big spots.

Curtis Mayfield's follow up to the lead singe from the Superfly soundtrack is at #9- Freddie's dead, moving up 4.

Rocketing up a quick 13 spots to #8, those same Spinners- sans CP Spencer- with I'll Be Around.

The Moody Blues , moving characteristically slowly, edge up one to #7 with Nights In White Satin.

Well, the Raspberries didn't take their own advice after all.  Go All The Way falls from 4 to #6.

Bill Withers moves up a pair to #5 with Use Me.

Elvis burns his way up to #4, up a pair, with Burning Love.

The Main Ingredient has cooked long enough, and now falls from the top to #3 with Everybody Plays The Fool.

Michael Jackson's little rodent friend Ben chews up another spot to #2.


And this week's spanking-new top dog...




...Chuck Berry's My Ding-A-Ling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


'Tis a wrap!  Next week, kids!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sitting around the campfire (well, the monitor screen...)

Here we are, with me again tapping joyfully at the keys and Spotify playing on the psychedelically-flashing speakers (Boz Scaggs with Miss Sun right now).  Last night's WWI post was inspired in part by listening to Miss Sarajevo by the Passengers (U2, Brian Eno, and Luciano Pavarotti).  The sad look at the lack of a normal life in a war zone had me wondering just what kind of murdering bastards prefer a world held at gunpoint.  These thugs aren't there for Allah, or Ireland, or Palestinian freedom, or any of the other cover stories given over the millennia.  Boil them down, and all you get are mass murderers in search of "legitimacy".

Is there a time for keeping your distance
A time to turn your eyes away
Is there a time for keeping your head down
For getting on with your day

Is there a time for kohl and lipstick
A time for curling hair
Is there a time for high street shopping
To find the right dress to wear 

Here she comes
Heads turn around
Here she comes
To take her crown 

Is there a time to run for cover
A time for kiss and tell
Is there a time for different colors
Different names you find it hard to spell 

Is there a time for first communion
A time for East Seventeen
Is there a time to turn to Mecca
Is there time to be a beauty queen

Here she comes
Beauty plays the clown
Here she comes
Surreal in her crown 


I listen to this song and it just rips at me, the senseless, thoughtless brutality that these monsters thrive on, sucking not only life but living from the innocents who are trapped in their path.  And as paradoxical as it might be, I'd love to drop the bomb on every one of them, erase them from history like the stains they are.  Whether that speaks better for me than for they, I cannot tell.

Helluva banner for a beauty contest- "Don't let them kill us".


Anyway, I've managed to move past today, with the help of a beauty contest winner named Nature.


Almost next-door neighbors in the Halloween spirit.

These neighbors undoubtedly did the best job...

...but I have to take points away because they've had them up since the second week of SEPTEMBER.

Big ol' bug, trying to get under a big ol' rock.


Picture doesn't do justice- orange on the road, yellow on the trees, and sunlight combined to make the living scene almost iridescent.


Lots of aqua green water in the creek... but don't worry, it's still a couple miles from Ft Wayne's water treatment facility...

And a new bloomer this late!
(The Vogues are singing Moments To Remember right now...)

Oh, and I have to tell you a Scrappy story or two.  Friday, I let Scrappy choose our path, and he did pretty good.  But he was pretty beat by the time we were at the fence row between us and the Plex when we heard...

"Meeeow..."

A little black cat, friendly as all get out, greeted us.  She liked petting and didn't mind Scrappy, as long as he stayed out of her face...



She even tried to follow us home, until Scrappy decided to try a face-sniff again, and got a right hook to the eye.  He had a mark for a few hours.    But was completely polite about it.