The Last Words – “Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.”

The Last Words

Every new day, every passing minute presents another chance to turn it all around. As Nirvair Singh Khalsa said ‘it’s not the life you lead, but the courage you bring to it’.

The individual is supreme. The divinity of the individual is sacred. In essence it is only the individual who has the moral responsibility and conviction to harness the courage. We are ‘Jesus’ alone in the Mount of Olives. We can’t rely on anyone. There is noone else, because Jesus even felt God had abandoned him in his darkest moment.

If we forge ahead living our lives according to not what is easy, but according to our moral convictions (this is the courage) then the fruits of our labor will be plentiful. So we will no longer be dependent on the ‘grace’ which comes with each passing minute or new day rather we as individuals will be ‘The Logos’ incarnate – ‘Word made into Flesh’. (Gospel of John)

Life presents us hundreds if not thousands of opportunities to turn it all around. This is the grace. But only the individual can face this moral dilema and enact on it, by not walking the path most accustomed or wickedly desireable, but by walking that less taken.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
– Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken)

If one foresakes ‘Grace’ too often, then the fire in one’s moral conviction and propensity to be couragous will turn to ember. That other passing minute or new day to turn it all around may be unassailable. For that reason while we still have breath we are blessed with ‘Amazing Grace’.

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ELO – Can’t Get It Out Of My Head

The next song to appear in my music library project is ELO’s ‘Can’t Get It Out My Head’. My good blogger friend Max recently showcased this one, so I’ll relay his post instead. I listened a lot to ELO in my youth. Regarding my favourite ELO song, it’s between this and ‘Telephone Line’, but I am hardly abreast of much of their discography.
I like the story about Lynn showing his Dad how he could write a tune.

PowerPop... An Eclectic Collection of Pop Culture

The song is appropriately named because it’s hard to get it out of your head after you listen to it. The song peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100 in 1975. The song was on the Eldorado album that peaked at #16 in 1975.

Jeff Lynne recalled that he found inspiration for the song in the unfulfilled duties of an everyday guy. “It’s about a guy in a dream who sees this vision of loveliness and wakes up and finds that he’s actually a clerk working in a bank,” he said. “And he hasn’t got any chance of getting her or doing all these wonderful things that he thought he was going to do.”

From Songfacts

This is one of several fan favorites from the Eldorado, considered by many to be Jeff Lynne’s best album. The album cover shows what appears to be the scene from the movie The Wizard…

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Canon in D Major – Johann Pachelbel

Johann Pachelbel

As a young-en, I was so in awe of this, but after hundreds of listens I’m not as enamored as before. I still like it, lets say, on the odd occasion. This piece is one of the most admired and reproduced classical pieces in popular culture in the last 50 years, but interestingly the dates and circumstances of the composition of Pachelbel’s Canon is unknown. Suggested dates range from 1680 to 1706, and the oldest surviving manuscript copy of the piece dates from the 19th century.

The Canon was popular during Pachelbel’s lifetime, but the piece went out of style like it did with my tastes, where it remained in obscurity for centuries. A 1968 arrangement and recording of it by the Jean-François Paillard chamber orchestra gained popularity. From the 1970s to the late 2010s, elements of the piece, especially its chord progression, were used in a variety of pop songs. Since the 1980s, it has also been used frequently in weddings and funeral ceremonies in the Western world.

In his lifetime, Pachelbel was renowned for his organ and other keyboard music, whereas today he is also recognized as an important composer of church and chamber music. Pachelbel’s music enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime; he had many pupils and his music became a model for the composers of south and central Germany. Hans-Joachim Schulze, writing in 1985, suggested that the Canon may have been composed for Johann Christoph Bach’s wedding, on 23 October 1694, which Pachelbel attended. Johann Ambrosius Bach, Pachelbel, and other friends and family provided music for the occasion.

References:
1. Pachelbel’s Canon – Wikipedia

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Candelaria – Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto

Los Gaiteros de San JacintoToday I have for you a musical jewel from the Caribbean Coast in Colombia. This folklore music from the group Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto (The Pipers from San Jacinto) is about as rich and pure as Colombian folklore music gets. It preserves the traditional rhythms and sounds of Colombian Cumbia music which is the musical and cultural mixture of indigenous and black slaves on the Caribbean Coast during the Spanish Conquest and Colony.

SAN_JACINTO_BOLIVARThe group Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto formed in the Caribbean Region of Colombia which have been active since 1940. From the 1950s onwards, they began touring Colombia. As decades passed, the group began incorporating a second generation of musicians, among whom can be found some of the sons of the original line-up.

In 2007 the group won a Latin Grammy award in the category Folkloric Music.

 

 

Candelaria (4th verse)

Yo nunca podré olvidar
(I could never forget)
Esta mujer consentida
(This spoilt woman)
Que tiene mi alma batida
(Who has my battered heart)
Porque no me supo amar
(Because she didn’t know how to love me)
Candelaria, Candelaria, Candelaria
vida mía
(My life)

References:
1. Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto – Wikipedia

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Cancion de Otoño (1982) – Jose Luis Perales

Jose Luis Perales 1982

Jose Luis Perales 1982

One of the first songs I remember hearing upon arriving in Colombia was Cancion de Otoño (Autumn Song) and it was love at first listen. This is my ‘Desert Island’ Spanish song. I made a Family DVD for my son’s 3rd birthday and the first song I showcased was this song accompanied with family photos. Suffice to say I have a very strong emotional connection with this song. Cancion de Otoño was released on the Perales’ 1982 record Entre el agua y el fuego (Between the Water and Fire).

José Luis Perales Morillas (born 18 January 1945) is a Spanish singer-songwriter. He has performed some of his extensive work at Carnegie Hall, New York. Perales has recorded 27 albums with 50 million copies sold worldwide. One of the main reasons I started this music library project was it allowed me the opportunity to promote these classic contemporary songs otherwise unknown to English speaking audiences. In Latin countries or Spain where the song originated there are few people who haven’t heard of this masterpiece and frankly it deserves greater recognition worldwide.

Below is a loose translation of the first 2 verses:

As the wind blows today
As it rains today
How empty the street is
As the sun dies

These grey Autumn days
Make me sad
Draws me to the warmth of my fireplace
I remember you today

I remember you today
To you, who is my whole life…

I don’t know how many times I have heard this song and each time how much I enjoy it more. This is easily in my top 5 favourite songs of all time. There are artists who are very good and then there are geniuses and José Luis Perales is one of those. To my mind, if romance could be bottled in just one song then Cancion de Otoño would be it.

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23/06 – 29/06/20 incl. Science, Babies, Lighthouses and Cops

news on the march

Welcome to Monday’s News on the March – The week that was in my digital world.

Blog article at JordanBPeterson.com :

The Canadian Psychologist Jordan Peterson left the public spotlight abruptly some time ago, but after a lengthy private spell to see to his health and his wife Tammy’s he has put finger to keyboard and written a lengthy, but scathing article about encroaches of the Social Justice and Post Modernist movement on the hard sciences in Universities. I wrote in a recent article ‘Once Evergreen college and now the Western World Part 2‘ how incensed Brett Weinstein and Heather Heying were about Science magazine publishing and enacting on ‘ShutDownSTEM’ in support of this movement. What Peterson demonstrates in his article is the transgressive threat posed on the hard sciences in Universities to become less rigorous in their scientific method and approach. As with most with what he has to say, it’s eye opening and hugely informative:

The George Floyd incident has emboldened those who are shamelessly using crooked faux-moral means to stake a moral claim in the so-called patriarchal structure that makes up the academic world. They are certainly able and willing to use the unfortunate death of an individual who had enough of the attributes of a systemically oppressed person to serve as poster boy for the self-serving political claims that are now being made on his behalf. This tendency, unchecked, poses a direct danger to the integrity of precisely those STEM fields that have so far remained essentially immune to the embarrassments and blandishments of the politically correct movement. But, make no mistake about it, scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians: your famous immunity to political concerns will not protect you against what is coming fast over the next five or so years: wake up, pay attention, or perish, along with your legacy….…(Read entire article).

Blog article by Mike Smith at SelfAwarePatterns:

Infant consciousness seems like a difficult question. It’s one people often react to with outrage that it’s even being asked. Of course they’re conscious, is the sentiment. Aren’t they human, and don’t we see them crying, showing facial expressions, and exhibiting other behaviors? Others conclude that there’s no real way to know since they can’t talk and reveal their experience to us.

For several decades in the 20th century, the medical profession largely assumed that babies were not in fact conscious. As a result, they were often subjected to medical procedures, including surgery, without anesthesia. Read entire article

Poem at Intellectual Shaman:

As beauty fades
and we no longer have the desire to repent
and the places we knew
close
and the people who smiled at us
die
and the shadows of ourselves
no longer show up
under the sun.(Read entire poem)

Audio podcast at Sam Harris:

There are simply no other news or community announcements I see as well-reasoned and factual based exploring every nook and cranny surrounding the explosive response to George Floyd’s senseless killing in Minneapolis than this one by Harris. This monumental podcast about Cop killings in the US (which is awash with facts and evidence) should be in my estimation – compulsory listening to those invested emotionally or otherwise in the matter..(Watch entire podcast)

news on the march the end

Posted in News, politics, Reflections, Science

Canadee-I-O (1992) – Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan 28 June 1992

So she bargained with the sailor boy,
All for a piece of gold.
Straightaway then he led her
Down into the hold,
Sayin’, “I’ll dress you up in sailor’s clothes,
Your jacket shall be blue.
You’ll see that seaport town
Of Canadee-i-o.

Now, when the other sailors heard the news,
Well, they fell into a rage,
And with all the ship’s company
They were willing to engage.
Saying, “We’ll tie her hands and feet, my boys,
Overboard we’ll throw her.
She’ll never see that seaport town
Called Canadee-i-o.

(2nd and 3rd verse from Canadee-IO)

Canadee-I-O is the second song to feature here from Bob Dylan’s 1992 album Good as I Been To You. It’s my joint favourite song from the record along with Jim Jones. It’s another traditional English folk ballad believed to have been written before 1839. It’s an engrossing story and the melody is to die for. When I hear it I can’t help but sing it at the top of my lungs. I so admire Dylan for unearthing these old 19th century English ballads that would otherwise remain dust-ridden in some old folk collection and giving them his signature acoustic sound. He really does them enormous justice and his guitar playing is brash, but entirely unique and incapable of replication. It is is a rather straightforward (but skillful) melody-ish strumming, with hammer-ons and sus4-chords over a basically very simple three-chord skeleton. (Read more about the arrangement at Dylan chords).

According to Dylan’s friend Susan Ross, Good as I Been to You began life as a contractual filler. Dylan had scheduled two weeks at Chicago’s Acme Recording Studio sometime in 1992, hiring long-time associate David Bromberg as his producer. On the charts, Good as I Been to You reached No.  51 in the US and No.  18 in the UK, and helped to restore Dylan’s critical standing following the disappointing Under the Red Sky. Canadee-I-O by Dylan is lamentably unavailable for free public listening unless you have a You tube premium account.

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Mississippi Grind (2015) – Friday’s Finest

Mississipi Grind

Ben Mendelsohn was one of the first young Australian actors I admired growing up. He appeared in the little known Australian movie The Year my Voice Broke (1987) alongside Noah Taylor who I also liked. Both of these actors have gone on to play austere parts in Hollywood movies and American television. They don’t pull in the big mula like fellow Australian actors Cate Blanchett and Hugh Jackman, but they are hardly soft contenders in the acting department. Ben Mendelsohn I would go so far to describe as an actor’s actor and that is no better demonstrated in two movies – The Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom where he won the AFI’s award for best actor and today’s featured film – Mississippi Grind.

IMDB Storyline: Down on his luck and facing financial hardship, Gerry teams up with a younger, charismatic poker player named Curtis in an attempt to change his luck. The two set off on a road trip through the South with visions of winning back what has been lost.

Ben Mendelsohn is one of the true artistic professionals in how they approach the form. They encroach their character’s skin to such an extent, one can only conclude that what they do is hard work and the result of years of dedication. It is even a joy to watch them doing the mundane or rudimentary in film. In brief, from a voyeuristic perspective you are entranced by them despite however hideous, awkward or morally bankrupt the character is. And believe you me, Ben Mendelsohn ticks all those boxes in Mississippi Grind and Animal Kingdom.

Mendelsohn plays a gambling addict in Grind. I have known addicts of this sort and I have been down that gambling binge on occasions. Movies about Poker and gambling are a dime a dozen, but Grind sits for me well above most because Mendelsohn is just so fricken convincing and intriguing to watch.  I haven’t seen Mendelsohn’s co-star Ryan Reynolds in many movies, but he is impressive too as the shining light and lucky charm for the downtrodden Mendelsohn character. They go on a road trip together to see if they can formulate magic between them as a duo gambling pair.

Few recent movies from Hollywood have intrigued me as much as Mississipi Grind. It may not resonate with those who haven’t seen gambling addiction up close or been in situations like these characters find themselves, but I admire the peculiar acting of Mendelsohn and the sharp script which doesn’t dumb-down for a mainstream audience. If you enjoy road movies like ‘Crazy Heart’ or ‘Rain Man’ or just want to admire an actor in ‘beast mode’ see ‘Mississippi Grind. Mendelsohn grounds the character and the film to a perfect level.

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Bye Bye Pride (1987) – The Go-Betweens

go betweens bye bye prideThe quintessential Australian rock group The Go-Betweens have made a strong showing so far in this music library project. Today’s song Bye Bye Pride was the fourth song released from their 1987 record Tallulah.  This song failed to chart in Australia or in the UK where the band resided, but Bye Bye Pride is now regarded by followers as one of the band’s most endearing songs. What really seems to resonate about The Go-Betweens is the aesthetic of their music and perhaps no better is that encapsulated than here.

Bye Bye Pride was written and sung by the band’s co-founder Grant McLennan. McLennan was a keen literature student and aspiring film-maker and had to be pressured by his teenage friend Robert Forster into forming a band with him. Forster was always the wanna be musician, but McLennan went on to become the band’s craftsman. Bye Bye Pride contains some of his finest lyrics:

 A white moon appears like a hole in the sky
The mangroves grow quiet
In the Parisi de la Palma a teenage Rasputin
Takes the sting from her gin
“When a woman learns to walk she’s not dependent any more”
A line from her letter, May 24
And out on the bay the current is strong
A boat can go lost

At his best (and indeed the same is true for Forster) McLennan could take his very simple building blocks, his basic chord changes and semi-spoken tunes, and make gold out of them. Bye Bye Pride is one such example. It also features stellar contributions by Amanda Brown on oboe and backing vocals. Brown and McLennan had been lovers and she was hurt that McLennan and Forster had taken the decision to end the band (their first band breakup  in December 1989) without warning her first. Amanda Brown left the group and many say the band never got back to the heights of where they were in her absence.

In 2015 Steve Kilbey (The Church) selected “Bye Bye Pride” as one of his top ten Australian songs, stating “This song is so full of longing and regret and naive hope. The lyrics are so Brisbane I can almost see it all happening right before me. I never could grow sick of this song. The Courier-Mail’s Noel Mengel called it, “One of the greatest rock songs of the ’80s’.

References:
1. Bye Bye Pride – The Go-Betweens – Songs From So Deep
2. Bye Bye Pride – The Go-Betweens – wikipedia

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Once Evergreen State College and now the Western World Part 2

Just 2 days after my previous post about how the microscopic events at Evergreen State College were forbearing about the macroscopic world we find ourselves, the original whistleblowers at Evergreen, Brett Weinstein and his wife Heather Heying (as a matter of hours ago) presented their 22nd Darkhorse podcast breaking down the connection between the dystopian events at Evergreen and what we see taking place in the world today.

As alluded to in other posts I was drawn to Brett and Heather’s quarantine podcasts as a form of sanctuary during this highly unstable period. This 22nd podcast I consider their most illuminating including the subsequent Q&A session. Some of the most engaging parts entailed:

1. Their realization (and Heather’s quotes from the literary classic ‘1984’) that we are seeing a Dystopian reality reminiscent of Orwell’s coming into fruition.
2. Brett’s mentioning how people have to stand up and be on the right side of history. The ones who begrudgingly appease this post modernist movement are just externalizing harm for those next in line who will feel compelled to join the ‘larger’ mob.
3. Brett takes aim at Ezra Kline for not doing this which I did in 2018 in my post titled – Ezra Kelin, a rational or irrational lefty?.  Someone wrote in their comments:
they don’t really mean all that, they’re really intent on something more moderate -Ezra Klein 2017/Neville Chamberlain 1938
4. Their repulsion about Science magazine publishing and enacting on ‘ShutDownSTEM’ in support of this movement. The attack on STEM seems to be in large part down to the postmodernist concept of Subjective Truth, but this is completely at odds with Enlightenment Science.
5. Brett and Heather’s personal experience relating to the fruitfulness of Jewish culture in the Q&A session, which I have also linked below is about as insightful as anything I’ve heard about culture in my adult life.
6. They expand on their views about the 1619 project which I also commented on in the Glenn Loury podcast.

There are many other aspects about the broader topic broached which I found tantalizing to the ear and I haven’t got time to outline here. But, if I had to count on one hand the most important podcasts I have ever heard since the inception of the internet, this one would most definitely be included. I hope you enjoy it if you haven’t already seen it and please don’t hesitate to tell me your take on it.

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Posted in politics, Science

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