Thursday, December 5, 2019

Jerry Butler - Ain't Understanding Mellow (1971)



This is a poignant song about a break up in which both parties agree that some things aren't meant to be and good luck baby, thanks for everything. Even in 1971 that was an unusual choice of subject matter for a pop song. 

We're all the way post-ironic these days, so it's likely that people today will listen to this song and wonder, "who has a hidden agenda?" or, "who's really driving this train?" Did we always see things so much in terms of winners and losers? Were we always so eager to examine every break up and assign fault? Things have changed, that's for sure. Last week a guy killed a girl he didn't even know because she didn't respond favorably to his cat calls. 

In this song, a woman tells her boyfriend, look, you're a great guy, but I'm not feeling this, so I'm moving on. The man replies, it happens that way sometimes, thanks for everything, you take care of yourself. 

Were people ever that mature? 

Amazing. 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

EDDIE PALMIERI - Nunca Contigo (Digital Audio)



They took down the upload that I linked in 2012. So here's a new one! For the uninitiated, welcome to a brand new world. 

A Thanksgiving Conversation About Trump


In another family, and anecdotal at that, but a conversation nonetheless. Maureen Dowd is a columnist for the fake news, failing New York Times. She published an interesting column on or about Thanksgiving day, in the voice of her brother Kevin, explaining his oft-repeated and firmly held reasons for loving Donald John Trump, Sr. I'm not 100% sure which one of them wrote it, but it was a wonderful illustration of the effect that constant exposure to Fox News during all of one's waking hours has on an impressionable mind.

We all have friends on social media who display the same delusional thinking. The identical agit-prop slogans are in twenty-four hour rotation all across the right-wing echo chamber, and people are listening. Obviously, it has a powerful effect on weak minds that are somewhat predisposed to be comforted by the certainty of the message.

Kevin loves Trump because:

  1. Trump's” economy is the greatest in history;
  2. Trump's” jobless rate is the lowest since, what, World War II or something;
  3. The stock market is at a record high due to Trump's extensive program of deregulation;
  4. Trump believes in unconditional support for our police;
  5. Trump is allowing us to sleep much more comfortably at night because of the great way that he is handling the situations in Iran and North Korea; and
  6. Most importantly of all, Kevin loves Trump because Trump saved the Supreme Court from Hillary Clinton.

No explanation was offered for that last one, so we are left to our imaginations. The others are self-explanatory, however untrue they may be.

Kevin also found space for throwing heavy shade at the mainstream media; all of the Democratic candidates; the D.N.C.; and “religiously unaffiliated Americans.”

The column included many Republican talking points that are quite familiar by now. Like, “Trump has done what he promised to do.” This, I suppose, is substantially true, and the result has been exactly what we expected: total chaos. He also promised to get rid of Isis and the deficit. Give him a chance; he's got a year left, if he's lucky.

The impeachment inquiry is a farce.” This one doesn't really work anymore. There's been a lot of credible evidence for clearly impeachable offenses. And that's only within the narrow focus chosen by the House Democrats.

The Ukraine didn't do the investigations, and the military aid was released.” We are not told what Kevin does for a living, but it's safe to say that he is not a lawyer. Any lawyer could tell you that this statement is in no way exculpatory.

The witnesses (at the impeachment hearings) are all career bureaucrats who are disturbed and upset with Trump and brimming with second and third hand information.” No, there was a lot of first-hand testimony, and any facts regarding the attitudes of the witnesses were not in evidence. They had all served multiple presidents from both parties, and it is highly improbable that they loved all of them until Trump came along.

Hillary was the worst candidate in history.” I also thought that Hillary was a terrible candidate, but this kind of hyperbole is uncalled for.

My personal dog in this race is that Kevin and me are about the same age. His kind of knee-jerk “sure, I'm on board with fascism as long as I'm making money on it” is what's turning a lot of younger folks against my entire age bracket. That's sad, and it's not exactly fair. It's true that many old-timers are Trump fans, even though they may be fully aware that he is an idiot, and that ninety percent of what he does is illegal, stupid, or immoral, or all three. There are many others in my demographic, such as me, who hate Trump and all his mess with a passion. The Trump lovers are in it up to their necks because of the racism, or the homophobia, or the xenophobia, or THE MONEY. Many, if not most, geezers don't buy into any of that. I'd be willing to bet that Kevin is making money on the tax cut, or at least that he's very comfortably prosperous in his old age, not like some of us.

Bottom line for you young people out there. When you think of us oldsters, please take a moment to find the love in your hearts. At least consider this: just like all of you Millenials are not identical clones, we geezers also come in more than one variety.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Chuck Brown - Saturday Night Fish Fry



At least we can comfort ourselves with the labors of thousands of great musicians, some who remain alive and many who have already made the journey. 

Turning A Corner In 2020


There are still about twenty people running for president as Democrats, and as of today there are no Republicans in either the House or the Senate who have come out as being willing to vote for the impeachment of Donald Trump. It's safe to say, therefore, that all of our politicians, in both parties, have suffered breaks with reality, choosing instead to live in Cloud-Coo-Coo-Land.

None of those twenty Democrats are even asking the right questions. They're spinning their wheels on off-screen issues, throwing shade at each other, and confusing Democratic voters. The already-elected Democrats are busy chasing impeachment rainbows. It appears that their plan is to win in the House, which they can do, and then defy the Republicans to vote against impeachment. That's a bad plan. Winning in the House of Representatives only gets you in the door, it only allows you to force the Senate to have a trial on the Articles of Impeachment as they are filed. Then there are rules that must be followed, and there will be prosecutors from the House Democrats, and the President will be represented by counsel, and Chief Justice Roberts, a reliable Republican, will preside as the judge of the matter. Then there will be a vote, and if all of the Republicans in the Senate vote against impeaching the President, that's it. It's over. It's like nothing ever happened. Trump remains the President, screaming about “total exoneration!” and no one's mind has been changed either way.

The Democrats seem to believe that putting us all through this horrible experience will expose all of the reasons why Donald Trump is unfit to be president. They seem to think that calling attention to his shortcomings might help them beat him in 2020. They might even believe that they can convince a few Republicans to vote with them, which would result in the President being impeached. For one thing, no one in either party is suffering any doubts at all about Trump's bad character, or his unsuitability for the presidency. Also, the question for Democrats is not, “can we convince a few Republicans to vote with us?” That's a non-starter. The question is, “can we convince the Republicans that they would be helping themselves by joining in a bipartisan impeachment of that creature in the White House?”

The Democrats should have sorted out that last question before they started this whole mess. Then they all could have proceeded with bipartisan support. That would have been smart. Not proceeding without bipartisan support would also have been pretty smart, but it's too late now.

The Republicans should be asking themselves, “would we be in a better position to win the White House in 2020 with a nominee who was NOT Donald Trump?” Think about it. They get rid of Trump, they can either ignore Pence, or send him away, or just put him in a primary with an attractive candidate who will beat him. That's assuming that they could find a candidate who would actually appeal to the voters of America, voters from both parties and independents too. If they could do that, they would have a great chance at beating anyone the Democrats are likely to nominate.

No one seems to be thinking things through. No one seems to be asking the right questions. For example, although days hardly go by without some speculation as to whether Donald Trump will ever leave the White House, I have not heard anyone ask, “if Trump just refuses to leave the White House and the presidency, what can we do to force him out?”

They'd better start thinking about it.

If Trump is impeached, he'll claim that the process was unconstitutional, and he'll file a case in a sympathetic Federal court to get the result thrown out. “Sympathetic” being one of the many Federal courts now manned by unqualified hacks appointed by Trump. That will get the impeachment overturned. Then comes the appeal to the Supreme Court. Count the Republican political hacks up there now and we see where this is going. It's too late to start the impeachment all over again, and here comes the 2020 election. Trump overturning the impeachment would be the greatest recruitment tool imaginable, driving even more lunatics to his side.

If a miracle happens, and the Democrats can even agree on a nominee, and the nominee happens to win the election, Trump just claims that it was all very irregular and refuses to recognize the results. Multiple law suits are filed in multiple sympathetic Federal courts. Trump wins there, and it goes to the Supreme Court. While all of that is happening, the entire executive branch, all of the agencies, the entire military, etc., is in turmoil. Everyone remains in place while the appeal is in progress. It's total chaos, with people in the streets on all sides of all of the issues. People will get hurt, and all of the idiots now talking about a new civil war will say, “I told you so!”

Even after eight years Trump will not want to leave. Why should he? He's the President! He has a mandate! He has the power to declare emergencies of all kinds! That's when the real fun would begin. More sympathetic judges, more hacks on the Supreme Court, more militarized Federal police wandering around, more lunatic Trump fans screaming about Demon-Rats and Libtards.

What could be done to get rid of him? This question will be answered more easily sooner rather than later.

America will be turning a corner in 2020. The real question is: “will we be turning onto the on-ramp to the highway to the future, or will we be running it into a ditch?”

Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards at the Stockholm Tap Festival



Miss Dormeshia is starting to show up all over the place. The New York Times ran a big piece raving about her last week. I'm not up on my Broadway/ Dance World news, so it's all news to me. But I'll tell the world, this lady is great.

Tap dancing, at it's finest, is music. It's more than setting and staying in a time signature, the dancer must also improvise music in all of its manifestations. Not only rhythm, but also melody and harmony. Tap dancing with a band, the dancer is as much a musician as a kit-drummer or a conga player. Dormeshia can do all of this, and she makes it look easy. 

If there is one thing that tap dancing at this level is not, that's easy. It's very, very difficult.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

PIZZICATO FIVE / 東京は夜の七時



The P5 Official Site re-posted this a couple of weeks ago. Friends and neighbors, this shit is boss!