Friday, May 31, 2013

very funny Video Clips Thai Commercial

I find TV commercials in Thailand to be as good as any in the world, maybe better.  This is a good sample reel, eight minutes of highlights. 

I've always liked TV commercials, the "sonnet form" of the visual arts.  One minute or less, and out.  Back in the Seventies there was an annual show featuring commercials from different countries, the French ones were particularly good.  And, of course, American commercials have always included some that were wildly entertaining.  The Thai commercials hold their own with anybody's. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I Can Be Tedious

And I can be absent too, I can be quiet.  Like the next little while!  I'll be busy, I'll be spending a week or so at a friend's house helping out with end-of-life care for her sister.  Not relishing the thought, but there it is:  when people that you love need help, you help them. 

And I can be merely tedious!  Which is worse, absent or tedious?  My musical choices come up for criticism frequently.  You should all just be glad that I've laid off the poetry, think about it. 

Is this tedious or not?  I was reading the bible in a hotel in Surin the other day, New Testament.  Those Gideons really get around.  (In Thailand hotels more frequently have a Buddhist tract; this hotel had both.)  You don't have to read far in the Bible before you come up with something remarkable, I'll give it that.  For instance:

"Now concerning virgins, I have no commandments from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His Mercy has made trustworthy."  Paul, in 1 Corinthians 7/25

Who knew that Paul was even interested in virgins?  I'm suspicious about the "trustworthy" crack too, I've said similar things but I was being facetious.  If you want to know what he said on the subject of virgins, you can go and look for yourself.  It's almost tedious. 

Del Vikings and A Sunday Kind of Love

Here is the true value of Doo Wop.  Do you see it?  Yes, there are black and white boys together in this band (you have to watch the video to see pictures of them, they're in there).

I'm no race history expert, but black/white pop acts where something new, I'm pretty sure.  It had only been ten years or so since baseball had been integrated (Go Dodgers!  Yes, I was a fan of the BROOKLYN Dodgers).  There were other salt and pepper Doo Wop groups, but the Del Vikings were the most famous.  "Whispering Bells" was a giant hit for them, and still one of my favorite records of all time (yes, I do still have my original copy of the forty-five, nine time zones away).  Great, and new, that the same radio station, the real Top-Forty stations in big markets, played records by black groups and white groups. It was pretty amazing, really. 

After this Golden Age of brotherhood it all went it's separate ways there for a while.  After the early Sixties radio went almost all white or all black.  "Pop" stations and "Soul" stations.  Then came Sly and the Family Stone, and Jimi, and the Chambers Brothers, the Staples Singers, and FM Rock.  It's this Fifties stuff that really speaks to me though.  I was a very young boy, and between the Rock and Roll and the baseball, well, it was all a great lesson for me. 

the elegants - little star

A pretty good mediocre white Doo-Wop song.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

UNCUT Footage of Woolwich Terrorist Attack UK Woolwich Attack 22.5.2013

This morning I saw this guy's whole statement on CNN; by now it's getting hard to find.  He sounds too reasonable, "remove your government!  they don't care about you!"  So, two black Africans in Brittan run over a soldier, jump out and cut him with kitchen implements, and then calmly walk over to passers by and speak into cell phone cameras.  And the passers by don't feel particularly threatened!  That's something new under the sun, by God, and something dangerous too.  We're supposed to be afraid, but people talked to this guy, bloody hands, cleavers and all, he seems like a nice enough guy.  I wouldn't be surprised if by tomorrow it were impossible to find this remarkable document at all. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Robert Scheer: Tumblr Is Worth $1.1 Billion to Yahoo for One Reason: You - Robert Scheer's Columns - Truthdig

Robert Scheer: Tumblr Is Worth $1.1 Billion to Yahoo for One Reason: You - Robert Scheer's Columns - Truthdig

Oh, am I glad that I am so careful what I say herein, and even more so on the Facebook.  "The walls have ears" is putting it mildly.

From the article:  "That the very tools of data mining developed to track consumer habits could also be used to sustain totalitarian thought control was conceded in a recent book, “The New Digital Age,” by top Google execs Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen."

It's bad enough that I frequently complain about the erosion of our so-called freedoms.  I complain freely about our National Security State.  When the level of intrusion into all matters digital reaches a certain level, even I might end up in the cross-hairs.  "What harm could I possibly represent?  What possible threat to power?"  Lots of guys at Guantanamo could honestly say the same thing.  I know that we're not bound for Guantanamo, we closet dissidents, but the potential for having to spend good money to defend ourselves; losing employability in  difficult times; getting our internet cut off for some imagined misfeasance; or even just the feeling that our government does not love us anymore; these things are, let's just say, disagreeable. 

I'm sorry to disturb your reverie.  Please go back to sleep.  To be sure, I'm just being paranoid.  But maybe, just maybe, it's all worth thinking about, and there's precious little of that going on as we speak.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Amazing Obama Revelation Number 72,396

I had little idea that the YouTube was so full of this kind of nonsense, honestly, I live in a dream world.  It's become something of a cottage industry, evidently, the Anti-Obama-Video-Industry. 

Obama! The Muslim terrorist!  Obama!  The Chicago street corner thug!  Obama!  The one-world socialist demagogue!  And by the way, have you noticed?  he's black. 

I found this one by accident, for some reason it came up in the suggestions column while I was listening to "It's Gonna Rain" by the Staples Singers.  Go figure.  I like the guys gig-name:  BreitbartGeniusLives. 

"Obama's flag lapel pin is not an American flag!"  The music is ominous, to say the very least.  The damaging revelation is that Obama's flag pin has diagonal stripes on it, and fewer than the required number.  No doubt an impeachable offense!  Not much of a mystery though.  I'm no expert, but I've seen enough to know that similar distortion patterns emerge from the over manipulation of digital images or video.   A few people made this observation in the comments below the video.  A few, and the rest of the comments were of the "Muslim terrorist" or "Worst.President.Ever" variety. 

Oh! Give the man a break! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

12 Red Roses, By Betty Harris

Well I suppose it's official, YouTube has everything.

I thought that this was one of the most obscure songs in my own collection, I have it on a Charly Records Sampler.  Charly was an English label that licensed soul records for that market only, my copy is an import to the USA. Allen Toussaint was involved, evidently. 

But who knows, maybe it's a commonplace, maybe it only seemed obscure to me.  Maybe I was just flattering myself.  That has been known to happen.  I'm not an expert in anything.  I'm a generalist, generally in the dark, generally a bit confused.  I don't mind.  It allows for a more untrammeled experience of wonder.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

When Observing A Married Couple

Not that I am a relationship expert, or any kind of a font of wisdom or anything, but I’ll tell you one true thing about married couples:  no one outside of the couple has any clue at all what is really happening between them.

Did I say, “married couple”?  Let’s say “bonded couple,” because legal status is not controlling here.

How often have you considered a couple and wondered:

“What does he (she) see in her (him)?”

“Why does she (he) put up with that?”

“Why would he (she) do such a thing?”

The answers to these questions are impossible for us to divine, we live with a total lack of information about those two people.   This is true even for best friends, close siblings, therapists and counselors, it is true for anyone who is not one of these two people who make up the couple.

Things frequently happen within a couple, things that we may find disagreeable.  We may wonder, “why is this happening?”  Never imagine for a moment, however, that you can answer the question.  However much you may think that you know, however many facts seem to be at your disposal, the level of your understanding is insufficient. 

So when you are tempted to judge, to assign blame, or fault, and you will be, please resist the temptation.  “Judge not, lest yea be judged.”  It would be much better to remain neutral and sympathetic to both parties.  Remaining impartial, cheerful and helpful will reap for you the rewards of goodness.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Incoherent In Texas

Is that redundant?  Pardon my sarcasm, especially in light of the fact that yet another child has shot somebody with a gun that they just happened to come across while they were hanging out in their own home.  (Insert further sarcastic comment about the quality of the supervision that these children get.)

In this new unfortunate episode, an eight year old "found" a rifle and shot his five year old friend in the head with it while a grandfather and a teenager were also in the house.  Down Texas way.  

Here's the incoherence:

<< “It’s a very tragic accident, especially the day before Mother’s Day,” said Denton Police spokesperson Orlando Hinojosa. “Education is the most important thing about firearm safety. Just make sure your children know, if you do have weapons in the house, where they’re at, and for them not to be reachable.” >>  Thanks Raw Story for the quote.

What does Mothers' Day have to do with anything?  And really, what's the most important thing about firearm safety?  What's his point?  Is the most important thing education?  Or is it telling your children where the guns are?  Maybe it's making the guns unreachable?  What, pray tell, would it be?  The really crazy part of the quote might be "mak[ing] sure that your children know (where the guns are)."  Why would that be?  In case Al Qaeda invades your home and ties you up, then your eight year old can go and get the gun and save the day?  But then why make them unreachable?  How can the child help you then?

The whole thing makes no sense.

Well, miracles happen, I do have a suggested remedy for a change.  Guns around the house should be like wild animals, they should be considered inherently dangerous and "strict liability" should apply to any resulting injuries.

Here's how that one goes.  Since the time of the Romans, if you keep a tiger around the house, and the tiger gets out and injures somebody, you are responsible.  Strictly responsible.  The question is not: did you do everything that you could to avoid the situation that resulted in the injury?  No, the question is: is that your tiger?  Did you keep it at the house?  Poof!  You're responsible.  The wild animals thing is a civil remedy, but strict liability is common these days in criminal situations too.  So let your imaginations go wild.

Tigers and guns, inherently dangerous.   Something should be done to encourage these gun loving adults to be a lot more careful with their cannons. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Cornelius - Free Fall

Take my word for it, this is Cornelius in a commercial mood, taking it easy on us, allowing us to remain in our comfort zones.  Cornelius at the shallow end of the pool.  I really appreciate these friendly gestures on his part, these welcoming little ditties that we can all understand.  Some of his stuff is so deep that I almost black out from lack of oxygen.

I notice that lots of other blogs feature YouTube vid's of songs, and I must admit that I find most of the songs unlistenable.  It is possible that you, dear reader, find my musical choices unlistenable as well.  If that it true, please accept my deepest apologies.  I'll still be sharing them though.  I love this stuff, really I do.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

CRAZY FAMILY (fanmade Clip) 1984

Fourteen minutes from a great, great movie.  An obscure movie, it seems, hard to find.  I don't think it's available on DVD, but it seems like almost everything is on the 'Tube these days.  Too bad they're getting started with charging us for the privilege.  (Didn't I read that various subscription channels would require payment very soon?)   

I saw "The Crazy Family" on a rented videocassette, it must be twenty years ago.  It's wildly entertaining and I give it a score of 100 (the lyrics and visuals are great, and it's got a great beat, you can dance to it). 

The End Game

Knowing people’s ages has always been of interest to me.  Early on it was a question of knowing what a person could do at any certain age.  How old do you need to be before you can do that?  Whenever I went to a baseball game I checked the ages of all of the players in my score card; I recall that Wayne “Red” Garrett (third base) of the Mets was the first player that I ever saw play a major league baseball game that was younger than me at the time.  I felt like I had reached a milestone.

This checking of ages changed character as I got older.  By now it’s more of a question of cataloging the ages at which certain things move from being statistically conceivable to something much more likely.  Things like strokes; Parkinson’s disease; hip replacements; heart attacks; various cancers; Lou Gehrig’s disease; and the very considerable “etc” of such things.  These things begin to seem almost inevitable at some point if we are lucky enough to live through our reckless and accident prone early years. 

So we begin to wonder: how old was that stroke victim?  A lot older than we are, it is to be hoped.  We are seeking evidence that we have a few good years left in us.  If the math is right it provides us, at best, with a false hope, but even a false hope is some comfort.  Many of us begin to check the obituaries with greater interest as time goes on.  For those poor souls, the record has been cut in stone, and we seek whatever statistical comfort that we may find. 

I was interested in the process of getting older even before I knew about getting old.  I’m so old now that I am becoming curious about the direction that all of this mess is pointing to. 

The Process Of Dying  

I have always counseled that we do not die all at once.  Dying is a process that for most of us begins around the age of forty.  Prior to age forty (or so) we are on the flood tide, strong muscles, strong immune systems, it’s all systems go, you might as well smoke cigarettes.  After forty everything begins to wear out, slowly at first, almost imperceptibly if we are lucky.  You may begin to notice little things.  I recall the first time I ran up some stairs and felt my jowls move up and down.  I was about forty-four.  Now, of course, the idea of running up stairs is itself out of the question.  You’d hear my knees go “pop” a mile away. 

By age fifty, the message is clear, something is happening.  For a fifty year old, even playing a game of soft ball is a challenge.  For purposes of this essay, I’m going to leave it at the mention of soft ball.  To discuss the effects of aging on sexual function would be too depressing. 

When I was about fifty a lawyer friend of mine turned thirty-eight, and he was not happy about it.  He felt old.  I told him that he was actually quite young, and that he should enjoy it while he could.  “I’d pay good money to be thirty-eight again for just one weekend,” I said. 

The End Game

The game becomes very one-sided at the end.  The team in the black uniforms always wins.  It’s like a game of Three Card Monte, in the end we all realize that there is no queen to be found.  

Not all end games are the same.  Consider chess.  For some the end comes suddenly, with complete surprise, like that fellow who lost “The Great Game” to Paul Morphy.  He never saw what hit him.  For others, it’s more like a bishop and a knight chasing a king around the board for dozens of moves.  The process can be inevitable and yet strangely interminable. 

Some of us are definitely luckier than others, and this is not the kind of luck that you can manufacture in advance, although many people try.  Poor Andy Kaufman was very careful in life, no smoking, no drinking, he ate only health foods.  Struck down, he was, by lung cancer at about thirty-eight.  Those cancer deaths can really stretch out too, not very lucky at all, and no return on Andy’s investment. 

My Aunt Mary, on the other hand, had the greatest result possible, the Royal Flush in Spades of end life possibilities, and almost as rare as that poker hand.  The end came when she was eighty-five, an unanticipated heart attack in her sleep.  If she suffered momentary distress there was no evidence of it.  Very lucky indeed, healthy to the end (in a manner of speaking).  She had never done anything to invest in this result either, hers had never been a life of forbearance.   She was a fan of cruises right up to the end.  One time I asked her if she was afraid to come down with one of the strange maladies that seemed like frequent problems on cruises.  “Oh no,” she said, “not me, I never drink anything but scotch.”  She figured that the problem was the water, and she took the W.C. Fields approach to drinking water.  (“I’m thirsty, not dirty.”)

The Reason I Bring This Up

As I sit here today, all of this is much on my mind.  A close friend of mine is in the final stages of dying from breast cancer.  She’s only fifty, and she felt that first telltale lump eight years ago. 

She has always been a tough woman in many ways.  She had three older brothers growing up, and she mostly played with the boys of the neighborhood.  She played games with them, she climbed trees with them, and she fought with all of them too.  She was always a strong, athletic and very attractive girl.  She's very tough minded, even now she has a will to live that you can easily see from a distance.

This month will probably be it, and it’s definitely safe to cross her off the Christmas card list.  It’s terrible to see.  I’ve never been this close to the process before.  This time I’m on the caretaker team.  My job allows me some time to do good deeds, although I rarely avail myself.  This time it’s personal, so I’m on the team.  She’s at home, hospice care and nursing homes are very rare and very, very expensive in Thailand.  It’s more of a die-at-home kind of place.  So I’m learning things.

When the default position of the patient’s eyes is rolled back in the head; when the eyes begin to lose their focus and their shine; when they begin to operate independently of one another; these are very bad signs.  When the patient’s voice becomes the faintest croak bearing little or no indication of the words that were intended, that is a bad sign.  There are many other physical signs that I could mention, but I won’t right now, as a matter of delicacy.  Let’s afford the woman some dignity. 

Did I say “tough minded?”  She was beginning to suspect that she wouldn’t live out the month so she told her family to schedule her funeral about a week from now, WHILE SHE IS STILL ALIVE.  She has arranged to have her body donated to the teaching hospital of Chulalongkorn University.  She wants them to get it immediately upon her death, so everything is fresh.  She’s afraid that most of it is kind of a wreck by now, but maybe somebody is out there waiting for her corneas.

Three Cheers

So let’s hear it for my brave friend.  Three cheers and a fair-thee-well.  We’ll all be joining you soon, sweetie, but not too soon I hope.  “For whom the bell tolls,” indeed.  My friends, you may be sure that when we cry at funerals , we cry for ourselves. 

“It tolls for thee.”   

Monday, May 6, 2013

"Race In America" Update: Charles Ramsey Edition

Several young women were freed today after being held captive by a "quiet man" in a nondescript house in a run-down Cleveland suburb for almost ten years.  A forty-something black man named Charles Ramsey was instrumental in the escape.

Charles is a very articulate man in his way, the way of someone who has not received the dubious benefit of an advanced liberal arts education.  Very brave too, at first he thought that he was witnessing some kind of domestic violence situation, big trouble to get involved in those.  He went ahead and helped her out of the house anyway.  Upon leaving the house, Amanda Berry jumped into his protective arms. 

"I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl runs right into a black man's arms."

He got that right, didn't he?  It tells you something about the state of race relations in America.

Charles Ramsey seems like a nice guy all around, and he really has that clear understanding of the current state of race relations in America that is very common in the black community.  At one point during his on-camera CNN interview, a police siren whooped in the background.  Charles alerted at the sound and appeared for a moment to be preparing to run away.  Who could blame him?  I'd bet that at least a couple of the police at the scene took some convincing before they believed that he was a hero and not some kind of criminal associate.

Look for the good: the young women have been set free and a black man is a hero.  Thanks for that.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Feds threaten medical pot dispensaries with 40-year sentences

Feds threaten medical pot dispensaries with 40-year sentences

Excuse me, did you say forty?  As in "four" and "Oh!!!"

Thanks to Salon, for reminding us that some people will do anything, anything at all, to distract Americans from the things that really matter.  Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!