Uncle Bardie’s Weekly Music Pick: Adam at the Window

It’s Thursday again. You know what that means. Uncle Bardie’s Weekly Music Pick. Uncle Bardiie gives a double thumbs up to this week’s selection: “Adam at the Window” by Mary Black.

First there’s that voice. Then there’s the song, written by Jimmy MacCarthy. I rarely hear a song with such lyrics. Mary Black has the perfect voice to give the song wings. I heard this song and it made me want to write a story. Even a novel. Made me want to know more about this Adam. So I began a novel and Adam was the painter. I began to discover how and why Adam came to that Island. I began to discover that Adam had lost his mentor, his grandfather who had given him his first paintbrush and his first canvas. He could paint no more until he found the reason behind his grandfather’s suicide.

It became a novel about creativity and the loss of creativity. It became as novel about family and the need for family. Somewhere along the way I will set the story down. One day, maybe in the next year or so, I will pick the story back up and finish it. Maybe for the Nanowrimo this year. The Prologue to the Novel, Adams at the window, I posted sometime ago. I just need to gather myself up and get myself in tune emotionally with the work.


Politics in America 13: The Meeting of the Titans

Big Al Fresco had his work cut out for him. How was he going to convince America to vote for a pig farmer from Weazel Sneeze? Of course, he had an answer for that. Lie. He had done it before. He would do it again. So why not now?

There was no way he was about to let the Do Evies have another term. Big Guy or no Big Guy, there was no way Little Twerp was going to sneak his butt into the White House. He would be a disaster. It was Big Al Fresco’s constitutional duty to lie and save the Republic from a fate worse than death. If he had to do a some bare-face lying, he would.

He met the Mrs. at the train station. He sized her up and decided that this was going to make one heck of an excellent First Lady. One little looksee convinced him that she had the goods.

Standing next to the nominee, eyes would immediately move to Betty Sue. As they used to say in the South, she was comely. In other words, she was very pleasing to the eye. The women would love her because she was prim and proper. The men would love her because she had just a dash of sex appeal but not too much. Too much would have made her a star in Hollywood but not in politics.

Then there was that baseball bat she carried. That showed that she could be as tough as nails if she had to be. Yes, it was obvious she had the kind of petticoat gumption a First Lady needed.

On top of all that, Big Al took an immediate liking to her. He walked over and said, “How’d do, ma’am.”

“Don’t how’d do me,” Betty Sue came back with. “Where is that sumbitch of a husband of mine.” It was obvious she was ready to swing that bat and hit a homerun.

Now no one really knows what Big Al said to Betty Sue Pudding Sneeze. It must have taken a heap of convincing. But he finally pulled her around to the idea that her husband would make a good president. Even a great one. Depending on events. If he could do a halfway good job of marrying a good lady like Betty Sue, he must have the goods.

She smiled. “Why y’all flatter me so, Sir.”

“No flattery, Ma’am. No flattery at all. You’re just what America needs in a First Lady.”

Next Week The Big Re-do

Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: “I was just doing my job.”

Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. Uncle Bardie might even throw in a reflection on the movie. If so, it will make an appearance below the video. This week’s movie is the 2016 Academy Award for Best Picture “Spotlight” (2015):

This could have been Nazi Germany, but it wasn’t. It was the United States of America. Like so many Germans in Hitler’s Germany, again and again we hear Americans say, “I was just doing my job.” This film is the true story that supports the Edmund Burke’s quote, “Evil prevails if good men do nothing.” In Catholic diocese after Catholic diocese around the world, good men did nothing to end the sexual abuse of children by priests. They only had excuses.

The stories began to leak out to the public in the 1980s. It took The Boston Globe investing the Boston Archdiocese’s complicit involvement in that great sin. There were those at the highest levels of the American church, the Bishops and Archbishops, who knew what was going on. They not only did nothing to stop it.  In fact, they often moved the guilty priest from parish to parish.

The Boston Globe’s Spotlight staff put in almost a year investigating the scandal. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of man hours went into the work. The Boston Globe is to be applauded for putting in the resources that it took to break the story. The unfortunate thing is that fewer newspapers and broadcast networks are doing something that used to be common, investigative reporting on a local, state or national level.

Your mayor or state legislator could be embezzling funds and it wouldn’t get reported. A bridge contractor might be using shotty materials to repair a bridge and it wouldn’t get reported. A local hospital might be using bad drugs to treat patients and there’s no one there to uncover the story and report it. Because those newspapers and television stations no longer have the resources. We’ll pay to hear the latest Khadashian story but we’re not interested in finding out about those stories that truly matter to us on a day-to-day.

What used to be a public responsibility on the part of the news media is now seen as a drain on resources. In a capitalist society, the business gets rid of it if it isn’t making a profit. To hell with the public good. Investigative journalism will go away if we don’t care enough to support it. And maybe that is what the Powers That Be want.

All this reminds me of something Jesus said. “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name welcomes Me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:5-6)

Uncle Bardie’s Weekly Music Pick: White Room

It’s Thursday again. You know what that means. Uncle Bardie’s Weekly Music Pick. Uncle Bardiie gives a double thumbs up to this week’s selection: Cream performing “White Room”.

Before there was Led Zepellin, before there was Black Sabbath, before there was Motorhead, before there was Metallica, there was Cream. It was 1966 and there was the need of a new kind of music, a music that amplified the blues, stirred in a big dab of rock ‘n’ roll and added a smidgen of jazz. Three well-respected musicians, all having paid their dues, stepped in to fill the void. There was Ginger Baker on drums, bringing his jazz background and African rhythms to the group. On base was Jack Bruce, Ginger’s co-bandmate in the Graham Bond Organization.. Eric Clapton, with his strong interest in blues, rounded out the three-man group that was Cream.

Their first album was Fresh Cream. From the first song, “I feel free”, I knew I was in for something special. And through four albums these threei musicians of the first of rock’s Supergroups gave the listeners some music. They explored a variety of genres. In that exploration, they did everything that a guitarist, a bassist and a drummer could do at that time. In so doing, they left such a legacy. Part of that, I have to say is they can be considered inventors of what would later become known as heavy metal.

In an interview, Ahmet Ertegun said he was driving to his studio one day in 1967. Cream was recording in Atlantic Records studio. He could hear them several blocks away. That is how loud they were. I would say that musicians could do a lot worse than sit at the feet of these master musicians and absorb what they did with music.

There are so many songs they played on those four albums I liked. But this opener on “Wheels on Fire” brings back fond memories to me. I was stationed in Japan when it showed up on the jukebox in the enlisted men’s club. When I missed home, I put this one on and it brought a smile on my face.

Politics in America 12: A Lot of BS

At first, Betty Sue Elmora Doris Bobbie Jo Pudding-Sneeze was not pleased at the Do Naughty nomination of her husband as President of these United States of America. Not pleased at all. It scared the bejeesus out of her but good. The furthest she’d been out of Weazel-Sneeze was Snort Holler. She wasn’t sure she’d know what to do with herself anywhere else. She might even have to take on manners.

On top of that she would have to learn how to speak foreign. Oh, sure she could understand a bit of Alabama and some of Mississippi, but she’d now have to communicate Yankee. Why she couldn’t understand a lick of New York. Them folks not only spoke foreign, they acted foreign too. It would be like a person going to a completely planet. What she’d heard of New Yorkers, they didn’t seem to have a bit of manners.

Then there was this campaign manager business. What in the name of Goof-Off Sneeze did she know about campaign managing? Not one thang. All she’d ever wanted to do in her life was settle down with P F Sneeze, help him with his pig farm and raise a boodle of kids. She’d gotten her first two wishes and they had been over-the-moon. The house was spick and span. The pigs were doing real good. Why, Bessie Mae Hogg could win first prize this year at the Podunk Fair.

And she loved that fair too. It was her big chance to hang out with all her friends and gossip about the gossip. All them lights. She bet even New York City didn’t light up like the Podunk Fair. Here she was going to have to give up all that, and for what? To run the campaign of her husband who had decided to get too big for his britches. What was he thinking? He couldn’t be no President. He could barely run the pig farm. How was he going to run the country?

Besides all of that, she wasn’t a Do Naughty. She was a registered Do Evie. They’d find out and she would be the laughing stock of Podunk County. She wasn’t having anything to do with that.

She put on her best knickers, picked up her baseball bat and headed off to catch a train for the Do Naughty Political Convention. She was going to knock some sense into that fool if it killed her.

Next week A Whole Lot of Convincing