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.

 

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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)

Spandex

I know those fashion designers are crazy. But spandex shoes? I got to tell you I ain’t wearing spandex shoes on my feet. No matter what my wife says.

First off, you have to understand, spandex makes me itch. It’s worse than poison ivy. And I know how poison ivy itches. I sat down on some once. It was worse than that one time I had cactus needles in my butt.

On top of that, I had to sleep on my tummy. In all my life, I have never been able to sleep on my tummy. It always gives me the tummy ache. And diarrhea. Not only did I have an itchy butt, it was runny too. That’s called killing two birds with one stone and that’s the results of having poison ivy my sitting place.

With all that Spandex foot itching, how am I going to walk? Last time my feet itched that bad, they had to cut off my right big toe. So now I’m going to be walking around with no right big toe and my feet itching up the wazoo. A cop stops me and gives me one of them straight-line-walking sobriety tests, I will never walk a straight line. On top of that, I’ve got one hell of a lisp. That cop’ll arrest me for sure, thinking I am driving drunk.

What’s a fella to do? My wife usually isn’t unreasonable and I do love her so. Guess when she says I wear spandex shoes, I wear spandex shoes. Even if it costs me my other big toe. After all, I had to give her daddy my right eye. You know, the good one. ‘Fore he decided I could marry his pride and joy.

Well, one thing’s for sure. No matter what that Ralph Lauren says, I am not wearing pink spandex shoes. It would be as embarrassing as that kid in the bunny suit in “The Christmas Story”.

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.