Monday, July 31, 2006
Poor ol’ Mel Gibson got charged with DUI last week.
Last year the cartoon series, South Park, did an episode about The Passion of Christ wherein they accused him of being anti-Semitic. The right-wing Christian community rallied around ol’ Mel to let all know that Mel did not harbor these views.
While being detained by the cops, Mel’s big mouth got the best of him. He said some very apolitically correct remarks about Jews, due to the abundance of alcohol in his system which tends to act as WD-40 to the mouth and subconscious.
Sometimes events shine a light on our shortcomings and cause us to have to make changes that we have might not otherwise have done. Let’s hope that Mel learns the Golden Rule.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
If I hadn’t mentioned it before, one of my careers was owning and running a convenience store.
While my father grew up, his step father owned a grocery store. When Dad got married he decided that would be a career that would prevent him from getting fired. Although my Dad was the greatest man I ever knew, he had a temper and a mouth. He did things his own way. These qualities do not go over well in the business world unless you are the boss.
So as I became older, this was the second career that I took to keep the family thing going.
Here are a few things that I have learned.
People smell funny. Most people practice good hygiene, but some must have missed health education in high school. There are only a few areas to concentrate on folks. Breath and Body Odor and Body dirt. Learn about them people, it's not that difficult.
Women have purses because they like to dig. Men have gone from using a flattened rock to oversized backhoes, because in our deepest human nature we must dig. Women have a subconscious desire to carry around their prized processions and occasionally have a need to perform archeological excavations in their purses. Usually this occurs when 10 or more people are waiting in line behind them.
There is a sort of mating ritual that men perform while selecting a malt beverage or some other form of alcohol to comsume. I call this The Beer Dance. Actually most folks know exactly what they are looking to buy (Milwaukee’s Light 12 pack - the cheapest beer known to man), but they like to ritualisticaly walk back and forth in an excited and rhythmic fashion examining all the beverages in the display case.
People have dirty feet & dirty belly buttons. Everyone wears flip flops. Everyone. I wish the olden day practice of foot washing that was prevalent in the Bible would come back into style. I don’t understand young girls that have showered, perfumed and decked themselves out in expensive clothing but have black soles on their feet. Short shirts are fashionable and so is naval jewelry. I know that many of you can not see your naval. Trust me it's there and it needs a good washing.
There are a lot of alcoholics and gambling addicted people. If you purchase a 6 pack of beer every day or spend more than a dollar a day on lottery tickets, perhaps you should seek counseling. You have a problem. I'm serious!
Every town has a church lady. We didn’t have any smutty magazines in our store. But that didn’t stop our church lady from asking me to cut out black paper and pasting it strategically on the covers of Cosmopolitan magazines, to make sort of bikini tops for the models. I didn’t follow up on her suggestion.
A lot of folks like to take their dogs on car rides. When the person gets out of the car, inevitably their dog jumps into the driver seat. Sometimes the pooches will put their paws on the steering wheel. You have to wonder if the dog is trying to make his getaway? I don't blame 'em.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
I was at the Northwest East Southgate Mall yesterday and walked past the Multiplex 27 Cinema. Things have sure changed! 27 screens and 9 Bucks to see a movie that stinks. Lately they all stinks. That is because no one has any new ideas. They are doing remakes of old TV shows. There is currently a remake of Superman and a remake of Miami Vice. While I was walking past there I saw a poster for a remake of The Howdy Doody Show.
You know I'm old enough to remember the first episode of this show. The HOWDY DOODY Show was the first network kids show to run 5 days a week, the first network show of the day, the first television show ever broadcast in color, and the the first show ever to air more than 1,000 continuous episodes. Howdy Doody himself was a freckle-faced boy marionette, and was originally voiced by Bob Smith. Other puppet characters included Heidi Doody (Howdy's sister), Mr. Bluster, Dilly Dally, Princess Summerfall Winterspring, and the curious Flub-a-Dub (a combination of eight animals).
The show's host was Bob Smith, who was dubbed "Buffalo Bob" early in the show's run. Smith wore cowboy garb, and the name of the puppet "star" was derived from the western U.S. expression "Howdy Doody," a familiar form of the greeting "How Do You Do?" The name was the source of some childish crude humor, as "doody" was also a familiar child's euphemism for defecation.
There also were several human characters, most notably Clarabell the Clown, who communicated by honking horns on his belt and squirting seltzer, and Chief Thunderthud, who originated the cry "Kowabonga!". Princess Summerfall Winterspring, originally a puppet, was later played by the actress Judy Tyler. The characters inhabited the fictional town of "Doodyville".
Here is the text and the poster
In December of 1947, when Buffalo Bob Smith created and aired HOWDY DOODY, there were only 20,000 American homes that even had television sets. NBC only had six stations in the beginning, and HOWDY DOODY is credited as a major factor in the growth and popularity of that network. From the original show’s inception on December 27, 1947 until it’s final airing on NBC on December 30, 1960, HOWDY DOODY visited our homes 2,543 times.
It’s Now 2006 and times have changed, haven’t they kids?
Howdy left us a long time ago.
Now he is back
and he is back with a vengence!
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Archie Comics is an American comic book publisher known for its many series featuring the fictional teenagers Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Reggie Mantle, and Forsythe "Jughead" Jones.
Archie's first appearance, in Pep Comics #22 on December 22, 1941, was drawn by Bob Montana (sound familiar?), and written by Vic Bloom. Archie was conceived by John L. Goldwater, who some believe was influenced by the Andy Hardy movies.
In 1941, a teenage humor strip, Archie, began as a new back-up feature in Pep Comics. Striking a popular nerve with emerging youth culture, Archie and his gang were such a hit that in 1946, MLJ Comics changed its name to Archie Comics.
In the 1950s and '60s, cartoonist Dan DeCarlo ceased work on Atlas Comics' Millie the Model, and brought his influential style to the Archie Comics universe. DeCarlo is primarily responsible for the modern look of the Archie characters, and the creation of popular Archie spin-off characters Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie and the Pussycats.
The enduring Archie legacy has spanned dozens of Archie titles, including spin-offs, digest collections, and magazines focused on particular characters.
Some of the odder series feature Archie and his friends cast as superhero versions of themselves or playing spies in a parody of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Some series such as Life With Archie and Archie at Riverdale High featured straight adventure and/or mystery stories.
The Archie characters have been continually successful in other mediums since the comic's inception. The Archie Andrews radio program debuted May 31, 1943 and ran on various networks until September 5, 1953. The "Archie" newspaper comic strip was launched in 1946, and was drawn by Bob Montana until his death in 1975. In 1968, Archie was adapted into a Saturday morning cartoon series by Filmation, The Archie Show. In 1969 the teen's bubblegum pop band, The Archies, earned a gold record with their #1 hit "Sugar, Sugar".
In the 1970s and 1980s, the Archie characters were authorized for use in a series of Christian comic books written and drawn by Al Hartley for Spire Christian Comics.
Aside from very basic characteristics, many of the characters' traits and even personalities can change from strip to strip, usually depending on the writer. For example, usually Archie is very good at any given sport but sometimes he is the worst player on the team.
In certain strips, Betty does not mind being Archie's second choice as long as she gets a date with him sometimes, but in other strips she is insulted when Archie considers her a second choice and responds with either anger or sadness. In addition, sometimes it's depicted that Veronica dominates Archie's love interests and Betty plays a distant second fiddle, while other times both girls seem to have Archie split 50/50 in a heated love triangle. Even though Archie's main love interests are Veronica and Betty, he often goes on dates with many other girls, the vast majority if not all only appearing once and never again. Veronica and Betty also often go on dates with other boys that only appear once.
Reggie Mantle is usually portrayed as being part of the gang (as a character that's sometimes mean and rude, but deep down is really a good person), but in many other strips he is depicted as an outsider and is an antagonist of Archie and the gang. Similarly, Archie is sometimes depicted as a complete hopeless clutz of somewhat limited intelligence, while in other stories he is presented as being an extremely honest and good-hearted person, as well as being extremely moral (see the Christian comics produced in the 70's by Spire).
Each character has numerous relatives that have appeared once and never again. The inside of each character's house is almost always inconsistent. Other details will conflict between any two given stories. Archie states that it takes a half-hour to drive from his house to Veronica's, which greatly contradicts the numerous previous implications in other strips that Veronica's mansion is only a few miles or blocks away from Archie's house.
The geographical location of and size of Riverdale is of course always left vague, but there have been a number of inconsistencies. Sometimes it is portrayed as being near enough to a beach for the gang to drive there; other times there seems to be no beach, as in a story where the gang are complaining they have nowhere to go on a hot day. Often the gang will be seen on seemingly impromptu and convenient ski holidays. This would suggest it is on the west coast, perhaps in California (as in the TV film). Yet other times it seems to be a small town in the middle of America. One story has Betty, Archie and Jughead trying to escape a tornado, which would suggest Riverdale is in the Midwest -- Betty at one point says, "We shouldn't laugh about tornados in this part of the country." It seems to be surrounded by farm land and woods, as well, but one story shows Archie and his father buying lobsters from a old fisherman who says to a critical Mr. Andrews that he should "either buy lobsters or do like I do on Sunday -- 'jes keep yer trap shut." Despite seeming to be an idyllic small town, occasional stories have taken part in a rough, seemingly crime-ridden part of town.
There are stories or story elements that are often used in Archie comics. For example, the prom is coming up and Archie cannot decide on who his date will be or
Archie accidentally invited two girls to the same date at the same time, which he usually does not realize until the last minute. He tries to run between one date and the other without getting caught by either. Sometimes he is caught, sometimes he gets away with it. In a variation of the above, one character may break a date to go with another person, but runs into that person while on the date and has to hide from them. Archie and Veronica are the usual offenders.
Often a cash-strapped Archie attempts to borrow or raise money for an impending date with Veronica. Despite his best efforts, either he cannot pay for dinner or his jalopy breaks down. Veronica vows never to date him again.
In some stories Moose is jealous because Reggie is talking to his girlfriend, Midge. Moose beats up Reggie. Sometimes, Reggie has a plan that he thinks will help him get past Moose, or out of a beating (ie. Moose states Reggie will pay for kissing "his girl", Midge, and Reggie will give him money, or an IOU, but it backfires. Occasionally, it will be Archie who gets caught for some reason talking to Midge (almost always in a nonromantic way i.e. homework), and chased or beaten by Moose.
Another story line has Archie and his friends help Pop Tate get more business, or they prevent a greedy businessman from shutting him down.
Typically Archie is late for school, accidentally breaks something, or disrupts class. Mr. Weatherbee desperately tries to prevent Archie, Jughead, or both from clumsily disrupting or damaging the school when the superintendent visits. As if on cue, the boys accidentally blow up the chemistry lab. A variation on this theme has Mr. Weatherbee so obsessed with Archie not causing trouble, he brings it on himself, e.g. watching Archie's every move, he falls down the stairs.
|Blog re-edited in 2015|
This comic book has been in print and selling for so many years and it is still being sold today.
There are a few unsolved mysterys within the books.
What does the "S" on Jugheads shirt stand for?
Why does Archie have tic-tac-toe boards on the side of his head?
We probably will never know!
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
The caricature by political cartoonist Finn Graff appeared on July 10 in the Oslo daily Dagbladet. It has prompted outrage among the country's small Jewish community and led the Simon Weisenthal Center to submit a protest to the Norwegian government. In the cartoon, Olmert is likened to SS Major Amon Goeth, the infamous commandant of the Plaszow death camp outside of Krakow, Poland, who was convicted of mass murder in 1946 and hanged for his crimes.
It appears that Herr Graff of Oslo had failing grades in history and has forgotten what really happened. Olmert and the Jews have to fight this:
So that this does not happen again:
My Father and his friends had to go to Europe to fight because of these attrocites inflicted on the Jewish people by the Nazi Army.
Olmert is not the terorist. Mr. Graff and his ilk cannot recognize terror in their midst. Perhaps that's is why Norway remained a neutral country throughout part of WWll. Graff may recall that it was in April of last year that Norway issued an official apology to it's women that had sexual relations with Nazi soldiers. Gosh, that's only 60 years after the fact. I'd say it's a pretty lengthy time to hold a grudge.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
A cat died and went to Heaven. God met her at the gates and said, "You have been a good cat all these years. Anything you want is yours for the asking."
The cat thought for a minute and then said, "All my life I lived on a farm and slept on hard wooden floors. I would like a real fluffy pillow to sleep on."
God said, "Say no more." Instantly the cat had a huge fluffy pillow.
A few days later, six mice were killed in an accident and they all went to Heaven together. God met the mice at the gates with the same offer that He made to the cat.
The mice said, "Well, we have had to run all of our lives: from cats, dogs, and even people with brooms! If we could just have some little roller skates, we would not have to run again."
God answered, "It is done." All the mice had beautiful little roller skates.
About a week later, God decided to check on the cat. He found her sound asleep on her fluffy pillow. God gently awakened the cat and asked, "Is everything okay? How have you been doing? Are you happy?"
The cat replied, "Oh, it is WONDERFUL. I have never been so happy in my life. The pillow is so fluffy, and those little Meals on Wheels you have been sending over are delicious!"
Monday, July 24, 2006
Does your Army look silly when they are marching?
Are you required to commit suicide by your army?
Are your leaders asking you to kill yourself for the sake of your religion?
Well my friend, you have chosen the wrong side of the battle.
You are the enemy!
Saturday, July 22, 2006
by BOUDINOT MONTANA
Back in my day we all sat too close to the idiot box and there was only 3 channels to watch.
Back in my day we played Cowboys and Indians.
Back in my day we drank Kool-Aid that we made with 2 cups of white sugar.
Back in my day a candy bar costs 5 cents and was bigger than it is today.
Back in my day your shirt was made in a mill in New Jersey.
Back in my day we dialed the telephone, because there was a dial on the telephone
Back in my day, there was diet food. It tasted like crap, so not too many people needed to go on diets.
Back in my day Aids was a diet candy, pot was what your mom cooked in and crack was something in the sidewalk.
Friday, July 21, 2006
A Stradivarius (or "Strad") is a stringed instrument built by members of the Stradivari family, especially by Antonio Stradivari.
The playable instruments are highly prized by world-class musicians, and others who can afford them. Their individual qualities are considered worth distinguishing, and a Strad is often identified by the name of someone (often a famous musician) who formerly owned it, or regularly performed on it.
A Stradivarius made in the 1680s or during Stradivari's Brescian period (1690-1700) could be worth several hundred thousand dollars or more at today's prices in auction. If it was made during Stradivari's "golden period" (1700 to 1720), depending on condition, the instrument can be worth several million. They rarely come up for sale and the highest price paid for a Stradivarius at public auction was 'The Lady Tennant', made in 1699 which sold for US$2,032,000 in 2005. Private sales of Stradivari instruments have exceeded this price.
The world's only complete set of Stradivarius instruments (string quintet) belongs to the Spanish Government and consists of two violins, two cellos, and a viola. They are exhibited in the Music Museum at the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) of Madrid.
Another important collection is the collection of the Royal Academy of Music (York Gate Collections) in London.
Many people find violins labeled or branded as "Stradivarius," and believe them to be genuine. It is believed that there are fewer than 700 genuine Strads left in existence, very few of which are unaccounted for.
These instruments are famous for the quality of their sound and there have been many attempts to reproduce the sound quality. Recent studies indicate that Antonio Stradivari may have used wood from an old cathedral for its construction which might be a reason for its sound quality.
The Stradivarius Trademark
One of the current owners of a Stradivarius named Soil is famed violinist Itzhak Perlman. Another Stradivarius violin named Benny was bequeathed to the Los Angeles Philharmonic by Jack Benny.
Aside from violins. Antonio Stradivari made 13 violas, 70-80 cellos and there are two complete guitars and parts from other guitars. Both guitars are 10 course (10 strings) which was normal for the time period. There is one harp that he made as well.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Without question one of the best voices ever in popular music belonged to Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys. I've followed them since they came on the scene back in 1963.
Carl Dean Wilson (December 21, 1946 – February 6, 1998) was the youngest of the three brothers who made up the core of The Beach Boys.
The band's lead guitarist, Wilson played the Chuck Berry-esque leads on many of their early hits. Because the band first became successful when he was in his teens, he was still developing as a musician and singer. His lead vocals in the band's first three years included "Summertime Blues" (duet with David Marks), "Louie, Louie" (splitting the lead with Mike Love), "Pom Pom Play Girl," "All Dressed Up for School", and "Girl Don't Tell Me". When the band started being augmented or replaced by session musicians on many of their mid-'60s recordings (they contributed the majority of the instrumental work themselves on the early-'60s recordings), Carl recorded his guitar leads during the Beach Boys vocal sessions, with his guitar plugged directly into the soundboard.
However, by the mid-1960s, he had become a far stronger vocalist and an accomplished live performer, and following his masterly lead on "God Only Knows", in 1966, was often featured as lead vocalist for the band (a role previously dominated by Mike Love and Brian Wilson), singing many leads on the Smiley Smile and Wild Honey albums, including the hit singles "Good Vibrations," "Darlin'," and "Wild Honey." After his elder brother Brian's retirement from the stage in 1965, Carl became the de facto leader of the band onstage (contracts at that time reading that promoters hired 'Carl Wilson plus four other musicians'), and shortly after became the band's in-studio leader, producing the bulk of the albums 20/20, Sunflower, Surf's Up, Carl and the Passions - "So Tough" (named in honour of his effective leadership of the band at this point) and Holland. With the exception of the uneven "So Tough", these albums are now generally considered among the band's best, both by fans and critics.
In the late 1960s Wilson also made headlines as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, at one point having to let the rest of the band tour the UK without him while he was up before the draft board.
Never a prolific songwriter, Wilson's first solo composing contributions to the band, other than a handful of early surf instrumentals, came with 1971's Surf's Up, on which he composed "Long Promised Road" and "Feel Flows" to lyrics by the band's then manager Jack Rieley. He had earlier been given cowriting credits on a few songs, but these appear to have been for arrangement ideas contributed to others' songs - he considered "Long Promised Road" his first real song. On subsequent Beach Boys albums he would average one or two songs, cowritten with various lyricists or other members of the band. He remained a prominent and recognizable voice in the band, taking lead vocals on many songs, including several written by his brother Dennis.
During the 1970s Wilson also produced records for several other artists, notably Ricci Martin (son of Dean Martin, not to be confused with the late-'90s pop star) and South African group The Flame (two members of whom went on to be members of the Beach Boys for a couple of years, before becoming successful musicians performing with people like The Rutles, Bonnie Raitt and the Rolling Stones). He also occasionally appeared on others' records as a backing vocalist, most notably appearing on Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (with bandmate Al Jardine) and Dave Lee Roth's hit cover of "California Girls."
By the early 1980s the Beach Boys were in disarray - the band had split into two camps. On one side were Carl and Dennis arguing for what they saw as more progressive music, on the other Love arguing for the band to become a more of a nostalgia act, with Brian Wilson at this time incapable of having much say in the band himself. Carl's personal life had also been in disarray, following his late '70s divorce from first wife Annie Hinsche (sister of Beach Boys touring member Billy Hinsche), but he was in recovery by 1980. Frustrated with the band's sluggishness to record new material and reluctance to rehearse for live shows, Wilson took a leave of absence in 1981, rather than remain as part of what he saw increasingly becoming a nostalgia act.
He released a solo album, Carl Wilson, to little critical notice, in 1981, made up of songs co-written with Myrna Smith-Schilling (former backing vocalist for Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin and wife of Wilson's then manager Jerry Schilling). He recorded a second solo album, Youngblood, in a similar vein, but by the time it was released in 1983 he had already rejoined the Beach Boys, and some have suggested that the line "If I could talk to Love I'd say/'Have it your way, Love, have it your way'" in the song "If I Could Talk To Love" on that album might have been more about his bandmates than the emotion.
Shortly after Carl's return to the band, Dennis Wilson drowned, and this seems to have removed much of Carl Wilson's will to push the band forward creatively. While he wrote three songs for the band's eponymous 1985 album, he never again wrote for the band and sounded increasingly bored in his vocal contributions for the band's last few, Mike Love-controlled, albums (although many fans cite his vocals as those albums' saving grace). He still remained important to the band as a performer, singing lead on the chorus to the band's last big success, 1988's US number one "Kokomo," but saved his songwriting and production for home recordings. He carried on touring with the band until the last months of his life.
Carl Wilson died in February 1998 of lung cancer, three months after the death of his mother Audree Wilson. He was survived by his brother Brian, wife Gina (daughter of Dean Martin), and two sons by his first marriage, Justyn and Jonah.
As a lasting memory The Carl Wilson Foundation was set up to support The City Of Hope.
He left us way too soon.
Israel "Bruddah Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole (May 20, 1959 – June 26, 1997) (pronounced Kom-mah-ka-why-woh-who-lee) was a popular entertainer and singer in Hawaii until his death at the age of 38. He became famous outside Hawaii when his album Facing Future was released in 1993 with his medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World". The song has been included in the end of several movies, including Finding Forrester, Meet Joe Black, and 50 First Dates. Additionally, it featured prominently in the 2000 summer series "Young Americans" on the WB television network, a 2002 episode of the TV series ER, a 2003 episode of "Charmed" entitled "Lucky Charmed," "Scrubs" season 5 episode 7, and the TV show Cold Case. The song has also been used in a Lynx spray and a Kellogg's Rice Krispies advertisement in 2005 and 2006, repectively.
Facing Future (1993) debuted at #25 on Billboard Magazine's Top Pop Catalogue chart. Alone In IZ World, (2001) debuted at #1 on Billboard's World Chart and #135 on Billboard's Top 200, #13 on the Top Independent Albums Chart, and #15 on the Top Internet Album Sales chart .
Israel Kaanoi Kamakawiwo'ole was born on the island of Oahu at Kuakini Hospital to Henry Kaleialoha Naniwa and Evangeline Leinani Kamakawiwo'ole. He was raised in the community of Kaimuki on the outskirts of Waikiki where his parents met and married. He began playing music with his older brother Skippy at the age of 11, being privy to the music of the great Hawaiian entertainers of the time such as the likes of Peter Moon, Palani Vaughn, and Don Ho, who frequented the establishment where Iz's parents worked.
In his early teens, his family moved to Makaha. There, he met Louis "Moon" Kauakahi, Sam Gray and Jerome Koko. Together with his brother Skippy they formed the Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau. From 1976 throughout the 1980s, the Hawaiian contemporary band gained in popularity as they toured Hawaii and the continental United States and released 10 successful albums.
In 1982 Iz's brother Skippy Kamakawiwo'ole died of a heart attack. In that same year, Iz married his childhood sweetheart Marlene and soon after had a daughter who they named Ceslieanne "Wehi."
In 1990, Iz released his first solo album Ka'anoi which won him awards for Contemporary Album of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (HARA). Facing Future was released in 1993. Considered his "best" album by many, it featured his most popular song, the medley "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World", along with "Hawaii 78," "White Sandy Beach of Hawaii," "Maui Hawaiian Sup'pa Man," and "Kaulana Kawaihae".
In 1994 Iz was voted favourite entertainer of the year by HARA.
'E Ala 'E (1995) featured the political title song "'E Ala 'E" and "Kaleohano," and In Dis Life (1996) featured "In This Life" and "Starting All Over Again."
As his career progressed, Iz was known for promoting Hawaiian rights and Hawaiian independence, both through his music (whose lyrics often stated the case for independence directly) and through his life.
In 1997, Iz was again honoured by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts at the Annual Na Hoku Hanohano awards for Male Vocalist of the Year, Favourite Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year, and Island Contemporary Album of the Year. He watched the awards ceremony from a hospital room.
Throughout the latter part of his life, Iz was morbidly obese and at one point carried over 750 pounds (340 kg) on his 6'2" frame. He endured several hospitalizations and died of weight-related respiratory illness on June 26, 1997 at 12:18 a.m. at the age of 38. The Hawaii State Flag flew at half-mast throughout the day. Iz lay in state at the Capitol building in Honolulu, where over 10,000 came to pay respects over the course of the first day. His ashes were scattered into the ocean at Makua Beach.
Iz was nicknamed "The Gentle Giant" by his many admirers. He was described as always cheerful and positive, and was best known for his love of the land and of the people of Hawaii.
What a great voice and what a great person!
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
It was on this day in 1954 that the first part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was published—The Fellowship of the Ring. Seventeen years had passed since the publication of The Hobbit (1937), to which The Fellowship of the Ring was a sequel. The Hobbit had gotten a great review in The Times Literary Supplement, and it went on to become a best-seller. So J.R.R. Tolkien (books by this author) began working on a sequel, about the nephew of the hobbit Bilbo, the nephew being named Frodo. He decided that the story would center on the magical ring, which hadn't been an important part of The Hobbit.
Tolkien spent the next seventeen years working on The Lord of the Rings. He was well into his first draft by the time World War II broke out in 1939. The book became more complicated as Tolkien went along, and it was taking much longer to finish than he had planned. He went through long stretches where he didn't write anything and considered giving the project up altogether. He wanted to make sure all of the details about the geography, language, and mythology of Middle Earth were consistent. He made elaborate charts to keep track of the events of his story, showing dates, days of the week, the direction of the wind, and the phases of the moon.
Finally, in the fall of 1949, Tolkien finished writing The Lord of the Rings. He typed the final copy out himself, sitting on a bed in his attic, balancing the typewriter on his lap, and tapping it out with two fingers.
The Lord of the Rings turned out to be more than half a million words long. Tolkien wanted to publish it in one volume, his publisher wanted to divide it into three volumes and so the first volume, The Fellowship of the Ring, came out on this day in 1954.
Only about three and a half thousand copies were printed, but it turned out to be incredibly popular, and it went through a second printing in just six weeks.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
A harp seal walks into a bar, pulls up a stool, and yells "Hey bartender! Get me a drink!" The bartender walks over and says "So what'll it be?" The seal replies "Anything but a Canadian Club."
A cowboy comes riding into town, goes to a hotel and asks for a room. The attendant says, "Ya here for the hangin'?
The cowboy asks, "Whose gettin' hung?"
"Why it's the Brown Paper Cowboy. He wears a brown paper hat, a brown paper shirt, a brown paper vest and brown paper trousers."
"What's he gettin' hung for?" asks the cowboy.
The attendant says, "Rustlin' "
Monday, July 17, 2006
Bud and Joe were relaxing on the front porch after a nice dinner Bud's wife had prepared.
"I've been taking this new medicine that's supposed to help me with my memory",said Bud.
Joe asks, "Really now? What's it called?"
Bud ponders this for a moment and says "What's the name of that nice smelling flower?"
I don't know, Lilac?"
"Petunia?" continues Joe.
"Nope, that ain't it" says Bud.
"How 'bout Rose?"
"Yeah!, That's it!"
At that point Bud gets up and walks down the porch to the screened front door and yells, "Rose!... Hey Rose! What's the name of that Medicine I'm taking to help me with my memory?"
Sunday, July 16, 2006
World War lll is brewing in the Middle East. Iran still views the USA as Satan, most Arabs hate the Jews and they want Israel under Arab control. Iran through it's puppet, the Hezzbollah, are firing rockets into Israel, via Lebanon, and Israel is firing back and destroying the Lebanese infrastructure. Lives are lost on both sides.
The lifestyle in the USA has gotten very decadant since back in my day. Arabs are opposed to our lifestyle. I'm opposed to the lifestyle of many degenerates. In fact I'll concede that the majority of Americans are opposed to the lifestyle of those that engage in drugs and elicit sexual activity. Unfortunately most of us are not in control of the way we are portrayed in the media. And the media has the big mouth. So now matter how much the larger populace feels, the USA comes across looking much like Sodom and Gommorah. The Muslim nations do not want to live in the same manner as they assume all of us live in the USA. They need to visit the Midwest.
So the Muslims want life to be pure and Godly, but I read things like the following article and I am concerned that there is seemingly a double standard. Is this the mindset of Islam? Are there any Muslims that would stand up and set the record straight?
BATMAN, Turkey (July 16) -- For Derya, a waiflike girl of 17, the order to kill herself came from an uncle and was delivered in a text message to her cellphone. “You have blackened our name,” it read. “Kill yourself and clean our shame or we will kill you first.
Derya said her crime was to fall for a boy she had met at school last spring. She knew the risks: her aunt had been killed by her grandfather for seeing a boy. But after being cloistered and veiled for most of her life, she said, she felt free for the first time and wanted to express her independence.
When news of the love affair spread to her family, she said, her mother warned her that her father would kill her. But she refused to listen. Then came the threatening text messages, sent by her brothers and uncles, sometimes 15 a day. Derya said they were the equivalent of a death sentence.
Consumed by shame and fearing for her life, she said, she decided to carry out her family’s wishes. First, she said, she jumped into the Tigris River, but she survived. Next she tried hanging herself, but an uncle cut her down. Then she slashed her wrists with a kitchen knife.
“My family attacked my personality, and I felt I had committed the biggest sin in the world,” she said recently from a women’s shelter where she had traded in her veil for a T-shirt and jeans. She declined to give her last name for fear that her family was still hunting her. “I felt I had no right to dishonor my family, that I have no right to be alive. So I decided to respect my family’s desire and to die.”
Every few weeks in Batman and the surrounding area in southeast Anatolia, which is poor, rural and deeply influenced by conservative Islam, a young woman tries to take her life. Others have been stoned to death, strangled, shot or buried alive. Their offenses ranged from stealing a glance at a boy to wearing a short skirt, wanting to go to the movies, being raped by a stranger or relative or having consensual sex.
Hoping to join the European Union, Turkey has tightened the punishment for attacks on women and girls who have had such experiences. But the violence has continued, if by different means: parents are trying to spare their sons from the harsh punishments associated with killing their sisters by pressing the daughters to take their own lives instead.
“Families of disgraced girls are choosing between sacrificing a son to a life in prison by designating him to kill his sister or forcing their daughters to kill themselves,” said Yilmaz Akinci, who works for a rural development group. “Rather than losing two children, most opt for the latter option.”
Women’s groups here say the evidence suggests that a growing number of girls considered to be dishonored are being locked in a room for days with rat poison, a pistol or a rope, and told by their families that the only thing resting between their disgrace and redemption is death.
Batman (pronounced bot-MON) is a grim and dusty city of 250,000 people where religion is clashing with Turkey’s official secularism. The city was featured in the latest novel by the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, “Snow,” which chronicled a journalist’s investigation of a suicide epidemic among teenage girls.
In the past six years, there have been 165 suicides or suicide attempts in Batman, 102 of them by women. As many as 36 women have killed themselves since the start of this year, according to the United Nations. The organization estimates that 5,000 women are killed each year around the world by relatives who accuse them of bringing dishonor on their families; the majority of the killings are in the Middle East.
Last month, the United Nations dispatched a special envoy to Turkey to investigate. The envoy, Yakin Erturk, concluded that while some suicides were authentic, others appeared to be “honor killings disguised as a suicide or an accident.”
“The calls keep coming,” said Mehtap Ceylan, a member of Batman’s suicide prevention squad. She said she had very recently received a call about a 16-year-old girl who had committed suicide, her family said, because they would not let her wear jeans. But when Ms. Ceylan visited the house, neighbors told her the girl had been a happy person and had been wearing jeans for years.
“The story just doesn’t add up,” Ms. Ceylan said. “The girl’s family says their daughter was eating breakfast, walked into the next room and put a gun to her head. They were acting as if nothing had happened.”
Psychologists here say social upheavals in a region rocked by terrorism have played a role in the suicides. Many of the victims come from families in rural villages who have been displaced from the mountains to the cities because of warfare between Turkey and a Kurdish guerrilla group that wants to create an independent state for Kurds in southeastern Turkey.
Young women like Derya, who have previously led protected lives under the rigid moral strictures of their families and Islam, are suddenly finding themselves in the modern Turkey of Internet dating and MTV. The shift can create dangerous tensions, sometimes lethal ones, between their families and the secular values of the republic that the young women seek to embrace.
The price can be heavy. When a woman is suspected of engaging in sexual relations out of wedlock, her male relatives convene a family council to decide her sentence. Once news of the family’s shame has spread to the community, the family typically rules that it is only through death that its honor can be restored.
The European Union has warned Turkey that it is closely monitoring its progress on women’s rights and that failure to progress could impede its drive to enter the union.
Until recently, a family member of a dishonored girl, usually a brother younger than 18, would carry out the death sentence and receive a short prison sentence because of his youth. Sentences also were reduced under the defense that a relative had been provoked to commit murder.
But in the past two years, Turkey has revamped its penal code and imposed life sentences for such killings, known as honor killings, regardless of the killer’s age. This has prompted some families to take other steps, such as forcing their daughters to commit suicide or killing them and disguising the deaths as suicides.
In an effort to bring honor killings out from underground, Ka-Mer, a local women’s group, has created a hot line for women who fear their lives are at risk. Ka-Mer finds shelter for the women and helps them to apply to the courts for restraining orders against relatives who have threatened them.
Ayten Tekay, a caseworker for Ka-Mer in Diyarbakir, the regional center, said that of the 104 women who had called the group this year, more than half had been uneducated and illiterate. She said that in some cases the families had not wanted to kill their relatives but that the social pressure and incessant gossip had driven them to it.
“We have to bring these killings out from the shadows and teach women about their rights,” she said. “The laws have been changed, but the culture here will not change overnight.”
Derya, fiercely articulate and newly invigorated after counseling, said she was determined to get on with her life. “This region is religious and it is impossible to be yourself if you are a woman,” she said. “You can either escape by leaving your family and moving to a town, or you can kill yourself.”
Derya said the underlying problem was inequality between the sexes, even though the prophet Muhammad argued in favor of empowering women.
“In my village and in my father’s tribe, boys are in the sky while girls are treated as if they are under the earth,” she said. “As long as families do not trust their daughters, bad things will continue to happen.”
There are some Christian and Jewish sects that would go so far as to shun or exclude a member of their family until they make restitution, become penitent and change their life ways. I agree that in the original Mosaic Laws there were provisions for stoning, but this has not been practiced for centuries. So who can tell me, Is this the norm for those of the Islam faith? Is murdering a family member for an indiscretion a normal practice of the faith? If so, please look around. We are now in the year 2006.
Lori Lieberman was a folk artist. She has transformed herself into a wonderful songwriter and recording artist.
She got her first big break and landed a recording deal with Capitol Records. Among the collection of songs was a simple folk song, detailing Lieberman's experience of sitting in the back of a nightclub, transfixed by the musician onstage who seemed to sing right through her. The musician was Don McClean.
Her album, simply titled, "Lori Lieberman", garnered both critical and audience appeal, and as it crept up the charts, it was Roberta Flack who heard Lieberman's version featured on an American Airlines music channel. She immediately contacted her producer, Joel Dorn, and recorded the now classic, Grammy award winning song,"Killing Me Softly".
Working alongside her producers, Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel, Lieberman went on to record four more albums ("Becoming", "A Piece Of Time", "Straw Colored Girl", and "The Best Of Lori Lieberman"), touring extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Now if you go to download Roberta Flack’s recording of Killing Me Softly or purchase it at a music store, you will not find Lori Lieberman’s name as the song’s author. You will find the names of Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel listed as authors. According to those in the know, Ms. Lieberman titled the song, “Killing Me Softly With His Blues.” If you research this further you will find it said that this song was based on a poem by Lori Lieberman.
The music industry is a huge carnivorous beast that eats it’s young. A new artist/songwriter that signs with a record label generally winds up assigning their songs copyrights to the label. Which is probably what Lieberman had to do to get her songs recorded. It’s not common knowledge, but the artist has to pay for the recording session. Generally this is paid for with a large advance that the record company gives to them. The record label manufacturers and distributes the product and the artist gets paid per diem for each unit sold. Out of that he or she has to pay back the advance money that they used to produce the recording. The way artists make money is through concerts. The Beach Boys are a great example of this. Here were a group of kids from the early 1960's that signed with Capitol Records. The father, Murray Wilson, had been in the music business and stepped in to take control of his sons business matters. Murray Wilson wound up giving up the rights to all of the Beach Boys early works to Capitol Records. It was years before those songs were sold back to the Beach Boys.
Here is another story about song works that were essentially stolen.
The Roulette Label was founded in late 1956 or early 1957 by record producer George Goldner and Joe Kolsky in New York City. Joe Kolsky was also a 50% owner of the George Goldner labels. Goldner was in business with nightclub owner Morris Levy. Morris Levy was installed as president of the new Roulette label. The partnership was short lived as Billboard announced on April 6, 1957, "(George) Goldner has sold his interests in the Roulette outright to the Morris Levy combine.
The initial issues for the Roulette label were the purchased masters of "Party Doll" and "I'm Sticking With You" by a Texas group known as the Rhythm Orchids, which were Buddy Knox (guitar), Jimmy Bowen (bass), Dave Alldred (drums), and Don Lanier (guitar). Originally, in 1956, the two songs were on flip sides of a local single the group put out in Dumas, Texas, with "Party Doll" billed as "Buddy Knox with the Orchids" and "I'm Stickin' With You" as by "Jim Bowen with the Orchids." When both sides of the single got airplay, Roulette purchased the masters and reissued the songs, but split the Triple-D single into two separate releases, "Party Doll"/"My Baby's Gone" by Buddy Knox, and "I'm Sticking With You"/"Ever Lovin' Fingers" by Jimmy Bowen. Both songs were hits ("Ever Lovin' Fingers" also charted) and Roulette was off to a good start. Buddy Knox had several more hits for Roulette. Jimmy Bowen had a couple of minor hits and later became a very successful producer, especially of country music.
Roulette also had substantial early success with Jimmie Rodgers, a folk-pop singer from Seattle. In 1957, Rodgers auditioned a song called "Honeycomb" for producers Hugo and Luigi. They recorded and released it, and it went to Number 1 in July, 1957. It was the only #1 record for Rodgers, but he did have six other top twenty sides for Roulette, including "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine," "Secretly," and "Oh-Oh, I'm Fallin' In Love Again."
Rodgers continued to record for Roulette until 1962 when he went to the Dot label. During the early 1960s, it is astonishing how many of the Roulette artists exited the label to the supposedly greener pastures of Dot - probably more than a dozen. Most of these artists had one or at most several albums for Roulette before joining Dot, but Jimmie Rodgers was the exception. He was an established chartmaker, and continued his success for Dot with several hits there. The dozen or so other artists who thought Dot would turn around their lack of chart success were mistaken; they didn't chart for Dot, either.
Roulette also recorded one of the last of the rock and roll pioneers, Ronnie Hawkins. Roulette recorded him in 1959, and he managed a minor hit with Chuck Berry's "Forty Days" (for some reason, Hawkins added ten days to Chuck's original "Thirty Days"). Ronnie Hawkins had several more hits on Roulette including "Mary Lou" (a remake of a Young Jesse song of a few years earlier) and the blues standard "Who Do You Love?". Hawkins was from Arkansas and had auditioned for Sun Records, but was rejected. He went to Canada, where he had considerable success as a stage performer and met several outstanding musicians who he employed as his band, the Hawks. The Hawks included drummer Levon Helm and guitarist Robbie Robertson, and also eventually included Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson. The Hawks achieved even greater fame in 1965 when Bob Dylan asked them to back him on his first "electric" world tour. Of course, the Hawks later became known as "The Band," and became superstars on Capitol Records.
Roulette had a very strong jazz catalog, recording many of the jazz artists that played at the Morris Levy's Birdland nightclub. Roulette also acquired the catalog of the Roost label in August 1958, which had jazz artists Stan Getz, Johnny Smith, and Sonny Stitt.
Morris Levy ran the Roulette label from it's inception. He was born poor in the East Bronx, New York. He went into the nightclub business and eventually owned several big nightclubs in mid-town Manhattan. Levy was in business with disc jockey Alan Freed, and with Freed promoted the hugely successful Rock and Roll shows at the Brooklyn Paramount Theater. Levy's real money came from publishing copyrights that accumulated into a vast fortune over the years. It was hardly a secret that Levy had many "silent partners" in the Mafia underworld. Levy claimed he was being harassed by the government and had numerous run-ins with the law because of his association with the Genovese family, but he avoided serious prosecution for many years. Levy's luck ran out in May 1988 when he was convicted on extortion charges and drew a ten-year sentence, but he remained free on bail after an appeal, and died of cancer in 1990.
The way that Levy made money from copyrights is by putting his name on every one of his company’s recordings as author of the song.
Although the artist was heard through record sales and radio play, their share of sales was split because the head of the recording company, Levy, took the lion’s share.
The advent of the internet is a blessing for songwriters and recording artists. Here is a platform on which they can offer their product, their songs for sale through downloads. Recording the music has also been made much easier with computer software or stand alone digital units that are as simple to operate as a tape recorder. All of the middle man work done by the record company can now be done by the artist. This enables them to be rewarded for their work.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Niccolò Paganini was born in Genoa, Italy, on 27 October 1782, to Antonio and Teresa (née Bocciardo) Paganini. According to his biographer Peter Lichtenthal, Paganini first learned to play the mandolin from his father at the age of five, moved to the violin by the age of seven, and began composing before he turned eight. He gave his first public concert at the age of 12. In his early teens he studied under various teachers, including Giovanni Servetto and Alessandro Rolla, but he could not cope well with his success; at the age of 16 he was gambling and drinking. His career was saved by an unknown lady, who took him to her estate where he recovered and studied the violin for three years. He also played the guitar during this time.
He reappeared when he was 23, becoming director of music to Napoleon's sister Elisa Baciocchi, Princess of Lucca, when he wasn't touring. In early 1828 Nicolo began a six and half year tour that started in Vienna and ended in Paris in September 1834. During the two and half year period from August 1828 to February, 1831 he visited some 40 cities in Germany, Bohemia, and Poland. Performances in Vienna, Paris, and London were hailed widely, and his tour in 1832 through England and Scotland made him wealthy.
His playing of tender passages was so beautiful that his audiences often burst into tears, and yet, he could perform with such force and velocity that at Vienna one listener became half crazed and declared that for some days that he had seen the Devil helping the violinist.
Paganini was one of the first musicians, if not the first, to tour as a solo artist, without supporting musicians. He became one of the first "superstars" of public concertizing. He made a fortune as a touring musician, and was uncanny in his ability to charm an audience.
A pervading myth about Paganini is that he sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his fearsome technique, a rumor which he delighted in and may have even started himself. During a performance his eyes would roll into the back of his head while playing, revealing the whites. His swaying stance, long unruly hair and thin, gaunt stature would add to this rumor. He played so intensely that women would faint and men would break out weeping.
Once his fame was established, Paganini’s life was a mixture of triumphs and personal excesses. He earned large sums of money but he indulged recklessly in gambling and other forms of dissipation. On one occasion he was forced to pawn his violin. Having requested the loan of a violin from a wealthy French merchant so that he could fulfill an engagement, he was given a Guarnerius violin by the merchant and later refused to take it back when the concert was over.
Paganini's signature violin is known as Il Cannone Guarnerius, its name given by Paganini to reflect the "cannon" sound it produced. Its strings are nearly on the same plane, as opposed to most violins, the strings of which are distinctly arched to prevent accidentally bowing extra strings. The stringing of the Cannone may have allowed Paganini to play on three or even four strings at once. It was Paganini’s treasure and was bequeathed to the people of Genoa by the violinist and is still carefully preserved in that city
Paganini’s genius as a player overshadows his work as a composer. He wrote much of his music for his own performances, music so difficult that it was commonly thought that he entered into a pack with the Devil. His compositions included 24 caprices (published in 1820) for unaccompanied violin that are among the most difficult works ever written for the instrument. He also challenged musicians with such compositions as his 12 sonatas for violin and guitar; 6 violin concerti; and 6 quartets for violin, viola, cello, and guitar.
In Paris in 1833, he commissioned a viola concerto from Hector Berlioz, who produced Harold in Italy for him, but Paganini never played it.
It is well known that Paganini rarely practiced after his 30th birthday. Those who were closely associated with him used to marvel at his brilliant technique and watched him closely to discover how he retained it.
In performance Paganini enjoyed playing tricks, like tuning one of his strings a semitone high, or playing the majority of a piece on one string after breaking the other three. He astounded audiences with techniques that included harmonics, double stops, pizzicato with the left as well as the right hand, and near impossible fingerings and bowings.
Antonia Bianchi, a singer who toured with Nicolo in 1825, bore him a son, Cyrus Alexander on July 23, 1825. Although they were never married, he did lavish affection on his son for the rest of his life.
Known as a gambler, he unsuccessfully attempted to open a gambling casino in Paris in 1838.
His health deteriorated due to cancer of the larynx. The disease caused him to lose the ability to speak, but he played his violin until his final hours. The last night before his death it is said he could be heard improvising wildly on his violin. He died in Nice on 27 May, 1840.
He left behind a series of sonatas, caprices, six violin concerti, string quartets, and numerous guitar works.
The orchestral parts of Paganini's works are polite, unadventurous in scoring, and supportive. Critics of Paganini find his concerti long-winded and formulaic: one fast rondo finale could often be switched for another. During his public career, the violin parts of the concertos were kept secret. Paganini would rehearse his orchestra without ever playing the full violin solos. At his death, only two had been published. Paganini's heirs have cannily released his concertos one at a time, each given their second debut, over many years, at well-spaced intervals. There are now six published Paganini violin concerti (although the last two are missing their orchestral parts). His more intimate compositions for guitar and string instruments, particularly the violin, have yet to become part of the standard repertoire.
Paganini developed the genre of concert variations for solo violin, characteristically taking a simple, apparently naïve theme, and alternating lyrical variations with a ruminative, improvisatory character that depended for effect on the warmth of his phrasing, with bravura extravagances that left his audiences gasping.
Here is his violin that was crafted by the famous maker, Guarneri del Gesu. The Il Cannone and has remained the property of the city of Genoa since 1851.
Friday, July 14, 2006
We all get the blues from time to time. Ol' Boudinot's been listenin' to blues music for many years. It's starting to get popular again. I like 'em all. Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Sleepy John Estes, John Lee Hooker, Lightnin' Hopkins, Big Mamma Thorton, Bessie Smith, Jelly Roll Morton, Mississippi Slim.
One name that doesn't come up too often is Blind Carnegie Mellon. Yessir, I love to kick back in my rockin' chair and turn on the record player and listen to Mellon wail the blues.
I once saw this pirate at a bar. He had a peg leg, an eyepatch, and a hook for a hand.
I’m a nosey guy, so I asked him "How'd ya get the peg leg?"
"AARRGGH, I was fightin' a huge shark, thrashin around in the water, and I killed the varmint, but it chewed off me leg." He repies.
So I asked him, "How'd ya get the hook?"
"AARRGGHH” ,says he, “ the very next trip, I was reelin' in a giant fightin' barracuda, and I finally landed him after two days, but the rope tore off me arm."
Me being the curious sort, I had to just ask "OK, so how'd ya get the eye patch?"
And he tells me, "AARRGGH, shortly after that, I was standin on me porch, and a seagull crapped in me eye."
I was puzzled and I said, "That's nothing compared with the other stories, why do you have an eyepatch?"
He replies, "It was me first day with the hook."
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Every day in the news we read a story about some fool with a computer that has been stalking out a teenage child (who also has a computer) by sending them nasty emails, internet chat or pictures of his naughty bits. The story always ends the same way. The young teen entices the jackass to visit them and it turns out that the teenager is actually a 45 year old dectective.
Now one of the TV networks has been running a series of shows about this subject. They go from town to town serving up a five course platter of justice to all the perverted morons that live with in a 3 hour drive from the town they are in. And it is plumb amazing to see the parade of jokers from all walks of life that arrive expecting to violate a minor girl or boy.
We have computers now, but this has been going on forever. My Mamma told me a story about her youth. When she was 8 years old she went to visit her playmate. The young girls father greeted my Mamma at the door wearing nothing but a smirk. She ran home and told her Mamma. My Grandpa and Uncles hauled the offender out in the yard, ripped his clothes off and administered immediate justice. The policemen just looked on. That family left the neighborhood the next day.
The world is full of vile, sick and nasty people. God help us all!
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
It appears that she started a fad. In my fair town, since the beginning of the current school year 3 school “marms” have been charged with soliciting male high school students and had to face a judge. What are these ladies thinking? They’ve worked hard to get through school, obtain their teaching certification and build up tenure, only to blow it all on some young boy that can’t even buy a six pack, hold a job and still lives with his mama. Furthermore two of these teachers were married with children, so they’ve put a severe dent in their own family lives.
In my day teachers were named Anabelle or Mary Margret and wore sensible shoes, print dresses and were usually beyond retirement age. Like my English teacher Miss Gertrude McGuillicuddy.
Monday, July 10, 2006
It was on this day in 1925 that the Scopes Monkey Trial began in Dayton, Tennessee. In March of that year, the Tennessee legislature had declared it illegal to teach any doctrine that denied the Biblical story of divine creation. The American Civil Liberties Union immediately placed an ad in Tennessee newspapers asking for any teacher willing to challenge the state's law. It was the manager of a struggling mining company in Dayton, Tennessee, who spotted the ad, and he thought that the case might bring some publicity to his city. He persuaded a twenty-four-year-old high school teacher named John Scopes to take on the challenge. Scopes had never actually taught evolution in the classroom, but he had used an evolutionist textbook to help students review for a test. That was enough to qualify him as a defendant.
The liberal lawyer Clarence Darrow offered to argue for Scopes' defense. And the former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan volunteered to lead the prosecution. Most people assume that Bryan was a Christian fundamentalist who just wanted to keep religion in the classroom. But in fact, Bryan objected to Darwin's theory in part because it had given rise to the eugenics movement. Bryan said, "The Darwinian theory represents man as reaching his present perfection by the operation of the law of hate—the merciless law by which the strong crowd out and kill off the weak."
The biology textbook at the heart of the Scopes Trial actually advocated the segregation of the races for the sake of improving the gene pool. Bryan believed that Darwin's theories damaged the very concept of humanity.
Many people thought Darrow would put Christianity itself on trial, but the judge in the case wouldn't let him. The judge announced at the start that the case would not consider the constitutionality of the law or its wisdom. It would only determine whether John Scopes had violated the law.
Clarence Darrow wasn't allowed to call any of the famous scientists from Harvard and the University of Chicago as witnesses. So he called the prosecuting attorney William Jennings Bryan as a witness. Bryan agreed to be cross-examined. Over the course of two hours, Clarence Darrow asked Bryan a series of questions in an effort to show that the Biblical creation story could not stand up to scientific reasoning.
Bryan was so exhausted by the case that he died five days after it was over. The jury convicted John Scopes, and he was fined $100. Darrow never got to appeal the case, because a higher court overruled the conviction on a technicality. The law stood on the books for more than forty years, until 1967, when it was struck down by the Supreme Court for violating the First Amendment.
In my humble opionion the Scopes trial is one of the big hub-bubs that sets the ire of Christianity going. Relax folks! It was a trial brought about by the ACLU and they have proved themselves time and time again to be cheeky little monkeys. They are nothing but instigators.