Thursday, October 30, 2014

"DEVELOPING MENTAL TOUGHNESS"


1. Always carry yourself as if you are in total control of your life situation…and by not wasting mental energy worrying about what might happen to you, you can put all your

2. Put aside things you have no ability to impact. Mental energy is like muscle strength…no one has an infinite supply. Don't waste your power on things you'll never control.

3. See the past as valuable training and nothing more. Learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others, and then…let it all go…

4. Celebrate the success of others…resentment and jealousy suck up massive amounts of energy, which is better applied elsewhere…

5. No whining…EVER…whining always make you feel worse, never better. When something is wrong, put that mental energy into making the situation better, no matter what it is. Do the same with your friends. Real friends don't let friends whine…real friends help friends make things better…

6. Focus on impressing yourself. Never mind your clothes, your car, your home, your cash, your toys or your title…those are all things. People may like your things, but that doesn't mean they like you…one can become more genuine when one stops trying to impress others, and starts striving to be the best version ever of him or herself…

7. Count your blessings…try this for a month…a simple 4 weeks…every day, write down three things for which you're honestly grateful…call it "doing your gratefuls…" As you age, take more time to be grateful for what you DO have and pay less or no attention to what you DO NOT have…

Feeling better about yourself is the best way imaginable to recharge your mental batteries…

From B.L.C.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Question of the Day


Dream Number 12099


I am in a large building. I think I may be on the second floor, but I am not certain. It’s my Mother’s house, but it isn’t.



My entire family is cleaning, scrubbing and ridding the house of years of junk. Mom is getting a reverse mortgage. The appraiser is coming soon and we want to be ready.


I’ve parked the car nearby on the street. The street looks much like any downtown street on a city block. The car is a yellow VW Beetle. I have enter the house from the front door off the street. The house appears to look more like a warehouse than Mom’s actual home.


Eventually the appraiser arrives with her entourage. She is a middle aged Black business woman with a clipboard. She acknowledges no one, but goes straight to work, walking from room to room with her assistants, who resemble her. She is making notes and checking things off on the clipboard.

Finally she offers an appraisal of $55,000.


My brother speaks up and says, “What are you…nuts!” She says this is based on similar neighborhood properties. My brother gets mad and leaves. I tell the lady, “Ma’am, I can show you lists of homes that have sold in this neighborhood for $127,000 up through $270,000. This home is huge. You haven’t even taken that into consideration. Would you please revise your offer?”

The appraiser then pulls out another contract and asks to use my copy machine. I let her know we have a scanner and show her how to use it. The appraiser writes the figure, $88,000 and makes copies of it. Although the first attempt she put the paper in sideways.


I explain that she is low-balling my Mother and that is not going to happen and also explain the exit door is downstairs. The appraiser and the entire crew leaves in a huff.

Now I have arrived in another car. It appears to be an old one I used to own. I enter the home once again. Most of the rooms are painted yellow and the lighting is bright. The floors are hardwood.

I am talking with someone and explain that I must leave. I exit the building.

Where are my cars? I cannot recall where I parked. I remember there are two cars here somewhere, but where?

My Dad calls me from the second floor balcony and says that he has them. He has paid for my tags and title and has it for me. He is standing there with my siblings, who look much younger than the actually are these days.

I thank him and tell him that I will be back as I head to the bottom of the street to the hospital. I say hello to some folks I know who are headed to have their supper. I am asked to join them.

I never knew what is for supper since I wake up. The clock says 3:50 am. Hooray! I can go back to sleep.

This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did.


From a New York Post article - 10/27/2014

A former CBS News reporter who quit the network over claims it kills stories that put President Obama in a bad light says she was spied on by a “government-related entity” that planted classified documents on her computer.

In her new memoir, Sharyl Attkisson says a source who arranged to have her laptop checked for spyware in 2013 was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” at what the analysis revealed.

“This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America,” Attkisson quotes the source saying. She speculates that the motive was to lay the groundwork for possible charges against her or her sources.


 Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts. “The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

Attkisson says her source — identified only as “Number One” — told her the spying was most likely not court-authorized because it went on far longer than most legal taps. But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.” “

They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added. In her book, Attkisson says CBS lost interest in her coverage of the deadly attack on the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, and killed her stories of the federal “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal.

Both CBS and the White House declined to comment.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Great Is Thy Faithfullness



One of my favorite hymns is Great Is Thy Faithfulness. In fact I have just worked up a guitar arrangement to play at my Church. It is a wonderful reminder that God has been faithful to me in all that I do.

I may not be wealthy, I may struggle with my daily life, my health is not as good as it was in earlier times, but my God is faithful and has always provided for all my needs.

This song was written as a poem back in 1923 by Thomas O. Chisholm as his expression that God had been faithful to him throughout his life. The lyrics refer to Lamentation 3:22-23 Lamentations 3:22-23 from the New International Version “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Thomas Obadiah Chisholm
Chisholm was born in 1866 in a Kentucky log cabin. At age 16 he became a teacher. Eleven years later he had a life changing experience during a revival led by Dr. Henry Clay Morrison where he devoted his life to following God through Jesus Christ.

Chisholm went to work as a Methodist minister, but this only lasted for one year. His health was failing. We are not certain how he supported himself for the next 16 years. We do know that he was editor of the Pentecostal Herald which was published in Louisville Kentucky. At age 43 he began a career selling life insurance in New Jersey.

In 1923 he wrote the poem Great Is Thy Faithfulness. During his lifetime Chisholm wrote over 1200 sacred poems.

Chisholm retired to the Methodist Home for the Aged in Ocean Grove New Jersey and died in 1960.

His poem, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, was submitted to William M. Runyan at a time that Runyan was affiliated with the Moody Bible Institute.

William M. Runyan
Runyan was born in 1870 in Marion New York. His father was a Methodist minister. At 14 years of age the family moved to Marion Kansas.

Runyan had a wonderful talent for music and served as the organist for his father’s congregation. William Runyan was ordained as a Methodist minister at the age of 21 and pastored several congregations throughout Kansas.

During the years 1895-98, Runyan furthered his education at Northwestern University. In 1915 Runyan began writing Gospel songs with the encouragement of D.B. Towner of the Moody Bible Institute. Runyan soon moved to Chicago.

From 1924 to 1926 Runyan was affiliated with John Brown University in Siloam Springs Arkansas and was pastoring the Federated Church and editing the Christian Worker’s Magazine. He moved back to Chicago in 1926 to work for the Moody Bible Institute and become editor of Hope Publishing Company where he co-edited “The Service Hymnal” with Gordon Stanley.

In 1923 he was presented with the Thomas Chisholm poem Great Is Thy Faithfulness and he set it to music.

In 1948 Runyan retired from Hope Publishing and received an honorary Doctor of Letters from Wheaton College. He retired to Galveston Texas and then later returned to Pittsburg Kansas where he died in 1957.

For a time in his life Runyan served as a professor at Baker City University. His children attended this institution and endowed the Rev. William M. Runyan Endowed Memorial Scholarship with royalties from the hymn Great Is Thy Faithfulness.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou hast been,Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see..
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see..
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own great presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow.
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see..
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Adam and Eve




I've Been Insulted - Blessed Am I When Men Revile You...

I saw an enlightening video on Youtube recently regarding jihad. It was a response to someone complaining that Christians started all this trouble in 1095 when they started fighting the wars for God known as the Crusades. 

The video showed that the Crusades were actually a response to the jihads or wars that had been started over 400 years prior to this by Muslims invading Europe. In World History class, years ago, we learned about the Ottoman and Byzantine Wars and the invasion of Gaul. We learned about the Moors in Spain and Italy. We were never presented with any information about jihad or a caliphate. These were foreign words in the 1960's.

So I remarked about the video and I got this response and thought this is not only blog-worthy, but invokes the Scripture from Luke 6, "“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!"

So here is the response I received from someone who goes by the pseudonymn calpurnpiso and does not have the cojones to use his own name as he calls me...

"A typical ChristPsychosis infected imbecile extremely IGNORANT of HISTORY. Notice he says "Classical Civilization". This stupid Zombie God Belief infected Ignoramus doesn't realize Classical Civilization was PAGAN, tolerant, amazing intellectuals civilization of the VAST ROMAN EMPIRE. Its destruction begun when criminal ChristPsychotic Psychopath Constantine I, a CHRISTUS ( anointed savior) in 325 ce, made the Zombie God belief (Christian Cul of Caesar) the ONLY religions accepted in the Roman EMpire, initiating the disintegration of the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages, they BURNED books, embrace ignorance deluded neurologically retarding GOD belief crap. Intolerance, neurological stagnation had begun.

This ChristPsychosis infected idiot doesn't realize, he was created by an act of coitus, his brain, obviously defective emerged blank.
Archeologists will laugh at his deluded version of History, due to his Zombie God Schizophrenia, base on Bible Mythologies. I bet this deluded idiot believe the Holocaust never happen, Ancient Aliens build the Pyramids, Noah's ark could hold all those animals. This demented deluded idiots ought to get the true salvation he seeks by seeing a mentally healthy aka atheist Neurologist to fix his defective BRAIN, then he can study Science and REAL ancient history.
Defective SICK BRAINS can only produce defective SICK deluded nonsense like he is spewing here fooling only those as ignorant, deluded, ChristPsychosis infected as he is.

Science facts talks, demented irrational Zombie God induced bullshit walks.
This idiot has ZERO EVIDENCE of what he says, while real historians, scientist can BURY his sick ass with EVIDENCE that proves him WRONG. This man is a ChristPsychosis infected moron stuck in the 12th Century. Sad, he forgets this is the 21st."



Have your brain check, really!! You suffer from ChristPsychosis. Where did you go to school, the churches at Disneyland? Get a BRAIN before talking to me.
Didn't you know there are 8,000 languages spoken on this planet. I speak 7. The BRAIN creates the MIND, it is a product of coitus from the PENIS of our DADS when it spit SEMEN DNA int the COC  ( cave of creation) of our mothers.) 
Learn SCIENCE stupid ignorant Christian Theotard. ( retarded because zombie god belief)

Parents brother and sister by any chance? Sorry the truth I present hurts. How many times must I repeat the fact you were created when a woman suck PenisChrist of a man, the creator resurrected and spit defective CUM-DNA in her COC ( cave of creation) and 9 months later a baby with a defective BRAIN emerged,YOU, before the TRUTH sink in?

Attack the presented SCIENTIFIC and HISTORICAL FACTS, not me, moron, I am simply the MESSENGER.

So, stupid ChristPsychosis infected imbecile, go to your Progenitor, kneel engulf his PenisChrist with your lips, and if you are good, the Creator will bless you with the same CUM-DNA that created your defective BRAIN. Got it?

Get a Brain. Want to see a true Bozo with a retarded BRAIN? Look in the mirror..

Now go suck your creator's GOD which is his Cock. ( Rooster, Bird, penis,Snake, horns are some of the 8000 WORDS defining the DNA SPITTER creator god)  

Cock Bless you asshole. You post crap attacking me and I'll ram SCIENCE FACTS up your ass.

ENJOY the truth presented in this video but watch it 100 times so it sinks in…Sorry truth hurts….and yes imbecile I SHOW my FACE with my healthy aka ATHEIST well educated finely tuned BRAIN,..show yours, deluded, IGNORANT ChristPsychosis infected imbecile so I can point out its Neural array defect  and schizotypy…Please see neurologist.

So Calpumpiso, you are talking a lot about zombies, which are popular science fictional characters that young folks seem to be interested in these days. You can write, although poorly and illegibly, and because your thoughts are sort of scattered and you have a lot of conviction; (we used to call this pith and vinegar). This leads me to believe that you are of college age. You are arrogant and know everything. So yes, you are definitely college age.

As you get older and reality and responsibility slap you in the face you will learn that the wisdom of youth is way overrated. I sincerely hope you one day outgrow your "healthy aka ATHEIST well educated finely tuned BRAIN" and become someone that will actually make a contribution to life instead of spewing negativity.

Embrace diversity; it keeps us real.

My hope for you is that God will bless you my friend and someday give you conviction in your heart to learn The Truth.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Grandma's Invitation

Grandma's Invitation (Priceless)


Dear Family,
I'm not dead yet. Thanksgiving is still important to me. If being in my Last Will and Testament is important to you, then you might consider being with me for my favorite holiday.
Dinner is at 2:00.
Not 2:15.
Not 2:05.
Two. 2:00
Arrive late and you get what's left over.
Last year, that moron Marshall fried a turkey in one of those contraptions and practically burned the deck off the house. This year, the only peanut oil used to make the meal will be from the secret scoop of peanut butter I add to the carrot soup.
Jonathan, your last new wife was an idiot. You don't arrive at someone's house on Thanksgiving needing to use the oven and the stove. Honest to God, I thought you might have learned after two wives - date them longer and save us all the agony of another divorce.
Now, the house rules are slightly different This year because I have decided that 47% of you don't know how to take care of nice things. Paper plates and red Solo cups might be bad for the environment, but I'll be gone soon and that will be your problem to deal with.
House Rules:
1. The University of Texas no longer plays Texas A&M. The television stays off during the meal.
2. The "no cans for kids" rule still exists. We are using 2 liter bottles because your children still open a third can before finishing the first two. Parents can fill a child's cup when it is empty. All of the cups have names on them and I'll be paying close attention to refills.
3. Chloe, last year we were at Trudy's house and I looked the other way when your Jell-O salad showed up. This year, if Jell-O salad comes in the front door it will go right back out the back door with the garbage. Save yourself some time, honey. You've never been a good cook and you shouldn't bring something that wiggles more than you. Buy something from the bakery.
4. Grandmothers give grandchildren cookies and candy. That is a fact of life. Your children can eat healthy at your home. At my home, they can eat whatever they like as long as they finish it.
5. I cook with bacon and bacon grease. That's nothing new. Your being a vegetarian doesn't change the fact that stuffing without bacon is like egg salad without eggs. Even the green bean casserole has a little bacon grease in it. That's why it tastes so good. Not eating bacon is just not natural. And as far as being healthy... look at me. I've outlived almost everyone I know.
6. Salad at Thanksgiving is a waste of space.
7. I do not like cell phones. Leave them in the car.
8. I do not like video cameras. There will be 32 people here. I am sure you can capture lots of memories without the camera pointed at me.
9. Being a mother means you have to actually pay attention to the kids. I have nice things and I don't put them away just because company is coming over. Mary, watch your kids and I'll watch my things.
10. Rhonda, a cat that requires a shot twice a day is a cat that has lived too many lives. I think staying home to care for the cat is your way of letting me know that I have lived too many lives too. I can live with that. Can you?
11. Words mean things. I say what I mean. Let me repeat: You don't need to bring anything means you don't need to bring anything. And if I did tell you to bring something, bring it in the quantity I said. Really, this doesn't have to be difficult.
12. Domino's and cards are better than anything that requires a battery or an on/off switch. That was true when you were kids and it's true now that you have kids.
13. Showing up for Thanksgiving guarantees presents at Christmas. Not showing up guarantees a card that may or may not be signed.
In memory of your Grandfather, the back fridge will be filled with beer. Drink until it is gone. I prefer wine anyway. But one from each family needs to be the designated driver.
I really mean all of the above.
Love You, 
Grandma.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pet Sounds - 15 Facts About The Album


This article was posted on the website Mentalfloss.

Pet Sounds is one of my favorite Beach Boys Albums. It was done at a time when the Brian Wilson was taking the group in a new direction; away from Surfing and Car songs.

Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds forever changed the landscape of pop music. It's a deeply personal album, and Wilson's meticulously complex and bizarre arrangements elevated the three-minute radio tune to art.

The story of how Pet Sounds was made has been told and retold (and parodied) plenty of times since its release in 1966, but there are still so many fascinating little stories about the album that may have gone under the radar.

1. Pet Sounds was inspired by the immaculately constructed and filler-free Beatles album,Rubber Soul. "Rubber Soul blew my mind," Brian Wilson says. "When I heard Rubber Soul, I said, 'That's it. That's all. That's all folks.' I said, 'I'm going to make an album that's really good, I mean really challenge me.' I mean, I love that fucking album, I cherish that album."

2. Pet Sounds started with a panic attack. In December of 1964, while on a flight to Houston to start yet another Beach Boys tour, Brian Wilson collapsed in the plane's aisle and began sobbing. He had to return to California, where he recovered and realized that he could tour no longer. He called a meeting with the rest of the band and said, "Listen, I'm going to have to quit the touring group. But it's going to be well worth it, because I'm going to write you some good songs."

3. Throughout 1965, while the rest of band toured, Brian worked on his new project. He arranged, composed, and produced the album and conducted an army of L.A.'s best studio musicians, also known as "The Wrecking Crew," to perform on it. Wilson had unprecedented control over Pet Sounds, and he was just 23 years old.

4. Once the rest of the band returned from international touring, Brian had them come into the studio to put vocals down on top of his compositions. It took a full week to record the voice track on “Wouldn’t it be Nice.” Brian was so demanding, Mike Love took to calling him "Dog Ears" because he could hear things humans could not. Love joked that they'd have to re-record a take in case any of the members had "an impure thought" while singing that Brian could pick up on the track. Maybe it wasn't a joke.

5. Wilson wrote the instrumental track “Pet Sounds” with the intention that it would be used in a James Bond movie. The original title was "Run James Run."

6. Brian's arrangements on Pet Sounds are so musically complex and meticulous, meaning can be derived at a remarkably technical level, as music critic Jim Fusilli does here (taken from Fusilli's book about the album): ["You Still Believe in Me"] begins in B major, a key rarely used in pop, and remains in B major. The G# major chord below the first, and only, time the word "love" is invoked in the song is particularly striking; on the second pass, the G# major chord hits below the word "fail." In a rare example of the bassist emphasizing the root in a Brian Wilson arrangement, Carol Kaye hits the G# in both instances. It's as if Brian wanted there to be no confusion for the listener: in his mind, at least in this song, love equals failure.

7. Brian's abusive father and manager Murry Wilson had effectively been kicked out of his sons' musical lives after a drunken, in-studio tirade during a recording of "Help Me, Rhonda." Despite this, he managed to use his clout with Capitol Records to speed up Brian's vocal track on "Caroline, No" to make it sound higher to his liking.

8. The barking at the end of "Caroline, No" comes from Brian's two dogs, Banana and Louie.

9. The dreamy, plinking sound at the beginning of "You Still Believe in Me" is achieved by someone reaching inside an open piano and directly plucking its strings. This effect is used in other songs on the album, but it is isolated here.

10. Besides its orchestral strings and wind sections, Pet Sounds is famous for its unusual and almost comedic use of bizarre instruments, including, but nowhere even near limited to, bicycle horns, vibraphones, timpani, finger cymbals, Coke cans, accordions, modified twelve-string mandolins, and water jugs.

11. Capitol Records wasn't thrilled with the album and how far it strayed from the band's usual sound. The company refused to issue a single with it until months after its release. ("Sloop John B" and "Caroline, No" were released as singles months before the album, with the latter published as a Brian Wilson solo).

12. Capitol had such little faith in Pet Sounds, they decided to release The Best of The Beach Boys, a collection of the band's well-known surf and party hits, around the same time.

13. Pet Sounds peaked at number 10 on the charts in the United States. The Best of The Beach Boys landed at 8.

14. Pet Sounds was a hit in the UK, where it topped the charts. Before its release there, Brian's tour fill-in Bruce Johnston took two copies with him to London and managed—through Beach Boys fanatic Keith Moon—to arrange a meeting at a hotel with John Lennon and Paul McCartney to play it for them. They listened to it once through, paused, and immediately asked to hear the album again. Shortly afterward, the two began to work on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

15. According to Beatles producer George Martin, "Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper never would have happened....Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds."

The songs include: Wouldn't It Be Nice, You Still Believe In Me, Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder), I'm Waiting For The Day, Let's Go Away For Awhile, Sloop John B, God Only Knows, Here Today, I Just Wasn't Made For These Times, Pet Sounds and the beautiful Caroline No.

 



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Rowan Atkinson Photoshopped to Famous Portrait Paintings

I’ve been a fan of Rowan Atkinson since the 1980’s when I tuned a far away public television show in late one night and discovered Black Adder.

I have since known him as Mr. Bean and Johnny English. But my favorite is Black Adder.

I have collected most of the episodes and seen all of them. Atkinson is a fascinating man and recently posed for these parodies of famous portraits that were created by caricature artist, Rodney Pike.

Self Portrait - Rembrandt  

Vanity - Frank Cadogan Cowper

Meditation - William Adolphe Bourguereau

Mrs. Richard Yates - Gilbert Stuart

Young Man With a Book - Agnolo Bronzino

Old Man In A Military Costume - Rembrandt

Mona Lisa - DaVinci

Henry the VIII - Hans Holbien the Younger

George Washington - Gilbert Stuart


Juan De Parejas - Diego Valasquez

Irene - Wm. Bourguereau
Thomas More - Hans Holbein the Younger


Breton Brother and Sister - Wm. Bourgueraeu

Tronie of a Man - Rembrandt



Thursday, October 09, 2014

God Only Knows - The BBC Version


From the BBC News Magazine Monitor October 9th, 2014
God Only Knows was written in half an hour, including two arguments between its co-creators. It's fair to say that assembling the cast of the BBC's new version of the song, all of whom reportedly gave their time for free, took a little longer, writes Alan Connor.

That half-hour, in autumn 1965, was a long time coming. Following a breakdown, Brian Wilson, chief songwriter for the Beach Boys, had paused to take stock for the first time.

First had been his childhood, in a musical band of brothers (and one cousin) superintended by his frustrated-musician father Murry, to whom the pushiest of parents can compare themselves favourably. Wilson Sr preferred the stick, or rather the belt, to the carrot. One of his punishments involved removing his glass eye and making the young Brian stare into the socket.

"When I was playing music," Wilson later recalled, "he couldn't hurt me."

Then, the success. Four unstinting years of effective isolation for Wilson, composing, recording and performing broadly similar faddish songs of surfboards and hot rods, with the odd moment of inspiration.


In 1965, the other Beach Boys toured Japan. Wilson chose to stay at home and ponder songs which would speak to geeks like himself in the same way that Barbara Ann had pleased the jocks. Changing the sound was the easy part. Unlike most songwriters, Brian Wilson didn't need a producer to add sonic nuance. He was hearing "teenage symphonies to God" in his head and could instruct a studio full of hired hands how to play them. It was lyrics that Wilson wanted help with. He'd recently tried out less on-the-nose lines like "sometimes I have a weird way of showing my love", but decided to work with someone new - outside the group.

At a Hollywood party, he'd met a friend of a friend - Tony Asher, a handsome advertising executive who wrote jingles for Mattel toys and Gallo wines. A collaboration with the man who defined the Californian good life was an offer Asher couldn't refuse. He booked some vacation, daily visiting Wilson's Bellagio house to discuss the musician's preoccupations of music, "spiritual" literature and the nature of love. These conversations were fractured. Wilson, who had been denied a childhood, would break off to show Asher his mechanical parrots or to watch episodes of Flipper, an "aquatic Lassie" series about a dolphin, which invariably reduced him to tears.

In time, Wilson played Asher the pieces of music he had in mind for an album called Pet Sounds and Asher essayed some lyrics to fit the themes Wilson had in mind. When they got to God Only Knows, things didn't start well.

Wilson felt that "I may not always love you" was absolutely the wrong way to kick off a love song. Too negative, he insisted.

Asher, equally insistent, said: "Consider the next line." In Wilson's autobiography, he remembers this as: "But long as the stars are above you, you'll never need to doubt me." This is understatement of something enormous - I'll only love you until the end of time.

If you were feeling technical, you might call it "litotes" and Milton pulls a similar trick in his line: "Love, not the lowest end of human life". So does Raymond Chandler: "He was a big man but not more than six feet five inches tall and not wider than a beer truck." (Not everyone is so confident - at Wilson's second wedding in 1995, his daughters sang a version which began, "I know I'll always love you, as long as there are stars above you," though a second marriage ceremony is arguably no place for ambiguity.)

After the music had been dumb and goofy, and before it got too weird and spooky, there was Pet Sounds. So I guess that's why everyone loves it, because that's where everything was right” ~ Elvis Costello

Wilson was also worried about the G-word. In their second argument, Wilson wasn't sure he wanted to be the first to put "God" in the title of a pop song, but Asher convinced him that it was (a) spiritual and (b) ground-breaking, two of the qualities they were striving for.

(Wilson was right. In the US, God Only Knows found itself flipped with its B-side when the owners of radio stations and record stores announced they were unwilling to risk offending sensibilities).

So the lyric was added to Wilson's arrangement - a baroque affair which was to include accordions, French horn and, played by Asher, sleigh bells. While lush, it actually has fewer vocals than your average Beach Boys track.

Eight people's voices were recorded, including the subject of the song, Wilson's wife Marilyn, but the song we know has just three.

Brian gave the lead to his brother Carl with the advice: "Just take it real easy." At the end of the a cappella version on the Pet Sounds Sessions box set, Carl can be heard wondering: "How was that? Was that cool?"
This time, it's not understatement.

The other Beach Boys were not a little surprised by what they found when they returned from Japan. Wilson's cousin Mike Love in particular wondered about the value of artistic and commercial risks.

When the recording was finished, Wilson told the band that he had found the music by praying to God. Love, ever the antagonist-pragmatist, muttered, "Pray to God it sells." The record company, too, questioned whether Pet Sounds was really a Beach Boys album.

They called time on the sessions, leaving one track without its vocals, and then considered shelving the whole project. At the last fraught meeting with the Capitol executives, Wilson answered their questions using a tape recorder on which he had recorded himself saying "yes", "no", "no comment" and "can you repeat the question?"

Sometimes the nay-sayers are right, and a musician's "personal project" is disastrous folly. Few would charge Pet Sounds with that.

God Only Knows gets a special kind of praise, such as becoming the favourite song of a Beatle - Paul McCartney, the one to whom Wilson perpetually and disparagingly compared himself.

Wilson, indomitably fretful, responded to McCartney's praise by locking himself in the changing hut next to his swimming pool, on the basis that if God Only Knows were worthy of such praise, it must all be downhill from there.

"I'm a has-been," he concluded as McCartney stood outside, "and a wash-up."


Regarding the BBC version, Wilson is more sanguine, pronouncing himself "honoured" and carefully describing God Only Knows as "one of the best I've ever written". The song is a good fit - a pop piece with a polyphonic complexity which gives the BBC Concert Orchestra something to get its teeth into. More than that, it's fitting that a lyric written by an ad exec should be re-purposed as a commercial of sorts, albeit one for ad-free broadcasting.

 

Irish Slavery - The Forgotten Horror of Our Past


They came as slaves; vast human cargo transported on tall British ships bound for the Americas. They were shipped by the hundreds of thousands and included men, women, and even the youngest of children.

Whenever they rebelled or even disobeyed an order, they were punished in the harshest ways. Slave owners would hang their human property by their hands and set their hands or feet on fire as one form of punishment. They were burned alive and had their heads placed on pikes in the marketplace as a warning to other captives . 

We don’t really need to go through all of the gory details, do we? We know all too well the atrocities of the African slave trade. 

Excerpts from the book White Cargo by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh

From an article by John Martin in Global Research, January 2013

But, are we talking about African slavery? King James II and Charles I also led a continued effort to enslave the Irish. Britain’s famed Oliver Cromwell furthered this practice of dehumanizing one’s next door neighbor. The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.



Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.

From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.

During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656,


Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.

Many people today will avoid calling the Irish slaves what they truly were: Slaves. They’ll come up with terms like “Indentured Servants” to describe what occurred to the Irish. However, in most cases from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle.

As an example, the African slave trade was just beginning during this same period. It is well recorded that African slaves, not tainted with the stain of the hated Catholic theology and more expensive to purchase, were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts. African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling).

If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African. The English masters quickly began breeding the Irish women for both their own personal pleasure and for greater profit. Children of slaves were themselves slaves, which increased the size of the master’s free workforce.


Even if an Irish woman somehow obtained her freedom, her kids would remain slaves of her master. Thus, Irish moms, even with this new found emancipation, would seldom abandon their kids and would remain in servitude.

In time, the English thought of a better way to use these women (in many cases, girls as young as 12) to increase their market share: The settlers began to breed Irish women and girls with African men to produce slaves with a distinct complexion. These new “mulatto” slaves brought a higher price than Irish livestock and, likewise, enabled the settlers to save money rather than purchase new African slaves.

This practice of interbreeding Irish females with African men went on for several decades and was so widespread that, in 1681, legislation was passed “forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men for the purpose of producing slaves for sale.” In short, it was stopped only because it interfered with the profits of a large slave transport company.

England continued to ship tens of thousands of Irish slaves for more than a century. Records state that, after the 1798 Irish Rebellion, thousands of Irish slaves were sold to both America and Australia. There were horrible abuses of both African and Irish captives. One British ship even dumped 1,302 slaves into the Atlantic Ocean so that the crew would have plenty of food to eat.

There is little question that the Irish experienced the horrors of slavery as much (if not more in the 17th Century) as the Africans did. There is, also, very little question that those brown, tanned faces you witness in your travels to the West Indies are very likely a combination of African and Irish ancestry. In 1839, Britain finally decided on its own to end it’s participation in Satan’s highway to hell and stopped transporting slaves. While their decision did not stop pirates from doing what they desired, the new law slowly concluded THIS chapter of nightmarish Irish misery.

But, if anyone, black or white, believes that slavery was only an African experience, then they’ve got it completely wrong.

Irish slavery is a subject worth remembering, not erasing from our memories.

But, where are our public (and PRIVATE) schools???? Where is it listed in the history books? Why is it so seldom taught or discussed?

Do the memories of hundreds of thousands of Irish victims merit more than a mention from an unknown writer? Or is their story to be one that their English pirates intended: To (unlike the African book) have the Irish story utterly and completely disappear as if it never happened.

None of the Irish victims ever made it back to their homeland to describe their ordeal. These are the lost slaves; the ones that time and biased history books conveniently forgot.