Thursday, February 27, 2014

All The Hateful People, Where Do They All Come From?

My favorite tweet about Arizona Governor Brewer's veto of SB 1062:

"Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer makes Christians in her state second class citizens."
-Todd Starnes, FOX News

Yeah, that spot belongs to LGBT, women, the poor, true minorities, or anyone else who isn't a heterosexual Christian. American philosopher Eric Hoffer wrote, "To know a person's religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance."

As I watch what what is happening in our county today, I can not help but believe that America's brand of Christianity has veered off the path of true Christianity into cultism. A religious cult has been described as a "group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister." The Far Right's attempts to create a religious America in their own intolerant image is not only sinister but dangerous. Arizona's Senate Bill 1062 was not that far morally from Uganda's anti-gay laws. When you try to legalize hatred you have lost any claim to holding the moral high ground. Thank God we are still a country that puts money before our religious beliefs. It may be the only thing that keeps us true to these words from the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

All Dogs Go To Heaven

I'm going to miss those Dr. Seuss feet.

Isis (2000-2014)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday, February 07, 2014

Fifty Years Ago Sunday

CBS is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show this Sunday by broadcasting a two hour special, The Night That Changed America: The Beatles, A Grammy Salute, staring Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. I will be recording it to watch Monday morning just to avoid all the commercials that will surely be jammed in between the performances. I can not believe it has been fifty years since the The Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. I won't say that it feels like it happened yesterday, just that I'm surprised it was so long ago. To commemorate this big event I have decided to re-share a post I wrote ten years ago about my experience of that night. I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday,February 8th, 2004
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.
-Bob Dylan

It was forty years ago today Ed Sullivan had the Beatles play. I remember seeing them for the first time on Ed Sullivan and I remember exactly where I was when I did. I don't remember where I was because of the event, like someone remembering exactly where they were when they first heard Pearl Harbor had been bombed or when they heard John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, or Bobby Kennedy had been shot. I remember the event (the Beatles on Ed Sullivan) because of where I was at the time.

It was the second Sunday in February of 1964 (February 9th) and I was in a bed on one of the wards of Denver's Children's Hospital. About five minutes before the show started a nurse reached up and turned on the TV set perched high on a shelf on the wall of the entrance to the ward. She then switched the channel to CBS. There were 20 kids in 20 beds. Ten beds side by side down one wall and ten beds side by side down the wall on the opposite side of the room. I was in the seventh bed near the end of the row of beds on the right side of the room. Every kid in that room knew who the Beatles were and could not wait to see them. The room was noisy with the chatter of 20 kids excited by what was about to happen. The chatter kept up as the acts before the Beatles performed. We did not care about them we were waiting for the Beatles. Then Ed Sullivan announced, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Beatles!"

I remember leaning forward to see around the kids in the beds between me and the TV. My mother and four other mothers visiting at the time had wandered down to the end of the room where the set was and huddled under it watching the flickering images on the screen. I remember being mesmerized by what I was seeing. These guys looked like no one I had every seen before with their matching collar-less suits, stovepipe pants, pointy boots, and long hair. Then my mother turned her face back to the ward and looked around. (She later said that she turned around because she realized there was total silence behind her. Something she had never heard during her visits before then.) She said urgently to the other mothers, "Look at the kids. Look at their faces."

I pulled my attention away from the screen and looked at everyone else. Every kid was leaning forward like me, some farther forward than others, with mouths open and a look of rapture on their faces. I knew that a moment before I had that same look. I scowled at my mother and sat back, I wasn't there to entertain the grownups.

So, what did I think? With all my vast musical knowledge I decided they weren't that great. Their music at the time would have been considered bubble gum music a few years later. I did not become interested in the Beatles until I heard the songs off the Rubber Soul and Revolver albums. Songs like, Norwegian Wood, Nowhere Man, Eleanor Rigby, Got To Get You Into My Life. But at the same time, something about them that night was mesmerizing. Could it be that every kid in America who watched the Beatles that night subconsciously understood what the Beatles represented? That the times they were a changing.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Ice, Ice, Baby (Light Shadows 14)

The city is caught in the grip of ice--
Trees, walls, snow, are as under glass.

-Anna Akhmatova (1899-1966)