Ru Paul

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, Georgia History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on April 19, 2014











Years ago, PG worked with someone who liked to say “and a ru hu hu.” This was shortened to ru, and was usually said very loud. Ru became a greeting.

About this time, Ru Paul was living in Atlanta. Many people remember her (“RuPaul Andre Charles, best known mononymously as RuPaul”) as a spectacular self promoter. Ru Paul would sit in an apartment balcony, and wave at cars passing by. Posters for her band, Wee Wee Pole, were on telephone poles up and down Ponce de Leon Avenue.

One night, Ru Paul was working as a gogo dancer in a club called Weekends. During a break, PG went over to talk to her. The use of ru as a greeting was mentioned. Soon, some people came over, and PG started to leave. Before PG could get away, Ru Paul turned to PG, lifted her index finger, and said “Keep on saying my name.”

Ru Paul went on to become famous. Weekends was torn down, and is the site of the Federal Reserve Bank. PG is PG, with occasional excursions into R and NC17. PG does not watch much TV, and has never seen an episode of “Ru Paul’s Drag Race.” This is a TV show about a TV.

There is a recent controversy about RPDR. It seems that the phrase shemale has been used. Some people are offended by this. The expression is no longer used on the show.

PG has only one trans person friend. Sashia is the first person that PG heard use the expression shemale. PG does not know if Sashia still uses this expression. It has been a while since PG learned this expression, and ideas about language do change. Spell check suggestion for Sashia: Hashish.

The use of offensive language is to be avoided. If you know something is going to hurt people, then you should avoid saying it. There is a good possibility that Ru Paul knew what she was doing, and just didn’t care. The problem comes when you haven’t received the latest update from the language authorities. Keeping up with with is cool to say can be a full time job. Is it still ok to say ru?

Pictures from The Library of Congress. The images are of women, training to be bus drivers and taxi drivers. This was in Washington DC, November 1942. The photographer was Andreas Feininger, working for the Office of War Information. The picture of a dipstick demonstration is #8d36666.











Dead Saturday 1973

Posted in Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on April 19, 2014

It was dead saturday 1973, the day between good friday and easter. PG and his friend Gibson have traveled from Athens GA to Charlotte NC to see a rock concert. The plan was eight bands in a crowded football stadium.

PG had never been to an outdoor concert, and had some ideas about how it would be. They were in the house early, and set up a blanket about thirty feet in front of the stage. For the first part of the day, the crowd stayed off their turf.

The first electric act was Brownsville Station. The first thing they did was encourage the audience to crowd in front of the stage, resulting in a mob scene for the rest of the day. BS played loud heavy metal, with a guitar/vocals guy painted like a clown. They were a three piece band that day, as their bass player had gotten a job selling furniture in Kansas. “Smokin in the Boys Room” was a hit for this ensemble later that year.

The concept of multiple stages had not hit North Carolina, and there was a long wait between acts. The next band was Mason Profit. “you are talking about boogie, you don’t know shit about boogie.
By this time, the crowd was getting off on their downers, the sun was shining, and PG was out of water. It only got better as the day went on. The scheduled next act was Captain Beyond, but they canceled. The replacement was Marshall Tucker. They were good, but not really memorable.

The afternoon went on and on. Goose Creek Symphony came and went, followed by Wet Willie. WW had a routine where this pretty girl was walking down ___ street, which in Charlotte was Independence Boulevard. Eventually, the sun went down, and ZZ Top came on stage.

ZZ Top was the high point of the day. The beards were only about four inches long. They introduced one song, saying ” this is something you might know about, song called beer drinkers and hell raisers”. They were the only band to do an encore, with “Francine”.

The next act was Mahavishnu Orchestra, which PG was convinced was the greatest band that ever lived. The stadium crowd was not conducive to their style, but they delivered a good show. John McLaughlin played a twin necked guitar, which PG found a bit disconcerting. The electric violin player, Jerry Goodman, was a stand out.

By the time MO finished, PG wanted to get away from the front of the stage. He took to wandering around the back of the stadium while the Allman Brothers played. The back of the house was full, although there was room to walk around. Before long, it was time to hit the road back to Georgia.

Pictures for this repost are from The Library of Congress.

Florence Foster Jenkins

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on April 2, 2014








Useless Information had a show, The Patron Saint of the Vocally Challenged. It tells the story of Florence Foster Jenkins. She had a wealthy father, and hired vocal coaches to try and produce a good singer. She became somewhat of a concert attraction, and sold out Carnegie Hall. Accompianist Cosme McMoon did what he could to help. Mrs Jenkins was, by all accounts, very, very bad.

Here is more information about the talent. “Florence Foster Jenkins (1868–26 November 1944) was an American soprano who became famous for her complete lack of singing ability. From her recordings, it is apparent that Jenkins had little sense of pitch and rhythm and was barely capable of sustaining a note. Her accompanist can be heard making adjustments to compensate for her tempo variations and rhythmic mistakes. Nonetheless, she became tremendously popular in her unconventional way. Her audiences apparently loved her for the amusement she provided rather than her musical ability. Critics often described her work in a backhanded way that may have served to pique public curiosity. Despite her patent lack of ability, Jenkins was firmly convinced of her greatness. She compared herself favourably to the renowned sopranos Frieda Hempel and Luisa Tetrazzini, and dismissed the laughter which often came from the audience during her performances as coming from her rivals consumed by “professional jealousy.””

A cd of her product, The Glory (????) of the Human Voice, is available. Amazonians were not kind. “This is a recording that every serious musician should own, for a variety of (ahem) reasons. But by all means, buy the cheap one. If the sound is better on the remastered version, it could only be more painful.” “she gets points for effort” ” I appreciate camp as much as anyone, but my wife was ready to divorce me if I played another song from the album” “The whole matter stinks of making fun of a person afflicted by illness. What a cruel species we were – and still are.”

The legend is that she said “People may say I can’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.” A quick google search does not reveal the source, or context, so this quote cannot be verified. Quote Factory has this available in eleven tasteful designs.

The Carnegie Hall show took place a month before her death. Here is the story.

“In order for a singer to succeed, they need to have a combination of talent, charisma, and interpretive quality. And, by definition, they need to be able to sing. Florence Foster Jenkins had none of these attributes. In fact, she was considered one of the worst singers of all time. She was independently wealthy and performed at the Waldorf and other places around town. It became a thing to do. You had to go and listen to Florence Foster screw up every song she attempted to sing.

She was having a great time and the audience was having a great time, so they kept telling her, “You need to make your Carnegie Hall debut.” So on October 25, 1944, she did, and it was sold out in just two hours. They came from everywhere. She walked onstage in these ridiculous costumes that she’d made herself. She’d throw roses out into the audience, her assistants would go out and collect them, and she’d throw them out into the audience again. The audience would not let her go home. They cheered her and clapped, and one month and one day later she died at the age of 76.”

The program for this performance had a note from the Fire Commissioner, Patrick Walsh.
“FIRE NOTICE – Look around now and choose the nearest exit to your seat. In case of fire walk (not run) to that Exit. Do not try to beat your neighbor to the street.”

The page with the information on F. F. Jenkins lists “similar artists”. The only two we will have videos from are Wing and Mrs. Miller. Slim Whitman and Tiny Tim, being males, were not considered.

This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.








White Album

Posted in Music, Poem by chamblee54 on March 21, 2014












Gloomy Sunday

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on March 16, 2014







PG stared out at the gray sky. He thought that the third sunday in march might be the most depressing day of the year. The ever cheerful blogger had an idea for a repost. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. The people on a Baltimore streetcar seem to be happy.
Billie Holiday had a hit with”Gloomy Sunday”in 1941. The legend is that people would listen to the song, and kill themselves. As a result, the song was banned from the radio. Or was it?
“Gloomy Sunday” was written in 1933 by Rezső Seress. Additional lyrics were later written by László Jávor. It became known as the ” Hungarian Suicide Song”, and was reportedly banned in Hungary. An English translation (which is said to not do justice to the original Hungarian) was rendered.

The song has a melancholy sound, even as an instrumental. The story is about a person…it is not gender specific…who decides to join a loved one who has died. A third verse was added, to the english version, where the singer says it was all a dream.

The song became popular in the United States. And the suicide stories started to spread, along with rumors that the song had been banned from the radio. (It was indeed banned by the BBC.) There are indications that these rumors were part of a publicity campaign.

The urban legend busters snopes. calls the story “undetermined”. Legends like this get a life of their own. A grieving person hearing this song on a dreary Sunday is not going to be uplifted. One thing is known for sure…the original composer did take his own life.
Rezső Seress jumped off a tall building in Budapest in 1968. The legend is he had never had another hit song after writing “Gloomy Sunday”.







Just Kids

Posted in Book Reports, History, Music, Poem by chamblee54 on March 15, 2014





If even half the stories in Just Kids are true, then Patti Smith is a punk rock Forrest Gump. Maybe the title should be Just Kidding. There is a lot of name dropping here. Allen Ginsberg tries to pick her up in an auto mat, only to learn that Patti is inconveniently female. Jimi Hendrix says he is really shy. Grace Slick says hello to you too. The Chelsea Hotel says the rent is due.

For those who are new here, Patti Smith had a series of albums in the seventies. Some liked them, some did not. Meanwhile, onetime bf Robert Mapplethorpe was taking raunchy pictures, and becoming infamous. Eventually, Ms. Smith got married to Mr. Smith, and had two babies. Mr. Mapplethorpe was cut down by the plague.

All kidding aside, JK is a powerful book. Ms. Smith … who once said that Ms. sounds like a sick bumblebee … is a good writer. If you can find it at the library, it is worth your time. There is a double p in Mapplethorpe. It is pronouced maple thorpe, like maple syrup.





Loud Music

Posted in Library of Congress, Music, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 11, 2014






By now, the fuss about the Michael Dunn trial has mostly faded away. This is where the man shot some people, after a dispute over loud music. The piece that follows will not try to justify this act, it will not discuss the second amendment, nor will it consider the verdict of a Florida jury. This bit of text is about the way people act about their music.

There are problems about loud music every day. People are way too quick to take the matter personally. It becomes a matter of duelling egos. Anger is expressed, people talk louder and louder, and threats are made. People are showing their neighbors how bad they are. With the wide availability of firearms, and alcohol, it should not be surprising that people get killed.

Between April 1998, and January 1999, PG had two run-ins with co-workers about radios. In the first one, a store manager played a music station at low volume. PG could barely hear it over the noise of the machines. The radio became one more source of unpleasant sound. It was like listening to rice crispies going snap crackle pop, all day, every day.

One morning, PG told the store manager “I do not enjoy your radio.” The lady went into hysterics. A week later, PG was given the choice of going to another store, or being laid off.

A few months later, PG came out of the bathroom one day. A radio was playing on a table beside the entrance. A religious radio station was playing. A lady was praying for entertainment. “The blood of the lambs has cleansed my heart.” PG was grossed out by this confrontation with bleeding lambs. The owner of the radio was listening to something else, using an earplug.

Three weeks later, the radio was still being played. The owner of the radio was still listening to his earplug. PG asked him to turn down the speaker radio. The person went into hysterics. A lawsuit was threatened. The dispute continued, off and on, for the next six years.

In the Florida incident, one party was black, and the other party was white. In the two work related incidents described above, one radio fan was white, the other black.

What happened in the Florida parking lot seems to depend on who you talked to. If four young men had a hysterical reaction to a radio volume request, then Mr. Dunn might have felt threatened. When you are armed, and possibly intoxicated, it is a formula for trouble.

Once again, this feature does not try to justify what Mr. Dunn did. You just don’t shooting people over loud music. What we would like to suggest is that people show some consideration for their neighbors. Not everyone enjoys your music. If someone does not like your music box, turn the damn thing down. You never know when that person is armed and drunk. You do know that they are your fellow human beings, and deserve respect.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress.






Thank You For The Music

Posted in Music, Poem, Trifecta by chamblee54 on March 10, 2014







Profanity Free Post

Posted in Music, Religion by chamblee54 on March 1, 2014








The culture monk starts his caffeinated tour in midtown Atlanta today. Good luck finding a parking spot in that area. The wandering continues on La Vista road this afternoon, which is just a few miles away from Brookhaven. Will PG make it there? Only time will tell.

CM likes to put up material every morning, which is good. Today’s offering is Atlanta, Big Bibles, and Cussing…REALLY??? He got acquainted with the Atlanta custom of sitting in traffic for hours on end, and sought refuge at a mermaid enabled caffeine dispensary. A young lady, equipped with an artillery bible, said she had dropped out of the theater after being christianized. It seems as though the parts she played had too much bad language.

Many Jesus worshipers seem to have a thing about cusswords. Certain words are taboo. Many Jesus worshipers are rather smug about this prohibition.

The person who taught PG the most about Jesus was a former coworker, known here as the bully for Jesus. The man has anger management issues. Often, when he lost his temper, words like G-d, Jesus, and holy ghost would fire out of his mouth.

The third commandment is a very underrated suggestion. It is much more than G-d’s last name. PG decided long ago that using sacred names out of anger was a violation of the third commandment. Maybe, when the need for strong language presents itself, a person would do less harm by talking about reproduction and excretion, rather than father and son.

PG learned about CM in the comments at the thirty million hit dude, Matt Walsh. His latest offering relates to this issue. The title is Dear America, you’re too smart to listen to Beyonce’.

The subject of this discussion is Mr. Walsh’s dislike of popular music. The words could have been borrowed from any rant about music kids listen to today. This product has cusswords, promotes icky behavior, and is dumb, dumb, dumb.

To a certain point, PG agrees. The autotuned product of today is not that great. Unfortunately, Mr. Walsh does not have many suggestions for an alternative. The religion he touts is little more than a scheme for life after death.

The political POV Mr. Walsh offers is little more than endless Obama bashing. The post about Beyonce’ has the Obama reference in paragraph seven. (This counts five standalone words as a full paragraph.) What is the alternative here? Maybe Sarah Palin will put out an album of contemporary christian music. It would probably be an improvement.








How Do You Take Your Coffee?

Posted in GSU photo archive, Music, The Internet by chamblee54 on February 8, 2014









It was a saturday. They are different when you work the rest of the week. Between laundry, buying stuff, unclogging pipes, and writing bad poetry, PG found time to take two internet quizzes.

The first one, The How Gay Are You Test, was an artificial joke. “Put your fabulousness on test and find out just how gay you are by answering those few questions! We dare you! Cher is… Who? ~ Goddess of Pop ~ Meh!” (Spell check suggestion: fabulousness – nebulousness, fatuousness)

The designers of this test might have been on drugs. When you click on the possible answer, it dances around, and blinks off and on. You have to click it several times to select, and then half the time it doesn’t take. When you try to get your results, the test makes you fill in the missing questions. You click on it a few more times, and eventually it is selected.

The gayness test can be copied in it’s entirety, unlike the other test, Which Punk Icon Are You? Punk icon is a buzzfeed thing. It has snappy graphics, and is mostly uncopiable. You do have the thrilling option of selecting buzzfeed as an answer to the question, “What’s the least punk thing you can think of?” The questions are in all caps, which PG finds vaguely immoral.

This is going to be a short post. The text averse can go ahead and skip to the pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. One result was “13% gay! This makes you not really gay. We’re sorry… In any case, you can get yourself a Gay Pack and develop your gayness further! ” The other was Patti Smith.










Which David Bowie Are You?

Posted in Library of Congress, Music, The Internet by chamblee54 on February 7, 2014





Zimbio is yet another entertainment websites. Marshall McLuhan is rolling over in his grave over the message medium mix. The eyeball snatcher on the screen now is a quiz, Which David Bowie Are You? The affair is sponsored by an ad for “Brain on Fire, My month of madness,” a book. If you are lucky, you can “win 10 FREE copies for your book club!”

PG has written about David Bowie before. To find that link, he used google advanced search. The logo for google today is winter athletes, against a rainbow background. Good grief.

The first question is “What causes you the most anxiety? ~ Societal decay. ~ Americans. ~ Fear of losing control. ~ Love, or the lack thereof. ~ My job. ~ Nothing. I sleep very well. ” Multiple choice queries are easy to score. They also force the test taker to choose the least bad answer. Now, PG does sleep well, which is not the same as saying that day to day living does not fill him with anxiety. Between I 285, jesus run amok, commercial exploitation of amateur athletics, and not having a book club to give 10 free copies to, life can be downright challenging.

“Pick a breakfast food” and “How much time, on average, do you spend on your hair?” were good excuses for subliminal advertising, making the digital world go round. Then we come to a real head scratcher, “What’s your relationship with reality?” PG is more or less detoxed from substances, which should leave reality. It doesn’t always work that way. One of the happiest moments of life was the blissful discovery that a person could be a degenerate, without alcohol. Maybe it is best to just move on to “Do you consider yourself popular?”

Each question is illustated with a pupop popup ad. For “You’re involved in a major scandal. How do you handle it?,” the sponsor is Charmin toilet paper. For “Spandex: How does it make you feel?,” Charlie the tuna promotes Star Kist gourmet tuna fillets. Are you in good taste, or do you taste good?

The answer was “Thin White Duke.” This was druggie Bowie. After the tour, he moved to Berlin, and Enooodled with electronics. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Union soldiers, from the War Between the States, did not take an internet quiz sponsored by Charmin toilet paper.





Jesus Gets A New Nickname

Posted in Library of Congress, Music, Religion by chamblee54 on February 4, 2014







There is a video making the rounds now. The title involves Jesus, and a certain racial slur, delicately known as the N word. The video is embedded above. You can feel the magic for yourself.

Here is a story about the song, with the edgy language bleeped. “One pastor is trying to spread the word of God with an edgy rap song. The rapping pastor and his wife claim they have “Christian swag” while tossing around the n-word. … The video of the rapping pastor was recently uploaded to YouTube but it’s not clear when it was filmed. It was taken at a church in Iowa which closed in 2004.” Another helpful interneter has the lyrics.

In case you didn’t know, Pastor Jim Colerick, and Mrs Mary-Sue Colerick, are melanin deficient. They are, as Bette Midler once said about Karen Carpenter, so white they are invisible. It is not considered good manners for Caucasians to use this word, with or without salvation.

There is another angle to this equation. Many Jesus worshipers see not using cusswords as a sign of righteousness. As a result, many Jesus worshipers use the words G-d, and Jesus Christ, as tools of their anger. This violates the third commandment. Now, this use of a sacred name, as profanity, is being extended to using a sacred name as a racial slur. Someone is always ready to manipulate language to serve an agenda.

When you call a book “the word of G-d”, you give certain words too much power. When you designate the lazy way of saying black as a super duper naughty word, you give those six letters way too much power. Now, we see the convergence of these two taboos. Let the party begin.

Pictures of Pastor and Mrs. Colerick are taken from the video. The other images are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.








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