There is a bit of urban legend mongering on the innertubes these days. It shows a letter. It is from the manager of a Kmart in Reno, NV. It tells “Mrs. Fenton” not to go shopping there anymore. It seems as though her husband has been misbehaving.
Here is the text of the letter. Mr. Fenton: August 4: Went to the Service Desk and asked to put a bag of M&M’s on lay-buy. October 4: Looked straight in to the security camera; used it as a mirror, and picked his nose. December 23: Went in the fitting room, shut the door and waited a while; then yelled, very loudly, “There is no toilet paper in here!”
The wet blankets at snopes say the letter is a fake. This page is sponsored by an ad for a book, Journey to the Cross: Reflecting on 24 Hours That Changed the World. You can’t make this stuff up.
Mrs. Fenton lived at 35 Rasmussen Street, Moores Park, Reno, NV, 89503. Google maps has never heard of this address. Kmart Store 4855 was located at Summit Ridge, Reno, NV, 89503. This is a side street, with no current signs of Kmarttage.
The letter is good for a laugh. The problems might come when some person is inspired to try one of the pranks. After all, an earlier title of the piece was “Things to do at Wal-Mart while your family is taking forever to finish shopping.” The person who has to clean up after “Make a trail of orange juice on the floor to the restrooms” will not be amused. Maybe you should tell this person to lighten up, and get a sense of humor. Do not try this in a stand your ground state.
A similar lack of respect for humanity is seen in fake crime videos. In the one linked to, two men try breaking into a car. One is treated more rudely by the police. This video inspired much hand wringing about unfair treatment of minorities.
With all the real crimes being perpetrated, why are these pinheads staging a fake crime? They are making a video, to illustrate their social commentary. Police should be fighting real crime, not playing the bad guy in a youtube adventure. This makes about as much sense as “While handling guns in the hunting department ask the clerk if he knows where the anti-depressants are.”
Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.
An all caps graphic washes up on the digital shores from time to time. The author, and copyright status, are not known. It was not written here. Reading it can be a chore, even though it looks cool. It is also selfish… the only opinion that matters is the individual reading it. It doesn’t have a good beat, but you can dance to it. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.
This is your life.
Do what you love, and do it often.
If you don’t like something, change it.
If you don’t like your job, quit.
If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV.
If you are looking for the love of your life, stop:
They will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.
Stop over analyzing, life is simple
All emotions are beautiful.
When you eat, appreciate every last bite.
Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people,
We are united in our differences.
Ask the next person you see what their passion is,
And share your inspiring dream with them.
Travel often, getting lost will help you find yourself.
Some opportunities only come once, seize them.
Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them
So go out and start creating.
Life is short. Live your dream, and wear your passion.
“Do you have to be a poet? If you don’t have to be a poet, be a prose writer. You’ll get further faster. Poetry — there’s probably more poetry published today than any time in the history of the world. Nevertheless, there is this — people think they have this blindness when they see a line in the typography of poetry, and it just blocks them. So if you can say the same thing in prose, you’ll probably be better off” Lawrence Ferlinghetti
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 last.fm 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.
Some say …It’s the Soldier, not the poet, Who has given us the freedom of speech. There is also the story of Joyce Kilmer. This is a repost.
Alfred Joyce Kilmer was born December 6, 1886, in East Brunswick NJ. He grew up to be a teacher, and wrote poems on the side. After teaching, he worked for Funk and Wagnall, defining words for five cents each. Mr. Kilmer continued to write, and became a popular lecturer.
In 1913, “Trees” was published. Your english teacher probably made fun of it. Many satires have been written. It was at the end of an era in poetry, when that *simple* style was popular. In the era after World War 1, poetry went crazy. Joyce Kilmer didn’t live to see it.
A few days after the United States entered World War 1, Joyce Kilmer left his wife, and five children, and went to war. Originally he was a statistician in the 69th Infantry Regiment, but wanted action. He was promoted to Sergeant, and sent to the Regimental Intelligence Section.
On July 30, 1918, Sgt. Kilmer was scouting the location of a German machine gun. A bullet to the head ended his war.
World War 1 was a ghastly bloodbath. It set the stage for World War 2, which was even bloodier. Not one person in a thousand today can tell you why World War 1 was fought, or how the United States got drawn into it. It is tough to see how World War 1 gave us freedom of speech.
Did your conversation with “Steve” really happen? It seems a bit off. We have to take your word for this. There is no way to prove it really happened. After your post about the Marilyn Monroe quote, I have to wonder about your integrity. ~ What about the people, who do not agree with your religion, who are attacked by preachers? ~ I was attacked for seven years, by a co worker, after I asked him to turn down his radio. Before this, I had made my peace with Jesus. I didn’t agree with most of what was said about him ~ I see Jesus through the people that believe in him. My experience has been horrific. Since I don’t agree with the scheme for life after death, I see no reason to make excuses for Jesus. ~ I have read that carburetor is french for do not touch ~ @lexiconvalley blog post about accents, based on a lexicon valley episode ~ don’t play leapfrog with a unicorn ~ bad lip sync videos are funny ~ This must be chatter about religion day. I suppose it is better than a hokey buzzfeed video about crime and race. ~ If the text is boring you can always look at the pictures. ~ It might be a trap. ~ Maybe a better question would be, Why do you think? ~ when poc use the n word, pwoc haters don’t have to ~ poc trash themselves by using n word ~ @chescaleigh when poc use #nword, , pwoc h8rs don’t have to, the poc are doing it for them ~ Aren’t most reviews written from complimentary copies? ~ I read an interview once with Christopher Isherwood. There is no online source. The concept is that you are drawn to a religion by the people you meet in that religion. The beliefs are more or less irrelevant. Religion is about people, not beliefs. A corollary notion is that if someone can attract you to a religion, then they can also drive you away from it. This is a big deal in jesus worship, with it’s intense interest in recruiting new followers. As to the matter of where you fit in if you have decided, after repeated exposure and painful contemplation, that you don’t agree with these beliefs …. I don’t have all the answers. ~ would you like a pepsi? ~ In the few days I have been reading your blog, you have had material posted every day. This gives me a reason to come here. If you keep the quantity up, the quality will take care of itself. ~ Is it ethical to modify an adjective for the purpose of creating a noun? ~ Just as you should never go grocery shopping hungry, you should never shop for clothes naked ~ It might save time in fitting rooms. ~ I would say more, and perhaps will later. Now, I have to get on the road to my job. The problem of what I call “positive facism” is not exclusive to Hollywood. Many people like to glorify the positive, and deny that anything non wonderful exists. Jesus worshipers are some of the worst. The trouble is, when the going gets dull, many people think it is a sign of weakness. If their role model does this without boredom, it must be something wrong with me. This is a problem. ~ The good news is that the “church” is located in Harlem. I think the “found in Atlanta” business is a mistake. We have enough weirdos already. ~ All we know about Jesus is what the bible tells us. It really isn’t very much. We choose which parts to focus on. What you think about Jesus says more about you than it does Jesus. ~ ” dude who is the most popular person everywhere he goes” One exception might be the place where they screamed “crucify him”. ~ You should be careful when you say americans should quit consuming stupid cultural material. They might quit reading your blog. ~ Actually, they are Irish. It should read the O’Nomatopoeia empire. ~ It was a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. The formerly homeless man had some good stories. Unfortunately, only so much can make it into one conversation. The next time an *official blogger* comes to a coffe shop with free parking, I will think about stopping by. ~ What goes around comes around. A lot of preachers say hurtful things. People like to get even with the hired entertainement.~ Holy straw man. Did you write the “Rachel” letter, so that you could reply to it? ~ changing the c, at the end of his name, to o … was a stroke of genius ~ 1-The bearded man currently lives in Americus GA. This is in south Georgia. It is just down the road from Plains. He calls Jimmy Carter “Cousin Jimmy.”2- I have written at great length about the concept of prayer. While it may have some value to others, it is a casualty of my horrific experience with Jesus. I just don’t know what to make of it. 3- It is said that prayer is talking to G-d, while meditation is listening. It has been my experience that many Jesus worshipers talk too much. 4- It would be a wonderful thing if people were as proud of their ability to listen as they were of the clever things that they say. ~ Nothing about midtown is bottomless. ~ What is Socoilogy? ~ 1-What is this about? It is frustrating to come in after an altercation, and hear people talk about it, and not know what it was about. 2-Was this regarding the comments about SMS? I don’t know the specifics of the situation. However, there is a cycle of elation at finding a tribe to belong to, and then disillusionment when you learn that the players are human. 3- I agree with the need to maintain a safe space here. On the other hand, the concept of removing someone from the group should be done very, very carefully. I have said things that bothered people, and been shunned as a result. I suspect that I was misunderstood. Since almost nothing was said directly to me, I have no way of knowing. ~ Is the adjective necessary? When a parent mocks a person, they may be mocking their own child. ~ thank you for not embedding the text on the picture ~ This is a nice image. Whoever (Whosoever) created this took the time to make his text come out as a solid rectangle. Happy Pie Day ~ ” All the treasure in the world can’t buy peace in your mind and soul” It can buy dandy image manipulation software, but won’t give you the taste to use it properly. ~ WDSTF is almost thirty years old. An update is needed by a person gifted in musical communication ~ do you use the buzz, or the radio? ~ white trashcan ~ You do not paste inspiring quotes over your photographs. Thank you. ~ Maybe we could keep the initials GSV, and have a different acronym for every event. Gorgon Serpent Vitals Great Southern Voters Gross Spam Version Geraldo Samuel Voytek ~ Is that where the expression “gay card” came from? ~ “Ever notice how ‘What the hell’ is always the right answer?” ― Marilyn Monroe The word on this quote The Actress, a character based on Marilyn, in the movie Insignificance. Her exact words were: “Have you ever noticed how ‘What the hell’ is always the right decision to make?” ~ #WhiteManMarchProtestSigns grow up #WhiteManMarchProtestSigns you don’t have to shout ~ You can take it to the next gathering. Someone might need a way to fly home. ~ Diaspora Organic Group DOG ~ Maybe the person meant to ask what country his family is from. Why is that bigoted? ~ Fred Phelps is an attention whore. Let’s ignore his funeral.~ I is the shortest, skinniest, word in the language. Those qualities apply to palindromic usage. The lower case has an ornamental tittle. Sarah Palin, the dromic politician, likes to talk about I. ~ Campbell’s chicken noodle soup was originally called Noodle soup with chicken. It did not sell well, and was going to be discontinued. One day, an actor screwed up while reading a radio script, and called it chicken noodle soup. The new name caught on. ~ I thought it was Seattle. ~ Many of the political mail outs in Georgia are produced by a company called Rosetta Stone. ~ When the world turns to prayer, the people go mad ~ POC is a bad term, lumping in groups of people with different stories into one collection ~ A note to saturday: Enjoy this beautiful Angel ~ curley, larry, moe ~ it is amazing how many good lines there are in that film ~ John passes, and one remembers John’s money ~ I cleaned the lint filter in the dryer ~ Is there a recording of YOL singing that quote? ~ sweet spring is your time is my time is our time – for springtime is lovetime and viva sweet love. – e.e. cummings ~ a man is drowning 25 yards off shore. the democrat throws 50 yards of rope and doesn’t tie it to anything the republican throws 10 yards of rope, and says that swimming fifteen yards will build character ~ You your facts your logic ~ Maybe the language needs another word for people you enjoy spending time with. Maybe they are fun to be around, but are they really your friend? (no all caps, only one question mark) ~ Anyone with internet access can start a blog. If he wants this item written about, then he can do it himself. If he wants four million hits a month for his output, then he needs to get busy. ~ hbd #Elton, #Aretha, #Flannery O’Connor ~ Some give Mr. Hirshfeld the credit, or blame, for coining the term racism. ~ there are no air ducks anywhere ducks live in water ~ is that why so many bellies are round? ~ Someone needs to stay at work while parents take care of sick kids ~ Pictures are from The Library of Congress. ~ Selah
It is blackberry winter in Brookhaven. PG is editing pictures from The Library of Congress, some of which will illustrate this post. While fussing over group portraits from a Navy vessel, PG is listening to The Glenn Show. Today’s episode features the host, Glenn Loury, and frequent guest John McWhorter. Both men are professors at Ivy League institutions. They are also African Americans. Their conversations are usually entertaining, and provide fodder for slack blogger content.
The first part of the chat involves politicians who say, in effect, “my opponent is not black enough.” An incident involving Barack Obama was discussed. In some of his early elections, the opponent charged that BHO was too closely connected to the big money elite.
Duh. You don’t get elected to public office without having wealthy friends. They want a return on their investment. This has been a problem for the *naive* people who thought they were voting for hope and change. BHO did not raise a billion dollars without making shady promises.
Most politicians face the “authentic enough” issue. When running in the party primary, they try to appear blacker than Spike Lee, or more conservative than Herbert Hoover. When the general election arrives, the need to reach less radical voters arises. Many politicians see the need to back away from what they were saying a few weeks earlier. Saints do not win elections.
After a while, Doctors Loury and McWhorter moved onto the issue of gentrification. Dr. McWhorter wrote a Time magazine piece, “Spike Lee’s Racism Isn’t Cute: ‘M—–f—– Hipster’ Is the New ‘Honkey” Regarding this article, there is a lovely quote from Dr. McWhorter. The quote says to always remember that racism is institutional.
People twitter hissy fits about racism like to have it both ways. They will tell you that racism is *really* about institutional systems that oppress POC. Ok, fine. Exactly what does a tweet, quoting a joke taken out of context, have to do with institutional systems of oppression?
This feature was originally posted on the 100th anniversary of the Oreo. The cookie sandwich was first sold in New York on March 6, 1912. Over 491 billion Oreos have been sold.
About.com 20th Century History has a few details on this important anniversary. In 1898, several baking companies merged to form the National Biscuit Company (NaBisCo), the maker of Oreo cookies. By 1902, Nabisco created Barnum’s Animal cookies and made them famous by selling them in a little box designed like a cage with a string attached (to hang on Christmas trees).
In 1912, Nabisco had a new idea for a cookie – two chocolate disks with a creme filling in between. The first Oreo cookie looked very similar to the Oreo cookie of today, with only a slight difference in the design on the chocolate disks…
So how did the Oreo get its name? The people at Nabisco aren’t quite sure. Some believe that the cookie’s name was taken from the French word for gold, “or” (the main color on early Oreo packages). Others claim the name stemmed from the shape of a hill-shaped test version; thus naming the cookie in Greek for mountain, “oreo.” Still others believe the name is a combination of taking the “re” from “cream” and placing it between the two “o”s in “chocolate” – making “o-re-o.” And still others believe that the cookie was named Oreo because it was short and easy to pronounce. (This source says 362 billion Oreos have been sold.)
In the early sixties, Oreos had a great commercial. Youtube apparently does not have a copy. The song went “Girls are nice but oh what icing comes in oreos. Oreos, the best because it’s the grandest cookie that ever was. Little girls have pretty curls but I like oreos; Oreos, the best because it’s the grandest cookie that ever was…”
HT goes to the always entertaining site, The Field Negro. There is an unfortunate urban usage of Oreo, about people who are black outside, but white inside. Field lists ten people who qualify. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.
There is a discussion brewing in the Jesus Worship blogosphere on the question of ” Is Christianity really monotheistic ”. This is in response to a post, on the subject of the unquestioning Christian .
There is a “motivational” poster, with the headline “Ten signs you are an unquestioning Christian”. One of these (either number one or ten) deals with monotheism. To wit: “You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of G-ds claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of your G-d.” Some writers are promising/threatening to write about all ten of these arguments, and the feature on monotheism is the first.
PG is a recovering Baptist, who is severely alienated from Jesus. He does suspect that there is a G-d, and is in no way an “atheist”. The tracts linked to above tend to break down the discussion to atheists vs. christians, which is highly misleading.
PG has been knocking around for some time the idea of a post about the six G-ds of Jesus Worshipers. The appearance of this series…at blogs that ban PG from commenting…has spurred him into action. Whether or not there will be more comments (from PG) remains to be seen.
Christianity claims to be a monotheistic religion. This means, there is only one G-d. In contrast, the Romans and Greeks had G-ds and G-ddesses galore, and the Hindus have literally millions of deities. In what was claimed by some as an advancement, the Jews worshiped one G-d. (Zoraroastrians are said to be monotheistic, and did it before the Jews. There may be others.)
One of the sacred tracts of Judaism and Christianity is the ten commandments . The first three relate to the concept of monotheism, and the proper way to talk about G-d.
1-Thou shalt have no other G-ds before me.
2-Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy G-d am a jealous G-d, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
3-Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy G-d in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
As a side note, PG has heard something about the use of Lord as a name for G-d. The riff is that “Lord” was an expression for an English nobleman. When the Bible was translated by James I, his workers used the L word as a synonym for G-d. The words for G-d in the Greek and Hebrew texts that comprised the Bible do not translate as Lord…that word was inserted by the anglocentric workers of James I. This is something that PG read in a book by Tom Robbins, and has no other source for. It may, or may not be true. If it is, then it just might be a violation of the third commandment.
Getting back to monotheism, does Christianity live up to the first commandment? This may seem to be a silly question when you consider the concept of the trinity. At some point in the early days of Jesus Worship, a decision was made to split G-d into three parts. We now had the father, the son, and the holy ghost. (Which makes for a neat blessing…the father the son the holy ghost, whoever eats fastest gets the most) The first commandment is still in effect, but, well, you just have to understand. The Jews continued to worship one G-d, and when Mohammed started his franchise, he changed the name to Allah. In that version, there is no G-d but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger.
Meanwhile, the Jesus Worshipers were good at converting and reproducing, and soon had a very popular religion. But was it one G-d only? The faith had a book of ancient texts that they call “the word of G-d”. The fact that it was written, copied, edited and translated by man did not stop folks. The first commandment would seem to prohibit this custom, but, you just have to believe.
PG is willing to concede the point that he doesn’t understand the concept of the Trinity. He thinks it is a concoction of the Council of Nicea, and a violation of the first commandment. This is something that seems to happen a lot with Christianity…to proclaim one thing as a rule, to apparently violate that rule, but have a clever explanation that few seem to understand.
This does not explain the other G-ds of Christianity. For this discussion, we will focus on three…the Bible, Satan, and Salvation.
The Catholic Church had a conference to establish a consistent canon for their church. This conference became known as the Council of Nicea. (This conference is where the concept of the Triune G-d was formulated.) The texts in use by the church at the time were collected in one book. Some texts were not used, and there is a good possibility that the texts that were used were edited. This committee effort became known as the Bible.
During the protestant reformation, the new churches needed a source for their authority over the people. It was during this time that the concept of the Bible as the “Word of G-d” became known. This in effect made a G-d out of a book. This is in direct defiance of the First Commandment, which teaches to have no other G-d before you.
The book has been interpreted into many languages, and the interpretations have been interpreted. The star of the New Testament, Jesus, spoke Aramaic. His words were recorded, in Greek, many years after he *died*. Any quote from Jesus has been translated at least twice. This is from texts that were written many years after he lived. And yet, people talk about what Jesus taught, and have confidence, that they know what they are talking about. (The only things we know about Jesus is what the Council of Nicea chose to tell us.)
At some point, the idea began to float around that the Bible was not only the word of G-d, but that it was inerrant…that is, without errors. This would presume that no body in the chain of production made a mistake. This includes a scribe copying a text, and a Catholic editor assembling a canon. Nobody translating ancient languages, from ragged source materials, made a mistake. The people who make this claim seem to assume that they have a perfect understanding of this text. Is it a coincidence that the spell check suggestion for inerrant is ignorant?
This one is too blatant to let slide. When you declare a text to be the “word of G-d”, you are making a G-d out of a book. There is a semantic argument to be made… you can say that this isn’t worship. Lets say it out loud… calling the Bible the “word of G-d” makes a G-d out of a book, in violation of the First Commandment. This is not monotheism.
A quick look at the way Satan is treated by the church shows a curious similarity to worship. Yes, it is backhanded worship, and lots of negative things are said about Beelzebub. He with the horns and tail is given credit for all kinds of powers, and needs to be fought (with human collateral damage). Yes, Jesus Worshipers give the Devil his due, and then some.
The last “G-d” that we will look at today is Salvation, or the Christian scheme for life after death. Anyone living in the USA has heard this plan a thousand times, and many agree with it. Some do not agree with it. It is none of your business how PG feels. (Your guess is probably correct.)
What is undeniable is the importance placed on salvation in Christianity. It is discussed in every church meeting, often at top volume, and with dramatics that would shame a ham actor. Salvation is said to justify all the rudeness and verbal abuse that Jesus Worshiper inflict on their neighbors. If you do not agree with the concept of Salvation, you have no business belonging to a Christian Church.
Does this hysterical emphasis on Salvation make a G-d out of the concept? As with the Bible and Satan, it is a matter of perspective. A good argument could be made that Jesus Worshipers treat these three items with G-d like devotion, and make G-ds out of them.
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.