Chamblee54

Egress Over Logos

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized, Writing Contest by chamblee54 on March 25, 2017


This story starts with a break. When listening to a podcast, there usually comes a time to pause the show. Do you go back and finish, or do you let it slide? The show today is Negative Space: Logo Design with Michael Bierut from 99 Percent Invisible.

The graphic designer interviewed has a delightful way of talking. He avoids cheap obscenity, but gets the point across. An example is the first Trump-Pence logo, which many observers saw as depicting a naughty activity. “For many, the T/P ligature in particular called unsavory associations to mind, quickly resulting in animated versions (and ultimately the disuse of the logo itself).” In talking about implied sex, and in drawing logos, less is more.

It turns out there was not much of the interview after the break. The designer, Michael Bierut, used the exit sign to discuss the cosmetic nature of graphic design. “if you can read the exit sign then you can find your way out of the building, whatever typeface it happens to employ. But if the exit door is nailed shut, you may have a serious egress problem.”

Show notes for this episode linked to a related episode, Good Egress. This episode dealt with the issue of getting out of a burning building. A prominent incident, in the evolution of fire evacuation, was the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. This tragedy took place March 25, 1911.

While stumbling in the breaktime wilderness, PG found this week’s five minute writing challenge. The photo prompts this week start with a children’s party, seemingly set in Eisenhower America. The other picture has a travel bag, lying in the middle of a dirt road. Just set the five minute timer, and go.

Why did I loan the bag to Alphonse for his photo shoot? He is off somewhere, on a dirt road, taking pictures of my bag for a client. What I should have told him was that there was a birthday present in that bag. The party is going on right now, and I can only stall for so long. Maybe a costume jewelry ring is not a good idea for a little girl. It wasn’t my idea, nor was it my idea to put it in a vintage makeup kit bag. The birthday girl … why can’t I remember her name, they all sound alike anyway … is not going to appreciate how cool that bag is. Maybe it should stay in the dirt road, and let somebody run over it with a tractor. Which does not solve the problem of this birthday party. Maybe if they blow on those party favors long enough they won’t notice.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. John Collier took the pictures in November, 1942. “Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (vicinity). Montour no. 4 mine of the Pittsburgh Coal Company. Coal miner at end of the day’s work”

Anita Aretha and Elton

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on March 25, 2017

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In the early nineties, PG had too much free time. On March 25 of one year, he looked in the fishwrapper, and found a list of famous people with birthdays.

There was an unlikely trio celebrating that day. This would be (in order of appearance) Anita Bryant (1940), Aretha Franklin (1942), and Elton John (1947). All three have been paid for singing. The three have a total of five husbands, with Miss Bryant and Mr. John currently attached (Not to each other). Miss Franklin has good taste in hats.

Several other people have arrived on planet earth on March 25. They include , in 1911, Jack Ruby, the killer of Lee Harvey Oswald (d. 1967) (They don’t say alleged when it was on live TV). 1918 produced Howard Cosell, American sports reporter (d. 1995). Flannery O’Connor (d. 1964) arrived in 1925. 1934 gave us Gloria Steinem. To make room for all this talent, Buck Owens died March 25, 2006.

March 25 is after the spring equinox, and has been Easter. A few noteworthy events have gone down on this day. In 1894, Coxey’s Army departed Massillon, Ohio for Washington D.C. In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire killed 146 garment workers in New York City. In 1939 Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli becomes Pope Pius XII, to the delight of Adolph Hitler. 1955 saw the United States Customs seizes copies of Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” as obscene. In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono began their first Bed-In for Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel.

HT and applause to wikipedia. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.



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Did Joseph Think It Was His Kid?

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Religion by chamblee54 on March 21, 2017





NOTE: This feature was originally published in March 26, 2013…. As you may have heard, SCOTUS is hearing oral, and possibly anal, arguments about gay marriage today. In a stroke of irony, this is day after March 25, nine months before Christmas. In other words, a crucial day, in the most famous unconsummated marriage in history.

PG began to ponder the traditional marriage of Joseph and Mary. Apparently, Joseph’s last name is lost to history. The question of the day is “when did Joseph and Mary get married?” Facilities such as Liberty Gospel Tracts and Fish Eaters Traditional Catholic Forum have answers.

LGT (the B got kicked out for some reason) contributes a bible passage, Matthew 1:18-19.
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
Put her away in the privy? That is some kinky business there. Maybe the Christians and Jews have it all wrong. The thirds Abrahamic religion, Islam, might have the answer. A site, TurnToIslam, has another point of view about the traditional definition of marriage.

What about Mary, Jesus’ Mother peace be upon both of them? How old was she when she got pregnant? Not only was it a custom in the Arab society to Engage/Marry a young girl it was also common in the Jewish society. The case of Mary the mother of Jesus comes to mind, in non biblical sources she was between 11-14 years old when she conceived Jesus. Mary had already been “BETROTHED” to Joseph before conceiving Jesus. Joseph was a much older man. therefore Mary was younger than 11-14 years of age when she was “BETHROED” to Joseph. We Muslims would never call Joseph a Child Molester, nor would we refer to the “Holy Ghost” of the Bible, that “Impregnated” Mary as a “Rapist” or “Adulterer”.

“….it is possible that Mary gave birth to her Son when she was about thirteen or fourteen years of age….”Mary was approximately 14 years old when she got pregnant with Jesus. Joseph, Mary’s Husband is believed to be around 36. Mary was only 13 when she married Joseph. When she first was arranged with Joseph she was between 7 to 9 years old.”

According to the “Oxford Dictionary Bible” commentary, Mary (peace be upon her) was was 12 years old when she became impregnated. So if I want to be as silly and ridiculous as many of the Christians, I would respond to them by saying that Mary was psychologically and emotionally devastated for getting pregnant at a very young age. And speaking of “child molesting”, since most Christians believe that Jesus is the Creator of this universe, then why did G-D allow himself to enter life through a 12-year old young girl’s vagina? Please note that we Muslims love and respect Allah Almighty, Mary, Jesus and Allah’s Message to the People of the Book (The Jews and Christians). In other words, we Muslims would never make fun of Christianity through such childish topic like this one as many ridiculous Christians do make fun of Islam through our Prophet’s (peace be upon him) marriage.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress.




WSB

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History by chamblee54 on March 17, 2017






WSB radio is 95 years old. On March 15, 1922, The Atlanta Journal received a telegram authorizing it to broadcast weather bulletins. The telegram instructed the station to use the call letters WSB. (Later, a station in Nashville was named WSM.) While the letters were later said to stand for Welcome South Brother (as well as World Series Baseball, and We’re So Boring), they appear to have been randomly assigned at first.

WSB is a 50,000 watt, clear channel station. At night, it can be heard for hundreds of miles around. It’s transmission tower is on LaVista Road, across the street from Northlake Mall. In the seventies, you could hear broadcasts on pay phones in the area.

WSB was owned by the Atlanta Journal, and had it’s first studio in their building downtown. The radio station moved to the Biltmore Hotel when it opened in 1926. In 1926, WSB joined the NBC radio network. (Station logs show a broadcast of the inaugural NBC broadcast in November, 1926.) In 1939, the Journal, and WSB, were sold to James Middleton Cox, who founded Cox Enterprises. In 1950, Mr. Cox bought the Atlanta Constitution.

The thirties and forties were the glory days for radio. In the fifties, television started to move in. WSB-TV started to broadcast on Channel 2. A studio known as “White Columns on Peachtree” was built in 1955, and was the home WSB, radio and TV.

When PG was old enough to listen, WSB had a format which is no longer in use. It played “middle of the road” music, and had lots of news broadcasting. As FM radio began to dominate music broadcasting, (including WSB FM), the venerable AM station evolved (devolved) into a news-talk format. This is what you hear today.

HT to Peach Pundit. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library” and WSB.





Porcelain

Posted in Book Reports, History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on March 16, 2017


PG was in the Kroger parking lot, waiting for his brother to buy groceries. To pass the time, he read
Porcelain. This was a memoir, written, allegedly, by Moby. The copyright goes to “Moby Entertainment, Inc.” There is a modern notice below.

“Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to publish books for every reader.” Should PG say you’re welcome?

Page 360 was the focus. Moby was in Portland, at the last gig of a bad tour. He is flying home to Connecticut the next day. His mother is going to die in a couple of days. The christian-vegan-performer is drinking Jack Daniels with strippers. A fan asks him to autograph a bible.

This was 1997. PG saw a few parallels with his life. In late 1997, PG’s mom was still alive, but clearly near the end of her life. 1998 would see the cancer diagnosis, the surgery, the radiation treatment, and finally, the death.

PG quit drinking at the end of 1988, and never looked back. Moby was an alcohol enthusiast, who went straight edge in 1987. Eight years later, Moby gave into temptation, and started drinking again. Evidently, he tried to make up for lost time. His drunken adventures are described in great detail here. How does Mobes remember all that?

Moby continued to call himself a christian, even with more and more doubts crowding into the picture. PG quit going to church at 17. Jesus is impossible to ignore, and only marginally tolerable. Whatever the temptation, and the social rewards, PG has never called himself a christian. In the southern baptist tradition, you walk down the aisle, shake the pastor’s hand, and get baptized. Then you call yourself christian. PG, for various reasons, never took that walk.

The trip to Connecticut did not end well. Moby apparently woke up in the night, and set his alarm clock ahead three hours. As a result, his missed his mother’s funeral. Porcelain starts with young Moby sitting in the car, while his single mom is paid to do laundry for neighbors. While in the car, he heard “Love Hangover,” by Diana Ross, and was impressed.

Page 378 was a few days after the funeral. Moby goes to a party at Windows on the World, on top of the World Trade Center. Few imagined what would happen to that space four years later. (Richard Melville Hall, aka Moby, was born September 11, 1965.) Moby got very drunk, and had sex in a ladies room stall. After the act, Moby was staring out the windows, looking at New York, and crying. The DJ played Downtown, by Petula Clark.

On January 23, 1965, Downtown, was the number one hit in America. When Moby was born, eight months later, the number one hit was Help, by the Beatles. PG turned eleven in 1965. Thousands of drafted young American men were sent to Vietnam. The techno dystopian world of nineties New York was a few years down the road.

The last few pages see Moby driving, without a license, through the Connecticut of his youth. He is listening to a rough cassette. The tunes on that cassette will become Play, sell millions of units, and make Moby a star. All this will be in the second volume of his memoirs, currently in production.

While waiting for the next part of this story, maybe a few one star reviews will be amusing. John The most depressing book I’ve read in a while. I used to love Moby. When it was announced he was writing a biography I was very excited…that is until I read it. Moby has always had the reputation of being arrogant and rude. Well it won’t disappoint the critics. This is the worst autobiography I have ever read. Self indulgent and pretentious from start to finish. … Startlingly transphobic. I gave up. I will admit, I didn’t get through the entire book. But that’s the reason for this review. I put up with seven chapters filled with tales of death, drugs, and destitution, all with way too much specific detail to be totally true. In chapter 8, Moby starts getting into some pretty blatantly transphobic territory, repeatedly calling people the derogatory “tranny” and using pronouns like “his/her”…

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Pictures were taken in Louisiana, August 1940. The photographer was Marion Post Wolcott

π Day

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays by chamblee54 on March 14, 2017

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Today is 3-14. It is a tuesday, and 314 are the first three digits of pi (affectionately known as π ). It is a math thing, the number you multiply a diameter by to get the circumference. When your grammar school math teacher told you about π, she probably used 3.14, or 3 1/7. (PG went to school when Hewlett and Packard were still in the garage.)

You might also have heard the formula for the area of a circle, the racy π r squared . This means that you multiply π by the radius (half the diameter, a line from the border to the center point), and then multiply the whole contraption by the radius again. The formula has a funny sound to it. Pie are not square, cornbread is square, pie are round. Like Sly Stone says, all the squares go home.

According to wikipedia, π seems to have been known as early as 1900 b.c. The pyramids of Egypt have a π based feature. The Greek letter π is the first letter of the Greek word περίμετρος (perimeter) . This was determined OTP.

The pyramid- π function is fairly simple. The total length of the four sides, at the base, will be the same as the height of the pyramid, times two, times π. PG likes to make model pyramids. They are 6″ tall, and the base sides are 9 3/8″. The combination of these four sides is 37 1/2″. If you multiply 6x2x3.14, you get 37.68″ The .18″ is because of a measuring error.

A lady named Eve Astrid Andersson has a page of her website dedicated to π. The only trivia question that PG understood was the first one…1. What is the formal definition of pi? …the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter // 3.14159 // the radius of a unit circle // the surface area of a sphere of diameter 22/7 // a delicious dessert, especially if it contains cherries.

There is the football cheer from M.I.T. ” Cosine, secant, tangent, sine 3.14159 // Integral, radical, u dv, slipstick, slide rule, MIT!”

In 1998 a movie titled π was released. It caused brain damage in 3.14% of those who saw it. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that 1998 = 666 x 3.

π has been calculated to over five million digits. The second part of this feature are a few of those numbers. There are 82 characters in each line. This feature shows π extended to 10,165 digits. This is .02% of five million. This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Who Invented The Word Racism?

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Race, The English Language by chamblee54 on March 7, 2017


Writers tackle was rampaging through Brookhaven. PG looked in a list of old product, and found a feature built on the output of Teju Cole. He has a dandy article, at the New Yorker, about what is antiseptically called drone warfare. It is the twitter feed that gets attention. This is a repost.

@tejucole George Carlin’s original seven dirty words can all be said freely now. The one word you can’t say, and must never print, is “racist.”

The quote marks lend mystery to the tweet. Does he mean the dreaded “n word”? Or does he mean that other six letter slur? There is no shortage of people screaming racist in Georgia, often at the slightest provocation. There is an attitude that racism is the worst thing you can be accused of, and that, once accused, you are guilty until proven innocent. If you do a bit of research into racism, the word, you will see some interesting things.

The concept of groups of people not liking each other is as old as mankind. The word racism apparently did not exist before 1933 (merriam webster), or 1936 (dictionary dot com).

Something called the Vanguard News Network had a forum once, What is the true origin of the term racism? This forum is problematic, as VNN seems to be a white supremacist affair. One of the reputed coiners of the R word was Leon Trotsky, also referred to as Jew Communist. Another Non English speaker who is given “credit” for originating the phrase is Magnus Hirschfeld. As for English, the word here is: “American author Lawrence Dennis was the first to use the word, in English, in his 1936 book “The coming American fascism”.”

The terms racist and racism seem to be used interchangeably in these discussions. This is in keeping with the modern discussion. As Jesus worshipers like to say, hate the sin, love the sinner.

The Online Etymology Dictionary has this to add: “racist 1932 as a noun, 1938 as an adjective, from race (n.2); racism is first attested 1936 (from French racisme, 1935), originally in the context of Nazi theories. But they replaced earlier words, racialism (1871) and racialist (1917), both often used early 20c. in a British or South African context. In the U.S., race hatred, race prejudice had been used, and, especially in 19c. political contexts, negrophobia.”

Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

World Premieres In Atlanta

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History by chamblee54 on March 2, 2017

Several movies have had a world premiere in Atlanta. We will take a look today. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Information about the films is from the Internet Movie Database. This is a repost.
As some of you may know, “Gone With The Wind had it’s world premiere at the Lowes Grand Theater on December 15, 1939. The Lowes Grand site is the current location of the Georgia Pacific building. There is a vacant lot next door, on top of some MARTA paraphernalia. This lot was the site of the Paramount Theater, another movie palace that did not survive.

The GWTW premiere was a big deal. Ten year old Martin Luther King Jr. sang with his church choir. Clark Gable requested a private meeting with Margaret Mitchell, who became the envy of every woman in America. When Mr. Gable checked out of his hotel, a lady was going to be given his room. The clerk asked for a minute to change the sheets on the bed, and the lady said, no, I want to sleep on the same sheets as him.

It was the golden age of movies, and the next year Atlanta hosted the first showing of “Who Killed Aunt Maggie”. The premiere was at the Rialto, on October 24, 1940. The review at IMDB said it was an enjoyable mystery, even if it was a cliche fest. It is not often seen today.

In 1946, “Song Of The South” had it’s premiere at the Fox Theater. SOTS is a controversial item these days. It was based on the Uncle Remus stories, which were written down by Joel Chandler Harris. For those who don’t know, these stories were told by the rural black people that Mr. Harris knew when he was growing up near Eatonton GA. As Wikipedia tells the tale
“Controversy surrounding his southern plantation themes, narrative structure, collection of African-American folklore, use of dialect, and Uncle Remus character, however, has denigrated the significance of Harris’ work”. In other words, Brer Rabbit is not politically correct.
The reviews at IMDB tell a different tale. To them, SOTS is a happy children’s movie. The Disney company seems to wish it would go away and be forgotten. Copies are tough to come by these days. PG would say to see it for yourself and make up your own mind, but Disney won’t let you.

The female lead in SOTS was Ruth Warrick. Miss Warrick was a versatile talent. Her first movie role was in “Citizen Kane”, as Kane’s first wife. She was in many movies, before moving to television. She was perhaps best known as Phoebe Tyler, in the soap opera “All My Children”. Wikipedia tells a story about her, that is ironic for the female lead of “Song Of The South”

“In July 2000, she refused to accept a lifetime achievement award from the South Carolina Arts Commission because she was offended by legislators’ decision to move the Confederate flag from the state Capitol dome to another spot on the grounds in response to a boycott of the state by flag opponents. A lifelong supporter of African-American rights, she felt the flag should be removed completely, and commented, “In my view, this was no compromise. It was a deliberate affront to the African-Americans, who see it as a sign of oppression and hate.”

In 1949, the Paramount had the first screening of “The Gal Who Took The West”. The female lead was Yvonne De Carlo, who later achieved immortality as Lily Munster. In November 1951, the spotlights returned to Lowes Grand for “Quo Vadis”.

The last film in the GSU picture collection is “The Last Rebel”. This western had it’s premiere at the Rialto, May 27, 1958. The movie was a return to Atlanta glory for Olivia De Havilland. The film is the story of a man, whose wife dies in a fire during the war between the states. PG questions the use of the Stars and Bars on the marquee.

In 1974, Ringo Starr produced and acted in “Son of Dracula”. The movie had it’s world premiere at the Cherokee Plaza Theater. Cherokee Plaza is a shopping center on Peachtree Road, just east of the Atlanta city limits. The theater was torn down during a renovation, and the space is currently the produce department at Krogers.

A local radio station hired a band to play in the parking lot at the premiere. At some point, a long limousine pulled up to a stage, and Ringo Starr and Harry Nillson got out. Both were wearing sunglasses, even though it was after dark. Ringo got on the stage, waved a wand at the crowd, and said “I am turning you into frogs”. He went inside to see the movie, the crowd went home, and the movie was mercifully forgotten.

In 1981, PG went to a supper in an apartment building (now a vacant lot) across from First Baptist Church on Peachtree Street. There was a commotion down the street at the Fox, and PG went to see what it was. “Sharkey’s Machine” had it’s World Premiere that night.

The Six G-ds of Christianity

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Quotes, Religion by chamblee54 on March 1, 2017





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.




On The Road With Janis Joplin

Posted in Book Reports, History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on February 23, 2017

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John Byrne Cooke, the son of public television star Alistair Cooke, had gotten a liberal arts degree from Harvard. He stumbled into a job filming the Monterrey Pop Festival. Like the rest of America, he was impressed by Janis Joplin. Soon, Mr. Cooke got a job as the road manager for Big Brother and the Holding Company. One result is a book, On the Road with Janis Joplin.

The management of Big Brother did not want the band filmed at Monterrey. After their saturday afternoon show, the film makers realized that Miss Joplin was important to the film. A second show was arranged for sunday night. This show was filmed. When you see Cass Elliot saying oh wow, that was saturday afternoon. The film crew filmed the crowd during that show.

Mr. Cooke arrived in San Francisco as the summer of love was playing out. Many old timers on the scene were already getting out. At first it was an uneasy fit with the band… the eastern bluegrass player, and the hippies. There was one meeting, where Mr. Cooke thought he was going to be fired. Things were patched up, and the show went on.

There were a lot of people who knew each other. Mr. Cooke had been trying to romance a California girl. It turns out she was a friend of someone, possibly Linda Gravenites, the roommate, and close friend, of Miss Joplin.

Peggy Caserta was another connection. Supposedly Miss Caserta had a lesbian thing going with Miss Joplin. Whatever did, or did not, happen, Miss Caserta wrote an awesomely trashly book, Going Down With Janis. The opening line: “I was stark naked, stoned out of my mind on heroin, and between my legs giving me head was Janis Joplin.”

The year spent with Big Brother was 1968. Miss Joplin was staying in an apartment on Noe Street. Robert Kennedy made a campaign appearance on nearby Castro Street, with Miss Joplin in the crowd. When Mr. Kennedy was killed, after winning the California primary, the band was in Los Angeles. Mr. Cooke sought solace with Judy Collins that night.

Around this time, some people convinced Miss Joplin that she should leave Big Brother. There was three weeks between the last Big Brother show, and the first show as a solo artist. The Kozmic Blues band never really worked. Miss Joplin felt she was a failure. Miss Joplin started to use heroin frequently. Except for a European tour, 1969 was a bad year.

In 1970, Miss Joplin quit using heroin, and started to play with Fult Tilt Boogie. Things wer going well. The band was in Los Angeles recording an album. One night, Miss Joplin got some extra strong heroin. Mr. Cooke found the body.

This book report leaves a great deal of the story out. Miss Joplin broke a whiskey bottle over Jim Morrison’s head, and got into a fist fight with Jerry Lee Lewis. There were three appearances on the Dick Cavett show, 1969, 06-25-70, and 08-03-70. At 1:12 in this video, Miss Joplin observes “you’re a real swinger I can tell by your shoes man.” (Here is a screen shot from 1969, with heroin, next to another from clean 1970.)

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. The 1927 pictures were taken at “California Beauty Week, Mark Hopkins Hotel, July 28 to Aug. 2, auspices of San Francisco Chronicle.”

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Frank Zappa

Posted in Georgia History, History, Music by chamblee54 on February 14, 2017









The first time PG saw the word Zappa, it was on an item at the Poster Hut. It showed a man sitting on a commode, with the words Phi Zappa Krappa rendered above. The poser, Frank Zappa, later said “I’m probably more famous for sitting on the toilet than for anything else that I do.”

It was 1969, give or take a bit. FZ was already well known in some hip circles. His band, the Mothers of Invention, played at something called the Cosmic Carnival at Atlanta Stadium, where the music lovers were actually allowed onto the field. PG paid $1.98 for a copy of We’re Only in It for the Money at the Woolco on Buford Hiway. Years later, he would pay $16.00 for a CD of this piece of work.

The records started to come out like clockwork, with or without the Mothers. FZ started to become a star, with an appeal to druggies who fancied themselves intellectual. It should be noted that FZ was notoriously anti drug. His music made fun of the establishment and counterculture with equal glee. FZ was also a capitalist, known to be tight fisted when it came to paying hired hands. He stayed with his second wife, Gail, until his death, and produced four children… Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.

The concerts came to town every year or so, and people liked them. A show at the Fox Theater in 1974 may have caught FZ at his peak. PG heard the raves about this show until he bought a ticket for his next show. This was in 1975, at the Municipal Auditorium. PG brought a half pint in with him, and didn’t remember a lot later, except some song about the Illinois Eneman Bandit.

Life goes on. Nine years later, FZ was in legal hell with a former manager, and could only make money by touring. One night, a friend had an extra ticket to a show. PG arrived after the band had started, and FZ was playing a fine guitar solo. This was going to be good.

Only it wasn’t. The rest of the show was social commentary. The man had opinions on everything, and was generous with them. At one point, the band started to sing “He’s so gay”, while a double headed dildo was lowered from the ceiling. PG thinks he heard FZ sing “one day you might be gay too”, but by then it really didn’t matter.

Frank Zappa was many things to many people. He had lots of opinions, which were dutifully recorded by the press. Here are a few .

Rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, in order to provide articles for people who can’t read. // I think that if a person doesn’t feel cynical then they’re out of phase with the 20th century. Being cynical is the only way to deal with modern civilization, you can’t just swallow it whole. // When God created Republicans, he gave up on everything else. // Let’s not be too rough on our own ignorance; it’s what makes America great! // The U.S. is a mere pup tent of a civilization. We’ve got two hundred years of stupidity behind us and we think we’re right up there with everyone else who’s been doing it for thousands of years. // Beauty is a pair of shoes that makes you wanna die. // After all, he wrote this book here, and in the book it says he made us all to be just like him! So if we’re dumb, then God is dumb — and maybe even a little ugly on the side. // Remember there’s a big difference between kneeling down and bending over. // Do you think you are protecting somebody by taking away seven words? // For the record, folks; I never took a shit on stage and the closest I ever came to eating shit anywhere was at a Holiday Inn buffet in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1973. // If you wind up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest or some guy on TV telling you how to do your shit, then YOU DESERVE IT. // There is no hell. There is only France. // The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced. // Children are naïve — they trust everyone. School is bad enough, but, if you put a child anywhere in the vicinity of a church, you’re asking for trouble. // People make a lot of fuss about my kids having such supposedly ‘strange names’, but the fact is that no matter what first names I might have given them, it is the last name that is going to get them in trouble. //

The reviews at Amazon sometimes have insights into the truth about an artist. Here are a few one star reviews of We’re Only in It for the Money.

I just don’t get this October 11, 2010 By Neomorphus “Neomorphus” (Superior, Colorado)
This is unlistenable. I could only get half way through before giving up. Too clever for me.

Put the kettle on June 7, 2006 By Noddy Box (New York)
This high-pitched snit fit might rouse the odd smirk if all you’ve consumed is a cup of tea and a Digestive biscuit but on no account listen to it under the influence of anything stronger because then you’re liable to prang right into a hectoring bore who comes off like some renegade member of the school debating team rehearsing his–fnarr fnarr–naughty rhyming rebuttals. Farting around in Edgar Varese’s old corduroys is all well and good but this breathtakingly condescending harangue sounds depressingly like–dear oh dear–social commentary. Jacobs Cream Crackers but is there anything more tedious than windy social commentary set to popular music? And the exhortation to read Kafka in the liner notes? Please Frank, rock stars should never mix their drinks, or at least not so the stitches show. Zappa is much more bearable when he takes his own advice, shuts his cakehole and plays guitar. Like on Hot Rats, where the only vocal is the sublime Beefy on Willie the Pimp and Frank in the kitchen the whole time cooking up a kettle of wordless aural gumbo–a movie for the ears I think he called it, something like that anyway, it’s right there on the sleeve, good description at any rate of one of the authentically crunchy Zappa records. Well he did release over sixty of them after all, I mean he was bound to get it right once or twice, wasn’t he? So toss this turkey on the fire and get yourself out onna porch of the Lido Hotel.

This is a repost. Your archive is your friend.








Gloomy Sunday

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on February 12, 2017

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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.

Gloomy Sunday 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.

Gloomy Sunday 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”. This repost has pictures from The Library of Congress.

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