What Song Sums Up Your Entire Life

Posted in GSU photo archive, Music, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 6, 2015









Roman Hans, the maestro behind World Class Stupid, liked a couple of chamblee54 pictures on facebook. PG thought it was good manners to go by WCS and like something. PG tries to have manners, even if they are obsolete.

The first post was a screen shot of something called “what song sums up your entire life.” The picture did not have a link, so Mr. Google was consulted. The intertubes like to put up quiz thingies. Apparently the ideas are not subject to copyrights, so the copycats post another version within milliseconds. You can get a second opinion, a third, and a fourth.

A “bitecharge” quiz, What song sums up your entire life?, was the screen shot at WCS. The front page has a picture of Kelvin Cochran, with the all caps question “DO YOU THINK CHRISTIANS CAN BE FIREFIGHTERS? CLICK HERE TO SAY YES! Did you know that the 3 wise men were firemen? The Bible said they came from a far. If you are not a southerner, you might not think that was funny.

The bitecharge test is eight multiple choice questions. Number eight is typical. “Which exercise would you prefer? Running, Yoga, Bicycling, Ball sports, Swimming” “Your song is: “Like a Rolling Stone”” There is an ad, under the “Tweet this” badge. “Is He Cheating On You? Enter His Email Address. Find Pics & Profiles From 70+ Social Networks”

The Quibblo version was created by Call_Me_Kira , whose location is L’s closet, Kanto region of Japan, AU. The show has six multiple choice questions. Number six: Which of these choices best describes you? I need to go to school and get my degree, Make a lot of money working from home, I would love to find a new game to play, I’d like to earn extra money by taking surveys online. Actually, that is number infinity sign. When you click on a choice, you go to a page telling you how to make money working at home. The real number six has about a dozen options for “What song do you THINK sums up your love life?” Maybe the singalong by Marcel Marceau. The answer, once you get past the auto start news story about the Kardashians, is “Love the way you lie- Rhianna”

GoToQuiz features unabashed datamining, with some exceptions. “8. Where do you live? In the country, In the city, In a cave, Homeless. 9. Have you ever been bullied? Yes, No, I am a bully.’ The answer is “Perfect”, by Pink.

The last one of these is by quotev. The advertising is from Southwest Airlines, and American Express, which is an improvement over Kelvin Cochran. The result is “New Perspective-Panic! at the Disco.” Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.











Posted in Poem, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 1, 2015














Audio Tags

Posted in Poem, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on February 26, 2015














Positive Fascism

Posted in GSU photo archive, Politics, Quotes, Religion, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on February 23, 2015









PG had a few minutes to spare this morning. He dived into the innertubes, and found Staying committed sucks…REALLY??? The post made him think. He decided to leave a fast comment. If you want your comment to be noticed, be one of the first ones to go up.

The post is about the downside of positive thinking. It starts with a woman, who says her husband has discovered, a bit too late, that he really does not enjoy practicing law. The hypothesis here is that Hollywood glamorizes the legal profession, and does not tell anyone about the boring aspects.

Chamblee54 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 fascism” 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.

Biochicklet Snarky man under the bag. I was raised without a religion and I know legions of atheists. Singling out a religious group is really unfair. The topic is commitment and hard work to have something of great value. If you want to pick a fight, please come see me. I am a positive fascist.

The Culture Monk Ellen, LOVE the comment. I think its my favorite of week.

There are a couple of obvious points. The gravatar image of PG has a paper bag over his head. There is no indication whether the blogger is male or female. How did Biochicklet correctly guess the gender?

Second, Culture Monk talks about his Christianity in almost every post. A frequent theme is Christians who make Jesus look bad. It was highly fair to include that observation in this comment.

PG is writing this after a hard day in the real world. A couple of things happened today to cloud any cheerfulness he might feel … those who know PG IRL will know what these are. A lengthy discussion of positive fascism, and the belief paradigm that spawned it, will have to wait. (Or is it positive fascism that facilitated the belief paradigm? Maybe they are one and the same.)

There is a story, though, which illustrates the point, and will not take too long to tell. A friend of PG became acquainted with some people in a Christian group once. We will call this group “The Light.” They were faith healers, with a nifty catch 22. If you were cured of your illness, hallelujah. (Thank you spell check.) If you were not cured, it was because you did not believe enough.

This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. The video is from “The Way,” which worships the same G-d as “The Light,” and participates in the same economy. Biochicklet, Chamblee54, and Culture Monk are still producing.









Gay Marriage And The KKK

Posted in GSU photo archive, Politics, Race, Religion, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on February 13, 2015










It seems as though the United Dixie White Knights is opposed to gay marriage in Alabama. The article in The New Civil Rights Movement credits blog superstar Joe.My.God. with breaking the story. JMG reports he was “Tipped by JMG reader Fred.”

As could be predicted, facebooker are gleefully posting stock photos of klansmen, and making snarky comments. The opposition of UDWK is seen as another selling point for the benefits of gay marriage. After all, if the Klan is against something, then you need to be for it.

The fact that the issue of marriage is being decided in federal courts is not discussed. Marriage has always been a legal construct. The states and the federal government are fighting over who gets to regulate marriage, which usually does not end well for the states. The acronym IANAL is useful. Maybe arranged marriages, involving cattle, are the tradition to follow.

One wonders why “the Klan” even bothers. They are a national joke. They get less respect than the Westboro Baptist Church. If they say something, the media gleefully reports and distorts. It is almost as if someone hacked into the UDWK site, in an effort to make them look bad. If you look at the rhetoric, grammar, and spelling of the document, you might come to that conclusion.

If you want to see the UDWK statement, you get a screen: “Adult Content Warning ~ The site uniteddixiewhiteknights that you are about to view may contain content only suitable for adults.” You have two choices: “I would like to proceed to the site. ~ I do not wish to view this page.”

In it’s report, The New Civil Rights Movement mentions “The statement, to which we will not link.” TNCRM story is sponsored by LGBT Family Planning, and How To Remove Dark Spots, Watch Shocking Presentation. Stories about the KKK are good for getting people to look at paid advertising.

Last summer, a report circulated: KKK Raising Money for Police Officer Who Shot African-American Teen. “The South Carolina-based New Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan says its Missouri chapter is raising money for the still unidentified white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, 18, who was scheduled to begin college classes this week.” This report was used to discredit Darren Wilson, while the investigation was ongoing.

During this weeks Klan sighting, a followup appeared to this story, KKK Disowns KKK Fundraiser for Darren Wilson “The fundraising email is actually in violation of the traditional Klan constitution, according to another Imperial Wizard, Frank Ancona. Ancona leads the Traditionalist American Knights, one of the largest branches of the KKK, approaching 10,000 members in the lower 48 states. Their headquarters are in Missouri.

The KKK is split into many smaller subdivisions, explained Ancona, and often times, banished members of a larger branch will attempt to start their own. Ancona believes this is the case with Murray, who is not even known to the Traditionalist American Knights. (Murray is Imperial Wizard Chuck Murray, of the New Empire Knights.)

“He basically made up his own name,” Ancona said, explaining that Murray may not even be on his birth certificate. “We are a registered organization. We have a charter with the state… Half of them don’t have the rituals for our ceremonies.”

Ancona worked with senior members of his organization to attempt to find Murray and confirm his connection to the larger group, but they could not. “No one has ever heard of the guy, I talked to the older members of our group,” he said. “There are other legitimate Klan organizations, but this group here sprang out in the last year or so I don’t believe he has any members. I think it’s just him.”

Additionally, Ancona believes Murray’s fundraising effort is a scam, because technically, members of the Klan cannot speak with the media, let alone solicit their help with raising donations. All members sign an agreement that forbids conversations with the press. Only highly vetted officials interact with reporters, and even then, interviews are rare.”

The KKK has historically been a secret society. Is posting a manifesto on the internet, and leaking it to Joe.My.God., the way things are done in the internet age? Is the UDWK a glory seeking fringe group? Maybe the post is a false flag operation, designed to build support for gay marriage.

In case anyone is confused, this post does not support the KKK. Nor will there be the ritual denunciation that anti-racists seem to feel obligated to make. It is just an effort by a slack blogger to make sense of a few things that defy explanation. The pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. The rally was held July 14, 1939 at Stone Mountain.










Tiny American Faith Groups

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Race, Religion, The Internet by chamblee54 on February 11, 2015






As you may have heard, a man killed three of his neighbors in North Carolina. The victims were Muslim, and the alleged perp is white. Since America is now a nation of media critics, the way this incident is covered is getting as much chatter as anything else. The usual comments about lack of media coverage, and the different ways the race of the perp affects what the media calls the person, are being made. If you can’t say anything good, criticize the media.

Some stories report that a dispute over parking spots was behind the slayings. While this may seem trivial to some, parking disputes can be heated. Did the condo community have enough parking spaces? Is killing over a parking spot any sillier than killing because of differing opinions about G-d?

The Washington Post has a story about the killing, Chapel Hill killings shine light on particular tensions between Islam and atheism. “The alleged assassination by an outspoken North Carolina atheist of three of his Muslim neighbors is shining a light on particular, deep tensions between two tiny American faith groups: Muslims and atheists.”

Is that tiny America, tiny faith, or tiny groups? How can atheists be called a “faith group?” Maybe we should go back to saying religion, instead using faith as a semantic substitute. Or maybe, just maybe, we should quit labeling people based on their opinions about G-d. Is it really any of your business?

The WP story has a link to the facebook page of alleged killer Craig Stephen Hicks. There are numerous comments criticizing the Abrahamic religions. There are also a puzzle, a video about New Zealand, and a link to a story about what occupations the 50 states have. The Hicks page is not different from most facebook pages.

Perhaps the facebook page has a clue to the real motive for the killing. Mr. Hicks is a Pittsburgh Steeler fan. Mr. Hicks is married, and went to Disneyworld two months ago. Mr. Hicks is in two facebook groups: Atheism on Youtube, and LET’S REACH 1 MILLION PEOPLE CAMPAIGN…It’s a start! LGBT EQUALITY. Mr. Hicks likes the movie “12 Years a Slave.”

This incident is tough to wrap your head around. Mr. Hicks probably did not need to own a firearm. Since he is white, the media guide says he is a troubled individual, which does not seem to be in question. If he had been black or brown, Mr. Hicks would be labelled thug or terrorist. Those two labels also seem to fit, regardless of whether or not this was a hate crime.

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.”






Direct Deposit Your Privilege

Posted in GSU photo archive, Politics, Race, The Internet by chamblee54 on February 5, 2015










PG poured a cup of coffee, and got busy multi tasking. A splendid selection of images from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library” await the editor’s magic wand. Some of these images appear with this post.

Cropping/level adjusting/labeling uses hands and eyes, but not ears. This leaves a sense open for input. The audio component listens to podcasts. That leaves smell as the underutilized sense. The internet does not play to the literal sense of smell … figuratively the nose works overtime.

The soundtrack this morning is episode 33372 of Talkers Aryeh Cohen-Wade and Freddie deBoer discuss a recent bit of thumb pulling by Jonathan Chait, Not a very PC thing to say. The links page is sponsored by the NRA. “Defend Your Freedom… Join NRA Today … Your Membership includes this FREE NRA Rosewood Handle Knife.”

In the event that you have better things to worry about, Mr. Chait’s commentary has ruffled a few feathers. The general concept is that some people are more concerned about the way you say something, than the actual content. A number of illustrative horror stories are given. “A theater group at Mount Holyoke College recently announced it would no longer put on The Vagina Monologues in part because the material excludes women without vaginas.”

Ad hominem has a long history as a tactic for dismissing views that you don’t want to talk about. Crying hypocrisy is usually the easiest argument to make, without getting your hands dirty with the details. Many people decide that activism is just not fun anymore, and leave whatever movement they decide to grace with their presence. Sometimes this is a good thing.

Bloggingheads has a device on the viewer enabling the consumer to make a sound bite clip. This clip is delicately known as the dingle link, not to be confused with dingleberry. This can be a problem to the multi-tasker. You are sailing along with your project, and the talker says something that you want to save for posterity, or posterior. You have to stop the player, scroll back to the start of the comment, and do the appropriate clicking mojo to save the clip.

There were three such moments in episode 33372. Mr. Cohen-Wade says the divide and conquer nature of identity politics is similar to the history of southern racism. The idea was to pit the poor whites against the poor blacks, to the benefit of the rich white people. What Mr. Cohen-Wade does not mention is that northern robber barons played the same game with immigrants. After the great migration, rich northerners saw the benefit of a divide and conquer race game.

At the sixty eight minute mark, there are back to back comments. In the first, Mr. Cohen-Wade discusses the privilege of having two parents in the house. This is an advantage in later life, but no one calling out privilege seems to think this is worthy of mention.

Immediately after this comment, Mr. deBoer notes a contradiction in the expression check your privilege. “One of the most surefire signs that someone is privileged is if they use the phrase “check your privilege. … only people who come from a certain level of education know what that means.”

Meanwhile on facebook, someone posted a tawdry video. Men were talking about male stereotypes, and how they don’t want to live up to these so called ideals. All the men in the video were under thirty. Only one of the players was mixed race, or black … it is tough to tell which. This gentleman makes a comment about dick size, and another comment with a bleeped out cussword.

There was a comment. An Atlanta man said “uhhhhh, way to represent the fatties?”. The man posting the video replied “Fat hum?”










Blackface Drag At Club Sheba

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 31, 2015







Mary Cheney became famous in a traditional way. Her father is Dick Cheney, former VPOTUS, hunting guide, and terrorist. Apparently Ms. Cheney felt the need for attention recently. She posted the following matter on facebook.

“Why is it socially acceptable — as a form of entertainment — for men to put on dresses, make up and high heels and act out every offensive stereotype of women (bitchy, catty, dumb, slutty, etc.) — but it is not socially acceptable — as a form of entertainment — for a white person to put on blackface and act out offensive stereotypes of African Americans?”

When it comes to getting people to look at you, Mary Cheney is not in the same hemisphere as RuPaul. By remarkable coincidence, there is going to be a new season of a cable tv show, about drag queens, hosted by RuPaul. The comments by Ms. Cheney were seen by RuPaul as an opportunity to promote product. The video is embedded above.

We are not going to discuss the moral calculus of blackface vs drag in this post. That’s what facebook, twitter, and comment sections are for. This blog does not have the intellectual gravitas as youtube comment sections. Mary Cheney and RuPaul are getting the attention they require.

The pictures today are from The Library of Congress. These ladies were participating in “Inter city beauties, Atlantic City Pageant, 1925.” There is something appropriate about beauty pageant pictures illustrating a discussion of the relative political correctness of blackface and drag queens. If you want a picture of Mary Cheney, go somewhere else.

The second part of this feature is a repost. The show was performed in 1979. I recently saw “Carroll.” He lives in Pennsylvania today, and has a beard nine inches long.








Reading about Shirley Q. Liquor brought back memories of a night long ago. A young man, who I will call Carroll, grew up across the street. In his spare time, he did drag shows. What I was expecting was Carol Burnett and Lily Tomlin, using his own voice. One Sunday night, free admission and a buffet was all I needed to venture downtown and see the show.

The venue was an unpretentious bar called Club Sheba. The clientele was mostly lesbians, many of whom were African Americans.

Club Sheba was located on Forrest Avenue. The street was named for Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate General who, some say, founded the Ku Klux Klan. Forrest Avenue late became Ralph McGill Boulevard, named after the former editor of the Atlanta Constitution.

As show time approached, I saw a table that had empty seats. I pulled back a seat, and a beefy lady informed me that she did not want a man to sit at that table.

The first act was what I expected. The reputation of Carol Burnett did not suffer, and Lily Tomlin was still in the closet. After the first act, I shot a game of pool with my friend, and went to the buffet for a second plate. A lady stopped me. ”You’re not supposed to get full”

I went back to the pool table. After a while there was a crowd standing around, and it was evident that a second act was going to start soon. I saw a black lady in the crowd making faces at me, took a second look, and realized that it was Carroll.

He did not use his voice this time, but lip synced to Grace Jones and Diana Ross. He wore blackface, and an afro wig. The crowd at the Club Sheba enjoyed this part of the show. Many of the Black Lesbians went to the stage and stuffed dollar bills in his faux bosom.







Good Bye Andrew Sullivan

Posted in Library of Congress, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 29, 2015








As is often the case these days, the news came on twitter. ‏@JoeMyGod Andrew Sullivan To Stop Blogging: Citing recent health issues, his marriage, and the stresses brought on by 15… Joe had a link to his blog, where there was a link to the Sullivan facility.

Back during the Clinton administration, Mr. Sullivan had been the editor of some high faluting magazine. There was talk about having a gay, English, catholic in this conspicuous position. Eventually, he left, and started what was once called a “vanity website.” The first time I heard the word blog was in reference to Mr.Sullivan. It was short for web log.

At some point there was a piece, Why I blog. “Rudeness, in any case, isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a blogger. Being ignored is. Perhaps the nastiest thing one can do to a fellow blogger is to rip him apart and fail to provide a link.” The Dish never linked to Chamblee54.

There were links to some good stories at The Dish. There was a bit of foolishness. An obsession with the parentage of Trig Palin was given much play. It is ironic that Mrs.Palin is seen as an embarrassment to the conservative “movement,” at a time when Mr. Sullivan retiring. The similarity of the conservative movemeny to a bowel movement is more obvious than ever.

Not everyone is upset by the departure of Mr.Sullivan.
@gaywonk I’m going to honor Andrew Sullivan’s retirement by talking down to everyone I meet and trying my best to blend in with straight people.
@thejoshuablog Is it me, or was #AndrewSullivan’s deathbed confession eerily similar in tone to Norma Desmond’s speech at the end of #SunsetBoulevard?
@DostoevskyShade It is sad that the only time ever that #AndrewSullivan has trended on twitter is when he announces an end to his writings that no one reads.
Tonight’s Episode of Amazing America with Sarah Palin: Mom Hangs Out with Ted Nugent!

There are reports about the death of blogging. These are rather exaggerated. The days when any Joe Blow could set up shop in mom’s basement, and instantly get a million followers, are probably over. Twitter, and Youtube, are where a lot of the action is. 600 words has been reduced to 140 characters, or talking into your cell phone camera for mass consumption.

Blogging is like writing poetry… the supply greatly exceeds the demand. There are people who write blogs because they enjoy it. Chamblee54 is one. It is a fun game, even if Andrew Sullivan ignored Chamblee54. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. These details are from picture #06665, “Bathing Beauty Pageant, 1925, Huntington Beach CA”







The GD Ad

Posted in Library of Congress, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 28, 2015





As you may have heard, this sunday is the stupid bowl. It is the end of the NFL season, the excuse for lavish parties, and a showcase for advertising. Every year, companies spend billions of dollars producing ads that will stand out … which is not always the same things as outstanding.

A cheesy website company called godaddy is taking a shortcut. They produced an ad. Adorable puppy is tossed out of a pickup truck. After surviving an Indiana-Jones-like journey, adorable puppy finds a way back to the farm. Danica Patrick sees adorable puppy, and says adorable puppy has just been sold. The sale was made on a godaddy produced website. In the final shot, adorable puppy is seen in an open shipping box, leaving in a delivery van.

Allegedly, there has been a facebook/twitter/talkshow outrage. This facebook exchange is what PG saw. This exchange is what alerted PG to the existence of this ad.

Anyone who works in dog rescue is totally appalled by this ad on many counts. And all the nut jobs out there just call us liberal PETA psychos for hating this ad. WTH? … Not just the puppy mills, but the selling of dogs on these sites. Some end up as bait dogs or in the hands of animal abusers. Remember Puppy Doe? Also showing the puppy getting thrown out of the truck even by accident gives teens the idea to throw them out of moving vehicles for sports even more than they already do. Especially when the ad shows that the puppy survived. Most end up mamed and killed. They die a slow death where they land. Not a good ad at all. I’ve tried to educate people, but a lot just think I’m a PETA loving crazy liberal. … ___ you are a responsible, well-informed, and compassionate person. Anyone who would label you otherwise is ignorant.

PG saw this exchange, and wondered if he was missing something. “all the nut jobs out there just call us liberal PETA psychos for hating this ad.” Where are these people? More Americans are concerned with how much air is pumped in Tom Brady’s balls.

Which got PG to thinking. Just how much outrage was there about this ad? Who made those angry tweets? Does anyone, outside of the “PETA loving crazy liberal” cabal, really pay attention?

Maybe, just maybe, this is manufactured outrage. By making a show of pulling the ad, godaddy has gotten lots of people to look at it. Instead of competing with the big money sponsors on sunday, godaddy gets lots of attention on wednesday. It is standing alone, which is also different from outstanding. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. These men were Confederate soldiers, during the War Between the States. They did not pull their advertising because of a few angry tweets.





Pageant Of Pulchritude

Posted in Library of Congress, The Internet, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 27, 2015







The fun started when PG clicked on the link to Can You Answer 11 Basic Intelligence Questions? Like many internet trolls, PG fancies himself a fart smeller smart feller. The quiznation clickathon (spell check suggestion:quantization catholic) sort of confirms this.

As the title suggests, there were 11 questions. The first one is typical … 1- How many 10 cent stamps are there in a dozen? 120, 12, 10, 20. 9 were multiple choice, and 2 were true/false.

Number 6 was true/false, and it caught PG. Do flammable and inflammable mean the same thing? PG thought of mobile and immobile, and said that the f words have opposite meanings. In one of those delightful english language quirks, those two words mean the same thing. Question 7 … What does JFK short for? … makes you wonder if this quiz was written by an engish speaking human.

The questions were sponsored by a facility selling 75% Off Drug Tests. “75% Off Drug Tests 5 panel: $1.17 & 10 panel $2.50 w/ Free Cups, FDA 510K, Free Shipping.” In a big brother moment, Amazon drops by the advertise Joni Mitchell product.

Two words that apparently mean the same thing were responsible for missing a question on Can You Use 11 Commonly Misused Words Correctly? “Our family _______ from Ireland twenty years ago. emigrated, immigrated.” “Emigration is the act of leaving one’s native country with the intent to settle permanently or temporarily elsewhere. Conversely, immigration describes the movement of persons into one country from another.”

You may get the impression that somebody does not have much to talk about. You may be correct. The last item is an edited selection from the comments at Peach Pundit. Here is the soundtrack.

January 26, 2015 at 9:51 am More American heroes! Gotta like it! Can’t wait for the disgraceful, bed-wetting libs to bust their chops like they did Chris Kyle’s. By the way, remember when the bed-wetters criticized Chick Filet’s founder for his beliefs? The next couple of days made Chick Filet’s earning for that week the biggest in the company’s history. Their insults are doing the same for Clint’s movie, too! Way to go, weenies! LMAO

January 26, 2015 at 11:27 am Doesn’t hurt me. My point is that your insults aren’t any more palatable than anyone else’s, and that you’d be better served saving your anger to defend something more important than a public entertainment. Of course you’re free to spend your time as you wish and I don’t have to read your comments so we’ll both get by.

The pictures today are from The Library of Congress. These details are from picture #06666, documenting “First Internation[al] Pageant of Pulchritude & Seventh Annual Bathing Girl Review at Galveston, Texas.” It was taken in 1926.







Growing Up With Joni Mitchell

Posted in Library of Congress, Music, The Internet by chamblee54 on January 15, 2015












A facebook friend went on a Joni Mitchell kick. First it was a link to an interview. Then it was a quote from The Last Time I Saw Richard. A lady said Blue was her favorite album all all time, and a man enthusiastically agreed.

Given the apples and oranges quality of her catalog, it would be tough to pick one album as a favorite. PG then realized that fbf was going to be thirty soon. PG is sixty. These are two different perspectives on the craft of Joni Mitchell. One has driven through the storm, not knowing what was next. The other is presented with an almost complete body of work.

PG has known about Joni since high school, and been a devoted fan since 1976. Joni’s most popular album, Court And Spark, came out in 1974, eleven years before fbf was born. Who would be the equivalent female musical force from 1943, when PG was minus eleven? The answer is nobody. (Coincidentally Roberta Joan Anderson was born on November 7, 1943.)

ms mitchell After the comment about Blue, PG listened to For The Roses. Joni’s craft is like a cluster bomb… there are lines that you never fully felt, bomblets waiting to explode in your gut. Let The Wind Carry Me has one of those hidden threats. Mama thinks she spoilt me, Papa knows somehow he set me free, Mama thinks she spoilt me rotten, She blames herself, But papa he blesses me.

The first thing PG heard by Joni was Big Yellow Taxi. It was on The Big Ball, a 1970 mail order sampler from Warner Brothers. This was when Joni shacked up with Graham Nash. The next year saw Blue, followed by For The Roses, and Court And Spark. PG always thought Joni was someone he should like, but somehow didn’t. It wasn’t until 1976 that PG broke through the barrier, and became a Joni Mitchell fan. Seeing her in concert did not hurt.

On February 3, 1976, PG took a study break. (He scored 100 on the test the next day) Joni Mitchell was playing at the UGA coliseum a few blocks away, and the door was not watched after the show started. PG found a place to stand, on the first level of the stands. The LA express was her band that night, and created a tight, jazzy sound, even in the UGA coliseum. Tom Scott pointed at Joni, said she was crazy, and drew circles around his left ear. The one line PG remembers is “chicken scratching my way to immortality” from Hejira.

The Hissing of Summer Lawns might not be her best album, but it is certainly her bravest. Court And Spark was a commercial success. Instead of producing a bestselling followup, Joni took a ninety degree turn. Summer Lawns, for all its eccentric sparkle, confused the record buying public. The gravy train took off in another direction.

In those days, 96rock played a new album at midnight, which people were known to tape. On the night of the Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash, the album was Hejira. This was followed by Mingus, another curve ball. Finally, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter appeared, and did not make a good impression.

The eighties, nineties, and aughts appeared. PG, and Joni, lived their lives. 1996 saw a frightening interview in Details magazine. It was startling to see that for all her granola glory, Joni Mitchell might not be a very nice person. In a pot and kettle moment, David Crosby said “Joni’s about as humble as Mussolini.” Music is a tough way to make easy money.

More recently, there was a long interview on Canadian television. She is not mellowing with age. The cigarettes have not killed her, even if her voice is not what it once was. The recent albums that PG heard are strong. There seem to be more on the way. Maybe the facebook friend will have have the “what is she going to do next” experience after all. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.














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