Monday, October 15, 2018

Music Monday ~ Meaningful Lyric Lines

I didn't answer this question at Quora, and from the 7 answers available when preparing this post I recognised only one song.

What are some of your favourite one-liners or catchphrases from songs you've heard? Ones which pack a lot of meaning into few words or which are particularly punchy?

Later, I pondered on the question for possible use this Music Monday. I came up with a few lines from songs which have embedded themselves into my memory - no need for Google search. These come to the surface from time to time, unbidden, and do "pack a lot of meaning into a few words".

Our lives
Are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss
The dance.

(The Dance - Garth Brooks)

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose.

(Me and Bobby McGee - Kris Kristofferson)

You don't know about lonely
Till it's chiseled in stone.

(Chiseled in Stone Vern Gosdin. Songwriters: Max Barnes / Vern Gosdin)

Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks,
And the rich folks hate the poor folks.
All of my folks hate all of your folks,
It's American as apple pie.

(National Brotherhood Week - Tom Lehrer)

The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way.

(My Way - Frank Sinatra. Songwriters: Claude Francois / Gilles Thibaut / Jacques Revaux / Paul Anka)

And, on that note I shall put up the "Back Soon" sign and take a week off.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Think Brexit is a Nightmare? It's a walk in the park compared with Battle of Hastings and The Harrying of the North.

Tomorrow, 14 October, in 1066 saw the Battle of Hastings, and Norman Conquest of England. It took place on Senlac Hill, seven miles from Hastings, on England's south coast. The forces of William the Conqueror defeated the English army and killed King Harold II. The full story of the Norman Conquest, and lead-up to it is told at Wikipedia, HERE.

The Norman Conquest was a pivotal event in English history. It largely removed the native ruling class, replacing it with a foreign, French-speaking monarchy, aristocracy, and clerical hierarchy.

Battles didn't end in 1066. What is known as "The Harrying of the North" followed:
The Harrying of the North was a series of campaigns waged by William the Conqueror in the winter of 1069–70 to subjugate northern England, where the presence of the last Wessex claimant, Edgar Atheling, had encouraged Anglo-Danish rebellions. William paid the Danes to go home, but the remaining rebels refused to meet him in battle, and he decided to starve them out by laying waste to the northern shires, especially the city of York, before installing a Norman aristocracy throughout the region.

[NOTE: One of my ancestors, on my father's mother's side, could well have originated from one such individual, his name does derive from the French - though whether he was an "aristocrat" or just some well-behaved servant elevated to overseeing a parcel of land and its inhabitants in the wild north is another matter!]

Contemporary chronicles vividly record the savagery of the campaign, the huge scale of the destruction and the widespread famine caused by looting, burning and slaughtering. Some present-day scholars have labelled the campaigns as genocide although others doubt whether William could have assembled enough troops to inflict so much damage and have concluded that the records may have been exaggerated or misinterpreted.

Pupils in English schools have the year 1066 engraved on their hearts (or they did in my school days) - it's often one of few dates to be so well remembered. A couple of 20th century humourists, W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman wrote a series under the title 1066 and All That, for the famous British Punch magazine. The series, later developed into a play and a book, is a parody of English history. I have a copy of the book on my shelf, so immediately reached for it when faced with Wikipedia's reminder of the date of the Battle of Hastings.

I'll not go into much detail of the book's content, it truly is an acquired taste, to the uninitiated, those unused to this type of humour, it'd sound just silly. You really had to be there (in England over many years) to "get it". I did notice something worth mentioning here though, with a possible astrological link.

Skipping through the years from 1066 to what's known as the Tudor Age (or Middle Ages), we come to King John, noted in the book as "An Awful King". During his reign, in 1215, came the Magna Carta, which I guess could be likened to the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

1066 and All That parodies the intent of the Magna Carta, which King John was compelled to sign by the Barons (members of the nobility/aristocracy, mainly of French descent).
The Magna Carta, as described in the book, said:

1. That no one was to be put to death, save for some reason - (except the Common People).

2. That everyone should be free - (except the Common People).

3. That everything should be of the same weight and measure throughout the Realm - (except the Common People).

4. That the courts should be stationary, instead of following a very tiresome medieval official known as the King's Person all over the country.

5. That no person should be fined to his utter ruin - (Except the King's Person).

6. That the Barons should not be tried except by a special jury of other Barons who would understand.

Magna Carta was therefore the chief cause of Democracy in England, and thus A Good Thing for everyone (except the Common People).

The Common People in most countries, even nowadays, are still in the category "except for"! And Number 6 sounds eerily familiar too. Things do change, but remain much the the French are wont to say, but rather more prettily - "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

An astrological note:
Does anything in astrology link to Magna Carta? Google searches some years ago uncovered something of interest relating to Jupiter/Uranus and Saturn/Uranus cycles, but the link I had has become defunct - as Monty Python would say "It's an ex-link!" Here are the details from that ex-link that I used in a post on this subject some years ago:

Human Rights: The planetary cycles of human rights

In astrology the development of human rights is often associated with Uranus and Aquarius, and the periods of history that coincide with the rise in awareness of human rights and human wrongs are usually linked with the Jupiter-Uranus and Saturn-Uranus cycles. But does this stand up to scrutiny?

This article examines landmark events in human rights in the UK, the USA and France, as well as major political thinkers/philosophers whose work influenced the way human rights were thought about and practiced, and looks for correlations between these and the Jupiter-Uranus and Saturn-Uranus cycles.

Landmark events
These are said to be some of the major landmarks in the development of the current Western thinking on and practice of human rights :

Magna Carta
15th to 19th June 1215
Saturn conjunct Uranus (approaching)

USA - State of Virginia's Declaration of Rights
12th June 1776
Saturn trine Uranus

USA Constitution
4th March 1789
Jupiter conjunct Uranus (the aspect is wide but approaching and growing in strength)

USA Bill of Rights
15th December 1791
Jupiter just past sextile Uranus
Mars on the midpoint of Jupiter/Uranus

Other examples were included too, but I have not kept a note of them.

The astrological observations on Jupiter-Uranus and Saturn-Uranus seem to hold true. Awareness of human rights, and the relationship between the establishment and the people, does seem to correlate with the cycles of these planets. How, or if, the fact that Saturn and Uranus are currently in trine aspect, between early degrees of Taurus and Capricorn (Earth signs), relates to the above remains to be seen. Guess what might soon become a "landmark event", major or minor, regarding human rights, and relationship between the establishment and the people!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Arty farty Friday ~ James Tissot & Those Gowns

 Self portrait
James Tissot
Jacques Joseph Tissot ( 15 October 1836 – 8 August 1902), Anglicized as James Tissot, was a French painter and illustrator. He was a successful painter of Paris society before moving to London in 1871. He became famous as a genre painter of fashionably dressed women shown in various scenes of everyday life. He also painted scenes and characters from the Bible.

Jacques Tissot was born in the port town of Nantes, France and spent his early childhood there. His father, Marcel Théodore Tissot, was a successful drapery merchant. His mother, Marie Durand, assisted her husband in the family business and designed hats. A devout Catholic, Tissot's mother instilled pious devotion in the future artist from a very young age. Tissot's youth spent in Nantes likely contributed to his frequent depiction of shipping vessels and boats in his later works. The involvement of his parents in the fashion industry is believed to have been an influence on his painting style, as he depicted women's clothing in fine detail.

Detail in his paintings of the beautiful gowns featured is incredibly fine - do take a look at the 6 minute video, to admire his talent - and those gowns!


Any stray passing reader interested in astrology can find Tissot's natal chart at Astrotheme. I see that his natal Sun and ascendant are in Libra - sign ruled by Venus planet of the arts and of beauty in general, with Venus itself in Virgo, the sign known for meticulous detail - what an excellent fit for Tissot's particular art style and subject matter!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Identity Politics = Divide & Conquer

Who Doesn’t Love Identity Politics? by satirist and political pundit C J Hopkins is a must read:


…Why do we love identity politics? We love them for many different reasons.

The ruling classes love identity politics because they keep the working classes focused on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and so on, and not on the fact that they (i.e., the working classes) are, essentially, glorified indentured servants, who will spend the majority of their sentient existences laboring to benefit a ruling elite that would gladly butcher their entire families and sell their livers to hepatitic Saudi princes if they could get away with it. Dividing the working classes up into sub-groups according to race, ethnicity, and so on, and then pitting these sub-groups against each other, is extremely important to the ruling classes, who are, let’s remember, a tiny minority of intelligent but physically vulnerable parasites controlling the lives of the vast majority of human beings on the planet Earth, primarily by keeping them ignorant and confused.

The political parties love identity politics because they allow them to conceal the fact that they are bought and paid for by these ruling classes, which, in our day and age, means corporations and a handful of obscenely wealthy oligarchs who would gut you and your kids like trout and sell your organs to the highest bidder if they thought they could possibly get away with it. The political parties employ identity politics to maintain the simulation of democracy that prevents Americans (many of whom are armed) from coming together, forming a mob, dismantling this simulation of democracy, and then attempting to establish an actual democracy, of, by, and for the people, which is, basically, the ruling classes’ worst nightmare. The best way to avoid this scenario is to keep the working classes ignorant and confused, and at each other’s throats over things like pronouns, white privilege, gender appropriate bathrooms, and the complexion and genitalia of the virtually interchangeable puppets the ruling classes allow them to vote for.

The corporate media, academia, Hollywood, and the other components of the culture industry are similarly invested in keeping the vast majority of people ignorant and confused. The folks who populate this culture industry, in addition to predicating their sense of self-worth on their superiority to the unwashed masses, enjoy spending time with the ruling classes, and reaping the many benefits of serving them … and, while most of them wouldn’t personally disembowel your kids and sell their organs to some dope-addled Saudi trillionaire scion, they would look the other way while the ruling classes did, and then invent some sort of convoluted rationalization of why it was necessary, in order to preserve democracy and freedom (or was some sort of innocent but unfortunate “blunder,” which will never, ever, happen again).

The fake Left loves identity politics because they allow them to pretend to be “revolutionary” and spout all manner of “militant” gibberish while posing absolutely zero threat to the ruling classes they claim to be fighting. Publishing fake Left “samizdats” (your donations to which are tax-deductible), sanctimoniously denouncing racism on Twitter, milking whatever identity politics scandal is making headlines that day, and otherwise sounding like a slightly edgier version of National Public Radio, are all popular elements of the fake Left repertoire.

Marching along permitted parade routes, assembling in designated “free speech areas,” and listening to speeches by fake Left celebrities and assorted Democratic Party luminaries, are also well-loved fake Left activities. For those who feel the need to be even more militant, pressuring universities to cancel events where potentially “violent” and “oppressive” speech acts (or physical gestures) might occur, toppling offensive historical monuments, ratting out people to social media censors, or masking up and beating the crap out of “street Nazis” are among the available options. All of these activities, by herding potential troublemakers into fake Left ghettos and wasting their time, both on- and off-line, help to ensure that the ruling classes, their political puppets, the corporate media, Hollywood, and the rest of the culture industry can keep most people ignorant and confused.

Oh, and racists, hardcore white supremacists, anti-Semites, and other far-Right wing nuts … my God, do they love identity politics! Identity politics are their entire worldview (or Weltanschauung, for you Nazi fetishists)…..

My favourite comment beneath the piece is by Tom Welsh:
"The Romans were crisp and down to earth. They needed only three words":

“Divide et impera”

[Divide and rule (or divide and conquer), from Latin dīvide et imperā, in politics and sociology is gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into pieces that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy.]

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

"If a meteor were spotted....." with Ian Lang

Let us, today, forget all about the Supreme Court, the travesties of Kavanaugh, Susan Collins, et al for a mo and imagine something else, equally horrendous - something such as this, which appeared at Quora a while back:

If a meteor was spotted heading towards Earth, one week before collision, what would happen in that one week?

Someone whose name has appeared before in these blog pages had an answer:
From Ian Lang, Leading Technician, with his kind (blanket) permission:

"Donald Trump would declare it fake news on Monday, blame the Mexicans on Wednesday, and go on a molesting rampage on Saturday.

Certain writers on Quora would blame Brexit. And then disable comments so that we couldn’t point out that it’s got nothing to do with Brexit.

By Monday afternoon somebody would accuse it of “cultural appropriation”.

The BBC would run a rolling news service devoted to it, in which the word “doom” is never uttered. ITV would do newsflashes on it, in which the word “doom” is mentioned in one in three. Sky News would have the word “DOOM!” in big flashing letters underneath the newsreader, and Radio one would have it as a ten-second briefing, after the bit about Adele.

Flat Earthers would be insufferable. They’d be going about saying “even you globeheads won’t be able to claim it’s round when that hits!”

If it was heading to hit the UK the politicos would be screaming about Brex-hit and castigating Theresa May for not doing a deal with it.

If it’s found to be heading smack for the Brazilian Rainforest every Greenie in the world will be rocking up to NASA’s doorstep demanding that they do something about it.

The average British man or woman would go down the pub. About four seconds before impact, they’d be draining the last pint.

UK Railway operators would use it as an excuse for the trains being late. Japanese railway operators would do nothing visible until it hits, and then thirty-eight seconds later (assuming total destruction of their railway system) would have the trains running again and be apologising profusely for the 8:15 being twelve seconds delayed in departing.

In North Korea, nothing unusual would happen all week, because nobody will be told anything about it.

Sales of patio heaters, umbrellas, and Spam will go through the roof.

The UK government will advise us to paint our windows white and take off our doors four minutes before the meteor hits.

We’ll all ignore this because, as I mentioned before, we’ll all be down the pub finishing our pints. And probably watching football.

Extinction Level Event? Balls to that. We’re taking our beer with us."

Monday, October 08, 2018

Music Monday ~ Jeff & Haley (Goldblum & Reinhart)

I wasn't aware that Jeff Goldblum had musical as well as acting talent, until I listened to the video below and read about his upcoming album release (HERE).

‘The Capitol Studios Sessions’ is the highly anticipated album from Jeff Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra.

Goldblum, who has been playing the piano since he was a child, has performed with his jazz band at venues in Los Angeles and New York City over the past few decades. When he’s not filming, the actor hosts a weekly jazz variety show at LA’s Rockwell Table and Stage. Frequented by locals and A-listers alike, the show intersperses Goldblum’s love of jazz with his passion and skills at improvised comedy.

I was aware, however, that Haley Reinhart is a superb jazz singer. We first saw Haley some seven years ago when she was a contestant on American Idol. She didn't win, but came third. It's good to see her name popping up now and again; it appears she is, gradually, making quite a name for herself. Good!