MERRY INDEPENDENCE DAY USA
“God Bless the USA” Lee Greenwood
MERRY INDEPENDENCE DAY USA
“God Bless the USA” Lee Greenwood
i find life interesting and full of the unexpected. Life certainly does not unravel itself in the manner we often imagine. i try to make lifeVertical relevant and fun. It’s just been five weeks since i put my fingerprint on this blog. In that time i’ve had nearly 1,200 visitors. i’m told that’s a lot for a newcomer.
What has most intrigued me in the past few weeks are the posts which have drawn the most attention, drawing almost twice as many readers as an average day. my comments on the impending ‘O’pocalypse, about the last days of the iconic Oprah Winfrey’s final days of her talk show and the absurd regulations imposed on chicken copulation in a small town in New Jersey drew the more attention than anything else.
my analytical mind has curiously pondered the attraction to these topics, especially in light of the conservative nature of my readers. What do you think? Why have these two items been of particular focus? What does this say about our culture? C’mon, don’t be shy. We’re all friends here. Let us know. Write your comments below.
The Pacific Northwest (PNW) is an amazing place. i’ve lived here all my life: Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. There’s a distinct iconoclastic culture here that i’ve found nowhere else in my travels throughout the United States and various Latin American and European countries. The outdoor activities are numerous: In a little more than an hour i can ski some of the greatest snow-covered peaks this land has to offer; or head the other direction and ponder life while viewing amazing beach heads and coastlines; Great hiking; huge rivers; fantastic white-water; world-class sports teams; some of the best music from jazz to alt rock. Where else can one say they have an active volcano in their back yard?
When i recently stumbled across a rendering of a “typical” Seattle native, i took slight offense. The line drawing included in Christian Lander’s latest book, “Whiter Shades of Pale,” depicts what he believes is a stereotypical urban Seattle male. Christian is the man behind Stuff White People Like, a satirical and often funny observations of conventional and banal habits, desires, and social constructs of the melanin deficient. But this time he hit a slight nerve.
i know this is a caricature. i can forgive the hikers, café au lait cliché (i’m not a fan), and facial scruff. A sweater?! Obviously Mr. Lander doesn’t travel here much. i rarely see sweaters, especially with reindeer stitch. This is the PNW, it doesn’t get that cold. Wet? YES! Cold? Not so much. Besides, half the people are still wearing cargo shorts in November (Yep, we’re a different breed up here). Nonetheless, if you could argue rationally about this, i might let it go.
However… Spin Doctors?! Unforgivable! Does Lander realize, perhaps aside from Austin TX, that the PNW is the coolest place on the planet for music? Is he aware the Portland and Seattle areas once were or are home to such international artists as Bing Crosby, The Kingsmen, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Robert Cray, Jeff Lorber Fusion, Dave Friesen, Quarterflash, Nu Shooz, Dan Reed Network, Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, M. Ward, The Dandy Warhols, Everclear, The Shins, Elliot Smith, The Decemberists, Sleater-Kinney, Spoon, Steven Malkmus (Pavement), Johnny Marr (The Smiths; Modest Mouse; The Cribs), Gary Jarman (The Cribs), Willie Nelson (yep, long before he was famous),
Courtney Love, Heatmiser, Hockey, Portugal.The Man, The Dimes, Blitzen Trapper, Pink Martini, Kutless, Storm Large, Helio Sequence, Frank Black (The Pixies), Larry Norman, Meredith Brooks, and Hoyt Axton?
Let’s get Seattle specific: The Posies, Peter Buck (REM), Soundgarden, The Postal Service, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Queensryche, Alice In Chains, The Ventures, Modest Mouse, Death Cab For Cutie, Dave Grohl (Nirvana; Foo Fighters)
, The Presidents of the United States of America, Jimi Hendrix, The Fleetwoods, Steve Miller, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Heart, Scott McCaughey (The Young Fresh Fellows; The Minus 5), Mudhoney, Mother Love Bone, The Melvins, Green River, The Wailers, Jerry Miller (Moby Grape), Bloodgood, Temple of the Dog, Owl City, Metal Church, Sanctuary, MxPx, Screaming Trees, Lucid, Candlebox, Foo Fighters, Bikini Kill, Sunny Day Real Estate, Beat Happening…
And Lander would muse that any self-respecting Seattle-ite would toque homage a New York based two-hit-wonder (“Two Princes” and “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong”) like The Spin Doctors?!
Anyone with me on this?
Welcome to Fun Friday…
my first recollection of The Three Stooges was as a child, watching their strung together shorts during lazy Saturday afternoon television viewing. Moe, the self-confident, short-tempered leader of the trio; Curley, the shaved-head affable energizer bumble; Larry, the curly-tossle-topped goof (it was always confusing to me why the one with the curly hair wasn’t called “Curley”).
The Three Stooges had a 40 year film career beginning in the early 1930s. Throughout their career, Moe and Larry were the constants, with various others filling out the third stooge role. As my familiarity with The Three Stooges grew, i became in awe of Shemp. One of the original trio, Shemp had perfect comedic timing and odd facial caricatures that always made me smile. Shemp, who was Moe’s brother, left the act to pursue a moderately successful solo career in 1933. Replaced by younger brother Jerry (aka Curley), The Stooges would go on to greater success. Shemp rejoined the group “temporarily” after Curley suffered a debilitating stroke in 1946. Unfortunately Curley never recovered and Shemp became a permanent replacement until his own death in 1955.
Shemp’s role on a couple of unfinished films was filled out by comedian Joe Palma. A permanent replacement was found a year later in Joe Besser. Besser left the act in 1959
to care for his ailing wife and was replaced by comic Joe (Curly-Joe) Derita (What’s with all the Joez). They continued to film and perform live until 1970 when Larry suffered a stroke. Moe continued the live act for five more years with several other comedians as his stooging companions until his
death in 1975.
Currently in production is a new Three Stooges film. Someone is trying to replace these whimsical weirdlings. Can it be done? Personally, i love Shemp. Moe, Curley, and Larry are exquisite. I can do with out the rest.
The Three Stooges made 206 short films, 14 feature length films, and 156 animated television shows. They were mesmerizingly
stoopid stupid. They are a timeless classic.
Who is your favorite Stooge? Do you have a favorite Stooge memory/film? What do you think of a new Three Stooges? And… why is it that your first name has to be Joe to fill a Shemp?
Oh, the city’s alight
With lovers and lies
Bright blue eyes
Oh, the city is bright
It’s brighter than day tonight
Sadie said she couldn’t work out
What it was all about
And so she let go
Now Sadie’s on the street
And the people she meets you know
She tried to be a good girl and a good wife
Raise a good family
Lead a good life
It’s not good enough
She got herself up on the 48th floor
Gotta find out
Find out what she’s living for
Oh, the city’s afire
A passionate flame
It knows me by name
Oh, the city’s desire
To take me for more and more
It’s in the street, getting under my feet
It’s in the air, it’s everywhere
I look for you
It’s in the things I do and say
If I wanna live I gotta
Die to myself someday
Papa sing my sing my sing my song
“Surrender” by U2 (Adam Clayton, David Evans, Paul Hewson and Larry Mullen Jr.)
Not one of U2’s anthemic masterpieces, but an affecting song about forgoing personal desires, surrendering to what is right. Just when i think i’ve surrendered and sacrificed all there is some new area of my life creeps into the light, revealing it stubborn, loathsome face in shameful defiance. Ahh… something new i have to deal with. More pursuance, more introspection, dislodging and vivisecting.
For those who live to love and serve, the hard work of becoming better people is never complete. New lies, lusts, cheats, deceptions tend to muddle their way to the surface just when we think self-purging is near completion. As much as we might try to rationalize our shortcomings, they will get the better of us if ignored.
Jesus certainly made the point of this laborious undertaking, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” (Luke 9.23-24)
Surrender becomes increasingly difficult as we are aware a need for it. Even as the song points this out in the last stanza. But the singer’s quest is to win in victory by surrendering his selfish desire and have ‘Papa’ “sing” his praises, “Well done!” Dying to self-will seems a Herculean task. Theologian and Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer summarized Jesus’ words above most poignantly, “When Christ calls a man, He bids him to come and die.”