Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday 80s Flashback for November 19, 2010

[Second Acts] -- Themes for the Flashback are strange and often take on a life of their own. Consider this week's theme of "Second Acts." For my purposes, I define a Second Act as the result of an individual artist, or an entire band, that decided to go in a new direction. I was specifically looking at artists that joined or formed a new band, or bands that shifted format/direction due to personnel changes. I didn't care so much whether the change was a conscious choice, or if the artist was forced to change simply to continue recording. I also don't care whether the change was ultimately judged as boon or bane to the artist's career. Now, the idea of Second Acts was not my original choice for today, but it has been on my list of TBD themes, so it has been on my mind. The issue, you see, is that when I write the Flashback, I try to hew closely to my trio formula: provide (1) background, (2) my recollections, and (3) a video link for each one of -- say it with me now -- three different 80s tunes that reflect the chosen theme. However, when I turned my attention to Second Acts in the 80s, I was stuck after making only two selections. Of course, there are countless examples of what I call the Second Act, but I cannot just simply pull a third option from the proverbial hat. I need to have some kind of connection to the song, otherwise I'm simply parroting what other music bloggers have said about it. And I just could not come up with a viable third tune. That is, I could not make that final selection until this morning. A more accurate assessment might be to say that the song presented itself to me.

Read and hear more after the jump.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Memory is a Funny Thing

My lunchtime excursion today took me through a residential area where I had to wait for a small construction vehicle to clear the road. As I sat there, my car the last in a row of similarly waiting cars, I just watched the wind blow leaves across the street and sidewalk. Somehow that sight reminded me of elementary school, specifically the elementary school library. I almost felt as though I were sitting in that library again. I'm not sure why that is -- it's not as though I can recall a library trip that had me sitting close enough to the windows that I could watch a similar scene. But we are in Autumn, and I did spend a fair bit of my time window-gazing in my youth, and the street across from the school did feature a row of homes.

Memory is a funny thing.

Image courtesy of the web. 

Photo by Suzanne Tucker

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday 80s Flashback for November 12, 2010

[In the Spirit] -- Due to this being tech week at Montgomery Theater ("Half and Half" opens this weekend), and the fact that I am leaving Friday afternoon to attend a conference, I'm rather short on time to compile a Flashback. So, please forgive me if my recollections are shorter than usual. Now, the conference I am attending is for interfaith ministers, so I thought I might take the flashback in a spiritual direction. But don't worry: I'm not pulling hymns from the 1580s.

Read and hear more after the jump.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Friday 80s Flashback for November 5, 2010

[Politics Schmolotics] -- Here in the US, we recently endured a mid-term election season. Across the pond, Great Britain is observing Guy Fawkes Day. So this seems like a good time to have a politically minded set of Flashbacks. Now, I have heard arguments that the best protest songs were written and recorded in the 60s and 70s. That might be true, but the 80s did not lack for politically charged passion or activist rhetoric.

Read and hear more after the jump.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Post Mid-Term Election Thought

I've posted this elsewhere, but I figure I should archive it on my own blog.

Take a good look at the election results and get ready to evaluate what the "new" Congress does over the next two years. You might even go back to the mid-term elections of 1982, 1994, and 2006 for comparison.

But none of that really matters. (Here comes the material I've posted elsewhere, such as my Facebook page).

The names on the office door might change now and then, but the US is still run by corporations and lobbyists. And in the final analysis, there is no Red/Blue, or Republican/Democrat, division. All of those labels are the public face of government, or the entertainment if you will. The only real work done in government, and it's the same work that has been going on for DECADES, is the behind-closed-doors dance our representatives do with big business and lobbyists to (a) get elected or (b) stay elected. That leaves very little time to deal with real issues let alone seek pragmatic solutions for them.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Quotable | Patriot (Mid-Term Election 2010 Edition)

open quoteA Patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
-- Edward Abbey, author, essayist, and environmental advocate (1927-1989)

I posted this quote at the height of the 2008 election season. I bring it back now on the eve of the 2010 mid-term elections because it is still relevant. I am not, however, advocating a form of "tea party" patriotism. I use this as a warning that the "government" is not a monolithic entity. It is comprised of
  • elected persons who are members of both major political parties
  • candidates who are trying to become elected for the first time
  • candidates who are trying to keep (or regain) political office
  • lobbyists who work for, and against, parties and candidates
  • think tanks who examine citizens' behavior and then attempt to mold it toward a certain purpose (without letting those same citizens know they are being subtly manipulated)
  • members of the media who try to tell us what the government is doing, and sometimes chastise elected officials and candidates, even as they try to court favors and money from those very same officials (or promises from up-and-coming candidates)
  • individual citizens who vote -- and voting is done directly at the polls as well as indirectly with every dollar a person spends or choice they make.
  So, what exactly is Abbey's patriot defending against? Well, in a word: "us."