We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, May 22. 2011
If You Can Read This, We're Still Alive!
For those still here, there, or confused, a handy guide:
Business Insider: The Post-Rapture Service Sector
Garden Thugs Plant zombies?
The hits just keep on coming: Obama’s ’67 formula hurts Jordan as well as Israel
PowerLine’s Scott Johnson, its music aficionado, reminds me of the most popular song among us Marines in Vietnam in the late ‘60s, “The Letter”. At the 1st MarDiv Hqs EM Club (a large shack), beer flowed (why always Black Label? A mystery, but who cared, it had alcohol), funding traveling shows of sexy girls doing cover songs, very well to our horny ears (horny ears? Yeah, Devil Dogs).
I guarantee you that we sang “The Letter” much better, louder (at the top of our lungs) and with more real feeling than this video of Joe Cocker with the All Stars of Mad Dogs & Englishmen. (The original by the Box Tops was recorded in 1967, and -- comments? -- better done.) We had more reason to sing and dance than the Hippies listening to Joe Cocker. And, even with much beer, we weren’t as spasticated.
Ugh! At the supermarket. Among the “delectables”:
The Problem with (Un)strategic Ambiguity -- And, Kissinger indicates US is getting ready to throw Taiwan under the bus. It’s getting crowded under there. President Obama’s revised Dale Carnegie: “How to lose friends and influence enemies to be determined”. “Mr. Kissinger suggests negotiations with the mainland "in which the de facto autonomy of Taiwan is preserved." On the model of Hong Kong? "Certainly beyond the Hong Kong pattern," he says.”
How Medicine Became a Growth Business: “The public is seeking care far beyond any need or reasoning. The influx of well, worried well, and worried sick people into a system designed to find medical diseases in sick people leads to large increases in false positives.”
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I kinda liked the original version of "the Letter" by the Box Tops.
How Medicine Became a Growth Business is one of, if not the best, summaries I've seen on this problem. All should read it and pass it on to family and friends as a basis for understanding and discussing the crisis we're facing. Read it carefully as some of the statements are significant to making our system work more beneficially at less cost.
The author is correct: the big change in life expectancy is the improvement in curing or preventing childhood disease and septic shock. And the most significant increase is the cost of care for the last six months of life.
As one who has many relatives who lived until their late 90s and early 100s, I am aware that most of them died at home, ususally of pneumonia, perhaps cancer where they were treated with pain medications. Perhaps this article can give some perspective.
I would just like to point out that the real reason the Rapture didn't happen is.....
Wait for it.....
Wait for it....
THEY SPELLED JUDGEMENT DAY WRONG!!!
I mean seriously - how can you have a proper Rapture when you want even spell Judgement correctly?
Tom, my friend ... They must have been using an English dictionary, not an American one. "Judgement" is correct spelling in England, just as "honour" is correct. Being a busy and impatient people, we eliminated that pesky extra 'e' and extra 'u' long ago.
I'm depressed to think that when i die, no one will give a darn about all this stuff. Sniff.
Ah Marianne my dear - this is America, not England. We do things differently over here. :>)
Although you make a good point.
Ah - Bruce my good friend......
YOU ARE SOOOO WRONG....
Cocker's "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" was quite possibly one of the greatest collections of cover music ever done. And if you had to pick one off the album it would be hard to beat "The Letter". It could be argued that "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window" was as good, but it wasn't better.
The line up of musicians and backup vocals was stellar. Just off the top of my head without looking at the album cover, the backup singers included Don Preston, Claudia Lennear, Leon Russell, Rita Coolidge, Denny Cordell, Pamela Polland - I'm pretty sure I missed a few. :>)
I will grant you that the hippies weren't quite as enthusiastic about "The Letter" as we were (the other one was "Are You Going to San Francisco").
Speaking of bands and Vietnam, I heard a few "cover" bands while there and was constantly amazed at their ability to mimic the originals right down to vocal inflections. And none of these bands could speak English!
Ah yes - good times, good times. Well part of it anyway. :>)
PS: Is Leon Russell too cool for words in that video or what?
Yes, MD&E was terrific, as was the individual members, and i always liked Joe Cocker's renditions......but he shouldn;'t have screwed up our song's Box Tops original, esp. spasticated.
The only disagreement I have with your assessment, Tom, is that Denny Cordell was the producer. I don't think he was a musician. Otherwise, I agree. The Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour produced some of the greatest rock and rockified R&B - maybe ever, but then I'm biased. I've been a Joe Cocker fan for a long time. True, he is sometimes a little hard to watch, but I don't know of any vocalist who can match his raw power (the rawness is not to everybody's taste, of course).
My favorite on the album is the Blues Medley. I like everything about that cut - Leon's piano, the organ, the horns, the drums, the "choir", and especially Joe. My only problem with it is that it ends!
Were they "hippies"? Yeah, I guess so and it takes a little effort to listen to "Give Peace a Chance", but even that is good if you get past the hippyness of it.
IMHO, that album is one best live albums ever recorded.
Apologies... I just saw that Denny Cordell was a vocalist.
As for The Letter, it was recorded by three groups (The Box Tops, The Arbors, and Joe Cocker (with and without MD&E) and I liked them all, but my favorite is the MD&E version, but a lot!
Denny Cordell was the producer, but he also did vocal backup - pretty talented guy.
The only other album from that time that I can think of that might match MD&E was "Super Session" with Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills.
I have the "Live Adventures of Al Cooper and Mike Bloomfield". It's a bit uneven, but there are some great tracks on it - for example, they do a great version of Green Onions along with Dear Mr. Fantasy and The Weight.
A real blast from the past!
I've listened to Super Session a few times, but for some reason, it didn't do it for me. I remember not liking the horns on Season of the Witch (I thought they were added later, but I could be wrong...) Maybe if I listen with new ears...
Roger, my friend ... I'm all too well aware that this is Amurrica, not England, but I'm an Anglophile to the end, even though they have been flooded with hostile incomers, due to uncontrolled and uncontrollable immigration of Really Strange People who seem to be turning up everywhere. [Now that I'm 83, and have survived The Rapture, I've given myself permission to say anything I want to.]
Tom Francis, you are a gentleman and a scholar, a man of true discernment. Thank you for correcting the usually noble but suddenly misguided Bruce Kesler. Mudbug, you deserve kudos as well.
Mad Dogs & Englishmen was a high point, maybe the high point, in joyous, wonderful live albums of the entire rock era. Joe Cocker was at his peak, Leon and the band were the finest big band since, well, the big band era. And as much as I loved the Box Tops version of The Letter, there is no denying that Joe and MD&E took it to a new level. The spas was just part of the fun. The whole project just defined charisma and love for the music.
Thanks for the kind words, Seppo. If you've been at Maggies for any length of time, you know Tom is the real deal!
As it turned out, Mrs. Mudbug and I listened to MD&E on the way back from a weekend trip to Virginia. She much prefers original versions of just about any song (don't even talk about the Beatles's Twist and Shout). It was the first time she'd listened to it all the way through and she liked it. That is high praise, indeed! Of course, she will tell you she is all about percussion and piano so the Blues Medley made a big hit with her!
Well, yall were jarheads with no taste.
But left behind extends to us with taste, too.
So, don't feel all alone.
One will be left in the field another taken to furnace.