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Sunday, September 12, 2010

British Invasion

Guitar music has been a favored listening choice since first hearing the acoustic folk songs of Peter, Paul and Mary. Puff the Magic Dragon was my first favorite song as I recall. Simon and Garfunkel were singing ‘sounds of silence’ accompanied by an acoustic guitar. Although I liked the guitar music of Bob Dylan, I thought he had a speech impediment and a terrible voice and I couldn’t understand one word he sang. The Beatles gave me an ear for electric guitar and I could understand their lyrics. Then, I was introduced to The Doors, Cream and Jimi Hendrix and great guitar music has been my ear’s delight ever since. But music has always remained as mysterious as a quadratic equation in algebra.

As with algebra, my mind rebelled at the prospect of learning something beyond the experience of my immediate family and friends. There were no musicians in my life other than those projected on the television screen and their music released by a needle from a plastic disc; initially a 45rpm single and then a 33rpm album. I still remember the first records bought by my folks at the department store when I was a kid after we acquired our first “record player”.

Sergeant Barry Sanders released the Ballad of the Green Beret “…pin silver wings on my son’s chest, make him one of America’s best”. We bought that one following the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in the early days of the Vietnam War.

The Mommas and the Poppas were singing California Dreaming all over the ‘radio waves’. Yes, transistor radios were the consumer item of the day. We bought that album, too. We bought a comedy album released by Bill Cosby which “cracked us up” and left our sides in stitches.

The Rolling Stones and The Beatles were “all the rage” back then. We bought the newest album of each group. There was some talk about competing British fashions of ‘Mods’ and ‘Rockers’ following the two groups leading the “British Invasion”. After burning the White House in the War of 1812, the British changed their tactics and came to American shores armed only with guitars and drums. They disarmed America’s youth with our own American innovation called “Rock and Roll”.

Britain crossed the “Big Pond” and won the “minds and hearts” of America’s youth. I consider this cultural invasion to be the landmark event leading to modern globalization. Barriers and boundaries of separate societies were breached and cultures melded.

Guitars and music were the assault weapons of the cultural conquest of the sixties. Ed Sullivan controlled the television airwaves for CBS on Sunday night and opened the floodgates to the tides of change. America was still watching the major three television networks compete for their attention. Most families owned only one television and watched programs together. There was a good chance that you were watching the same popular program as your friends at school and there was something in common to discuss each day. There was lots of talk on Mondays after The Ed Sullivan Show; especially when the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Doors or other new rock group was featured the previous night.

The sands of time have continued to fall through the neck of the hourglass but the memories are still crisp. The music seems timeless.

Music and musical instruments, particularly the guitar, and my struggle to learn the basics will be a feature of my new Blog.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kindred Spirits

History is what it is and can't and shouldn't be changed by revisionism. We all carry the values and spirits of our ancestors.  Today, I write not for myself but for those who came before me and for those who will follow. I am in the flow.

Everything and one passes to the next realm from which all of this realm may be seen and I believe, touched from the netherworld. Our courage, strength, wisdom, serenity, kindness, and talent (our spirits) are touched by the spirits of our ancestors, the communion of saints, with whom we choose to stay in tune. There is a higher power of the universe, A Creator.  This, I know. That spirit and power, that divinity, is within me.

I do not need to believe that my heart is beating.  This, I know. I am alive. Death is inevitable. Everyone dies eventually. Living is merely the process of dying which begins from the moment of our birth.

Birth and death have been the subject of ritual in every primitive and remote tribe and every advanced society and civilization of humanity.  Independent of each other, each tribe or civilization has come to know that there is a creator, a provider, a spiritual element in the universe.  Individual "belief" systems are not important and evolve through stories and legends and discourse. 

As if implanted in our DNA, all human society has fashioned some explanation of the heavens or universe, the earth, creation, nature, birth, death, providence, celebration, marriage and  an afterlife.  Anthropologists examine the detail and differences but find common elements. The belief in the existence of a supernatural power, the fear and/or love of that power, the reliance and/or dependence upon the supernatural power and the need to pray, worship and sacrifice to have relationship with the supernatural are common threads.  This has occurred among human beings from the beginning of primitive tribes in the most remote pacific islands to densest jungle to frozen tundra.  This is not random coincidence.  There is synchronicity.

Common fears, beliefs and needs drew men together in community through cooperation in hunting, gathering, building shelter and raising young.  But the animus was and remains our primary nature.  As with the rest of the animal kingdom, survival and procreation are the drivers of our species.   Violence and ingenuity have  proven to be the genetic strands which have emerged victorious in the battle of the fittest. Physical might and weapons facilitated the domination and enslavement and exploitation of one group of humans by another. This is the story and history of mankind to the present.

Ingenuity developed religious, political and commercial systems to mollify resistance to enslavement and paint the appearance of liberty and free will on the canvass of commerce and industry.  Fostered fear and national loyalty served their purpose for a time.  Now, the last vestiges of the family unit are collapsing under the weight of materialism under the banner of individuality.  This erosion of the family has released countless family farms into the marketplace.

This is the heritage of all humanity which has been oppressed by global economic interests which would sheer us from the land, destroy our roots, destroy our tribal culture, undermine our families with the toxicity of materialism, greed, avarice, hatred and fear. We have become dominated by the fear of economic insecurity, homelessness, hunger, lack of medical coverage, and not having or getting what we think we want.

Our needs have been dictated to us by three generations of advertising and media inundation. Consumerism has been chiseled into our subconsciousness by artful brainwashing and subliminal messaging. Me, Me, Me, and mine, mine, mine have become the mantra of self centeredness by intentional design of those who have so much and only want MORE.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Welcome to my world...

Sligobay has been my pseudonym for a few years now.  I began to publish my poetry and photos on Hub Pages and even a few videos from YouTube.  I don't know what the experience of blogging will be but am open minded.  I expect that I will enjoy making brief regular entries rather than trying to perfect an entire Hub.  I often experience synchronicity but forget the events because I fail to record them.  Perhaps that will be the focus of my blog.