Independence Day

  

The 4th of July is a significant day to most Americans and is certainly to me. It reminds me of how much I love my country and what sacrifices were made that I might live in a place so wonderful as America. I love the picnics and parades and fireworks to be sure, but mostly I love my country. I wanted to share our national anthem with everyone in its entirety. For more info on the 4th of July go here. Happy 4th everyone – and especially to our troops who continue to stand the watch, ever vigilant.  Respectfully, WC

“The Star Spangled Banner”


The Defense of Fort McHenry

by Francis Scott Key

20 September 1814

Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner forever shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

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Music To My Ears

 

La Flor of Mocha Buzz  has tagged me for a little meme.

It’s all about songs and one’s youth. LOL. Not sure I want to remember that far back, but I’m game. I’m also not sure I can get all nostalgic about the years of high school or even any of the songs during that time. But I did have some favorites that I managed to find:

Lean on Me – by Bill Withers – Aside from the fact that this was one of those sort of post-hippie songs and we were all into feeling the love for everyone (but dah man) – this is to me, a classic. It sounds as good today as it did then I think because it deals with the universal theme that we are not alone – we have friends, we have family and we can lean sometimes when we need to. I’ll admit, that I’m not much of a leaner and when I do, it usually feels a bit odd – but like the man says, ‘we all need somebody to lean on.’ Amen.

I Can See Clearly Now –  by Johnny Nash: There is something about this song that always gets me. It can mean so many things. But to me, it’s about revelations, whether personal or the big picture. It’s also a song of celebration – of being free from chains I guess, whether it be the chains of a love affair, small-mindedness, our own limiting thoughts. It’s all good. 

Let’s Stay Together – by Al Green: Ah, the Reverand Al Green, I could listen to this guy sing the phone book. Have you ever seen him perform? He takes such utter and complete joy in what he is doing, it makes you wish you could sing too. The song is a classic, about the common sense of staying in love, staying together, working it out. That things that are important are meant to last – and that making them last is worth the effort.

Heart of Gold – by Neil Young: I was never much of a Neil Young fan, aside from this song, the only other song of his I liked was Helpless. But again, a classic song that speaks to human frailty and the need to find love. For some reason, it always reminded me of my dad. Maybe it was the twangy voice of Young or the old fashioned theme of the song – but he definitely had a heart of gold.

 Without You – by Nilsson:  This song was so different from songs of its day – lots of big music, for such a little, simple song. And it was the perfect song to play when  your heart was broken. It fit so well with the teenaged angst I experienced most of  my young life and you could just scream your heart out as you sung along.

So… there you have it. The songs of my youth. Plus a cartoon that has absolutely nothing to do with this. 😉

I’m tagging:
Red
Reggie
Kenzie
Kathy
Michael

These are the rules:
1. Go to the Billboard #1 Hits listings (scroll down and you’ll seen them separated by decades on the left in the sidebar)
2. Pick a year you were in high school
3. Get yourself nostalgic over the songs of that year
4. Pick 5 songs and write something about how these songs affected you
5. Pass it on to 5 more people

Ode to the Bots

 

(apologies to Simon & Garfunkel) 

Hello spamo, my old friend
I’ve come to rub you out again
Because your numbers softly creeping
Sent your bots while I was sleeping
And the garbage that was planted on my blog
really clogs
Within the bounds of comments

In cyber space I walked alone
Virtual streets of big orange cones
‘Neath the halo of my desk lamp
I turned my eyes from the crap you stamp
When my site was stabbed by a flood of a teen delight
That piqued my spite
And breached the bounds of comments

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand spamo’s, maybe more
Hackers talking without speaking
Goobers hearing without listening
Losers sending links that bloggers never share
And who’ve declared
You can’t disturb the bounds of comments

“Pigs,” said I, “You do not know
Askimet will not let the cancer grow
Read my posts that I might teach you
Take the hint so I might reach you”
But my words, like silent cowpies fell
And echoed
In the wells of splogdom.

And the losers bowed and prayed
To the porno gods they made
And the filter flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the slimeballs are written on the bathroom walls
And loser’s balls”
And cannot enter the bounds of comments.

The Gee-Golly Finale

 

Okay, so now the new American Idol is the screechy girl. Too bad, I was pulling for beat-box boy. At least he was interesting. She’ll become a compliant little diva and probably sell out concerts for little girls who dream of being the next big voice on Idol too. Providing it’s still around by then.

 I have to say this finale, left me a bit cold. They seemed more interested in pimping their causes and showcasing other artists than what I thought the show was supposed to be about. We actually barely saw the contestants and when we did, they were usually singing back up or something. They actually gave a solo spot to Sanjaya, so he could assault us, yet again with his inept and off key stylings of a rock song. I don’t think I can ever listen to it again without cringing. In fact, I’ve forgotten what it was I was so traumatized by his shredding of it.

The best part of it (and honestly, the only reason I watched) was Taylor and his jacket. At least the guy has a pulse and tried to get people up on their feet. Is it me, or was the audience just made up of celebrities, their relatives and relatives of the American Idol folks?

And the report card section with old Clive was more like a public bashing then what I think it was supposed to be. Why didn’t he just say, “All hail the bald bag of angst and the country Barbie Doll,” and leave it at that? And I’m just curious but how is it a Barbie Doll (clutching the mike stand for dear life, lest she fall off the stage) can sell 6 million fricking albums? I don’t get it. And who told her she could sing, “I’ll Stand By You” with any authority? Some songs can not be countrified and that’s one of them.

One more thing – Greenday (is that their name?) might want to g**gle Bob Dylan, he did it first and oh so much better. What passes as deep and profound songs these days don’t reach me – I mean, what does a kid with too much eyeliner and bad hair know about the working class? Over my head to be sure.

So congrats to Screechy Girl – you’ll be an American Idol diva in no time with a nice, generic diva album that little girls will buy in the millions. I have a feeling though, that Beat-Box Boy will do better – at least I’ll be buying his album – gotta love the dark horse and somebody who just does their own thing.

I shudder to think what next year’s Idol will produce. The recent compulsion to do spin off after spin off of the show tells me that the magic is starting to tarnish. Maybe we’ll luck out and “So You Think You Can Dance” will take center stage. Could happen.

What’s your take?

WC

This One’s For You, Sanjaya!

Sorry for all the vids but I had to post this one for our favorite idol disaster. WC

What Do Movies Meme?

 

Using AFI’s list of 100 Top Movies, bold the ones you’ve seen, ital ones you’d like to see and add up to three that you think should be on the list.

1. CITIZEN KANE (1941) Brilliant mostly for its cinematic features, the story itself is over-rated in my opinion.
2. CASABLANCA (1942) A real classic – love it still.
3. THE GODFATHER (1972) To me, the epitome of gangster movies which meant for me I no longer had to see any more ganster movies which generally are boring as hell.


4. GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) a movie I was satisfied to see once.
5. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962) a movie that was almost as hard to watch as Reds.
6. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) still afraid of those flying monkeys.
7. THE GRADUATE (1967)
8. ON THE WATERFRONT (1954) The speech with Brando and Malden in the cab is the best part.
9. SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993) Truly touched me.
10. SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952) Who doesn’t love this one?
11. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) always gets to me.
12. SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)
13. THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957) I never really ‘got’ this movie. What was the big deal?
14. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) Nothing funnier than Curtis and Lemon in drag.
15. STAR WARS (1977) Once was more than enough to see any of these movies.
16. ALL ABOUT EVE (1950) If  you haven’t seen this, you must the dialogue alone is worth watching it.
17. THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951)
18. PSYCHO (1960)


19. CHINATOWN (1974) The sequel The Two Jakes is decent too.
20. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (1975)
21. THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940)
yawn!
22. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) yawn!
23. THE MALTESE FALCON (1941)
24. RAGING BULL (1980)
25. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982)
26. DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)
27. BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967)
28. APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
29. MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939) Classic
30. THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948)
31. ANNIE HALL (1977)
32. THE GODFATHER PART II (1974)
33. HIGH NOON (1952)
34. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) I dare you to watch this movie and not feel changed by it.
35. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)
36. MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969) Very sad and tragic I thought.
37. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946)
38. DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) True Film Noir.


39. DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965)
40. NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) I was fascinated by the shine in Eva Marie Saint’s hair in this one. How did they do it?
41. WEST SIDE STORY (1961) Urban Romeo and Juliet which has never been improved upon.
42. REAR WINDOW (1954)
43. KING KONG (1933)
44. THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915)
45. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951)  Blanche Dubois is one of the most unique characters ever written in my opinion.
46. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971) Ugh, hated this
47. TAXI DRIVER (1976)
48. JAWS (1975) One of the best scary movies ever.
49. SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
50. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)
51. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940)
52. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953)
53. AMADEUS (1984)
54. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930)
55. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)
56. M*A*S*H (1970)
57. THE THIRD MAN (1949)
58. FANTASIA (1940)
59. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955)
60. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
61. VERTIGO (1958)
62. TOOTSIE (1982)
63. STAGECOACH (1939)
64. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977) The mashed potato scene is my favorite.
65. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) Chianti and fava beans, yummy.
66. NETWORK (1976)
67. THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962) This version was superior to the recent remake.
68. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (1951)
69. SHANE (1953)
70. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971)
71. FORREST GUMP (1994)
72. BEN-HUR (1959)
73. WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939)
74. THE GOLD RUSH (1925)
75. DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990) I only remember how I longed for this movie to be over.
76. CITY LIGHTS (1931)
77. AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973)
78. ROCKY (1976) Despite all the terrible sequels the original was one of the best movies every made.
79. THE DEER HUNTER (1978)
80. THE WILD BUNCH (1969)
81. MODERN TIMES (1936)
82. GIANT (1956)
83.
PLATOON (1986)
84. FARGO (1996)
85. DUCK SOUP (1933)
86. MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
87.
FRANKENSTEIN (1931)
88. EASY RIDER (1969)
89. PATTON (1970)
90. THE JAZZ SINGER (1927)
91. MY FAIR LADY (1964)
92. A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951)
93. THE APARTMENT (1960)
94. GOODFELLAS (1990)
95. PULP FICTION (1994) totally over-rated and stupid.
96. THE SEARCHERS (1956)
97. BRINGING UP BABY (1938)
98. UNFORGIVEN (1992) Not bad, but did it really deserve all those oscars?
99. GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER (1967)
100. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942) It was a hoot to see Cagny dancing and singing after all those ganster movies.

I have seen 78 out of 100 – wow, even I’m surprised. The three I would add to the list are:

101. THE CAINE MUTINY
102. BODY HEAT 
103. WHITE CHRISTMAS

The three I’d remove from the list are:

1. Lawrence of Arabia
2. The Godfather Part II
3. Grapes of Wrath

What are your picks?
WC

Schpam – the Musical

I never tire of Monty Python and their hideously stupid humor.

WC

Lover You Don’t Treat Me No Good No More

Sonia Dada is a weird name for a band – still, I have loved them for years. Their harmonies are incredible – and you can really hear them since they only use instruments to accompany themselves as opposed to blaring over them. I hope you love them too. Enjoy!

WC