Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Only their music & my words .... only/only

Hey! I have seen these guys here before! You bet -- Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce. I decided to toss Cream to the wolves again this evening, on this occasion by presenting a portion of the band's farewell concert of 1968 at Royal Albert Hall. (God, I love YouTube.) It is a bit more than an hour long. If that is too much for you, I would recommend listening to the first twenty minutes or so. It includes "Sunshine of Your Love," an interview with Bruce and "White Room." Through Bruce, I think you will learn the difference between music and marketing, between artistry then and junk now. (Yeh, like you really care, hah ??) By the way, I believe Bruce really was underrated as a musician and as the "power" of Cream. But, you know how it goes: The girls "dug" Clapton more .... and, it is quite obvious, Clapton is a guitar virtuoso and deserves the adoration he receives. By the way, photographer unknown.

So much for the romance of travel

I recently encountered an ophthalmologist here in middle America who, it turned out, earned her medical degree and completed an ophthalmology residency at Ternopil State Medical University in the Ukraine. She also completed a residency in ophthalmology at Northwestern University in Chicago and practiced in North Dakota before arriving in Minnesota. She speaks English with a marvelous accent. Too bad that she is married. 

Only a few weeks ago, I was speaking with a small town, Minnesota newspaper reporter who had lived in Poland for a few years and, while there, had met and married a young lady born and raised in Poland. Like many newsmen, he is a bit of a vagabond, and had been working for a newspaper in North Dakota immediately before coming to Minnesota.

Why I mention these things, I am not altogether certain, but it seems to me that life has reached a point where Eastern Europe is no farther away from Minnesota than is North Dakota -- Poland or the Ukraine, a few hours by airplane; North Dakota, a very few hours by car.

For certain, travel has lost all its romance and adventure. Here is there and there is here, and the twain keep bumping into each other.

Turn out the lights, the party is over

A few days ago I learned I have "lost" not only one of my favorite musicians, Jack Bruce, but two of my favorite bartenders, as well. Both men died on Sunday, October 19. How often does a guy have two bartenders die on him on the same day? You will note that both died on days their bars were closed for business. Hmmmm .... you do not suppose they arranged things that way, do you?

It might sound like I am making light of events, but Bruce and both bartenders lived relatively long, full lives. We should all be so fortunate. And, death is the price we each and every one of us pays for life.

Actually, both men were bar owners as well as bartenders and from my sort of distant past. Windy was from my youth and Minnesota; and Kenny was from later and South Dakota. 

Windy was mostly a baseball man. Work was something to do between ball games. Playing ball, I mean, not watching .... although, I suppose he watched games, too. He was still playing baseball on "town teams" well into his thirties. He was sort of a role model for teenage athletes. He could throw a baseball harder and faster than I ever could, but I could take him two games out of three at pool.

Kenny was a connoisseur of the bar. It was rare to walk into his establishment when he did not approach me with his "latest concoction" in his hand -- free of charge, of course -- wanting my opinion regarding its "quality." As you might guess, I often volunteered to taste-test his creations until Dandy Don sang, "The Party's Over," and the lights went out.

Anyway, you see? I keep telling you to keep a low profile in October !!

As for me ....

October has only a few days remaining, but sometime during these few days my fate for the next few months probably will be revealed. I have a feeling the outcome will not be good for me or for anyone around me. At this moment, it appears October will continue to be the cruelest of months for me, but the suspense will linger during these last few days until the veil is lifted and certain questions are answered.

One more thing: I recently have been involved ("involved" might not be the best word to use, but ....) in commentary both here and at other blogs regarding climate change and global warming. I want to make clear a couple of points:

One: I do think climate change is real. It has been real since the beginning of time. Unfortunately, the concept of the "beginning of time" for most people seems to be the year they were born.

Two: I do not think mankind has much influence over climate change and, in any case, cannot do a thing about it given the governmental structure of the world. There are about two hundred nations in existence at the moment; getting any dozen of them to agree on anything is pretty much impossible.

Three: There are so many real, actionable problems which, if solved, could improve the lives of the people who inhabit this planet that it seems absurd to me to spend time, money, energy and emotions on abstract (largely political) situations such as climate change. We are talking about definitely unproven science and about governments whose leaders generally are incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time; does anyone actually expect these self-serving, power-mongering, hypocrites to solve any substantial problems?

Personally, I tend to bend toward a conservative viewpoint, which does not equal a Republican. For political expediency, I have been both a registered Democrat and a registered Republican. Usually, this has had to do with primary election voting rules in states where I was a resident. And, during one of my brief departures from reality into the land of smoke and mirrors, I actually was a salaried staff member for a congressman who was elected to office as a Democrat. (Whoops, I must be a traitor to Democrat Party orthodoxy.)

Beyond that, I would match my environmental credentials against those of most whining tree-huggers, who often live a life of irrational fantasy in context of the natural world.

Once, during a job interview at a newspaper, the fact that I was a member of both the Sierra Club and the National Rifle Association became a point of discussion in terms of reconciliation: How could I be a member of two such apparently diametrically opposite organizations? Easy, I replied: I deal with facts and realities, not with emotions and pipe dreams.

To be brutally blunt: The pied pipers of cradle to grave fascism are attempting to turn climate change into literal religion, and those who are lemmings seem to be following ....


ANITA said...

Ohh my dear you have so much to reflect on!I agree with the climate talk..We can do nothing about it..It has always been like this..But we human wants to give a reason to things that happens..So its nice to have something to blame..

I also think you can never forget Poland and Magda..what happened to her??I can not see her around the blogs anymore?

No its not faraway..To travel today is just like moving to another town..Specially here in Europe..With free travel around the borders..

Another grey and rainy day here at my place..I have finally deleted me from many social networks..So iam to see much more around here..Daily I quess..

Thanx for music and a lovely post Fram!

Ok Fram..

Smareis said...

Oi Fram,

Que bom que deixou o comentário liberado e agora podemos "conversar", quer dizer comentar risos.
Passei aqui ontem mais ainda não tinha comentários abertos.

Obrigada pelas palavras inteligentes que sempre comenta la no meu blog. Depois te respondo pelo e-mail.
Eric Clapton tem umas musicas maravilhosa, é um guitarrista fantástico. Ele tem alguns trabalhos no youtube excelente Adoro a musica "Tears in heaven".
Naquela musica Layla ele dá um show de guitarra. Na verdade as músicas de antigamente que era música pra ser ouvir, hoje a musica não tem letra nem melodia, tem apenas refrão, tudo um lixo mesmo. Aqui no Brasil as músicas estão deixando a desejar. Essa cidade de Minnesota, você deve gostar muito, porque sempre fala dela.
Outubro esta batendo as asas e indo embora para nunca mais voltar, pode voltar outros outubro mais nunca mais um em 2014.

Essa alteração na mudança climática esta afetando bastante com o Brasil. Realmente isso tem acontecido desde o começo dos tempo, mais agora nesse tempo ela tem castigado mais. A evolução é boa mais tem essas tragédias. A população cresce e as coisas só têm a piorar principalmente quando se tem um governo que nada faz pelo País. Acabamos de ter nova eleição e o mesmo Presidente foi eleito para o segundo mandado. Vamos ver como vai ser o próximo ano com o governo dela.

Desejo tudo bom para você Fram.
Um punhado de sorrisos!

Fram Actual said...

I have had much on my mind lately, Anita, and that is why my words in this post seem never-ending.

Elections will be held in the United States next Tuesday, and listening to all the garbage in/garbage out commentary by candidates and so-called political experts has put me in sort of a fiery mood for expressing my own beliefs and opinions.

And, the topic of climate change blends in more with politics than with science, which stirs my reactions in a negative fashion. I already have another post ready for Saturday which includes more thoughts about climate change .... but, I might skip that element of the post. I probably have said enough about it for now.

The last I was aware, Magdalena continues to live Poland. We exchange emails at times, but it has been a while. I enjoyed being in Warsaw with her very much, that is true. The time was not right for us, though. I guess that is the best way to think of it.

My mood at the moment (besides being sort of fiery) is in a bit of a depressed state, which is the basis for my comment about travel .... but, my remark is true. Add to the fact that we can jet from here to there in only a few hours, a person now can transmit words and photographs instantly through means such as the internet, which eliminates the concept of distance. All the mystery, all the uniqueness of "far-away lands" has vanished, it seems to me.

Thank you, Anita, for your presence and your words. I would like to see you on the blogs more often, so I hope what you say comes true.

Fram Actual said...

There are times I simply do not wish to have comments left on a post for one reason or another, Smareis. It usually has more to do with my mood than for any particular reason. And, for sure, I am always happy when you leave a comment for me. You are a ray of sunshine.

The upcoming election (next Tuesday) here in the United States troubles me a great deal, and that affects my mood. The majority of people in the U. S., including me, feel our country is going in the wrong direction and that Barack Obama is not competent to be president for any number of reasons. There also is a great deal of evidence of corruption and mis-management in many agencies of the federal government, which lessens confidence in the honesty of leadership. As a side note, it is interesting to me that Brazil has a woman president. It might not be too many more years before the U.S. does, as well.

My thoughts about climate change are well known to anyone who reads my blog. My beliefs stem from facts such as these: As recently as the 1500s/1600s (some estimate both earlier and later than those years), the earth experienced colder than usual temperatures. The period is known as "The Little Ice Age." The year 1816 was known as the year without a summer because there virtually was none. Volcanic eruptions had created ash clouds which partially obscured sunlight for months, which in turn led to colder temperatures which in turn led to crop failures. Nothing is new under the sun .... including climate change.

I was glad to see you had a new post, Smareis. You have been away from the blogs too often and for too long this summer and autumn. What you write is inspirational to many people, and, personally, I always feel happy when I have read your words.

Thank you, Smareis, for your words here and your smile for me.

A Cuban In London said...

The world is getting smaller for sure. And it will get even smaller.

I was sad about Jack. Not many people value bassists. And yet without a good bassist and drummer, where would the Zep, The Who, The Stones, The Beatles and so many other good bands have been?

Sorry to hear about your bartender, too.

Thanks for your comment about Dylan's Masters of War. I'm pretty sure he was referring to both the so-called "good" side and "bad" side in that song. As I found out later there was neither good or bad, just sides.

Greetings from London.

ANITA said...

I am loooking forward to saturday night fever!!!!

Hihihih..I mean you always have some good posts!!It will be a surprise!!

And more good scorpions?if you are in the mood for it :)

Ok Fram..Very depressing here too..Nothing new under the sun..

Stay happy !

Greetings from Norway

Fram Actual said...

I guess I thought of Jack Bruce first as a singer and then as a bass man, CiL, but you are absolutely correct about how the bass player can make or break the quality of a band. One of my favorites on bass who receives little attention has been Chuck Garric with Alice Cooper's band. He is a genuine performer, I think, as well as an excellent musician.

Measuring "good guys" (or nations) vs. "bad guys" (or nations) is sort of like measuring the temperature. It can be done objectively in degrees, but it is best determined when a certain amount of subjectivity is included in the assessment. For instance, in a purely objective sense I place Vladimir Putin well into the "bad guy" category because of his actions in the Ukraine. But, although I admire his modus operandi -- his toughness and his "in your face" determination -- these characteristics make him even more dangerous because the depth of his potential actions cannot be measured in degrees.

By the way, did you look out to sea today and spot the Russian bombers flying past the British Isles? Actually, they were pretty far out and over international waters, but one of four of these "beyond the ordinary" flights passed by you and went on as far south over the Atlantic as Portugal. They turned back to Russia when they reached one of their designated cruise-type missile launch sites for targets in the United States. Yep, the world most certainly is getting smaller. More dangerous, too.

Thank you, CiL, for coming by to visit me today.

Fram Actual said...

Actually, Anita, the post will be going up at around my usual time -- during the night/early Saturday morning -- while you are fast asleep (assuming you are not working a night shift) and dreaming of magical, blue Mediterranean waters.

As for music, I already have picked out a song by Rainbow. I chose it because of the video, which is very appealing, I think, and because it blends in with part of the tone of my words -- the climate change scenario. I will stop thinking/writing about that pretty soon.

October is going out with gray skies for me, too, and I think a negative period of my past is about to repeat itself in the weeks (and even months) ahead. "For though we sleep or wake or travel or ride, the time always flees; it will wait for no man," as Chaucer wrote in "The Cleric's Tale."

You can see my sort of melancholy mood continues. I think I will order pizza delivered for the evening. That, and a beer or two, should lighten things up a bit.

Thank you, Anita, for coming by again. You stay happy ....

P.S. The Russian bombers came pretty close to you, too.

ANITA said...

Thank you Fram.You are such a cool person..Just love your sayings..Yes the bomers and uboats..We are surely beeing watched, everywhere we go..Just think of google !And when you go out with your telephone they know every step you take..they even know your emails..(and they will use the information..maybe not now..but they will..)

Ok..i will be working night shifts this weekend soo I will surely see your posts when they arrive..
Love Rainbow..I think this one..I like very much..Its my mood today..See you soon Fram!

Fram Actual said...

The next time I suspect someone has gained remote access to my computer, Anita, I will not assume it was the National Security Agency of the United States or the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. I will assume it is you.

I am teasing you again, but, yes, that is the Rainbow song -- "Catch the Rainbow" -- I will be posting in about twelve hours. At times, I think you know me too well and can see what I am doing or where I am going even before I know such things myself.

Too often, it seems to me, today's realities are yesterday's science fiction. The rapid advancement of technology has provided the building blocks for this, of course, but the abuse of that technology by government agencies is what threatens the existence of free societies in the years ahead.

There I go, off on a tangent again .... enough of such talk for now. I have uncles and cousins who are Lutheran ministers and some in the medical profession, including a psychiatrist. I think there are times they might accuse me of practicing their "crafts" without proper training or a license.

Thank you, Anita, for your visit and your kind words.

Something special ....