November 30, 2020

The IM Saturday Brunch – May 20, 2017


”It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”

Coffee Break. Photo by Davide D’Amico

• • •


“I think it would be helpful to have less drama emanating from the White House.”

• Sen. Mitch McConnell

Gee, ya think?

• • •


RNS reports that FBI Director James Comey uses the name “Reinhold Niebuhr” on his private Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Comey, who grew up in a Catholic family, earned his college degree in chemistry and religious studies from William & Mary in 1982. He wrote his senior thesis about Niehbur, comparing his views of the role of the Christian in politics with that of Jerry Falwell.

Comey’s thesis treats Niebuhr’s writings as a kind of wisdom literature for Christian office seekers. “Every aspiring world leader,” he advised, should study “Niebuhr’s classic statement of the human condition.”

Reducing Niebuhr’s corpus to a simple “formula,” Comey declared: “The Christian is to seek justice. Politics holds the power necessary for the establishment of justice. Therefore the Christian must participate in the political process.” According to Comey, Niebuhr believed that “the Christian and politics are made for each other” — indeed, that the Christian is “the perfect political animal.”

“Politics holds the power necessary for the establishment of justice.”

We’ll see, James. We’ll see.

• • •


Vladimir Putin played hockey on his 64th birthday.

A Florida man died on his 89th birthday when he crashed his car into a fire hydrant and drowned.

A Pennsylvania woman made a dress from the wrappers of more than 10,000 Starburst candies given to her by her high school sweetheart-turned-husband.

Underwhelming local headlines…

• • •


The Washington Post reports:

Henderson Island, an uninhabited atoll in the South Pacific, is so isolated that it’s one of the few places in the world “whose ecology has been practically untouched by a human presence.”

That is, at least, according to its description by a United Nations group, which named Henderson Island a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988.

…In reality, the remote island has become the final resting place for an estimated 38 million pieces of garbage, according to researchers who arrived on its shores in 2015 and were stunned to find the atoll’s once-undisturbed white-sand beaches littered with trash. Nearly all of it was made of plastic.

Researchers believe that about 3,500 pieces of trash are continuing to wash up there daily, and that Henderson Island now has the highest density of plastic waste in the world, according to a report published Tuesday in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

• • •


Will abortion be legalized in Ireland?

Women bloggers: blessing or crisis for the church?

What is the role and importance of doctrine for American Methodists?

How much caffeine is too much? and, in a related story, how many teenagers die around the world every day, and by what causes?

Scientists glued fake caterpillars on plants worldwide. Then what happened?

• • •


Congrats to Bryson William Verdun Hayes!

Verdun, as he is known, broke the record for the world’s oldest skydiver, when he joined two other family members in a tandem jump. Hayes was 101 years and 38 days old when they leapt.

Hayes is a D-Day veteran, and made the jump to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

Congrats to Carson Huey-You!

The 14 year-old became the youngest person ever to receive a bachelor’s degree at Texas Christian University.

According to this article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Huey-You ends his undergraduate chapter with a physics degree — chosen because he likes learning how things work and interact — and minors in math and Chinese.


His advice to other 14-year-olds?

“Try to stay focused on what you are doing,” Huey-You said. “Even if it seems really, really challenging and hard to get through, stay with it.”

• • •


According to NPR:

Volunteers at an overdose prevention site in Vancouver, Canada, say they saved the life of a rat named Snuggles after the little rodent overdosed on heroin.

The pet was brought into the center by a woman who said it had eaten heroin off a table. It had passed out and wasn’t breathing, so Melissa Patton gave it some Narcan orally. Then she gave it oxygen and watched it throughout the night, keeping it warm next to her neck and feeding it with a syringe.

The woman who brought in Snuggles is now seeking treatment, and Patton has agreed to take care of Snuggles.

• • •


On this day in 1967, The Beatles‘ new album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band had a special preview on the Kenny Everett BBC Light program, ‘Where It’s At’, playing every track from the album, (except ‘A Day In The Life’ which the BBC had banned saying it could promote drug taking).

Many think it is the greatest album of all time. It certainly raised the concept of “the album” to a level never known or appreciated before.

Here is a short video about the making of Sgt. Pepper and then another with its concluding song, which many critics also consider the Beatles’ greatest song.

Happy Saturday!

• • •

Top Photo by Davide D’Amico at Flickr.


  1. Ron Avra says


  2. Ron Avra says

    11PM; first in.

  3. Guess I’ll log in as number 2.

  4. Just a note on working in government. When you accept a government job you also accept the fact that you are expected to perform within the parameters of the job description. Even though your personal views and scruples may exceed those of your employers you are expected to perform to your employers’ expectations. From what I have read, Comey is a very principled man and he acted on those principles,unfortunately they exceeded the demands of his job description. In other words he felt that his own judgement was more important than what his employers required.

    The question of his firing is not only based on the Trump factor, it is also based on what he actually DID, and how his actions and words exceeded his office. Both Dems and GOP called for his dismissal, albeit at different times, but his firing was a foregone conclusion. The timing was Trumpian in its execution (bad, BAD timing!) but it was bound to happen.

    • Robert F says

      When you accept a government job you also accept the fact that you are expected to perform within the parameters of the job description.

      Someone should tell Trump.

      • Someone should have told the American people.

      • How would *not* ordering FBI agents to arrest snd jail journalists, per Trump’s orders, be exceeding the job description? First Amendment rights, freedom of the press and all that…

        The person who has consistently gone WAY beyond their job description and sworn oath is.not.Comey.

    • US Government employees owe their primary allegiance to the US Constitution and to the law, not to their supervisor. They are employed by the government not by one individual within the government even if that individual can fire them.

      Now there have been cases of unjust laws to make things difficult. Classic case in the US might be the Fugitive Slave act of 1850 which required government officials at all levels (federal and state) to help recapture and return fugitive slaves. If you were a government official, say a sheriff, and were made aware of a slave fleeing and the owner in hot pursuit and demanding your assistance, what would you have done? Help the owner per the law’s requirements? Resign as sheriff so not be put in the immediate position of having to help? Quietly send the owner in the wrong direction? Something else?

      • Erp – exactly! The Fugitive Slave law and 3/5ths Compromise are 2 very egregious examples of, imo, violating human rights, and certainly reflect on the moral character of all those supposedly upstanding white xtian men who voted in favor, since they refused to recognize the humanity of the people whose lives they controlled.

    • Donalbain says

      Oh that’s adorable. You think that Coney was fired for any reason other than Donald trying to end the investigation of Russian interference in the American election. You sweet, summer child.

      • Robert F says

        Fortunately, the move was so inept that all he succeeded in doing was intensifying the investigation. The hallmarks of his presidency so far have been incompetence, and the appearance of being engaged in a bumbling high level coverup. He’s way out his depths as president. The bluster and bullying that controlled his business victims and made him so much money so far is not paying-off for him in his new role; it just feeds the fire of suspicion and the appearance of guilt that surrounds him like an anti-halo.

      • Robert F says

        I wonder if anybody is taking his calls as he looks for a new FBI Director. And I wonder what nitwit would accept any of the unfilled positions in Trump’s administration at this time.

        • Almost every candidate in the short list has come back with various renditions of “Thanks But No Thanks”. They’re now at the point where Joe Lieberman(!) is now being considered for the job.

  5. Robert F says

    Did Putin wear a shirt while playing hockey on his birthday?

  6. Lorraine says

    “Huey-You ends his undergraduate chapter with a physics degree…and minors in math and Chinese.”

    So, the easy classes!

  7. Ron Avra says

    Appreciate the choice of music videos for the week. Actually was introduced to the Beatles after Sgt. Pepper. Had the eight track versions of Abbey Road and Let it Be; wore them out, much to my father’s chagrin.

  8. I’m not far behind yall.

  9. Women bloggers spawn an evangelical ‘crisis of authority’?

    It was a crisis of authority that spawned Evangelicalism. The ONLY authority in the Evangelical Circus is the individual who constitutes their own Pope.

    • Uppity women — who woulda thought!!??

      • Robert F says

        It started when they got the right to vote. What’s the old saying: Give em an inch….

        • I’d say it started when women were taught to read–then came the vote, then came Prohibition, then…

          It took a while, but I’m glad that half our populous figured out how to do it without killing off the other half.

      • And this right here is why I quit looking into joining the PCA and cut those ‘friends’ out of my life. Each and every one of them would repeatedly ask publicly “where’s Rachel Held Evans’ husband and why is he not shutting her up?”

        I’d had enough of that bs.

        • Stuart, i can’t even. The PCA? No no no no no no. Not for you, and absolutely *never* for me – and pretty much every other woman on the planet.

          Fwiw, this subthread has scenes from the TV version of The Handmaid’s Tale flashing through my mind, this week’s especially, since it focuses on a woman who doesn’t realize until too late that the ideology she advocates in public will result in her being locked away from other people, forbidden to read and write, let alone take on public speaking gigs. So…she turns to oppressing other women, the only area in which she can still “speak” and exercise control.

          It’s very, very ugly, and too true for comfort.

          • Wait… Serena Joy herself is forbidden to read and write? I thought it was just the Handmaids and Marthas.

            A lot of backstory in the recent episode. I’m glued to the series, but try not to watch it right before bedtime.

            • I saw that she was forbidden to speak at a conference (and I noticed the U.S. flag, so that must have been before Gilead—perhaps while under martial law?) And I noticed the book she had written in the garbage.

              Who gets the credit for her theories? The Commander? Stay tuned…

              • Oh, I’m sure her husband gets and actively takes all the credit. It was made clear in this week’s ep that she wouldn’t be allowed to write a 2nd book. Also, she is never shown writing, and i haven’t noticed so much as a scratch pad for writing a shopping list anywhere, let alone pens or pencils.

                Those rooms are devoid of so many things that we take for granted. was very surprised by the inclusion of a harpist in ep 2, but I’m sure it was permitted for that occasion.

                you know, there are HasidicJewish groups in NYC thst forbid men listening to women musicians, even in classical concerts – too sexually tempting, too senous, and so forbidden.

              • Ted, i made the mistake of watching this week’s ep right before bedtime. I am *so* not doing that again! It’s a fascinating and extremely disturbing show, and this week they added a lot of backstory and twists that aren’t in the book. Which is fine by me; they are doing a series set in that world, and it can’t always be shown from June’s pov, for obvious reasons. (The book is all 1st person narrative.)

            • Women are forbidden to read, period, in the novel and show. Stsrt glancing around the rooms where Serens Joy spends a lot of time, and the only book you’ll see is the Bible. But she’s never show reading it. Ever. She can watch TV, apparently, but it’s all Gilead-approved broadcasts. I’ve yet to hear any music playing, from a radio or any other source.

              There’s a reason why Fred is hoarding books in his study, though part of the story there, made explicit in the novel, is that almost all of the books he has are forbidden, illegal.

              He should have been flourishing copies of The New Yorker or The Atlsntic, or the NY Review of Books, at June, not fashion mags…

              • I did notice a lack of makeup and earrings, even on the upper class women. I’ll keep my eye out for what else is missing.

                The Scrabble games are an interesting touch. Are they outlawed too? I was thinking that the Commander (Fred) requisitions June (Offred) to play the game with him because he can’t get even that much out of his wife.

                Six episodes in and we’re just now seeing children. And it could be that that’s about all there are, the ones shown to the Mexican dignitaries.

                Very cool show.

                • Fred is a callous, cruel rapist. There, i said it. He’s cruel to all the women in his life (whether they want to be there or not). His regime is hideous. I mean, state-mandated slavery of women *and* state-sanctioned rape.

                  It’s obvious there was a human bejng there once. His wife has been betrayed by the ideology she promoted. She has no qualms about how the Handmaids are treated, clearly. And he enjoys dangling things over her head, just like he does with June. It’s sickening.

                  I keep wondering when and how June’s daughter will show up…

                • Yeah, games from Before are forbidden. Margaret Atwood knows a great deal about the Mass. Bay Puritans. She didn’t set the story in Boston and Cambridge by accident.

                  The Mass. Bay Colony did not exactly condone a lot of things that we view as innocent pasttimes, games, etc. Let alone holidays – i mean, they outlawed Christmas, literally. Lots of other things, too. And hanged Quakers, banished dissidents who for whatever reason weren’t executed. (Wasn’t Maine part of MA at one time?)

                  • Yes, but Mainers were the rebels who left Massachusetts after the British kicked the French outta here in 1759 or thereabouts. Most of our early settlers were not from England but from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, something like eastern settlers moving westward over the prairies, but in our case up the coast in sailing vessels. Independent streak, mostly congregational in the early days and a lot of the men at least were downright irreligious, even if they went to church every Sunday. At least that’s what I interpolate from the old-timers here and from stories my dad used to tell.

    • Every Pope has to have parishioners. And any Pope worth his salt is not going to take kindly to a Martin Luther who nails that Pope’s screwups to the church door. Even moreso if that Martin is actually a Martina…

    • Richard Hershberger says

      Yup: A question where the mere fact of asking it is telling, regardless of the conclusion.

  10. So what exactly did Comey’s thesis say about Jerry Falwell?

    (I’m guessing he was too polite to say “He’s a real nut job”?)

    • Me, too. “Compare” would not be the word I would choose to place between Niebuhr and Falwell, unless ironically.

  11. “The Christian is to seek justice. Politics holds the power necessary for the establishment of justice. Therefore the Christian must participate in the political process.”

    That syllogism only works because it leaves out a very important truth – “power corrupts, and corruption undermines justice”. So adding that in, you get the actual truth of things…

    “The Christian is to seek justice. Politics holds the power necessary for the establishment of justice. But power corrupts, and corruption undermines justice.”

    Any “Therefore…” following that is going to have to be a bit more nuanced than an unqualified “the Christian must participate in the political process”.

    • Robert F says

      One way or another, the Christian does participate in the political process. Human beings are political animals.

      • True, but there’s all sorts of differing ways to participate, or resist. Not all are appropriate at any given time.

        • Robert F says

          I agree. Appropriate participation differs from time to time, from situation to situation, and from person to person. One caveat: even resistance is actually participation in politics.

      • Ron Avra says

        Lately, most days, I feel more simply like a animal.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        Agree; the notion of being apolitical is a falsehood.

    • Dana Ames says

      Richard Beck did a short series recently on his blog Experimental Theology, about how American Christians are actually Niebuhrians. Very interesting.

      Christ is risen!

  12. RIP, Chris Cornell. His passing really messed me up this week. As a late boomer, I never identified myself with the grunge scene during the 90’s. I discovered later that the icons of that period of music – including Cornell – were my age and not part of the Gen-X that flocked to Woodstock ’94. Suddenly the music (such as Smashing Pumpkin’s “1979”) made sense and became intensely personal. I only vaguely remember when Kurt Cobain died, but I was a fan of Stone Temple Pilots when I heard about Scott Weiland’s death. Cornell’s passing comes so relatively soon after Weiland’s. The event has ignited a lot of discussion around depression and suicide. Suicide at any age snuffs out a light of potential. In the case of Cornell, an amazingly talented man and a voice spanning many generations is gone but will always be remembered.

    • Cornell was the voice of many bands, primarily Soundgarden (“Black Hole Sun”), but also Temple of the Dog (“Hunger Strike”) and Audioslave (“Show Me How to Live”).

    • Jeremiah says

      Cornell more than any of them stood out to me. His music always had this spiritual cry to the struggle that I connected with. And his voice was phenomenal.

    • John Fogerty once wrote about riding a spoon out his back door. Wrote a line come on the rise and win we’re going up around the bend. If you ever had to kick you would know all your looking for is to turn that corner and head another way. You would know If another line from a song goes down with the sickness. Or songs talking about cookies from old Limp. Spoon Man………..There is a place of great darkness here as well as light and some will know either or. I don’t know if that’s lucky or not. It certainly is limiting though. 9 out of ten keep going back does that mean they aren’t loved by Him because he gives us the freedom to make those mistakes or some would say destined for it. Do you think that the couple who held back some money and were convicted by the Spirit and died and taken away were not witnessing to then and later generations in their death. My thoughts have been a great sadness encompassed them and they physically could not endure it. I’m wrong a lot though. Chris was in one of the darkest places known on earth. Been to close to that myself. May the Lord have mercy.

      A 72 year old man I once knew shot dope for 50 years and found the Lord at 66. One of the last things he said was Jesus does really love me. Another friend answered him do you think….Kind of like the guy on the cross next to Him as I always think of Howard.

      The answer never will be on doubling down on a war with evil and spending huge amounts of money on stopping the artery that’s bleeding. I didn’t have the answer ever in a complete form. All i know is when you make a business out of either side both sides become the problem. The resources used by the side that thinks it is standing on the high ground can’t help the other nine. How many on the high ground are so innocent…………Maybe we should ask the council of Jesus’ day. Struck a nerve this week is all. Especially when a speech of a man who could never understand this thing that happens talks his tough rhetoric on being even tougher. Oh well down with the sickness as there are many forms.

      On the high note of the week were two tiny blues staring me in the face as I tried to keep them from shaking so much. The bright spots of my day on a mountain called Tower road. Like a strong Tower is this special place of my life. Haven’t missed but 4 days in over 5 years now and each one hurt me inside, ( 5 days of course)

      • Will not know either or…sorry

        • I can usually follow you w but today I must be on another planet or something as I don’t have a clue what you are talking about except of course the cats.

          I will try to do better in the future. Hope I know enough about the light to resist the attraction of darkness. Some don’t even recognize it.

          • It won’t let me post all of a sudden. Just disappears. Spoons are what heroin is cooked in before shooting it. Going on a rise to win going up round the bend is how you feel when you kick the habit and are down with the sickness. Wishing you could die. I know I kicked. You are on another planet and it’s best you stay there and not follow me. I wish for no one to especially the places I’ve been. Contrast only shows the light greatly, like a week of rain followed by the bluest skies.

            There is no attraction to darkness because it pretends to be a light. Jesus would have helped the other nine but probably only one would have came back to thank Him. One is definitely worth it though at least a good shepherd would learn that. Had a lot more written but it floated away. Hoped it helped some.

            • I was thinking About Paul heading to Damascus with such extreme thoughts about Christians and then encountering a bright light which blinded him. Imagine the contrast of where he had just been to where he was brought by his name being called twice which is a sign of someone being considered very dear. Encountering the voice of something so loving elevates even in correction. Another man interceded and the scales fell off. Maybe the very man that Paul would have killed…Who knows.

          • For what it’s worth the above was a personal testimony and not meant to be so much as the Bible which is always right no matter what…..Right

          • RWP blues eyes were the kittens I found of mamma drop off Cat I named Bell because a man tried to find them by tying a bell to her neck. She didn’t leave that on long though. That’s it for me man…Sorry I try but Trump’s speech about the flow of drugs and doubling down when I know real addicts that can’t get help they need and want to change because of no money. I can’t help but think we could stop the flow if we actually wanted to. Then again an addict must want it. Being in a hell like that should be enough but that first shot is like a day without sorrow. Only it’s a toilet bowl. 9 out of ten go back to the needle which means so far we haven’t done so good.

      • w, i don’t think those lyrics are drug references. Fogerty has tried to say so, but people see what they want to see, like those who still maintain that “Puff the Magic Dragon” is an ode to opium use.

        Hope you are well otherwise.

        • I’ll take your word for it. Doesn’t matter not all lines belong to their human author. If John never used drugs then I never did either. I love his music and think he is one of the most talented man I have ever seen.

          • Up Around the Bend has never struck me as being about anything other than a get-together in the country, with jamming (“bring a song and a smile for the banjo”) and talk (“always time for a good conversation”) ‘ being two of the main activities. Did a few joints get passed around there? Probably, but that’s not the point of the song, any more than the six packs and botyles of Dr. Pepper that were likely also there.

            I’m about the same age as you, so drug references aren’t lost on me, but I think the 1st song you cite is more likely explained – in part – by imagery that’s related to a parade that passed by Fogerty’s house (literally) – he says his son, who was 3 at the time, was very excited about it, and that he wrote the song with him in mind.

            I can recall *everything* that was plsyful, surreal or fantastical in lyrics at that time being labeled as “drug references.” In some cases, yes, but that all went muvh too far. It’s as if anyone who wrote imaginative lyrics *had* to have been tripping. Well, no.

            Also, isn’t it “rising wind,” instead of “rise and win”?

            • Fwiw, my father used to fall for all the “drug references” talk, but i think that was partly due to the fact that he was at sea and/or in other countries most of the time – for work – during that era. Opium use was a common thing in some of those countries, so there’s that. The larger issue is that he didn’t have any context, being away from land and home so much, so he was easy to convince.

              It made for a lot of frustration on my part (and my siblings’) and his, too. The “Generation Gap” in action, i guess…

              • why did I come here? Now I have a comment in mod….Have a good day Numo

              • I had an an honest question which I would have asked my mom at one time but not no more. Just because I’m interested and nothing more. Was there anything to the original that had any content to you or was it another need kind of like a pet peeve which I had when The Trump wanted to double down on the war on drugs when addicts can’t get any help because there is no money, Boy now there’s a run on sentence huh?

                • I wasn’t meaning to bait you or be unkind, w. Just trying to give some perspective.

                  I understand what you’re saying about kicking a habit, but could it be that you’re reading your own life into Fogerty’s lyrics, just a bit? I’ve always liked his work myself, but even at the time the songs came out, i didn’t see drug refs or any attempt to reflect experiences of tripping or getting high in either his music or lyrics – different story with some of Bob Dylan’s songs, not to mention the Beatles. I just never have seen what you’ve seen there. It seems to me that much of Fogerty’s work is about small town Southern life, and not drug use/abuse.

                  But that’s a personal POV, just like yours. We’re interpreting, both of us, and that’s fine – i guess that’s one of the fascinating things about many song lyrics from thst time, that they can be understood in many different ways.

                  But I’m not sure how any of that is connected in a direct way to the suicide of Chris C.

                  • I am sorry but those lines written and taken out of context are what without doubt were what got me clean because they were in my mind constantly during that time. With my heart if I offended anyone it wasn’t malicious. I asked about content and you asked a question also. Chris had his darkness that he had to battle like Curt did. Don’t know if they were the same but they certainly were alike. Just like Jimi and I have always wondered what licks he might of done had he not passed. Now I know why he passed or at least the reason given and it sounds like ot was very unintentional. You don’t drink lots of liquor and take pills if you are not battling something. On the lawn would be hard pressed to go to parade which is always on a main street in front of houses. Guess it becomes as confusing as I do at times. Dr Seuss…..okay I won’t argue……..I don’t know your background and I didn’t say I knew why he hung himself. I do understand where people can end up.

                    • I’m sorry I’m confusing as I would be hard pressed in a few sentences to go into anymore depth of darkness which comes in many forms but it does have it’s similarities which is you can’t see and it becomes like weeping and gnashing of teeth which is clearly not stated strong enough. Did it again another very long sentence. Geeeesh

                    • Gotcha. I guess it wasn’t clear to me, in reading your original post, that you were saying that Fogerty’s lyrics had that meaning for you personally. I thought you were saying that Fogerty was writing about drug use – his own or someone else’s. I did understand that you’ve battled addiction, but i got kind of confused by the rest of your post. So, no need to spologize!

                      Also, about your new replies disappearing, that’s a glitch in the blogging software used here, in some browsers. Usually, if you just refresh the page, the missing comment will show. That really took me by surprise when they made the change to this blog setup, and i thought the internet ate my posts. 🙂

                    • One last follow up. Never saw an addict say he uses and most of us would probably say never in certain company unless we talk to angels. Another song. Don’t underestimate these men and what they might mean in a hidden form as they let things out. They are very creative people with things unseen going on underneath.

                    • Sorry to add a question but if you’ve been to a Narcotics Anonymous or AA meeting, people who are addicts do say that they are exactly that. So I’m not sure why you said that about addicts never admitting to addiction? Many who won’t know that they’re addicted, as I’m sure you know as well. I don’t want to argue about this, especially since we probably are a lot closer to having the same or similar views on this than it might appear.

                      Hasta luego.

                  • Perspective really?????? Oh now I remember how this works

                    • w, it’s kind of strange to me that you come here, where there are people who have really diverse POVs, yet seem to expect that others agree on all that you say. I’m not sure i understand.

                      I don’t expect anyone to chime in agreeing with my opiniins, truly. I think you are assuming offense where absolutely none was intended. Perspective in this case wasn’t referring to you personally, but the broader context of the times and the mudic.

                      Am feeling like we’re crossing swords for no reason, and i don’t want to continue doing that.

                      All the best to you, w.

                    • This is overkill (coming from me), but in all fairness to a California guy who set his songs in the South, and whose lyrics owe so much to Southern folklore (and blues lyrics), try


                      I’d like to read Fogerty’s book now… i wonder if he would admit to being influenced by Bo Diddley? Because some of his lyrics seem like they were lifted from “Who Do You Love” and others by BD.

                    • You are exactly right as you always are. Different pov’s….okay you do realize there is a core group here. I haven’t been here for awhile now. Maybe for the best and I am hoping to not be here for awhile again. Yes I use to watch Buck Owens early in the morning and kind of doubt he would pass a joint around in good conversation. Maybe moonshine but I even doubt that. I highly even doubt that to be southern culture at the time. Crossing swords……awe c’mon like you didn’t go there????? and you’re still doing it. I’ve been bitten a lot and I’m not shy. Wife is on a trip and I can’t hardly move as the heat from Pa. was greater than Mexico the last 3 days. To much time I guess, should have cleaned the garage. Your need to blast away is surely incredible.

                      If anyone cares I would surely like to tell about the depths of darkness and why I don’t care what denomination you are. Why I believe you are Christian and what my hope would be for those disillusioned who are now in the wilderness and come here. It would be long and I would hope to be shining a light on some things. AA….NA is anonymous and it should be as I was speaking about the secular world in the case of addicts. I have a business and really people don’t need to know where I was. Anyways I have sat in those rooms and mostly as people share I think you are so full of it. One man even told me I only come here to pick up women. Sorry it isn’t what it is cracked up to be sorry for the pun….

                      I was trying to give a pov and you did too. I was trying to explain mine as you did too. You said you didn’t understand….I was trying….you just kept coming and I was listening were you? You do realize what a powerful person you are right? Do you think I am less…. Hasta luego now isn’t that so nice….really….Condescending???
                      It’s been real….

            • Seems the same to me Rising wind, rise and win, I was witnessing on what things meant to me not doing a factual test to see which person was going to knock on my door and correct me like my mother use too when she read something I wrote just to say I spelled something wrong. Geeesh Those lines helped me a lot when I kicked.

              When I walked the mountain sobbing from my first grandson dying in my hands and I heard inside I want you to sing to him and the lines your are so beautiful to me and it started coming out as I kept singing whether I was using them in context or not didn’t really matter now did it. I only know it started the healing process….What is this great need to defend John. He would have done better by not answering. Yep you’re right why. Have a great day…Hope all is well with you.

              • I don’t understand this one. Was I being mean again or can it be that it could be perceived this way? Honestly, help me here as to how I could word it so as to take away any tension. Maybe condescending and being a tit for tat sort of thing? I perceived certain things that way from the other sentences written here at times.

                • No, i was trying to talk *with* you, not correct you or confuse anything, and not to criticize.

                  I’m not sure what to say, except that i didn’t mean for this to go off the rails. And upthread a bit, in one of my replies, i did talk a bit about things having personal meanjngs to listeners that sre separate from what the lyricist was thinking about or had in mind. Anyone who writes for publication – poems, plays, novels, songs – takes that risk when they put domething out there.

                  At home, and later, in evangelical circles in the early 70s, i heard all kinds of crazy claims about song lyrics being “of the devil” in one way or aother; music styles, too. But the same people who wereso critical of, say, rock music would slap “christian” lyrics on a 3-chord rock tune and call it holy. They really didn’t get it, did they? And they were unwilling to admit that they liked blues, rock, etc. I bet a lot of them had semi-secret record collections that they hid from other church folk.

              • I’m not trying to “defend” anyone.

                Throwing in the towel for real. I’m pretty well talked out, anyway. It’s hard when posts get caught in the site’s spam filter and replies don’t show up in sequence. Oh well… another time, perhaps?

              • This was in Mod and I was hoping for someone to just erase it and send me an e-mail to let me know

                • Those two from just above were in mod all day Numo. I think you to be a powerful and amazing person and have learned from you today…..I believe in you more now than ever and you can end that with a giant .

                  • If i was a writing teacher, i guess i might suggest saying something like “To me, this speaks about…^ or “I take it to mean…” or something along those lines

                    These things can be hard to understand. Paul McCartney recently told an interviewer that he came up with the lyrics to “Blackbird” while watching news footage of a Civil Rights Movement protest. He said that one of the womens’ faces stuck in his mind and he imagined that he was writing the song for her, as a tribute.

                    I would never in s million years have stumbled on that conclusion. I always figured that he was actually talking about a bird, though what kind of world that bird was living in, and why it needed eyes and wings that worked… that’s another thing i couldn’t figure out, but i really do like the song and always have. Maybe because of the hope in it, that no matter what i was struggling with, there *could* and would be a better time, one in which i would be whole, and other people would, too.

                    I know someone who comes from a country where there are stories about people literally putting out birds’ eyes to make them sing more… so this person took the lyrics pretty literally.

                    And yeah, i can sound like a schoolmarm sometimes, but I’m not.

                    As for a “core group,” there always was one here, but its “membership” has changed a whole lot since 06, when Michael Spencer was still alive, which is when i 1st started reading. But that’s true of any blog or site that’s open for comments, in my experience, anywsy. Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are people who only comment on Saturdays. I think because there’s never, or rarely, a set topic on Saturday.

                    • There are heavy-duty spam filters on this site, to keep bots from posting. That’s more than likely why your comments didn’t show up. I get caught in them, now and then.

                      Fwiw, I’ve commented more today than i have in a good while. I’m a regular reader, but as a commenter, not as frequent as you might think. A lot of the other “core group” are much the same, really.

                    • I truly appreciate the comment and the the things you ignored. I could have been clearer but I always write straight from my mind and can never duplicate it no matter how hard I try. I think what was lost was because i didn’t do something right. I am sure of that now. I am not some one who visits blogs as a whole and this is the only one in quite awhile although Kent’s blog was a favorite and Rob’s is something at times I like to read. I just don’t have time and it is to me addicting and I can’t sleep with things swirling in my mind which I have need to put down. Not sleeping is deadly for me.

                      I really got caught in it today…My apologies for real. I truly think you to be a strong and wonderful person. I even think of you when I see the woman knocking on the door and I actually love that. You should never stop knocking because bread is given to you. Peace and rest to you dear one….

                    • w, peace to you, too, and thanks. 🙂 We all have our dsys, no?

                      Also, it did seem to me that you might be very tired, just from your writing. I can’t let myself get run down like thst either. Guess it takes one to know one! 🙂

                      I’m glad we both stuck with this and have worked through it. And i do remember when you 1st said that about the woman knocking on the door a few years back. I like it. 😉

                      All the very best to you, w.


                    • Bte, a friend who is an NA regulsr told me that people go to those meetings and to AA for the kinds of reasons you mentioned. But hey, people go to church to meet or,pick up women, too. I’ve met dome Holy Joe types who were anything but!

                      Understood on needing to keep your personal struggles private. I respect that and think that is part of the basic kindness we are supposed to show to othet people, regardless of their religion – or ours. Pretty much bedrock in the ethics of all faiths, and in the ethics of good people who are not religious as well.

                      Anyway, I’m rambling now, since it’s lste. God bless you – and enjoy the cooler weather! I certainly am. 🙂

                  • Gracious comes to my mind as water gently rolls down my cheek Iike a hot stream Numo

                    • Robert F says

                      I”m glad the two of you worked out the disagreement you had, numo and w. It was painful at times to read your exchanges and watch as things seemed to get worse, and the misunderstanding seemed to deepen. At times I wanted to say something that would help, but I feared that anything I said would only make things worse. What a delight to wake up this morning and see that reconciliation and understanding had the last word last night! Reconciliation and forgiveness in Christ’s name — that’s what makes us members of his church. God bless you both.

                    • If I had someone to enjoy a meal in a diner it truly would be Numo and any one else from central Pa. Here. We might be different but looking into each others eyes would shine a light.

  13. Jeremiah says

    How are you going to talk about Sgt. Peppers & not give any time to Pet Sounds? which also came out this week a whole year earlier and is the reason we have a Sgt. Peppers at all!
    You boomers and your Beatles love!
    Dare I say it is an obsession comparable to Reformed people’s love for John Piper!

    • It was a tough choice, and I only made it because Sgt Pepper debuted on this very date. We’ve given love to Pet Sounds before and will do so again.

  14. I could have done without the stick poked into the hornets nest this morning. Life is hard and sometimes you look for something to laugh about to keep from crying. Listening to Willie Nelson’s “God’s Problem Child” and wondering once again what I have in common enough to keep me hanging out here. Being a bi-pedal humanoid Earthling seems like it must be the strangest learning experience in the Universe, and who knows, maybe it is. I’m still looking for love to win but it gets pretty tippy at times. I could use a break.

    • Yeah, me too, Charles. I tried to keep it as low key as possible. But how could I not acknowledge what may be one of the craziest news weeks in recent memory?

      • Ron Avra says

        Late week was a bit over the top; see my comment above about leaning into my animal tendencies lately. Picture a dog crawling under a southern porch to hide in the cool dirt from the fracas going on in the yard. My animal instincts are in survival mode. May creep out after dark to run an armadillo out of the yard; reassert my dominance over a portion of my world.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      Isn’t a self-professed Nieburian in such a high office interesting? There is vanishingly little Christian dialogue at that level; the quality of Christian Political dialogue is extremely anemic. Personally I relish the opportunity to go there with someone who knows-whereof-they-speak [vs. the idle pontificator].

      Of course the conversation rarely manages to ‘go there’ do to the current inflammation.

  15. I think Abbey Road is the better album but the one I actually listen to is Rubber Soul. Sgt Pepper is a cultural touch point for sure. Of course one could be cynical and say it was the work that gave musicians of the era permission to be even more pretentious than drugs had already made them. But why be cynical?


    I haven’t identified as an evangelical in decades but I was raised as one and I am still flabbergasted by their overwhelming support for Trump. I have family and friends back home in Georgia who enthusiastically drank the Kool-Aid. I mostly remain silent with them because if I was honest about what I think I could easily end friendships. But to sell themselves so cheaply, and for what currency?

    • I too think Abbey Road is the ultimate example of all the Beatles’ talent, individual and combined. But critics tend to award “best” status to ground-breaking albums, and Sgt. Pepper certainly was that.

    • Loved Abbey road and wore the album out with my head phones on. Even then she came in through the bathroom window protected by a silver spoon. Thought I knew the answer, well I knew but I could not say. Didn’t anybody tell her, didn’t anybody see. Secular songs are full of breathed lines with invoking and inspiring thoughts don’t you think?

      • Dana Ames says

        Listened to it every morning while getting ready for school (high school) for quite a long time. We only had one record player, in our living room, so that meant my mom & dad listened to it, too – God bless them, they never complained 🙂


      • Children were fed by a silver spoon and I find it so even as we reach adulthood.

    • I was reading comments about Roger Ailes’ passing and was struck by how many people mentioned the very real rifts in their families and friendships that appeared and intensified over the years due to Fox News and other “innovations” he instituted. The preponderance of them described situations like what you have mentioned here—the growing inability to have conversations, followed by resorting to silence in order to maintain relationships. This is what we have come to and what our lives are like in the US these days.

      • Okay I can see it but really how shallow is a person who would put such things above others when in real meaning they are like a mist. Romans surely must of felt at one time nothing could beat them. Guess I was like that when I was young. Meaningless comes to mind mostly now. I’m not going there today…… Sure is nice to see ya comment Vera.

  16. Always enjoyed Pepper but lean towards Rubber Soul (the inspiration for Brian Wilson that led to Pet Sounds) and Revolver as being slightly better albums.

    • Ron Avra says

      Having encountered Rubber Soul long after Abbey Road, I have to concede that I prefer Rubber Soul as well. It was not the music of my youth though.

    • Robert F says

      Agree. Rubber Soul and Revolver were just as revolutionary as SPLHCB in their own quieter, less showy ways.

      • I love Sgt. Pepper’s and always will – and i think part of its notoriety came from the crazy juxtapositions of Psul’s music hall-type songs with Lennon’s trippy imagery and the use of sitar in an obviously psychedelic context. Still, i bet it wouldn’t have made nearly as much of a splash without the cover pic and “A Day in the Life.” (Especially seeing as they’d already used sitar on “Norwegian Wood,” but that’s such an unshowy, quiet song compared to most of what’s on Sgt. Pepper’s.)

        Also, isn’t it one of the 1st real *album*-rock records? I don’t think of either Revolver or Rubber Soul in that way at all. (Interesting how so many people are either rediscovering LPs or encountering them for the 1st time, because it’s such a different way of listening…)

  17. …meanwhile I’m sitting here thinking the Love album contained some of the definitive versions of Beatles’ songs…

  18. Dana Ames says

    Christ is risen!

    Memories connected with Beatles music….

    One of them is from the down-side side of the peak of the Jesus Movement, late ’70s. A very talented young man in our church at the time wrote clever lyrics to the “I read the news today, oh boy” part of “A Day in the Life”. He played the guitar so skillfully and sang those lyrics so well – about the End Times Tribulation days. All of us in our little church gave him so many props. Most of us were very young… Within a couple of years, I had jettisoned that particular bit of “theology”, and found that the ceiling didn’t fall down around me… Kept that under my hat for some time; only a few trusted friends knew. I don’t think I would actually have been shunned by people in that church, but there sure would have been some head shaking and tsk-tsk-ing going on had they known.

    Did anyone else notice Monkee Mike Nesmith in those clips? When the first Monkees album came out, it was quite the hit. They actually did play their instruments, though the album also had the help of some fine studio musicians playing the work of some of the best writers in the Brill Building. The Beatles were impressed and invited them to party with them in London.


    • Robert F says

      Yes, I noticed Nesmith. My understanding is that he went on after the Monkeys disbanded to have a career as a producer in country music.

      • He also had a career as a bluegrass musician and recorded quite a few albums under his own name.

  19. Susan Dumbrell says

    I think I am glad I went to bed.
    My dreams were less colourful than today’s posts.
    I have the entire collection of Beatles but obviously need to ‘listen’ to it again and more closely.,
    Or maybe not. Sigh.
    Church this morning will have me looking for hidden meanings in the hymns.
    My haiku will have double meanings? Hope not, but maybe..
    Finished my Weeties, must fly.
    Work that one out!
    This coming week I am ongoing to have to be very careful what I say or even think.
    As I said, I am glad I slept through your day..

    Christ is Risen, thank Goodness!

  20. You had your run and it’s been a good one
    Seems like the world is passing you by
    Old father time, he just keeps on tickin’
    You’ve still got a lot of life and a song to sing

    You fell in love back in the day
    Can’t forget her face, can’t remember her name
    She was a beauty, a shining star
    Just when you weren’t lookin’, she broke your heart

    One by one your friends have crossed over
    You pray for mercy and a few more days
    You’ve still got dreams inside your head
    Some days it’s a struggle just to get out of bed

    You’ve been down every highway
    Burned your share of bridges
    You found forgiveness
    You think that you’re still a young bull rider
    Till you look in the mirror and see
    An old timer

    Old Timer, sung by Willie Nelson, 84 and still kickin’, still singin’ love songs, and one called I Woke Up Still Not Dead Again Today

    • Robert F says

      get born, get grown up,
      get busy, get things ready,
      finish the dishes

      • Live your life
        look into the unexpected
        Steal the rhythm back to your heart
        Learn as you knock on the door to be opened
        Stare into little blue eyes of a kitten
        What a world, what a life go and live it
        Weed the garden as best you can
        Bite into a freshly ripened fruit
        Taste and see that the Lord is good to thee

        This world is and could be so much worse than it is to us here. We are truly blessed. Where do we go from here. Mars???????? Why???????????? What about the others???????? If you gave one of these a drink then you have done it to me!!!!!!! If you gave them something to eat then you have done it to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you visit them in prison then you have visited me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When will we truly see the darkness that Jesus did and went to a cross for it to be defeated???????When will we be his hands?????????

      • Susan Dumbrell says

        Church today was beautiful and joyous. We were asked to contribute something we are thankful for. I am thankful for the Imonkers who care for me so gently and forgive me.
        Got forgiven by God too. May I follow the footsteps of my Master this week
        I asked for God’s Blessings on all IMonkers while in Church today.
        Christ is Risen. Alleluia.
        Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

        • Thank you Susan and peace and rest for you also. I was forgiven also in past, present and future. Not so good in following yet especially with humans. Wish I could tell you why but animals who have bitten me to the bone have more mercy from me. I’ve been bitten a lot with animals because I just go for it. Not afraid I guess because physical pain is nothing compared to spiritual. Maybe you know that I am not sure.

          Shabbot and shalom is an expression which could be wrapped up in peace. Peace is not a passive word as the gospel of peace is the shoes which described the cleats which held their ground and moved forward with a grip that would not give up. Roman soldiers and all….it’s saying I spelled the first word wrong…..Thank’s mom….Christ risen would be all in vain if it wasn’t so….Peace to you and there is no need to be shy you add balance.

          • Susan Dumbrell says

            Christ’s Peace be yours and mine and all who surround us in Love..

            • Susan Dumbrell says

              The only pain is being separated from the Love of Jesus through our own stupidity

              • We’re never “separated from the Love of Jesus”, through our own stupidity or otherwise. We cannot be “separated” from the Ground of Being.

                The greatest pain I ever experience is alienation from each other.

                • Robert F says

                  Agree. We can’t be separated from the love of Jesus. But we may want and choose to turn away from it, only to find out that it is behind as well as in front of us, beneath as well as above us, within as well as outside of us; it may be that this is what comprises what we call hell: the perpetual frustration of our own will to turn away from his love.

        • Susan, i really enjoy your posts. Am thinking that a lotmof othe iMonkers do, too. 🙂

          • Susan Dumbrell says

            Wait for tomorrow!!

            Watch this space.

            Ever the rebel.
            No leathers or a Healey. But a good friend has just bought a very nice new bike, Healey of course. Wants to take me for a spin!! Golly Gosh.
            I am tempted. Unfortunately he is not game to go too, too fast past the speed limits around our neck of the woods. How to die with a dramatic conclusion.

            (You only die once??) Eat my dust.

            The new Susan you all never knew !

            Oh yes, and Christ is Risen, may we also share the Resurrection.