Tuesday, November 26, 2019

A Navajo Prayer

There are shades of Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Patrick in this stirring blessing over at Gerard's blog.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Zoglin summarizes Elvis

Elvis hardly enhanced his stature in the rock world by becoming a Las Vegas star. The gaudy setting, the show biz affectations, the sentimental ballads, the mostly middle-aged, middlebrow audience, the housewives with bouffant hairdos who sat swooning in the front rows-- it hardly jibed with the motivating ethos of so many rock performers in the late sixties. They saw their music as an avenue for personal expression, social-political protest, and artistic experimentation. All Elvis wanted to do was sing.

And sing to everybody. Las Vegas wasn't just a creative resurrection for Elvis; it was also his grand statement of inclusiveness. No one was more responsible than Elvis, back in the mid-1950s, for driving the initial stake that split the music audience, and eventually the entire culture, in two: the adults who listened to the pop standards and Hit Parade tunes sung by Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, and Rosemary Clooney; and the kids who embraced a new kind of music called rock 'n' roll. By the end of the sixties, the battle had grown awfully lopsided: rock was becoming mainstream, while the old-style crooners were reduced to a few creaky TV variety shows, a diminishing roster of night clubs--and Las Vegas.

Elvis wanted to bring everyone back together under one tent. He was a rocker and a child of Memphis blues, but also an unabashed romantic; he loved Mario Lanza as well as Bo Diddley. He could kick ass in "What I'd Say" or go for the tears with "Memories." For Elvis, it was all music. He was a great populist -- a uniter, not a divider-- and Vegas gave him his greatest platform. He brought his showmanship, his matchless voice, and the urgency of an artist on a mission to redeem himself. Las Vegas brought the crowds. Neither would ever be the same again.

-- from Elvis in Vegas, by Richard Zoglin (2019, Simon & Schuster)

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Unsung hero

Three cheers for Buddy Harman, the drummer who helped Roy Orbison make "Pretty Woman" a classic rock song.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Speaking words of wisdom...

Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino in Justice on Trial:

"While abandoning some of their proper role, courts have also usurped the powers normally reserved to Congress. The legislative process is notoriously messy, and nobody thinks the sausage factory produces a perfect product every time. So when a judge is faced with a law that seems to function poorly, there is a temptation to step in. The legislators appear sloppy or foolish or, if it is an old law, blinded by the prejudices of their time. A nip here, a tuck there, and the law will function so much better. But the Constitution doesn't establish the judiciary as the copy editors of the legislature. They are supposed to apply the law, not improve it."

Hear, Hear!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

More Horowitz

The call to 'define what kind of country we are' is an ominous agenda for Americans. The Constitution already defines the kind of country we are. That document has served America well for over 200 years. It has made this nation a beacon of freedom for the entire world. America is unique among nations in having been defined in its creation. But redefining America is exactly what the radical left and the Democratic Party have been doing for the last fifty years.

David Horowitz on his turnaround

This is from the book Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America (2018). David Horowitz writes about how the 1974 murder of his friend Betty Van Patter by members of the Black Panther Party gave spurs to his political journey from Left to Right:

"Betty's murder confronted me with a brutal reality: injustice is not caused by an abstraction called 'society,' as we on the left had maintained. Nor was injustice caused by oppressive races and genders, or solely by our political enemies. Injustice is the result of human selfishness, deceitfulness, malice, envy, greed, and lust. Injustice is the inevitable consequence of our free will as human beings. 'Society' is not the cause of injustice. Society is merely a reflection of who we are.

"The politically correct, who think it is their mission to save the world, cannot fix the problems that afflict us, because the problems are our creations. Theirs and ours. Because the self-appointed social redeemers seek too much power, and do not understand the source of evil and injustice, they will only make the problems worse-- as the romance with Communism has shown."