Downtown Los Angeles, circa 1983

Downtown Los Angeles, circa 1983
STMcC in downtown Los Angeles, circa 1983

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME . . .

.
.
THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO AMERICAN HISTORY
by Thomas Woods, Ph.D.
published: 2004
.
. . . REALITY TV PROGRAMMING 24/7!" This would seem to be contemporary America's answer to Patrick Henry's famous rallying cry. I am under no delusion that America will ever recover from Her present condition: the dogs of Socialism have "marked" all of the territory well and their program of indoctrination has been too thorough and far-reaching -- polluting minds in every public sector -- to be turned back now. It comes as no surprise to me and others who understand how the Socialists operate, that so many reviewers have condemned this book (with many obviously not having read it).

.
In his excellent book, DEDICATION AND LEADERSHIP, former communist publisher Douglas Hyde reveals the organized, systematic attack that Socialists mass against anything detrimental to their cause. And John Stormer in his essential tome, NONE DARE CALL IT TREASON: 25 YEARS LATER, relates how these same lovely folks infiltrate book review panels in order to influence the public reception or rejection of certain publications. A quick glance through the reviews on the product page at Amazon.com testifies to their handiwork.
.
Obviously, however, I'm not implying that every negative review that appears there originates with a card-carrying communist. Clearly some of these people simply wouldn't recognize the truth even if it used their head for a bulletin board!
.
Anybody who denounces this book as being Republican apologetics has either never read it (just following The Daily Worker's marching orders), or else they have no more comprehension of the English language than does the "undocumented" immigrant living next door to you!

.
THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO AMERICAN HISTORY is an effective general overview that illustrates the orignial concept behind our CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC and the abuses and usurpations that both Democrat AND Republican administrations have committed against "The Supreme Law Of The Land" (the U.S. Constitution) in reconfiguring America into EXACTLY the sort of country that the Revolutionaries, the first American patriots, fought to divorce themselves from. (F.Y.I., George W. Bush is also no friend to the Constitution that he has sworn to uphold and protect!)
.
I wish this book had been available when I first took it upon myself to learn about my country. It was a circuitous route of intense study that eventually led me to many of the same conclusions represented in this excellent book. While my acquaintance with Indian Affairs and Antitrust issues were minimal, I can confirm the great accuracy of Thomas Woods' book in the areas in which I have considerable knowledge.
.
The writing of Woods is so clear and the book is so reader-friendly formatted that his erudition could be easily understood by most any high school student. This will be particularly appreciated by readers who previously believed that the U.S. Constitution was a document not apprehended by the common mind. THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO AMERICAN HISTORY would still be worth acquiring if all you sought was a basic knowledge of Constitutional principles. Do you want an idea of how far the U.S. has strayed from Constitutional limitations and into totalitarian government? Consider this passage from page 26:
.
"For Thomas Jefferson [the 10th Amendement] was the cornerstone of the entire Constitution... Thomas Jefferson determined the constitutionality of proposed legislation on this basis: If he did not find the power spelled out in Article 1, Section 8, then it remained reserved to the states. It would be un-Constitutional for the federal government to exercise the proposed power. If the Tenth Amendment were still taken seriously, most of the federal government's present activities would not exist. That's why no one in Washington ever mentions it."
.

THOMAS WOODS, JR., holds a bachelor's degree in history from Harvard and a Master's and Ph.D. from Columbia University. He's a contributor to 5 encyclopedias and dozens of scholarly periodicals. CONGRESSMAN RON PAUL (one of only a very few TRUE patriots in Washington) says, "Professor Woods heroically rescues real history from the politically correct memory hole. Every American should read this book."
.
Will Rogers once said that, "The problem in America isn't so much what people don't know; the problem is what people think they know that just ain't so." This book is a welcome corrective, but this is just TRUTH 101 -- the first step to becoming a responsible American citizen. Step Two is to remove all deceiving distractions by killing your Boob Tube and Talk Radio (yes, especially the political Talk Radio) and begin reading. See my guide, 'BECOME AN "EDUCATED" AMERICAN PATRIOT' and read the books I've recommended there. Don't join The John Birch Society, but be sure to visit their impressive site at The New American. Also go to Need To Know News, and you'll be well on your way to becoming another Patrick Henry.
.
At this time, approaching from opposite directions are two trains: the Liberty Train and the Tyranny Train. They will each be pulling into their respective stations before long. My friend, at which depot will you be found waiting?
.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

DARWINISM STILL HASN’T DEVELOPED A LEG TO STAND ON!

.
.
THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO DARWINISM AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN
by Jonathan Wells, Ph.D.
published: 2006
.
Q: “Is it (primordial) soup yet?”
A: “No, son. And it never will be.”
.
The following Letter To The Editor written by a Mr. Kaiser and published in the May 29th 2004 edition of The Arizona Republic newspaper perfectly sums up the current scientific and political milieu:
.
“I was a science geek growing up. Like my friends, I believed what I was told in school about Evolution. In fact, for most of my life, evolution was a non-issue. Evolution was simply a fact -- a fact that nicely complemented my atheistic lifestyle.
.
“However, all this changed when I accepted a challenge to investigate evidence that was contrary to Evolution. Like you (no doubt), I fully expected to find a set of frivolous, pseudo-scientific arguments from religious zealots. What I found instead shook my worldview to the core.
.
“So why is only one side of this two-sided debate presented in our public schools? Is it, as we’re so often told, because religion has no place in the science classroom? No. The real reason is fear. Fear that if both sides of the debate are equally and fairly presented to our students, Evolution would lose -- hands down. Now that would be geeky.”
.
Like the other P.I.G.s that I have read, I found “THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO DARWINISM AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN” to be well written and organized. I had already studied this subject sufficiently that my eyes (irreducibly complex organs that they are) were not newly opened, but the confidence in my intellectual position and the rightness of my stance was further strengthened.
.
I wholeheartedly recommend this P.I.G. to anyone who’s asking the questions, “Where did I come from?” and “Am I my monkey’s keeper?” While the book makes plain the controversy between Darwinism and Intelligent Design, and explains the arguments and counterarguments, their strengths and weaknesses, it was the heightened political situation that has arisen in recent years that was a little bit new to me. I was aware that there was a big feud that’s been brewing, but the volatile attitude that Darwinists now exhibit toward any scientist who even mentions the words “Intelligent Design” under his or her breath has developed into a white-hot intensity. (Well, at least Darwinists can now point to SOMETHING that has incontrovertibly “developed” in the name of Darwinism.) It’s really heated up in the nation’s science labs, and some of those Darwinists are now really hot under the collar. This is due, no doubt, to that other scientifically established fact: Global Warming. (Ha!-Ha!-Ha! Sorry. Sometimes I just crack me up.)
.
Yes, lots of facts and myths are explored and exploded in THE P.I.G. TO DARWINISM AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN. You really should read it. Although this P.I.G. is more up-to-date and explores the current bitter political situation that this debate has engendered, I believe my favorite book of this type remains the 1999 publication, TORNADO IN A JUNKYARD by James Perloff, as it is leavened with a trace more humor. But while there is obviously some overlap, I’d also say that one of these books should not be read in exclusion to the other, as they both explore some aspects of this debate which are unique unto themselves.
.
According to THE P.I.G. TO DARWINISM AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN, the Darwinian dogmatist, Biology professor Paul Z. Myers of the University of Minnesota, posted the following on his blog: “The only appropriate response should involve some form of righteous fury, much butt-kicking, and the public firing of some teachers, many schoolboard members, and vast numbers of sleazy far-right politicians ... It’s time for scientists to break out the steel-toed boots and brass knuckles, and get out there and hammer on the lunatics and idiots.”
.
Hey, professor Myers! While I’m not and never will be a politician (thank you very much!), I’m definitely a “sleazy far-right lunatic”. So, why don’t you show them scientists how it’s done, professor? Why don’t you fold up your eyeglasses, cover your microscope, secure your pocket protector, and drag your (brass) knuckles out here to the desert and start with me? (Sheesh! Myers himself might actually be the best argument AGAINST “Intelligent” Design that I’ve ever encountered!)
.
"CAN WE ALL GET ALONG?”
~ Dr. Rodney King
.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
.

Friday, May 12, 2017

THEY BLINDED US WITH SCIENCE!

.
.
THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO SCIENCE
by Tom Bethell
copyright: 2005
.
In 1983, One-Hit Wonder Thomas Dolby saw his one hit, “She Blinded Me With Science”, go to #5 on the Billboard charts. Of course, Dolby’s song had something a bit different in mind, but in fact, one surely can be blinded by science. And most Americans have been! Actually, ol’ Bob Dylan got it right, too, in his song, “Do Right To Me Baby (Do Unto Others)”, when he sings, “Don’t put my faith in nobody, not even a scientist.” (Dolby 'n' Dylan, two great names that go great together.)
.
I gotta say, these Politically Incorrect Guides (PIGs) to various controversial subjects that the Regnery Company has been publishing in recent years for the common man and woman are the dog’s bark. (That’s even better'n the cat’s meow!) They cut through all the politically correct liberal crapola and deliver the goods in a very accessible format that even a high school student brainwashed by the federal education system could understand. 

.
Man, I wish these were available when I was in school! They would have saved me many years in the process of deprogramming myself. As it is, I had to slog through a lengthy and tortuous self-initiated period of discovery -- entailing mucho book larnin’ -- before I was able to fully understand and appreciate just how badly I had been deLIBerately deceived by the socialists who rule every thread of our socioeconomic fabric. If these PIGs had been published thirty years ago, I never would have been suckled on swines’ slops, and I would have become a NEO of the political matrix while still a teenager.
.
THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE TO SCIENCE by Tom Bethell is the third PIG book I acquired (having been previously impressed by the PIGs to American History and Feminism), and this one, like its predecessors, contains eye-opening and mind-piercing illuminations that will awaken its readers like a golden beam of sunlight shining through a hole in the dark curtains of Liberalism and bathing the sleep-sewn eyelids with the cold, hard facts of warm truth. If I had kids in school, you can be certain that they would have PIGs in their bookcase!
.
Is it only coincidental that all of the misinformation spoon-fed to children in the public education system and media-fed to their parents, almost without exception, leads to a degraded perspective of God’s Handiwork, and of the Constitutional Republic conceived and constructed by this country’s Founding Dads? Yet conversely it leads to a celebration of, and a shove toward, Secular Humanism and Marx’s Socialism. Do you think that maybe -- just maybe -- full-blooded Communists have infiltrated the highest positions in American politics, American media, American education, American economics, and American science, and have been promoting their kindred fools from within the ranks decade after decade? No? Not possible? Someone give that man strong, black coffee... intravenously!
.
The PIG To Science does not make the accusation that I just did, but in a few places it does point out how science has been largely hijacked by political forces, and those forces often seem to have a liberal political and social agenda. For instance, regarding the concept of Global Warming, Bethell observes in the Introduction that “some of the alarmists have a political agenda -- to restrain U.S. economic growth, for example.”
.
I know from my own studies (I read books because TV is for maroons) that a good deal of the information contained in the PIG To Science can be found between other covers, but this book brings all of the most pertinent facts together into one book of over 250 pages of easily assimilated text, plus footnotes for further study and an index for future referencing. And even with as much reading as I do, I learned plenty o’ stuffs from this PIG. Here is the lowdown on facts that the media somehow forgot to mention (year after year after year after year) about nuclear energy, DDT, biodiversity and endangered species, AIDS, cloning, stem cell and cancer research, the religion vs. science myth, Evolution, and Global Warming. (OK, maybe Al Gore didn’t really invent the internet, but he does deserve to be acknowledged for helping to “invent” Global Warming! Every stooge has his day.)
.
There’s just no excuse for us to be running around with misinformation and disinformation clogging our little American pea brains anymore; the truth IS available. (And after you’ve read the PIG To Science and are satisfied that I did not mislead you, take my equally enthusiastic recommendation to heart and read WORLD WITHOUT CANCER by G. Edward Griffin, and TORNADO IN A JUNKYARD by James Perloff.) Just think, my fellow thinker, you are only one book away from being able to assertively tell the next liberal charlatan scientist you meet to “shove your Global Warming in your Bunsen burner and smoke it!”
.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

THE WORLD BEGAN ON AUGUST 14, 1953...

.
.
WIFFLE BALLS
inventor: David N. Mullany
1953

.

"Of course I got a bat! What, do you think I'm a fag?"
~ Johnny Crowder
'The Lord Of War And Thunder'
.
The world began on August 14, 1953 . . .  that's the day that the first WIFFLE BALLS (invented a year earlier) went on sale in this baseball-crazy country. Mr. David Mullany created the first Wiffle Ball in Fairfield, Connecticut, after seeing his 12-year-old son struggling to throw a curveball. Mr. Mullany (to whom we bow down and show obeisance) cut eight oblong slots into plastic orbs that were used to package cosmetics and the Wiffle Ball, an American institution, was born.
.

.
Oh, Wiffle Ball, Wiffle Ball, it nearly compels me to wax poetic. I'm now 46 years old, but the love that I have for the game of Wiffle Ball will possess my heart long after my body has any capability to throw a breaking pitch!

.
My Brother and I were born to a beautiful, baseball-loving woman. Shirley grew up following the Cincinnati Reds, and as a child she acquired a nickname based on a long-forgotten Big League pitcher. As an adult, she worked for the Los Angeles DOdGers and the Los Angeles Angels (that was before they became the California Angels, and then the Anaheim Angels, and then the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and then the Chicago White Sox Victims). She instilled in her two boys and one daughter a love for America's pastime. (In fact, my sister was the first girl we ever heard of to play on a boys' Little League team.)
.
But when we weren't on a baseball diamond with 7 other guys, and when we couldn't scrounge up 2 other guys to play a game of "Over-The-Line" at the park, my Brother, Napoleon, and I were battling it out in a game of Wiffle Ball in the yard.

.
We had some outrageously competitive games in our "Glory Days." We perfected the art of pitching a Wiffle Ball and baffled many a batter who tried to hit us. I remember 1990 and a young, athletic college student who, claiming to have played Wiffle Ball throughout his childhood, challenged this old geezer on the UCLA field behind the John Wooden Center. Well, my screwball was only breaking about 10 feet that day, and after taking it for strike three about a dozen times, he just shook his head, and I concluded that whatever game he was playing as a child, it WASN'T what my Brother and I called, "WIFFLE BALL."
.
If you have never owned a Wiffle Ball, you've never really been alive, my dear friend! Although they do tend to crack between the oblong cutouts after some time (especially if you hang too many curveballs for my Brother who swings with great authority), they will last for countless hours of baseballesque bliss and excellent exercise! They can be used anywhere outdoors because the Wiffle Ball weighs only two-thirds of an ounce, and if Nappy never knocked one through a window, neither will you!
.
And although the Wiffle Ball is light, it does not follow that it should be taken lightly. After San Francisco Giant (man, do I hate the Giants!), Kevin Mitchell, won the 1989 National League MVP award, he publicly stated that he had really learned to hit the curveball by playing a lot of Wiffle Ball the previous off-season. One of the greatest hitters of all-time, San Diego's Tony Gwynn, used to hit Wiffle Balls off of a batting tee because he could tell from the spin where he had struck the ball. Play with a Wiffle Ball and you're in Big League company!
.
And SURPRISE! Wiffle Balls are still made in the U.S.A. The day production moves to Communist China, I'll jump. Twelve Wiffle Balls are currently going for $14.95, that's only $1.25 per ball. Do you have any idea how much fun you can have with a Wiffle Ball? Well, take my word for it, you'll get more than a dollar and twenty-five cents worth!
.
Now all you need to do is get the regulation, Old School, plastic yellow ("banana") bat. Of course, if you really want to splurge you can purchase the newly invented aluminum Wiffle Ball bat. Funny story: My dear ol' Ma bought an aluminum Wiffle Ball bat as a gift for my Brother on his birthday. But she wasn't sure what size to get, so she called the company. "How old is your son?" the representative asked. When she said, "Forty-one", he laughed loud and said, "I think you'll want to go with the heaviest model."

.
.
One of the great disappointments in my life (SERIOUSLY!) is that they didn't think to organize Wiffle Ball competitions until Nappy and I were in our 40's. We scouted out the competition at the "Wiffle Ball World Series" here in Phoenix a few years ago. (Players fly in from all over the country!) We figured that even at our advanced age and with my arthritis, we could still give those young studs all they bargained for and more, if we polished our long-neglected technique over the next year. Alas, it never happened, what with work and life and all the other crap that gets in the way of Wiffle Ball play.
.
But that doesn't mean YOU can't fly into Phoenix next year and win the title! Get to it, man! Get yourself a dozen Wiffle Balls, a "banana" bat and start practicing. Hint: The ball breaks in the direction of the solid half. Want to throw a 'Drop'? Make sure the solid section is on the bottom at your release point. Then get inventive -- there are innumerable variations on that theme! You can thank me for the hint when you see me. You'll recognize me because I'm always the guy who picks up the suitcase that comes around on the airport luggage carrousel with a plastic yellow bat strapped across the top of it!
.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

MORE “DIAMONDS” THAN “RHINESTONES”, COWBOY

.
.
THE GLEN CAMBELL COLLECTION (1962 - 1989)
Glen Campbell
released: 1997
.
Glen Campbell, although he was a major music star for an entire decade (late 1960s through late 1970s), is now more like a punchline of a joke. The joke? I dunno. How ’bout: Is it music yet? No, it’s Campbell’s. (If you don’t remember the old Lipton soup commercial, you won’t get it.)
.
A lot of people came to think of Glen as being too hokey, a kind of Wonder bread, pseudo-Country boy pandering to a mainstream music audience. But give an honest listen to THE GLEN CAMPBELL COLLECTION (1962-1989) and you’ll find that, like Dwight Yoakam, Glen’s no jokeum. (Nah, don’t blame me for THAT bad joke. I knew someone who knew someone who said he took a college class with Dwight -- before he was a big star, naturally -– and the teacher used to say in class, “Dwight Yoakam, he’s no jokeum.” Well, Dwight’s bank account ain’t no jokeum either, that’s for sure.)
.
With the exception of two songs, every cut on this 40-track collection climbed into the Top 40 of either the Country or Pop music charts, with some appearing on both simultaneously. And some of them really carry me back to my youth, before I was wrecked by women, whiskey, ’n’ Wock ’N’ Woll (i.e., a time when “pleasure” wasn’t synonymous with “emotional and physical pain.” But, man, I miss those times!)
.
I actually met Glen once, about 1979. A friend who used to baby-sit his kid took me back to his dressing room after we saw him perform at The Riviera Hotel in “Vegas, Baaabeee!”. And Glen seemed really... uhm... well... sweaty.
.
I was playing THE GLEN CAMPBELL COLLECTION (1962-1989) in my car some years back, and my Ma (may she rest in Peace) said, “That’s Glen Campbell?! I never realized before what a good voice he had.” If my Ma liked it, that should tell you something. (Well, it tells you that she liked it, at the very least!)
.
Some of these songs are beautiful lilting little numbers with an understated but powerful sentimentality. Such as GENTLE ON MY MIND (a gorgeous song!), WICHITA LINEMAN (reminds me of my Pa), and TRUE GRIT (the theme from the great John Wayne Western). Others wear their emotion right on their sleeves: WHERE’S THE PLAYGROUND SUSIE? (wasn’t he a bit old to be asking?), DREAMS OF THE EVERYDAY HOUSEWIFE (sad but I enjoy it), and BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX (by the time YOU get to Phoenix, I hope to be long gone. I hate it here!)
.
But surprisingly, Ol’ Glen really gets across the Joy of Salvation in a couple of upbeat Gospel songs: OH HAPPY DAY (which seriously rivals composer Edwin Hawkins’ version!) and the humorously clever Anti-Hippie statement, I KNEW JESUS (BEFORE HE WAS A STAR). Glen (who you’ll recall once spent a little time playing with... er, I mean “for”... The Beach Boys) was a musical chameleon. He proves in KENTUCKY MEANS PARADISE that he was no slouch when it came to the real down-home Country stuffs, and his WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE displays why he was once such a very sought-after studio musician (a member of The Wrecking Crew): he goes lickety-split over that fretboard.
.
And in Glen’s tear-jerking ode to Mother, THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, Ted Harris penned one of my all-time favorite song lyrics. I call it “The Ultimate Anti-Feminism Anthem”. (According to the National Organization for Women, I’m marked for Hell ’n’ ready!)...
.
He got here red and wrinkled, scared and cryin'
Then she took him up and held him to her breast
And he sure was glad to get what mama offered
Then he went to sleep and put his fears to rest

.
It didn't seem to matter what he needed
He could always count on mama to supply
And regardless of the sleep she might be losin'
He always found a twinkle in her eye

.
There ought to be a hall of fame for mamas
Creation's most unique and precious pearls
And Heaven help us always to remember
That the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world

.
She taught him all the attributes of greatness
That she knew he couldn't learn away from home
And by the time she wore the cover off her Bible
Her hair was gray and her little man was gone

.
There ought to be a hall of fame for mamas
Creation's most unique and precious pearls
And Heaven help us always to remember
That the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world

.
At the risk of sounding like some sentimental fool (which I am), I just wanna say that I adore those words -- they create a lump in my throat and make my eyes moist. There’s no mention in there of Mama chasing my teenaged brother Napoleon through the house and how God performed a miracle to save him from being beaten to death by his own Mama and with his own walking crutch... but it’s just as well. Besides, Nappy brought it upon himself (like he always did).
.
I can recall that my Pa used to like Glen’s SOUTHERN NIGHTS (a bouncy tune if there ever was one), and after he passed away, the song THEN YOU CAN TELL ME GOODBYE reminded my Ma of my Pa and it always made her cry. So diggin’ and cryin’ to Glen Campbell is just a McCarthy Family tradition.
.
There are a few tracks on these discs that are more RHINESTONE than DIAMOND, but overall, THE GLEN CAMPBELL COLLECTION (1962-1989) is a REAL GEM.
.
Yoey O’Dogherty, that funky editor of Morocco’s cowboy music magazine 'SADDLEBAGS ’N’ SIX-STRINGS', once said to no one in particular, “Play that Country music, White Boy”. Well, Glen Campbell plays it, and he plays it quite well for a guy not named Waylon Jennings.
.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
.

Monday, May 1, 2017

PURE AMERICANA! (Well, Sort Of)

.
.
THE BILLBOARD BOOK OF TOP 40 HITS
edited by Joel Whitburn
published: 1996
.
What is America? How does one go about comprehending the "American Ideal"? Where would you send a foreigner who sought to gain a tangible understanding of the most influential and powerful nation on Earth over the course of these last two hundred and thirty years? Me, I'd send him to three written sources:

.
The Declaration Of Independence; The U.S. Constitution; and THE BILLBOARD BOOK OF TOP 40 HITS. The first one explains the premise upon which this country was founded. The second illustrates the dynamic system under which it was organized. The third recounts the progression (or regression) that the country experienced under the world's longest-running Republican form of government.
.
OK, OK! Maybe I have overestimated the social importance of this tome, but why not aim as high as we can and see if we can't make some of it stick? (Besides, some suckers will fall for ANYTHING!) Truth is, I almost feel a little embarrassed writing a review for a book like this, but then -- to borrow a line from those old geezers who really do seem to "gather no moss" -- I know it's only Rock 'N' Roll, but I like it! 

.
Of course, it's not really ONLY Rock 'N' Roll. American Pop music encompasses a wide range of musical styles: There's FOLK ('The City Of New Orleans' by Arlo Guthrie. #18 in '72); COUNTRY ('Good Hearted Woman' by Waylon and Willie. #25 in '76); BLUES ('The Thrill Is Gone' by B.B. King. #15 in '70); JAZZ ('Take Five' by Dave Brubeck. #25 in '61); SOUL ('I'll Be Doggone' by Marvin Gaye. #8 in '65); DISCO ('Hot Stuff' by Donna Summer. #1 in '79); and RAP...Oh, never mind. Don't get me started! And of course, it's not really ONLY American either. Afterall, those four blokes from Liverpool were from... well... Liverpool.
.
THE BILLBOARD BOOK OF TOP 40 HITS is one of those mysterious, time-sucking publications. You pull it off the shelf to look up one little item and the next thing you know, you realize that you've floated from ABBA to ZAPPA and 40 minutes have passed!
.
The book has been beautifully organized by the premier music charting-impresario, JOEL WHITBURN. The broadcaster Bruce Morrow's blurb on my back cover says, "Joel Whitburn's books are as much a part of my radio stations as my transmitters. Any time I buy or build a radio station, the first two pieces of equipment I purchase are Joel's book and my Billboard subscription." If you're waiting for a BETTER recommendation, our Republic will be defunct by the time it arrives! I own the 6th Edition (1955-1995), but since my real interest in American Pop music extended only as far as about 1984, this earlier edition suits me fine.
.
Although, naturally, the book provides information on all of the music that cracked the Top 40 -- its date, highest postion reached, and the amount of weeks it retained its Top 40 status -- I find the charts toward the back perhaps the book's most interesting feature. Whitburn has concocted a point system formula utilizing info on chart position and weeks charted from which he determines the top songs and artists. He then presents these outcomes to us by decade and overall career position. While each reader might want to tweak the system by making an adjustment here or there according to how he or she prioritizes, I can't imagine that the results would be markedly different. These charts illustrate some surprising findings. For instance...
.
Did you know that BOYZ II MEN (whoever they are. I'm 46!) are responsible for 3 of the Top 10 singles of ALL-TIME?
.
Did you know that despite the overwhelming perception of their One-hit Wonder status, TONY ORLANDO AND DAWN actually rank as the 16th most popular artist of the 1970s?
.
Because of their "un-cool" persona, it was rare to find a teenager in the mid-'70s willing to publicly confess to being a CARPENTERS fan. And yet, the Pop duo was the 4th most popular music-maker of that decade. They sure sold a lot of records for a group that no one admitted to liking!
.

Here's the fact that REALLY surprised me: Having been a teenager in the 1970s, I can attest that by then the consensus was that ELVIS PRESLEY was a has-been. Led Zeppelin ruled our world, and 'Stairway To Heaven' was the teen national anthem. I don't think most of us even knew that Elvis was still alive. He seemed as far removed from the contemporary American scene as Washington and Jefferson did. And yet, I learn from Whitburn that "The King" was the 11th most popular artist of the decade! I LIVED through it, and that STILL astounds me!
.
And by the way, the next time you hear someone refer to ELVIS as "THE KING OF ROCK 'N' ROLL", don't make the mistake of thinking that's a contestable opinion. According to Whitburn's calculations, Elvis scores 8,002 total lifetime points. The "Fab Four" come in a DISTANT second with 4,549; followed by Elton John and Stevie Wonder with 4,103 and 3,685 respectively. I was never a big fan of his, but I'll concede that Elvis is still "The King".
.
Yeah, you probably should acquire a copy of THE BILLBOARD BOOK OF TOP 40 HITS. Without it, how would you ever know that...
.
* One month after the plane crash that killed BUDDY HOLLY, he collected his last Top 40 hit, appropriately titled, 'It Doesn't Matter Anymore'.

 .
* STEVIE WONDER (real name: Steveland Morris) had just turned 13 years old when he scored his first #1 hit song.
.
* On the day that the United States Of America celebrated its Bicentennial, the song at the apex of the Pop music chart was "LOVE HANGOVER" by DIANA ROSS. Which begs this question: Were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and George Mason tapping their toes in their pine boxes, or were they turning over in their graves?
. 

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

ODE TO MAN'S BEST FRIEND

.
.
I AM PUPPY, HEAR ME YAP
by Valerie Shaff & Roy Blount, Jr.
published: 2000
.
You can keep your new, gold Lexus;
Fancy cars just ain't my cup of tea.
Don't care about computer games;
These things don't appeal at all to me.


Some folks need the latest gadgets,
And have their homes filled with high-tech toys:
iPods and digital cameras,
Whatever makes electronic noise.


Now they've even got a cell phone
They can use to take a photograph,
But "He kept up with the Joneses"
Won't be written as my epitaph.


Because I know that Palm Pilots,
And expensive name brand tennis shoes,
Silk shirts and laptop computers,
Will never save a man from The Blues.


If happiness is what you seek,
It's really a simple equation:
Jettison computerized junk;
Get a Lab, Shepherd, or Dalmatian!


While some people dabble in fish,
Others try turtles, hamsters or mice.
Trust me and go with the canine --
You'll find yourself in Pet Paradise!


The Woman weeps watching Chick Flicks,
While late at night she cuddles her cat.
Reaching for tissues and chocolate,
She winds up dehydrated and fat.


But Men have the best idea
For getting their emotions to mend:
In the yard they'll romp 'n' rassle,
And play some Fetch with a "Man's Best Friend."


But suppose your yard is too small,
And constant barking makes your head ache.
I know how you can have your dog
Without yapping that keeps you awake.


Buy 'I AM PUPPY, HEAR ME YAP'
For you are bound to smile and to laugh.
The witty verse is by Roy Blount,
The great photos by Valerie Shaff.


All types of dogs will be found here;
Some noble, some filthy, some cleaner;
"The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly"
And one even looks like a wiener!


I've been so grateful for this book,
It makes owning a dog such a breeze!
There's no feeding and no walking,
And I don't miss a house full of fleas.


Happily there are no drawbacks,
But there's one thing the book can't replace:
When I have come home after work,
This publication can't lick my face.


Still, choosing it over a dog --
The decision for me wasn't hard.
I enjoy canine company
Without stepping in poop in my yard.

.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

DON’T BOGART THAT VERY “GUILTY PLEASURE”, DUDE (*A Haiku Review)

.


.
THE SPIRIT OF '76
starring David Cassidy
released: 1990

.
Loud clothes! Fords explode!
Seventies: silly, zitful.
STILL want Susan Dey!

.
haiku review by...
D-FensDogG
.

50/50, LIKE FINDING “NUTS” IN MY ICE CREAM (*A Haiku Review)

.

.
RULE BY SECRECY
by Jim Marrs
published: 2000

.
Smorgasbord of facts,
Myths, guesswork. Who rules this world?
No -- Shhhhh! -- it’s secret.

.
haiku review by... 
D-FensDogG
.

SIZE 18 FROM OUTER SPACE (*A Haiku Review)

.

.
GLEN OR GLENDA
directed by Ed Wood; starring Ed Wood
released: 1953

.
Ed’s pink angora
IN GLORIOUS BLACK AND WHITE.
“Oooh, that’s scary, kids!”

.
haiku review by...
 
D-FensDogG
.