Downtown Los Angeles, circa 1983

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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

EVERY COWBOY NEEDS A HORSE!

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GOOD VIBRATIONS Bicycle (Cruiser Model)
by Huffy
purchased: circa 1984
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Where would Roy Rogers have been without Trigger? Where would The Lone Ranger have been without Silver? And Pecos Bill without Widowmaker, or Doc Holliday without Big Nose Kate? The indisputable fact is that every cowboy needs a horse to ride. And what with the price of gasoline and oats these days, is it any surprise that many of us urban cowboys have shifted to the two-wheeled variety of equine transportation?
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The other day –- just on a whim -- I did an Amazon.com search to see if anything would come up when I entered in the name and style of my deeply beloved bicycle, THE HUFFY “GOOD VIBRATIONS” model cruiser. How exuberantly surprised I was to find myself staring at a photograph of my lovely, faithful “steed.” It’s still being made. Hooray! “Classic” cruisers are still in and I’m still astride mine (even if the “fenders” are long gone).
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Let me tell you about my bike: I bought my Huffy “GOOD VIBRATIONS” cruiser at Pep Boys in downtown Santa Monica, California, circa 1984. (It looks identical to the one pictured above.) I’ve probably logged over 144,000 miles on mine. I used to pedal it every day before work on the beach bike path for exercise and for just the pure joy of it. My favorite ride took me from underneath the Santa Monica Pier, through the human carnival of Venice Beach, around the boat slips of Marina Del Rey, and along the sand through El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, to the outskirts of Torrance, and then back again. Or to put it more succinctly: My favorite ride was Heaven on Earth!
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And note: With the barest minimum of maintenance, I’m still riding on “GOOD VIBRATIONS”. Yeah, uh-huh, that’s right. About 33 years after buying my bike (for approx. the same price it’s being offered for today) it and I are still the best of friends. I’m still planting my “cushions” on its seat and still pedaling along the canals, to the horse track, or to the grocery store, or to work. Now, how many years have you been driving your car? Think you’ll get 33 years out of it? Will you get 33 years out of your job? How ‘bout your marriage? Yeah, what I’m saying is that “GOOD VIBRATIONS” last and last...
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But I had a real scare recently: The bearings in the doohickey that connects to the thingamajig had gotten wrecked and the handlebars were loose in the whatchamacallit. (I rode it that way for over a year anyway.) Finally I took it in to a bike shop and “Homeboy” tells me to throw my best friend into a dumpster. “Homeboy” says it can’t be repaired. According to “Homeboy” the bike was basically junk when brand new and that the fork could break on me at any moment and put me in the hospital. Feeling certain that GOOD VIBRATIONS” could never hurt me, I put my buddy in the bed of my truck and drove it from Phoenix, Airheadzona, to Santa Monica, California, for one last beach bike path ride. I figured that if it broke on me along the way, I’d just leave it on the beach to R.I.P. (Rust In Pieces).
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Well, we made it from the Santa Monica Pier to Torrance and back, just like the good ol’ days! The other riders could hear us comin’ up on ‘em because “GOOD VIBRATIONS” was loudly going “SQUEEEK – KREEEK – RATTLE – GROAN! SQUEEEK – KREEEK – RATTLE – GROAN!” Other bikers probably thought he was crying in pain, but I recognized those sounds for what they really were: SINGING!  JOYFUL SINGING!
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Back home, Good Friend Melanie suggested that I take “GOOD VIBRATIONS” to see the nice, old gentleman who owns ROADRUNNER BIKE CENTER in Glendale, AZ. Two weeks later and only $34.59 lighter, “GOOD VIBRATIONS” is as good as new and ready to hit the canals again as soon as the weather cools down! (Why that dirty dog at the first bike shop! I think “Homeboy” just wanted to sell me some newfangled, multi-geared “horse.”)
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Only one thing concerns me: My bike is clearly labeled “HUFFY -- MADE IN U.S.A.” But nowhere on the Amazon.com Product Page do I see the country of origin mentioned. Are “GOOD VIBRATIONS” still made here, or are they now produced in China? I urge you to investigate before buying because “GOOD AMERICANS” don’t financially support Coummunist countries that utilize slave labor, threaten their neighbors, imprison the religious, and force abortions on their women, right? Right?
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Sometimes only poetry can express a cowboy’s love for his “horse.”
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O my Bike, O my Horse

We’ve ridden thirty-three years
You have carried me through
Times of joy and times of tears
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We’ve traveled city streets

And journeyed along the strand
I rarely gave you oil
You never bitched ‘bout the sand
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Leaving California
You never said, “This is bad!”
You never once complained
(Though I kinda wish you had)
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You never bucked me off

Never trampled on my hide
Never had a headache
When I said I’d like to ride
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You are my “Black Beauty”
You are truly my best friend
I’ll shout it from rooftops
Though others I might offend
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Because of you alone

I have known excitations
And more than The Beach Boys
You give me Good Vibrations
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I feel so close to you

You are almost like my kin
Throw you in a dumpster?
No, I’ll throw that “Homeboy” in!
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(Link:] A Cowboy Needs A Horse
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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Friday, July 21, 2017

“JOURNALISM’S AYATOLLAHS OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.” [Page 102]

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BIAS:
A CBS Insider Exposes How The Media Distort The News
by Bernard Goldberg
published: 2001
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“Before September 11, the media elites, too often, behaved badly. And they will again”, BERNARD GOLDBERG writes on the first page of his important and impressive book, BIAS. “It is, after all, who they are.”
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I must begin by saying how much I respect and admire the courageous Mr. Goldberg. This is a self-professed “liberal”, a man who acknowledges that he had never voted for a Republican candidate for president in his entire life! And yet, he put his liberal ass on the line when he publicly confessed and complained about liberal bias in the news media. Not the liberal values mind you -- those he mostly endorsed -- but the bias, the way the media distorts the truth to manipulate the perceptions of the (easily manipulated) masses.
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Writing BIAS was not an act of courage, as that came after Goldberg’s retirement from CBS, when he could not be hurt by the revelation, and could only benefit from the book sales. No, his great act of bravery and neck-outta-the-turtle-shell honesty came in the form of a 1996 Wall Street Journal op-ed piece in which he criticized his industry for its underhanded practices while he was still dependent upon that industry for a paycheck. Goldberg is the proverbial dog who bites the hand that feeds it. And in short order, he was treated like a cur, given a one-way ticket to Pariahville. But he expected as much and did it anyway because he believes in fair play. Though politically, Goldberg and I have next to nothing in common, if I ever met him at Jolly Jacks, I’d buy the man a “Kocktale”. He’s a rare breed in today’s world of politics.
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The two factors that make this book a watershed publication on this subject are 1) that the exposure of the media’s Leftist slant (yeah, a “slant” like a “lien” on the truth) comes not from a protesting Conservative, but a dyed-in-the-wool lib, and 2) the slant is not just admitted but illustrated -- illustrated with unimpeachable examples and research into how, and how many times, certain socially important stories were framed and deliberately hung crookedly in the media museum for all the world to see. (You know, like this... ;-) See the Left-leaning reporter wink? That wascally weporter winks ‘cawse he pulls the wiberal wool over yer TV-satuwated eyebawls.)
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But what I liked was the book’s tone -- it’s both humorous and hard-hitting. Goldberg pulls no punches on his old cronies. Consider these examples:
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* “If arrogance were a crime, there wouldn’t be enough jail cells in the entire United States to hold all the people in TV news.” [Pg. 186]
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* “They love diversity in the newsroom. That’s what they say, anyway. They love diversity of color, diversity of gender, diversity of sexual orientation. But God forbid someone in their diverse newsroom has a diverse view about how the news ought to be presented. When that happens, these champions of diversity quake in their boots and practically make in their pants.” [Pg. 32]
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* “I know that homelessness ceased to exist because I watch television news. If homeless people still existed, Dan and Tom and Peter would have them all over the news ... I could be wrong, but I think homelessness ended the day Bill Clinton was sworn in as president. Which is one of those incredible coincidences, since it pretty much began the day Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president. What are the odds?” [Pg. 71]
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In blowing the whistle on the Liberal bias of both print and broadcast news sources, Goldberg tells us that “everybody to the right of Lenin is a ‘right-winger’, as far as the media elites are concerned. [Pg. 13] ... liberals have an uneasy feeling about tax cuts in general and are downright hostile to the kinds of cuts that benefit the wealthy in particular, even if they also help a lot of other Americans ... [liberal opposition to the flat tax] was visceral, from the same dark region that produces envy and the seemingly unquenchable liberal need to wage class warfare.” [Pg. 19]

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Do you realize what Goldberg just called liberals (whether he really meant to or not)? Well, if you’re not educated enough to figure it out, I’m not going to spell it out for you. Like hell I’m not! C-O-M-M-U-N-I-S-T-S. There! It’s out! Now maybe we can make some real progress in this political debate between Liberalism and Conservatism, America.
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The only aspect of Golberg’s BIAS that I must take issue with is his insistence that “there isn’t a well-orchestrated, vast left-wing conspiracy in America’s newsrooms.” He writes, “It is not some sinister plot, but about how mostly liberal journalists tend to frame stories from a mostly Liberal point of view ... No, we don’t sit around in dark corners and plan strategies on how we’re going to slant the news. We don’t have to. It comes naturally to most reporters.”

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I have no doubt that’s true. But by his own admission, members of the media “vote overwhelmingly Democratic.” [Pg. 118]; “By and large, the media elites, really are liberal. And Democrats, too.” [Pg. 122]; that there is “a disproportionate number of liberals” in the media [Pg.120]; and “in the world of media elites, Democrats outnumber Republicans by twelve to one.” [Pg. 124]
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No “left-wing conspiracy”? Hey, I didn’t just fall off the “potatoe” truck, ya know? (A nod to Dan Quayle there. An aside: You wanna learn how to spell better than a U.S. vice president? Just remember it this way: MR. POTATO HEAD only gets an “e” when he’s hangin’ out with other “potatoes.” Likewise his Marxist/Feminist girlfriend, MS. TOMATO HEAD. She only gets an “e” when she’s hangin’ out with her “Red” comrades, the other “tomatoes.”)
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But look, in a country fairly evenly split between Democrats (Liberals) and Republicans (?), and the success of alternative news sources proving no lack of Republican interest in the media, the huge disparity between the number of Dems and Reps in the mainstream media indicates a “Left-wing conspiracy” in hiring practices. Maybe there’s no collusion in the newsroom, but there would have to be one at the level where employment decisions are being made. How else did the newsrooms become so Liberal, and how did they maintain that Liberal “lien” on the media decade after decade? [See the book (link:] NONE DARE CALL IT TREASON: 25 YEARS LATER by John Stormer.]
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Other than this one disagreement, I found BIAS by Bernard Goldberg to be a solid indictment of the mainstream media’s bias. An exceptional book! Wanna see how this country’s view of things like Homelessness, AIDS, Feminism, and Affirmative Action was shaped by the media? BIAS is your book and Bernard Goldberg is your writer. Despite being a Democrat, his insistence that, at the least, the opposing Conservative viewpoint deserved to be heard, proved to me that he is more “good man” than “bad liberal.” Goldberg is Left but right, and you should buy his book.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

“THERE AIN’T BUT THE ONE THING MAKES MISTER JOHNSON DRINK”

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KING OF THE DELTA BLUES SINGERS, Vol. II
Robert Johnson
released: 1970
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I fell in love with the music of ROBERT JOHNSON in the late 1970s, and played it frequently during the early 1980s while hanging out with THE LEAGUE OF SOUL CRUSADERS in my “Liquidated Youth”. (Some people have a “drinking buddy” but I had a “drinking gang”.)

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I owned both of the 'KING OF THE DELTA BLUES SINGERS' albums, and though Vol. 1 had Robert Johnson's most revered Blues masterpieces, including his great “devil” tunes, I always preferred Vol. 2 because I felt it contained more sonic variety. (Even my Ma loved “They’re Red Hot” because of all the changes in pitch that Johnson’s voice assumes in that cut.) I played the hell out of Robert Johnson in those days, and the other Soul Crusaders became infected with the Blues as a result. (They eventually learned some of the words to “Love In Vain” and we’d sing it while driving to the next watering hole.)
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By now, everyone’s heard that Johnson sold his soul to the devil for his prodigious musical talent. (What’re ya tryin’ to cast doubt on one of the great stories in the history of American music? Why ya blasted commie, I oughta -- a-Woo-Woo-Woo!) And hopefully you know that Led Zeppelin ripped off Johnson (and Wolf and Muddy) shamelessly with their first two albums. (Remember that line from Led Zepp II, where Plant sings, “You can squeeze my lemon ’til the juice runs down my leg”? They stole it directly from R.J. But R.J. wasn’t always so crude with his sexual references; he could also be funny. In “From Four Until Late” he sings, “A woman is like a dresser; some man’s always rambling through its drawers.”)
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I have myriad Robert Johnson/Booze ’N’ Blues memories intertwined throughout my personal history to keep me company in my sober, old age. When we Soul Crusaders were in an energetic drinkin’ mood we’d often play Springsteen’s 'BORN TO RUN', 'MORRISON HOTEL' by The Doors, or 'TOO-RYE-AY' by Dexy’s Midnight Runners. When I was in a more mellow, contemplative mood, I’d drink to Van Morrison’s 'ASTRAL WEEKS', 'PIRATES' by Rickie Lee Jones, or 'SMALL CHANGE' by Tom Waits. (Of course, when we were in a Country-Western frame of mind there was just no substitute for the album 'MY BABY BUSTED MY HEART BUT I’M CRYIN’ ’CAUSE I SLICED AN ONION' by Yoey O’Dogherty And His Corn Liquor Boys.)
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But at 3:30 AM, when all the other Soul Crusaders were passed out, me ’n’ Twinkie would head for his bedroom. I know what you’re thinkin’, and it wasn’t like that at all! Despite his nickname, Twinkie and I were both manly men -- like lumberjacks, OK? And we were just going into his bedroom to listen to Robert Johnson. One night, we experienced a Liquidated Magical Moment: we simultaneously heard an R.J. lick that was literally “IMPOSSIBLE” for a single guitarist to play. Our heads snapped and we looked to each other, both of us slack-jawed. We never could find that exact same spot on the album again when in a sober state, so it was just one more of those mysterious things that happen when Boys ’N’ Booze meet (you rummies know what I’m yakkin’ 'bout).
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Twinkie’s real surname was “Johnson”, and borrowing the lyric from 'Kind Hearted Woman Blues', we used to sing out “Now there ain’t but the one thing makes Mister Johnson drink” every time he was having female troubles. (And he was ALWAYS having female troubles, so he did a lot of drinking. I only drank when I didn’t have a woman to give me trouble, meaning this lonesome boy also did a lot of drinking.) And Robert Johnson even inspired me to write my own Blues song, 'Devil On My Coattail Blues'. I’d sing it for ya, but I like ya too much to do that.
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The best performance of R.J.’s 'Love In Vain' that the Soul Crusaders ever gave was the night an angry Napoleon (aka Nappy), my brother (The League’s 5’ 6" “enforcer”), decided to stumble home from The Music Machine dance club when a smart woman declined his request for a dance. It would have been about a 12-mile walk, so we went looking for him shortly after he stormed out.

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Meanwhile, Napoleon had entered a bar to buy a cigar for the walk home, when some big, fat feller with some artificial hair started some crap with Nappy just because he was only 5’ 6”. Well, Nappy -- never one to take any crap from anyone -- reciprocated with some lip o' his own and then left the bar with his cigar.
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Fat Feller, figuring he would show his bar buddies how tough he was, went out after little Nappy and took a swing at him. (Ooooh, big boo-boo, Fat Feller! Ya just don’t antagonize “Little Mad Guy”.) With freakish quickness, Nappy flicked a left jab to set Fat Feller up, and immediately followed that with the right cross.

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Now ordinarily, Nappy’s right cross is enough to send ANY man to the next lunar cycle, if not to the Moon itself. But in this case, being in the “100-proof condition” that he was, Nappy’s punch merely succeeded in putting Fat Feller’s head into the full speed Linda Blair Exorcist-Spin Cycle. By the time the headlights of our van flashed upon the two combatants squared off with each other in the street, Fat Feller’s head was just coming to a stop, his toupee was lying in the dirt in the next county, and all of the fight had gone out of him. (Who knows where it went -- but it was later reported that something with its tail between its legs was seen yelping Westbound on Pico Boulevard, moving with great haste toward the Pacific Ocean.)
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We hustled Napoleon into the van while apologizing to Fat Feller. (Nappy was involved in this altercation, so naturally we had just “assumed” it was his fault.) But undoubtedly Fat Feller couldn’t hear the apology because of the ringing in his ears. And we drove off singing, “Ooooh-Ooooh, all my love’s in vain!”

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When I converted my Robert Johnson LPs to compact disc, I bought ’The Complete Recordings’ but the thing gave me the blues because I didn’t like the fact that all of the alternate takes were placed back-to-back with their released versions, so that unless I wanted to take time to program the player first, I was hearing many of the songs twice in a row. I later sold that set and acquired 'KING OF THE DELTA BLUES SINGERS Volume 1 and 2' separately, and I’m much happier now.
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Whether you need a soundtrack for drinkin’, fightin’, cryin’, or just general 'carryin' on' -- or need great Blues just for listenin’ to ’cause that’s the kinda guy or gal ya are -- 'KING OF THE DELTA BLUES SINGERS' is the real deal, the genuine article, true Blues for the true you. Buy it today and start creating your own intoxicated Robert Johnson memories!
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But whatever you do, don’t listen to 'KING OF THE DELTA BLUES SINGERS' while in public -- especially while you’re driving -- or you’ll have M.A.R.J. (Mothers Against Robert Johnson) madd at ya, and that’s even more dangerous than having Napoleon madd at ya!
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I'M ALWAYS IN THE (Miller) MOOD!

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GLENN MILLER: THE POPULAR RECORDINGS (1938-1942)
The Glenn Miller Orchestra
released: 1989

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This may be a bit more information than you want, but I first realized that Glenn Miller's MOONLIGHT SERENADE was my all-time favorite piece of music in 1990 while I was on a second floor "lavatory throne" at The Sundowner Hotel & Casino in Reno, Nevada. I was minding my own "business" when the song was piped into the men's room over the casino's sound system. I recognized the beautifully lilting melody as belonging to Glenn Miller, and the bygone Big Band era seemed to beckon me, transporting me back in time. I was almost convinced that when I exited the stall I would find a restroom attendant present, who would offer me a genuine cotton towel and ask if I wanted a shoeshine and a splash of Old Spice before rejoining the suit and fedora-wearing gentlemen and sleek black dress and single strand pearl necklace-wearing ladies in the gambling parlor.
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Instead it was my T-shirt and baseball cap-wearing Pa and Bro I found waiting for me at the slot machine infested snack bar. I hummed the melody and asked my Dad if he knew the title. He was pretty sure that it was MOONLIGHT SERENADE I was trying to imitate. When I got home, I realized that I had recognized the song because it was one that my girlfriend regularly played on the jukebox at our favorite watering hole.

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A week or two later I was in a record store debating whether to buy a single disc Glenn Miller compilation or this 3-disc set. I finally settled on this package, and I have been rewarded generously ever since!
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I can't praise this collection enough. Look at what you get: 60 songs and instrumentals presented primarily in their recorded chronology so you can track the orchestra's progression. It comes with a very nice 36-page booklet that contains 8 historic photos; an exhaustive discography that catalogs every track -- its recording date, full personnel and master number, and extensive, insightful liner notes penned by Mort Goode. A
nd what about the music? It's FABULOUS! I shudder to think that I might have missed out on such richness by settling for some cheap 10-song Greatest Hits compilation at $7.95 or so.
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Here's what the producer says about the sound: "We did not attempt to remove surface noise. We found that this made for dull recordings, lacking the spark and flair that must have characterized the original recording sessions... We clarified the bass somewhat and the high-end as well, but in general our changes were minimal. It was our intention to faithfully reproduce the music of one of the greatest popular artists the United States has ever produced."
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To be sure, at times the age of this music is aurally apparent -- for instance, there is slight but noticeable "crackling" on MOONLIGHT SERENADE, and I WOULDN'T CHANGE IT FOR THE WORLD! NO WAY! It only enhances the wonderful effect of this time machine whenever I play it. Many of these recordings are derived from the original sources, so this is the REAL Miller Sound! Why would you want anything else?
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I love many of the Big Bands of yore. Benny Goodman may have had the most accomplished and exciting musicians; Count Basie may have had the most cohesive rhythm section; Duke Ellington may have been the most ambitious arranger; Artie Shaw may have been the most inventive; and Tommy Dorsey may have had the best singer. But Glenn Miller had "THE SOUND" -- that lush, incredibly romantic musical dreamscape style. But make no mistake, his boys could also stomp on the accelerator when they were "In The Mood". Miller had it all, and that was well known in his time. Consider this excerpt from the liner notes: "The Glenn Miller sound was a 'sound for the times.' The band won honors in the Metronome 1940 Dance-Band Contest. The comment read: 'Miller hung on tenaciously throughout. Not only did he dog Benny's heels, but he also kept shoving Tommy Dorsey for top sweet honors. When the final smoke had cleared, the popular Glenn was perched on the second rung of all three ladders, the greatest example of all-around showing in the history of the contest.'"
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And yes, it's all here! The beautiful ballads, the energetic dance romps, and the silly lyrics that speak of a far simpler, more innocent time.

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Glenn Miller's THE POPULAR RECORDINGS (1938-1942) would have to be my choice if I could only carry one compact disc with me to that imaginary "Deserted Island." (Has anybody ever explained how we're going to get electricity on this island in order to play our "Island Discs"?) This set would have to go with me because I can't imagine never hearing MOONLIGHT SERENADE ever again. Plus, it's just loaded with terrific tunes to daydream by. But you'd better hope that you aren't there with me because I'm gonna be pretty cranky on that island without my Pat Metheny Group recordings. I'll take it out on the macaws by blasting the rip-roaring GLENN ISLAND SPECIAL every time they're trying to sleep. That'll serve 'em right for driving me up the banana tree with their incessant squawking!
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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Sunday, July 9, 2017

THE “SMARTEST” DECISION I EVER MADE...

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BRAINWASHED: 
How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth
by Ben Shapiro
published: 2004
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...was to forgo a college “education.” Why? Because I managed to avoid the type of brainwashing that Ben Shapiro so clearly illustrates in his book BRAINWASHED.
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I recently [circa 2004] arrived home from work surprised to find BRAINWASHED in my mailbox. It had been sent to me by a good friend in Kansas (I’ll call him “Kevin” [1]) whose nice Sister I dated for five years over a decade ago. “Kevin” sent it because, as he said, "it’s a good book” and he wrote, “I expect a full review of this.” (This is the review, with footnotes!) 
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Because Ben Shapiro was a columnist for UCLA’s newspaper, THE DAILY BRUIN, and because I have a significant connection with UCLA, “Kevin” thought I’d find the book particularly interesting. He was right. I was born a “Bruin” at the UCLA Medical Center in 1959 [2] and worked for the campus Parking Department for nearly a decade. I remember all too well the dogmatic Liberalism of the indoctrinated students and the pronounced Leftist lean of the school’s Socialistic bullhorn, THE DAILY RUIN. [3] (I’d try reading it over dinner at The Cooperage food court but it would invariably “ruin” my appetite!)
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Ben’s book is very good, and though I’ve given it an overall grade of Four Stars, if you have a son or daughter currently (or soon to be) enrolled at ANY university in this country, then you should consider this a Five Star book and run -- don’t walk -- to acquire a copy of it. [4]
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In BRAINWASHED, Ben addresses many pillars of Liberalism and shows how they are promoted throughout the university system. One of the most cherished, of course, is Affirmative Action which provides us with “Diversity” which is that essential tool for creating the strength of “Unity.” [5] On page 53, we meet that rare Latino student who approves of Ben Shapiro’s anti-Affirmative Action protest because he doesn’t “want everyone thinking whatever I do in life, I got the opportunity to do it because of my race. It’s insulting.” That reminded me of “Kevin’s” Sister. I met her on the UCLA campus while she was a student. One trait that attracted me to her was her independent stance and determination to make it in life on merit and not a “gimme.” She was half Mexican [6] and therefore eligible to check the “Hispanic” box when applying to UCLA, but she told me she marked “White” instead because she didn’t want to always wonder if she was accepted merely because of ethnicity. [7]
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Another section of Ben’s book that elicited some very personal UCLA-related memories for me was titled RODNEY KING AND THE LOS ANGELES "UPRISING". I was a UCLA employee at the time of the L.A. Riots and I still find it somewhat ironic that the first night that rioting broke out, I was meeting my best friend from the department -- I’ll call him “Lonnie” [8] -- after work for video game competitions, which we commonly referred to as “Ass-Whuppins”. [9] “Lonnie” was Black. [10] That the jury found the police officers innocent in the beating of Rodney King was reprehensible. The aftermath even more so.
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Back then, I was supervising student employees and responsible for training them in various aspects of special events preparation and equipment maintenance. One student I remember fondly was a young, Black comic book artist whom I’ll call “Stephen”. [11] Shortly after the Rodney King riots, he and I discussed the issue and I explained many factors that the media, the politicians, the police, and the citizens were either ignoring or not cognizant of. Afterwards, “Stephen”, this young Black man, paid me one of the finest compliments I’ve ever received. I won’t state what he said [12] as it might seem boastful and self-serving, but his ability to set aside emotion and preconceived judgments in order to gain real understanding of complex dynamics filled me with hope for our young, Socialistically-indoctrinated university students.
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Under Partisan Politics, Ben discusses minimum wage laws. He understands the folly. I got an object lesson in it many years ago: Being an ice cream junkie, I was a regular at Dairy Queen. One day I noticed that the price of their “Blizzards” had gone up and I enquired about it. The manager answered honestly, “The minimum wage went up, so our prices did too.” 
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Got that? The companies aren’t going to see the wage increase cut into their profit margins so they pass the increased cost on to you, the customer. Now, who generally earns a “minimum wage” in this country? Young people who are employed at fast food restaurants, video stores, convenience markets, music shops, smoke shops, etc. Where do young people spend most of their money? Fast food restaurants, video stores, convenience markets, music shops, smoke shops, etc. Their minimum wage increase gets absorbed into the market the moment they receive it because of the raised prices to cover the wage increase. Their financial situation therefore hasn’t improved one whit, but don’t the Leftist politicians look so “humanitarian” when they fight for the Little Guy?
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The only area in which Ben Shapiro needs to do a little more “homework” is The War On Terrorism. He is misguided by the Neo-Conservative party line in this regard and needs to ask hard but reasonable questions and insist upon reasonable answers. I found Chapters 8 and 9 to be the obvious weak links in an otherwise very good and important book. (But Genetically Modified Crops make me nervous, Ben! Can we REALLY improve on God’s “nature”?)
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On page 78 you’ll find the whole heart of the matter -- as accurate a statement as can be found in any political book by anyone. Ben is undoubtedly more percipient than even he realizes. We’re led to believe that the “solutions” to all of our problems (which were deliberately created by pseudo-Socialists in BOTH major political parties) “is Global Socialism”. What a surprise! [13]
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I highly recommend BRAINWASHED by Ben Shapiro. And though the writer is a Conservative, I have it on good authority that this one doesn’t burn books, drown cats, mug old women, steal candy from children, or even blow deadly secondhand smoke into the faces of liberals. Read this book and then you’ll understand why colleges are referred to as “institutions of higher education”[14]
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FOOTNOTES:
[1] Because that is his name.
[2] After putting my Mom through 9 months and 3 weeks of pregnancy, and 40 hours of labor. Obviously, I was very eager to come into your world.
[3] Uh… I meant, “The Daily Bruin”.
[4] Before your child is transformed into a morally impaired Marxist marionette.
[5] Hee-Hee! To quote Jo Van Fleet from the movie, East Of Eden, “If you don’t think that’s funny, you’d better not go to college.”
[6] It was her left half.
[7] I always did like intelligent women.
[8] Because that was his name.
[9] I usually gave more than I got.
[10] Unfortunately, I’ve lost touch with him, but I’m guessing he still is.
[11] Because that was his name.
[12] He said, “It’s just as well you never went to college. They have nothing to teach you.”
[13] See my guide titled “(BE FIRST ON YOUR BLOCK TO) WAKE UP TO THE POLITICAL MATRIX.”
[14] Because nowhere will you find teachers “higher” and more in need of being “institutionalized.”
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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