Wednesday, December 30, 2009
...Now if he could just teach David Gregory to do the Pop and Lock, the Festrunk brothers would be on the next Aeroflot back to Bratislava for that beet farming course, heads hung in impotent shame.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
...Ah, the joys of the 'recycled Internet Christmas card'. I'm loathe to provide a 'classic' as opposed to new material but unfortunately, (like life for many of you also I'm sure) time is short and the demands on it are multitudinous.
Nevertheless...naughty or nice, my wishes to you all for a wonderful holiday season filled with love, dear readers.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Happy birthday, Frank Vincent Zappa.
...And so another Zappadan ends - Or begins, if you prefer the alternate time/space construct.
I would like to thank Mr. Mark Hoback of Fried Green al-Qaedas and The Aristocrats for being a perfectly succulent cheese hostess this year, along with the many participants including but not necessarily limited to:
Urantian Sojourn, Ketchup Is A Vegetable, The Brain Police, Contingencies, Iranianredneck, Salmon Alley, Under the Lobsterscope, Bildungblog, Mikeb302000, Welcome to Pottersville 2, Outside the Interzone, Zen Comix, Mock Paper Scissors, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, The Jade Gate, From Laurel Street, I Painted My Fridge Red, Uncommon Squalor, Ornery Bastard, Loud Mouth Soup, Wisdom of the West, Illiterate Electorate, Like Dancing About Architecture, Rawrahs, Yoshizen's Blog, Luiz Woodstock, Frank Zappa in Hungary and France, News Hounds, the grrlicious Freida Bee, The Culture Ghost and The Guys From Area 51, A Modified Dog, After The Bridge, Mad Dog Media, Tiny Little Circles, ShortWoman, MF Blog, Dave Knows Portland, 68comeback special, The Adventures of Zevo Calamari & Boo, The Anchovy Daiquiri Shack, Blckdgrd and preeminent liberal meanie Blue Gal.
Thank them, and thank you all, dear viewers and participants.
Until next year...The poodle is closed.
Don 'Sugarcane' Harris, with Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor, and Paul Lagos - So Alone, 1972.
The Band From Utopia, Yo Cats, 1994.
The Mothers, Big Swifty, 1973.
Johnny 'Guitar' Watson, Three Hours Past Midnight, 1956.
FZ, The Jazz Discharge Party Hats, 1983.
'Hey, have a nice one, guy'
Friday, December 18, 2009
'It has never mattered to me that thirty million people might think 'I'm wrong.' The number of people who thought Hitler was 'right' did not make him 'right.'
The same principle should be applied to anyone who has an individualistic attitude. Why do you necessarily have to be wrong just because a few million people think you are?'
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Oh, look who wants to pick a fight...with the wrong person.
News flash, Beck - Jane Hamsher didn't make or commission that graphic to be made, I made it.
She merely used it, without permission - once, on Huffington Post - and pulled it the same day.
Radical Right wing propagandists of your ilk have been hosting that image on continuous display for years. Score one for your side and wipe it on the wall, chump.
Frankly, I don't think I have much to discuss in terms of decorum with some TV dramedian who holds rather fanciful notions regarding race and American history...Do you?
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
In all the handwringing over the latest 'principled stand' that threatens to defenestrate a noble yet doomed cause (doomed given the current balance of true power in those United States), it might be instructive to view the situation through a law enforcement metaphor.
Here's the frame - Obama is the good cop. Lieberman is the bad cop. And health care reform is the suspect.
Obama (and ostensibly his administration, albeit who can predict the byzantine machinations among the players) wants to be perceived as approachable and amenable to reasoned debate and compromise for the 'greater good'.
In reality, their game is to string this along to the beginning of a potential second term where electoral consequences are no longer a concern and some form of 'real change' (a most bitter pill indeed for the rulers of America) might occur in spite of the best laid roadblocks.
Whether 'kicking the can down the road, then running to catch up with it' is a sound strategy or not is debatable, of course.
Lieberman (Obama's Senate mentor) knows, in spite of his post-Democratic realignment with the American Right and his guaranteed sinecure from 'interested parties' within this issue post-service, that his time (and thus his power) in government is fleeting.
Therefore, he can playact the heavy role with impunity and draw heat away from Obama, buying both deniability and time for an preelectoral optics massage while getting some personal jollies from booting his nemeses in the teeth.
Health Care Reform is the Willie Horton in the room...Those whose livelihoods depend on the status quo will demonize it, and those who seek change via tilting at corporations for uncompromised legislation that minimizes the profit motive will hold it up as an unfairly maligned political football. Meanwhile, it rots away in limbo while the signifying sound and fury rages.
The current 'for profit' model of health care in America is not sustainable. Eventually, the greater portion of insurance and medication monies spent by people and families barely treading water economically will dry up (food and shelter concerns being more pressing), so many businesses that make money by this scheme must seek to maximize short-term profit now before the crunch occurs.
Just the facts, ma'am.
Monday, December 14, 2009
"When political leaders do not demonstrate honesty, when people lie constantly in the media - everybody get used to 'The Big Lie' as a way of life. At that point, honesty becomes a quaintly outmoded concept -- nobody wants to be honest anymore, because if they are, they might finish last.
I would say that today, dishonesty is the rule, and honesty the exception. It could be, statistically, that more people are honest than dishonest, but the few that really control things are not honest, and that tips the balance.
I don't think we have an honest president. I don't think that he is surrounded by honest people. I don't believe that most of the people in Congress or in the Senate are honest. I don't think that most people who head up businesses are honest.
We have let them get away with it because we're not honest enough to face up to the fact that we are 'owned and operated' by a bunch of really bad people."
~ The Real Frank Zappa Book, pg. 207-08, 1989.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, When Big Joan Sets Up/Woe Is Uh Me Bop/Bellerin' Plain, 1971.
The Mothers with Jean-Luc Ponty, Be Bop Tango, 1973.
The Ed Palermo Big Band with Mike Keneally, Echidna's Arf, 1998.
Don 'Sugarcane' Harris, Cup Full Of Dreams, 1973.
...and one for that lovable lug driftglass...
Tom Waits, The Piano Has Been Drinking, 1977.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
'There is an organization in Texas called The Church of the SubGenius, devoted to the teachings of some guy with a pipe in his mouth named "BOB."
I'm not a member, but part of their 'theology' parallels mine.
As the planet gets more crowded, we must realize that 'slack' is precious, schmucks are plentiful, impingements are impractical and werewolf etiquette for self-defense is a personal necessity.
Techniques must be developed to enable each of us to escape the other guy's bullshit (just as he wishes to escape ours). Heaven would be a place where bullshit existed only on television.
(Hallelujah! We's halfway there!)
People should be encouraged to look after their own self-interest, but avoid inflicting themselves on other people -- especially don't inflict yourself on a schmuck. The guy has already made his choice. Cut the schmuck some slack.'
` The Real Frank Zappa Book, pg. 234.
Take it away, Don Preston, with the eternal question...
Thursday, December 10, 2009
"I think it's really tragic when people get serious about stuff. It's such an absurdity to take anything really seriously ... I make an honest attempt not to take anything seriously, I worked that attitude out about the time I was eighteen.
I mean, what does it all mean when you get right down to it, what's the story here? Being alive is so weird."
~ from No Commercial Potential: The Saga of Frank Zappa, by David Walley
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
'The Ultimate Rule ought to be: 'If it sounds good to you, it's bitchin'...if it sounds bad to you, it's shitty.
The more your musical experience, the easier it is to define for yourself what you like and what you don't like. American radio listeners, raised on a diet of _____ (fill in the blank), have experienced a musical universe so small they cannot begin to know what they like.'
~ The Real Frank Zappa Book, 1990.
Monday, December 07, 2009
Sunday, December 06, 2009
The Thelonious Monk quartet (Charlie Rouse, Butch Warren and Frankie Dunlop), Evidence, 1963.
The Dave Brubeck quartet (Paul Desmond, Eugene Wright, and Joe Morello), Take The A Train, 1966.
Miroslav Vitous, with Joe Zawinul, John McLaughlin and Billy Cobham, Purple, 1970.
Mr. Sammy Davis Jr., with Michael Silva on drums and Johnny Mendoza on congas, medley: I've Got You Under My Skin/You Came A Long Way From St. Louis/You Are My Sunshine/ Bee-Bom, 1965.
1. information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.
2. the deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc.
'...everybody accused the Bush administration of manipulating science..." - Oh, perish the thought.
...and then praising Bush for setting the table for the Copenhagen summit by promoting American non-involvement in the Kyoto accord, for the stated rationale that China and India weren't involved - oh, and the American economy, as represented by Republican pioneer-level donors, naturally.
Apparently, inactivity can be a spur to future action. In other late-breaking news, water has been alleged to be on the damp side.
Good of Perino to set the public precedent that previous administrations bear a certain responsibility for actions they commit that continue to occur after their term, however. We'll endeavor to keep this in mind for future reference.
Afghanistan, Iraq, the American financial sector meltdown, and how the U.S.A. is viewed internationally come to mind, initially.
What a charming little lobbyist for a failed ideology, zombiefied back into the public zeitgeist and granted some tawdry veneer of respectability for a mysterious reason.
Amazing how 'comity' and 'comedy' sound so similar, n'est pas?
'Tosses her head 'n flips her hair, She got a whole bunch of nothin' in there'
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
The Ed Bickert trio (with Don Thompson and Claude Ranger), Easy To Love, 1979.
Joni Mitchell, A Chair In The Sky, 1979.
Charles Mingus, with Jimmy Knepper, Shafi Hadi, Wade Legge, and Dannie Richmond, Invisible Lady, 1957.
Albert Ayler, with Niels Brosted, Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen and Ronnie Gardiner, Billie's Bounce, 1963.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
My pal Blue Gal has put forth another contest amongst her compatriots...Some lighthearted japery involving Katie Couric and another media personage who has received far too much media attention of late...although, perhaps, not exactly in this way.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Some people pay good money to get booted in the nuts, but when there's no shortage of out-of-work placekickers willing to do it for free why bother, right?
Case in point - say somebody gets a nice job, even though their reputation for truthtelling and non-partisanship is verifiably sketchy, insofar as they were the last in a long line of professional prevaricators and timewasters hired to keep the Bad Ship Lollipop stacked to the gunwales with fresh bullshit for eight long years.
No biggie - somebody else wants to look professionally magnanimous, extend a hand, build a bridge to...where?
Meh, looks good for the networks...On in five, boss. Kiss kiss.
Not so fast.
First, this legacy hire on the half-shell's former employer claimed he quit golf 'in solidarity' with the troops on a day deemed convenient to do so
(In the reality-based world, a dense executive's poorly timed piece of optics management theater) even though that story of staunch sacrifice wasn't quite true...OK, make it a whole lot untrue, but that was sort of par for the course with that fellow, pardon the pun.
Fast forward, he's gone bye-bye...probably out golfing, shooting smack with some caddies in the arbusto behind the 15th hole, who cares?...He's not there anymore.
In the words of Bette Davis - 'Good'.
Meanwhile in the Now, this rogueish ingrate's not even in the saddle of a cushy job for a week and already she's shit-talking her open-armed buddy with the sweet job offer, right there on the teevee, about the same thing she ham-handedly pimped for in a briefing a week after her old pal busted out his feckless fib for the feebleminded...
Plainly put, this poison plum's not even smart enough to shut her mouth and keep from drawing attention via her mere presence to the fact that her former boss, his sidekick, and every other operational body within that place of employment for that period of time is a kleptocratic war criminal or hearts them very much.
President Obama - with all due respect, your countryfolk spent a lot of time and effort to get people like this out of American government jobs so that people who don't bend truth for a living could help float the ship of state a while.
You're bringing them back in.
Indulge an old carny, pal - what's the angle?
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The Charles Lloyd quartet (Keith Jarrett, Ron McClure, and Jack DeJohnette), Love Ship, 1968.
Kenny Burrell with the Gil Evans Orchestra (featuring Lee Konitz, Jimmy Knepper and Ron Carter), Moon and Sand, 1964.
Hampton Hawes, with Cecil McBee and Roy Haynes, The Shadow Of Your Smile, 1973.
Teddy Wilson and Lester Young, with Gene Ramey and 'Papa' Jo Jones, All Of Me, 1956.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Fire Geithner and Summers, prominent Democrat says
'We may have to sacrifice just two more jobs to get millions back for Americans'
President Barack Obama "is being failed by his economic team" and should replace Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and White House economic policy director Larry Summers, says US House Rep. Peter DeFazio.
The prominent member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus told MSNBC's The Ed Show that he and other House members are growing increasingly frustrated by a White House economic policy that focuses on maintaining the financial stability of Wall Street firms while largely overlooking Main Street concerns.
Geithner and Summers have been looking for America, and they can't seem to find it anywhere...But Wall Street.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The James Gang, The Bomber (Closet Queen/Boléro/Cast Your Fate To The Wind), 1969.
...To release a self-laudatory memoir in the wake of a near decade of staggering malfeasance and hubristic ineptitude that one had an active hand in creating and promoting?
Karl Rove thinks so. No doubt George W. Bush will be adding this tome to his superhuman reading list next year, right between the Going Rogue coloring book and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Sarah Vaughan, with Maynard Ferguson, Chuck Mangione, Don Cherry, Al Hirt, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Billy Higgins, Bags' Groove, 1986.
The Hampton Hawes trio (Red Mitchell and Shelly Manne), Walkin', 1955.
Charlie Mariano, Autumn In New York, 1951.
John Coltrane and Stan Getz, with Oscar Peterson, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb, Hackensack, 1960.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
CNN host Wolf Blitzer admitted on the air Monday that while he may not know what a marijuana plant looks like, he'd certainly be able to identify the smell.
Retorting, co-anchor Jessica Yellin jokingly asked, "How would you know what it smells like?" -- a question that drew more than a laugh from CNN pundit Lou Dobbs.
Both hosts were engaged in a discussion of Rep. Barney Frank's (D-MA) recent comment that because he is not an "outdoorsman," he would not recognize a marijuana plant if he came across one. The aside was made in response to a follow-up question by a reporter who discovered that Frank was present when his partner was arrested for possession of marijuana in 2007.
Frankly, I find this bit of public discombobulation somewhat hilarious.
People who attended higher education (oops, I meant 'university') in the 1960's and 70's who wouldn't know what a pot leaf looks like, but they know it by the smell, and they might, perhaps en passant have put what the jazz musicians and other scruffy bohemians called a 'joint' or 'reefer' to their lips once or thrice, purely in the spirit of noble scientific research, but of course they didn't inhale it - - and henceforth managed to stay blissfully unaware of same throughout the 'If it feels good, do it' and 'Just Say No' eras, in spite of constant media bombardment (increased by a factor of eleventy bazillion by the Internet) right up until, say, their life partner gets busted running a grow-op in his own house while they stood obliviously by...and then circumstantially proposing federal legislation that would remove penalties for adult possession of the leafy villain.
But they wouldn't know what it looks like... That being reserved exclusively for the provenance of 'outdoorsmen'. Of course.
Oh look, it's Paul Bunyan
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Elvin Jones, with Charlie Mariano, Hank Jones, Sir Roland Hanna, and Richard Davis, Everything Happens To Me/Smoke Rings, 1965.
Hubert Laws, The Rite Of Spring, 1971.
Mose Allison, The Seventh Son, 1957.
Al Hirt, Pete Candoli, Don Ellis, and Dizzy Gillespie, late 1960's TV.
Friday, November 06, 2009
Hey, Michelle Bachmann and Eric Cantor...When your little flock of tea partiers without a clue start comparing Nazi death camps to programs for affordable health care in America, and you stand right there looking at it, urging it on, feeding the beast to satisfy your ego's immature need for attention...Godwin's law stops applying and mental health laws start.
Only utter jackasses with no sense of perspective or history could countenance such a thing, and stand by grinning while it is done.
'Revolution'? Don't make me laugh, motherf*ckers.
You and yours are the reactionary status quo looking to get busy killing anybody you don't like to 'show your freedom'.
May your god have mercy on you, because I won't.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Bill Evans and Eddie Gomez, Waltz For Debby, 1975.
The Phil Woods quartet (Bob Corwin, Sonny Dallas and Nick Stabulas), Easy Living, 1957.
The Buddy Rich big band, Straight No Chaser, 1971.
...And one for my pal SteveAudio...Weather Report, Port Of Entry, 1980.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Some of my readers might remember a brief controversy in which I and others were involved over 3 years ago, an out-of-context sideshow that unfortunately hindered a broader discussion and may have contributed to a negative outcome in my opinion.
However, no need to rehash that here - For that, there is Google.
Yet for myself within that series of events, the motives were clear.
Joe Lieberman, putatively a Democrat in favor of civil rights for all stooped to blatant race-baiting when a threat to his reign was perceived.
In spite of the hoopla, those facts remain immutable, as do the unsavory optics of his spouse's involvement with pharmaceutical lobbyists concurrent with Lieberman's vote on pending legislation benefiting said industry.
A quick bit of revisited history - Connecticut Democrats rejected Lieberman as their senatorial candidate in favor of Ned Lamont in a fair vote, after which Lieberman went to Mel Sembler and the GOP to finance an independent run, an effort which was ultimately successful when state and federal Republicans threw their weight behind his candidacy over their own pick, Alan Schlesinger.
Since then he has, in cooperation with the highest levels of American government including the current occupant of the White House, playacted at smugly prudent comity while doing his level best to roadblock societal progress and stymie due investigative course on behalf of his corporate paymasters and conservative ideological soul mates.
It is becoming harder to escape the conclusion that he is wanted right where he is.
The question is: Qui bono...Exactly?
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Jimmy Heath, with Kenny Barron, Bob Cranshaw, Mtume, and Al "Tootie" Heath, Angel Man, 1972.
Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Gene Harris, Ray Brown, and Grady Tate, Ow!, 1985.
Artie Shaw, with Buddy Rich on traps, Traffic Jam, 1938.
The Graham Bond Organisation, Neighbour, Neighbour, 1965.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Let Sideshow Beck cut the cake, then...Mind your fingers.
All kibitzing aside, I would like to thank each and every one of my viewers and correspondents for enabling this trifling blog's journey over the last three years through the vast reaches of cyberspace. May peace be in your lives and love within your hearts.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
CNN reporter Carol Costello ran a segment yesterday analyzing talk radio and its listeners. This analysis included shows and monologues from the king of conservative radio, Rush Limbaugh, and he was not pleased with the conclusions drawn by either Costello or the psychiatrist she consulted, which was that Limbaugh is a "bully." Limbaugh called Costello his "stalker" before suggesting she "go sit on a fire hydrant and improve your day."
Well, if anyone might know about such forms of 'daily improvement' it would surely be Rush Limbaugh, narcotics-assisted radio funnyman, doctor-shopping sex tourist...and now, noted curbside expert on 'tight end to wide receiver' conversions.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Eddie Lang, Prelude (composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff), 1927.
The great Anita O'Day, When Sunny Gets Blue, 1975.
Barney Kessel, The Shadow Of Your Smile, 1973.
The Dizzy Gillespie quartet (James Moody, Kenny Barron, Christopher Wesley White and Rudy Collins). And Then She Stopped, 1965.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The North Pole will turn into an open sea during summer within a decade, according to data released Wednesday by a team of explorers who trekked through the Arctic for three months.
The Catlin Arctic Survey team, led by explorer Pen Hadow, measured the thickness of the ice as it sledged and hiked through the northern part of the Beaufort Sea earlier this year during a research project.
Their findings show that most of the ice in the region is first-year ice that is only around 1.8 metres deep and will melt next summer. The region has traditionally contained thicker multiyear ice, which does not melt as rapidly.
"With a larger part of the region now first-year ice, it is clearly more vulnerable," said Professor Peter Wadhams, part of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge, which analyzed the data.
"The area is now more likely to become open water each summer, bringing forward the potential date when the summer sea ice will be completely gone."
Hat tip to my pal Blue Gal for the climate change blogswarm awareness - Baby needs new brake shoes.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Regular readers, and perhaps even the mildly disinterested may have noted my apparent lack of candor regarding any personal details save the minorish - a policy that I adhere to not out of an overweening desire to cultivate an air of unearned mystery, but primarily for subjective security concerns due to the occasionally controversial nature of my artistic trifles...Unlikely, of course that knowing my real name, favorite breakfast cereal, preferences in leisure wear or similarly Tiger Beatish questions would stop the course of time, cure the heartbreak of teenage acne or garner me one more curious observer than my little blog could bear.
Perhaps this sort of situational paranoia is unwarranted - but given the climate of armed zanies unable to grasp the simple concept that killing what they do not approve of is not very nice, gossipy backbiters seeking to denigrate what they could never dream up or execute in a geological era dedicated to their piddly efforts exclusively, and all the colorful shades of agendas and surveillance in between...Well...
That said, I do enjoy interacting with my fellow travelers and creators. Most who operate within this format do as well, I presume...else, why indulge oneself by shouting into the vacuum?
Thus, if there is a reasonable inquiry regarding philosophies or works that has you flummoxed, perplexed, or otherwise excited in some deliciously tantalizing way, dear reader, then the comments section in this post is for you.
Overly personal questions might be gently ignored, but direct provocations will be crushed.
Monday, October 12, 2009
(CNN) – Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh is dismissing Democratic campaigns to paint him as the man steering the Republican Party, and media frenzies over his most controversial comments.
"The media didn't make me, and they can't break me," he said in a portion of an NBC interview that aired Monday.
Notwithstanding the somewhat salient fact that Mr. Limbaugh is the media, of course. But let's not dwell on such trifles.
Yes indeedy, we see those ruthless socialist bullies of the 5th column, er, estate ganging up on poor Rush every day - blithely excusing his foibles, ignoring his doctor-shopping sex junketing ways, promoting his racist 'I-got-mine-so-fuck-you-for-having-less-suckers' views via endless repetition, quoting his noxious thoughts on the issues of the day whilst prudently nodding affirmation, and generally maintaining the ability to state with great credence and gravitas exactly what type of corn was served on Rush's plate the night before...from the inside.
Nay, we would never be able to garner the impression from the obviously biased left-wing media gaggle that Rush Limbaugh wasn't a plucky, independent voice standing apart from such mendacious ways, with a hazily narcotic vision of America that isn't pasty jiggly white and obscenely wealthy as it stands forthrightly on the backs of the downtrodden in its shiny Ferragamo jackboots with the chic tassels.
No, no, a thousand times no.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (Wayne Shorter, Jymie Merritt, Lee Morgan, and Walter Davis Jr.), A Night In Tunisia, 1959.
The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Funky Aeco, 1980's.
Pharoah Sanders, Village Of The Pharoahs, Pt.1, 1973.
Ray Brown, with George Fludas on percussion, Black Orpheus, 2001.
Friday, October 09, 2009
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Generally on these shores I avoid certain commentaries regarding the topic of faiths, as I have some readers who operate under Christian guidance yet retain the faculties of critical thinking and can cogently criticize the follies of the less enlightened among them better than I, mere heathen sinner.
I'm also ever mindful of the two topics guaranteed to start a bar brawl: politics and religion, and having provided more than enough of the former for the individual viewer to contend with, seek not another front on which to join the fray...as yet.
But this item, which has begat this, caught my eye and has compelled me to share a few thoughts.
One of the tenets of Christian fundamentalism (and similarly inclined sects of other religions with their sacred texts) is the belief that the Bible is the literal word of God...Not to be questioned, or subjected to interpretation but only to be honored above all and obeyed.
This is, and has been a somewhat artless ploy that permits the individual to fecklessly abdicate their responsibilities toward subjective free will and the rights of other sentient beings, while at the same time failing to accommodate the inconvenient truth that many human hands midwifed what we know in the modern world as the English-language Bible into being...Some prominent among them who, in spite of their piety and honorable intentions were charged with the spurious offense of heresy after crossing their regal employer and found themselves subsequently strangled to death and burned at the stake.
Modern ghostwriters of political 'autobiography', take note.
In spite of such a fractious creation, what we call the King James Version has remained with us to this day, with a revised 'New' version (having its own attendant critics) created in the 1970's.
And it would now seem that these versions are no longer sufficiently 'conservative' for some, in spite of the excruciating detail of near-prehistoric mores and horrendous penalties for deviance from same within.
Apparently these legions of faithful past and present who adhere to the narrow path and toil in penurious obscurity so that the Lord's word can be made available all suffer from the dreaded liberal bias. From the relevant Conservapedia entry:
Liberal bias has become the single biggest distortion in modern Bible translations. There are three sources of errors in conveying biblical meaning:
* lack of precision in the original language, such as terms
underdeveloped to convey new concepts of Christianity
* lack of precision in modern language
* translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one.
Of these three sources of errors, the last introduces the largest error, and the biggest component of that error is liberal bias.
Large reductions in this error can be attained simply by retranslating the KJV into modern English.
I have long suspected a genetic link among a psychological triumvirate of pride, historical ignorance and a predilection toward so-called 'conservative' thought (in modern reality, a mollycoddling of fascist impulses masquerading as faux fiscal prudence and choleric intolerance of social non-conformity)...and at last I may have my objective proof.
Even a cursory study of the provenance of the KJV would indicate to those not utterly blinkered by their secular ideologies that this 'liberal bias' of which they speak is light years from the root cause, if indeed being a factor at all in any conveyance of Biblical meaning, for the simple fact that such a thing as 'liberal bias' didn't exist for the masses in the 17th century ( a time of royal-borns and peasants, not ACORNs and pundits) and was certainly not a strong consideration in the revised version of the 1970's, given the contemporaneous vagaries of Baptist and conservative Presbyterian thought.
So just whom is this - call it what it is, politically filtered revisionism being aimed at, with their 'updating words which have a change in meaning, such as "word", "peace", and "miracle"', their avowed dismissal of the Pericope Adulterae for its alleged 'liberal message against the death penalty', comparisons of 'economic parables with their full free-market meaning' and topsy-turvy garden of logical fallacies pretending to the definition of 'openmindedness'?
One can only speculate. But I'm certain that whatever other jingo-jangling occupies their downtime...they won't fail conservatism.
Jeremiah 14:14: 'Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.'