Wednesday, February 3, 2016


The Way of All Flesh

A natural by-product of primary season is the inevitable (and necessary) winnowing of the field as citizens make their will known through actual voting.

This morning brings news that Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is ending his campaign for the GOP nomination for president. I have mixed feelings about this, as I think Senator Paul is a good conservative and a strong supporter of the Constitution and Bill of Rights (you can't take that sort of thing for granted anymore with politicians, unfortunately).

I am hopeful that he will continue to advocate for those things (and, more broadly, the libertarian-conservative viewpoint) once he is re-elected to the senate.

Senator Paul's campaign was one of the ones to which I donated this cycle, and I more than got my money's worth.

The other big news this morning is asshat Donald Trump's ranting that Texas senator Ted Cruz "stole" (Trump's word) the Iowa Caucuses Monday night.

No one who has paid the slightest bit of attention is surprised that this malignant narcissist wouldn't be able to handle not winning.

After all, when he merely dropped to second behind Dr. Ben Carson in an Iowa poll back in November, he exclaimed "How stupid are the people of Iowa?" On camera.

Of course, it remains to be seen what this does to his support in New Hampshire, where he has enjoyed a large margin over Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. I would find it most remarkable if this most recent tantrum didn't damage him with GOP voters.

The best part about primary season is that, when it comes time to actually show up and vote, people tend to take things a bit more seriously. It's up to New Hampshire now to send this asshat a clear message.

"And that message should be...?"

Something like "Get lost," only with more cursing...

Feast Day

The Blessing of St. Blaise, by Pacecco de Rosa
One of my fondest memories from Catholic school growing up was the annual feast of St. Blaise, and the sacramental known as the Blessing of the Throats. If February 3 fell on a weekday, the parish priests would visit the school and perform the ceremony in our classroom.

Even today I can clearly recall
how it felt to have the crossed candles touch my throat. It gave
me a powerful sense of safety and well-being. Most parishes don't make as much of a fuss about February 3 as they once did,
which is a shame. Such ceremonial expressions of faith still have meaning.

Ockham's Razor: Popular Music Edition

From the wry comic strip Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, which you should read every day, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Since I use this section of the blog to celebrate music that figured prominently in my life, every once in awhile I have to confess to one of those "guilty pleasure" kinds of songs. We all have them, of course. I'm just more honest than most people about mentioning them by name.

In December of 1967 I was a nerdy 14-year-old who spent quite a lot of time listening
to Top 40 radio. For reasons that really don't withstand scrutiny, I became enamored of a song called "Green Tambourine" by a band from Ohio called The Lemon Pipers that started getting a lot of radio play a couple of weeks before Christmas.

Original 1968 45 rpm single in sleeve
The song is about the practice known as "busking," in which musicians perform in public spaces and accept donations. The busker will usually have something nearby in which people are encouraged to pitch in their money (a hat, an instrument case, etc.).

On February 3, 1968 the song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, and the term "bubblegum music" came into the parlance to describe music of this sort, which appealed mostly to kids my age.

It was the first 45 rpm single I ever bought for myself. And yes, I actually DO have it in my iTunes folder also. I'm not proud of it, but there it is.

Today's send-off is a video hastily produced by the band in an attempt to capitalize on the single's success. In fairness, a struggling band like The Lemon Pipers wouldn't have much of a budget for such a production, and it shows. The lip-syncing is pretty terrible, but only marginally worse than a lot of other videos from those days. Enjoy...

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