Thursday, February 25, 2016


Angry Christians?

St. Paul, by Philippe de Champaigne
One of the most tedious aspects of the current GOP presidential race
is the persistence of self-professed Christians in supporting the godless, dishonest serial adulterer and vulgarian Donald Trump.

When asked about this incongruity, an alarming percentage of these Christians justify their support by explaining that they are pissed off about this or that issue in our politics, and that they support Trump as a way of expressing that anger. For most of these nitwits,
his being a vehicle for their anger is more important than the fact that
he is the complete antithesis of every single thing a Christian is supposed to believe.

With regard to the issue of anger specifically, St. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:26
that while anger is an understandable human emotion, we must not let it lead us to sinful actions, and we should do all that we can to set it aside as quickly as possible.

To take pride in one's anger, to boast about just how angry one is, to use that anger as a pretext for un-Christian behavior (racism, misogyny, bullying, lying, insulting one's opponents, etc.) is disgraceful.

It's a free country (for a little while longer, at least), so if people want to support asshat Donald Trump for president, that's their right. But they should stop pretending that such support is consistent with being a faithful Christian...

"You sound a little angry yourself, you know..."

I'll go to confession...

Spring Training Watch

Local kid makes good in 2016?
A big part of the fun of baseball's spring training season is keeping an eye on how your team's prospects are performing, and speculating about which if any of them might make The Show.

One of the most-watched prospects for my beloved Kansas City Royals will be Derek "Bubba" Starling, the team's 2011 1st Round draft choice.

Bubba had a good minor-league season in 2015, and may be poised for a big-league job if no one else stakes a claim to the job in right field.

Among other things, this would be a great outcome for Kansas City fans because Starling's standout career in high school football and baseball was at nearby Gardner-Edgerton High School.

"Great defense, not much of a stick."

We'll see what happens...he'd be an upgrade over the departed Alex Rios, certainly, and the Royals won a World Series with Rios in right field...

A Fellow Typography Geek

From the droll webcomic xkcd, by Randall Munroe, which you should read every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as I do.

Until Next Time...

One of the most common complaints one hears from musical artists who become successful is how hard they had to fight in order to pursue their own ideas about what they wanted their music to sound like. Thanks to improvements in technology and the decline in influence of record companies, it has gotten easier for artists to pursue their own creative vision, but I'm sure there is still pressure on artists to shape their sound to suit current tastes.

Although he didn't live long enough to write an autobiography, the highly influential Buddy Holly experienced that kind of resistance when he began his recording career at age 20. Even though he had a clear vision of what he wanted his music to be, he had to fight tooth and nail at first to get it done. The story of "That'll Be the Day," the song which launched his career, is a good illustration.

The original recording of the song was made in July 1956 at the recording studio of legendary Nashville producer Owen Bradley. It was released by Decca Records in September of 1957 as the B-side of a single, and was included on the 1958 Decca compilation album That'll Be the Day, Holly's final studio album before his death in early 1959. That version of the song was not a hit, however, and Holly was not happy with Bradley's production of it. He felt that Bradley tried to force him into the country & western mold, when he really saw himself as a rock and roll musician in the same vein as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley.

Original 1957 45 rpm single
On February 25, 1957 Holly recorded a second version of the song for producer Norman Petty at Petty's studio in Clovis, New Mexico. Because Holly was contractually prohibited from re-recording any of his Decca material at the time, Petty released the recording under the name The Crickets, which Holly then adopted as the name of his band.

The revamped song was released
as a single on the Brunswick label in May 1957, and was also included on  
The "Chirping" Crickets, Holly's debut album, later that fall.

The new version of "That'll Be the Day" hit the top of the Billboard Best Sellers in Stores singles chart (a precursor to the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart) on September 23, and was eventually certified gold (1 million total sales) in 1969 by RIAA. It was selected for both the Grammy Hall of Fame (1998) and the National Recording Registry curated by the Library of Congress (2005).

Today's send-off is the version of the song that launched Holly's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career. Enjoy...

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