Tag Archives: culture

THE LAUGHING MAN

TRUMP-SPEECH

It’s gotten to the point now that I can employ the terms “urbanite” and “modern intellectual” completely synonymously.

I can also now use the terms “wanna-be-urbanite” and “pseudo-intellectual” entirely interchangeably.

And finally, finally – other people instantly understand what I mean. Even without an explanation.

Of course I’ve been saying that for decades now, but at last others are figuring it out too. I’m kinda digging this “Trump-Speech.”

It makes me laugh…

MAN OUT OF TIME

MAN OUT OF TIME

I can name a helluvah lot more than that: our absolute immorality and amorality, our obsession with politics, our thinking that we need to be constantly saved from ourselves by secular saviors, the idea that the government must control everything about us, our pathetic fear of death, our sociological and pathological hiding from death, our need to be entertained at every moment, our political propaganda system disguised as “public education,” the twisted idea that man is his own god and our object of self-worship, our disconnect from the natural world, our renewed paganism (I mean that in multiple senses), how little we use our own senses and minds, the crazy concept that there are no sins, only experiences, and I could go on and on and on.

Then again, I fully admit – I’m a man out of time.

Five Things Medieval People Would Hate About the Modern World

By Danièle Cybulskie

Although a medieval person vacationing in the twenty-first century would no doubt be overjoyed at things like electricity, modern transportation, and flushing toilets, there are a lot of things they probably wouldn’t appreciate about our time. Here are five things a medieval person might just hate about the modern world.

Portrait of a Man by Albrecht Durer

Portrait of a Man by Albrecht Durer

1. Our Oversharing

While I imagine mobile phones being embraced quickly, I do think the idea would be mystifying at first, and not just because they look like magic. After the initial enthusiasm, I can easily imagine a medieval person asking, “But who do you actually need to talk to right away, all the time?” Because of the pace of distance communication in the Middle Ages, people didn’t communicate as much trivial information as we do to as many people as we do across the astounding distances that we do. Undoubtedly, they’d welcome the chance to immediately communicate transportation mishaps (“My horse just blew a shoe…”) and medical emergencies, but I imagine it would take some time to adjust to the idea of sharing every thought (and meal) with the world.

2. Our Work Schedules

Medieval people worked hard for a living, but between Sundays, and the many, many saints’ days and religious feasts, medieval people actually got more official holidays than modern people do. Also, when it got too dark to work outside, outside work stopped. For modern people, connectivity has made it all too easy to work well past the hours we’re paid to work, while frantically squeezing in domestic chores. It might be hard to explain to a medieval visitor why we are still working so hard when our technology should be giving us more free time. Medieval people could well think we’re nuts.

3. Our Memories

A medieval person dropped into our century would be stunned by the amount of information we have access to – it’s one of this century’s greatest achievements. However, he or she would also be stunned to know how little we remember any of it. In the Middle Ages, students got their degrees by listening, remembering, and putting together long arguments based on what they’d learned, while students today may not remember their class schedules because they’re programmed into their phones. Modern people can depend on having the ability to look up what we need when we need it, so we don’t feel pressure to remember as much, but it’s very likely that a medieval time traveler might see this as a failing of ours.

4. Our Lack of Privacy

Medieval lives were very structured by rules put forth by the clergy and secular authorities; rules that were meant to control all sorts of public and private behaviours. It’s safe to say that medieval people comfortably ignored many of these rules – as long as they felt they weren’t going to get caught. The sheer number of cameras being pointed at modern people all day, every day would probably be tremendously unnerving to a medieval visitor (or anyone travelling from the past, for that matter), not to mention the power of a quick Google search to find out more than you ever needed to know about anything or anyone in less than a second. (I might just take bets on how quickly a medieval person might Google his/her ex, though.)
5. Our Obsessive Tracking

Modern people love, love, love statistics. We especially love statistics that involve ourselves. It would probably take quite a long time to explain to a medieval person why we need wearable technology that measures our steps, our sleep, and even our – ahem – bedroom activities. If we feel tired, they’d probably say, we already know we didn’t sleep well; if we have excess weight, we aren’t exercising enough; if we spend that much energy in the bedroom… well, isn’t any time spent at those activities a good thing? I’m not sure “because it’s cool” would be enough to convince a medieval person that they should take home a FitBit, but you just never know.

While there is so much about modern life that would be appealing to a medieval visitor (antibiotics might be first on the list), it would be pretty presumptuous to think that they would immediately jump at the chance to stay in the twenty-first century. We are so much the same as these ancestors of ours, and yet we are so very different in myriad ways. Before we dismiss their time period as being a terrible place to live, it’s worth taking a minute to see our own time through their eyes.

THE KING IS DEAD – LONG LIVE THE KING

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. But I’ll miss his playing.  The man sure could hit his licks.

Godspeed BB, and may there be no more need for the Blues where next you play…

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Blues legend B.B. King dies at age 89 in Las Vegas

Blues legend B.B. King dies at age 89 in Las Vegas – CNN.com// // // //

CNN)Riley B. King, the legendary guitarist known as B.B. King, whose velvety voice and staccato-picking style brought blues from the margins to the mainstream, died Thursday night.

He was 89.

His daughter, Patty King, said he died in Las Vegas, where he announced two weeks ago that he was in home hospice care after suffering from dehydration.

King of the blues

The Mississippi native’s reign as “king of the blues” lasted more than six decades and straddled two centuries, influencing a generation of rock and blues musicians, from Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan, to Sheryl Crow and John Mayer.

Musicians mourn the loss of B.B. King

His life was the subject of the documentary “B.B. King: The Life of Riley,” and the inspiration for the The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, which opened in 2008.

King’s enduring legacy came from his refusal to slow down even after cementing his status as an American music icon.

Even with a long list of honors to his name — Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, Presidential Medal of Freedom — he maintained a relentless touring schedule well into his 80s.

Throughout his career, King evolved with the times to incorporate contemporary trends and influences without straying from his Delta blues roots. Whether he was sharing the stage with U2 on “When Loves Comes to Town” — a scene memorialized in the 1988 concert film, “Rattle and Hum” — or playing in the East Room of the White House with Buddy Guy, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck and others, King’s single-string guitar notes trilled with an unmistakable vibrato from his hollow-bodied Gibson affectionately known as Lucille.

Slowing down

King finally started showing signs of his age last year after decades of living with Type II diabetes.

A shaky show in St. Louis prompted his reps to issue an apology for “a performance that did not match Mr. King’s usual standard of excellence.” He fell ill in October after a show at Chicago’s House of Blues due to dehydration and exhaustion, prompting a rare cancellation of the remainder of his tour.

He was hospitalized for dehydration April in Las Vegas, a long way from his modest roots as the son of a sharecropper.

King was born on September 16, 1925, on a cotton plantation between Indianola and what is now Itta Bena, Mississippi. He sang with church choirs as a child and learned basic guitar chords from his uncle, a preacher. In his youth, he played on street corners for dimes, saying he earned more in one night singing on the corner than he did in one week working in the cotton field.

Beale Street Blues Boy

He enlisted in the Army during World War II but was released because he drove a tractor, an essential homefront occupation.

In 1947, he hitchhiked to Memphis, Tennessee, home to a thriving music scene that supported aspiring black performers. He stayed with his cousin Bukka White, one of the most celebrated blues performers of his time, who schooled King further in the art of the blues.

King took the Beale Street Blues Boy, or BB for short, as a disc jockey for radio station WDIA/AM Memphis.

He got his first big break in 1948 by performing on Sonny Boy Williamson’s radio program out of West Memphis, leading to steady engagements at the Sixteenth Avenue Grill in West Memphis, and a 10-minute spot on WDIA.

As “King’s Spot” grew in popularity on WDIA, King shortened “Beale Street Blues Boy” to “Blues Boy King,” and eventually B.B. King.

His ascent continued in 1949 with his first recordings, “Miss Martha King/Take a Swing with Me” and “How Do You Feel When Your Baby Packs Up and Goes/I’ve Got the Blues.” His first hit record “Three O’clock Blues” was released in 1951 and stayed on the top of the charts for four months.

// // // //

Beloved Lucille

It was during this era that King first named his beloved guitar Lucille. In the mid-1950s, King was performing at a dance in Twist, Arkansas, when a few fans became unruly and started a fire. King ran out, forgetting his guitar, and risked his life to go back and get it. He later found out that two men fighting over a woman named Lucille knocked over a kerosene heater that started the fire. He named the guitar Lucille, “to remind myself never to do anything that foolish.”

King has used various models of Gibson guitars over the years and named them each Lucille. In the 1980s, Gibson officially dropped the model number ES-355 on the guitar King used and it became a custom-made signature model named Lucille, manufactured exclusively for the “King of the Blues.”

30 Grammy nominations

In 1970, he won his first Grammy, for Best R&B Vocal Performance Male for his trademark song, “The Thrill is Gone.” That same year, he debuted an all-blues show at Carnegie Hall and appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

BRIDGE OF SIGHS – ACCULTURATION

For your Monday Acculturation

 

WHEN MEN HESITATE – FROM HUMAN EFFORT

When men are hesitant to overthrow Hell then Hell is the very first to know and the very last to fear.

SPACE NET BASE JUMP

I’m behind because I was out yesterday. So I give you:

THE BYZANTINE PILGRIMAGE

I would have very much liked to have made such a  Pilgrimage at such a period of time.

Pilgrims’ Progress to Byzantine Jerusalem

Ancient pilgrimages to the Holy Land

helena

Jerusalem has been revered as a holy city for millennia—with pilgrims a staple feature in its bustling streets. Egeria’s Travels and the journals of the Bordeaux Pilgrim and the Piacenza Pilgrim demonstrate that this was as true in the Byzantine period as it is today.In the September/October 2014 issue of BAR, “After Hadrian’s Banishment: Jews in Christian Jerusalem” examines the diverse population of Byzantine Jerusalem. Despite being banned from living in Jerusalem after the Bar-Kokhba Revolt (132–135 A.D.), Jews were once again living in the city by the Byzantine period.

The Roman emperor Hadrian, who was responsible for expelling the Jews from Jerusalem, renamed the city Aelia Capitolina in the second century and left it to an overwhelmingly pagan population—Roman soldiers and citizens and the Hellenized residents of Palestine. When Constantine made Christianity a lawful religion in 325 A.D., Jerusalem became a Christian city. However, far from being transformed overnight, the population of Byzantine Jerusalem remained diverse with minorities, such as Jews, living in the city.

An interesting facet of this population was pilgrims—both Christian and Jewish. Traveling from distant lands, pilgrims came to worship in the Holy Land. Their accounts—from Egeria’s Travels and the journals of the Bordeaux Pilgrim and the Piacenza Pilgrim to the better-known writings about Helena, mother of Constantine, and Eudocia, wife of Theodosius II—offer valuable insight into life in Byzantine Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Egeria’s Travels even included a map.

While some pilgrims are known to us by name, such as Egeria the nun (author of Egeria’s Travels), others remain anonymous, like the Bordeaux Pilgrim and the Piacenza Pilgrim.

The Bordeaux Pilgrim is the earliest known Christian pilgrim who left an account of his journey to the Holy Land. Chronicling his travels in 333–334, the pilgrim began in Burdigala—modern-day Bordeaux in France, hence the name the Bordeaux Pilgrim—and passed through northern Italy, the Danube Valley, Constantinople, Asia Minor and Syria on his way to Byzantine Jerusalem. The journal kept by the Bordeaux Pilgrim is known as the Itinerarium Burdigalense. While the original copy of his journal is lost, the Itinerarium Burdigalense was transmitted over several centuries and survived in four early manuscripts written between the eighth and tenth centuries.


How can we reconstruct and visualize ancient and medieval pilgrimage routes? Find out in “Map Quests: Geography, Digital Humanities and the Ancient World” by Sarah E. Bond in Bible History Daily.


In his journal, the Bordeaux Pilgrim describes how Jews visited the Temple Mount and mourned upon “a pierced stone” (lapis pertusus).Egeria was a pious woman from Galicia, Spain, who traveled around the Holy Land in the years 381 to 384 A.D. Writing in Latin, she chronicled her travels in a devout letter—the Itinerarium Egeriae or Egeria’s Travels. Many believe that she was a nun because she addressed her letter to her “beloved sisters.”

christian-ampulla jewish-ampulla

Only fragments of Egeria’s Travels have survived, the original letter long since lost. The middle section of Egeria’s Travels, documenting about four months of her pilgrimage, was preserved in the 11th-century manuscript Codex Aretinus. This medieval manuscript also went missing for several centuries, but it was rediscovered in 1884 at the monastic library in S. Maria in Arezzo, Italy, by Italian scholar Gian Francesco Gamurrini.Egeria described holy sites in Byzantine Jerusalem, detailing religious processions and rituals among Christians. Her account provides useful information about liturgical worship in the fourth century, when the church calendar was still developing. For instance, Egeria visited Byzantine Jerusalem before December 25 was fixed and recognized as Jesus’ birthday. However, at this time she documented that there was already a procession from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to Mount Zion that took place on the Sunday of Pentecost.

The anonymous Piacenza Pilgrim journeyed to the Holy Land in the 570s from the city of Piacenza in northern Italy. Itinerarium Antonini Placentini, his journal, overflows with wondrous tales from his travels. It recounts traditions about holy sites and relics and includes interesting anecdotes—some which seem nothing short of miraculous. When witnessing a baptism in the Jordan River on the Feast of Epiphany, the pilgrim describes how the waters stood still: “At dawn … the priest goes down to the river. The moment he starts blessing the water the Jordan turns back on itself with a roar, and the water stays still till the baptism is finished.”1 By the time the Piacenza Pilgrim visited Byzantine Jerusalem, Christmas was celebrated on December 25.

Perhaps the most famous Byzantine pilgrim was Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, who came to Jerusalem in 326–327 when she was 80 years old. Eusebius of Caesarea notes that she contributed to the construction of both the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the Church of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives.

Jerusalem lies at the heart of Biblical archaeology. In the free eBook Jerusalem Archaeology: Exposing the Biblical City, learn about the latest finds in the Biblical world’s most vibrant city.

Helena is best-known for discovering Jesus’ tomb and the True Cross. Appended to his translation of Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History, Tyrannius Rufinus relates the legend of how the empress found the True Cross: Three crosses were uncovered at a site that Helena had begun excavating, and a test was performed to determine which cross had been used to crucify Jesus. A very sick woman was brought to the crosses. Nothing happened when she touched the first two. Upon touching the third cross, however, she was miraculously healed. This proved to everyone present that Helena had found the True Cross, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built over the site of discovery.More than a hundred years after Helena, another empress took a pilgrimage to Byzantine Jerusalem. Eudocia, wife of Theodosius II, journeyed to the holy city in 439. Later, after separating from her husband the emperor, Eudocia made Jerusalem her home. The empress funded numerous construction projects, including the building of St. Stephen’s Church and monastery and the rebuilding of the wall around Mount Zion and the Siloam Pool. A skilled poet, she also wrote literature, including the epic poem Martyrdom of St. Cyprian.

Pilgrims visiting Byzantine Jerusalem—both royal and common—often purchased eulogia, implements thought to ward off evil. One type of eulogia manufactured in Byzantine Jerusalem were ampullae, hexagonal glass bottles likely used to hold holy water or oil. Ampullae with both Christian and Jewish symbols have been unearthed. These artifacts demonstrate that there were enough Christian and Jewish pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem to warrant the making of eulogia for them.

More information about the population of Byzantine Jerusalem—and about the Christian and Jewish pilgrims who visited the Holy Land—can be found in the article “After Hadrian’s Banishment: Jews in Christian Jerusalem” in the September/October 2014 issue of BAR.

——————

BLESS YOU

THE WISE CIVILIZATION from POLITICAL CAUSE

The Wise Civilization is that civilization that first admits to itself that not all men are civilized, and far more importantly, admits to itself that not all men even desire to be civilized.

FAR THE LESSER THING

This morning, while getting ready for church we were discussing the past when my wife mentioned an old spiritual (song) that was her grandfather’s favorite hymn. I knew it of course and immediately began to sing the first few stanzas (even though I’m not much of a singer).

Then something occurred to me and I said out loud to my wife,

“You know, despite all of the problems between blacks and whites at that period of time my grandfather would have immediately recognized the same hymn and they would have known the same lyrics. Especially what that hymn implied about the future. There was, despite all other things back then, a recognizable Christian and religious sub-culture that most everyone knew and was a part of, regardless of anything else. And that was true for a lot of the entire nation back then too, not just the South.

I’ll bet though that you could sing those lyrics to most people nowadays and they wouldn’t understand them, know the source, or even understand that it was a hymn or what it ever implied. There is so little common between us anymore. And we are not richer because we have nothing between us, we are far the poorer for it.”

And we are...

 

HOUSES OF THE HOLY

My favorite album by Led Zeppelin and one of my favorite songs by Led Zeppelin. Kashmir being my very favorite song by them.

Hear an Unreleased Early Mix of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Houses of the Holy’

Version from ‘Physical Graffiti’ reissue highlights John Bonham’s drum fills and Robert Plant’s harmonies

By | January 20, 2015

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin’s reissue of ‘Physical Graffiti’ includes an alternate take of “Houses of the Holy.” Ian Dickinson/Redferns/Getty

Next month, Led Zeppelin will reissue their sixth album, the 1975 double LP Physical Graffiti, with a disc’s worth of unreleased versions of the record’s songs. Among these is a rough mix of the funky hard-rock radio staple “Houses of the Holy.”

Slightly shorter than the version that appeared on the original album, the rough mix places guitarist and producer Jimmy Page‘s iconic riff in the right speaker and reduces some of the high end. The bass is more prominent, John Bonham’s percussion sounds looser in the verses and the overdubbed stabbing guitar line toward the end of the song is more prominent. On top of that, Robert Plant’s harmonies on the line “Let the music be your master” are even more present.

“‘Houses of the Holy’ is unlike anything that anyone was doing,” guitarist and producer Jimmy Page tells Rolling Stone. “It’s just something that’s totally of its own. I think the lyrics are brilliant on it.”

The rest of the reissue includes rough mixes of “Trampled Under Foot” (titled “Brandy & Coke”) and “In My Time of Dying,” an early version of “Sick Again,” a Sunset Sound mix of “Boogie With Stu” and a rough orchestra mix of “Kashmir” that’s titled “Driving Through Kashmir.” It also contains what the band has billed as a “strikingly different” take on “In the Light.”

As with last year’s reissues, the new edition of Physical Graffiti, which Page personally remastered, will be available in a variety of formats, including standard CD, vinyl and digital releases. A super deluxe version will contain CDs, vinyl and links to high-def audio, as well as a hard-bound, 96-page book containing rare and previously uncirculated photos and memorabilia.

The reissue will arrive on February 24th and is available for preorder on LedZeppelin.com.

MY GUIDE TO LOLDOM, AND HOW TO USE YOUR LOLS/LOLZ FOR GREATEST ACCURACY AND MAXIMUM EFFECT

Most people use the term LOL, or Lol, very loosely. Including myself, of course.

It can, depending on who is writing it, mean a number of different things depending upon what the LOL-user finds humorous and why. For instance you can Lol at someone or someone’s action(s) or comment(s) because you found them genuinely funny, charming, ironic, or even idiotic.

Since writing tends to have far less communicative context than personal and oral communications (when and where you can read body language, facial gestures, etc.) it can often be difficult to understand why someone is “lolling” on the internet (or in any written communication), or to express your own “Lols/Lolz” accurately in a way you can be sure will be properly understood (from your point of view).

To make matters worse many of the add-on acronyms which seek to explain why you are lolling can often result in a long string of unnecessary letters which clarify to some degree the nature of the lol (ROFLMAO) but do nothing to explain why you are lolling, or at whom. And since we are living in the Age of the Acronym (or Anachronym*, take your pick) then simplicity should rule.

So, this morning on my walk with my dog, I decided I would devise a very simple and straight-forward and accurate key for lolling that explains in a very few letters why you are lolling and at what or whom. Therefore, below, you will find my guide to precise LOLDOM.

THE KEY OF LOL:

Alol – I am laughing about or at it/them/you, because it/they/you are foolish and a moron.

Nalol – Yes, what you just did or said does indeed make you a moron, and so I still feel compelled to laugh at loud, but you are so naïve and so charming that I am laughing as much for you as at you.

Elol – I am laughing enjoyably or in a friendly/good-natured manner with them/you because I fully understand and can relate.

Ilol – I am laughing in a manner which is fully cognizant of the irony, paradox, ridiculousness, or understatement of it all. (Sometimes also called the P-lol, or the Ulol.)

Slol – What you are is just plain silly.

And of course, the ever prevalent and super-charged Lollicopter.

Lollicopter/Lollycopter – I am laughing (or choking) out loud, over and over again, in a very vigorous rotary fashion, because it/they/you have proven to be a complete, intentional, and unrepentant idiot.
Now enjoy your day folks, and go forth and LOL. The world needs more lols. But now you can do so in a more accurate manner, of course.

* I accidentally invented the neologism Anachronym as a teenager. I meant to say it this time.

THE PEOPLE – from POLITICAL CAUSE

The people must be spoken to as if they were a person, for without

the Person there is no People.