Monthly Archives: September 2014

America “Weak?” Evidence convincingly says otherwise

 

Lincoln - America quote

by Richard Saunders – September 28, 2014 (opinions expressed don’t necessary represent eventsfy views)

My fellow American Patriots, we must understand our present situation more clearly so that we can make better choices as Americans going forward.  There’s a pervading false narrative that America is getting “weaker” or is “weak.”  As usual, false narratives that penetrate the many consciences of our society are conceived by FEAR.  It has been well documented that fear is one of the most powerful human emotions; therefore, fear convinces us of a false reality.  And “fear-selling” is rampant in our free-market society because fear can easily attract our attention to people’s products, ratings, and ideology/message.

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear,” said Influential American author, H.P. Lovecraft.  Marketing wizard Martin Lindstrom—author of Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy—said, “fear absolutely sells! Our primal instinct as human beings is to survive; therefore, fear is key to influence people’s behavior.  Fear relates to our survival: Do I have enough to eat? Will I have enough money when I retire? Is that product safe?”  In this respect, Lindstrom claims that political fear-based advertising is effective because it taps into our primal concerns of survival.

The bottom line is that fear is an easy sell or a quick way to make a buck for any corporations or individual trying to sell their product, ratings, and ideology/message.  We must understand that this constant peddling of fear causes enormous anxiety within our society and produces so many false realities that many Americans don’t know what’s real anymore.

We must understand true reality so that we can calm down and make logical and rational decisions—not fear-based decisions, which blind the truth.  This is fact: our decisions as a society are greatly impaired anytime emotions are involved.  So let’s look at the overwhelming evidence, which categorically reveals that America is absolutely stronger since the 2008 Great Financial Recession—contrary to what so many media outlets espouse.

What really makes America strong?

So many media outlets incorrectly and overly attribute America’s strength to our current President.  They have all these arguments and analyses that overly scrutinizing the “weakness” of our current President (“leading from behind”) as the sole and fundamental reason of “America becoming weak.”  Almost always they fail miserably to explain what really makes America Strong—which are our democratic and free-market system, our economy, and our military power.

Who our current President is matters far less than our democratic and free-market system, economy, and military power. Think of our worst president in recent history—let’s say Richard Nixon.  Were we stronger or weaker as a nation after Nixon left office?  During Nixon’s Presidency (1969 to 1974) the Equal Rights Amendment was implemented, segregation ended, and tensions between Beijing and Moscow decreased—a precursor to ending the Cold War.  During Nixon’s Presidency, American’s economy (Gross Domestic Product—the most revered economic indicator for individual countries) grew from $901.5 billion to $1,486 billion (a great increase) and NASA had the remarkable technological breakthrough of landing the first human on the moon—greatly improving our National Defense’s technological advantage in the world.  Could anyone really argue intelligently that America became weaker right-after Richard Nixon Presidency?

Although America has experienced an undeniable and perpetual progress towards a better and stronger country since its independence in 1776, it appears, however, that America hasn’t made much progress with our over-the-top FEAR-based rhetoric.  In Nixon’s inaugural address in 1969, he said the following, “In these difficult years, America has suffered from a fever of words; from inflated rhetoric that promises more than it can deliver; from angry rhetoric that fans discontents into hatreds; from bombastic rhetoric that postures instead of persuading. We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another, until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices, however.”

We’ve been brainwashed by much of our political media and politicians—overly emphasizing that America’s strength comes from smaller and temporary things (such as one President—as if one American President can really destroy our democratic and free-market system, economy, or military power).  Ronald Reagan is deserving a cherished American President—however, did Ronald Reagan really defeat the Soviet Union or was it America’s superior economy, military power, and free-market system?  I think we all can conclude the ultimate reasons for American’s triumph of the Cold War.  Think about what really makes a country strong (recently China, Germany, Singapore, etc.): the overwhelming factor that creates a strong nation is its economy – more than anything else.

Since the 2008 Great Financial Recession, America has created a fairer democratic system of equal rights—marriage and woman’s pay equality, and closer to healthcare for all.  Since the 2008 Great Financial Recession (worst recession in 80 years), America’s economy (GDP) grew from $14.2 trillion to $17.6 trillion (2014 forecast)—an astonishing increase of 24 percent after this horribly deep 2008 recession—although most Americans wouldn’t know how well our economy has done since 2008 from listening to our media (especially, when comparing America’s economy with other developed nation’s economies—America’s economy has greatly outperformed the other developed nations since 2008).  And finally, America spends on its military power more than the next nine highest-spending military nations combined—does anyone really believe that America’s military power has become weaker since 2008?

So where do these nonsensical arguments that “America has become weak” come from?  Simple: we must remember that it comes from these fear-selling individuals and companies that are trying to sell their product, ratings, and ideology/message to make money or gain power.  fear tends to be more easily persuadable than hope in short-term to motivate the public to act.  Right after the 2008 Great Financial Recession, fear became ripe for MANY to capitalize on its power—we just must know the truth so that we can be calmer and make wiser and less-reactionary decisions.

Stop FEARING and start HOPING…

 

 

Spotlight: The Persistence of Memory painting by Salvador Dali (1931)

The Persistence of Memory Painting - 1931

The Persistence of Memory is a 1931 painting by artist Salvador Dalí and one of his most recognizable works in the world.

First shown at the Julien Levy Gallery in 1932, the painting has been in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City since 1934 which received it from an anonymous donor. It is widely recognized and frequently referenced in popular culture.

Description:

The well-known surrealist piece introduced the image of the soft melting pocket watch.  It epitomizes Dalí’s theory of “softness” and “hardness”, which was central to his thinking at the time. As Dawn Ades wrote, “The soft watches are an unconscious symbol of the relativity of space and time, a Surrealist meditation on the collapse of our notions of a fixed cosmic order.” This interpretation suggests that Dalí was incorporating an understanding of the world introduced by Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity.

The orange clock at the bottom left of the painting is covered in ants. Dalí often used ants in his paintings as a symbol of decay. It is possible to recognize a human figure in the middle of the composition, in the strange “monster” that Dalí used in several contemporary pieces to represent himself – the abstract form becoming something of a self-portrait, reappearing frequently in his work. The figure can be read as a “fading” creature, one that often appears in dreams where the dreamer cannot pinpoint the creature’s exact form and composition. One can observe that the creature has one closed eye with several eyelashes, suggesting that the creature is also in a dream state. The iconography may refer to a dream that Dalí himself had experienced, and the clocks may symbolize the passing of time as one experiences it in sleep or the persistence of time in the eyes of the dreamer.

The Persistence of Memory employs “the exactitude of realist painting techniques” to depict imagery more likely to be found in dreams than in waking consciousness.

Thanks for following – the eventsy team

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Persistence_of_Memory

Spotlight: Billie Holiday – how could such a tragic childhood produce so much beauty?

Billie Holiday1 billie holiday2

Billie Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan; April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. Nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo.

Early Life and Education

She was born Eleanora Fagan on April 7, 1915, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Sarah Julia “Sadie” Fagan (Harris). Her father, Clarence Holiday, a musician, did not marry or live with her mother. Not long after Holiday’s birth, her father left her and her mother to pursue a career as a jazz guitarist. Sarah Fagan had moved to Philadelphia at the age of 19 after being evicted from her parents’ home in Sandtown-Winchester, Baltimore for becoming pregnant. With no support from her parents, Holiday’s mother arranged for the young Holiday to stay with her older married half sister, Eva Miller, who lived in Baltimore. Holiday, who was of African American ancestry, was also said to have had Irish ancestors through her mother’s mixed heritage.

 

Holiday at the age of two, 1917

 

Billie Holiday had a difficult childhood. Her mother often took what were then known as “transportation jobs”, serving on passenger railroads. Holiday was left to be raised largely by Eva Miller’s mother-in-law, Martha Miller, and suffered from her mother’s absences and leaving her in others’ care for much of the first ten years of her life. Holiday’s autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, first published in 1956, was sketchy about details of her early life, but much was confirmed by Stuart Nicholson in his 1995 biography of the singer.

Some historians have disputed Holiday’s paternity, as a copy of her birth certificate in the Baltimore archives lists the father as “Frank DeViese.” Other historians consider this an anomaly, probably inserted by a hospital or government worker. Frank DeViese lived in Philadelphia and Sadie Harris may have known him through her work.

Sadie Harris, then known as Sadie Fagan, married Philip Gough, but the marriage was over in two years. Holiday was left with Martha Miller again while her mother took more transportation jobs. Holiday frequently skipped school and her truancy resulted in her being brought before the juvenile court on January 5, 1925, when she was not yet 10. She was sent to The House of the Good Shepherd, a Catholic reform school. She was baptized there on March 19, 1925, and after nine months in care, was “paroled” on October 3, 1925, to her mother, who had opened a restaurant called the East Side Grill, where she and Holiday worked long hours. By the age of 11, the Holiday had dropped out of school.

Rape and Prostitution

Holiday’s mother returned to their home on December 24, 1926, to discover a neighbor, Wilbur Rich, raping her. Rich was arrested. Officials placed Billie in the House of the Good Shepherd under protective custody as a state witness in the rape case. Holiday was released in February 1927, nearly twelve. She found a job running errands in a brothel.During this time, Holiday first heard the records of Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith. By the end of 1928, Holiday’s mother decided to try her luck in Harlem, New York, and left Holiday again with Martha Miller.

By early 1929, Holiday joined her mother in Harlem. Their landlady was a sharply dressed woman named Florence Williams, who ran a brothel at 151 West 140th Street. Holiday’s mother became a prostitute and, within a matter of days of arriving in New York, Holiday, who had not yet turned fourteen, also became a prostitute at $5 a client. On May 2, 1929, the house was raided, and Holiday and her mother were sent to prison. After spending some time in a workhouse, her mother was released in July, followed by Holiday in October, at the age of 14.

Early singing career

In Harlem she started singing in various night clubs. Holiday took her professional pseudonym from Billie Dove, an actress she admired, and the musician Clarence Holiday, her probable father. At the outset of her career, she spelled her last name “Halliday,” the birth-surname of her father, but eventually changed it to “Holiday,” his performing name. The young singer teamed up with a neighbor, tenor sax player Kenneth Hollan. From 1929 to 1931, they were a team, performing at clubs such as the Grey Dawn, Pod’s and Jerry’s on 133rd Street, and the Brooklyn Elks’ Club. Benny Goodman recalled hearing Holiday in 1931 at The Bright Spot. As her reputation grew, Holiday played at many clubs, including Mexico’s and The Alhambra Bar and Grill where Charles Linton, a vocalist who later worked with Chick Webb, first met her. It was also during this period that she connected with her father, who was playing with Fletcher Henderson’s band.

By the end of 1932 at the age of 17, Billie Holiday replaced the singer Monette Moore at a club called Covan’s on West 132nd Street. The producer John Hammond, who loved Monette Moore’s singing and had come to hear her, first heard Holiday in early 1933.  Hammond arranged for Holiday to make her recording debut, at age 18, in November 1933 with Benny Goodman, singing two songs: “Your Mother’s Son-In-Law” and “Riffin’ the Scotch,” the latter being her first hit. “Son-in-Law” sold 300 copies,  but “Riffin’ the Scotch,” released on November 11, sold 5,000 copies. Hammond was quite impressed by Holiday’s singing style. He said of her, “Her singing almost changed my music tastes and my musical life, because she was the first girl singer I’d come across who actually sang like an improvising jazz genius.” Hammond compared Holiday favorably to Armstrong and said she had a good sense of lyric content at her young age.

In 1935, Billie Holiday had a small role as a woman being abused by her lover in Duke Ellington’s short Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life. In her scene, she sang the song “Saddest Tale.

Voice

Her delivery made Billie Holiday’s performances recognizable throughout her career. Her improvisation compensated for lack of musical education. Her voice lacked range and was thin. Years of drugs altered its texture and gave it a fragility. Her voice also included a raspy sound. Holiday said that she always wanted her voice to sound like an instrument and some of her influences were Louis Armstrong and singer Bessie Smith.  Her last major recording, a 1958 album entitled Lady in Satin, features the backing of a 40-piece orchestra conducted and arranged by Ray Ellis, who said of the album in 1997:

I would say that the most emotional moment was her listening to the playback of “I’m a Fool to Want You.” There were tears in her eyes … After we finished the album I went into the control room and listened to all the takes. I must admit I was unhappy with her performance, but I was just listening musically instead of emotionally. It wasn’t until I heard the final mix a few weeks later that I realized how great her performance really was.

Frank Sinatra was influenced by her performances on 52nd Street as a young man. He told Ebony in 1958 about her impact:

With few exceptions, every major pop singer in the US during her generation has been touched in some way by her genius. It is Billie Holiday who was, and still remains, the greatest single musical influence on me. Lady Day is unquestionably the most important influence on American popular singing in the last twenty years.

Hit Records

In 1986, Joel Whitburn’s Record Research, Inc. company compiled information on the popularity of record releases from the pre-rock and roll era and created pop charts dating all the way back to the beginning of the commercial recording industry. The company’s findings were published in the book Pop Memories 1890–1954. Several of Holiday’s records are listed on the pop charts Whitburn created.

Holiday had 16 best selling songs in 1937, making the year her most commercially successful. It was in this year that Holiday scored her sole number one hit as a featured vocalist on the available pop charts of the 1930s, “Carelessly”. The hit “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm”, was also recorded by Ray Noble, Glen Gray and Fred Astaire whose rendering was a best seller for weeks. Holiday’s version ranked 6 on the year-end single chart available for 1937.

In 1939, Holiday recorded her biggest selling record, “Strange Fruit” for Commodore, charting at number 16 on the available pop charts for the 1930s.

“God Bless the Child”, which went on to sell over a million copies, ranked number 3 on Billboard’s year-end top songs of 1941.

On October 24, 1942, Billboard began issuing its R&B charts. Two of Holiday’s songs placed on the chart, “Trav’lin’ Light” with Paul Whiteman, which topped the chart, and “Lover Man”, which reached number 5.

thanks for following – the eventsfy team

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billie_Holiday