Tag Archives: music

Begin, Reagan, Palestine

So this is where I start having actual recollections….

Menachem Begin was born in 1913 at the geopolitical crux of Poland and Russia. Early Zionist stints in various Eastern European locales.  Caught in Stalin’s net in 1940.  Released and self-inscripted to the Free Polish Army to train in Palestine in 1943.  Led uprisings against Britain, guerrilla bombings, establishing Israeli state. Begin’s political foundings also make him the grandfather of Likud.

Best known for the Camp David Peace Accords.  Begin won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 (shared with Anwar Sadat).  By 1981, Sadat was dead and Menachem was bombing the shit out of Iraq under the pretense of “nuclear containment”.  WMD anyone?

The US President in 1981 was this:


I vaguely remember Carter as president.  My first political awareness is of Bonzo’s best friend.  I think Ronnie is best addressed in listicle form:

Things Ronnie was:

  1. Actor
  2. Effective communicator
  3. Warmonger
  4. Liar
  5. Destroyer of middle class
  6. Neo-con Kennedy

Things Ronnie was not:

  1. Effective
  2. Just
  3. Peaceful
  4. Al Haig

And “trickle-down” economics is nothing more than oligarchs pissing on everyone else.  See: Current state of affairs in Kansas aka Kochtopia aka Brownbeckistan

At this point in my life I honestly don’t know what to think about Palestine.  I don’t believe any side will be successful in violence.  Would a Northern Ireland type solution work?


U-2, Syngman Rhee, Payola, Kennedy

Not this one:

CERTAINLY not this one (ugh):

But probably this one:

U-2 Spy Plane

The event here involved one Francis Gary Powers and “overflights” by the US into Soviet airspace. An official account (at least from the American perspective) can be found herein https://history.state.gov/milestones/1953-1960/u2-incident

I would consider the nomenclature “overflights” to be redundant. Are there underflights? Also, how did someone with the first name of Francis get a gig like that in the 1960s?


Syngman Rhee served as the head of state for South Korea from 1948-1960, including the Korean “Conflict”. He died in exile in Hawaii in 1965. I think I would like to die in exile in Hawaii. I also used to think that Billy sang “Sigmund” Rhee.

“Payola” references a (supposedly covert) pay-to-play debacle involving American record companies and radio stations. Back in 1959 Alan Freed and Dick Clark blah blah blah money under the table, music “Industry”, etc. Freed Suffered the most from this thin excuse to keep Rock (and/or Roll) Music off the radio and away from the CHILDREN! Instead, radio (at least the commercial veins) became a homogeneous hinterland ruled by playlists and corporations. Did you know that 117% of all commercial radio stations are owned by 2 corporations? Also, it is totally NOT illegal to publicly disclose that Corporation X is PAYING to have a particular song played 17 times every hour. Just make sure you tell someone that is the case, failure to do so = Payola.

And still, I miss being on the air.

I still have to write about Kennedy? Sheesh.

Camelot, OG filthy Papist Prez, mob cohort, son of Nazi lovin’ papa Joe, tragic.

Is that enough?

Starkweather homicide, Children of Thalidomide

And we’ve hit the awkward part of this verse. Awkward to the point of no pictures and me struggling to apply humor.

I didn’t know who Charles Starkweather was until I looked him up on the internet about 10 years ago or so. I had seen “Natural Born Killers” in its theatrical release back in 1994. But, I didn’t make the Starkweather connection until years later. I can’t particularly remember what triggered me searching the name. And I haven’t seen any of the other movies based on Starkweather/Fugate. Not even True Romance on TNT or anything. This article seems to be a fairly decent overview of the saga.

Thalidomide is the product of the German drug company Chemie Grünenthal (now known exclusively as Grünenthal). It was originally introduced as a cure for morning sickness. Thalidomide has horrible affects on the normal human gestation process. The most well known is severely truncated limbs. I can remember seeing pictures of children affected by thalidomide in my grade-school textbooks. Only half of the 10,000 children known world-wide to be affected by thalidomide survived their childhood years.

Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball

I remember it because it has a cedar tree on it. And the second thing I contemplate about Lebanon is this promontory proboscis:

jamiefarr in his mudhens shirt

When I was a kid, the Toledo Mudhens were the Triple A affiliate for the Minnesota Twins.

Charles de Gaulle is an airport and a brain in a jar. And I’m passing him quickly to get back to baseball.

The era of California Baseball starts in 1958 on the major league level. The Giants move from New York to San Francisco and the Dodgers abandon Brooklyn for the less bum-infested Chavez Ravine. Although Chavez Ravine is in Sulfur Canyon and therefore probably smells a lot like bums. Two points to make here:

    1. I am obsessed with Ebbets Field
    2. Vincent Edward Scully is still calling Dodger games.

Seriously folks, hear him call a game while you still can. He IS a tie that binds back to multiple eras of baseball. I’m out of superlatives so I’m switching to analogies. Imagine being able to listen live to a performance by Liszt, or Chopin. Or having to move your beer to avoid a Carrie Nation hatchet blow. Do it.

Sputnik, Chou En-Lai (Zhou Enlai), Bridge on the River Kwai

Ah, back on the horse. Honestly, I suspected the lag to be longer and the finish to be more distant when I picked back up. So count this as a Pinter Pause and move forward.

Sputnik translates into English as “traveling companion” which reminds me of the following (with reverse translation by me) Paul Simon lyric from “Graceland”:

My Sputnik is nine years old. He is the child of my first marriage.

Maybe that doesn’t really work.

I remember my father telling me the story of his father waking the family up so that they could listen to the beep of Sputnik on the radio. Maybe they even watched it’s orbital track? Not sure on that.

Chou En-Lai (Zhou Enlai) attended a religious school in Japan, swung through France to pick up Communism, and ended up as Mao’s slightly less bumbling Dan Qualye. He’s also responsible for Nixon going to China. So thanks for taking him off our hands for a week or so. Writing this is making me feel exceptionally ignorant about everything outside of my small world. I did actually finish reading a whole entire book written primarily for adults recently:


It was fiction, about Japan, and interesting. I bought it in an airport.

The Bridge on the River Kwai is a novel written in 1952 by Pierre Boulle. The movie is better known than the book. The Music Section in the Wikipedia article provided me much amusement upon reading. Mostly because it lead me to the song “Hitler Has Only Got One Ball” (Spotify link).