Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Documentary on George Harrison- Living in the Material World, directed by Martin Scorsese

On October 5th, 2011, the BBC will release a documentary film on the life of George Harrison, called LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD, directed by Martin Scorsese, which has Olivia Harrison's blessing (she is a producer). I cannot wait!

There is not an official web site for the movie yet that I see, but here is the wikipedia link:

Living in the Material World- George Harrison

Become as I Am

"He who drinks from my mouth will become as I am: I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him."

- Jesus Christ; in the Gospel of Thomas

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bernie Sanders: Why Americans Are So Angry

Bernie Sanders is to me the greatest public servant elected to a national office. He is uncompromising in his defense of the poor, working class, and middle class. He fights for human dignity at every turn. He is a prophetic voice, in an Old Testament sense, speaking truth to power and demanding social justice. With both parties having become completely corporatist, Sanders, as an independent, is one of strong voices left in national government for the people. In this essay, he denounces the unjust and unequal social relations in this country at this current time, especially as it relates to tax policy. 

from the article:
"The rich are getting richer. Their effective tax rate, in recent years, has been reduced to the lowest in modern history. Nurses, teachers and firemen actually pay a higher tax rate than some billionaires. It's no wonder the American people are angry.

Many corporations, including General Electric and Exxon-Mobil, have made billions in profits while using loopholes to avoid paying any federal income taxes. We lose $100 billion every year in federal revenue from companies and individuals who stash their wealth in tax havens off-shore like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. The sum of all the revenue collected by the Treasury today totals just 14.8% of our gross domestic product, the lowest in about 50 years.

In the midst of this, Republicans in Congress have been fanatically determined to protect the interests of the wealthy and large multinational corporations so that they do not contribute a single penny toward deficit reduction.

If the Republicans have their way, the entire burden of deficit reduction will be placed on the elderly, the sick, children and working families. In the midst of a horrendous recession that is already causing severe pain for average Americans, this approach is morally grotesque. It's also bad economic policy."

read the entire essay here:
Why Americans Are So Angry

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

John R.W. Stott, Eternal Memory! (27 April 1921 – 27 July 2011)

Today, one of the luminaries of the Christian Evangelical movement passed away. John R.W. Stott, rector of All Souls Anglican Church, Langham Palace in London, and an honorary chaplain to her Majesty the Queen, passed away from age-related complications. He was 90.

It has been said that if evangelicals could elect a pope, it would be John R.W. Stott. Christian workers from all over the world received training through his ministry organization, and he wrote one of the most influential Christian books of the last century. 

John Stott wrote a Christian classic, Basic Christianity, which gave a very simple to understand and cogent presentation of the Christian faith from an evangelical perspective. Christianity Today chose it as one of the 100 books that had a significant effect on Christians in the 20th Century.

I heard Stott speak once publicly at Bethel University (then Bethel College), in the mid 80's. I cannot honestly remember his topic, but I remember him being engaging and a very excellent speaker. 

John R.W. Stott represents the evangelical tradition within Anglicanism, and during his talk I remember him expressing his dislike for the Episcopal tradition of calling presbyters "priests." 

He also expressed in this talk a high view of scripture; during his talk he compared those who reject parts of scripture to someone trimming shrubbery. 

As an evangelical, Stott believed strongly in remaining in the Church of England, in spite of theological differences between the evangelical movement and the more liberal movements in the Church. 

Although conservative theologically, Stott emphasized the social aspect of Christianity as well, and the Lasaunne Covenant of 1974, which Stott co-authored, stressed evangelical commitment to social justice as well as evangelism. 

John R.W. Stott will be remembered as one of the most notable Christian voices in the 20th century, a man with a passion for sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with others, and a loyal member and leader of the Anglican Church

Eternal rest, O Lord, grant to Your servant, John Stott, and may perpetual light shine upon him. Amen.

May He Crush the Oppressor

...that he may judge thy people rightly and deal out justice to the poor and suffering...he shall crush the oppressor...may he have pity on the needy and the poor, deliver the poor from death; may he redeem them from oppression and violence and may their blood be precious in his eyes.

- Psalm 72.2,4b,13,14, New English Bible (NEB).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mick!

A belated happy birthday to Mick Jagger, who was born today in 1943, and is 68 years old. The Rolling Stones made up part of THE TRIO of greatest rock bands of all time, along with the Beatles and the Who. These were also my favorite rock bands growing up.

In honor of his birthday, I have posted a couple of my favorite Stone's videos.

Tumbling Dice; my favorite Stone's song from my favorite Stone's album:

Harlem Shuffle; not one of their classics, but a cover of an R&B song written and originally recorded by the duo Bob & Earl in 1963. It is one of my personal favorite Stone's recordings and my favorite Stone's video, and Mick's dance partner in the video is quite a hottie.

Fight the Rich Not Their Wars

Only in John Fugelsang

Only in America can you be Pro-Death Penalty, Pro-War, Pro-Unmanned Drone Bombs, Pro-Nuclear Weapons, Pro-Guns, Pro-Torture, Pro-Land Mines, AND still call yourself 'Pro-Life.'. - John Fugelsang

Only John Fugelsang

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse: Eternal Memory!

Eternal rest, grant to Amy, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace.

Frank Schaeffer's Blog: Christian Terror in Norway: I Predicted Terror from the Religious Right in My New Book "Sex, Mom and God"

"The Norwegian police on Saturday charged a 32-year-old man, whom they identified as a Christian fundamentalist with right-wing connections, over the bombing of a government center and a shooting attack on a nearby island that together left at least 91 people dead."

You may read Frank's commentary here:

Christian Terror in Norway: I Predicted Terror from the Religious Right in My New Book "Sex, Mom and God"

Friday, July 22, 2011

President Obama Needs a Backbone.

I like President Obama, but right now, he needs to grow a backbone.

President Obama is doing his best Neville Chamberlain impersonation, offering the Republicans Austria and the Sudetanland; meanwhile, the Republicans are preparing to invade the rest of Czechoslovakia and Poland.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chimamanda Adichie on the Danger of a Single Story

Novelist Chimamanda Adichien gives a presentation at Oxford in July of 2009 about the Danger of a Single Story.

from the description on Youtube:
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Esperanza Spalding Performs Winter Sun in Holland 2011 tour

Esperanza performing Winter Sun very recently in Holland, on her current tour. There are several videos of her performing Winter Sun that I like. So far, that song seems to me to be Esperanza's Masterpiece, out of a very strong catalog of original compositions. The bossa nova bass riff is so catchy, the lyrics clever and poetic, and the song features smart vocal harmonies.

This particular video is great-

First, it is well done, excellent cinematography, great shots of everyone in the band, and of Esperanza.

Secondly, the performance is fantastic, the band really clicks.

Thirdly, Esperanza's bass solo is sublime. She is truly an inspiring bassist. She is my favorite bassist right now, her technique is flawless.

Was Jesus a Liberal? From the New Orleans Progressive

Are Conservatives Wrong? Was Jesus Christ Really A Liberal?

by Gregory Boyce

They Call Me A Communist

"When I feed the hungry, they call me a saint. When I ask why people are hungry, they call me a Communist."

- Dom Helder Camara, Brazilian Roman Catholic Archbishop

"We gave bread to the poor, but we did not ask sufficiently why the poor had no bread."

- Greek Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware, in an interview in the July 2011 issue of Christianity Today.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fellowship with God in Holy Communion

In this small chapel, where a priest is celebrating Mass, the Holy Trinity Icon is displayed behind the altar. It is  was painted by the great Russian Orthodox saint and artist, Andrei Rublev. It is called "the Hospitality of Abraham," depicting the visit of the three angels to Abraham and Sarah in the Book of Genesis. The angels also represent the members of the Holy Trinity.

God as Trinity means that there is fellowship within the Godhead, relationships of mutual love. For Christians to be in union with God means to be brought into communion with the life of the Holy Trinity.

Abraham and Sarah served a meal to the three visiting angels in the Genesis story. In Abraham and Sarah's culture, as in Jesus' time and culture, sharing a meal was a sign of communion, of fellowship.

The Holy Trinity Icon invites us to share in the life of the Trinity. The Holy Eucharist is communion with the Body and Blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 10.16,17), communion with God, and each other.

For a Christian, communion with God is not only realized in individual prayer and contemplation, but in the Christian Community's primary act of communal worship. The Holy Eucharist - the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Great Offering, the Lord's Supper, the Mass, the Divine Liturgy, the Qurbono, as it is variously called- is not a bare memorial but real fellowship and communion with a God Who is truly Present.  The Grace and Presence of God in the Sacrament transforms us, so that we too, are deified, and "partake in the divine nature (2 Peter 1.4)."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Esperanza Spalding Performs at Borders in Columbus Circle

Esperanza does a nice set of songs from her Chamber Music Society CD, including: Little Fly, Midnight Sun (only on import CD), Really Very Small, Wild is the Wind, and Apple Blossom. Very nice intimate setting. All five videos are in this play list.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bill Maher: Republican Base No Different Than Casey Anthony Jury

Bill Maher at his very best- comparing working class people who vote Republican to the jurors in the Casey Anthony verdict. Maher with his wit lays it on the line, the rich DO NOT create jobs (in fact they send them overseas), they have paid out profits in dividends, not in job creation. And we are in crisis largely because of tax cuts for the wealthy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Keith Olbermann and Frank Schaeffer on Michelle Bachmann

Keith Olbermann on the anti-gay comments made by Michelle Bachmann's husband on a Christian radio show; and Frank Schaeffer says that Michelle Bachmann is too extreme not only for the general electorate, but even many evangelical voters.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

In Conversation: Esperanza Spalding by Ngozi / Society Hae at The Roots Picnic

John Lennon Live in New York City

On August 30th, 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono performed their last live concert together. It was held at Madison Square Garden, and it was called the "One-to-One" concert, and it raised money for children with developmental disabilities. Media Journalist, Geraldo Rivera, had just made a break through exposing maltreatment of people with developmental disabilities in New York, and Lennon performed the concert at his request. The benefit concert also featured other performers in addition to Lennon, including Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Melanie Safka and Sha-Na-Na. I watched this concert on TV when ABC broadcast it. In addition to enjoying John Lennon's performance, I remember in particular Stevie Wonder's performance of Superstition, which was from his current release, Talking Book.

Lennon's performance is terrific, great rock and roll, delivered with gusto and humor. He delivers rocking versions of New York City, Cold Turkey, Instant Karma, Come Together, Well Well Well, and Hound Dog. Also included is the Lennon classics Imagine.

Lennon is back by "The Plastic Ono Elephant's Memory Band," which was made up of him, Yoko, drummer Jim Keltner, and the New York City-based band, Elephant's Memory. The personnel for Elephant's Memory for this John Lennon concert are: Wayne 'Tex' Gabriel, lead guitar; Gary Van Scyoc, bass guitar, Stan Bronstein, saxophone; Adam Ippolito, keyboards, and  Richard Frank Jr., drums.

John and Yoko recorded their controversial album, Sometime In New York City with Elephant's Memory, which was also released in 1972. The album reflected Lennon's radical politics at the time, with songs about the Attica State prison riots, feminism, Ireland, Angela Davis, and other left wing themes. I like the album very much. At the time it was released, it only reached #59 on the Billboard charts, one of Lennon's poorest selling albums, which did not even go gold right away. But in spite of political issues that may seem dated, it has aged very well. It is a personal favorite of mine.

In 1986, Capital Records released John Lennon's performance at the concert (without Yoko's songs, or the other artists) as John Lennon: Live in New York City. The CD is still available, and it is available for iTurnes download. I have the vinyl copy. There was also a concurrent video release, which also featured Yoko's songs, but it has not been yet released on DVD or Blueray.

I have my Youtube list embedded below, with all the John Lennon songs in order of performance, identical to the track listing of the album. Enjoy!

You may buy the CD here:
John Lennon Live In New York City

Track Listing

  1. "New York City" – 3:38
  2. "It's So Hard" – 3:18
  3. "Woman is the Nigger of the World" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono) – 5:30
  4. "Well Well Well" – 3:51
  5. "Instant Karma!" – 3:40
  6. "Mother" – 5:00
  7. "Come Together" (Lennon/McCartney) – 4:21
  8. "Imagine" – 3:17
  9. "Cold Turkey" – 5:29
  10. "Hound Dog" (Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller) – 3:09
  11. "Give Peace a Chance" – 1:00 (originally credited to Lennon/McCartney, the credit was revised in the 1990s to cite only John Lennon as its composer)