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Sunday surprise, what can happen to music

Monday, May 13th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — Aretha to rabbinic wisdom via N’Orleans — five versions of the one great song — with a Mother’s Day greeting to all Marthas and all Marys ]
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Consider this song as sung by the awesome Aretha Franklin:

Here’s the story of Mary and Martha, as John’s Gospel tells it [John 40: 38-42]:

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

You might say that Martha is the mother of service, and Mary the mother of devotion: they are equally celebrated in the church, yet Mary has the better part.

Wonderful, then, to encounter the same song as played and sung by N’Orleans’ own Theresa Andersson:

That’s the extraordinary creative re-creation I was wanting to share with you.

**

The Parting of the Waters [Exodus 14: 21-29]:

And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.

And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

Wait: there’s a curious — and beautiful — counterpoint to this story in rabbinic lore:

The Talmud teaches us that on the night that the Egyptian army drowned in the Red Sea, the first true moment of freedom for the Jews fleeing Egypt, God refused to hear the angels sing their prayers, and said “my creations are drowning in the sea, and you will sing songs?”

**

Appendix:

We could also take — if you have time to join me — another path through that song.

The Fisk Jubilee Singers:

Mary’s there, but no Martha. That’s the earliest recording of the song that survives.

Then there’s The Swan Silvertones:

Mary don’t you weep — Martha don’t have to moan — it’s been decided that Mary of the song — who might be the sister of Moses — is, or is also, Mary the sister of Martha..

And let’s close with Take-6:

**

Sources:

  • Jerry Zolten, “Oh Mary Don’t You Weep”–The Swan Silvertones (1959)
  • Wikipedia, Mary Don’t You Weep
  • Art & Theology, “Oh Mary, Don’t You Weep”: Death, Resurrection, and the New Exodus
  • More, more — this might be # 36?

    Sunday, April 14th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — if Rich Pickings was 35 and maybe concluded was 34, this would be 35 in what’s clearly an ongoing series, though a bit less intense than it was? ]
    .

    A delirious conspiracist DoubleQuote:

    **

    Miscellanea:

    The art of the dodge is a time-honored Washington tradition ..

    [W]e all know who tends to fare the worst when the pitchforks come out .. [from Bloomberg: Billionaire Hedge Fund..]

    [for the arc collection*****, from They Had It Coming]

    But even before the molting, never in my wildest imaginings had I dared to dream that the arc of the moral universe could describe a 90-degree angle and smite down mine enemies with such a hammer fist of fire and fury that even I have had a moment of thinking, Could this be a bit too much?

    From Ford Foundation, for sludge collection*****]:

    The urge to change the world is normally thwarted by a near-insurmountable barricade of obstacles: failure of imagination, failure of courage, bad governments, bad planning, incompetence, corruption, fecklessness, the laws of nations, the laws of physics, the weight of history, inertia of all sorts, psychological unsuitability on the part of the would-be changer, the resistance of people who would lose from the change, the resistance of people who would benefit from it, the seduction of activities other than world-changing, lack of practical knowledge, lack of political skill, and lack of money. Lack of money is a stubborn obstacle, but not as hopelessly unyielding as some of the others..

    [From:The Church’s life-and-death struggle with Santa Muerte]

    A Mexico City strFrom eet vendor explained the appeal of Santa Muerte to us by saying: “She understands us because she is a battleaxe like us.”

    **

    Melber 4/10/2019:

    … also warned Trump he would be boxed in a canypn ..

    [Chuck Schumer] The majority, by taking yet another step to erode that legacy, risks turning this body [the Senate] into a Coliseum of zero-sum in-fighting

    **

    All IN Chris Hayes:

    The Justice Department is going to serve as the Roy Cohn for this administration, and that the Attorney General and his deputy are consiglieres rather than representatives of the people of the United States.

    **

    Rachel Maddow:

    DoubleQuote, Rachel?

    11th Hour, Bryan Wms:

    Frank Figliuzzi:

    What he [Barr] did today by invoking the spying connection was, he threw what I would call a flash-bang into the room.

    Anyone who has been involved or associated with tactical teams or the military will know a flash-bang grenade is designed to disorient and distract, with a flash of light and a loud noise, but it’s not made to take our personnel.

    What he did today was to toss a flash-bang grenade into the room at the behest of the President..

    **

    Odds:

    He [Barr] is a weapon, not a servant..

    Two fighting chyrons:

    and:

    We shall see — yesterday it was Bannon vs Francis — now Benedict XVI?

    And a terrific DoubleQuote!

    Rich Pickings

    Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — my laptop keyboard is malfunctioning — my fault — but thanks to MS on-screen keyboard, I’m able to post here ]
    .

    How’s this for a DoubleQuote?

    I thought I was getting a wee bit tired of screen-grabs from items in my FB, Twitter and newsfeeds, but this one caught me by surprise — too good to miss!

    **

    And then there were others:

    Alex Jones admitting to psychosis as the explanation for his — extremely profitable, until Twitter banned him this week — conspiracy theories, when his earlier excuse was that he was an entertainer, just kidding.. that too was striking and worth capture.

    Firing squad was one of those five-star ***** instances that I’d want to include in any definitive collection of best war metaphors..

    And a few more:

    That last screen-grab, as you’d have learned from the sound-track, features three inset images for three black churches burned..

    **

    This one’s important:

    Designating a state actor a terrorist organization goes against most definitions of terrorism, which apply the term to non-state actions only, thereby making the compilation of stats for all sorts of comparative purposes, an already difficult task, even more troublesome — for an excellent overview by the leading authority on terrorism definition, see Alex Schmid, The Revised Academic Consensus Definition of Terrorism

    **

    L’affaire Nielsen:

    Neal Katyal, who wrote the Special Counsel rules:

    Then there’s

    President Trump:

    Get rid of judges ..
    Say.. say, Judge, I an’t do it ..

    Then:

    **

    Hardball:

    Chris Matthews:

    He comes off as a football owner who keeps changing managers .. or coaches

    Eating their own..

    You start shooting at your allies because one of them is straying..

    And:

    **

    All In:

    You’re Fired!

    Chris Hayes:

    One big part of the reason that Donald Trump is our President is because a good number of people believe that the TV character Donald Trump was a real thing, thanks to the years he spent on national TV on our parent network of course, building up a reputation as a successful, self-made tough tycoon, not afraid to make the tough calls when the tough calls needed calling..

    Most of us now know that the reality show Trump is not quite the reality we got. And as we saw yet again today, when it came time to deploy that famous tag-line, there seems to be some stage-fright ..

    There has been so much turnover in just over two years of the Trump administration that the Washington Post was compelled to produce this graphic, which looks like a game of chutes, ladders, and people who will never get their reputations back:

    It’s been 01 day since a high-profile departure from the Trump administration

    And so forth..

    m 55 Michelle Goldberg:The conventional language of American politics are just not up to describing ..

    **

    Rachel Maddow:

    Quite a DoubleQuote, Rachel!

    **

    And from Velshi, 4/9/2019:

    — a sequence on what Trump has offered at the altar of Netanyahu, to help with his election:

    **

    BTW, FB:

    I think that does it.net

    Metaphors 21, some more like micro-essays with graphics toppings

    Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — chyrons, headlines and quotes as before — including that damn elite schools admissions fraud — some moving in the direction of micro-essays with graphics toppings — in other words, don’t miss them! ]
    .

    MUELLER APPEARS AFTER SOMETHING REALLY BIG

    What I’m after here is understanding how reading between the lines corresponds with knowing the known unknowns, and how those two mutually compatible metaphors triangulate with a more distant pair, following trails of breadcumbs and connecting dots.

    Somehow our writer found all four necessary to outline — there’s another one — her insight.

    So: what can we learn?

    Perhaps the most curious detail comes elsewhere in the G.R.U. indictment, when Mueller notes how one particular spear-phishing attempt aimed at the Hillary Clinton campaign was both a “first time” effort, and conducted “after hours.” These may seem like bread crumbs to a popular audience, but they’re more significant Morse-code tappings to jurisprudential scholars, suggesting that the hackers’ strategy could have shifted at a crucial moment.

    This investigation is a classic Gambino-style roll-up,” a source close to the White House observed in November 2017, as the probe was heating up. This approach has also created immense political uncertainty surrounding the outcome of his final report. In the G.R.U. indictment, for instance, prosecutors for the special counsel’s office wrote that Russian intelligence officers “knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other, and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury” in order to interfere with the 2016 election. Does the fact that Mueller hasn’t charged those “known and unknown” people mean that he can’t make his case, or that he’s just been working his way up the food chain?

    With the two-year anniversary of Mueller’s appointment this spring, some of the juiciest—and arguably most consequential—questions about Russian election interference and the Trump campaign remain unanswered. But every bizarre detail or curious omission from Mueller to date could be a bread crumb leading to what the special counsel is preparing next. The investigation’s known unknowns are an investigative road map.

    **

    Just for the tone / phrasing of the chyron:

    **

    Okay, let’s back off politics for a moment, and track just a few instances of Life Imitates Art from the New Yorker archive:

    Dana Goodyear, Bad Character

    Hollywood has had character problems for years: a Shrek maced a group of female tourists, a Chewbacca head-butted a tour operator, a Batman kicked out the windows of a police car. “We’ve arrested Captain America, we’ve arrested Sponge Bob,” Captain Bea Girmala, the commanding officer of L.A.P.D.’s Hollywood Division, said. “Over the years, many of the costumed people we have arrested have had felony convictions, sex-crime-related convictions.” She went on, “We’ve seen characters walk off the boulevard, and hit the coke pipe or shoot up.” Intense competition for tips can turn the street into a crossover comic come to life. Batman vs. Kato: Chest kick—boom! Cartwheeling arms—pow! tight on: A puddle of blood congealing on the Walk of Fame.

    In the snow-globe-like tourist zones of America’s cities, character crime is on the rise.

    **

    Also from the New Yorker, a different Life imitates Art angle, which also adds to our Sanctity of the unsavory collection:

    David Grann, The Old Man and the Gun
    Forrest Tucker had a long career robbing banks, and he wasn’t willing to retire.

    The outlaw, in the American imagination, is a subject of romance—a “good” bad man, he is typically a master of escape, a crack shot, a ladies’ man. In 1915, when the police asked the train robber Frank Ryan why he did it, he replied, “Bad companions and dime novels. Jesse James was my favorite hero.”

    **

    **

    Headliners:Mueller MSNBC docu:

    He led that charge, and it was like turning the Titanic .. [turning FBI to CT]
    He has the ability to just raise everybody’s game ..

    And a couple of spares:

    Meacham, 11th Hour, date uncertain but close: Even Dante might be flummoxed by the number of [criminals] 23 have here [ie in the cabinet, around DJT]
    I think he [Beto] runs and he kicks it out of the stadium in his first three weeks .[fundraising?]

    **

    MTP 3/11/2019:

    Eric Swalwell:

    He’s a different President than he was in the last two years, in that he’s not completely restricted but we’ve put an ankle-monitor on him; now when he does this outrageous conduct we can actually check and put balances against him ..

    [??]

    It depends a lot as to what the President’s game theory of what Mueller has and wants to do already is. I don’t know what that is ..

    [??]

    And if Mueller comes out and doesn’t have a smoking gun, or if he has a smoking gun and is not getting impeached, doesn’t he feel bullet-prooff?

    Ari Melber, the Beat 3/11/2019:

    We begin with Mueller grinding down two former Trump aides..

    There’s other developments, though, that are also knocking up in the Mueller probe this week. This is part of why people, some people, say it’s like the ninth inning ..

    I wonder if you would handicap both of these ruling this week ..
    I think the hammer is going to fall, and it’s going to fall very severely ..
    Do you expect Judge Jackson will hit Manafrt for what happened elsewhere, or is she going to stay laser-focused on these charges? ..
    She’s going to call this one a foul tip ..
    What jumps to you about the foul tip analogy is interesting? ..

    How much of this could be the fault line of the Democratic primary? ..
    It’s a warning shot ..

    Hardball — Chris Matthews:

    And they say you gotta play to win, unless you’re Donald Trump and you own the golf course..

    Trophies for everyone ..

    Anyway, how he won the gloves championship without even competing ..

    And let’s close with..

    **

    Operation Varsity Blues:

    This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud. There can be no separate college admissions system for the wealthy, and I’ll add there will not be a separate criminal justice system either.

    Every year, hundreds of thousands of hard-working, talented students strive for admission to elite schools. As every parent knows, these students work harder and harder every year, in a system that appears to grow more and more competitive every year.

    And that system is a zero-sum game. For every student admitted through fraud, one honest, genuinely talented student was rejected.

    Rabbi Yisrael Ariel ‘s vision of Jewish world dominion, plus respect

    Monday, March 11th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — in Judaism, J’lem, Sanhedrin, Temple, Noahide Commandments — in Christianity C Peter Wagner, Dominion eschatology — in Islam, Maududi — hatred springs from love far too narrowly constrained? ]
    .

    As someone who has noted the visions of world domination of Islamist extremists and those of their Christian counterparts, it seems only fair for me to note that some scripture-listeralist extremists within Judaism also foresee world domination for their faith — taking the form of Israel converting all nations to the seven Noahide commandments, if not to Judaism itself, by the sword if need be.

    Thus Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder of the Temple Institute and head of the reconstituted Sanhedrin, said:

    This is what the Torah commanded us: ‘When thou drawest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it’ [Deuteronomy 20:10].

    What is meant by ‘peace’? Maimonides says that they must agree to follow the seven Noahide laws … Meaning, you ask them, ‘Do you follow the seven laws? If so, we will allow you to live.’ If not, you kill all of their males, by sword. You only leave the women.

    How do you leave them? They must all agree to follow the seven laws. And that is how you impose the Seven Laws on that city. We will conquer Iraq, Turkey. We will get to Iran, too. We will impose the seven Noahide laws on all of these places.

    You say, ‘I call upon you in peace.’ If they raise the flag [of surrender] and say, ‘From now on there is no more Christianity, no more Islam,’ the mosques and the Christian spires and their crosses come down, ‘from now on we follow the seven Noahide laws.’

    .

    **

    I recently posted a piece titled Laughing at, and respecting, Sebastian Gorka in which I, yes, laughed at Seb Gorka, whose views on many topics I strongly disagree with, and whose speech at CPAC last week seemed frankly over the top, but also expressed respect for the narrative of his boyhood which was part of that speech — and which struck me as explaining something of the intensity of his feelings — at the age of seven or eight, he saw something that changed his life for ever: he saw deep white lines on his father’s wrists, and when he asked what had caused them, his father told him — without emotion —

    Son, that’s where the secret police bound my wrists together with wire behind my back so they could hang me from their ceiling of the torture chamber.

    Coming to the present day, and with that memory seared into him, he told the CPAC audience:

    Russia, we have to remember, is run by a former KGB colonel. That’s the sort of person who would be torturing freedom-fighters like my father in the basement of the Headquarters of the KGB. That’s the reality.

    That I respect.

    And in that spirit, too, I respect Rabbi Ariel‘s memories of the Six Day War and the retaking of the Temple Mount — sacred to both Islam and Judaism —

    We saw fire and smoke from all directions. Gunfire was heard. Suddenly the bad news began ton arrive: friends.. this one was killed, that one was killed.. I saw with my ownb eyes, to my great sorrow, some of the artillery struck fellow soldiers. I had to gather up legs, arms, to bring them to a proper burial. Then the shelling began on the Old City. Planes were streaking overhead, lots of fire and smoke.

    and then, this:

    From the place where I was standing, I could see the entire Temple Mount. After 2000 years this is happening before my very eyes. Within minutes I saw suddenly atop the Dome of the Rock the flag of Israel waving — truly the messianic age..

    .

    **

    I said above that I had noted “the visions of world domination of Islamist extremists and those of their Christian counterparts”. I’d like to quickly document those two claims to world dominion:

    C Peter Wagner, convener of the New Apostolic Reformation declared:

    My favorite term is “dominion eschatology.” Why? Because Jesus did not give His Great Commission in vain.

    The battle will be ferocious, and we will suffer some casualties along the way.However, we will continue to push Satan back and disciple whole nations.

    We are aggressively retaking dominion, and the rate at which this is happening will soon become exponential. The day will come when “‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever’” (Rev. 11:15, NKJV)!

    while Syed Abul A’la Maududi wrote:

    Islam is a revolutionary faith that comes to destroy any government made by man. The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam.Islam is not a normal religion like the other religions in the world, and Muslim nations are not like normal nations. Muslim nations are very special because they have a command from Allah to rule the entire world and to be over every nation in the world. Islam is a revolutionary faith that comes to destroy any government made by man. Islam doesn’t look for a nation to be in better condition than another nation. Islam doesn’t care about land or who owns the land. The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam. Any nation or power in this world that tries to get in the way of that goal Islam will fight and destroy. In order for Islam to fulfil that goal, Islam can use every power available every way it can be used to bring worldwide revolution. This is jihad.

    Okay?

    **

    And it was the prophet Isaiah, I think, who offered a more peaceable version or vision of the same global imagery:

    for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.


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