The Mask is the law according to our State Governor. It is a law based on fear. Fear of becoming sick. Fear of making others sick. Fear of death. My conscience will not let me wear a mask. By not wearing a mask, “I quietly declare war on the State.”

I heartily accept the motto, ‘That government is best which governs least’; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe- ‘That government is best which governs not at all’; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. “

“When I converse with the freest of my neighbors, I perceive that, whatever they may say about the magnitude and seriousness of the question, and their regard for the public tranquillity, the long and the short of the matter is, that they cannot spare the protection of the existing government, and they dread the consequences to their property and families of disobedience to it. For my own part, I should not like to think that I ever rely on the protection of the State.”

“The authority of government, … can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it. “

The quotes above are from Henry David Thoreau’s essay on Civil Disobedience. More important now than at any other recent time in our history. All of life is a risk. Another blogger recently posted a plaintive plea to “please wear a mask” stating that 1 in every 20 people may get sick if you don’t. Well to that I add. That’s still 19 in 20 that will not! COVID-19 is natures way of “correcting” the impact of the human population on the planet. Nature always wins.

Wearing a mask does NOT mean you will not die. Wearing a mask does NOT mean you will not make others sick. Wearing a mask does NOT mean you will not get sick. Wearing a mask does NOT mitigate your fear. Your fear of death, your fear of illness or your fear of the government gives you NO right to impinge on the rights of others who believe differently.

So don’t give me your false short-sighted narratives espoused by the media, politicians and religion. The real heroes are those who are immune, asymptomatic and recovered because they are the future of the human race. In short, I REFUSE to live YOUR fear.

*if you “like” this post you either didn’t read it or your agree with it. I prefer the latter.

FUCK THE MASK!

Born in Cleveland, OH  July 18, 1929, Jalacy “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins would go on to take the world by storm with his unique voice and theatrical presentation.   He would leave an indelible mark on popular culture.  He would go on to inspire and influence generations of musicians including Tom Waits, Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson and many others.   When I discovered Tom Waits in college (mid 1980’s) I found out that one of his major influences was Screamin’ Jay.   So naturally I had to check it out.   I now own many Screamin’ Jay Hawkins discs.   He recorded his signature hit I PUT A SPELL ON YOU many times.  And just about anyone who is anybody in the music world has covered this song. But there are so many other delights.   He is funny, witty, wry, satirical. Trained on classical piano he wanted to be an opera singer and sited Paul Robeson as an inspiration and Caruso was also a big influence –  but when that failed to come to fruition he blossomed in the cabaret circuit and that is where his transformation into the kitschy character performer – often performing with voodoo props, rubber snakes and cigarette smoking skull he affectionally named Henry.  He has had several movie appearances.

If you’ve never heard Screamin’ Jay Hawkins before you are in for a treat. Enjoy.

Jalacy “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins B-Day

Maher Zain born 16 July 1981.    A singer/songwriter who’s music can be described as  inspirational pop and many classify as R&B.  Born in Tripoli, Lebanon his family emigrated to Sweden when he was 8 years old.  His music has a strong muslim influence but don’t let that throw you off.  He sings mostly in English but also mixes in Arabic, French, Turkish, Malay and Indonesian.   He is also known to release different versions of the songs in each language.  He releases his recordings on the Awakening Music label.    His videos are powerful connections between lyric, sound and image.   He finds commonality in his faith where so many try to find difference and separation.    I find that many of they lyrics could be appreciated by Christian, Jews, Buddhists.   If his videos sometimes seem political it is simply because he takes an event as the core topic of the story/message he is trying to spread.   It is not a politics of separation but, instead, a politics of unity, exploring commonality in the human experience.  Songs of social justice and conflict.  Here are several videos.   I hope you enjoy.

His newest video in remembrance of the Bosnia Genocide that began 11th July 1995.


Nearly every year he releases a different video celebrating the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. Here is his video for Ramadan 2020. ANTASALM (You[God] Are Peace) – an encouragement in a year of great difficulty.

A song addressing Racism in this summer of racial unrest.

A song dedicated to mothers.

Love Will Prevail – An emotional take from 2013 of the tragedy that is, continues to be, Syria. As we confront ongoing violence around the world – let’s look to our own communities – will we let love prevail?

Another Ramadan video (this one from 2013) – exploring spiritual longing, community and celebration.

Finally. A message that I think is more important in these times of unrest, outrage and deep offense. I think there is a time for everything. We need to have conversations not just telling but also listening. We need to change the things we have the power to change and let of the things we cannot change. There are great harmonies in the song and it makes me think how letting go can promote harmony.

Happy Birthday Maher Zain

So I have a real Love/Hate relationship with YouTube. And the extremes are so great. There are times I find myself cursing at YouTube. It’s algorithms are absolutely useless and – in my opinion – should be able to be customized by the viewer/subscriber.

I use YouTube one of two ways. #1 – I check on my subscriptions to see if anything warrants my curiosity and attention. #2 I search for what I want to see.

YouTubes “HOME” page and “TRENDING” page are absolutely useless to me and the greatest source of aggravation. I hate them and if I could hide them I would. As it is I just ignore them.

Why do those two pages cause me such grief. I’ll start with trending. The videos on the trending page are determined by the lowest common denominator and do not reflect quality, artistic merit or anything that could seriously be considered newsworthy or valuable. Even the different categories are basically drivel. They are just showing you what is currently popular. I HATE popularity – as any of you who have already read my “Mobius Faith” page (describing my blog) will be able to deduce. So that’s it for “Trending”. Useless drivel!

The other page is a little more complex. Your “HOME” page is things that YouTube recommends to you based on your viewing and search habits. They will push things through to you that they think you will watch. In otherwords they are creating “click-bait”. This is simply the most frustrating page of them all. While I learned a long time ago to ignore the “TRENDING” page it took me a while to get to that point with the Home Page. Again, the algorithms are completely out of whack. What is most maddening is that if you watch a video – YouTube will assume you will want to watch that video again and every other video like it so they push it to your HOME page. For me this just clutters my home page with things I have no interest in – basically I’ve watched the video I wanted now I don’t want to watch more of the same – I want to move on. For example. You watch an a video by The Stray Cats (from their VEVO channel) YouTubes algorithms will push more of that exact same video that maybe someone on a different channel has uploaded. They will also push every Stray Cats VEVO Channel video to your home page. Now it’s been said that you and I have some control over the algorithms by clicking on the menu icon beside each video (the three little dots lined up vertically) where you have the option to click on “Not Interested” and “Don’t Recommend Channel”. If you click on “Not Interested” it will ask you “Why?” Where you get the chance to click on “I’ve already watched the video” to “I don’t like the video”. From what I can tell none of the above options really does any good. They only give you the illusion of control – YouTube is still in control. You will still get thousands of useless recommendations and channels and that you are not interested in and do not like.

You may ask, “So, what if I decide to delete my history”. OMG then the cycle starts all over again and anything you clicked on above like “Not Interested” (for any reason) and “Don’t Recommend Channel” is deleted and – you guessed it – you start the cycle all over again of have stuff pushed to you that you’ve already seen and disliked or chose some other option previously mentioned. So the best option is just to ignore the “HOME” page – Like “TRENDING” it too is completely useless and more aggravating.

All that complaining aside. I do like that I can search and find anything I’m looking for on YouTube.

YouTube – love it/hate it

Recently I’ve been thinking about prayer and how religious organizations are capitalizing on and exploiting peoples weakness during the corona virus to convert new believers, claims of healing, surviving etc.

Yesterday I just started to write down some thoughts in my journal.

It doesn’t rain because you pray, The sun doesn’t shine because you pray. Disaster doesn’t spare you, your friends or family because you pray. Yo don’t recover from illness because you pray. You don’t enjoy good health because you pray. Your enemies don’t suffer because you pray and you don’t suffer because others pray.

You created God and now you’re unhappy with your creation. What was once the domain of religion is now the domain of science. Still you refuse to believe.

Again, those are just some preliminary thoughts to be fleshed out sometime in the future.

I am a H-U-G-E fan of Nick Cave (the musician). A few months ago I subscribed to his “Red Hand Files” newsletter where once a week he answers a fans question. Questions range from the banal (favorite books?, favorite protest songs? etc) to the more serious (how did you cope with the loss of your son? and in April “A prayer to who?”)

He had some very interesting thoughts on prayer which I want to share.


Dear Patrick,

The act of prayer is by no means exclusive to religious practise because prayer is not dependent on the existence of a subject. You need not pray to anyone. It is just as valuable to pray into your disbelief, as it is to pray into your belief, for prayer is not an encounter with an external agent, rather it is an encounter with oneself. There is as much chance of our prayers being answered by a God that exists as a God that doesn’t. I do not mean this facetiously, for prayers are very often answered.

A prayer provides us with a moment in time where we can contemplate the things that are important to us, and this watchful application of our attention can manifest these essential needs. The act of prayer asks of us something and by doing so delivers much in return — it asks us to present ourselves to the unknown as we are, devoid of pretence and affectation, and to contemplate exactly what it is we love or cherish. Through this conversation with our inner self we confront the nature of our own existence.

The coronavirus has brought us to our knees, yet it has also presented us with the opportunity to be prayerful, whether we believe in God or not. By forcing us into isolation, it has dismantled our constructed selves, by challenging our presumed needs, our desires, and our ambitions and rendered us raw, essential and reflective. Our sudden dislocation has thrown us into a mystery that exists at the edge of tears and revelation, for none of us knows what tomorrow will bring.

In our hubris we thought we knew, but as we bow our heads within the virus’ awesome power, all we are sure of now is our defencelessness. In the end this vulnerability may be, for our planet and ourselves, our saving grace, as we step chastened into tomorrow. Released from our certitude, we present our purest offering to the world — our prayers.

Love, Nick

To check out and subscribe to Nick Caves THE RED HAND FILES – click this link. https://www.theredhandfiles.com

Musings on Prayer

Canada Geese mate for life. This pair refused to tell me how long they’d been together but based on their observed behavior – I’d guess they weren’t newlyweds. LOL
Let's Stay Together

Let’s Stay Together

Do you ever pick a theme song to get you through the summer? I do because the music feels cool no matter how hot the temperatures may get.   I started doing this in 2003.   That first year the album was THE THORNS – with their songs “Runaway Feeling” and “I Can’t Remember”.

This year with everything that’s happening culturally, politically, globally it just feels like a nonstop hurricane.   I choose to sing and dance.   Most people think these things are just about feeling good, joy, celebration etc.   But you can also sing and dance in protest.   And that’s my mindset this year.   So my theme song for 2020 is “Dance In The Hurricane” by Toya Willcox.   I listened to Toya occasionally back in the 1980’s when she was just starting her career.   In addition to music she is a gifted actress and author.  She never really broke big here in the United States.  I lost track of her over the years.    I recently re-discovered her with her new remastered collection, when she recorded with a band simply called THE HUMANS.   I started doing some googling and reading and found that somewhere after I stopped listening to her she married Robert Fripp –  yes, that Robert Fripp, of KING CRIMSON fame (**see note at end).   Now my curiosity was piqued and started seeking out her most recent music.   She just released (in 2019) a remastered edition of her last studio album IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON QUEEN (2008) re-imagined w/bonus tracks (a deluxe 2 disc set).    I listened to a couple of snippets on YouTube and thought “Oh what the heck”… and I bought the album.   It blew me away.  One song, especially, just grabbed me in the fiercest way – its ideas and the driving rock sound.   “Dance In The Hurricane”  features some narration by Robert Fripp. Its an encouraging and powerful song to be listened to repeatedly during difficult times.

Here’s a snippet of the lyrics:

“…Don’t write my rules,
Love your life, Dance in the Hurricane…Only heaven knows how life will write your song. Be loud, be heard, be proud…”

[chorus] “I danced in a hurricane with the god who has no name, I had to run or face the pain, hold on to love, and learn to trust again…”

Final line in the Lyrics – “One constant law remains, if the light goes out dance again.

So I dare you to DANCE!
DANCE IN THIS HURRICANE!! Let this song be your dynamo to re-charge your soul battery so your light can shine again.

Another great track from this 2 disc set is the track, “Sensational”.

(** I don’t know if you’ve followed them at all but since the lockdown Toya and Robert have been posting “…Sunday Lunch” videos that are weird, quirky and just good fun like when her and Robert dress up in bee costumes…. or when they dance Swan Lake in their back yard. Just a real hoot and a holler!)

music theme for summer 2020