Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Aretha Franklin was and will remain one of my all-time favorite singers. The best Soul singer (male or female) ever. I love me some Patti LaBelle and Al Green, but Aretha was something more than special and beyond unique. She’s one of only two singers I can think of whom everyone loves. I mean as great as Elvis was, not everyone thought he was all that great. (I have to admit that I have none of his music recorded and to me he was a great entertainer, but not a great singer. Sorry Elvis fans, just call them like I see them.) Not everyone likes the Beatles, or the Eagles, or Willie Nelson. Whitney Houston comes close. But for me there are only two singers I can think of that everyone likes: Patsy Cline and Aretha Franklin.
For this old country boy to put Aretha Franklin on the pedestal with Patsy Cline says it all. And Aretha goes up just a little higher. If you ever heard Aretha sing “How Great Thou Art”, it changed your life. Her voice just came from a different place and it was one of those that helped change America for the better. We still have our racial divides and all is not perfect, but thank God we aren’t where we were 50 years ago. Aretha Franklin’s was one of those voices crying in the wilderness, perhaps the most beautiful voice . She taught us how to spell R-E-S-P-E-C-T and challenged us to THINK. Not only when it comes to race, but even more so when it comes to how we treat women. I expect about now she is singing for the angels and they are standing up. Like us, they know greatness, when they hear it.
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Coming up with something to write about without repeating myself is becoming increasingly difficult. Maybe this is why old people keep telling the same stories over and over again…it’s all they got. The stuff I’m inclined to write about tends to fall into certain categories: business/economic, political/social, , religion, history, sports or something entirely personal that I have the audacity to think someone else might actually find interesting. While there is more than enough fresh material out there; it takes work to dig in, read, study, analyze, synthesize and then write about any of it in a way that is meaningful and relevant.
So I find myself going to the same old well of ideas and experiences. I repeat myself. Whether writing this blog or just having a conversation. I now preface my comments with “I may have told you this before, but…..” . Most people are too polite to cut you off and tell you that you’ve already told them something. Even if you tell them in advance that it’s ok to cut you off. And some people are just mean-spirited enough to let you ramble on and keep track of how many times you’ve told them that same story or some version of it.
Jordan Peterson makes this interesting observation in his book, 12 Rules For Life (which I have referenced before, am in the process of re-reading and continue to rank as one of the best book I’ve ever read):
“Researchers have recently discovered that new genes in the central nervous system turn themselves on when an organism is placed (or places itself) in a new situation. These genes code for new proteins. The proteins are the building blocks for new structures in the brain. This means that a lot of you is still nascent, in the most physical of senses, and will not be called forth by stasis. You have to say something, go somewhere and do things to get turned on. And, if not….you remain incomplete, and life is too hard for anyone incomplete.”
Am I in a rut? Is that why I find myself repeating myself? Is that why I find it increasingly difficult to come up with something new to say or write about? I think it probably is. Add to this the “PC Factor” in that you have to be careful in what you say about almost everyone and everything. Plowing new ground is dangerous.
So I suppose I’ll keep repeating myself in one way or the other. Sort of like television shows and movies, the same stories over and over. One of these days I’ll get tired of it and decide to either quit writing or buck up and plow new ground. Or maybe I’ll just try writing fiction and let people wonder if it’s really fiction.
Did I mention that coming up with something to write about without repeating myself is becoming increasingly difficult?...
“I am not young enough to know everything-Oscar Wilde”