Archive for April, 2013

Background Checks

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Oscar Romero, the martyred archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador

From The Tablet:

Pope Francis has reportedly voiced strong support for the beatification and canonisation of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated as he celebrated Mass in March, 1980.

Vanda Pignato, wife of San Salvador’s President Mauricio Funes, said that Pope Francis had remarked on a Romero lapel pin she wore to his audience with ambassadors on Friday.

“He told me that he hoped the canonisation of Archbishop of Romero would be as soon as possible,” she told reporters.

Meanwhile hundreds of people marched through the streets of San Salvador on Sunday to mark the anniversary of Romero’s death.

Worshippers held signs calling on Pope Francis to advance the cause of the archbishop, who was killed for opposition to the military government of the time.

In London, Marie Dennis, a co-president of Pax Christi International, gave a talk at an ecumenical service in St Martin-in-the-Fields church on Saturday to commemorate his death.

“To remember Romero is not just a nice thing to do. He had the audacious power to defy death. To remember Romero is to embrace the fullness of life,” she said.

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A detainee is escorted at Guantanamo


Not that this will convince anyone who denies or justifies it. From The New York Times:

 A nonpartisan, independent review of interrogation and detention programs in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks concludes that “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture” and that the nation’s highest officials bore ultimate responsibilityfor it.

The sweeping, 600-page report says that while brutality has occurred in every American war, there never before had been “the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody.”

Read the document here.

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Tune, Named

Old Young

Yesterday I asked for help identifying a Neil Young song that had been playing on the oldies station at work; alert readers told me it was this one, by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, which explains why I didn’t know it: I had quit listening to CSN&Y after the first couple of albums, thinking they had gone stale. I should have known ol’ Neil would have had some gems hidden among the dross. This one is from the late 80s, and shows it, with hints of various scandals from that time. Enjoy!

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For the Glory of God

Damn the rationalists; cardinals sing for the pure joy of it, and for the glory of God.

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Name This Tune

The young Mr Young

As I have mentioned before, at work they tune in the oldies station. Thankfully, I am only in the office for a couple of hours in the morning before heading out to the mail route.

For if you have never spent the day with “Shake Your Booty” going through your head, or the Archies singing “Sugar Sugar” or anything by the Bee Gees (now those chicks could sing) on your inner replay, well, you don’t understand.

Not that all the music is bad; besides the tons of it I liked the first 80,000 times I heard it, they do play some good stuff; how could they not? I never tire of the Beatles, or of the best Stones’ tunes.

But for the most part it is the same relative handful of tunes, day after day.

But a couple of weeks ago for a few days  they surprised us. While if you only listened to this station you would think that Van Morrison only wrote two songs – “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Domino”-  rather than having had a fifty year career, in those few days they played “Bright Side of the Road”. Also, a tune from Jethro Tull, a band they had never played before. Ditto for Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, and the Dead. And they played “Break on Through” by the Doors (usually it is just “Light My Fire” and “Love Her Madly”.)

While the station claims to play all the hits from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, I have never heard U2, REM, Jimi Hendrix(!) or Dylan, aside from “Like a Rolling Stone”.

I was so impressed I called the station. As I expected, it turned out the program was syndicated. So I told the woman on the other end of the line to pass on to her overlords that I appreciated the diversity. After all, I said, they have access to hundreds of thousands of songs, and this could be a really great station. And as for me, I would just as soon never ever again hear “The Piano Man”, “American Pie” or anything by the Jackson Five.

Apparently her overlords were evil ones; after my call they returned to the same repetitive playlist…

Though the station is not without surprises: last week they played, three consecutive days, a Neil Young song I had never heard. Allow this to sink in: I have been listening to Neil Young, in his various incarnations, since I was 14 or so, beginning with The Buffalo Springfield album I picked up in a cutout bin in the local record store. I thought I knew everything he had ever recorded.

The song sounds like no other Neil Young tune I know; it is catchy, more pop than his usual stuff, with woodwinds in the background. But the voice is unmistakable. The chorus runs something like “Don’t know when we went wrong; maybe it was when you were young and strong.” It was stuck in my head for several days, a welcome relief from the Carpenters.

Does anyone know this tune?

And having mentioned Neil Young, perhaps that will rouse Hezekiah Garrett from his silence; his blog has been dormant for months and he has not been here for as long. Mr Garrett, if you are out there I hope all is well. Check in some time; this is the perfect opportunity to lambaste your favorite Canadian.

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