For a few weeks now my weekly ramblings have been about music and pretty much not much else. Sorry, not this time.
I've come out of a fug of training, work and blissful family life to have a look around and I seriously wish I hadn't. It's depressing.
Why? Well, America has two political parties almost as useless as each other. I really feel for US voters who have to make a difficult choice that has such a huge effect on the whole world. In my opinion (and it's just mine and you can disagree), Romney is a bumbling fool. Regardless of any policies that he may have, can anyone seriously think that he can effectively represent the most powerful nation on earth on the world stage? The fact that the Republicans and Democrats are so polarised on a number of issues looks to me as an outsider that there isn't a lot of room for compromise. Life isn't so black and white. But then our political parties in Australia are so similar that we have a minority government with all the problems that this brings.
The Staples Singers – Respect Yourself - http://youtu.be/oab4ZCfTbOI
Another reason? War. It just goes on. I saw a video this week where a young person said that we were very lucky to live in a time where there aren't any wars. While I was glad for her that life seemed good I did wonder if we had become so desensitised to conflict that we didn't notice anymore? You have to realise that many, many service personnel are conflicted. They train really hard for combat and operations and there is a very strong pull to actually use the skills you've worked so hard to hone. But then there's the cold hard facts of war. It's death, maiming and destruction. Support the troops, oppose the war. If you think this next song is anti-American then you're wrong. Hang around for the last verse.
Steve Earle – Rich Man's War (acoustic and live) - http://youtu.be/zUQ50W7E-gc
One more? Idiots everywhere who think that a moronic film means that the whole western world is anti-Islam. Newsflash – we're not. Most people (if not all) that I know find the idea of ridiculing or denigrating someone's religion to be extremely offensive. Don't use a dumb movie as an excuse for violence. Islamic leaders tell us that their religion is about peace – I'm sure that Christianity is too. So let's be friends, commit to respecting difference on both sides and get on with what's important.
Elvis Costello – What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding? (live with a pretty funny intro) - http://youtu.be/1XYFJUP84lE
This week I had to deal with people who have deeply held religious beliefs that I find out of step with the reality of their lives. I had a choice; I could have offended them and told them what I thought and the effect it was having or I could have tried to understand and work out a solution that might just fit in. I really wanted to tell them what I thought as I was pretty upset by the whole thing but I took a deep breath and tried to work within the parameters of their lives. The outcome is better than expected. A lesson learned by me and maybe a good result for all involved? We'll see. Fingers crossed.
Johnny Cash & Joe Strummer – Redemption Song - http://youtu.be/BGVSTsgcCvw
OK then - some happier news. It has been revealed that Zoe will be going to Rouen when she heads to France later on in the year. She's "met" her host sister online today and it's all rather exciting! Tres bien! Bonus points if you can spot the relevance of this song (other than Joan being French).
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Maid of Orleans - http://youtu.be/FvblnqfOU8c
I'm on a bit of a break from work now. Of course it poured today but I'm hoping I can get some more kilometres in my legs prior to the 24hr mountain bike race. I've got some songs to learn and apparently the requirement to deliver Zoe to the movie theatre at one point. Bliss? The dog will be spoiled with loads of walk and love. And if I'm lucky DJ Ali-HereComesTheSun will have time to have a coffee with me.
Roy Orbison – Working For The Man - http://youtu.be/BJO9GrLyvNo
Let's finish up with a band that I love, just because it's my blog and I can! This next one caused a stir when I was at school...funny now.
Painters & Dockers – Nude School - http://youtu.be/jxuzsxNkDxY
And here's another from the same guys. If you want to hear more then track down their classic live album "Bucket". If you can't then drop me a line.
Painters & Dockers – Die Yuppie Die - http://youtu.be/OvBcVS16_XM