Sunday, December 03, 2023

JD's 2023 Advent Calendar (03)

 Here is part the third featuring Cajun/Zydeco at Christmas.

I usually read the notes beneath the YouTube videos and they are often very interesting - an albino alligator called Nicolette pulling Papa Noel's boat? Well why not, it's no more fanciful than than a reindeer with a bright red nose!!

"The Christmas season is doubly blessed in Acadiana. The Cajun population of south Louisiana is predominantly Catholic and the birth of Christ is a sacred reason for them to celebrate. Also, Cajuns as a rule simply love to socialize, so their Christmas holidays often abound with visits, parties, parades, food, spirited drinks, gifts, decorated homes, and community festival of light celebrations.

Around the world Santa Claus has many names; but in the deep, swampy bayous of Louisiana, he's known as Papa Noël. In such a hot and humid place, there can be no sleds or reindeer, so Papa Noël rides the water ways in a boat that's pulled by eight alligators, with a snowy white one named Nicollette in the lead."

Cajun Christmas - ¨Joyeuses Fêtes¨

Louisiana Christmas Day sung by Aaron Neville


Michael McDonald: Christmas on the Bayou

La Valse Cadienne de Noël

Saturday, December 02, 2023

JD's 2023 Advent Calendar (02)

Ho! Ho!! Ho!!!
Bob Dylan - It Must Be Santa

Bob Dylan Reading 'Twas The Night Before Christmas'

First snow 's falling - "Well it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And for the next couple of hours, it’s going to sound like Christmas too. This is the special yuletide extravaganza edition of TTRH, chock full of Christmas themes, holiday dreams, and jingle bell schemes..."

"It’s night time in the Big City
A department store Santa sneaks a sip of gin
Mistletoe makes an old man sad
Eight reindeer land on the roof of the Abernathy building"

It’s Time for "Christmas & New Year's" Theme Time Radio Hour (episode 34) hosted by Bob Dylan, first aired 20 November 2006.

Theme Time Radio Hour was originally broadcast every Wednesday at 10:00 am ET on the Deep Tracks channel of XM Satellite Radio, a subscription-based satellite radio service.
(In the UK the seriess was broadcast on BBC's Radio2)

This special edition is two hours long - but the musical selection is eclectic as you might expect from Mr Zimmerman!

Friday, December 01, 2023

JD's 2023 Advent Calendar (01)

A calendar of posts by JD, starting with the theme of war (and temporary peace) at Christmas:

By late December 1914, there was no end in sight to the Great War. Morale plummeted, as the soldiers realised that they would spend winter in the miserable trenches.

Winston Churchill wrote to his wife in mid-December: “What would happen I wonder, if the armies suddenly and simultaneously went on strike and said some other method must be found for settling their dispute?” He would soon find out.

SABATON - Christmas Truce (Official Music Video)

“For a single day, the opposing forces mingled in friendly conversation and even in games. It was an amazing spectacle, and must arouse bitter thoughts concerning those high-ranking conspirators against the peace of the world, who in their mad ambition had hounded such men on to take each other by the throat rather than by the hand.” – Arthur Conan Doyle, 1916.

HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER). (Ultimate Mix, 2020) 
John & Yoko Plastic Ono Band + Harlem Community Choir

Friday, November 24, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: Karunesh, by JD

 Karunesh (Hindi: करुणेश, "Compassion"; born Bruno Reuter in 1956- is a German-born New Age and ambient musician. His music has strong Indian influences prevalent throughout, with liberal use of Indian instruments, such as the sitar.

Karunesh was born in Cologne, Germany .Although he had been drawn to music as a child and played in bands as a teenager, he chose to study graphic design as a career. However, after obtaining his degree, Karunesh was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. His brush with death prompted him to choose music as a career instead of graphic design. He rethought his life and embarked on a spiritual journey of sorts, traveling in 1979 to India, where he met Osho in his ashram in Pune. He became initiated and took on a new spiritual name, Karunesh, a Sanskrit name meaning "Compassion."

Back in Germany, Karunesh lived in the Rajneesh commune of Hamburg for five years. Here he could develop his musical creativity in a spiritual surrounding. He came in contact with many musicians from all over the world and developed an ability to weave different styles and feelings from different cultures together in a living symbiosis, creating a music that is both spiritual and danceable.

In 1984, Karunesh released his first album, entitled Sounds of the Heart, Sounds of the Heart was followed by Colors Of Light in 1987 and Sky's Beyond in 1989. As of 2012 Karunesh has released 23 albums.

Karunesh has lived on Maui, in the U.S. state of Hawaii, since 1992

Karunesh - For The Joy Of It All

Karunesh - Punjab (Unofficial Video)

Karunesh.Returning to now

Friday, November 17, 2023

FRIDAY MUSIC: The MonaLisa Twins, by JD

I had heard the name but had no idea what their 'genre' was; punk rock or folk singers or something in between. Then I saw they had done a cover version of the 'new' Beatles record and I thought that was quick, no more than a week or so after the release of the original. Why the rush? I then found out they are dedicated Beatles fans and have recorded many of their records in the past and have even played at The Cavern Club. And their harmonies and guitar playing make them the best Beatles Tribute Band you will ever see and hear!

"The MonaLisa Twins, with real-life twins Mona and Lisa Wagner fronting the band, are one of the very few modern groups who continue the tradition of song-writing that took off in 1963. They bring back what has been started 60 years ago and write modern songs in the 60s Beat music tradition, reviving the genre with a fresh twist without sounding pop-ish or trivial. Their signature features are their tight twin harmonies, unaltered natural voices, relatable lyrics, twangy guitar sounds and inventive arrangements."

Now And Then - MonaLisa Twins (The Beatles Cover)

When I'm Sixty-Four - MonaLisa Twins (The Beatles Cover)

Here Comes The Sun - MonaLisa Twins (The Beatles Cover) // MLT Club Duo Session

Yesterday - MonaLisa Twins (The Beatles Cover)

Nowhere Man - MonaLisa Twins (The Beatles Cover)

She Loves You (The Beatles Cover) - MonaLisa Twins (Live at the Cavern Club)

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

SPAIN: Letting the Catalan out of the Bag, by JD

You may recall that in 1968 John Lennon described governments of the world as being insane, doing insane things for insane reasons. At some point in the Seventies George Harrison said the world is run by mad people.

Now I get the feeling that madness or insanity is official policy everywhere. And Spain has not escaped the insanity, disguised as political opportunism.

Spain's PM, Pedro Sanchez, has introduced an amnesty law for Catalan nationalists in exchange for their support in propping up his minority government. Needless to say there have been widespread protests, thousands have taken to the streets waving Spanish flags. I saw one video in which the crowds were chanting "Periodistas, terroristas!" as their press is as bad as ours if not worse.

Here is a video of Tucker Carlson in Spain on Monday. He said the news is not being reported in the US (or here in the UK) and he wanted to highlight it on his TwitterX platform.

I have previously written about the madness of the Catalan politicians, especially here:

Why do people go into politics? Is it because of arrested development and they remain forever 12 year olds in a school playground?

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

British Values, by Sackerson

We should be suspicious of anything that tries to wrap itself in the Union Flag. Do you remember the episode of Yes, Minister in which the government blackmailed Eurocrats into renaming our ‘Emulsified High-Fat Offal Tube’ as the ‘British Sausage’?

Similarly in 2014 the coalition government sought to define ‘British Values’. These were designed to reunify the country after New Labour’s initiatives of mass immigration and regionalisation, both of which pose threats to our collective identity. However there has been no serious attempt to reverse either.

The values listed were democracy, rule of law, respect and tolerance, and individual liberty, to be enforced by a curriculum rollout in schools. This wishful mishmash works about as well as France’s 1793 ‘Cult of Reason’ promoted in her recently desecrated churches. Abstract principles do not hold a nation together, especially when they are ill-defined and its rulers obviously do not believe in them.

Let’s start with democracy. We are not like ancient Athens, where male citizens decided policy directly. We elect representatives by a system so flawed that in 2011 we had a referendum about the Alternative Vote. The two main political parties colluded in a campaign against it since the status quo suited them better; they got what they wanted.

Underpinning democratic debate is the acceptance by all sides to be bound by the outcome. In 2016 the Brexit vote exploded that convention, all the more cataclysmically because in formally undertaking to implement the result the political parties had escalated the referendum’s status to that of a plebiscite. A furious Establishment, from the Palace of Westminster down to its media heralds and jesters, has combined to subvert it ever since.

In any case, democracy in the sense of universal adult suffrage is less than a century old. The extension in the UK of the vote to all males in 1918 must have been at least partly influenced by the fear of revolution after a war that killed 880,000 servicemen and an estimated 600,000 civilians, and with the example of Russia for our ruling class to consider.

Since the State won’t listen and increasingly won’t even let us talk to each other on social media, it is hardly surprising that people are ignoring it in turn. Greta Thunberg has explained that she is not an expert but an ‘activist’, and there are so many like her in different fields; all you need is a bad idea and lots of passion. This exposes another weakness in democracy: the power of the demagogue (Demosthenes nearly persuaded Athens to its destruction by the Macedonians) and modern propaganda – let the people vote how they will, provided you can influence how they think.

Even clever and well-informed people can be blinded by ideological commitment, so that the awful collateral damage caused by the IDF’s counter-attacks on Hamas is being mistermed ‘genocide’ – ironic since ‘genocide’ was the unequivocally stated plan of Hamas’s 1988 Covenant, not just for Israel but every last Jew; their 2017 version is more media-savvy but their underlying intent is unchanged, as the events of October 7 have shown.

Civilised restraint in Britain is breaking down. When the free exchange of ideas is persecuted even in universities, diversity turns from a claimed strength to a clear challenge, particularly when some ideologues – from world-savers to soul-savers – are absolutist and believe they have a higher authority than the secular State to sanction property destruction and violence against persons. So much for ‘respect and tolerance’.

If British anthropologist Robin Dunbar is right, the natural limit on a community’s size is 150; to keep Britain’s 67million or more together needs constant maintenance by means of myths, history and symbols. It took centuries and much blood to make an alloy of the disparate communities of the United Kingdom. Yet already there are fracture lines in the nation – New Labour’s devolutions have lit the fires of petty nationalism again, and now we have a significant number of inhabitants with alternative, strongly held beliefs and supranational allegiances. How do we prevent disintegration?

Compared with much of the rest of the world, postwar Britain has been like a sunlit clearing in a dark forest inhabited by monsters. Surely Douglas Murray is right in saying that we are in a fight for survival and that if the State persists in neglecting the people’s security, we shall end up with a genuinely nasty administration or the anarchy of self-appointed vigilantism. This is why we require a secular and impartial rule of law that firmly tackles public disorder, intimidation and incitement, the destruction of property and the defilement of spaces and monuments sacred to various communities. Every country should have such a rule and we ourselves are failing to maintain it.

Our greatest ‘British Value’, personal freedom, is not so much a value as a habit. If our history were to be taught in school as illustrating a theme, the leitmotif would be resistance to overweening arbitrary power. Little of Magna Carta remains in force yet it set a precedent: the King’s will was not the whole of the law. It was a lesson forgotten when the Stuart monarchy tried to enforce Anglicanism on Catholics, Scots Presbyterians and Dissenters. It was forgotten again when Cromwell imposed Puritanism on the people – we really don’t need another lot of tyrannical black-clad fanatics, though we seem set to have them – and once more in 2020, when the British equivalent of the Committee of Public Safety confined us to our homes. How easily did our freedom evaporate three years ago!

It is time – it is long past time – for the State to exercise muscular liberalism, that balance of official self-limitation with restraint on popular inciters and oppressors, that inch of freedom between ‘must’ and ‘mustn’t.’

Peace depends in part on not resolving certain issues and on restraining those who are keen to join battle about them. Often it is not convictions that need enforcement, but the lack of them. Fervently held political and religious beliefs would turn Paradise into a wasteland; our answer to zealots must be ‘you may be right, but can we decide that later and get along together for now?’

J S Mill said that freedom of speech was possible only in societies that had attained a certain level of development. If we lose the capacity to consider alternatives and peacefully suspend judgment or ‘agree to disagree’, we must resign ourselves to sliding back to an authoritarian and censorious State; one that will make serious errors because those who could warn it are muzzled; one that may already have done so in the fields of climate change and public health.

Dissenters and protesters, yes; rioters and rabble-rousers, no. Let us see if our beleaguered police and security apparatus can strike the vital balance this Remembrance weekend.

Previously published at The Conservative Woman Defending Freedom