Ego Vero Seek and you shall find... Ask and the door shall be opened

Music Friday – random one-hit wonder edition

Music Friday – random one-hit wonder edition

Yep, it’s Music Friday.  Like a true ’60s Refugee I will delve in to the 1969 BillBoard Hot 100 and deliver a one hit wonder from an American band that flirted briefly with fame and fortune: The New Colony Six.  Six guys from Chicago with a dream – and at least one decent song.  When I was in the 7th grade I probably heard this song on KROY or KXOA but I honestly don’t remember it from then.  I heard it recently on Sirius XM sattelite radio where you can come full circle and listen to AM radio all over again, just with better speakers.  I’m still hoping for cassettes to make a comeback BTW.

Like most groups in the 1960s, these guys had a schtick which was their colonial costumes similar to what Paul Revere and the Raiders wore.  I don’t know if they imitated PR&R or if it was the other way around, but Paul Revere and the Raiders were certainly more…popular.  Well known.  Successful? I guess, but that might have boiled down simply to better management rather than an advantage in talent.  Whatever. It’s all in the past now and probably most of these folks aren’t around anymore.  But they did leave us this.  I hope you enjoyed it.

Anthropomorphization – narcissism, or just a lack of imagination?

Anthropomorphization – narcissism, or just a lack of imagination?

Damn, I ask a lot of questions.

People like to anthropomorphize things around us.  Yes, I said “us”.  I am a people, too.  An-thro-po-mor-phize – attribute human behavior or characteristics to non human things.  Why do we do it?  Is it narcissism, or just a lack of imagination?

We customarily name inanimate things like storms and ships, we humanize products or services for marketing purposes.  Excessively so, in my opinion.  The pharmaceutical industry seems especially fond of this marketing angle, what with cartoon bladders and actors wearing  colon costumes.  Fortunately no anthropomorphized representations of erectile dysfunction – yet.

Is this a mechanism we use to try to understand certain concepts, and if so, why?  Does it further our understanding of tropical storms to think of them as angry women with a grudge against certain Carribean islands and coastal cities?  Do we really need dogs to speak to us for us to know that they like bacon?

What started me down this particular trail of thought was this article in Smithsonian Magazine entitled What will Extraterrestrial Life Look Like?  It seems that the way we imagine extraterrestrial life (at least in the movies) to be very much like us is kind of like the way we anthropomorphize the things around us.  In this instance the illustrator goes out of his way to avoid anthropomorphization by using a combination of science and imagination to come up with several possible life forms – none of which resemble humans in the least.  It’s as if he hasn’t seen Star Trek or Star Wars and doesn’t know all life forms are at the very least bipedal.  Of course I am being facetious – we all know the depictions of extraterrestrials in those shows are reflections of budgetary restrictions.  The same reason all the visited planets have Oxygen rich atmospheres.  But I digress (as usual).

To me, it’s one of those aspects of human nature that don’t make sense to me, but seems so universal that it must be built in and therefore there must be an underlying purpose that is served.  What it is I don’t know – do you?

I said I asked a lot of questions – I didn’t say I had a lot of answers.



How Do You Expect Us To Help You Without Our Boot On Your Throat?

How Do You Expect Us To Help You Without Our Boot On Your Throat?

Living in California like I do has it’s advantages.  Take the weather for example – is there a place on earth with a more benign climate?  Doubtful.  Then there is the geography with it’s diverse and staggering beauty.  This place is seemingly a paradise;  yet people are leaving in droves for places like Texas, Idaho and Utah.

No offense Texans, Idahoans and Utah…people.  But Why?

Many are emigrating for economic reasons – everything costs more in California.  Others are leaving because despite its outward resemblance to paradise, California is not a very free place to live.  The Government here intrudes into almost every aspect of  life in one form or another.  As far as the economic factors I mentioned a sentence or two ago – these economic factors have underlying causes that relate directly back to government intrusion and overreach.  We pay high taxes on almost everything, pay taxes that are called “fees” on everything else, and finally we pay artificially high prices on housing, goods and services because of the cost of regulation.

The Progressive Utopia of California is a nanny state – it’s like having your mom always there telling you to pick up your socks and eat your brussels sprouts.  Always. There.  Except that your California Nanny State Mom is an alcoholic cat lady who is also schizophrenic.  And stupid.

Turns out people don’t like being told what to do and how to live and then being made to pay for it.  They experience a sudden realization that midwest winters, Texas summers, hurricanes and tornados don’t sound so bad.  If you can keep your money and the government will leave you the hell alone, that is.

The Progressive Utopia of California is a nanny state – it’s like having your mom always there telling you to pick up your socks and eat your brussels sprouts.  Always. There.  Except that your California Nanny State Mom is an alcoholic cat lady who is also schizophrenic.  And stupid.

Of course, Nanny State Mom only wants what’s best for you.   She only needs ordinances and laws to keep SOME people from making arguably unhealthy or unsafe decisions, presumably for the good of the public at large.  The rules start out being somewhat innocuous – things like mandatory automobile seat belt laws, mandatory motorcycle helmet laws, etc.  These rules mandating (or prohibiting) behaviors are rarely objected to because most people agree that they are “common sense” or “good ideas”.  However, if they are common sense or good ideas wouldn’t people do them on their own?  Why do we need a law?

So what happens when California Nanny State Mom has a few other ideas about what’s best for us all that might seem a little…how shall I put this…nutty?  Well now we’re gonna need a law.  Or two.  Or three…hundred thousand.

Because in the Progressive Utopia of California we can’t have people just doing whatever they want.  Does that seem like an extreme statement?  If you accept the premise of the Nanny State then it is not.  Because to accept that someone else, for whatever reason has the right to make decisions for you the only remaining question is how far are they allowed to go in enforcing those choices?  In the future Progressive Utopia of California all that is not forbidden will be mandatory.  And just exactly how is Mom gonna do that without her boot on your throat?

If it’s so bad, why am I still here?  The Prog Lib Dems who pull Nanny State Mom’s strings are telling me to get out.  They don’t want me or people like me here.  LaLaLaLaLa…I’m not listening to you, mom.  I was obstinate as a child and I’m not about to change.  Besides, the very fact that I may be an obstacle however small to full realization of the People’s Progressive Dystopian Banana Republic Hellscape of California is reason enough for me to endure and stay.  Well, that and the weather.

Music Friday – Israelites

Music Friday – Israelites

“Get up in the morning slaving for bread, sir, so that every mout’ can be fed” edition:

As usual, I get an idea about something; this starts a train of thought and I just go where it takes me.  Here’s where the train leaves the station:  the “Get up in the morning…” line is from a song called “The Israelites” by a fellow named Desmond Dekker.  I remember hearing this song on the radio when I was young, when “the radio” was where I heard my music.  I heard it again the other day (when I was less young) on the radio – the satellite radio – and it got me thinking.

“Got you thinking about what?” you ask?  Yeah, yeah I’m getting there.  But first let me finish the background on the song since this is a Music Friday post.

In the late 1960s after British music invaded America, reggae music invaded Britain. In 1968 the Jamaican group  Desmond Dekker and the Aces released “The Israelites” which topped the British charts the following year. As near as I can tell it’s a simple song about living poor in the ghetto of Kingston, Jamaica.

Though what we hear about is a poor man dressed in rags whose wife and kids have left him, we also hear about ourselves.  Sure, we don’t all get up in the morning  literally slaving for bread, but we do have our motivations to work whatever time of day (or night) it happens. I wrote earlier about Concupiscence  which could be broadly defined as the force to action exerted on us by our passions.  It seems obvious that everyone has their motivations above and beyond the necessities to maintain life: wealth, notoriety, attention from a certain someone etc. etc. etc. These motivations are there pushing us to act.  Somewhere in the human DNA is a gene shaped like a little cardboard sign that reads “Will work for (something I want but don’t have)”.  Is this humankind’s greatest blessing, or a fatal defect?  As usual the answer seems to be: both.

So many mout’s to be fed.  I’d better set my alarm an hour early.


What the hell…why not? Music Friday – A.I. Edition

What the hell…why not? Music Friday – A.I. Edition

Being stuck in the 1970’s like I am has it’s advantages.   One of them is that you can look around at all the “new” things and ideas floating around today and say “that’s just a different version of x, y or z that we did back in the day”.  Case in point:  current topics of discussion today about modern advances in technology that have given rise to research and creation of new machines – specifically robots, or Robots with a capital “R”.  And the creation of said machines begets further conversation, debates, etc over the limits of artificial intelligence or AI.  When does a machine become human? What will happen when AI surpasses human intelligence? What are the repercussions for human society?  I mean the “Rise of The Machines” and the coming robot revolution are what the Kool Kidz are talking about these days.  Except…


So how does this become a Music Friday post? As usual, by accident.  Because another of the advantages of being stuck in the 1970’s is being in the habit of listening to 1970’s Progressive Rock music  – like the progressive rock concept album “I Robot” by The Alan Parsons Project.  An album that was released in 1977.  Often in those halcyon days when people gathered to socialize, they listened to music and had discussions, or “talked”.  This is something people did before they had their phones to distract them since cell phones, smart or dumb did not yet exist.  So friends would gather together and listen to albums which were physical objects – vinyl discs which had grooves molded into them.  An album was placed on a turntable where a needle tracked through the groove, reproducing the music.  Rockin’ it old school in the 70’s meant using physical media since there was no internet, streaming, or a “cloud”.  OK, back on track, this concept album was based loosely on stories in a book by Isaac Asimov…wait.  Let me back up again.  A “book” was a physical object…Oh hell, just google it. The book by Isaac Asimov contained stories about robots and  AI. Getting back to the album, the cover inlay read:

“I Robot… The story of the rise of the machine and the decline of man, which paradoxically coincided with his discovery of the wheel… and a warning that his brief dominance of this planet will probably end, because man tried to create robot in his own image.”

And so the discussions revolved around the music, the music revolved around the topic.  And the current debates are merely history repeating itself.  So, been there, done that and I probably even have the T-shirt around here somewhere not that it would still fit.  Wish I still had the hair, but I digress.  All discussions aside, there was the music.  This is some of what we heard:

One song off the album that was released as a single:

And another single from the album:

And, saving the best for last as I am often wont to do:

Could it be? Are you looking into my mind? I warned early readers that they might find themselves walking around inside my head.  Hopefully you’ve wiped your feet.  Don’t bother setting the clock or changing the calendar, I like it here in the 70’s.  And please lock the door on your way out.

Merry 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown!

Merry 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown!

By the time A Charlie Brown Christmas aired for the first time in December 1965, the Peanuts characters had already been a part of American culture for 15 years, the comic strip having debuted in October 1950.  Perhaps not widely known is the fact that the TV special was nearly never made at all.  And once made, the finished product was disliked by the executives who commissioned it, and only aired because it had been committed to air and was completed too late to change it or substitute anything in it’s place.

And so befitting a franchise in which, according to creator Charles Schulz,

“All the loves in the strip are unrequited; all the baseball games are lost; all the test scores are D-minuses; the Great Pumpkin never comes; and the football is always pulled away.”

It became an instant hit and endures as a Christmas classic even today, fifty years later.

If not for a convergence of events none of this would have happened.   In the early 1960’s Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola were engaged in what are known today as “the advertising wars”, and in the summer of 1965 Coca Cola was looking for a vehicle with which they could gain an advertising advantage over their rival Pepsi.   About a year earlier producer Lee Mendelson had pitched a different Charlie Brown special about “the world’s worst baseball player” which was rejected by the three major television networks, but was remembered by an executive at the advertising firm representing Coca Cola. Mendelson, when asked by the ad exec representing Coca Cola if he could produce a Peanuts Christmas special, said yes without hesitation and without consulting his partner Peanuts creator Charles Schulz.  Further, Mendelson agreed to meet with the ad agency on the following Monday to go over the proposal.  The hitch was that no such project was in development and no proposal existed.  Mendelson recalls that he made a telephone call to Charles Schulz:

Mendelson: “I think I just sold ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’

Schulz: “What’s ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’?”

Mendelson: “It’s what you’re going to write this weekend”

Schulz and Mendelson did indeed get a story and a proposal together, thin as it was, though apparently good enough for the Coke ad execs to respond by telegram the next day:


Now producer Mendelson, creator Schulz and animator Bill Melendez had only 3 months to complete the project.  This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it left no time for revisions to the completed product which featured some unorthodox elements.  Actual children had been used to voice the characters, something that creator Charles Schulz had insisted upon.  The sound track was composed by San Francisco jazz musician Vince Guaraldi (more on that in a future post).  These unorthodoxies were considered flaws by the executives once they saw the special for the first time – only a week before it aired!  The sponsors found the children’s dialogue stilted and felt that the jazz themes didn’t fit the scenes.  The tempo felt slow.  Certainly had there been more time, these “flaws” would have been edited or rewritten or cut altogether and we would have none of the charm that makes the program so different and special.  And this is due to the creative vision of Charles Schulz.

There was one other unorthodox ingredient in the program.

Charles Schulz has been described as “fiercely protective” of his creation and was able to wield nearly absolute editorial discretion, and so the following element was included at Schulz’ insistence.  Even at the time it was considered unusual content in a prime time television entertainment show and some of the parties involved balked at including it:

This little vignette is, in my opinion, one of the most endearing elements of the program and never fails to bring a tear to my eye.  I believe it is an act of providence that due to what are essentially fortunate outcomes in a chain of random events a young boy speaks these words to a great many millions of people every year.

On December 9th, 1965 the special aired.  Nearly half of the television viewing audience that night tuned in.  It was a huge hit.  The audience response was enormous, and it was a great victory for Coca Cola in the advertising wars.  But much more than that it is now a part of our culture.

Happy 50th Birthday!

A Merry and Blessed Christmas to all!

A Wal-Mart Miracle

A Wal-Mart Miracle

It’s often said that before one can know another person, one must walk a mile in their shoes.  Much fun is had on the internet mocking “the people of Wal-Mart”, but Wal-Mart is full of all kinds of people.  Some people have all the money and material goods they need.  What they need is only for someone to show them a little kindness:


I was one of those people who made fun of the “people of Walmart”.  And I’m an idiot.  I don’t know anyone’s story, their background, their pain or their journey in this world.  I judge the badly dressed, the overweight, the sloppy, the ignorant, the ill-mannered.  The same ones, yesterday, who cried when someone offered them a small kindness….

So, I ask again – who was giving who what??

The rest of the story:  Wal-Mart is a holy land

As we say on the internet: Read The Whole Thing

Gotta serve somebody

Gotta serve somebody

exquisite gears tumblr_lxcdndkZPS1r0o12to1_500



This Blog Continues to not be dead

This Blog Continues to not be dead

This blog continues to not be dead.  Undead maybe?  That might be fitting description what with the current zombie craze and proximity to Halloween.  So, yeah I’m still busy, but I haven’t forgotten about you all.  Meanwhile may I suggest you review a few posts from the grooveyard of forgotten favorites?

Why Would You?  Because You Could.  But If You Could, Would You?

Vero dicta inermis ea

Saint Patrick’s Day revisited


Any Major Dude Will Tell You…

Those are my recommendations for today, but feel free to browse around while you’re here.  I don’t cost nothin’.  Fresh content coming soon.  Stay tuned.

This Blog Is Not Dead

This Blog Is Not Dead

Contrary to appearances, this blog is not dead.  I’ve just been busy, that’s all.  I promise I’ll be back with new content but in the meantime won’t you look in the sidebar to the right and click on one of the “popular posts” or recent posts?  Or click on a category and scroll thru.  If this is your first visit I might suggest that you start scrolling and keep scrolling scrolling down, down, down.  Think of it as “the best of” Ego-Vero.  And by “best of” I mean “all of”.

Godzilla warning

My goal is to inform, entertain and enlighten my readers and myself.  Mostly myself it seems, but occasionally I have a reader.  And since you’re here…to get you started I’ve picked out a few relatively recent posts.  Enjoy!

Meet An Old Friend of Mine (June 3, 2015)

Eulogy For A Metaphor (April 28, 2015)

California’s Leaders, Visionaries Lacking in Leadership, Vision (April 20, 2015)

A Puppy’s Tale – epilogue (March 28, 2015)

Page 1 of 38 1 2 3 4 5 ... Last →
Get Bonus from William Hill the UK bookamker.