THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUTH:

All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

BUCK DHARMA AND XIEZILLA

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THANKSGIVING DAY, 2010 :
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Stephen T. McCarthy [to his brother, Napoleon]: “Blue Oyster Cult’s Buck Dharma was the most underrated Hard Rock guitarist of the ‘Classic Rock’ era.”
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Greg [a know-it-all 19-year-old]: “Who did you say was the most underrated Hard Rock guitarist of the ‘Classic Rock’ era?”
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Stephen: “Buck Dharma from Blue Oyster Cult.”
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Greg: “No he wasn’t.”
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Stephen [to Brother Nappy]: “There! You see what I mean?”
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I have no intention of filling in the details here. All you really need to know is that a 12-year-old boy “straight off the slow boat from China” has come to live temporarily with Brother Nappy and me, and he don’t speak no good English hardly at all.
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His name is Xie (pronounced: “Shay”) and he is – to put it mildly – LARGE for his age. We took him recently to the Northwest Chinese Baptist Church where one of the “church ladies” (who has a 10-year-old daughter of her own) was startled to learn that Xie was only 12.
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“Oh, my Northwest Chinese Baptist Church God!” she exclaimed. “I figured he was sixteen.”
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Yeah, Xie is so BIG that I have nicknamed him Xiezilla [pronounced: “Shayzilla”]. Sure, I know that Godzilla was Japanese, not Chinese. But all those Asian people look the same to me. (Just kidding. Actually, I’m not too bad at differentiating Asian people based solely on their facial features.)
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Now I’m gonna tell ya one of the funniest things ever (I’m serious!) It happened a few weeks ago, back when the only things Xie could say in English were “A little” and “Maybe later anything”.
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Brother Nappy and I were out in the front yard with Xie, trying to teach him basic baseball. Never in his entire life had Xie tried to hit a baseball. But despite having a stance and swing that was fundamentally flawed, he was whacking the crap out of the Wiffle Ball that we were lobbing toward him. We we’re pretty impressed that he was able to hit it as hard as he was with only an “arm swing”.

So after awhile, an ice cream truck comes down the street playing its music, and we took a break from baseball practice and bought ice cream from the truck. (Can you even imagine a more “American” scene than this? Baseball and an ice cream truck!)
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We’re standing around eating our Chocolate-Banana ‘Bomb Pops’ in the front yard when Xie accidentally drops his and it hits the dirt. Xie says, “Shit!” Nappy, wide-eyed, asks him, “What did you just say?” and Xie repeats it, “Shit”. Then I ask him, “Did you say that word in China?” and Xie answers, “No.” So I ask him, “Where did you learn that word?” And Xie points at Nappy and me and says, "You say".
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Nappy and I fell apart laughing, realizing of course that little pitchers (even foreign little pitchers) really do have big ears and we need to clean up our language pronto.
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[Xiezilla posing with Venice Beach icon Harry Perry.]
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[Xiezilla continuing to pose with Venice Beach icon Harry Perry.]
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Xiezilla’s theme song was recorded by Blue Oyster Cult in 1977 and it features Buck Dharma, the most underrated Hard Rock guitarist of the ‘Classic Rock’ era:
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He picks up a bus and he throws it back down
As he wades through the buildings 
Toward the center of town . . .
GODZILLA!
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Blue Oyster Cult - Godzilla
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In 1976, Blue Oyster Cult turned away from their more ‘Heavy Metal’ past and forged a new, more melodic ‘Hard Rock’ career, beginning with their album ‘Agents Of Fortune’ which featured their biggest hit ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper’.
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The following year BOC released ‘Spectres’ which showcased perhaps the best vocal harmonies ever in a Hard Rock setting, and also displayed Buck Dharma’s creative evolution into a guitarist thinking of his instrument as something to provide sonic textures rather than merely mindless, blazing solos intended to excite pimple-faced, White male teenagers.
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‘Xiezilla’ ‘Godzilla’ is undoubtedly the most well-known song from the ‘Spectres’ album, having become an FM radio staple, however, I think some of Dharma’s best work was found in the songs ‘Searching For Celine’ and ‘Nosferatu’ (another monster tune). In the latter, beginning at about the 4:08 mark, Buck plays a 40-second lead that, in keeping with the 'Horror' theme, is simply unadulterated electric wickedness.
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[Incidentally, 'Nosferatu' is a silent 1922 German vampire movie starring Max Schreck. It is definitely worth watching once. ...I've watched it twice.]
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Nosferatu - Blue Öyster Cult (HQ)
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In 1979, BOC released the album ‘Mirrors’ which was a disappointment sales-wise but, in my opinion, was their second best studio album after ‘Spectres’. In the song ‘I Am The Storm’, Buck Dharma proved that he could still toss off rip-roaring liquid steel solos that blew away most of the competition (Tommy Shaw of Styx, Tom Scholz of Boston, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, et al.)
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Listen for the lyrics . . .
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You'll hear my echoes of anger
You'll fear the roar of my thunder
Nightmares, confusion will come true
Aces and eights are the fate that you drew

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The American West history buffs already know that a pair of aces and a pair of eights is supposedly the poker hand Wild Bill Hickok was holding when he was shot from behind and killed.
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Blue Oyster Cult I Am The Storm
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Yesterday I put a CD into my player and cranked up BOC’s most famous tune, ‘(Don’t Fear) The Reaper’, to see what Xie would think of it. I guess you could say he liked it if the sight of a 12-year-old Godzilla-sized Chinese boy who don’t speak no good English hardly at all launching into an air-guitar solo means anything.
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After the song was over I asked Xiezilla, “Good, bad, or 
so-so?”
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He said, “Ta-shee-a-kay-don-ee-shung”, which apparently is Chinese for “It needs more cowbell”.
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Don't fear the reaper (with lyrics and pics)
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhRjyLLUdhw
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Of course Nappy and I both realize that kids will always find something to pick on other kids about, and ‘How-To-Bully’ seems to be the one lesson most kids learn well in the public schools today. Xie is too big for his age, meaning that some little dick will probably try to make a name for himself by bullying Xie in the same way that little Ritchard (“Little Dick”) Gale tried to kick Casey Heynes as if Casey was a dog he owned:
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Bullying victim speaks out - Casey Heynes - Australia
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=ziIfZx0XX5I&NR=1
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For this reason, Brother Napoleon (a bad motor-scooter himself) has already begun teaching Xiezilla how to use his claws fists, and that will spell “A-S-S-W-H-U-P-P-I-N” for the first Dick Gale who tries to bully Xie!
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He picks up a punk and he throws him back down
As he wades through the schoolyard 
Toward the center of town . . . 
XIEZILLA!
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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10 comments:

  1. Stephen,
    I know what you mean. I got frustrated at my car, the baby wipes, and such items on a fairly regular basis. Nothing worse than trying to clean the poo poo with wipes that won't come out, apart, you get the point. My frustrated speech goes something like this, "F***ing cheap ass wipes" and "Worthless piece of s***t car." So my wife come home and then Mr. P starts his montra, "F**king cheap ass wipes, worthless piece of s**t car." He said it over and over and over again. I got the look, the look that says, "your in trouble."

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  2. BR'ER MARC ~
    We wuz outed by talking parrots!

    Yes, it's startling to see how fast they pick up on the bad words. If only they could learn the clean words as quickly.

    What is it about profanity that causes it to lodge so quickly and indelibly into the mind?

    Somehow the bad words just seem to fit in the mouth so well and roll so naturally off the tongue.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  3. Stephen:

    An interesting and eclectic post, as usual.

    Never been a big fan of BOC and wouldn’t know Buck Dharma from Buck Rogers, but I do like the ‘monsters’. I mean Godzilla – not necessarily a great song, but a poor misunderstood oversized lizard and who wouldn’t be cranky if they were radioactive. (I wrote a recent article comparing him to the nuclear crisis in Japan following the Tsunami- I like Godzilla).

    Nosferatu great song and a better movie. Here everybody thinks Stephanie Meyer invented vampire love. Ha, ha, ha.

    The Reaper, actually nothing to fear once you’ve seen him. I guess everybody doesn’t get to live and tell that tale.

    Language or rather bad language, I don't use a lot of it, but I do have my favorite 'bad word'. I'm constantly in question when any kid within a five mile radius repeats it. Ah, come on I'm not the only one saying this.

    Bullying – that’s what I really came to comment on. Your brother is certainly right to teach your large/young Chinese friend to protect himself. It seems being ‘different’ in any way has become a target for the malcontents of the world. Teaching a boy to use his fists and fight back is one thing, but what do you do for the girls.

    I watched a beautiful little red headed girl skip off to school excited to learn and make friends. It didn’t take long before her classmates singled out her differentness (a huge mop of red hair) and began to make fun of her. By age six she was asking to dye her hair. I tried everything I knew to help her and protect her but, nothing seemed to work. By H.S. she was a wreck. She struggled in her classes and had few friends (The ones she did have were afraid to be her friend openly because the vultures would swoop down on them). This is where we learned she was dyslexic and we tried to take extraordinary measures to help her and she begged us to not allow her to be singled out as different, in one more way.

    During this time her legal father, my husband was elected to the school board and because of some controversial decisions the administration and some of the board members decided to go after her as a way to embarrass him. Looking back I should have simply armed the kid with a gun. (Actually, I should have taken my gun to school.) Instead I listened to her Dad, who said; ‘let the system work’ and it did, to ruin my child. She ended up bullied not only by ignorant children but by educated adults also.

    In the end it turns out she has inherited a chemical imbalance from her biological father that causes a severe form of mental illness. She does pretty good if she stays on her meds, but the things the meds do to this beautiful young woman are sad, to say the least. Of course, I can’t blame her mental illness on the bullying, but it certainly exacerbated it. She has tried to take her own life more than once and the lives of her children. Today she is, at the very least, ‘the meanest woman I know’ and that IS fallout of the bullying.

    There are probably a million things I could have done differently, I’m still not exactly sure what, but it is important to do what it takes to help the girls also, and teaching them to use their fists is not an answer I can ascribe to. But, whatever you do, don’t depend on your local schools, public or private, to take care of this problem.

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  4. BOC is one of my favorite rock groups that I always forget to think of. I saw them in concert when they'd just come out in the early 70s with their first album. They played in the Student Center Ballroom at the University of Tennessee where I was attending at the time. Needless to say this was no big concert facility. They put on a great show despite relatively crappy playing conditions.

    Now I'm wondering about your guest. What's the deal? Child labor on one of those Chinese bridge and highway projects you talked about in your previous post?


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  5. FARAWAYEYES ~
    A fine comment (albeit a sad one in many respects).

    First I want to say that of course you are right that parents should NOT expect "the system" to address these problems. How many times do we need to see that "the system" ain't gonna do it?

    There is a lot I could reply to in your comment, but I will restrict myself to just a few things...

    One thing I think parents can do when a child is being picked on about something "different" is to point out the successes of other people who have shared their "differences". In the case of your girl, perhaps making her aware of the love the country has for the comedy of Lucille Ball, and pointing out that redheads can be beautiful too (e.g., Maureen O'Hara) would be something she could embrace.

    A synonym for "different" can be "special", and everyone is special for different reasons.

    Of course it's harder for little kids to understand such ideas because during much of the school years most kids just want to "fit in" and be part of the "In-Crowd". (And sadly, some people NEVER grow out of that mind-set, as evidenced by all the over-40 crowd now sporting tattoos.) But the school years can be a tough time for a lot of kids.

    The most important point I want to make regarding this is that the reason bullying in schools has become such a common practice is because our society has discarded our spiritual/religious heritage and become almost entirely secular.

    Back in my youth, when most parents still drilled morality, ethics, and respect-for-others into their children's minds, we didn't have problems of this magnitude.

    But God and His principles have been ignored and dismissed; He is no longer welcome in America's public square and in many ways society is experiencing the repercussions of that.

    Not only did I not go to private schools, but even some of the public schools I attended had large numbers of "economically challenged" students (I was just one of 'em) and still we did NOT have a bullying problem like most schools have today.

    So, why the difference? Why are kids shooting their classmates on campuses around the country (something totally unheard of in the 1960s and '70s when I was in public schools)? It's pretty obvious what the biggest change has been from those days to these. (It's not solely drug abuse, because drugs were available to anyone who really wanted them back in my day too.)

    One final observation pertaining specifically to Casey Heynes, the bullying victim in the video I posted here: Had Casey responded many years earlier to a bully in the way he finally did as seen in this video, he probably wouldn't have had to endure all those years of bullying.

    Oftentimes in school, reputations are made with just one fight. Kid-A knocks the snot out of Kid-B in 4th grade, word goes around quickly that Kid-A is tough and not to be messed with. End of bullying.

    When I was in school, everyone knew that there were certain guys you just didn't start trouble with. Charles Duhon and Mike Maxwell come to mind as just two examples.

    I didn't necessarily know ANYONE who had ever seen Charles or Mike in a fight, but you just heard they were tough and you'd better not start crap with them. How did they get their reputations? Who knows? Each one had probably clobbered some other kid in a schoolyard fight years earlier and their reputations grew.

    Had Casey stood up for himself many years earlier, I strongly suspect he could have avoided much of the bullying problems that plagued him for much of his school years.

    Thanks for your detailed comment, FAE.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  6. ARLEE BOID ~
    Ha! Yeah, you guessed it, Bro.

    Actually it's kind of funny. After all those years of boycotting goods made in China, suddenly I go and buy myself a boy who was made in China!

    You saw BOC in their earlier "Heavy Metal-ish" incarnation. I saw them also (twice, I think) in their later "Hard Rock" years. They were using lasers in their concerts then and they did indeed put on memorable shows.

    I listen to a song like "Fireworks" from their 'Spectres' album and think: Dang! That's some pretty intricate harmonizing for that type of music.

    They were quite musical, especially in their mid and late '70s incarnation, which I liked considerably better than their more "Metal" stuff that preceded it.

    However, in their "Metal" years they did come up with one of the all-time great song titles: 'Seven Screaming Diz-Busters'. I always thought that was funny. What the hell is a "Diz-Buster" and why are seven of them screaming?

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  7. It's amazing how those Chinese kids just suddenly fall out of the Arizona sky like that. Something tells me that Xie just won the lottery by getting to see the world through the eyes of SJM and brother Nappy. I have a feeling you guys are doing a good deed here.

    I do have all three seasons of Kung Fu on DVD if Xie gets homesick.

    A few years ago I was given babysitting duty for a kid from Austria for a couple of weeks. It's amazing how much of a great experience it was both of us. I learned some German words and the kid learned how to tie a sheepshank and slip bowline..."the hase comes out of the loch, goes around the baum, and goes back into the loch...simple."

    Did you ever put Alan Alda in a headlock? One day I took the high speed internet cable out of my computer and stuck it into my TV, and sure enough I got free cable TV since both internet and TV were on the same (band?). (I'm pretty sure that's legal to do.) That lasted for a year but now the internet company got wise and I'm back to pulling the digital signals out of the air with an antenna since I refuse to pay to watch TV. Anyway, a new channel popped up that airs the old M*A*S*H episodes. Last night there was a soldier who wouldn't part with his cat in the post-op area. When they took it away, he put Hawkeye in a headlock and, of course, hilarity ensued. Alex Karas had to break it up so all ended well. The soldier looked a little like you but now that I think about it, this was before Harry Morgan and the dude who played Charles Winchester III came on the show, so I don't think it was.

    Does ice cream fall up in China? Good story. I hope you'll document some more Xie-scapades in the near future.

    SigToo

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  8. SigToo ~
    Hey, first off I want to say WELCOME BACK, my friend! Truly I have wondered numerous times why I had not heard from you for awhile and hoped I had not finally gone "too far". :o)

    No, really, I'm pleased to find you're still around and checking in occasionally because I always enjoy your personality-laden comments.

    >>...Something tells me that Xie just won the lottery by getting to see the world through the eyes of SJM and brother Nappy.

    Funny you say that because both Nappy and I have each mentioned (probably more than once each) how fortunate he is to have landed in OUR home. See, Nappy's 51 and I'm about to turn 53. How many dudes that old, living alone in the U.S. do you suppose own DVD copies of animated classics like 'The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh', 'The JungleBook', 'Dumbo', and 'An American Tail: Fievel Goes West'? All of which we've already played for Xie.

    In my possession and still to be shown him are 'Lady And The Tramp', 'Pinocchio', '101 Dalmatians', etc. Not to mention all the Christmas classics like 'Charlie Brown', 'Rudolph', 'Frosty', et al.

    And just wait'll we play him 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' and Xie gets an eyeful of Jessica Rabbit! Woo-Hoo! (She's not bad, she's "just drawn that way".)

    Yeah, I think Xie's pretty fortunate that he fell out of the sky and landed on OUR front porch, because there aren't many "Fifty-something" old bastards who are more fun than Nappy and I are.

    >>...the kid learned how to tie a sheepshank and slip bowline..."the hase comes out of the loch, goes around the baum, and goes back into the loch...simple."

    Uh... yeah... simple (says Stephen, who can't even knot and necktie). Ha!

    >>...The soldier looked a little like you but now that I think about it, this was before Harry Morgan and the dude who played Charles Winchester III came on the show, so I don't think it was.

    No, definitely not me. (I can't even recall that episode, much less performed in it.) If Winchester ain't there, neither am I.

    >>...Does ice cream fall up in China?

    Ha!-Ha! And if it does, do the children say "Snot!" or "Ear Wax!"?

    That reminds me of something I have actually pondered in the past: In China do they say they're going to "dig a hole to America" and/or do they complain about "the slow boat from America"?

    Hey, thanks for stopping by, SigToo! It was great to hear from you again.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  9. Indeed, if you teach Xiezilla to use his fists you might create a monster. What's the Mothra equivalent if he gets out of control?

    Also, I love BOC, but admittedly, being of my generation, the only thing I can think of is the SNL cow bell skit. It's like it's embedded into my soul. But now I'm blasting Nosferatu on repeat and feeling pretty good about it.

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  10. BEER BOY ~
    >>...What's the Mothra equivalent if he gets out of control?

    Send him to bed without any rice.
    (I know that seems like a stereotyped racist slur but it ain't; he wants rice at EVERY meal!)

    And, oh yes, you can always blast BOC with confidence!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete

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