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.



Monday, December 30, 2013

‘UNCLE SAM WANTS YOUR GUNS BY HOOK OR BY CROOK’ (Or, ‘THE CONTINUING SAGA OF THE SANDY HOAX ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SHOOTING’)

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It's just been too damned quiet here lately, so I'm-a let a couple dogs out to howl a li'l bit.

Those propagandists at the MSN News website are at it again. In the last few days they’ve posted two stories about the Sandy Hook (read: “Hoax”) Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

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That second one is a bit risky on their part if you axe me. Why? I didn’t explore much of the second link MSN PROPAGANDA provided, but I did read the front and center article that the first link led to – an article by the Florida professor they are attempting to turn the Americonned People against - and that article contained a good amount of truth that ought to cast doubt about the official Sandy Hook line in the mind of anyone whose Bullshit detector’s battery hasn’t gone belly up.
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OOOH!  BROKEN  GLASS!  COLOR  ME  CONVINCED!
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Y'all remember that clown Dr. Carver, the man who supposedly examined seven of the supposedly twenty-something children shot dead by Adam Lanza but couldn't seem to answer a single specific technical question? Carver, is that an appropriate name for a coroner or what?! Anyway, he turns up again in this video I recently discovered at another blog and I'm posting it below.

The video is about an hour and a half long, so you may need to watch it in segments over time. I saw the whole thing in two sittings and thought it was pretty good. Some of this, of course, we have covered previously but, for me, starting at about the 50-minute mark it became very compelling as I was introduced to some new facts I hadn't previously encountered (such as the people walking in circles at the firehouse near the Sandy Hoax Elementary School crime scene, the Firehouse Christmas trees, the peculiar abundance of black and silver automobiles, and a few other oddities that were news to me).

Public speaking is not one of the talents possessed by the woman who gave this presentation, but if you can forgive her slow, monotone way of yakking I think you'll find that she has some interesting ideas to convey.

It's been just over a year since the event - whatever it was - took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. To this day I have not seen one single piece of evidence that strongly indicates to me that any child was shot dead at the school. I'm not saying none were, but I have not one firm reason to believe Uncle Sam's story... unless you think that Uncle Sam's word for it is strong enough evidence that it ought to convince us all.

Likewise, a couple photographs of a broken window and a picture of a gun supposedly found in a classroom at Sandy Hook just isn't pow'ful enough presumed "evidence" to convince me of anything. (You know, we tinfoil-hatters are not easily swayed once we dig our teeth into a conspiracy. Some of our fellow Americans may think that Uncle Sam's word and a few photographs are decisive evidence for the mainstream lie story, but we smarter Americans go "Pshaw!")
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THIS  GUN  WAS  FOUND  IN  A  SANDY  HOOK  CLASSROOM?!  WELL,  THAT  SETTLES  IT  THEN.
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Of course I have heard the rumors that Newtown, Connecticut, is a kind of center for occultists, witches and warlocks. But what was new to me was learning that the man wearing camouflage (to decorate gingerbread in his daughter’s class?!), who was caught by law enforcement officers running in the woods from the school, was actually heading straight toward a Masonic temple. Now, sure, one can say that it's merely coincidence that the direction he was heading led straight to the temple and that he wasn't necessarily hoping to reach it for concealment and protection (provided by his fellow Masons?), and that's a valid argument.

However, anyone who has done as much research into Freemasonry as I have - and has even conducted a little undercover work in a Masonic temple (as I did at “The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge Of Free And Accepted Masons Of Arizona”) - will not quickly dismiss things like this as purely coincidental. Maybe yes... and... maybe NO.

Freemasonry is an occult, luciferian organization - in other words, it supports the work of Beelzebub in his fight against the God of The Bible and the Father of Christ Yeshua. That Newtown, Connecticut, might be a kind of gathering place for witches and warlocks who would work hand-in-glove with Barack Obama and other vile agents of Uncle Sam in an attempt to fake an elementary school shooting in an effort to further the aims of the gun-control crowd requires no stretch of my imagination whatsoever.

Anyway, enough of my yakking. Watch the video and see what you think. Mighty strange things took place for a couple of days in the vicinity of the Sandy Hook Elementary School and some of them are revealed in this interesting (if not too terribly exciting) video presentation.

SOFIA SMALLSTORM UNRAVELING SANDY HOOK

Note: A feature of classical music is its range of volume -- from barely audible notes to the crescendo. Please allow the introductory piece to be just that -- an introduction. The music is meant to dominate; the narration is secondary. Don't worry if you can't catch every word of what's being said; that was how the intro was designed.


For a larger view, click the URL link below:

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

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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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

CHRISTMAS SONGS THE TINY TIM WAY

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'THE CHRISTMAS SONG' - Tiny Tim :



Tiny Tim Takes 'SILENT NIGHT' To A Whole New Level :



~ Stephen T. McCarthy
(aka D-FensDogg)

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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Sunday, December 22, 2013

O HOLY NIGHT BEFORE THE STORM


It's a weakness in my character, I openly acknowledge that. And every year I promise myself I'll do better and every year I fail all over again.

You see, the problem is that I get so swept up in the Christmas Spirit that my anger is assuaged, my bluster is blunted, my snarkiness is subdued, and my mien mellows. 
O Holy God, forgive me - my mien mellows! It's all this marvelous music and colored lights, glittering tinsel, good food, and spiked eggnog. Joy to the world! And joy in my heart!

Fortunately, however, I usually recover from my illness fairly quickly and midway through the first week of the new year I am my old, cantankerous self again.

That was a roundabout way of apologizing for not having published any hard-hitting political stuffs for awhile. I assure you I have some nastiness in the works and will get it written and posted shortly after the start of 2014 if not before. I want to yak about Obama and Feminism. Those ARE two different subjects, right? (Oh! That felt good! The "bad dog, bad dog!" in me has been away too long!) Anyway, not just yet. I'm going to continue being wimpy for at least one more blog bit - this blog bit right here.

Where I work, they have this really nice Nativity scene on the front lawn. Below is a photograph I took, but to give you a better sense of perspective, be aware that the king standing at the far right is about three feet tall.
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I can't help but think of one of my favorite Christmas songs when I see a nice Manger scene like that one.

In our family, Christmas music was always a big part of the month-long celebration, and for as long as I can remember, the papa bear of all Christmas albums in our house was unquestionably the 1958 Johnny Mathis album 'MERRY CHRISTMAS'. That was always the first album my Ma would play after Thanksgiving Day, and it was always the album that got played on Christmas morning when We Three Kids approached the tree while the home movie camera was filming and the bright spotlight was in our eyes as we tried to see what Santa had brought us.
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That same recording was also one of the first I purchased on compact disc when I began switching my LP collection over, so it is no exaggeration when I say that prior to the year 2000, I had heard every song on that album - including 
'O HOLY NIGHT' - hundreds of times! I knew those 12 songs like I knew my own name... or so I thought.

On Christmas night in 2000, I left my Ma's house (Pa had already been in Heaven for four years) and I drove home to my apartment. At about 10 PM, I put my Johnny Mathis 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' CD into my player and just sat down on the couch in my living room which was illuminated only by the twinkling lights of my Christmas tree. And I just sat there, doing nothing other than listening to Mathis sing. Perhaps for the first time ever, I was hearing 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' not as background music while I did something else, but as the sole subject of my mind's focus.

I was simply enjoying the moment and the music (as I always did) until track #7, 'O HOLY NIGHT', began playing! Suddenly, it seemed I was hearing the song for the very first time! Of course I had always known that Mathis was a great singer, but now I was made aware of his awesome vocal technique, such masterful control of his voice and with it an ability to convey emotion, to express great Spiritual feeling. I was floored. I mean, literally "FLOORED!": One moment I was sitting on the couch and the next thing I knew, I was on my stomach, lying on the carpet to get my ears as close as possible to the compact disc player's speakers.

I pressed the "Repeat" button and must have listened to Mathis sing 'O HOLY NIGHT' at least eight times in a row before I finally unplugged the Christmas tree for the last time that year and went to bed. It has remained my all-time favorite version of one of the all-time greatest Sacred Christmas carols. I had planned to use 'O HOLY NIGHT' - Johnny Mathis versus Susan Boyle - as my 10th installment of 'Battle Of The Bands', but FarAwayEyes beat me to the song. So I am simply posting below, as my Christmas gift to all y’all, the rendition I would have voted for.

I'm not exactly sure where or when this live version was filmed, but apparently the producers took the 1958 Percy Faith Orchestra instrumental, removed Johnny's original vocal track and had him sing it live to the same music used on his 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' album. I don't know which vocal I prefer, the 1958 model or this live recording - they are slightly different but both are great and affect me most at different points in the song. You may want to close your eyes while listening so that the visuals don't distract you in any way from the purity of the music and the incredible sound of the Mathis artistry. In my opinion, this song doesn’t get better than this:
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‘O HOLY NIGHT’ – Johnny Mathis
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I hope you enjoyed that.

To all a very Merry Christmas!

The usual mean-spirited, intolerant, homophobic,
misogynistic racism to follow shortly.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

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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Thursday, December 19, 2013

‘THANK YOU VERY MUCH, LAGUNITAS!’ (Or, ‘PRODUCT REVIEWS: 2013 CHRISTMAS EDITION - SCROOGE SUCKS’)


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It was in December, probably 1988. I was at work in one of the offices of UCLA’s Parking Department, when two of my best friends there, Lonnie and The Countess, broke out in song. They began singing...

Thank you very much, thank you very much!
That’s the nicest thing that anyone’s ever done for me...

When the singing finally came to an end, I asked them, “Where did you hear that song?” Their mouths hung open for a minute or two and they looked at me as if I had lobsters crawling out of my ears.

And then at once they both shouted (as if I were hard of hearing because of the lobsters)... SCROOGE!”

And that’s how I first learned there was a 1970 movie musical called ‘SCROOGE’, based on Dickens’ famous ‘A Christmas Carol’. Yes, ‘SCROOGE’ is a musical.
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How good is this movie? Well, ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ and ‘Scrooge’ are both on my Top Ten Favorite Movies list. No, NO, NO! I do not mean ‘Top Ten Favorite Christmas Movies’ list. I mean Top Ten list PERIOD!

In fact, I’m not sure which of those Christmas movies I love most. It pretty much depends upon which one I’m watching at the moment.

The other night Brother Nappy and I watched ‘Scrooge’ again and at the conclusion I asked him, “Which is better, ‘Scrooge’ or ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’?” He answered: “It’s a tie”.

‘SCROOGE’ stars Albert Finney and was filmed in England with an all Great Britain cast. For those who know anything at all about acting, that means the acting is way, Way, WAY better’n what you will find in most American movies!

The direction is fantabulous, the sets are spectacular, the cinematography is delicious, and the music is so addictive it should be considered a controlled substance. For such an old movie, even the special effects are still pretty good.

Two of my all-time favorite quotations come from the movie ‘SCROOGE’:

Mankind should be our business, but we seldom attend to it.
~ Jacob Marley

There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish; the thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember, …time is short, and suddenly you're not there anymore.
~ The Ghost Of Christmas Present

I have only one negative remark to make about ‘SCROOGE’: There is one song in the score sung by Tiny Tim, ‘The Beautiful Day’, that is so high-pitched, so stepped-on-a-cat’s-tail awful that I fast-forward through it every time. In fact, Nappy and I now consider fast-forwarding through Tiny Tim’s song to be a Christmas tradition.

There’s a part in ‘SCROOGE’ where - in anticipation of the second ghost’s appearance, and temporarily feeling bold and brave – Ebenezer yells out, “I’m ready for you!”

Well, last year, just as Tiny Tim’s dreadful song was about to be sung, I raised the DVD gizmo, my finger on the fast-forward button, and I yelled out, “I’m ready for you, Tiny Tim!” Nappy and I both laughed. Yeah, you can make a “Christmas tradition” out of just about anything.

If you’re having trouble finding “The Christmas Spirit” this year, then you needs to watch ‘SCROOGE’.

Below is a scene from the movie when The Ghost Of Christmas Future shows Ebenezer Scrooge a Christmas where everyone is happy. What Scrooge doesn’t realize is that his death has released the people from their monetary debt to him, and so his demise is the cause for all the joy. [Click the URL LINK to see the scene better at YouTube. Then click on back here ‘cause I ain’t done wid ya yet.]

SCROOGE 1970 Version
Song - "Thank You Very Much"



If you’re now planning to watch ‘SCROOGE’, you may want “a glass of cheer” to drink with the movie, right?

Some of you may recall the BLIND BEER TASTE TESTS that Brother Nappy and I conducted early last year. The final four brews standing were Lagunitas ‘Little Sumpin’ Ale’, Four Peaks ‘Hop Knot’, ‘Odell Red Ale’, and ‘Big Sky I.P.A.’ In Test #17, ‘Little Sumpin’ Ale’ scored 36 points – the most ever – and beat ‘Hop Knot’ by a single point. Just prior to that, ‘Big Sky IPA’ had beaten ‘Odell Red Ale’ 34 to 33.

So Lagunitas ‘Little Sumpin’ Ale’ faced off against ‘Big Sky IPA’ for the championship and the winner was ‘BIG SKY I.P.A.’ (out of Montana) which tied the record for most points ever scored, winning 36 to 33.
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The night before last, Nappy and I conducted another ‘BLIND BEER TASTE TEST’, putting the (seasonal) challenger LagunitasSUCKS up against the champion, BIG SKY IPA. Ordinarily, I would not allow a challenger to face the champion without first proving itself by beating lesser beers, but ‘SUCKS’ had achieved near “legendary” status after I’d had it so many times at ‘The Main Ingredient’ ale house and café in Phoenix.

Well, the Battle was exactly what one would expect when two big dogs have it out! Both beers scored tons of points (as any great beer would) and this “Battle Of Titans” was one for the record book (literally). ‘Big Sky IPA’ again scored a whopping 36 points in the 2-round ‘Blind Beer Taste Test’. It went like this...

BIG SKY BREWING CO., ‘BIG SKY IPA
Nappy:
Round 1 = A-. Round 2 = A-
Stephen:
Round 1 = A-. Round 2 = A-
Total =  36 points

LAGUNITAS BREWING CO., ‘Lagunitas SUCKS
Nappy:
Round 1 = A. Round 2 = A
Stephen:
Round 1 = A. Round 2 = A-
Total = 39 points

Yes, ‘Lagunitas SUCKS’ toppled the champion - the first beer ever to beat ‘Big Sky IPA’ in one of our collective taste testing endeavors. And ‘SUCKS’ also set a new record, an all-time high point total of 39 in the process of besting ‘Big Sky’ by not one, not two, but by three points!

Afterwards, Nappy said, “Well, if ‘Big Sky’ had to lose, I’m glad it was a Lagunitas beer that beat him, because I like Lagunitas Brewing Company”. I felt the same way.

Meet the new champion:
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We intend to give ‘Big Sky IPA’ a rematch against ‘Sucks’ in the not-too-distant future, so stay tuned here.

Also, in the next couple of days I will publish my last blog bit before Christmas – my very favorite version of the great song O HOLY NIGHT - so please be watching for that as well.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

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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Sunday, December 15, 2013

‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS’ #10 (Or, ‘DURANTE VERSUS CONNIFF’)

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Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...

THE  BATTLE  OF  THE  BANDS!


Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –
Buh-Doo-Wah!

Yes, it’s time once again for ‘Battle Of The Bands’ ('BOTB'). This is my second and last Christmas edition, so pour yourself some Eggnog or a “cup of cheer” and relax for a little bit.
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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My original idea was to use a secular Christmas song in ‘BOTB’ #9 and a sacred song today in ‘BOTB’ #10. Ah, but the best laid plans of mice and... snowmen...

The song I wanted to use today was ‘O Holy Night’, but my friend FAE went with that one on December 1st. No problem, I’ll just switch to ‘God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen’. Oh, but YouTube does not have the one version I really wanted to include. No problem, I’ll just go with ‘Little Drummer Boy’ – it’s not exactly “sacred” but it IS about Jesus Christ. And again YouTube did not have my favorite rendition of that song. So... I have another “lightweight” children’s song for you.

HOWEVER(!), please return here on or around December 20th, because I am going to post a single song (not ‘BOTB’-related) which is my gift to you this Christmastime. I am going to share with you my very favorite version of 
‘O Holy Night’. (Damned if I’m going to go the entire Christmas season without posting a great sacred Christmas song on my blog!) So please do return on or around 12/20 for my final post before Christmas Day. You have GOT to hear this particular take on ‘O Holy Night’!
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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Alright, ‘FROSTY THE SNOWMAN’ – it’s a pretty silly little song but it CAN be appealing if presented with some style, and I have two stylish versions of it here for you to judge.

I grew up with the Jimmy Durante take on ‘Frosty’ from the animated TV classic of 1969. Durante has a very, very distinctive voice and a likeable personality which makes this song more enjoyable to me than it might otherwise be. So, let’s listen to the vocal flair that “The Schnoz” brought to this old children’s tune.

[An aside: At its most fundamental level, Christmas is a birthday party we are throwing in honor of Jesus, so how appropriate that Frosty's very first words are "Happy Birthday!"]

Frosty The Snowman – Jimmy Durante


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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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I was at Dodger Stadium one day in 1989 or ’90 when The Ray Conniff Singers gathered in center field to sing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’. With 3 or 4 part harmonies, it was the very first time I ever heard our National Anthem and actually enjoyed it as a piece of music. So I definitely have some respect for the Conniff Singers.

Last year, for the first time, I heard a certain version of ‘Frosty’ being played on a radio station and I thought it was quite entertaining. (Hmmm... What was it about that version that made me crave a glass of Champagne? I wonder...) My first thought was that it sounded like The Ray Conniff Singers and about 5 minutes worth of research confirmed that for me.

I found the song posted at YouTube in a video that featured pictures of ‘Santa’s Village’ near Lake Arrowhead in Southern California. My parents took me to ‘Santa’s Village’ (S.V.) when I was a tot who still believed in ‘The Fat Man In Red’. Later, as an adult, I went back to S.V. several times because I loved the colorful, childlike mystique of the place. Sadly, 'Santa's Village' is gone now, but I have a very special ornament acquired at S.V. that I hang on my Christmas tree every year.

And speaking of style, once upon a time, I had some. Below is a photograph of me leaning against the ‘North Pole’ at ‘Santa’s Village’ in 1989.
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STMcC  AT  NORTH  POLE,  'SANTA'S  VILLAGE',  CALIFORNIA
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IWWWBTFPTMTEPOTPS.
I WONDER WHO WILL BE THE FIRST PERSON TO MENTION THE ELF’S POSITION ON THAT PHALLIC SYMBOL.
Again I remind you that ‘BOTB’ is about the music, NOT the videos. But if it were about videos, this one would score massive points from me due to the ‘Nostalgia Factor’.

Frosty The Snowman - The Ray Conniff Singers



Damn, if I don’t get me a glass of Champagne I’m gonna die!

Alright now, you know the gig... I welcome EVERYONE to vote for their favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. (NOTE: Comment Moderation is activated. All submitted comments that do not transgress "Ye Olde Comment Policy" will be posted as soon as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.)

After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to FAE’s ‘Far Away Series’, Arlee Bird’s ‘Tossing It Out’, Robin’s ‘Your Daily Dose’, LC’s ‘DiscConnected’, and Chris' 'The Creative Outlet Of StratPlayer' blogs to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to ‘Far Away Series’, ‘Tossing It Out’, ‘Your Daily Dose’, ‘DiscConnected’ and ‘The Creative Outlet Of StratPlayer’ to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)

Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘DISCCONNECTED’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘CREATIVE OUTLET OF STRATPLAYER’ by clicking HERE.
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As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.

Links To Previous 'BOTB' Installments:

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

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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Monday, December 9, 2013

‘CHEERSFEST 2013’ (OR, ‘BIRD NUTS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE’)


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Today is the day that Arlee Bird of the blog ‘Tossing It Out’ gets “roasted”. You can read all the rules and regulations and get a linked list of participants by clicking HERE.
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Me, I’ll be dogged if I play by the rules, as I suspect God designed me specifically to laugh in the face of regulations. And as if that weren’t enough, I’ve been awake since 2:00 PM yesterday and just got home from working another “graveyard” shit shift.

That’s right, while y’all were nestled all snug in your beds with visions of sugar-plums doing the foxtrot in your heads, I was awake and patrolling the premises of ‘The Community Of Death’ where the average age is 86 and the Grim Reaper usually pays at least one visit per week.

Therefore, I am going to play the abridged ‘Reader’s Digest’ version of this roast and simply submit an entry for the ‘Bonus Points’. When you’re as good (or sleepy) as I am, you can skip the main course, eat the dessert and go to bed.

For Bonus Points:
* In +/- 40 words, can you come up with a caption for Lee’s Facebook picture?
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Alright, here is my proposed caption for the above photograph of Arlee Bird as a yoot:

When I was younger, I was Michael “Meathead” Stivic. ...Oh, and I was a juggler too. 
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"Th-th-th-that's all folks!" – short and sweet.
G'night, all!

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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Sunday, December 1, 2013

‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS’ #9 (Or, ‘SINATRA VERSUS CARPENTER’)

Republican Vs. Democrat, Male Vs. Female, War Vs. Peace, Light Vs. Dark, Good Vs. Evil, Man Vs. Machine, Love Vs. Hate, Dog Vs. Cat, Sun Vs. Moon, Brain Vs. Brawn, Oscar Vs. Grammy, Angel Vs. Demon, Laurel Vs. Hardy, Beer Vs. Wine, TV Vs. Radio, Pitcher Vs. Batter, Paper Vs. Plastic, Reality Vs. Fantasy, Yeshua Vs. Beelzebub, Conservative Vs. Liberal, You Vs. Me, House Vs. Senate, Offense Vs. Defense, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Spy Vs. Spy, Fischer Vs. Spassky, W.C. Fields Vs. Sobriety, Harold Gimpy, Jr. Vs. Sheldon J. Pismire, Rock Vs. Paper Vs. Scissors, Islam Vs. Everything, Singer Vs. Singer, Band Vs. Band...

THE  BATTLE  OF  THE  BANDS!
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Shoop-Shooby –
Shooby-duh-Dooby-Doop-Dooby-Dooby-Doo-Wah –
Buh-Doo-Wah!

Yes, it’s time once again for ‘Battle Of The Bands’ ('BOTB'). But this is my first Christmas edition, so pour yourself some Eggnog or a “cup of cheer” and relax for a little bit.
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EUGENE  MARTONE  VS.  JACK  BUTLER
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There are a few Christmas songs so associated or synonymous with certain singers that many folks think of those singers as almost “owning that song”. Many people think of ‘White Christmas’ as Bing Crosby’s song; ‘The Christmas Song’ belongs to Nat King Cole; and ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’? Brenda Lee “owns” it! But the majority of Christmas songs are generally thought to be open to many different interpretations by various performers in myriad musical genres.

According to Wikipedia, SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN was first recorded in 1934 and featured that traditional Christmas song instrument the banjo. Since then it’s been recorded more times than anyone could count, including a radio-friendly live Rock version by Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band.

Back in 2004 I created something at Amazon.com titled ‘So You’d Like To... Find Flaws In The Animated Christmas Classics’, and I later posted an updated, retitled version of it on my defunct ‘STUFFS’ blog: ‘HO!-HO!-OH! MERRY CHRISTMUS!

In that Piece O’Writing I pointed out the many funny flaws I’d found in the animated TV Christmas specials such as ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’, ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’, ‘Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town’, et al., which I still watch and enjoy every single Christmas season. I mistakenly thought my guide to the funny flaws was going to be extremely popular. It took me years to figure out why they had gone almost entirely ignored: Most adults don’t watch the animated Christmas classics anymore, and sadly many of them have lost track of the little boy or little girl in them.

When I settled on the idea of using the song ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ in my first Christmas edition of ‘BOTB’, I was planning to use the version of that song sung by Fred Astaire in the animated TV special. I found a video where someone had cleverly synchronized the Christmas lights on his house to the Fred Astaire rendition. I later decided to go with a different male singer on this song, but if you’re interested, you can click HERE to see and hear the Astaire version. You can also vote for it if you prefer it to the two principal competitors I have matched up against each other below.
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GODZILLA  VS.  KING  KONG
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In 1948, Frank Sinatra released his third studio album titled ‘CHRISTMAS SONGS BY SINATRA’. Included in the set was a sprightly swinging Big Band version of the song, with some sharp horn arrangements.
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See if you like this recording from back when “Ol’ Blue Eyes” was still “Young Blue Eyes”:



Karen Carpenter, the singing and drumming part of the brother and sister duo ‘The Carpenters’ passed away in 1983 at the age of 32. The following year, her brother Richard released a second ‘Carpenters’ Christmas album utilizing some tracks left over from their first Holiday album. It was titled ‘AN OLD-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS’, and was later combined with the first album in a 2-compact disc set titled ‘CHRISTMAS COLLECTION’.
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That second Christmas album included a recording of ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ which was envisioned in a dramatically different way from how Sinatra had presented it. Richard Carpenter arranged the song and Karen sang it as if it were a lullaby – I can easily imagine her singing it to some little boy or girl being tucked into bed and being gently reminded that Santa Claus is paying special attention these days, “So, you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout - I’m telling you why...”

I’ll tell you in advance that this video is pretty cute ‘n’ colorful, but ‘BOTB’ match-ups are strictly about the music, not the videos! So, if you think the images here may sway your feeling about the song in one way or another, you might want to close your eyes while the music is playing. Let us keep our musical focus, folks.



Alright now, you know the gig... I welcome EVERYONE to vote for their favorite of these songs in the comment section below. And feel free to tell us WHY you chose one song over the other. (NOTE: Comment Moderation is activated. All submitted comments that do not transgress "Ye Olde Comment Policy" will be posted as soon as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.)
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RIDDLER  VS.  BATMAN
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After voting here, I suggest - actually I insist - you pop over to FAE’s ‘Far Away Series’, Arlee Bird’s ‘Tossing It Out’, Robin’s ‘Your Daily Dose’, and LC’s ‘DiscConnected’ blogs to see which songs they have chosen and vote there also. (If their ‘BOTB’ blog bits aren’t posted yet, pour yourself two shots of ‘Grand Marnier’ over ice – do it twice – and then return to ‘Far Away Series’, ‘Tossing It Out’, ‘Your Daily Dose’, and ‘DiscConnected’ to vice your voice ...vote your vice ...voice your vote.)

Voice Your Vote @ ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ by clicking HERE.
Voice Your Vote @ ‘DISCCONNECTED’ by clicking HERE.

As I've done in the past, I will continue to return to my 'BOTB' blog bits on the 7th and 21st of each month to post my own votes and announce the winners in the comment sections.
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~ Stephen T. McCarthy

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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Friday, November 29, 2013

‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS’: VOTING CONTEST WINNER (Or, “THE ENVELOPE PLEASE...”)


First of all, I hope each and every one of you had a nice Thanksgiving. Now that we’ve passed through “The Gateway To Christmas”, I will be switching to nothing but Christmas music from now until my bedtime on December 25TH. (God knows I LOVE Christmas!)

If you are a fan of the ‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS’ (‘BOTB’) concept, then you’re probably aware that there was a voting contest associated with it. My ‘BOTB’ installments concluded with the following:

Find  The  True  Meaning  Of  Christmas:  Win  Money!-Money!-Money!  Spectacular,  Super-Colossal  Neighborhood  Christmas  Lights  And  Display  Contest!

Find  The  True  Purpose  For  Voting  On  ‘Battle  Of  The  Bands’  Installments:  Win  Compact  Discs!-Compact Discs!-Compact Discs!  Spectacular,  Super-Colossal  Blogosphere  ‘Battle  Of  The  Bands’  Voting  Contest!

Here’s The Deal: By voting on the ‘Battle Of The Bands’ blog bits here and at the ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ and ‘TOSSING IT OUT’ blogs, you can win the compact disc of your choice. Every 4 months, FarAwayEyes, Arlee Bird and I will add up how many times you voted on our blogs, and the person who has participated most often (i.e., submitted the most eligible votes) will get to select one compact disc that contains any one of the songs that were included in any of our ‘Battle Of The Bands’ installments (“Super-Colossal” expensive boxed-sets, imports, and ‘out-of-print’ compact discs not included). In the event of a tie, the names will be put in a Stetson and the name drawn from the cowboy hat will win the CD.
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You may not be aware of it, but that first paragraph in red with the line drawn through it is a direct quote from the television special ‘A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS’, my favorite of the animated Christmas classics.

Well, the votes have been counted and we have a winner. There was a total of 22 ‘BOTB’ installments connected to the contest. In other words, the highest number of votes that a person could collect was 22. Some voters got close to, but did not quite reach, that number. The ‘Honorable Mentions’ are Bryan of the blog ‘A BEER FOR THE SHOWER’, who recorded 18 votes; D.G. Hudson of ‘21ST CENTURY JOURNAL’, who recorded 16 votes; and SHEBOYGANBOY SIX, a non-blogger who probably would have had a genuine shot at winning the compact disc had he not refrained from voting on any of the ‘HAIR’ soundtrack songs in ‘BOTB #4’.

I thank all of the aforementioned for their loyal, steady participation in all of our ‘Battle Of The Band’ challenges.

However, four participants, by voting on every single eligible ‘BOTB’ contest, collected the 22 maximum number of votes. Those four were Robin of the blog YOUR DAILY DOSE, LC of the blog DISCCONNECTED, LUCKYMAMA13 of the blog MAKIN’ IT COUNT, and C.W. Martin of the blog TILTING AT WINDMILLS.
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So, as promised, I put those four names on equal sized pieces of paper, folded each paper once, and then dropped them into my brown Stetson cowboy hat:
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Then I had my brother, Nappy, mix up all the name cards, and holding the Stetson up high so I couldn’t see into it, I reached in and pulled out the first piece of paper my fingers made contact with:
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And the winner was:
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Brother Martin, you lucky dog, come claim your reward! You have a free compact disc coming to you, which I will purchase and send once you’ve made your selection. The only stipulation is that whatever CD you choose, it must include one of the songs featured in a ‘Battle Of The Bands’ contest at either FAR AWAY SERIES, TOSSING IT OUT, or here at ‘FERRET-FACED FASCIST FRIENDS’ (but it doesn’t matter whether the song won its battle or lost).
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I have made looking through my ‘BOTB’ blog bits easy by linking all of them at the bottom of each ‘BOTB’ post; you’ll need to do some backtrack searching, however, to reexamine all of the ‘BOTB’ installments at ‘FAR AWAY SERIES’ and ‘TOSSING IT OUT’. Let me know when you’ve decided on a compact disc and I’ll purchase it and get it in the mail to you as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen complications and confusion, we have decided to discontinue the ‘BOTB’ compact disc voting contest. HOWEVER... FarAwayEyes and I are in the earliest stage of working out a plan for a POSSIBLE future ‘BOTB’ Compact Disc Voting Contest – one that will be simpler and much easier for us to manage. The idea I am currently entertaining would actually give voters who aren’t quite as diligent in participating in all of the ‘Battle Of The Band’ challenges a better chance of winning.

I can’t make any promises about this, but stay tuned for a possible upcoming announcement of a redesigned ‘BOTB’ Compact Disc Voting Contest.

Again, congratulations to C.W. MARTIN for his win, and I hope to see everyone back here on December 1ST, when my ‘Battle Of The Bands’ match-up will feature a well known Christmas song sung by two well known singers. It’s going to be Man Vs. Woman – a gender battle – a contest that I’m eager to post because I have no idea which way this battle is going to go, and I believe it will be a very, very close, competitive match-up.

Thanks again to FarAwayEyes for conceiving this BATTLE OF THE BANDS’ project, and thanks also to EVERYONE who participates in them. I heartily enjoy putting these musical  boxing matches together.

See all y’all again on 12/1/2013.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

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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