Reflections

And the Valley, Far Below

Hey, folks.

I’ve purposely not written a post specifically about the stunning insurrection that occurred at the Capitol last Wednesday, because I knew I wasn’t in the right head space to properly address it. I was too angry, too sad, too outraged, too everything to properly process the fact that an American president would defile his own country in such a manner.

Too much.

And yet so many things to say, so much accountability to lay.

I’ll get there, eventually, but right now I’m still too.

Instead, I just want to share a song. It’s a bit syrupy, I’ll admit, and the song is almost as old as I am. But I’ve always liked it, and some of the phrases take on a special resonance after the mindlessness and hatred on display a week ago, a resonance that the songwriters most likely never imagined. Then again, most of us never imagined the images we saw and will be seeing for some time.

I spent a good few hours trying to track down the right video of said song, and that quest also proved to be too. Too many covers, too many crappy versions, too many clicks on options that would have been okay if the audio quality wasn’t so wretched. In the end, I went with a bare-bones video (still crappy audio, so you might want to crank the volume a bit), one that simply features an image of the 45rpm of the song recorded by the band that first shared the lyrics with us, The Original Caste. And that seems right, because we should listen to the words.

Words are important.

A concept that fails to register with an American president and much of his party, as they continue to point fingers at everyone except themselves.

Enjoy. As much as you can.

 

 

P.S. As I prep this post, I’ve got one eye on the news. Over the last twenty-four hours, we’ve seen growing signs of a reckoning in Washington. I know better than to hope too much, but still, I hope…

 

54 replies »

  1. I always saw him as a complete lowlife and creep. I watched part of one of his shows, once. I couldn’t figure out why it was so popular or why anyone would want to work for such a mouthy, pompous failure. When he was elected, I saw it as more of the same. There was a willingness to just polish him up, shine him up, in spite of the hollow, collapsing and cracking interior. I got lots of amusement from making fun of him, but seeing him incite a mob to attack his own government, well, that’s the stuff of history books about Hitler and Mussolini. Thinking about you and wishing you well, Brian.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yep. he’s been a creep for decades, all the way back to the early 80s when he was in the news for forcing black people to move out of his apartment buildings. You can’t find a lower life form than him, and he should have been removed from society long ago. But his family had tons of money that money kept him out of jail over and over.

      And yes, he will be in the history books, and not in a good way. Sure, right now he still has a base that fervently worships him (along with a cadre of soulless politicians), but when the rancid dust finally clears, he will be known as the worst president we have ever had…

      Liked by 3 people

  2. brian, this is new to me, but sounds so familiar:
    i’m getting hints of corduroy, cheesecloth, patchouli.
    the drums – tight and clipped. march, detailed – could almost be in the room.
    elements of karen carpenter/the left banke.
    straight out of jesus christ, superstar! wholesome stuff.
    peas. nick

    Liked by 3 people

    • You’re right, there’s a certain time-slip cache to this song. But I grew up in the Bible Belt, so when this song came out with its indictment of religious hypocrisy and yet still calling for peace, it packed a wallop in my tiny little life…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. For four years I’ve asked, where is the line? What atrocity did Trump have to commit to lose support of the spineless Republicans who abandoned their party to this moron? You would think armed insurrection and an attempted coup would be enough, but even now the vast majority refuse to disavow him. Our government is well and truly broken.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s the key, the vast majority of the Republican party that still considers him the Second Coming. They are the truly broken aspect in this whole situation. Until we fix THAT mess, our government will continue to be in peril…

      Liked by 3 people

  4. As a Canadian looking on and watching the happenings in your country over the past four years, I am incredulous. I can only imagine that along with your anger and sadness there is an underlying exhaustion. The damage that that man was allowed to do to your country’s reputation leaves me speechless. I feel for you. I am looking forward to reading your thoughts when you are ready to share them. Thanks for that song.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You hit it just right: There is tremendous exhaustion in this country, having dealt with an unrestricted madman for so many years now. And the most frustrating aspect is that Trump has NEVER been popular with the majority of Americans, but he managed to gain power due to the archaic way in which presidents are elected in this country. And then he was protected from prosecution by Republicans who only got elected themselves due to vote suppression and gerrymandering. So, yes, I’m a little tired… 😉

      Liked by 3 people

  5. When I saw the picture and the word ‘DREAM’, I thought that is exactly what we need right now! And then I saw what song you had chosen. I know this song very well. By the second word I was sobbing. This is exactly what is happening around us and it is terrifying. I’m in another country and yet the entire world is affected by what happens down in your country. The damage he has done I hope, it’s not irreparable. But he has done an incredible amount of damage. Just like the people in the valley. I guess I needed a good cry. Perhaps we all do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It took me a while to find the photo, buried as it was in the archives and I couldn’t remember the name of the original post, but I knew I wanted that specific image to open the post. Luckily, I knew I had taken it in Ronda, Spain, so I searched on that and voila!

      But yes, we need dreams right now, we need to start electing officials who care about the country(and the world) and not just themselves, and we all need a good cry every now and then…

      Like

  6. Thanks, Brian, I hadn’t heard or thought about this song in years (decades?) and it was just what I needed to hear today. Syrupy? Maybe, but also heartful and truthful … and a powerful reminder as this momentous countdown and long-awaited transition continue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reflecting back, I really shouldn’t have used the word “syrupy”, as it can have a negative connotation, and I certainly didn’t intend that. It’s a wonderful song that still gives me chills, and it certainly gave me hope in my youthful days when I really needed it…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I watched several episodes of “Apprentice” and couldn’t understand the hype and the popularity. I am all about dialogues and nice scripts. Reality shows never appeal to me. Still even in our everyday conversation, we have humor and good sense, which is absent from this kind of reality shows. To enjoy that show, to vote for Trump, to raid the Capital for him? It only shows how easy people are misled. Normal people just won’t do this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have never watched an episode of “Apprentice”, because I already couldn’t stand Trump long before he got into politics. And although I do watch a few “reality” shows (I find “The Amazing Race” very interesting, as the producers really attempt to educate the viewers about cultures all over the world, always a good thing). for the most part I think reality shows do a disservice because they are SO manipulated.

      And you’re right, “normal” people would never vote for Trump. But, in my opinion, many Americans have never endured hardship in any form, so they have lost the concept of empathy for those who DO experience hardship. Hatred and bigotry come easy to folks who have never been the target of such…

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Good tunes, a lousy reason to share it. I’m with you. I feel exactly the same as you. It’s TOO. I grew up hearing the version of “Tin Soldier” played, and so it’s like a small visit home, to a time where Orange Morons knew their place (out of sight of decent folk) and none dared to mount insurrection against our highest places of leadership. It’s indeed a dark, bloody time. Soldier on. You’ve got comrades-in-arms who support you and have giant boxes of Kleenex to wipe away your tears. A brighter day WILL dawn and the pseudo King will be gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The song reminds me of simpler times, as well. Sure, we still had the bigotry and whatnot, but at least most folks had the decency to keep it to themselves. Now? They’re buying billboards and screaming from mountain tops. It’s ugly and wretched. But yes, at least I have comrades and proffered Kleenex, which definitely helps me get through as we await deportation of the pseudo King…

      Like

  9. Brian, I totally understand where you are – I’m sure many Americans including me are there with you.
    I have been so angry I haven’t been able to shed a tear in the past week.
    Until I heard your One Tin Soldier, a song I’ve always loved but haven’t heard in many years. Do it in the name of heaven, justify it in the end…that brought tears to my eyes.
    Thank you for remembering the song and sharing it with us.
    Onward.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was in the same boat as you, initially so angry that there were no tears. My breaking point, tear-wise, was the video, not sure if you’ve seen it, where the policeman is being crushed by a door as the terrorists try to force their way inside. They can hear him screaming and they still keep pushing.

      That behavior was subhuman and despicable. And that will be Trump’s legacy.

      And yes, the “heaven, justify” line is still so powerful, decades after I first heard the words and found solace that somebody out there understood, in some way, the emotions of a young gayling in Oklahoma…

      Like

    • Stop with the stupid, we both know you you’ve got more sense than any of those yahoos out there. The song is “One Tin Soldier” and this (first) version is by The Original Caste. But where did you get “rubber bands”? Curious minds want to know… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • I cannot believe that you called me stupid. In a minute I shall cry. 😦
        Shirley you didn’t mean it. I actually looked up “The Original Caste.”
        Of course on the computer, I can see what the song actually is. That song was played on one of those Billy Jack movies. I have it
        on my iPod. Pffft! So there!
        If you’re not careful, you could maybe end up in the “silent room.” Bwahahahahaha!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Now, now. I wasn’t calling you stupid. You called yourself that, and I was merely trying to protect your honor by disagreeing with such. I’m a gentleman, doncha know? Well, at least in my own mind…

          And I knew that you knew the song. (Still wondering about the rubber bands angle, though.)

          As for my potential banishment to the “silent room”? I’m actually all for that, as long as there’s no pain involved. When I would get in trouble as a wee lad and my parents would try to punish me by sending me to my room? I would race there happily, because I don’t like being around most people anyway… 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • The rubber bands? I have no earthly idea where that came from. I’ve tried to find it again, but I can’t…but I know I saw something about rubber bands…somewhere…sometime. (Must have been having one of those moments).
            LOL. You obviously haven’t finished (or started to read) the silent room. Believe me, you wouldn’t want to be there…but arrangements can be made, don’t ya know. (Wink wink).

            Liked by 1 person

  10. Not just a Washington reckoning, but a corporate reckoning – he’s lost his social media platforms and several companies are pulling funding from “news” programs that spout his false stolen election story. He could care less about propriety or our American government, but money and attention? That hits him where it hurts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly. To have His Voice stifled? To not have him boldly standing Right in front- forget front and centre, he just wants to be there, big as brass, in close up. To him there is nothing worse than being relegated from the limelight; That’s for Losers. Sadly even now he doesn’t /cannot see HE has lost an election, lost Georgia and helped lose the GOP senate majority. Roll on the 20th and then, further justice. Go Don go!- No GreaT loss.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Christi: I will admit that it’s somewhat gratifying that Corporate America appears to finally be done with The Donald. At the same time, it’s also far too little, far too late. (Especially the social media companies.) And I’m a bit miffed that several huge companies are withholding ALL political donations for a while. Why penalize the Democrats? This is all on the Republicans and their enablers…

      Still, when Twitter finally shut Trump down? I wet myself with joy, not gonna lie…

      obbverse: Trump has never and will never accept responsibility for his actions. He is incapable of doing so. There isn’t an ounce of decency or morality anywhere in his spray-tanned carcass of a dead soul. But you’re right, he has got to be foaming at the mouth over his inability to access social media. Attention is his oxygen, and there’s a big ole kink in his hose right now…

      Liked by 3 people

    • I would think (hope?) that the entire world looked on in horror. The insurrection (and Trump’s complicity) was such an outrage that I honestly don’t think the full impact has yet registered with many folks in this country. But the decent people had best get off their asses if they don’t want it to happen again…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you. I’ve been trying to understand the emotion I’ve been feeling, particularly as in the days that followed, as so many people in my circle continue with Trump supporting rhetoric, violent and separately religious nationalism (some not separate), and conspiracy theories in abundance. The emotion is despair. I’m working towards hope. LOVED the song, wonderful example of what is happening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I certainly agree that “despair” is a strong part of the emotional whirlwind we have been going through lately. But, like you, I’m working toward hope. It can get a little tough-going at times, but I truly believe that most people are decent and kind. We just have to deal with a very vocal minority that hollers and blames much more than they think…

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you, Brian. The more words of hope I hear the more I try to believe it. Among those whom I know who supported Trump for religious reasons there is a dark silence, which I am not feeling is acceptance and moving forward, but rather something else, and I’m not really sure what that means. It feels like a cultural schism has opened.

        Liked by 1 person

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