A few years ago Sugar, Jack and I went to a theater performance of Struwwelpeter - Shockheaded Peter. It's a musical puppet show with the musicians also performing onstage. The sets are child-sized and the musicians are The Tiger Lillies, an eclectic band featuring Martyn Jacques, an accordionist with a magnifent falsetto voice.
Struwwelpeter is a German children's book written by Dr. Heinrich Hoffman in 1845. The stories in it are a series of macabre tales of disastrous consequences for mischievous children.
Among the stories are The Dreadful Story of Harriet and the Matches about a girl who burns herself to death because she can't stop playing with fire. The Story of Flying Robert who flies his kite in a rainstorm and gets carried off by the wind. Snip Snip is a tale of Conrad who won't stop sucking his thumbs and as a result he gets them cut off.
We walked out of the theater and Jack turned and said, "This is the Germany that gave us Hitler. Why were we surprised?"
She exploded upon the American Scene in the early sixties. She was before the hippies, they wanted to be like her. She was the voice of Native America, she sang the anthem of the anti-war movement, she was one of the first artists blacklisted by the Johnson administration and her albums disappeared from the United States. Undeterred, she became an international phenomena and still attracts enormous crowds wherever she performs.
She's Buffy St. Marie and she's one of my all-time favorites. Most people here in the states know her as the protest singer, notable for Universal Soldier. But she's so much more than one song:
She's an educator with degrees in Oriental Studies and teaching as well as a PhD in Fine Arts. She's an accomplished artist, and she appeared for five years with her son on Sesame Street to let kids know that Indians still exist. She's a composer - look who's recorded her music: Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamon, Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops Orchestra, Roberta Flack, Cher, Bobby Darin, Bobby Bare, Donovan, Joe Cocker, and Anne Murray.
She founded educational partnerships between Native American students and non-Native classes. She produced a multimedia curriculum CD, Science: Through Native American Eyes.
My all time favorite Buffy St. Marie song is after the jump.
Some people lead Double Lives. I was listening to this episode of This American Life and it got me thinking about people with Secret Identities. Not all hidden identities belong to people trying to hide major hypocritical embarrassments, like Larry Craig (thanks, Ken). Some are valid and reasonable.
Here's my list of the best.
10. George F Kennan / Mr. X
Arguably, Kennan was the godfather of the Cold War. He was at least it's architect.
He published an article
in Foreign Affairs in July 1947 (under the name "Mr. X") that clearly
laid out a policy of containment. He urged that "the United States
policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term, patient but
firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies" and
called for the defense and support of key regions in the world, such as
Western Europe. The article, which created quite a stir in Washington,
laid the groundwork for much subsequent foreign policy.
In other words, he said that the Soviet Union was only interested in expansion, violent or not, and wouldn't listen to reason. So, he argued that threatening them with imminent destruction and subsequently Mutually Assured Destruction was the most rational course.
For a long time, no one knew who Mr. X was. Eventually the press narrowed it down and exposed him.
Where is the informant who's going to tell us about Bush? Where is the inside source? I think we've had dozens, but the press just ignores them and tells us that the president can do any damned thing he wants. If we found out that he was spying on Democratic Candidates, I'm sure the American public would just say, "So what? At least he has a phony Texas drawl. I think I want to have a beer with him."
I watched my father's music choices
change as he gave his life over to the Mormon church.
When I was five years old the record
collection occupied a prominent place in crates in our living room.
I used to thumb through the albums and put the ones I wanted to hear
on the top of the television. It was one of those wood veneer
Zeniths large enough to hold the record player, with space left for a
stack of records. The player was a turntable with a smoked opaque
top on hinges. It had this cool blue strobe light near the base of
the needle arm. When the player was at the perfect speed, the silver
dots on the turntable looked like they weren't moving under that
Dad had an impressive Elvis collection.
He also had all the Johnny Cash records. There were records by Hank
Williams, Conway Twitty, Dolly Parton, and Charlie Pride, the only
black performer my father owned.
My dad really went for the rebellious
songs by Johnny Cash and the wild drinking songs by Hank Williams.
He liked buddy songs, where two of the musicians would sing back and
forth impromptu, like they were just hanging around having a good
time. Roy Clark and Buck Owens performed that way on albums as well
as on Hee Haw, one of the few shows that followed us to every
military base across the planet.
He returned from the war reconverted to
Mormonism, but his love of those performers didn't disappear. He
still had the records, and he still listened to them, but with
meetings and obligations he didn't have as much time for music. The
other difference was that he used to have friends over: neighbors,
guys from work, or war buddies passing through the area. After his
reconversion he didn't have anyone over to the house who didn't have
scriptures in hand and he didn't turn on the record player for company.
Dolly Parton was the first casualty.
Her albums disappeared from the boxes. “Ricky,” he said, “a
man can't keep chaste thoughts in his mind if he fills it with
This one is from Cele. It's all about the greatest of each thing.
The Fine Print: Here are the rules: Copy the meme listed below to your blog and answer
the 10 questions. At the end of the questions, add one more question of
your making. Let's see where this goes! Enjoy!Oh, please note: These
don't necessarily have to be the greatest of all time ever. It could be
the greatest whatever at this moment in your life. What's great today,
might not be tomorrow. I'm as interested in the present as I am in all
time, if you will!****
In your opinion, this is the greatest... 1. Book 2. Song 3. Movie 4. T.V. Show 5. Place to live 6. Place to visit 7. Place to eat 8. Fruit/Vegetable 9. Chocolate 10. Quality I Possess
You people have obviously been holding out on me. Petra Haden is a Violinist/Singer who does a cappella covers of rock standards (including an entire Who album - The Who Sell Out). She's great. I'm watching her for the rest of the day.