Need a lift? Some heat relief? A good read? Get your mind in the boat: Read The Boys in the Boat

It’s Friday and everyone is itching to chill out so I’ll get right to the heart of this post: Treat yourself and read The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. This is a true story of HEART–true character, “boys” who were men whom current athletes can not match on any level. Yes, I have seen the 2016 Olympics and found them sorely wanting. In a time when ego and individual effort is all the rage it’s impossible to even imagine that a group of nine “boys” could swing like none other. I knew nothing about rowing until I read this book. I knew more than I wanted about the Nazis. I knew about the Depression and the Dust Bowl. I knew about Jesse Owens. But I knew nothing about this incredible rowing crew. Swing is now more than a style of Jazz and dancing for me. It’s not often that I re-read a book but I’ve read the race scenes several times because they’re so damn exciting. Nothing I’ve seen –ever– in the Olympics can compare.

For the romantics there’s even a love story. Actually there’s a lot of love in this story.

The Boys in the Boat

Much thanks and appreciation to PBS’s American Experience episode The Boys of ’36 which turned me onto Brown’s book.

The Boys of ’36 Chapter 1

Watch, read and be uplifted.

M-I-B = Mind In Boat  ~~ rowing mantra

 

Going where NO politician has ever gone. The Urban Farming Guys are on an epic concrete hope for the future roll in KCMO–and beyond.

I had other plans for a post today –until I checked my email and found a missive from The Urban Farming Guys. Timing is everything. The Urban Farming Guys have been busy–very busy. And they want to keep on being very busy in the urban core and beyond. UFG are doing what no politician has ever done–create a world of real possibilities. They are grassroots in ACTION. They’ve got an ambitious plan underway and they need OUR help to make it so. See what they’re up to now and if you’re impressed please share/donate/reblog–in other words, help however you can right now because the clock is ticking.

Without further ado:

 

The Urban Farming Guys YT

Crowdrise 

UFG website

The time is now.

These guys are the real deal. Please spread the word.

Three Muses: Music Beyond Main Streams

Yeah, who cares about Jazz vocalists these days? Hmm? Certainly not mainstream corporate radio stations. So here is the post which I intended as a  Christmas in July gift. The talents of Patricia Barber, Melody Gardot and Cecile McLorin Salvant. Listen and fall in love — I hope.

Patricia Barber

 

 

Melody Gardot 

 

Cecile  McLorin Salvant

 

You are cordially invited to share your favorite female Jazz artist. Yes, for this post it’s Ladies’ Music Only.

To hear Jazz Monday thru Friday, 1 to 3 pm CST visit KKFI 90.1 fm streaming online.

Time out for a laugh track break: a special message from MoveOn.org > Laughter Trumps Hate brigade’s Open Call for Funny People. Really!

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Roll out your own barrel of laughs.

Try out your chops serving up a hearty dish of political satire.

It’s been brought to my attention that comedians are called to duty at MoveOn.org to slice and dice politics as they deem fit.

There is no entry fee. Everyone is welcome to enter–newbies and hard-core satirists alike. Satire is not required but it’s appreciated. You can be just flat out funny.

But time is running out and you must submit a video by August 11, 2016. So get crackin’ all you wise-arses with bells to ring and whistles to blow!

Rules and submission tools at MoveOn.org.

Get your video rolling ASAP!

What does one do when the heat index is lethal and you’re learning what it feels like to be an animal at a zoo?

Yes, I have been seriously MIA yet again from this blogcasa. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been on my mind. There’s been a great deal of mayhem and chaos and downright insanity going on around the world. I’d rather not discuss the specifics as you’ve all probably had quite a stomach full enough of it all to vomit. Yes, it has been awful outdoors here–bad enough for moi to be forced to spend much of summer indoors in order to breath properly and avoid heat illness. This is royally pissing me off because I so look forward to having the windows and doors open during the summer. That has been impossible for months at this point. Gardening and walking has been restricted to the wee hours of the mornings and far and few between low humidity and heat days. Anyone who has not noticed the local change in temperature has not been paying any attention for their lifespan. You would think the increase in their electric bills from running their air conditioners all the time would raise a red flag. But not so for climate change deniers and the those who are just plain clueless. Anyway it’s been a shit summer for me because I physically can not endure the heat index. Please share your summer time weather experience at will. So instead of enjoying the great outdoors this summer I’ve been reading and watching far too many films and series. And thinking about a few things. For example: Do men ever worry about their reproductive rights? Seriously, does the male of the human species EVER have to fight anyone about his sperm and the consequences of sharing it with the female of the species? Hmm? Yeah, it’s been on my mind. Oh and every time I  check on my blogcasa I find things have changed at WP–usually to make things easier for blogging. But it’s a bit like coming home and finding the place totally redecorated and having to figure out what’s what every time. Ah the least of my concerns. At any rate, it’s taken a while for me to decide to do a little sharing of the sort that ought not land me in the pokey for defamation of character. Here’s a list of books, films and music I think are worth sharing. Please, oh god, please, share back because this is the first of August and I am running out of quality entertainment while under heat arrest.

I’ve occupied my  non-writing time with the likes of:

Show Me A Hero— book by Lisa Belkin, HBO mini-series.

 

IF anyone really wants to have a serious discussion about race issues in America this NON-fiction book and series offers a means for doing so. It also offers some how-to for dealing with community issues. And the trailer hardly gives a sense of the women whose true stories are worth the price of your viewing time.  It might look like it’s all about Nick and the white guys, but it’s NOT.

The HBO series Treme goes to post Katrina New Orleans and strives to portray the cultural, social-economic, racial, justice issues via the personal lives of compelling individuals. It is not a pretty picture of state, local or federal government. If you love the many faces of Jazz you’ve got it made. The issues should make your blood boil. The food will make you hungry. The music will have you dancing and singing. The satire will satisfy a need for intellectual substance. And you just might cry more than you expect.  Absolutely Addictive!

 

 

Another series worth spending some caged air conditioning time with is House of Cards—IF you can stomach any more political evil doing. Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright and an all around incredible cast dive into the cesspool otherwise known as the American political scene where there are NO rules at all. If you watch this then you’ll have no trouble thinking the worst of the republican and democratic parties–or any other political party. The pursuit of power by any and all means. Everyone is expendable and all collateral damage is acceptable. Evil is real. Oh yeah.

 

 

Ah more about human nature in glorious black and white—The Fifth Horseman is Fear. Jewish doctor, Nazis, Czechoslovakia and an injured political fugitive = great drama. What’s your risk factor?  There’s a lot to contemplate in this study of human nature, identity and oppression. The image of the pianos haunts me with its beauty, sadness and tragedy. Keep your eye on the boy in the film. What does he make of everything he sees and hears–oh I do wonder.

IMDB

 

Damn, I haven’t even gotten to books and music yet.

Okay I’m going to wrap this post up on an incredibly beautiful note with a link to a blog that those of you interested in film might find interesting. The Case For Global Film has a fine entry for the Hungarian film Love.   Love  stories are not just couples finding each other for sex and corny feel good times. What does love motivate people to do for each other? What does it mean in the grand scheme of all things? Is it the best thing about our species? Maybe. Is it the most powerful –and under-utilized weapon we have to deal with the self destructive chaos that our species creates in the world?

Love is yet another visually gorgeous film in black and white from 1972. If anyone finds a video for this film please drop a link as I’m not having any luck with my searches–yet. Hence the link which offers a host of other films all too often ignored in America.

For now–hello to all. Keep cool if you can. Sing, dance, eat well. Love. And fight the mayhem by refusing to let it overwhelm you.

namaste

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