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Whatever became of the country?

Jerry Rasmussen 12 Aug 04 - 10:11 AM
alanabit 12 Aug 04 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,CrazyEddie 12 Aug 04 - 11:27 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Aug 04 - 11:56 AM
SINSULL 12 Aug 04 - 12:03 PM
Once Famous 12 Aug 04 - 12:27 PM
Leadfingers 12 Aug 04 - 12:53 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Aug 04 - 01:37 PM
SINSULL 12 Aug 04 - 01:39 PM
freightdawg 12 Aug 04 - 02:43 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Aug 04 - 09:56 PM
lucky_p 12 Aug 04 - 10:41 PM
Joe Offer 13 Aug 04 - 01:19 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Aug 04 - 09:18 AM
dick greenhaus 13 Aug 04 - 10:46 AM
lucky_p 13 Aug 04 - 03:57 PM
Deckman 13 Aug 04 - 04:41 PM
Joe Offer 13 Aug 04 - 05:02 PM
harvey andrews 13 Aug 04 - 05:58 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Aug 04 - 08:29 PM
Bobert 13 Aug 04 - 09:36 PM
GUEST,Lucia 13 Aug 04 - 09:46 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 13 Aug 04 - 10:03 PM
Bobert 13 Aug 04 - 10:39 PM
open mike 13 Aug 04 - 11:11 PM
lucky_p 13 Aug 04 - 11:19 PM
Bobert 13 Aug 04 - 11:26 PM
Bobert 13 Aug 04 - 11:44 PM
beardedbruce 14 Aug 04 - 05:37 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Aug 04 - 10:16 AM
lucky_p 14 Aug 04 - 11:07 AM
Ebbie 14 Aug 04 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 14 Aug 04 - 11:53 AM
Wolfgang 14 Aug 04 - 06:53 PM
Big Al Whittle 14 Aug 04 - 07:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Aug 04 - 07:56 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 14 Aug 04 - 08:13 PM
GUEST,John O'Lennaine 14 Aug 04 - 08:17 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Aug 04 - 08:48 PM
SINSULL 14 Aug 04 - 08:56 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 15 Aug 04 - 03:33 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Aug 04 - 04:05 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 04 - 06:20 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Aug 04 - 09:25 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Aug 04 - 10:36 AM
lucky_p 15 Aug 04 - 11:05 AM
kendall 15 Aug 04 - 03:29 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Aug 04 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 15 Aug 04 - 05:49 PM
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Subject: Whatever became of the country?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 10:11 AM

Last Night, I had a dream. I was in a radio station studio, being interviewed in front of a small audience. The host of the program had heard a song I'd written recently, and kept asking me about it. The audience's curiosity was aroused, and everyone was asking me to sing it. The title of the song was Whatever Became Of The Country I've Known? I kept hedging for time, because I had never heard the song. I hadn't written it yet.

When I woke up, I thought of the one line of the song: "Whatever became of the country I've know, and lived in all of my life?" And it made me wonder. I happen to be talking about the United States, but I imagine my Brit, Canadian and Aussie friends could ask the same question of their country. United States bashing being the most popular indoor (and even outdoor) pastime these days, it's easy to compile our own Hit List of culprits. Half the BS threads on Mudcat are about them. I'm hoping this thread can go a little deepr than the obvious villains of the piece.

So, just to get the guys in black hats out of the way, it's the Rightwing conservative Republican Christian homophobic corporate homophobic polluting politicians what done it. Did I miss anyone?

What about you and me? And, are there changes that occur as a country grows stronger and more materialistic that really are out of our control?

Let me give a first example. When I was growing up in the Midwest, we had what was called a "skelton" key for our front door. I don't remember our actually locking the house. It wouldn't have made any sense, as there'd never been a burglary in our neighborhood, and if someone wanted to get in, they could buy a skeleton key for ten cents and Woolworth's that would open 90% of the front doors of the houses in the town. Now, my wife and I live in an area where burglaries are almost as rare as they were when I was growing up, and yet we lock all of our doors. Even when we're home. Has the world changed that much, or have we?

And, I remember when the first McDonalds opened in my home twon back in the early 50's. It was just an abberation then... 15 cent hamburgers that you could skip all the way across the river. We still ate most of our meals at home with our parents and brothers and sisters, and if we wanted a hamburger, we went into a "greasy spoon" and sat at the counter or in a booth, and hung out for awhile. Now, most parents are grabbing food on the run as much as the kids, and family dinners seem reserved for holidays.

And, I remember when tomatoes tasted like tomatoes. Not the carton's they're shipped in these days.

So, who's a fellow to blame? We gotta blame someone.

How has your country changed? Is there anything you can do to reverse the change in a small way?

Other than complaining, of course?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: alanabit
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 10:57 AM

I think that what you are hinting at - but by no means spelling out - is the responsibility of everyone for these changes.
Most political choices come down to trying to select the lesser of two evils. If so many people shrug their shoulders, saying, "They are all as bad as each other," a gap opens up for the least scrupulous in the field.
I have long held the belief that people who fail to pick up litter (most people these days consider themselves above that - it's someone else's job) are just as responsible for littering as the yobs who throw it down. If you don't pick up litter, you are partly to blame for it being there.
The bottom line is that we all like to be more aware of our rights than our responsiblities.


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: GUEST,CrazyEddie
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 11:27 AM

Quote "The bottom line is that we all like to be more aware of our rights than our responsiblities."

That's one of the most accurate and expressive phrases I've read in a long while.


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 11:56 AM

"The good old days done come and gone and ain't gonna come back no kinda way." I think that was the title of a song.

For a while I lived in a farming area where no one bothered to lock his front door. Thieves broke into a farm house a couple of miles away from us. They didn't try the door knob, they chain-sawed the door. The mountie said, well, one thing about these thieves. They ain't local.

Appropos the tomatoes mentioned by Jerry, I saw in the paper this morning that agri-scientists have the genome of coffee figured out. There are different strains of coffees now and quite a bit of difference in taste and aroma. Now the coffee growers can match that "average preference" and eliminate all the varieties.

Now take the human genome and ---


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: SINSULL
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 12:03 PM

I remember when a diagnosis of cancer meant you were a dead man.

I remember when my brother was diagnosed with Polio a week after his birthday party and the entire neighborhood had to get gamma globulin shots and a special van was set up to administer the new polio vaccine in sugar cubes.

I remember when I couldn't even apply to Harvard, Yale, Columbia, etc even though I was a top honor student.

I remember when I could be a nurse or a teacher or a secretary and that was about it.

The other side of the coin...


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Once Famous
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 12:27 PM

Sinsull

If you hadn't posted what you did, I would have done something similiar.

I love nostalgia, but I refuse to let it encompass me. There is a lot of good things in the world today and not everything in the "good old days" was so rosy. Kind of reminds me of the movie Pleasantville when a black & white world turned to color as it became enlightened.


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 12:53 PM

Nostalgia is a wonderful thing , but it definately isnt as wonderful as it used to be .


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 01:37 PM

And speaking of color... forty years ago, I wouldn't have dared to
go back to my home town in Wisconsin with my wife, who is black. Now, we are welcomed warmly everywhere we go.

Sometimes, things do get better..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: SINSULL
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 01:39 PM

Right Terry. We can grow our own damn tomatoes.

But I do miss the old Italian man who used to peddle his scissor sharpening cart through the neighborhood, the Bond Bread man who delivered fresh bread every day sometimes with tiny wrapped loaves for me and my brothers, and the cream on the top of the milk delivered in bottles.

Still - a small price to pay for a Harvard MBA.


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: freightdawg
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 02:43 PM

I really like what alanabit had to say. Spot on.

If I can add my 2 cents worth...I think a lot of changes took place when we as a culture started elevating the individual over the collective whole. There is very little talk of "we" now, unless it is little bitty fractured groups of "we". A whole lot of individuals and these smaller groups of "we" are at war with each other because there is a gross misconception that there is only so much good out there, and if I see you getting some of it that means there will be less of it for me. Actually, the whole idea of community means that by participating together we can each and every one attain a higher level of "good," however that is described (affluence, health, protection, etc), and more of it. By focusing on the individual we automatically create friction. Try this as an example. Get two groups of children together (say, 8-12 in each group). Get two round, rubber balls. In the first group announce that the ball is for the group to play with, they can do anything they want to, but it is the group's ball and everyone must be allowed to play whatever game is chosen. Then, in the second group, give the ball to one child. Explain that the ball was given to that child because of some special feature (the only girl, the only blond, the tallest, shortest, etc.) Explain that the only one who gets to make the rules is that one child, and s/he can include or exclude any one s/he wants to. The choice of any game is up to that one child alone. Which group will have the most fun and which will have the most friction?

Somehow, we have got to get back to viewing the community as being more important than the individual. Individuals have rights. Groups create responsibilities. Is it any wonder that we have murderers under the age of 10?

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 09:56 PM

You nailed it, freightdawg. I'm not talking nostalgia, here. Nostalgia easy slips in to sentimentality. I guess I'd put the change in terms of lack of connections. As an example: I have an envelope sitting on my desk for Feed The Children. My wife and I occasionally support that organization, and I think that it's worthwhile. Writing out a check is convenient and clean, but there's very little connection.

For several years, I used to go with a handful of people from my church to serve dinner at a homeless shelter that was prepared by some of the people in our church. There's a big difference between writing out a check and serving the homeless and then sitting down to eat with them. They aren't statistics, or people to feel sorry for.
We have much more in common than we have differences. My gospel quartet did a Christmas program at the homeless shelter a couple of years ago, and it was one of the best Christmases we've ever had. Many years ago, I volunteered to help cook a Christmas breakfast at the shelter... I cooked the grits (never even having tasted them before that day.) Danish grits. I drove down to the kitchen at five in the morning, in total darkness. And what a way it was to celebrate Christmas!

I'm afraid that it's too easy for all of us to slip into the mindset of thinking that looking out for those who are dying in spirit is someone else's job, or that a check is an adequate substitute for giving of yourself.

Maybe we can't reach out to those in need who are thousands of miles away, except by a check. But, there are countless people in homeless shelters and nursing homes who are forgotten who need a hand held more than a check placed in it.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: lucky_p
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 10:41 PM

I'd just like to add my voice to this conversation with one thought: don't underestimate the power of the automobile and the political decisions incumbent thereto, which fostered the development of workplaces far from one's home along with shopping malls far removed from communities and the overall erosion of the public space in favor of the private world (my car, not our bus; my private home, not our cooperative or apartment; my great private school for my kids, not a great public school for all our kids). This exacerbates class divisions and fear (you no longer live near the "stranger"; your car enables you to move to the suburbs while the poorer "stranger" who can't afford a car, sits in a relatively abandoned apartment in the wasteland where there are no more quality goods and services or jobs or psychologically healthy people since all who could got in their cars and fled.) This ultimately has eroded communities in general, and certainly community spirit, a sense of interdependency, and an overall sense of trust. So now, we lock our doors.

I suggest everyone read E.B. White's seminal essay, "Here is New York" which tells you in absolutely elegant prose what life was like in New York (and all cities probably), before the cars took over.


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 01:19 AM

Say, Jerry, can you post the lyrics to your song? I'm sure a lot of us would like to see it. Besides, if we don't get a song in here pretty quick, I'll feel honor-bound to move the thread to the non-music section.


I watched Gangs of New York last night. It's a particularly brutal story of the conflict between Irish immigrants and long-time Americans; and about the draft riots of 1863, when immigrants and other poor whites killed blacks, since they saw slaves as the beneficiaries of the war and the draft.

My 89-yr-old mother-in-law was complaining the other day that nobody's patriotic any more, and they don't have respect for the President. I think it's important to remember that "the good old days" were good only for those who were white and wealthy. I'm sure the past wasn't as bleak as the picture painted by Howard Zinn in A People's History of the United States, but I'm also sure the 19th and early 20th centuries were a time of great suffering for many people in this world of ours.

Still, I think history tells only part of the story of the past, and it's a very top-heavy story. In my heart of hearts, I know that politics and power is not the essence of life - but yet our history usually tells only about our leaders, the powerful people on the top rung of the ladder of society. Whatever happens in history, completely different things may happen within each individual home. Our society may be corrupt - but within individual families, wonderful things may be happening. Love happens in families, and power happens in politics. Which is more important?

So, about that song, Jerry....

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 09:18 AM

Hey, Joe:

This really was meant to be a BS thread. If you read my first post, I had a dream that I was being interviewed as was asked to sing a song I had never written. As far as I know, there is no such song. All there is is the single line of the song from my dream. So, by all means, move this down. Maybe as the discussion continues (if it does) the message of the song will evolve in this thread and the rest of the song will come to me.

I thought your posting was very wise, lucky p. The automobile certainly has changed the world. We didn't get our first car until I was 15. The thought of commuting, even from the nearest town to us, of 7 miles, would have seemed bizarre if anyone even thought of it.
Now, people out here on the East Coast think nothing of commuting 100 miles, each way.

You can't go back again, but if you move to a small town far enough away from large cities and job markets for even a ridiculous commute, you'll find vestiges of the old life still remain. That's what my wife and I did after we retired. Our City is just under 10,000, and only 5 miles by 1 and 1/2 miles in area. In the three years since we moved here, I've gotten to know more people than I knew in the 37 years I lived in a large city.

Small, y'all.

Jerry

See you down below..


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 10:46 AM

Nostalgia is a fire fueled by faulty memory


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: lucky_p
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 03:57 PM

More thoughts: it's not that I am a luddite or a naysayer; it's just that as we continue to push forward at lightening speed in technology especially, we need to understand better what we gain, and what we lose. It is amazingly wonderful that if a physician working in remote section of Tanzania discovers a cure for a disease that plagues us (like the breast cancer I had); or has developed a technique for separating conjoined twins that radically increases their chances for survival; medical establishments worldwide can know it instantly and be trained with on-line instruction/viewing, etc. On the other hand, if you don't handle your credit wisely, you're in bigger trouble than ever, because the credit card companies are all in bed with each other, have captured your financial records, and are sharing and maintaining it on-line. Their data shows who you paid (or didn't), when you paid, how much you paid, etc., and they have an arcane algorithm that they use to judge and evaluate you forever (or as long as they choose), that other agencies, like mortgage lenders, can and will use to bite you in the butt forever. No more "I made a mistake, sorry, can I start fresh"? The answers is "sorry you made a mistake, but no more starting fresh." No more "going west, young man" to start again; they got us by the throat technologically and they're not letting go, ever.

Positives and negatives, that's all.


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Deckman
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 04:41 PM

Jerry, I'm NOT sure how this fits, but I do put a lot of the "blame" for the unpleasant changes over the last 60 years on T.V. Let me try to explain: Prior to T.V., we pretty much all lived together. By "all" I mean us neighbors. Us kids hung out together. The neighbors (parents and kids) always got together at least once a week for dinners and gatherings. If someone had a subscription to a "Mecury or Colliers" magazine, that magazine went all through the neighborhood.

Then came T.V. Everyone shut their doors and we all started to live INSIDE our houses. We closed ourselves off, more and more, from each other. And with that isolation, came the resulting downside: increase of crimes, drugs, mental illness, etc.

I know, I know, my thought is far too simplistic to be accurate, but I think there is a grain of truth there. CHEERS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 05:02 PM

Gee, Jerry, maybe I shouldn't be posting at 1:19 AM, when my brain is foggy. I'll try to pay more attention next time, Perfesser. Still, I sure hope a song comes out of this thread.
But anyhow, back to nostalgia. Yes, there were lots of things about the Good Old Days that weren't so good, but one thing we've lost is the freedom that kids used to have. I lived in Detroit until I was 9, and I was able to roam several miles from home - always in the company of other kids and always under the watchful but non-interfering eyes of adults who knew us and our parents. Then I moved to Racine, Wisconsin - and I could go twenty miles from home on my bicycle without anybody getting upset. My kids grew up in Sacramento - and we didn't feel safe with them more than two blocks from home until they were teenagers.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: harvey andrews
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 05:58 PM

I don't know, but when I was young money was just...money. Now it seems it's MONEY and it's everything, everywhere, all the time. If there's no MONEY in it it's not worth doing, but as long as there is MONEY in it, anything goes, no matter how dumb, dangerous,anti-social, etc.
Maybe we sold the country?


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 08:29 PM

TV killed conversation, just like Video killed the radio stars. There was a family down the block who had a player piano, and neighbors would go down on a Saturday night and everyone would sing along on the old popular songs of the twenties, right up to the hits of the day (1940's.) We weren't a musical family, but we had a piano in the house, and we'd sit around and sing. Even radio allowed more communication, because your eyes weren't glued to the screen. Picture puzzles were another family pastime, along with all the board games. Now, 90% of games for kids are one-person video games (unless you count the kick-em-in-the-teeth martial arts games where two kids can stylishly beat the crap out of each other. I gave a kid a board game for Christmas a couple of years ago, and when he opened it, he looked at it like it was a turd. "Yeah... I'm going to play this stupid thing?"

Seems like most entertainment now is either done in isolation, or is passive... like watching music videos.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 09:36 PM

Lucky has made a couple of very important observations in trying to find the answer to what has happened to the country. Lucky obeserves that, with the rise of the automobile, we have used it to escape and in doing so have become more private. Lucky has also observed that with techology also has become the ability of folks to snoop on one another; and worse yet, become judemental from our snooping.

Beyond those observations I would add a few of my own:

1. Bruce Springstein says it very well in a song entitled "The Big Muddy" when he sings, "Sooner or later, it all comes down to money." Unfortunately, this has become all too true since those innocent 50's when folks weren't so hung up on money.

2. Realted to money, since *success* has been equated with making money there has become a class of very greedy people who make the old ruling class look like bleeding heart liberals.

3. Not related to money, our churches have become less tolerant and have been running folks out since the Vietnam War who don't wag the flag high or hard enough. When I was a kid the church was so much part of my social life. It still is, but for less and less tolernat people. (I am not speaking of all churches here but most...)

4. We know too much. With media desenitizing us every day of our lives to accept pain and killing and bad deeds they become "everyday occurances" and that does not bode well for neighborhoods where folks lock their doors with skelaton keys, or not at all.

5. Privatization has also robbed us of a lot. It seperates us. It emhasizes the gaps between the haves and have nots. It inforcees the idea of "mine" as opposed to "ours".

6. The power elite has also found that thru division, we are better controlled and they do their best to keep people divided and angry, ready to blame someone else for the conditions that the power elite keep is in.

Those are just a few of my thoughts, Jerry...

BTW, the tomatoes coming out of my garden every day are absolutley delicious...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: GUEST,Lucia
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 09:46 PM

One of the reasons all the doors are locked now is that no one is at home most of the time. When I grew up (50 years ago) no one had a mother who worked. Now kids are in daycare or pre-kindergarden and almost all the young mothers work (include me on that list,back when I was young).Half the mothers on my block go back to work as soon as their maternity leave is gone.I don't even know the names of the other half of the mothers on my block.As a child we knew everybody in the neighborhood.
Nobody, as best as I remember,forced these things on us.Life is a series of trade offs,and yes Monty Hall, we were all to ready to make a deal.


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 10:03 PM

Hey, Bobert:

Interestingly, I've found black Baptist churches are often outspokenly critical, not only about the war in Iraq, but about corporate greed. I know this is kinda taboo in here (but as long as the churches are supporting liberals, I guess we can all look the other way) but some of the black churches I go to actively encourage their congregations to support candidates who are socially activist.
That goes for white candidates, as well as black. I think that to a great extent, the black churches offset the ultras conservative southern white churches.

Not all Christians are Pat Roberts.

Several good points, Bobert..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 10:39 PM

Jerry,

The only church I have felt comfy in over the last few years is a Black Baptist Church 15 miles south east of Leesburg, Mt. Olive Baptist Church. The folks there not only got it cookin' for the Lord but ain't no BS about it...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: open mike
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 11:11 PM

"I Want My Country Back"

by Greg Brown
(The Mill 2-27-03)
I want my country back
and a good dream to stand up for
oh, you know these days, well
I don't feel at home here anymore
Big big flag above the big big mall
oh, well you know these days oh
I don't feel at home here anymore
Homeland of Sojourner Truth and Chief Joseph before
and the quiet words of wisdom are drowned out by TV
and I don't feel at home here anymore
Blind engineer more on the train
oh and we want to feel at home here once more
I want my country back
and a good dream to stand up for
Got my hand over my heart
oh but I don't feel at home here anymore
I want my country back


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: lucky_p
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 11:19 PM

Well, Jerry and Robert -- this has been quite inspiring. I never get to have conversations like this these days -- why? -- because everyone is glued in front of the idiot box!!!!

Anyway, Robert -- I want to try your tomatoes -- nothing like real tomatoes that grow on a vine from the sweet earth. I'm not sure all tomatoes do these days.

And Jerry -- I remember you from Pinewoods some 25 years ago. I only attended sporadically but I was one of the members of the collective that began "The Peoples Voice" with Marion Wade and Janet Miller. Ring a bell?

Peace,

Penny (alias "lucky_p")


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 11:26 PM

Ahhhhh, lucky, yer just gave me up... Iz been hidin' 'round this joint as Bobert, not Robert. Now everyone knows... Iz been outted and, oh geeze, it gonna be bad... Real bad...

Awww, jus funnin' wid ya, Bobert, Robert, Slobert? Heck, most folks ignore me these days 'round here so it's nice to get noticed...

Robert Bobert


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 11:44 PM

Ahhhhh, BTW, I'm pickin about 10 woderfull, vine ripen tomatoes a day and each and every one of them tastes just like the tomatoes we used to grow back in the good ol' days, except better... Now there is the challenge! Tomatoes better than the good ol' days? No way!...

...but, yup, thre most delicious tomatoes that have ever been grown are being grown right here on the Blue Ridge Mountain in Wes Ginny. I mean, these babies is Olympic quality tomatoes. They are perfect in shape, size, texture and taste. And organic, to boot...

Just send 99 cents a pound, plus $9.99 a pound shipping and handling and the Bobert will send you one or more perfect tomatoes for your gateway to the past, when a skelaton key would lock yer front door, when you knew everyone who lived in yer neighborhood and when the TV's didn't have no color in 'um...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 14 Aug 04 - 05:37 AM

Bobert:


"2. Realted to money, since *success* has been equated with making money there has become a class of very greedy people who make the old ruling class look like bleeding heart liberals."

"Just send 99 cents a pound, plus $9.99 a pound shipping and handling and the Bobert will send you ..."


Something wrong with two day priority mail at less than $4 a pound? Or is the extra $5 "handling"?


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Aug 04 - 10:16 AM

Hey, lucky: Pinewoods... never been there, so it couldn't a been me. I did go to Indian Neck many times, back around 25 years ago, though. Nice to be remembered, anyway :-)

I am enjoying this thread. When I started it, it wasn't real clearly defined, like more specific threads I participate in, or start. That seems to have allowed this thread to amble along as more of a conversation than a diatribe.

As for tomatoes, they should do a test in the not so supermarkets in the vegetable section. Blindfold the shoppers, have them take a bite out of a tomato and see if they can identify what the vegetable is. Much the same for fruits. They want to keep the fruit on the shelf so long now that it won't be much longer before they ship them as seeds. It's a real crap shoot to get food that tastes like it looks, anymore.

Hey, Bobert... maybe you can be on the cutting edge of the produce industry. Ship people fresh tomato seeds.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: lucky_p
Date: 14 Aug 04 - 11:07 AM

Ooops,

Thought it was you Jerry,

On second thought,

I think his name was Jerry Epstein.

I'm getting old.

I hope I am getting wiser while still wishful.

Best,
lucky


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Ebbie
Date: 14 Aug 04 - 11:48 AM

Remember 'Future Shock'? A lot of what we live with today was implied in that book.

On the other hand, it's always been that way, I think. I remember when I was a teenager in Virginia in the early 1950s and would go walking for several hours at night, roaming for miiles across fields, under fences, through woods. My mother allowed it but she would warn me that "It's not as safe as it used to be." and to keep my wits about me. (The only thing I ever met was an occasional barncat,)


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 14 Aug 04 - 11:53 AM

SOILENT GREEN !!! I've thought of that film a bunch in recent times--all without wanting to watch it again. It was very depressing. But the old man played by Edward G. Robinson --- Saul, I think his name was -- when it was time for him to "GO", he was put on a bed with a beautiful high-tech I-Max film playing showing the natural wonders of this world THE WAY IT USED TO BE. These glimpses were all ways he had remembered things being in his energetic youth. And while watching this, the killing fluid was being injected into his arm. This was the way everyone was done away with in this film --- if life in general hadn't killed them already. (And then their bodies were processed into the main protein food of the time---the Soilent Green that was the enigmatic title of the movie.)

Yes, this film, more than even Blade Runner, has slowly come to fuition in my lfetime. On top of that, pile the loss of Civil Liberties, the incarceration of the vaguely accused, loss of privacy, the total acceptance of assassination as an acceptable tool in governmental disputes, the onset of Gestapo tactics -- the ultimate individually personal example of that those tactics being terrorism in all it's forms. -- I include in my list of terrorists the corporate warfare on those that don't have the cash to patronize those corporations!

Ultimately, and sadly, I see that I erroneously have excluded G.W. Bush and all his henchpeople from my list of agents of terror.

WHY?

Possibly out of a gnawing fear of that very government that formerly, on many occasions, I would've pointed to with real affection and pride in times past!!

And that leaves me feeling some of the terrible sadness the old man Saul (in his wisdom) felt after he had been forced to part with all his illusions.


Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 14 Aug 04 - 06:53 PM

Memory of things past is biased in in many ways. Two ways are relevant here:
We are more likely (other things being equal) to remember good things than bad things and
We are more likely to remember things about which (or close to when) we have laughed.

Both biases are self serving and benign. I wouldn't love being without them.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Aug 04 - 07:07 PM

Things do change.

I think if we look at history. We see the Romans sticking it to the ancient Britons, Normans kicking out the saxons and so on.

The saxons were probably fed up when they saw the culture changing. It is our fate to witness and be part of change. on some days the country looks like the same place my grandparents lived in - on other days

but always at my back I hear
times winged chariot hurrying near

Andrew marvell of course 16th or 17th century. I think he wrote that when he was given a free mobile phone, but the new in-car charger cost as much as his old one, and although the batteries lasted longer they cost twice as much - and it couldn't do e-mails.


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Aug 04 - 07:56 PM

As alanabit said "…people who fail to pick up litter (most people these days consider themselves above that - it's someone else's job) are just as responsible for littering as the yobs who throw it down."

Or, as the saying goes "If you ain't part of the solution, you're part of the problem". (An interesting saying, because it sidesteps the usual political labels. It's as liberal as it's conservative, and the other way round, and it's profoundly radical.)

I get tired sometimes at the way people tend to think in straight lines around these issues. So when someone points out that in certain ways - for example regard for other people -things have got a lot worse over their life, this gets countered by a quote from someone making exactly the same complaint a few centuries ago, as if this disproved the complaint. But it could well be that both times the compaint is completely accurate, because those kind of things don't go in a straight line, they go one way, and then they go the other, in a sort of cycle or maybe a spiral (upwards or downwards).

And again there's no contradiction between pointing out that some things have got worse, and pointing out that some things have got better. And it's even more complicated than that, because even when things get better there's likely to be a real price to pay for that, even when it's a price worth paying. The good and the bad can be opposite sides of the same coin.

"Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains" loses some of its appeal then those chains are made up of things people would hate to lose.

I hope Jerry writes that song.

And here's one I wrote a few years back on these kind of things.

In times like these, you get by how you may,
You take what you can beg or borrow,
And you live from day to day.
But here I stand, and here I'm going to stay.
But if I had my chance I'd be home tomorrow,
Or better still, today.


Oh I came here with a hopeful heart,
And I've worked my whole life long,
But I look around at times today,
And I wonder what went wrong.
Seems there's no such thing as a steady job,
Why these days it just seems
That the things we took for granted
Are now the stuff of dreams.
In times like these, you get by how you may,
You take what you can beg or borrow,
And you live from day to day.
But here I stand, and here I'm going to stay.
But if I had my chance I'd be home tomorrow,
Or better still, today.


Well, they alter almost everything,
Except what needs to change,
The deckchairs on the sinking ship,
Sure they get rearranged,
But the ship is headed for the rocks,
Or the bottom of the sea,
And there's no room in the lifeboats
For the likes of you and me.
In times like these, you get by how you may,
You take what you can beg or borrow,
And you live from day to day.
But here I stand, and here I'm going to stay.
But if I had my chance I'd be home tomorrow,
Or better still, today.


They tell you when you get here
That you're far behind the age
They tell you you must learn to change
According to their ways,
And they tell you what you must admire,
And what you must despise,
And you learn too late that what they say
Is a spider's web of lies.
In times like these, you get by how you may,
You take what you can beg or borrow,
And you live from day to day.
But here I stand, and here I'm going to stay.
But if I had my chance I'd be home tomorrow,
Or better still, today.

In times like these, you get by how you may,
You take what you can beg or borrow,
And you live from day to day.
But here I stand, and here I'm going to stay.
But if I had my chance I'd be home tomorrow,
Or better still, today.


But if I had me time again
I'd make the same mistakes,
You could warn me of the future,
But I'd dream of lucky breaks,
For the young ones never take advice,
That's not the way we learn –
And the past is another country,
And there's no way to return.
In times like these, you get by how you may,
You take what you can beg or borrow,
And you live from day to day.
But here I stand, and here I'm going to stay.
But if I had my chance I'd be home tomorrow,
Or better still, today.


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 14 Aug 04 - 08:13 PM

As I've said in this forum before, "The more things change, the more they get different." That don't mean ya gotta like it.

Art


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: GUEST,John O'Lennaine
Date: 14 Aug 04 - 08:17 PM

Through most of human history cultural & social change has happened at a rate which was humanly accessable. That is, it happened slowly enough for people to adapt to it.
Like the development of the internal combustion engine I suppose.

The problems come along when the changes happen so fast that humans are unable to cope with them.

Such moments of massive social disorientation would have been, say, when fire was first controlled, when the wheel was invented, when agriculture was conceived.

Just 50-odd years ago we had nuclear technology and the microchip to take on board more or less simultaneously.
The human walking pace has thereby been upgraded to that of a runaway train.

I might be talking crap. I'm only just out of bed.

John


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Aug 04 - 08:48 PM

You're right on, John.

I have a long letter from my Mother, which I treasure. (Whom I treasure, too.) My Mom turned 97 in June and when I think of the changes that she's seen in her lifetime, it boggles my mind. The letter she wrote to me was one I requested, recounting her growing up on a small farm in southern Wisconsin. Reading it, it sounds like Little House On The Prairie. They heated their beds in the winter by warming stones in the stove and carrying them up to put them under the blankets, had gas lights and feather beds.. just a small dairy farm.

Now, Mom thinks she should get a computer, because she doesn't want to be out of date. She never became "old-fashioned," and she's not about to, now. She's seen what would have been several lifetimes of change in earlier days. Everything seems to be on fast forward, now. Makes you wonder what our kids will witness in their lifetimes if they live to be 97..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Aug 04 - 08:56 PM

Yesterday
All my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh I believe in yesterday.


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 15 Aug 04 - 03:33 AM

I like this train of thought, runnaway train or not...

Nice song McGrath!

I am just flat out overwhelmed by the astounding worldwide changes brought about by the microchip, and the cyberworld that infatuates us, and controls us. We can all be in the same place at the same time, and we can all do it in our own way... if only vicariously... and we all can go our own way each moment. Patience? Who needs it?

But our relationships are changing. It's getting tougher to actually achieve intimacy these days, especially with all of our stuff that needs 'getting done'. There's just not enough time to relax, and even our entertainment is kinda uptight. Getting 'in depth' requires time we don't always have, and when we schedual a little 'quality time' we barely scratch the surface behind the processing and posturing...

I guess we've bought in to a rather pervasive and persuasive materialism.

There is a strange passivity in people... like... we've found our identities as spectators and critics, and we try to find personal power in non involvement. This is not exactly the power of 'detatchment' that Buddhist teachings promote... but more like watching life roll by in a videotape filmed by someone else.

Is it just me, or is the competitiveness of every little thing we do keeping us distracted, driving us to distraction, and putting us on edge with every interaction? I like to appreciate the beauty in people, and let them be... but attitude seems to indulge itself freely, at the expense of the finer appreciation of differences. Sorry, but I prefer patience and good wishes...

It's a tough row to hoe, 'cause ya can't buck the whole system... But I'm trying to find myself again... relax,so I can have a self to share... and love the people around me.

peace!
ttr


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Aug 04 - 04:05 AM

My dad was born in 1916. The town my Mum and Dad lived in was St Helens in lancashire - which was covered with a cloud of suphuric acid most of each rainy year - no anti pollution laws you see.

Both of them had food deiciency diseases when they were kids - rickets stuff like that - they were starving. In the street my mum lived a sort of ghhetto for Irish families as far as I can make out - there wasn't on single house in the street where someone didn't die of TB - her house included.

When he was 14 my Dad had to start looking for a job. He used to get up every morning and try to get a days work at all the factories - there were queues outside every factory - all men after jobs. Imagine doing that and knowing that your family at home was relying on you to find work if possible.

More often than not he didn't find work and so he would go on to, school. If he was late, some son of a bitch beat him with a cane.

You often hear old folk say what a great time they had back then, I guess they were someplace else.


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 04 - 06:20 AM

"There's just not enough time to relax" - I never understand how everyone always seems to agree that we've got less time to do things that make us happier than we did before when we had to spend so much more time doing the things to keep us alive. I think it's some kind of addiction to being busy that's to blame.

And I loathe the expression "quality time", and the assumptions that underlie it, more especially when it comes to parents spending time with children. What kids need isn't being leapt on by parents with stopwatches in their hands, giving a dose of intenstive parents in between rushing off to do other things. They need to have them in the background, and doing their own thing - available when needed, but not imposing themselves.


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Aug 04 - 09:25 AM

Maybe everyday phrases tell the story. Growing up, a common phrase was "An honest day's work for an honest day's pay." When was the last time you hear that? Men used to take pride when someone said,
He's good with his hands." Where is the pride in craftsmanship now?
I was taught that "You only get out of something what you put into it." There's a watered down version of that left over in our lives, in regard to computers: "Junk in, junk out." Junk in, junk out applies to our lives everday, too.


Now, we hear, "I need to spend quality time with him/her/them." On a good day, if we schedule it and nothing goes wrong, maybe we can squeeze in an hour of "quality time." The other 23 hours, we're just "there."

Thomas Merton said "No man is an island." We live in the universe's largest archipeligo, now.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Aug 04 - 10:36 AM

"No man is an island" was John Donne, Thomas Merton was quoting when he used it as a title, as he'd have been the first to point out. (Here is a page of Merton originals - "When ambition ends, happiness begins", that's a good 'un.).

"Where is the pride in craftsmanship now?" One place is among people who make musical instruments. And often enough among people who play them. That's what's good about the folk world.


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: lucky_p
Date: 15 Aug 04 - 11:05 AM

That's right, McGrath. It's a revolutionary act to make your own instruments, to make your own music, to further your own creativity and create your own joy; rather than have it pre-packaged and spoon-fed to you.


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: kendall
Date: 15 Aug 04 - 03:29 PM

"Try to remember a.." try to. uh, try to remember a ...how did that song go?

Hell, we never had a key. Never had anything worth stealing! Whoever left the house first in the morning was the best dressed. I had 8 brothers and sisters, I never slept alone 'til I was married.


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Aug 04 - 05:41 PM

Of course you're right, Kevin. Thomas Merton's book was on my mind. Maybe it's time to go back and read some of his stuff.

A couple of current phrases that pretty much sum up the present: "The bottom line" (which is always money,) and "down-sizing" which always applies to someone else.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Whatever became of the country?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 15 Aug 04 - 05:49 PM

When your memory goes, forget it !!!

Art Thieme


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