Limit political stress for better health

essential strategyDr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Mike Roizen, MDs, posted an email ad, Limit Political Stress for Better Health, I’m a not a devotee of Oz and don’t know Roizen, but it sounds about right, especially with US Thanksgiving coming up.

“A University of Nebraska survey found that nearly 40% of people say politics are stressing them out; 20% are losing sleep or are fatigued or suffering depression because of politics; and 20% report that political discussions have damaged friendships. This worries health professionals.”

ONLY 20% report damaged friendships?

They lay out a plethora of ailments including depression, anxiety, headaches and chronic pain syndromes. “It can exacerbate asthma and COPD; damage the circulatory system and heart; disrupt your hormone balance and immune system; increase your risk of dementia and cancer; cause digestive upset; and even alter fertility.”

Altered fertility? Maybe this explains the diminishing birth rate, not just in the United States.

“That’s why it’s important to find a way to de-escalate anxiety, anger, and conflict about political events (while remaining committed to every American’s involvement in the political process — including that uncle you disagree with).”

Even HIM? OK.

Avoiding political stress

“Here are some tips to avoid the stress of politics:
• Limit time spent watching and reading news coverage.
I fail.

• Turn off your phone’s news alerts.
I think this is a GREAT idea, actually.

• Ask friends to drop the subject, and talk about movies, books, or food instead.
I see the first two as problematic. For instance, I can see someone recommending “Why Trump Deserves Trust, Respect and Admiration,” a real book title with blank pages. Someone responses with the newest book by conservative author Dinesh D’Souza.

Do you really want to discuss a Michael Moore film with half of your relatives?
And heck, food’s dangerous too. It can engender debates about foie gras, meat, or food produced from farther than 100 miles away, to name just a few topics.

• Use physical activity (60 minutes daily) and meditation to calm your stress response and mind.
Yes, walk away from these discussions and discuss the weather. “Climate change is killing us!” “There’s no such thing!”
Or, ah, er…

With Thanksgiving at hand, what are now SAFE conversation starters?

Trudy: black, proud, and offended

Harvey Gantt

Trudy.CN JenkinsHere’s my mom, Trudy, on the left, with a couple of other women from her church some years before she passed. She was always black and proud and often offended when people thought otherwise. More than one person asked if she had ever tried to pass as white; she was appalled.

Being light-skinned, though, provided her some insights. She once tried to get an apartment with my dad when they were first married in Binghamton in the early 1950s. But when the landlord saw Les Green, he decided he could not rent to a “mixed-race couple.” I noted a story set in San Francisco in the late 1960s. My sister Marcia shared more tales from her time living in Charlotte, NC, starting in 1974.

A black mayor

My mother was a teller for a bank for much of her time in North Carolina. Charlotte elected Harvey Gantt in 1983, the first black mayor of the city’s history. In the 1990s, he ran twice for the United States Senate against segregationist Jesse Helms, losing both times. Some white people felt free to say to my mother racially disparaging remarks about Gantt, figuring that Trudy was one of “them.”

This continued when she worked in a free-standing drive-through bank branch. A customer would complain about getting a moving violation or ticketed for failure to register their vehicle in a timely manner. Occasionally, the white person would say to my mother, “Why are the police going after me? They should be going after those [N-word, plural] instead.” Trudy would go home, crying.

Apparently, one’s race is, or at least was, a descriptor on the voter registration rolls in North Carolina. She was listed as black, yet she’d be indicated by the registrar as white. Or she’d be marked as white when she’d cash a check, as she could see when the canceled check was mailed to her each month.

My mother seldom showed her anger openly about this, even at home, but this misidentification clearly wore on her. When one of my nieces was a child, she was asked why her grandma was white. Being a light-skinned black person in America had its downside.

Mom would have been 92 today.

Songs: fall in love, break your heart

The first QoS song I ever owned

Here are some songs of romance and heartbreak. Finding the latter is FAR easier for me.

Songs that make you want to fall in love

I Only Have Eyes For You – the Flamingoes

That’s about it. Everything else seems more wistful and uncertain, such as:

God Only Knows – the Beach Boys, from Pet Sounds

and especially

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow – Carole King, from the Tapestry album

Songs that break your heart

Whereas the “melancholy quartet” of songs were pretty much codified by 1980, played in this specific order:

Sweet Bitter Love – Aretha Franklin. The first QoS song I ever owned. It appeared on some Columbia Records compilation in 1965 or 1966, before she was signed to Atlantic. This was eventually covered by Roberta Flack.
My First Night Alone Without You – Jane Olivor. My old friend Pam gave me the First Night album in error for Christmas; she mixed up a couple presents. This song was also performed by Bonnie Raitt.
Gone AwayRoberta Flack. From my sister Leslie’s copy of Chapter Two, which I eventually had to buy for myself. This song destroys me more than almost any other. T.I. sampled this on What You Know in 2006.
Stay With Me – Lorraine Ellison . I heard this on a Warner Brothers Loss Leader and was immediately blown away. It’s been covered a few times.

Sometimes, I’d add other break your heart songs, such as:
Remove This Doubt – The Supremes. This is from The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland. It was covered by Elvis Costello.
Down so Low – Linda Ronstadt. From Hasten Down the Wind, this Tracy Nelson/Mother Earth song was also covered by numerous other artists, including Etta James, Maria Muldaur, John Lee Hooker, and Cyndi Lauper.

Hmm, I suppose I need a song by a guy.
Can We Still Be Friends – Todd Rundgren. In an interview, Todd said, “It’s really a song about the best possible way to end a relationship.” Ha, I don’t believe that they CAN stay friends.

How Classic Cartoons Created…

written by Annie Holmquist

How Classic Cartoons Created a Culturally Literate Generation

I recently picked up Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court for the first time. Finding the plot rather amusing, I began relaying it to my father over the weekend. Because he had never read the book, I was rather surprised when he began asking informed questions about the story. In no time at all, he was the one schooling me on plot elements I had not yet reached.

“Wait a minute,” I asked. “Are you sure you’ve never read this book?”

“No, never have,” he replied, “but I saw a cartoon version of the story when I was younger and everything I know comes from that.”

His revelation was intriguing, and to be honest, not the first of its kind. Like many in the Boomer generation, my father grew up watching classic cartoons, numbers of which were produced by the likes of Warner Bros.

But those cartoons did more than mind-numbingly entertain a generation of children. They also introduced millions of young people to key facets of cultural literacy, particularly in the realm of literature and music.

Beyond the aforementioned case of Mark Twain’s novel, these cartoons introduced children to stories such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde through the medium of Bugs Bunny. Key quotations and scenes from William Shakespeare’s works were the main theme in a Goofy Gophers cartoon known as A Ham in a Role. And Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem The Song of Hiawatha was placed front and center in a Walt Disney short called Little Hiawatha.

Perhaps even more famous than the literature references are the many ways in which cartoons introduced children to the world of classical music, including both instrumental and operatic selections, one of which is the famous Rabbit of Saville. American film critic Leonard Maltin describes the situation well:

“An enormous amount of my musical education came at the hands of [Warner Bros. composer] Carl Stalling, only I didn’t realize it, I wasn’t aware, it just seeped into my brain all those years I was watching Warner’s cartoons day after day after day. I learned Liszt’s Second Hungarian Rhapsody because of the Warner Bros. cartoons, they used it so often, famously when Friz Freleng had a skyscraper built to it in Rhapsody and Rivets.”

But Maltin wasn’t the only one learning from these classical music forays. In fact, as the famous pianist Lang Lang testifies, it was Tom and Jerry’s rendition of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody in The Cat Concerto which first inspired him to start piano at age two.

Tom and Jerry – 029 – The Cat Concerto [1947] by milagrosalease

These examples just brush the surface of the cultural literacy lessons which the old cartoons taught our parents and grandparents. Even if they never learned these elements in school, they at least had some frame of reference upon which they could build their understanding of the books and music and even ideas which have impacted culture and the world we live in today.

But can the same be said of the current generation? Admittedly, I’m not very well-versed in current cartoon offerings, but a quick search of popular titles seems to suggest that the answer is no. A majority of the time they seem to offer fluff, fantasy, and a focus on the here and now.

In short, neither schools, nor Saturday morning cartoons seem to be passing on the torch of cultural knowledge and literacy. Could such a scenario be one reason why we see an increased apathy and lack of substance in the current generation?

This post How Classic Cartoons Created a Culturally Literate Generation was originally published on Intellectual Takeout by Annie Holmquist.

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November rambling: triple plays

Rebecca Jade And The Cold Fact

The Violent History of the U.S.-Mexico Border

The Revolution Isn’t Being Televised

Stephen Miller E-Mails Show How He Promoted White Nationalist Ideology In Media, going back to when he worked for then-Senator Jeff Sessions

How women fall into the white supremacist movement

Maligned in black and white– Southern newspapers played a major role in racial violence. Do they owe their communities an apology?

Religious Freedom for Loganists!

My Childhood in a Cult

Republicans want to out the whistleblower because they can’t defend him on the merits

His tortured English

The Obama date-night controversy

Amazon’s Absence from Worker Safety Alliance Highlights Dangers of Unsafe Supply Chains

How One Employer Stuck a New Mom With an $898,984 Bill for Her Premature Baby

Charles à Court Repington and when did we start to refer to the horrors of the 1914-1918 conflict as ‘The First World War’?

Weekly Sift: Sacrifices

Yvette Lundy: French Resistance member who survived Nazi camps dies at 103

UK halts fracking, effective immediately

The Untold Story of the 2018 Olympics Cyberattack, the Most Deceptive Hack in History

AIER: Questions for Immigration Skeptics

Court Allows Police Full Access to Online Genealogy Database

In a rural Wisconsin village, the doctor makes house calls — and sees some of the rarest diseases on Earth

Dial 911 if there’s an emergency, not 112

Social Security and SSI Benefits Are Increasing in 2020

Wealth Is About Much More than Physical Things

New Airplane Feature Could Save You If Your Pilot Can’t

There’s no reason to cross the U.S. by train. But I did so anyway.

Fully Accessible Guide to Smart Home Tech for Disabled and Elderly

That’s entertainment

Washington Grays baseball, in honor of the Homestead Grays, a Negro League Team

All 720 Triple Plays in Major League Baseball history

Beany and Cecil

The accidental brilliance of Silly Putty

Four toy commercials from the sixties – I definitely had a Slinky, and I know I played someone’s Rock ’em, Sock ’em Robots

Tips on attending TV Tapings

Amy Biancolli: I Really Don’t Care

Now I Know: The Last Army Pillow Fight and Why Filmmakers Use That Black and White Flapped Board and The Ark That Went Full Circle


Rebecca Jade And The Cold Fact: Songs From Their New Album ‘Running Out Of Time’ and Gonna Be Alright and how they began

Viola Sonata in D minor by Mikhail Glinka.

The Wolf Glen scene from the opera Der Freischutz by Carl Maria von Weber

Coverville 1284: Cover Stories for Grace Slick and Katy Perry

Go up Moses – Roberta Flack

Polka and Fugue from Schwanda the Bagpiper! by Jaromir Weinberger

How to Play Guitar Like Keith Richards

What Does ‘Born In The U.S.A.’ Really Mean?