Get your FREE Progressive Christian Voter’s Guide

Political literacy takes on the status of Christian stewardship of our time, talent, and intelligence.

christianleftI received this offer in an email recently:

The still, small voice of God struggles to be heard over the voices of the loudest candidates espousing anti-immigrant, anti-Islamic, anti-LGBT sentiments–especially when they use God as their source. How do we get heard?

In the 35-page Progressive Christian Voter’s Guide, leading progressive Christians, such as Brian McLaren, William Barber, Walter Brueggemann, Lisa Sharon Harper, Jennifer D. Crumpton, and Derek Penwell help you:
understand and value the power of your vote
get biblical support for matters of justice that show up on party platforms and in ballot measures
*rest assured knowing there are others thinking and voting like you!

Here’s the link.

From the opening essay:

Because our political lives matter, then political literacy becomes something more than just part of living as a citizen. Political literacy takes on the status of Christian stewardship of our time, talent, and intelligence.

Awareness of politics, policy, and how change takes place within those systems is how we as Christians live out our faith.

That is a position I think many people of faith would share, though I suspect some may come to different conclusions.

October rambling #2: monotasking

Bob Dylan isn’t the first lyricist to win the Nobel


Christ’s Burial Place Exposed for First Time in Centuries

John Green explains the tax plans of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the differences between Donald Trump’s plans for healthcare in the United States and Hillary Clinton’s proposals

Political ads: Jason Kander for US Senate from Missouri and Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty

SNL: ‘Black Jeopardy’ with Tom Hanks

‘What Kind of Mother Is 8 Months Pregnant and Wants an Abortion?’

‘Marquis,’ YouthFX film about Marquis Dixon; a state appeals court has rejected the original nine-year sentence for Marquis Dixon, the Albany youth convicted as an adult for a sneaker robbery

H.I.V. Arrived in the U.S. Long Before ‘Patient Zero’ and Mythology of ‘Patient Zero’ and how AIDS virus traveled to the United States is all wrong

We are intersex people, and we don’t need to be ‘fixed’ by surgeries

Surviving the intersection of fear and recklessness

Read This Story Without Distraction (Can You?) – I did not know monotasking was a word

Tom Hayden, protester-turned-politician, dies at 76

NFL Ratings Just Fell Off a Cliff: Why?

Taryn Huber Named RMAC Volleyball Academic Player of the Year; daughter of one of my oldest, dearest friends

Maine’s Penobscots tell Cleveland: Win the Series, great, but lose the logo

Remember When The Chicago White Sox Won The World Series?

5 Things Millennials Are Trying To Render Extinct

Winnie the Pooh is still the best bear in the world

Now I Know: Silence Lights and Hannibal, Lector and Dire Straights and The Groom of the Stool and Marching Forward and Tumbling Down and When It Rains, It Poems

Movie: SANCTUARY (1961), starring Lee Remick, Yves Montand, Bradford Dillman, and Odetta; screenplay by Ruth Ford and James Poe, based on works by William Faulkner; directed by Tony Richardson. In 1928 Mississippi, the black maid of a white woman helps her employer out of a predicament

A Hamilton Skeptic on Why the Show Isn’t As Revolutionary As It Seems

John Ostrander: Making a Better Superman

The Post-Racial America section

Racial Terror Lynching in America, Animated

‘What did you just call me?’ Black broadcaster confronts hate in Charleston

An Open Letter To Those Who Don’t See Their Own Racism

‘Only White People,’ Said the Little Girl

‘She’s So Pretty. Where Did You Get Her?’


Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and the Gregory Brothers, featuring Weird Al, Debbie Harry and others

Springsteen covered by women: The best of the best, part 3

boudwin. – Asking is Leaving

The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees Are a Disgrace to Music; worth it for the music links alone, but no Yes?

Queen’s Fast Version of ‘We Will Rock You’ From 1977 BBC Session

Coverville 1145: Moody Blues Cover Story for Justin Hayward’s 70th

Mama told me not to come – Three Dog Night

Jolene – Dolly Parton & Pentatonix

Listen to Odetta cover Dylan

No, Bob Dylan isn’t the first lyricist to win the Nobel

Brian Wilson Talks Mental Illness, Drugs and Life After Beach Boys

Bobby Vee died at age 73, here’s a 2014 video in support of Bobby’s last album

Chartered Waters: Music Chart Stories

Otis Williams of the Temptations is 75

The group once known as the Primes did some albums with the trio formerly known as the Primettes.

David, Melvin, Paul, Otis, Eddie
David, Melvin, Paul, Otis, Eddie

There are lots of groups out there that have the name of an old-time group, but with Otis Williams in the Temptations, the link to the original group is sustained.

“Williams was born Otis Miles, Jr. in Texarkana, Texas to Otis Miles and Hazel Louise Williams… While he was still a toddler, his mother married and moved to Detroit, Michigan, leaving the younger Otis Miles to be raised by both of his grandmothers in Texarkana. Hazel Williams moved her son to Detroit when he was ten years old, where he lived with his mother and his stepfather.”

The history of The Temptations is way too complicated to go through here, but Otis was in several groups, honing his craft. The original lineup of the group called The Temptations was Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Elbridge “Al” Bryant, Eddie Kendricks, and Paul Williams (no relation).

But “Al Bryant had grown frustrated with the group’s lack of success and became restless and uncooperative, preferring the mundane routine of his day job as a milkman over the rigors of rehearsal and performing.” He was replaced by David Ruffin who had already “joined the group onstage and impressed the group with his vocal talent and dancing skills.”

The group then had several hits, most notably My Girl, but eventually, Ruffin left the group. He was replaced by Dennis Edwards, who was the lead vocal in the wah-wah period of the late producer/songwriter Norman Whitfield. It is Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, David Ruffin, and Dennis Edwards who are represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when the group was inducted way back in 1989.

These are some songs I was feeling when I made the list. I could easily switch out half of them for others. The top 7, in some order, would stay.

24. It’s Summer (B-side of Ball of Confusion) – this is the version on the 1970 album Psychedelic Shack, NOT the single that appears on Solid Rock in 1972. It’s corny, but I like hearing Melvin’s voice.
23. Love Can Be Anything (Can’t Nothing Be Love But Love) – this song, with thin lyrics, is more a feeling. Appears on Sky’s the Limit in 1971
22. Please Return Your Love to Me, #26 pop, #4 soul in 1968 – Eddie on lead vocal, but it’s the harmonies I love
21. Standing at the Top, #66 pop, #6 soul in 1982. From that great reunion tour when Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin briefly return to join Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Dennis Edwards, Richard Street, and Glenn Leonard. This song also features Rick James.

20. Try It Baby – the group once known as the Primes did some albums with the trio formerly known as the Primettes. This is from the first one, Diana Ross and the Supremes Join the Temptations from 1968
19. Beauty’s Only Skin Deep, #3 pop, #1 for five weeks soul in 1966. Ain’t it the truth?
18. Get Ready, #29 pop, #1 soul in 1966. Ofttimes covered, including by the Motown group Rare Earth
17. War – from the Psychedelic Shack album. From memory: Berry Gordy didn’t want the Temps to get any pushback for releasing this as a single, but he let the less prominent Edwin Starr put it out, and, of course, it was massively successful

Richard, Otis, Eddie, Melvin, Glenn, David, Dennis
Richard, Otis, Eddie, Melvin, Glenn, David, Dennis

16. The Girl’s Alright with Me #102 pop, #39 soul in 1964 – this is the B-side of I’ll Be in Trouble, so a respectable showing
15. (Loneliness Made Me Realize) It’s You That I Need, #14 pop, #3 for two weeks soul in 1967 – there’s an album called With a Lot O’ Soul, a transition from the mostly Smokey Robinson production, to the Norman Whitfield period that’s arguably my favorite LP of the group
14. Don’t Look Back, #83 pop, #15 soul in 1966
13. I’ll Be in Trouble, #33 pop, #22 soul in 1964

12. Don’t Let the Joneses Get You Down, #20 pop, #2 soul in 1969 – a great attribute of the Whitfield period was shared lead vocals
11. Psychedelic Shack, #7 pop, #2 for 3 weeks soul in 1970 – this must be from the album cut because it starts off with the same party noise previously used in I Can’t Get Next To You
10. Ball of Confusion, #3 for three weeks pop, #2 for 5 weeks soul in 1970. “The Beatles’ new records a gas” just as the Fab Four were breaking up
9. Just My Imagination, #1 for two weeks pop, #1 for 3 weeks soul in 1971 – pretty much Eddie Kendricks’ swan song

8. (I Know) I’m Losing You, #8 pop, #1 for two weeks soul in 1966
7. No More Water In The Well – another cut from With a Lot O’ Soul
6. My Girl #1 pop, #1 for five weeks soul in 1965. On the Temptations anthology, there’s an a capella version that’s quite fine
5. Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, #13 pop, #1 for eight weeks soul – appeared on The Big Chill soundtrack in 1983

4. I Wish It Would Rain, #4 pop, #1 for three weeks soul in 1968. Sometimes I wish it would…
3. Papa Was A Rolling Stone, #1 pop, #5 soul in 1972 – as I recall, Dennis Edwards was getting really irritable in the studio about the length of the intro before he got to sing, which may have been the producer’s intent, to get the snarl in “It was the third of September…”
2. The Way You Do The Things You Do, #11 pop, #1 soul – their first real hit, with that Smokey Robinson poetry
1. I Can’t Get Next To You, #1 for two weeks pop, #1 for 5 weeks soul. The best use of that five lead vocalist thing that Whitfield stole from Sly Stone

Otis Williams in the center;
Otis Williams in the center

The other members – Ron Tyson (thick mustache), Terry Weeks, Joe Herndon, Bruce Williamson

Music Throwback Saturday: Monster

Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who’s the winner
We can’t pay the cost

monster-steppenwolfI was thinking of what Halloween-themed song I could come up with, but I ended up in a totally different direction, though that back album cover is sufficiently appropriate for All Hallows Eve.

Monster is the title song of Steppenwolf’s 1969 LP that eventually reached #17 on the Billboard charts. The album got mixed reviews for being so overtly political, preachy, and pedantic. And it is, though I enjoyed it for that reason.

Actually, that track is listed as three songs: Monster/Suicide/America. Looking at the lyrics, it appears that not much has changed. From the bluesy Suicide section:

‘Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
And now their vote is a meaningless joke
They babble about law and order
But it’s all just an echo of what they’ve been told

Yeah, there’s a monster on the loose
It’s got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watchin’

Our cities have turned into jungles
And corruption is stranglin’ the land
The police force is watching the people
And the people just can’t understand
We don’t know how to mind our own business
‘Cause the whole world’s got to be just like us
Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who’s the winner
We can’t pay the cost

Couldn’t those words have been written last year, rather than nearly a half-century ago? I understand John Kay, lead singer of Steppenwolf, and co-writer with Jerry Edmonton, is out there with a new iteration of the group, STILL performing it occasionally.

There was a single version of Monster, which got to #39 in 1970. I always hated the edit. I prefer playing the album, which I still have, and hear the whole 9-minute iteration.

Move Over, the other single from the Monster album, got to #31 in 1969.

Listen to:

Monster/Suicide/America HERE or HERE

Monster/Suicide/America, version from Steppenwolf Live HERE or HERE

Move Over HERE or HERE

Halloween 2016: mysterious ghosts

Statues of His Disembodied Head

Shakespeare 2016-Coin Happy Halloween!

Shakespeare, Beatrix Potter, and the Great Fire of London set to be commemorated on new coins in 2016. “Shakespeare’s histories, comedies and tragedies are represented on £2 coins marking 400 years of the Bard’s literary legacy.”

About 90% of SamuraiFrog’s October posts involve Halloween

These Hocus Pocus S’mores Pops Will Put a Spell on You

A Complete Guide to Halloween Safety

The 10 Most Popular Halloween Costumes for Pets

Pumpkin Lie

Chance the Rapper Meets Chance the Wrapper in Weird, Awesome Kit Kat Ad

Trick, treat, or trap?

The Pink Poop Panic


The Vermont Ghost Experience – Chilling Haunts for Halloween

Kolchak: The Night Stalker – The Genealogy of a Classic Horror TV Series

Description of the Catspaw episode of Star Trek, the original series

6 ‘Twilight Zone’ Episodes That Prove Society Is Way More Terrifying Than Any Monster

Adrienne Barbeau to get Lifetime Achievement Award at the 14th annual New York City Horror Film Festival

Dark Shadows 50th anniversary


A comics scaremonger named Jack T. Chick, is spared yet another Halloween – creator of the image above

Halloween Creationist Group Wants You To Tell Trick-Or-Treaters They’re Going To Hell

The Fight to Save America From Satan’s Subliminal Rock Messages


Big Daddy: Music Of The Night (Monster Mash-Up) and Tara’s Theme

Tom Petty – Zombie Zoo

I Want Candy

Blue Oyster Cult – (Don’t Fear) The Reaper (1976)

Ministry – Everyday Is Halloween

Night on Bald Mountain, with vocals?

Howard Shore’s score to The Silence of the Lambs

More scary movie music

Skeleton Dance (Silly Symphony) – 1929 cartoon short

The obituaries bring out the dead

When did clowns become creepy? and In Search of Clowns

The First Known Depiction of a Witch on a Broomstick

Celebrate the Life of Christopher Walken by Walking Among Statues of His Disembodied Head

The Seventh Skol

Mysterious ghost hand in historic photo is freaking people out

Mysterious Ghost Ship Image Appears On Lake Superior Video

‘Son of Frankenstein’ Uncut Trailer Hits the Web After Being Lost for 75 Years – watch

Frankenstein 1931 movie, with a sidebar to other classics

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial