Sunday, December 29, 2013

Oh Little Town of Bethlehem


The War on Christmas!
Blah! We hear this battle cry each and every year from Fox News. They assault our sensibility because there are plenty of  misinformed Americans who bought into their motto of being "Fair and Balanced." It's worst than that. Fox News especially doesn't report on what has happened to Bethlehem in the West Bank. The alleged main stream media doesn't do much better.
Media outside the USA sure as hell did aside from independent media such as Democracy Now.
Alright, I can't swear to it but I can be certain that most Americans are unaware that Bethlehem is the new Berlin.
American's remember President Kennedy's famous words when he visited Berlin: "ich bin ein Berliner." This translates too "I am a Berliner." Who on the world stage has the courage to say, "I am a voice of Bethlehem."
The demigod of Fox News, President Regan, famous words when he visited Berlin were "Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall." Who on the world stage has the courage to say "Mr. Netanyahu tear down this wall." 
Will the voice of Pope Francis grow stronger or will Mr. Putin, the game changer, take charge? I find it impossible for American leadership to stand up to a not so easy task.
I'm sure there will be a ton of counter points to be made. The essence of my view is that things are so out of control and bounds that the worst may yet to come.

 

 
 Main checkpoint for entry
The new Berlin 

 Church of the Nativity
 Historical site of the birth of Jesus

I can only wish that there was something funny 

point of view by roman blazic_photo credit unknown sourced from internet


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas From Fishtown


Peace, Paz, Paix, Frieden, Rahu, Vrede, Fred, Mir, 和平, Béke, Perdamaian, Pace, Pokoju, शांति, Мир, ความสงบสุข, Barış, ,امن
Hòa bình, Miera, Миру, Keamanan,
 שלום

I hope I got everyone. Most of all is that if you believe in God in some form or another don't underestimate the Spirit. God is well able to reveal himself in more than one way. So stop fussing and enjoy the pictures.
 
The Angel of the Sun
 
I'm ready,
As I walked through the neighborhood









And good will to all.
photo by roman blazic_all rights reserved

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

 
 


Friday, December 20, 2013

The Fish News Network

Caution! The fin stops here.


"Hello and welcome to the Fisher" I'm Lawrence O' Really and here's today's talking point." "The Fishtown secular progressives, you know who I'm talking about, declared war on sneezing." "This time of year, Winter, sneezing is a frequent occurrence." "It's the flu season and the time when we'll most likely come down with the common cold."
"Many of us also sneeze during the Spring due to high pollen levels." "Dust, pollution and other allergens make us sneeze through out the year too." "Sometimes it seems that we sneeze for no apparent  reason." "It's a natural function of the body to clear irritants to keep us healthy." "So why are these pin heads trying to ban us from sneezing?"
"They say that it's ridiculous and annoying to acknowledge you when you sneeze with a simple act of courtesy by saying "God Bless You." "What they really mean and want to do is remove God from our lives."
"These are the same people who want to take Christ out of Christmas." "They find it so offensive to have the seasonal greetings "Merry Christmas" and now if someone says "God Bless You."
"They describe sneezing as a selfish act to draw attention and another way that religion is being forcefully imposed upon them."
"What's next, a petition to have Disney re-name Sneezy of the seven dwarfs so they don't feel offended?"
"To them God and courtesy is absolutely inane and serves no purpose."  "Its their continuous animosity toward American culture founded on Christian principles that they seek to destroy and replaced with political correctness, repressive socialism and high priced beer."
"To them I say, "In God  We Trust" and that's a memo.

lampoonery by roman blazic inspired by
  

Nelson Mendela and John Lennon

Imagine all the people living life in Peace
 
Stanley Williams and Roman Blazic
Bookends
 
when we were younger, so much younger than today

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Paul Siebel

For the Love of Music


It's hard to remember dates but it was back in the 1970 that I first heard of Paul Siebel. Leo Kottke performed a version of "Louise". Kottke is best known for his skills on a guitar but not as a singer. There was no way anyone could damage this song. It's so well written that the words tell a full story of a lady of the night with tenderness.

It was a short time later that I first hear a song by Paul, "Then Came the Children." The DJ said that this song was written about "The Incredible String Band." Wow! I had recently seen them perform at the old Main Point. I sat about five feet from the stage. They were sill a duo at this time. Robin Williamson's masterful guitar work was to be seen to be believed.
In 1970, "Woodsmoke and Oranges" was the first album release by Paul Siebel. This album had "Louise" but it also had "Long Afternoon". There's more to it than just this.
Paul Sieble was being hyped as the "next Dylan". You can hear similar tones in both their voices but that was were it ended. Their style of writting was different and Paul had a pleasing expressive voice.
This album sold well but not a huge success. His songs were better known than he himself as a performer/recording artist.
"Jack-Knife Gypsy" was released the next year, 1971. Paul's friend, Linda Ronstadt, was the inspiration for the song "Hillbilly Child". The production value of this album was a major step up but it only had the same modest success as the first album. There were more memorable songs that showed his  progression as a songwriter. It also turned out to be the last album he'd ever record.
Paul went on tour and made a stop in Philadelphia. My girl friend and I saw him at the music hall (I forgot the name of it.) at 5th and South St on the second floor. The duo, Pearls Before Swine, guitar and cello, opened and also closed the show.
It was Paul and a young man on guitars. The beer flowed and it showed but it didn't hurt the songs. Paul sang with every drop of emotion that the written word of the stories conveyed. It was a powerful performance regardless of the environment or the state of mind. It was about the human condition played out on a stage.
Yes. The music just stopped. Hell! I wanted more. I was learning from him: how to better write and craft a song. It pushed me to be self-reliant like never before. Sure, there were others that influenced me but, my first glimpse of the soul of a song was fostered in his work.
I some how came to understand that it's alright to write one's last song. Thank you Paul.

Here's a good article that tells his story. It's worth reading:   http://www.americansongwriter.com/2010/11/paul-siebel-journey-of-the-jack-knife-gypsy/

   roman blazic

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Fishtown: FNA

Freebasing Neighborhood Assets
Investors and Realtors Meeting

"I want to thank all in attendance for coming out this evening." "Before we get started, I'd want you all to rise for the Fishtown neighborhood athemn."

Oh say did you see those new properties
How we brought about change, time for Eminent Domain
All our zoning goes well. How it pays to be swell.
With a port and garage, street parking is clogged
How the realitors rejoice, they will leave you no choice
Gives proof to the fact that the deck has been stacked
So hurray for we stamp out blue collar seepage
Now there's more just for me and so what me worry.

"This'll be a short meeting just to pass out a list of suggestions to improve the neighborhood." "We'll have an open discussion and later vote on these suggestions at the next meeting or so." "So study them, write down your thoughts and well, just be prepared." "I'll read out the topics and later you can read the details."

Improving Fishtown

1. Secede from Kensington and establish a new zip code.
2. Re-introduce a spelling change from "Fishtown" to "Fishtowne." "I know, I know." "The spelling changed once in the past but that was very short lived." "People didn't like it but this could happen as part of the succession action." "All we have to do is drum up talk of increased property values." "It gets them all the time."
3. Create a "de facto" income requierment. "Keeping up with your friends and  neighbor is a bigger factor than ever before around here." "It will also force out more of the undesirables as their property taxes skyrocket." "It's amazing, the duh moments, when one of us say, "I  just don't see any down-side to gentrification."
4. Criminal background checks for all new potential residents. "I'm pretty sure we can get away with this."
5. Expulsion of any resident with a criminal record or even an arrest. "Well..., anyway it's a thought." 
6. Penn Treaty Park Estate. "We can build a very exclusive gated community on the Phialdelphia Electric site." "You all know the route: Eminent Domain." "Build it and they will come." "Advertise it as "green." "How many  people do you think knows what that means?" "There's no enforced set of standards that can't be gotten around"
7. Low income housing. "Oh yea!" "Lucky seven." "You know City Hall and other agitators will bring some legal action or try to bring in the Feds." "By the time it runs through the courts all large land tracts will be gone." "Let 'um build them in East Kensington." "You know, were the factories and future burned down factories are."

"Hey, they can't build them fast enough on Front Street."

"They're practically under the El." "Future Section 8." "This leads into..."
8. Safety Net: Section 8 Housing and How it Works. "Right behind the old eight ball is a small but steady pot of gold." "Some of you might not know or forgot that this was a safety net when new house sales slumped on Marlborough and Crease Street some years ago." 
"Oh yea, check the web site because we'll have a guest speaker soon." "It's the guy who sold  hundreds of those flimsy lamp post people put up in front of their houses." "The numbers will stagger you as to how many sold and how few remain." "It'll be a time to think creative to come up with a new fad." "Look at all those fish address signs." "It could be a oppourtunity to make a few extra bucks." "It will make your house more attractive and increase the property value." "Oh oh...is it true that some of you creative salesmen advertised that condo as across the street from a park?" "Well!" "Come on, come on did you really do that?" "Ah, silence is golden...yea, yea or a gold mine." "Hahaha...have a good night and see you at the next meeting."

lampoonary and photos by roman blazic