The Wild, Wild West

My best friend’s great grandfather, who we went to visit in the nursing home, was a treasure trove of stories. He told us about how he moved his family from a cushy life back east to the Louisiana Territory to get a great deal on 160 acres of land that was in the category of the Homestead Act.

He said life on the prairie back then was difficult, but he and his family were ready to tackle the challenges of creating a home on the range. His tales of bravado were indeed mesmerizing.

I was able to glean, though, that there was something fishy about my buddy’s great grandfather’s tales. And as entertaining as they were, my friend admitted that they were all concoctions of his great grandad’s addled mind from all of the westerns he had watched on TV.


Written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (treasure), The Daily Spur (category), MMA Storytime (territory), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (tackle), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (glean).

Who Won the Week? 06/20/2021

FWWTWThe idea behind Who Won the Week is to give you the opportunity to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

I often have difficulty, given the state of the world, picking a Who Won the Week winner. Not so this week, though. In fact, I have two winners this week: Juneteenth and the Affordable Care Act. Let’s take them one-by-one.

Juneteenth

This past week Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill, which President Biden signed into law, making June 19th a federal holiday. June 19th is known as “Juneteenth,” a day commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It is also often observed for celebrating African-American culture.

Juneteenth celebrates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas — two months after the Confederacy had surrendered and about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the Southern states.

It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. One of the federal holidays, Inauguration Day, happens every four years.

Upon signing the bill into law, Biden said, “This is a day of profound weight and profound power, a day in which we remember the moral stain, the terrible toll that slavery took on the country and continues to take.”

The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act, also known as ACA and Obamacare, survived yet another challenge to the legislation passed under Barak Obama that provided health coverage to 31 million Americans who previously had none. This week the Supreme Court voted 7-to-2 to turn aside the latest effort by Republicans to kill the health care law.

And yet, for some reason that I just can’t fathom, after more than a decade as law and multiple failed challenges in Congress and efforts to have the Supreme Court kill the ACA, 77% of identified Republicans still disapprove of Obamacare.

What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?

Song Lyric Sunday — Kind of Cruel

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt, Jim Adams has given us the themes of brutal, cruel, frenzy, savage, and violent. I’m not normally a sadistic kind of a guy, so this was a little tough for me, but I finally ended up with the song, “Cruel To Be Kind,” not so much because I like the song, but because I figured that a lot of others would have chosen my first choice, Elvis Presley’s “Don’t Be Cruel,” and I didn’t want to be redundant.

“Cruel To Be Kind” was a song performed by Nick Lowe and co-written by Lowe and his former Brinsley Schwarz bandmate, Ian Gomm. Written by Lowe and Gomm while the pair were in Brinsley Schwarz, the song was saved on a demo until Columbia Records convinced Lowe to release it. Lowe said that he only grudgingly recorded it because it had been written for mass consumption and he considered it to be a pop sell-out song. It was released as a single in 1979 and peaked at number 12 on U.S. charts that summer. It was Lowe’s only single to hit the top 40 and was one of his most well-known songs.

Musically, the song was inspired by “The Love I Lost” by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, an influence noticeable in more recent performances. The song reflects on a lover’s rather antagonistic attitude.

Lowe said that he got the phrase “cruel to be kind” from Shakespeare, who used it in Hamlet: I must be cruel only to be kind / Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.

The official video is a comedic reenactment of Lowe’s marriage to Carlene Carter, daughter of Johnny Cash’s wife, June Carter Cash. Carlene plays herself in the clip. The two were married on August 18, 1979 and the wedding took place at Carlene’s house in Hollywood. Lowe decided to leverage the wedding for the video by having the wedding the theme for the video, and used some actual footage of the event.

The video of the song was one of 206 music videos that aired on MTV’s first day of broadcasting on August 1, 1981.

Here are the lyrics to “Cruel to be Kind.”

Oh I can’t take another heartache
Though you say you’re my friend, I’m at my wit’s end
You say your love is bonafide, but that don’t coincide
With the things that you do
And when I ask you to be nice, you say

You’ve gotta be cruel to be kind, in the right measure
Cruel to be kind, it’s a very good sign
Cruel to be kind, means that I love you, baby
(You’ve gotta be cruel)
You gotta be cruel to be kind

Well I do my best to understand dear
But you still mystify and I want to know why
I pick myself up off the ground
To have you knock me back down, again and again
And when I ask you to explain, you say

You’ve gotta be cruel to be kind, in the right measure
Cruel to be kind, it’s a very good sign
Cruel to be kind, means that I love you, baby
(You’ve gotta be cruel)
You gotta be cruel to be kind

Well I do my best to understand dear
But you still mystify and I want to know why
I pick myself up off the ground
To have you knock me back down, again and again
And when I ask you to explain, you say

You’ve gotta be cruel to be kind, in the right measure
Cruel to be kind, it’s a very good sign
Cruel to be kind, means that I love you baby
(You’ve gotta be cruel)
You gotta be cruel to be kind

(Cruel to be kind), oh in the right measure
(Cruel to be kind), it’s a very very very good sign
(Cruel to be kind), it means that I love you, baby
(You’ve gotta be cruel)
You gotta be cruel to be kind

(Cruel to be kind), oh in the right measure
(Cruel to be kind), yes it’s a very very very good sign
(Cruel to be kind), it means that I love you, baby
(You’ve gotta be cruel)
You gotta be cruel to be kind

(Cruel to be kind), oh in the right measure
(Cruel to be kind), yes it’s a very very very good sign
(Cruel to be kind), it means that I love you

And for those of you who haven’t gotten your fill of this song, here’s the MTV music video:

FOWC with Fandango — Tackle

FOWCWelcome to June 20, 2021 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “tackle.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.