Music Challenge — Edna’s Nervous Breakdown

Old angry woman threatening with a cane“Did you hear about Aunt Edna?” Betty asked her daughter. “She had yet another nervous breakdown.”

“Oh, poor Aunt Edna,” Donna lamented. “This must be her nineteenth nervous breakdown.”

“At least,” Betty agreed. “I’ve lost count, but I heard that she was tied up in knots in this latest of her multifarious ordeals. She actually became violent this time and started hitting poor Uncle Henry with her cane.”

“It’s such a shame,” Donna said, “that she got her brains all scrambled in that skiing accident during her winter vacation back in 1987. Dad told me that Edna really had her shit together before that.”

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music Challenge from Jim Adams. He presented us with the Rolling Stones’ song, “19th Nervous Breakdown,” and asked us to focus on that song and use it for inspiration in any form of creative expression (including, but not limited to, short stories, poems, lyrics, artwork, photography, etc.).

Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (knot), Your Daily Word Prompt (multifarious), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (scramble), Word of the Day Challenge (vacation), and The Daily Spur (1987).

Musical Tastes

EA2A85D9-2839-4995-A91D-AF5964D31CCD“I’m not a fan of country music,” I informed my wife when she told me about the Garth Brooks concert coming to town.

“But I love Garth Brooks” she said.

“Give me rock ‘n roll any day,” I answered. “But I also like blues. A lot of rock ‘n roll has its roots in blues.”

“So does a lot of country music,” she countered. “Both country and blues are very personal, whereas rock, to me, lacks that personal touch.”

“Rock is very personal,” I insisted. “Every rock song tells a story.”

“But every country song is a story,” she said.

Listen, there’s a Stones concert over at the old hangar at the abandoned airfield next month. We should go.”

“I’d be a little worried,” she said. “I heard security at Stones concert is rather lax. They even hired a bunch of Hell’s Angels to provide security at one of their concerts and you know how that went.”

“Don’t worry, I can take care of us,” I reassured her. “In the meantime, I’m getting hungry. Let’s head out to dinner. Can you grab my jacket off the hanger?”

“Sure,” she said, “As long as you’ll agree to going to see Garth Brooks with me.”

“Fine,” I said, “as long as you’ll agree to go to the Stones concert with me!”

Written for today’s Three Things Challenge from Teresa. The things today are blues, rock n’ roll, and country.Also written for the Saturday Mix Double Take from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The homophones are lacks and lax, and hangar and hanger.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

DC3CDBB7-1031-4AA7-B772-9AF04604FF16Compromise is a part of life. For example, if I want to do one thing and my wife wants to do something else, we compromise — and do what she wants. Because, you know, happy wife, happy life.

But in American politics these days, compromise is a dirty word. It’s a sign of weakness, of capitulation. It’s considered to be a zero-sum game, a situation in which one group can win something only by causing group to lose it.

As a result, there is legislative gridlock in Congress where key votes are strictly along party lines and any congressperson who doesn’t vote that way is considered to be a traitor to his or her party.

No wonder Americans are frustrated and angry with the government and with Congress, where it’s always party above country. And we have an imbecile in the Oval Office and a Cabinet where the primary qualifiers for being on it are great wealth and incompetence for the role.

Perhaps for the greater good, our elected representatives should heed the words of the Rolling Stones:

You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “compromise.”

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

My iPhone 6, which is just over three years old, has been suffering lately from sluggishness and rapidly diminishing battery life. This is a problem for me because I use my iPhone for blogging. And for just about everything except for sleeping and personal hygiene. So I was very excited back in early September when, on the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone, Apple announced the iPhone X.

The X (pronounced “ten”) wraps together state-of-the-art software and hardware that is touted to be on the cutting edge of smartphone technology. It includes facial recognition to unlock the phone, a 5.8-inch, edge-to-edge OLED screen with brighter colors and deeper blacks, and a couple of other “must have” bells and whistles.

Unfortunately, the demand for the iPhone X looks like it’s going to far exceed the available supply. Expectations are that the backlog on deliveries for the X could be from as little as a few weeks to as many as three-to-four months!

At the same time as Apple announced the iPhone X, with little fanfare and even less excitement, it introduced the iPhone 8, a modest upgrade to last year’s iPhone 7. The “plus” model of the iPhone 8 is a little larger than the iPhone X, but the actual screen size on the 8 Plus is just a little smaller.

The market reception for the 8 has been underwhelming, as most iPhone fans prefer to wait for the X. That was my preference, too.

But as my frustrations with my three-year-old iPhone 6 grew, I remembered the old adage, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Or maybe “the early bird gets the worm.” I don’t know.

Anyway, I decided to not wait for the iPhone X, but to buy an iPhone 8 Plus. Why? Well first, the 8 is a couple of hundred bucks cheaper than the X.

Second, the 8 is available now, while the X may not be available for weeks or possibly months. So you know — instant gratification.

And third, the 8 Plus is essentially a larger version of my 6. I’m familiar with it, there’s nothing new I need to learn or figure out about using it. The X, though, would require having to learn some new tricks. And you know what they say about old dogs and new tricks, right?

I am composing this post on my new iPhone 8 and I’m very happy with my decision to go with the 8 and not wait indefinitely for the X. I may not have the cutting edge of smartphone technology, but I do have a device that works well for my needs.

And as The Rolling Stones pointed out, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need.”

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “prefer.”

Rap ‘n Roll

Image result for music soothes the savage beastI was recently required to complete a lengthy questionnaire for which I had to swear an oath to answer all questions truthfully and honestly. I’m not going to go into the reason why I was required to take that oath and to complete said questionnaire. That may be fodder for a different post.

But I did find it a bit strange that a number of questions on the questionnaire related to rap music. One question asked how often I listen to rap. The options were “never,” “occasionally,” “often,” and “exclusively.”

I’m not a fan of rap music. I rarely listen to it, and even when I do, I often don’t know what it’s all about. I mostly can’t make out the words. However, since I do regularly watch the TV show “Empire,” I couldn’t answer “never.” Thus, I responded “occasionally.”

The questions then turned to my perception of rap music, asking if I think rap has a negative influence or promotes violence and/or misogyny. The answers were check boxes with the options, “strongly agree,” “somewhat agree,” “somewhat disagree,” and “strongly disagree.”

My impression of rap is that some of it does glorify violence and promotes misogyny. But some rap is uplifting and inspirational. I ended up putting my check marks for those questions on the line that separated the “somewhat agree” and “somewhat disagree” columns.

The next question asked, “explain your answers.” Here is what I wrote:

When I was growing up in the mid-fifties and early sixties, rock ‘n roll was the music most of us teens and young adults listened to. For some reason, many adults at that time thought rock ‘n roll was evil. It was a bad influence, they said. It promoted promiscuity, they said. Many churches called for a ban of rock ‘n roll music.

I remember when Elvis Presley first appeared on the Ed Sullivan show and CBS blacked out the bottom half of the screen so that viewers were unable to see Elvis’ hips gyrating as he sang. I guess CBS didn’t want to pervert the hearts and minds of any viewers.

I also remember the first time The Rolling Stones appeared on the Ed Sullivan show and the censors made Mick Jagger change the lyrics of “Let’s Spend the Night Together” to “Let’s Spend Some Time Together.” Jagger rolled his eyes every time he sang that altered line.

When Gene McDaniels recorded “100 Pounds of Clay,” the Catholic Church called that song blasphemous and demanded that radio stations not play it and record stores not sell it.

Yet somehow, the Baby Boomer generation, of which I am one, managed to survive the evil influences of rock ‘n roll and to thrive.

I believe that like my generation, the generation of those who listen to rap music will survive and will ultimately thrive.

After all, it’s only music. And as they say, music soothes the savage beast.