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Archive for March 6th, 2016

nina-simoneThere’s been a huge resurgence as of late in interest in the music and life of the great Nina Simone, who died in 2003 at the age of 70.  You hear her music on all sorts of movie and television soundtracks and commercials.  There has been a couple of documentaries made of her life ( this includes the highly acclaimed What Happened, Miss Simone? on Netflix) and there are a number of big screen biopics in the works.

The most current and yet to be released project is titled Nina and features Zoe Saldana as Simone.  There’s been a lot of controversy over this film as Saldana altered her looks by wearing a prosthetic nose and darkening her skin with makeup.  Plus the Simone estate disavows this film and disputes much of the story as it is to be presented in the film.

Even in death, Nina Simone can stir up a hornet’s nest.

She was a unique talent– classically trained as a pianist, supremely gifted as a performer/vocalist and militantly proud of her black heritage during the height of the civil rights era.  But she had many other demons and her life was never simple or easy, filled with super highs, crushing lows and many conflicts along the way.  It’s no wonder that we find her story perfect fodder for the movies.

Myself, I just love her ability to take a song from another artist and just transform it into something that feels altogether new, feeling like it is her’s alone.  She was just a rare talent.

So, for this Sunday Morning Music let’s listen to her take on the Bee Gees’ To Love Somebody.  Enjoy and have  a great Sunday…

 

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gc-myers-the-angstI don’t want to turn this into a political debate but watching the Republicans lately (or for that matter, over the past several years) is a lot like seeing a terrible car wreck.  You want to turn away.  You want to cover your eyes and make believe it’s not happening.  You try to think happy thoughts but, oh, the horror of it all, it won’t go away.

So you have to look,  just to see if anyone can somehow miraculously climb from the carnage.  All the time there’s this gaping pit of sickness pooling in your gut even while a small grain of self-satisfaction appears as you tell yourself that this was inevitable, that for someone driving that recklessly and with so little regard for others on the road this was bound to happen.

You feel bad for the folks in the car just along for the ride but you know that it was their decision to trust this group of questionable characters (yes, I mean this to be plural) to steer their vehicle.

There was no need for this, no need to drive like maniacs and, despite what they claim, they were not forced off the road by a black man in an Escalade.  They were just blinded by their own fears.

Unfounded fears.

Think about it, folks, and try to be honest in remembering how things looked in 2008.  We were looking at the collapse of our stock markets and our housing markets while unemployment had skyrocketed in the prior years.  Lives were in disarray.   Do you believe that things are as bad after the past seven years as these reckless drivers claim?  The only thing keeping us from realizing how close we are to some form of prosperity is this promoted  and irrational fear.

That’s what Warren Buffett believes and I tend to agree with him.  As he said in his 2015 letter  to his stockholders in which he makes a compelling and detailed argument (please read it) against this overstated fear that we are on the brink of disaster:  while it would be irrational to be excessively optimistic all the time, it’s useful to remember that the greatest deterrent … remains their excessive focus not on what can go right in the future, but on what might go wrong.

Get that?  Focus on what can go right, not only on what can go wrong.

Before you go crazy and point out how awful the world is in your eyes,  let me point out that I understand that things are not perfect right now.  The point is that no time has ever been perfect and none ever will.  That is simply the nature of life, especially life in a large and constantly evolving country that has interests all over the world.  It’s a shifting puzzle that looks different from day to day.  But if you are always told and believe it’s going to look bad, it will look bad.

But some will always see the end of the world coming in the present and some will try to benefit from this. They’re going to want to drive the car, say they know a quicker route and that if you don’t let them at that wheel now you’re all going to die soon.

But give it some thought and trust your own mind, people.  The sky is not on fire and the four horsemen are not scourging the land yet.  Take the wheel and go with the flow…

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The painting at the top is an old piece from about 20 years back that I call The Angst.  

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