♫ Superman (It’s Not Easy) ♫

Keith mentioned this song a few days ago, and at first it didn’t ring any bells, so I headed over to YouTube to listen and … sure enough … I’ve heard this one many times and always liked it.  Long story short, once I listened, it got rather stuck in my head and I even woke in the middle of the night singing it in my head so loudly that it woke me!  (Thanks, Keith … I guess I deserved that for all the times I’ve planted an earworm in your head!) Now, I’ve mentioned before that I rarely get the lyrics right in a song, because with my poor hearing, I never hear them right.  So, until tonight when I began researching this song, I had a feeling it was about the Muppet character, Kermit The Frog! 🐸 Why, you ask?  Because I thought he was singing “It’s not easy to be green.”  I must admit, as a long-time Kermit fan, I was a bit disappointed to learn the truth, but I did enjoy learning what the song is really about!

This song, released in April 2001, is by Five for Fighting and is the only song of his that I can recall liking.  I would have expected Five for Fighting to be a group of five musicians, but no … it is a single musician, John Ondrasik.  According to SongFacts …

This song about trying to fit in was written from Superman’s point of view. The superhero is portrayed as misunderstood and not as powerful as people see him: “I’m only a man in a funny red sheet.” Superman may be invincible, but he has feelings too, and while he’s off saving the world he sometimes wonders if anyone thinks about what he is going through.

The song reflects what John Ondrasik (who is Five For Fighting) felt at the time – he released his first album, Message for Albert, in 1997 and it went nowhere. Explaining what led him to write the song, which appeared on his next album, Ondrasik told us it was “frustration about the inability to be heard.”

This became very popular after the September 11 attacks. The reflective tone fit very well with the mood of the United States, and many radio stations put it in heavy rotation. Ondrasik heard from emergency workers and others who found it a source of comfort after the attacks.

Ondrasik performed this song on October 20, 2001 at the “Concert For New York,” a tribute to the police, firefighters, and rescue workers involved in the World Trade Center Attacks. It was a very touching moment, and he called this performance “the most important thing I’ll ever do musically.” Ondrasik stood next to James Taylor and Pete Townshend at the end of the show when they all sang “Let It Be.”

The song hit #14 in the U.S. and #48 in the UK, but actually fared better in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Ireland, and Italy than in the U.S.!

Superman (It’s Not Easy)
Five for Fighting

I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naive
I’m just out to find
The better part of me

I’m more than a bird, I’m more than a plane
I’m more than some pretty face beside a train
And it’s not easy to be me

I wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
‘Bout a home I’ll never see

It may sound absurd, but don’t be naive
Even heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed, but won’t you concede
Even heroes have the right to dream
And it’s not easy to be me

Up, up and away, away from me
Well it’s all right
You can all sleep sound tonight
I’m not crazy or anything

I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naive
Men weren’t meant to ride
With clouds between their knees

I’m only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me

Inside of me, inside of me, yeah
Inside of me, inside of me
I’m only a man in a funny red sheet
I’m only a man looking for a dream
I’m only a man in a funny red sheet
And it’s not easy
Oh, it’s not easy to be me

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: John Ondrasik
Superman (It’s Not Easy) (iTunes Session) lyrics © Emi Blackwood Music Inc., Five For Fighting Music

Republican Party … The Party Of Bigots

I have said for several years now that the Republican Party has become the party of bigotry:  they despise the LGBT community, treat Blacks like second-class citizens, and would, given half a chance, impose the will of the narrow-minded Christian evangelicals on us all.  You just can’t get much more bigoted than all that.  I am not alone in my assessment, for Eugene Robinson’s most recent column in The Washington Post concurs with my thoughts …


The Republican Party is making Jim Crow segregationists proud

Eugene-RobinsonOpinion by 

Eugene Robinson

Columnist

March 1, 2021 at 5:18 p.m. EST

The Republican Party’s biggest problem is that too many people of color are exercising their right to vote. The party’s solution is a massive push for voter suppression that would make old-time Jim Crow segregationists proud.

The Conservative Political Action Conference circus last week in Orlando showed how bankrupt the GOP is — at least when it comes to ideas, principles and integrity. Some might argue that the party, in buying into the lie that last year’s election was somehow stolen, is simply delusional. I disagree. I think Republican leaders know exactly what they’re doing.

The GOP may have lost the White House and the Senate, but it remains strong in most state capitols. So far this year, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, Republicans in 33 states “have introduced, prefiled, or carried over 165 bills to restrict voting access.” The thrust of virtually all these measures is to make it more difficult for African Americans and other minorities to vote.

These efforts at disenfranchisement are more numerous, and more discriminatory, in several of the swing states President Biden carried narrowly: Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia. That should come as no surprise. GOP officials who had the temerity to follow the law and count the November vote honestly, such as Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, have been all but excommunicated by their state Republican Party organizations.

In Georgia — where not only did Donald Trump lose to Biden by 11,779 votes, but also two incumbent GOP senators were defeated by Democratic challengers — Republicans are using their control of the statehouse to try to eliminate all early voting on Sundays. That would put an end to “Souls to the Polls,” a popular Sunday get-out-the-vote initiative in which Black churches help parishioners get to polling places and cast their ballots.

“Souls to the Polls” eliminates barriers to voting that thousands of Black Georgians otherwise might face, such as transportation for the elderly or finding time during the workweek for others. Georgia Republicans want to put those barriers back up — and raise them even higher.

Other proposals being pushed by Georgia GOP state legislators include getting rid of no-excuse absentee voting, which has been allowed for decades; eliminating the use of convenient drop boxes for casting absentee votes; and abolishing automatic voter registration at the Department of Driver Services offices where Georgians go to renew their driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations.

Trump’s wild and false claims of election fraud aren’t the only things driving these efforts; Republican efforts to restrict voting are hardly new. Republican officials in Georgia know the state’s electorate at a granular level and are capable of performing basic addition and subtraction. They see how the populous suburbs around Atlanta, once GOP strongholds, have been steadily trending Democratic. They may not be able to halt that process. But perhaps they can compensate by suppressing the African American vote in economically disadvantaged areas of Atlanta proper; in the wide “Black Belt” stretching southwest across the state, roughly from Augusta to Columbus; and in the heavily African American area around Savannah.

In strongly Hispanic Arizona, which Biden won by 10,457 votes and where the Brennan Center tallies 19 voter-suppression bills filed since the election, the state Senate has rejected — for now — a Republican measure that would have stricken roughly 200,000 names from a list of voters who automatically receive mail-in ballots. That courtesy is considered the primary reason most Arizonans cast their votes by mail.

But another still-pending measure would require early ballots to be hand-delivered to a polling place rather than returned by mail, negating the benefits of mail voting. And another proposed bill would simply disregard the will of the voters altogether, allowing the GOP-controlled state legislature to appoint its own slate of presidential electors. Democracy, after all, can be so inconvenient.

Elsewhere across the country, Republican legislators are trying to tighten voter-identification laws that are already too restrictive. And they are trying to find ways to disqualify more mail-in ballots — perhaps for future occasions when GOP candidates need to “find” enough favorable votes, or lose enough adverse ones, to deny victory to a Democrat.

It amounts to an outrageous and shameful attempt to establish and perpetuate minority rule in a nation in which the Republican candidate for president has won the popular vote only once in the past eight elections.

At the state level, Democrats must fight these efforts relentlessly. And at the federal level, they should use any means necessary — including eliminating or suspending the Senate filibuster — to pass H.R. 1, the “For the People Act,” which would invalidate much of the most anti-democratic legislation the GOP is trying to enact.

And voters of color must resolve not to be deterred. This is not a “Whites only” democracy. Not anymore.

CPAC: The Mysticism Makeover

Earlier today, I shared Keith’s post regarding the future of the Republican Party, aka GOP. Keith was once a Republican, but left the party some years ago to become an Independent. Another friend, Jerry (aka Grumpy of Grumpy’s Grumblings) was also a Republican, and he left the party during the reign of the former guy to become a Democrat. Grumpy has written a very enlightening post about his vision of the Republican Party today vs what it once was, that Jeff has re-blogged. Thanks to both you guys, Jeff & Jerry, for this post and for allowing me to share it!

On The Fence Voters

Our friend Jerry at Grumpy’s Grumblings has another excellent post out today. Here is an excerpt, with a link at the end to continue reading. Thanks Jerry!

There was a time—not too long ago, I’m now ashamed to admit—when I frequently chanted this cheeky, “conservative” mantra: “If you’re a Republican before age 18, you have no heart. If you’re a Democrat past age 18, you have no brain.” I switched from Democrat to Republican shortly before my 20th birthday, so I suppose my brain was a bit late to develop. I switched back to Democrat at age 66, so I suppose I have no loyalties. I don’t; that is, not to a political party.

Anyway, back to the above adage. The point was, of course, that Democrats, being less mature in their reasoning, lead with their heart, their emotions. Democrats, Republicans often allege, fail to outgrow their empathetic side and…

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Republican Party ‘engulfed in lies and fear’ per another former Republican legislator

I’ve often wondered what will become of the Republican Party, aka the GOP. The party has linked itself to the former guy, a ‘man’ without conscience, without intellect, that it seems they have nowhere to go but down. Keith’s post this morning tells us of a few members of the party with the courage to speak out and say, “This is not who we should be!” Thanks, Keith, for giving us hope that perhaps some in the GOP are as disgusted as we are!

musingsofanoldfart

In an article this weekend called “Former GOP lawmaker: Republican Party ‘engulfed in lies and fear'” by Jonathan Easley of The Hill, yet another former lawmaker is sharing his concerns about how far his party has fallen. Here are a few paragraphs from the article, plus a link below.

“Former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) argued in a pre-taped interview that ran Friday that the Republican Party has lost its way and become ‘engulfed in lies in fear.

Curbelo and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) teamed up as part of the nonpartisan debate seriesIntelligenceSquared U.S.to argue that many within the GOP are knowingly pushing a lie that the election was stolen out of fear of retaliation from former President Trump.

In his opening remarks, Curbelo said that by embracing former President Trump’s election claims, which preceded the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the GOP had lost its…

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♫ Don’t Go Breaking My Heart ♫

I played this one exactly a year ago today, on February 29th, 2019 (yes, I know today is March 1st, but last year was a leap year, so February had that pesky extra day).  I’m reduxing it today for the simple reason that it’s a fun song … just that … no hidden meanings, no broken hearts, just a lot of fun.  The camaraderie between a young Elton and Kiki Dee was contagious and you can’t watch this and not smile.

Released in 1976 by Elton John and Kiki Dee, this song was written by Elton John with Bernie Taupin under the pseudonyms “Ann Orson” and “Carte Blanche”, respectively.  John and Taupin originally intended to record the song with Dusty Springfield, but ultimately withdrew the offer; Springfield’s partner Sue Cameron later said this was because she was too ill at the time.

Elton recorded his part in Toronto, then the tape was sent to London where Kiki Dee recorded her vocal. Producer Gus Dudgeon recalls …

“I was with Elton in Canada and he actually sang about three quarters of the song and gave Kiki about four lines. I said, ‘Hang on a minute, is this supposed to be a duet or a guest appearance?’ Elton replied, ‘A duet.’ Then you’ve got to give her at least 50% of the song.”

Interestingly, this was the second-biggest-selling record of 1976 in both the UK and US, and topped the charts in a number of countries, including France, Italy, Australia and Canada.  I was quite surprised to find out that it was Elton’s first #1 in the UK. He had to wait 14 years for his next UK #1, which was Sacrifice.

When, in preparation for this post, I read that Elton John performed this on a Season 2 episode of The Muppet Show in 1977 with Miss Piggy, you just know I had to go … in search of!  And found!  So, since this is a “just-for-fun” music post, you get two versions tonight, the second for all my fellow Muppets fans out there!

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
Elton John/Kiki Dee/Miss Piggy

Don’t go breaking my heart
I couldn’t if I tried
Honey, if I get restless
Baby, you’re not that kind

Don’t go breaking my heart
You take the weight off me
Oh, honey, when you knock on my door
Ooh, I gave you my key

Ooh-hoo, nobody knows it
When I was down
I was your clown
Ooh-hoo, nobody knows it, nobody knows
Right from the start
I gave you my heart
Oh oh, I gave you my heart

So don’t go breaking my heart
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart

And nobody told us
‘Cause nobody showed us
And now it’s up to us, babe
Whoa, I think we can make it

So don’t misunderstand me
You put the light in my life
Oh, you put the spark to the flame
I’ve got your heart in my sights

Ooh-hoo, nobody knows it
When I was down
I was your clown
Ooh-hoo, nobody knows it, nobody knows
Right from the start
I gave you my heart
Oh oh, I gave you my heart

Don’t go breaking my heart
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart

Ooh-hoo, nobody knows it
When I was down
I was your clown
Right from the start
I gave you my heart
Oh oh, I gave you my heart

Don’t go breaking my heart
I won’t go breaking your heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
(Don’t go breaking my)
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart
(Don’t go breaking my)
I won’t go breaking your heart
Don’t go breaking my heart

Songwriters: Elton John / Bernie Taupin
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Jolly Monday — It’s MARCH!!!!

Good Monday morning, friends!  It’s MARCH!!!  No, Joe … not that kind of march … the month of March.  And you know what that means … SPRING is just around the corner … sunny skies, warm weather, walks in the park, turn off the heat and open the windows!  Just 18 days, 432 hours ‘til SPRING!  (Need I say that I’m tired of cold and snow and clouds, or could you tell from my voice?)  So, how was your weekend?  Mine?  Same ol’, same ol’ … literally.  Laundry, writing, the furthest I strayed was to the back patio to give the squirrels some peanuts.  Whoopee, eh?  Anyway, it’s a new week and so let’s start it on a jolly note with some snacks, some humour and some smiles, shall we?


Desperate times call for drastic measures?

A man in Sussex in the UK was wanted by police … I’m not sure on what charge.  Finally one day last week, he turned himself in, because according to police …

“Peace and quiet! Wanted male handed himself in to the team yesterday afternoon after informing us he would rather go back to prison than have to spend more time with the people he was living with!”

I know that being confined in close quarters even with the people you love most, you will step on each other’s toes from time to time, get on one another’s nerves, but still … I’d rather be in my own home with my family than in a prison cell!  Perhaps he has a bunch of noisy children …


I don’t want to be his patient!

A plastic surgeon in California, Dr. Scott Green, was scheduled for a video court appearance regarding a traffic violation.  He logged on to the court at the appropriate time … from inside the operating room, where he and another surgeon were operating on a patient!

Beeps of medical machinery could be heard during the Zoom call, and the patient’s procedure was taking place just out of view.  A courtroom clerk asked Dr Green: “Are you available for trial? It kind of looks like you’re in an operating room.”  The doctor confirmed that he was in the middle of surgery, but urged the court to proceed.  Dr Green appeared to continue working with his head down while he waited for Thursday’s trial to begin.

When the judge arrived (they always have to be last, in order to make a grand entrance), he decided it was best to set a new date for the hearing, saying …

“We want to keep people healthy, we want to keep them alive. That’s important.”

Ya think, your Honour?  The Medical Board of California says it is looking into the incident, and expects surgeons to follow the standard of care when treating their patients.


And now for some cartoons ‘n memes!

toon-9toon-10toon-11toon-12toon-13toon-14toon-15toon-16toon-17toon-20

meme-11meme-12meme-13meme-14meme-15meme-16j


A few funny signs … some will have you scratching your head and wondering … why???

sign-1sign-2sign-4sign-5

sign-6


You know if it’s Jolly Monday, there must be a cute critter video lurking somewhere …


I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead and that we see a few sunny, relatively warm days this week!  Please be sure to share your smiles with those you meet this week … nothing brightens the day quite like a warm, friendly smile.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly and Joyful!

The Week’s Best Cartoons 2/27

This week the cartoonists certainly had plenty of material to work with, from Ted Cruz’ trip to Cancún, to the bigotry of Marjorie Greene to states’ renewed attempts at voter suppression to CPAC and more.  They didn’t let us down, and as she does every week, our friend TokyoSand managed to find the best of the lot!  Thanks, TS … you’re the best!

toon-3toon-4toon-6toon-7

See All The ‘Toons!

♫ It’s The Same Old Song ♫

I chose this one for my final song in Black History Month.  Why?  Because I love it and as I was listening to a compilation of Motown songs in a tribute tonight, when this one came on, my feet immediately started tapping and I knew this was the one I wanted.  This song had an interesting inception.  Like so many of the Motown songs, it was written and produced by the team of Holland–Dozier–Holland.  The song was reportedly created—from initial concept to commercial release—in just 24 hours!

The story goes, according to SongFacts …

The Four Tops were signed to Columbia Records in 1960, releasing just one single – “Ain’t That Love” (written by their lead singer, Levi Stubbs) – before moving on to Riverside Records and eventually joining Motown in 1963. As “I Can’t Help Myself” was coming off the charts, word got out that Columbia was going to re-release “Ain’t That Love” to capitalize on the group’s sudden success. Motown head Berry Gordy made a big push to thwart this, and put the rush on a new song. Fortunately, Holland-Dozier-Holland were very good at reworking their hits – they did it the previous year when they followed up their Martha & The Vandellas smash “Heat Wave” with the copycat “Quicksand.” The Four Tops were also up for the task, as they were one of the most seasoned Motown acts.

HDH quickly wrote the song, and on Thursday, July 8, it was furiously recorded and pressed. It was delivered to radio stations the next day, and by that Monday, it was in stores.

Columbia did issue “Ain’t That Love,” but it stalled at #93 on the Hot 100.

It’s the Same Old Song
Four Tops

You’re sweet as a honey bee
But like a honey bee stings
You’ve gone and left my heart in pain
All you left is our favorite song
The one we danced to all night long
It used to bring sweet memories
Of a tender love that used to be

Now it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
I, oh I

Sentimental fool, am I
To hear a old love song and wanna cry
‘Cause the melody keeps haunting me
Reminding me how in love we used to be
Keep hearing the part that used to touch my heart
Saying together forever, breaking up never

It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
But it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone

Precious memories keep a lingering on
Every time I hear our favorite song
Now you’re gone, left this emptiness
I only reminisce the happiness we spent
We used to dance to the music
Make romance through the music

Now it’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
I, oh I

It’s the same old song
But with a different meaning
Since you been gone
It’s the same old song

Songwriters: Edward Jr. Holland / Lamont Dozier / Brian Holland
It’s the Same Old Song lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

“Gumbo Diplomacy”

Today is the last day in February, the last day of this year’s Black History Month, and last night I came across this post by Annie about a woman, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who was confirmed on February 23rd to be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. After reading about her, and listening to Ms. Thomas-Greenfield’s TedTalk from 2018, I see this woman as being perfect for the Ambassadorship to the U.N. She has not only survived adversity throughout her entire life, but been made stronger by it. She reminds us, though, that one must be kind and compassionate, as well as strong. Thank you, Annie, for this wonderful post for this final day of Black History Month 2021!

annieasksyou...

As we near the end of this year’s commemoration of Black History Month, it seems appropriate to pay tribute to a woman whose life story is that of a Black American girl who rose from humble beginnings in the segregated South to a place of honor and influence in our country.

I hope you’ll spend an uplifting 10 minutes watching this 2018 TedTalk video of Linda Thomas-Greenfield, our newly appointed ambassador to the United Nations, as she describes overcoming adversity and being strengthened by it–with compassion, kindness, and a smile.

And those adversities have been numerous. They included the indignities and fears of her childhood, such as watching the KKK burn crosses on nearby lawns. Further insults and attempted degradation during her education years served only to propel her forward. She discusses in the video her pleasure in being honored years later by the same university that she’d been admitted…

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A disgusting lack of leadership

Keith has expressed my own views, only so much better than I typically do. Thank you, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

The following are the views of a former Republican and now Independent voter. I did not vote for the former president either time and remain puzzled why people would vote for such a well-documented untruthful, egomaniacal bully.

On Friday, I read that Senator Mitch McConnell would support the seditious former president if he were the 2024 presidential nominee. Note, this is after McConnell denounced the former president for his role in the insurrection against a branch of government, which of course, put McConnell and his colleagues in danger. And, unsurprisingly, Mr. McConnell chose not to vote to convict the former president before he admitted said person was guilty.

This is a disgusting lack of leadership in a country that needs this party to help offer some form leadership. But, as of this writing, people who voted as leaders to impeach or convict the seditious former president, have been vilified, censured…

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