And the villages search . . .

OK, we just manage to get comfortable with getting our tongues around the name Osama bin Laden, and suddenly to be able to talk intelligently about world affairs, we have to learn to say “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad” (or various other spellings, like “Amadinejhad”). The always opinionated, sometimes dangerously scarey Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, just finished his hurried, but highly unappreciated visit to the United States, culminating with a protested appearance at Columbia University.

The university committee that invited him to speak felt that everyone has a right to be heard and debated, no matter how far off the mark his or her view of the world seems to be– certainly a noble aim for a university, but they didn’t exactly roll out the red carpet when Columbia President Lee Bollinger introduced the guest speaker by calling him every name in the book, including “astonishingly uneducated” and a “petty, cruel dictator”.

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Two to Miss

My tastes in music have always been varied— “eclectic” is a good word— I took up guitar at the time of the folk music popularity of the early 60’s, and transferred with the trend into the Beatles and the pop music of the rest of the 60’s and into the 70’s. At the same time, through the years I didn’t mind a bit of country, blues, and even jazz. The line was drawn, however, at heavy metal in its day, and now rap, and, although I don’t mind a number or two, I never was fascinated by classical music… no doubt evidence to some of my poor taste. In recent years, I found I was not in tune with the pop music of today, so I leaned more toward contemporary country and even classics of years gone by like those of Sinatra. Was it a maturing, or a degenerating?

When I look back over the last fifty or so, I’m mindful of a few we have dropped along the way. No doubt there are older fans who feel that the deaths of Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, or Jim Morrison were early losses that changed the direction of popular music, but I never particularly mourned those losses, probably because they had a lot of responsibility for their own demises due to drugs.

However, two other names stand out with me as losses that make you wonder the “what if?” question. In the complementary fields of “singer – songwriter”, here is one of each. Continue reading

Our Innocent Man

It seems that all my life I was aware of Steven Truscott. He was 14 when convicted in 1959 of the rape and murder of 12 year old Lynne Harper, and I was 13 at that time.

It was a case that would never die for the Canadian public. Initially, spurred on by the headlines of the time that Truscott was the perpetrator, I think like many others, far away from the Clinton Ontario area where the crime took place, I thought him guilty and really didn’t pay him much attention following the conviction. But the case kept rearing its head over the years. I can recall numerous television programs taking yet another look at the case, and stirring the pot over and over again. Truscott kept stating his innocence, though it seemed that few seriously listened. Continue reading