Tag Archives: historical

Billy Joel Was Right – “WE Didn’t Start the Fire”

imageGive or take a few years, Billy Joel and I are generational buddies. I’m not a big fan but, I confess, I do have a smattering of Joel music on my iPod – including his super hit – We Didn’t Start the Fire – great tune. Still, it’s just a piece of ambiguous music – or so I thought.

Until, that is, a friend sent me a link to an ambitious video project, which overlays We Didn’t Start the Fire, with 40 years of historical (or, should that be hysterical) headlines and photos. After viewing this “flashback”, I can finally say – I “get” this tune.

I get Joel’s message – hey, don’t lay the blame for this crappy world on me, and my generation – “we didn’t start the fire, it was always burning since the world’s been turning”. Taking in the political context of the time it was made, the music and lyrics are anything but ambiguous – no doubt about it – the political message is in the music.

Politics and music, you might think, should make strange bed mates. Unless of course, your cultural background is such that political music has had a measurable impact on your world view. At a personal level (since I’m Irish), Irish Rebel songs have had more than a minor impact on the political, moral, ethical, and sociological opinions, that I hold close. The good and the bad, I’ll wager.

Music, undoubtedly, does have the power to “sooth the savage breast” – but, “political” music does not rein in emotions past that point, it seems.

If you’re part of the “hula hoop” generation; turn up the volume, kick back and enjoy a review of 40 years of your history in less than 3 minutes! On second thought – there’s more than a little educational value here which makes this project worthwhile viewing for all age groups.

Click on the graphic to link to the video.

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Filed under Opinion, Point of View

Quackwatch And The Skeptics Society – Web Sites For Rationalists

imageI’ve just finished reading Dan Brown’s latest novel – The Lost Symbol. If you don’t recognize Brown, you’ll know who I mean when I tell you that’s he’s the author of The Da Vinci Code – a novel which was roundly criticized for its historical and scientific inaccuracies. Despite the criticism, the novel went on to become a best seller (80 Million copies sold), and a film which has racked up almost a Billon Dollars in ticket sales.

This latest novel is written in the same (Da Vinci Code) style – relying on social-science fiction to advance the plot. And, as in his earlier novels, Brown’s continued use of symbolic pseudo science – in this case, Noetic Science, (the theory that the Brain holds untapped extraordinary power), will be lapped up by those who bought into the mystical nonsense in The Da Vinci Code; Jesus had a wife, a family, and didn’t actually die by crucifixion.

I recall reading several years ago that “Roughly one out of six Canadians — and one out of eight Americans – believe that Jesus faked his death on the cross, got married, and had a family”. Very weird!

I have to admit – I had a minor struggle trying to comprehend why otherwise intelligent people are so ready to take Brown’s fictional representations as factual, and literally accurate. But only a minor struggle – given the large numbers of Internet users who are so easily convinced to act against their own best interests, by cyber criminals, I’m more than aware that peoples’ behavior is often stranger than fiction.

After finishing reading the novel, curiosity got the better of me, and I spent some time researching Noetic Science in an attempt to learn the mysteries involved in turning Lead into Gold.  Smile

In that journey, I discovered a couple of web sites, Quackwatch, and The Skeptics Society, that are worth considering as additions to your Bookmarks.

Quackwatch – From the site:

Quackwatch has grown considerably. To help visitors with special areas of interest, we maintain 22 additional sites for autism, chiropractic, dentistry, multilevel marketing, and many other hot topics. We are also closely affiliated with the National Council Against Health Fraud, which cosponsors our free weekly newsletter, and with Bioethics Watch, which highlights issues of questionable research on humans.

Our Internet Health Pilot site provides links to hundreds of reliable health sites. Our Casewatch site contains a large library of legal cases, licensing board actions, government sanctions, and regulatory actions against questionable medical products. These sites can be accessed through the “Visit Our Affiliated Sites” drop-down menu above. Their contents can be searched selectively with our WebGlimpse multi-site search engine or all at once through our Google search page.

The Skeptics Society – From the site:

The Skeptics Society is a scientific and educational organization of scholars, scientists, historians, magicians, professors and teachers, and anyone curious about controversial ideas, extraordinary claims, revolutionary ideas, and the promotion of science. Our mission is to serve as an educational tool for those seeking clarification and viewpoints on those controversial ideas and claims.

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Filed under Communication, Education, Living Life, Opinion, Personal Perspective, Recommended Web Sites