Some things are just too funny to write:

The organisation said in a statement that it hopes to create a safe space for all members of the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual) community, and that while the decision may “disappoint” some people “the needs of the most marginalised groups within our community come first.”

Pity the poor drag queens, you can offend members of the general public, parents and Christians all you want, but the moment you might offend transgenders then you just aren’t acceptable anymore.

Via Steven Crowder who comments thus

Obviously, we need a UFC style ranking system of the pound-for-pound most marginalized groups.

His video clip on the subject I think is most appropriate go and see it.

That people have taken any of these folks seriously is one of the most amazing cultural developments I’ve seen in my lifetime.

Sipping whisky from a paper cup
You drown your sorrows ‘til you can’t stand up
Take a look at what you’ve done to yourself
Why don’t you put the bottle back on the shelf
Shooting junk ‘til you’re half insane
A broken needle in a purple vein
Why don’t you look into Jesus
He’s got the answer

 

from “Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus” by Larry Norman

 

On “Center Of My Heart,” a song from Tourniquet which was Larry Norman’s final studio album before he passed away ten years ago, he included the line “I’m a walking contradiction.” After reading Gregory Alan Thornbury’s Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?: Larry Norman and the Perils of Christian Rock, it’s obvious truer words have seldom been spoken.

Thornbury’s biography of Larry Norman, Christian rock’s founding father in the 1960s and most polarizing figure to this day, is a fascinating and sobering look at the life of a man almost perpetually surrounded by controversy. Much of it was Norman’s own doing, intentional or no; his incessant need to be in control and insistence on being a lone wolf utterly convinced of his selected path’s correctness often frayed and sometimes shattered relationships both professional and personal. Yet, he could also be generous to a fault with his time, money, and talents. He was also a brilliant songwriter and performer, penning and recording work that remains stunningly powerful and genuinely life-changing for those who have ears to hear.

Norman, to quote from a song by Mark Heard whose early career was directly influenced by Norman, was too sacred for the sinners and the saints wished he’d leave. The former were often off-put by Norman’s frequent references to Christ crucified and risen, while the latter routinely freaked out over his mixing straightforward love and political songs, plus generous use of allegory and parable, into his body of work. Norman didn’t care. It was his vision, done his way, take it or leave it.

The book does an excellent job in painting the backdrop for Norman’s life and times, managing the not inconsiderable feat of detailing such elements as the Jesus People movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s in a manner both informative to the uninitiated and not dreary for those already in the know. Some biographers tell a tale of life well; others specialize in times. Thornbury does both well.

Thornbury mentions more than once how Norman in concert sought not to entertain, but rather to challenge his audience, having no hesitation about making it feel uncomfortable through in-between song musings as well as in the songs themselves. He posed questions about faith and how believers should conduct themselves in the world, detailing the need to demolish the Christian ghetto and actually be in the world but not of it. Norman was simultaneously icon and iconoclast, the one without whom most every contemporary Christian artists would not be there while at the same time asking what they were doing there, as they were neither witnessing to non-believers nor edifying those who were already Christians.

The book is unflinching in its examination of Norman and those around him; his first wife Pamela and his early protege Randy Stonehill both come off quite poorly. However, the book also tosses bouquets as easily as it does brickbats. It is no hatchet job designed to speak maximum ill of the dead or the living. In lieu thereof it is, as best as Norman can be capsulated, a multi-level study of a multi-level man who won friends, made enemies, influenced many far more than they are willing to admit, and left it for others to argue about as he decidedly did it his way. If you love Larry Norman, or have no idea who he was, Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?: Larry Norman and the Perils of Christian Rock is enriching reading that, even as Norman did with his work, forces reflection.

The book is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s goods

The 10th Commandment

This is straight out of the Ten Commandments and is one of the most sensible bits of advice that a couple might get.

In our consumer culture we are constantly bombarded with things we MUST have and even more importantly the idea that if our neighbor has something that we don’t, it’s a problem.

If you’re happy with your TV and it’s working fine, it doesn’t matter if the folks next door got a bigger one.  If your iPhone is working fine and does all you want, who cares if your friend bought a new one.  If your car is running fine, passing inspection and serves all your needs then if the folks next door got a better car, big whoop.

It’s my experience in life that the difference in such upgrades are usually pretty small, and in the end it becomes all about vanity and even if you get this new thing or a model one better than the guy next door, it doesn’t stop them from upgrading and suddenly you find yourselves in a consumer arms race where the only winner is the credit card company.

Forget that arms race and keep that money in your pocket, get things when you need them without worrying about what the next fellow has, and not only will you have less debt but less worry and if that doesn’t convince you think about it this way, the fact that you aren’t bothered by your neighbors new stuff will drive the Jones’ nuts.

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice. 
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries
Tip 11: NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tip 12: 30 Tips to stay Married 30 years Today’s Tip: Pray
Tip 13: Angry Gifts
Tip 14: Don’t sweat the Small stuff
Tip 15: Carefully Choose the Hills Worth Dying On
Tip 16: Avoid Temptation and Suspicion
Tip 17: Have an Argument Escape Plan (and or let your spouse use their’s)
Tip 18: Don’t spoil the kids, particularly early.
Tip 19: A United Front
Tip 20: Remember Marriage is work.
Tip 21: Maintain Surprise

My parents were born in 1921 and 1924 (my father in law who I never met was also born in 24) My wife and I were taught the values of America that they grew up on.

Prayer was removed from public schools in 1962. At the time is was considered no big deal, after all the judeo christian values that had made America great and had prompted the fight against slavery, nazism and the defense of democracy had been part of our culture for so long people naturally presumed it would always be there and ignored warnings of the consequences of this act.

By 1982 teachers who were 25-35 in 1962 were in their 40’s and 50’s but the new teachers had grown up on the old rules even if the kids they were teaching were not and even though they weren’t allowed to teach the old rules and culture at least some of it bled out to the kids learning from them while at the same time the movement to religious schools and home schooling began for those who still believed in American culture.

By 2002 All but the youngest teachers from 1962 were retired or dead and the teachers who were their students were in their 40’s and 50’s and couldn’t believe how the classroom had changed for the worse both in discipline and knowledge as they were the last traces of the knowledge and culture that had been banished. Meanwhile private religious schools and the homeschooling movement continued to grow

Now it is 16 years later. No trace of the old culture is in he public schools basic facts such as the biology of people are rejected. Discipline is gone, we are about to normalize drugs and for political reasons the same left that pushed for these initial changes want to give the vote to these kids who are eating tide pods and snorting condoms and the worst part of it is that our cultural “betters” of the left have actively stigmatize those who object to this turn of events and attempt to reverse this tide of disaster (while those with children among them do their best to keep their own children away from these decisions) for the sake of their own narcissism and power. However they are being fought by those who have now spent a generation raising children outside of the public school bubble teaching them the values that made America great.

I’ve often said that it takes two generations to kill a civilization because it takes that long for the people who remember the old ways to die out. I will be 55 this year and all of this has happened in my lifetime and the only thing more amazing than the decline of our culture, which we as a nation allowed to happen has been the rise of traditional American values as a counter culture fighting the good fight and even occasionally winning it.

I hope to live long enough to see this battle won and I pray to God that when the fight is won, those who win it make sure the root causes of this disaster are never allowed to grow back on America soil.

King: Take it away, everyday the same thing. Variety! I want something different. Fix me Hasenpfeffer right away!

Shishkabugs (Bugs Bunny short cartoon) 1962

One of the things that is often mentioned as a problem in relationships is the same old thing. Our consumer society pushes the dread of the same old thing for the sake of selling and a lot of people find themselves spending a lot of money on junk because of it.

The same dread is often pushed in relationships today in movies and TV. The dread of the same old thing has been advanced to the point where people are making choices that are toxic for the long term health of a marriage.

The best way to avoid this problem? Maintain healthy surprise in a relationship. Here are a few ways of doing this that doesn’t involve risks that include catching the social disease of the day.

On a random day each month get your spouse a small gift.  This doesn’t have to be anything big, a single flower, a six pack of beer, a little thing.  If you regularly get a coffee, skip it one day and get something for daspouse.  pick a day and that day use those few dollars to a little something for dawife or Dahusband.

And once every three months instead of the small thing do something slightly bigger, a small lunch, a movie.

And once a year instead of the small thing, do something bigger, a show, a fancier dinner, an overnight

This should be independent of regular birthdays and anniversaries and it should also be something that doesn’t break the bank.  The real trick is to keep it random (I suggest using old D & D dice that you’ve put away years ago.

Again it isn’t the size of said gift, it’s the fact that it is completely unexpected that makes it special.

Now I’m sure many of you can come up with better ideas and schemes and naturally you will know your spouse better than me but as long as it’s a bit random and a bit of a surprise you will put an extra smile on your mate’s face and those extra smiles will add up to many years of happiness.

My 30 Tips so far

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice. 
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries
Tip 11: NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tip 12: 30 Tips to stay Married 30 years Today’s Tip: Pray
Tip 13: Angry Gifts
Tip 14: Don’t sweat the Small stuff
Tip 15: Carefully Choose the Hills Worth Dying On
Tip 16: Avoid Temptation and Suspicion
Tip 17: Have an Argument Escape Plan (and or let your spouse use their’s)
Tip 18: Don’t spoil the kids, particularly early.
Tip 19: A United Front
Tip 20: Remember Marriage is work.

A few days ago I talked about how the ratings and the buzz concerning the Rosanne revival was bad news for the Democrat media left and indeed it is, however the biggest mistake the right can make, particularly the GOP looking to save the house in election 2018 is to presume this adds up to vote in the fall.

While any setback for the left in the culture wars is a cause for joy and as Andrew Breitbart always said:  “Politics is downstream from culture” there is absolutely no reason believe there will be a “Rosanne effect” when it comes to election day.

Even if the meme of Trump voters as evil foreign entities controlled by Russia is partially dissipated in the minds of some on the left and swing voters this does not correspond to love for the GOP for several reasons.

  1.  Many in the GOP have made it a point to distance themselves from the President thus any good will built up from said moves will not spread.
  2. The GOP, unlike Trump, has generally failed to either do what it promised or accomplish what it set out to do.  While the tax cut is a legit measure to cheer the standing of the party continues to take a hit.
  3. Even if this “Rosanne effect” began to take hold, it would not be fast enough to make a difference by November.  it would take a few years for this type of thing to ripple through society.
  4. Finally there is no way to be sure that Roseanne will not drift into a direction that will hurt the GOP

To rely on a TV show to save you electorally is a bad idea, now the Democrats pushing for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment or a wave of thousands illegal immigrants coming up from mexico, that’s another story.

By John Ruberry

Roseanne cast pre-revival via Wikipedia

Last week after two decades in rerun stasis the sitcom Roseanne returned to ABC with massive ratings, even higher than its final episode of its first run in 1997.

Formerly a liberal, the show’s star, Roseanne Barr, declared that she was a supporter of Donald Trump two years ago. While Trump isn’t explicitly mentioned in the debut reboot episode, her character, Roseanne Conner, ends a family prayer, one that began by asking her pussy-hat donned leftist sister (Laurie Metcalf) if she preferred to “take a knee,” Colin Kaerpenick-style, with a bang: “Most of all, Lord, thank you for making American great again!”

The Conners live somewhere in northern Illinois in the fictional town of Lanford. Yes, my state voted for Hillary Clinton, but stick with me for a bit. One of the appeals of the old and new Roseanne is that it focuses on the struggles of a blue collar family headed by two overweight parents, Roseanne and Dan Conner (John Goodman), whose bulkiness refreshingly is not a target of unvarying jabs. They are regular folks trying to get by. During the television interregnum the Conners came close to losing their home to foreclosure. In the 1980s these type of families were Reagan Democrats. But since the first run of Roseanne, the Democrats have pivoted to the left, and in the last few years, to the far left. For evidence, look at the rise of Bernie Sanders, the only out-of-the-closet socialist in the US Senate.

“I didn’t leave the Democratic Party,” Ronald Reagan, who was born and reared in northern Illinois, notoriously remarked, “the party left me.”

The 21st century Democrats–the secular progressives–also left the Conners. This TV family represents the base of the new Republican Party.

Where the Conners live in Illinois was always a bit murky, originally it was Fulton County, a rural county south of Peoria. Yes, the old and new Roseanne, as the old vaudeville expression went, “plays in Peoria.” In 1988, when the show hit the airwaves, Michael Dukakis prevailed over George H.W. Bush in Fulton County, beginning a seven-election presidential winning streak for the Democrats there.

Ronald Reagan Trail north of Peoria

But in 2016 Donald Trump won Fulton by 15 percentage points while four years earlier Barack Obama prevailed by over twenty points. And for the GOP there plenty of room for growth in the Fulton counties of America. In southern Illinois lies Wayne County, where Trump bested Clinton by over 70 points.

Call that the Roseanne vote.

And even in Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, there is hope for the Republican Party.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

A House divided against itself can not stand

Abraham Lincoln

Sir Richard Warrington: We even see a danger of the cabinet perusing it’s own foreign policy
Sir Humphrey: But That’s absurd! The country can’t have two foreign policies!

Yes Prime Minister A Victory of Democracy 1986

Let’s pivot away from the fight game for a bit.

One of the most important things to remember is that as a married couple you are a single unit, no longer just two people but one flesh.

This is a very important thing to keep in mind when dealing with people and groups outside of your marriage, with relatives particularly with your kids.

Let’s start with the kids, the more united you are when dealing with your children the more likely you will be able to direct their path to a better direction, furthermore it will make it much harder for said kids to try and play you and your spouse off of each other. For a lot of basic things you want to be discussing before they come up, if the kid hits you with something you don’t expect, postpone a decision till the two of you can confer the key word here is UNITY

When dealing with groups other than the kids and a decision is either called for pushed at you again the thing to do is to defer a commitment in these situations until you get a chance to make that united front, if a decision can’t be deferred and only one of you are present then make sure any such statement is made with the understanding that you have to consult with your spouse to finalize it.

By all means has things out in private and make your cases but come to a single public position and make sure that’s what is presented to the kids and others.

A united front makes the family stronger, it fosters communication to come to that decision, foils others who want to make things rough for you (and such people DO exist) and most importantly when dealing with family and kids makes sure everyone is traveling int the same direction.

Want a strong marriage, build it on unity.

My 30 Tips so far

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice. 
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries
Tip 11: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Today: NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tip 12: 30 Tips to stay Married 30 years Today’s Tip: Pray
Tip 13: Angry Gifts
Tip 14: Don’t sweat the Small stuff
Tip 15: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years, Today: Carefully Choose the Hills Worth Dying On
Tip 16: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years: Today’s Tip Avoid Temptation and Suspicion
Tip 17: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Have an Argument Escape Plan (and or let your spouse use their’s)
Tip 18: 30 tips to stay married 30 years. Don’t spoil the kids, particularly early.

On a sunny Orange County afternoon some twelve years ago, I was in a bookstore containing (but of course) a large coffee shop upfront. My purpose in being there was to meet up with one Mike Stand, leader of seminal Christian punk rock group the Altar Boys.

At the time, Stand’s musical career, at least as far as Christian rock was concerned, was decidedly in the rearview mirror. In more recent years he has fronted a rockabilly trio calling itself the Altar Billies. But, at the time we met so I could interview him for my book, we were talking about what had previously transpired.

During our conversation, he mentioned a sixth Altar Boys album. Now, as all fans of the group know, the band released five albums during their tenure. So, what was this mysterious sixth album to which Stand referred? He stated that it was planned to as a follow-up to Forever Mercy, adding how the album had gone so far into production it had been named: No Substitute. However, for various reasons the project was never completed, Stand lamenting that it would’ve been a much better final statement on his band’s career than Forever Mercy.

Whether the Altar Boys can be labeled the first Christian punk band is a matter for musicologists to argue. The band wasn’t a pure punk band; its music is far better described as raw, bareknuckled, hard driving rock ‘n’ roll. Tons of intensity, tons of passion, and an uncompromising lyrical message focused on salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Forever Mercy got away from the band’s musical strength. No Substitute would have been a welcome return to form. Alas, it was doubtless never to see the light of day.

I mention the above because recently Stand, along with the Boys and his boy (his son is helping with the engineering and such), has dusted off the tracks recorded by him for No Substitute, completing the tracks already recorded by using the original vocals and guitars from the 1991 and 1993 sessions as the cornerstone for completing an album even the most devoted Altar Boys fans doubted would ever see the light of day … assuming they knew it existed. There’s a Kickstarter campaign going on right now to finance the whole thing.

I said all that to say this.

As one of the other artists in my book stated, every publicly-placed creative endeavor involves a fair amount of shooting arrows over the horizon. You don’t know where they’re going to land, chances are excellent you’ll never know where they did land, and thus you do not know and will never know if you hit any intended targets. You give it your best shot (no pun intended), and you move on, all the while wondering if it mattered.

Lately I’ve been fighting a nasty streak of ennui plus hopelessness. My employer is going away, taking the store my boss and I worked ridiculously hard on with it. There are few things more frustrating than the failure of others sweeping you up with it when for your part you sweated blood to make your piece of the pie a roaring success. And it was. Now it’s going away. Definitely takes the wind out of your sails.

I’m relatively certain I’ll land another job. I’m quite certain it won’t be as personally and professionally rewarding as this one has been. Hopefully it’ll at least be all right. We shall see.

I think back to the book and wonder: did it make a difference? I did my best to lift up the artists and music I love to the world. Hopefully it made some new fans. Hopefully it reignited someone’s faith. Hopefully that sunny Orange County afternoon, and all the other interviews conducted at different times and places, mattered. I honestly don’t know.

But I’d do it again.

Perhaps one day I’ll find out if I hit anything.

Roseanne Cast pre-revival via Wikipedia

Yesterday the only story in the news seemed to be the rating for the revival of the show Rosanne which blew away all competitors all expectations and worst for the media and the Hollywood left blew away the entire narrative that they had been trying to build since November of 2016 and had managed to carefully build up over the last several months since the Parkland shooting.

The overwhelming numbers suggest that the no matter how much the media spins, how much the stars proclaim and how much the elites talk about how the public rejects all things Trump that the ordinary people, who work the jobs that have been giving bonus’ since the Trump tax cut, who have found either better employment than they had in the Obama years or have rejoined the job market now that employers are scrambling to find and/or keep staff are a force to be reckoned with in the market place.

The numbers also revealed other memes of the left to be hollow, after all the same entertainment alternatives exist for Rosanne as do other programs and events (like the NFL for example) and yet people still watched in droves.  Think the league will be anxious to get Kaepernick a job after that?

It’s also a blow to the idea that unless you are marketing to NYC or LA audience you can’t win:

 The only marquee city from a blue state in the Top 10 was Chicago at No. 5 — the area where the series is set. ABC focused some of its marketing efforts in the region with a preview of the revival at the 54th Chicago International Film Festival.

 

The top market of the country, New York, was not in the Top 20; No.2 Los Angeles was not in the Top 30. And yet, Roseanne delivered the highest demo rating for any comedy telecast in 3 1/2 years, since the fall 2014 season premiere of TV’s biggest comedy series of the past five years, The Big Bang Theory.

It’s also a blow to companies like Facebook, Twitter, Delta, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Dicks who have either systematically suppressed a good chunk of their customer base or took public positions against them.  It reminded advertisers in general and the competitors to these companies in particular that there is market share to be had that the left is offering on a silver platter and they need only reach out to take it.  They don’t even have to endorse the right, they simply have to treat us like a customer to be served rather than an audience to be lectured to.

And while Hollywood studios are not likely to be all that anxious to green light other conservative projects the numbers are going to be a powerful argument for smaller programs (or cancelled ones like Last Man Standing) that they are worth the time and notice of advertisers whose primary goal is getting eyeballs without being tainted by the latest facebook scandal or the drive to repeal the 2nd amendment that our friends on the left are scrambling to deny.

Now to be sure some of these numbers can be attributed to nostalgia and there is always the chance (indeed the probability) that the show will decide to lurch left at some point but for now if I’m the media/left that has owned the culture and I spend the day looking at the rating numbers and the seemingly unending buzz, I’d be afraid, very afraid.