Free-range kids: On weekends and in the summer, the instructions were simple: “Home before dark.” Left to right: Gerard (12), Tom (10), Jeff (2). (courtesy Gerard Van Der Leun)
When my brother was 5 and I was 7, my parents moved us to Paradise. We’d been living in the Los Angeles section known as Glendale. We lived at 521B Allen Avenue. (You never forget your address when you go off to school for the first time, do you?) It was a two-bedroom bungalow apartment. There was a driveway between the two parallel strips of postwar apartment units that opened in the back to a wide asphalt courtyard with a cement block fence at the rear and an incinerator up against that wall.
My brother Tom was always more adventuresome, so he learned how to run along the top of that wall and enjoyed taunting me from the top. He enjoyed it right up until his foot slipped and he ended up with a green fracture of his arm. After the pain was gone and the cast was set, he enjoyed getting everyone he knew or met to sign his cast. Tom strove to enjoy everything he did.
Once the cast was off, he figured out how to further bedevil my mother by inventing the “Bunkbed Launchpad.” This involved safety-pinning a white towel to the shoulders of your pajamas so it hung down in back like a terrycloth version of Superman’s cape. Then, using the flying powers of a white terrycloth towel, we would leap from the top bunk onto the mattress and piled pillows of the “guest bed.” And although we took off many times, I can say for certain that a towel is not a dependable aeronautic device. Indeed, its glide path resembles that of a brick.
It was only seven years after the Second World War, and peacetime life in Los Angeles was fraught with housing shortages, a population explosion as returning soldiers tried to jumpstart families, and…
Justin Hayward: “I wrote it when I was immature, it’s a naïve song,” he explains. “And that’s nice. But I never heard it until about two years ago, I was in bed and somebody sent me a version by Bettye LaVette. And I played it on my computer, and I burst into tears. My wife came in and said, “What on Earth’s the matter?” I heard the lyrics for the first time. That’s bizarre, isn’t it? It’s not that I’d been going through the motions. Every time I’d sung it, it had been heartfelt. But she took every line and made it something about herself that was transparent and clear. She explained it to me, somehow.”
Hayward: We had a huge slice of luck when Decca asked us to do a demonstration record for the Deramic Stereo System, so their consumer division could sell stereos. That’s what Days Of Future Passed was, really. We had a debt to Decca, and they asked us to do a version of Dvorák’s “New World Symphony”. Peter Knight, who was supposed to be doing the orchestral stuff, came down to see us at the 100 Club, and it was his idea to change it around to a concept album about a day and night. We did “Nights”first.
Hayward: Tony Clarke was a boffin producer who could see the whole thing cinematically. He’d describe it in this Stanley Kubrick way – “And then we fade across the setting sun, and sparks come out!” He was straight, four of us were pretty stoned – not John.
Thomas: John, Justin, Mike, and myself got round the mic. We only had four tracks, so we put four voices on one track, and four on another. When Tony mixed the two together, he said, “You’ve got to come and have a listen to this.” When he played it back to us, it freaked us out that we could make such a big sound. We thought, ‘Christ, that sounds bloody good.’
Varnals: We tried it on other songs later, to give them a similar approach to “Nights In White Satin”, but the voices never worked like that again.
Edge: They said this is going to be a hit, and we’ll pull it off as a single, so go and cut it down to three minutes, and we said, “No, it’s four minutes, 20 seconds.” That became the reason it was a hit in America. It was big on FM radio in Seattle first. We found out years later that the DJ picked the longest record so he could go out the back and smoke his bong! The second time he did it, the switchboard lit up like a Christmas tree.
We had a problem as we were writing the songs. We had “Dawn Is a Feeling” and “Peak Hour,” but there was a big gap until “Nights.” Being musicians, we didn’t have a lot of experience after dawn and before midday! So I was trying to write a song that spanned that [period], called “Morning Glory,” with lyrics between morning and evening. Then I went to the guys and said, “Can you do anything with this?” I spoke the lyric out to them and they looked at me and said, “There are just too many words. There’s no way you can sing this!” Then Tony Clarke said, “Oh, make it a poem!”
’54 was a plague year. It was not so much a twin to 2020-2021 but a mirror image- a perverse reversal. As there are now, there were two plagues stalking the land. One plague was Polio. Poliomyelitis, we also knew it as Infantile Paralysis, was rampant and the population most at risk were the children while Covid 19 is more of a threat to the elderly. Newspapers and magazines often featured horrifying pictures of rooms full of machines- giant gleaming steel tubes mounted on wheels with a child’s little head protruding from one end of each. They were called Iron Lungs and they were the only way to keep the children who were worst effected by the virus alive.
One of the odd symmetries between the two plagues is that in many states (New York and Massachusetts for example) 2020 many of the vulnerable elderly were shut into nursing homes with sick patients and healthy ones unsegregated leading to wild infection and death rates in that group. In the 1950’s schools and summer camps were open about as usual filling up more Iron Lungs with little heads.
So, I didn’t end up in an Iron Lung, but I did give my parents the biggest scare I ever could have without Polio. But they were scared for themselves. As I mentioned, I am “a Hyperactive”. I’ll make the case that Hyperactives are often well-meaning as kids. They just take a lot of joy in life and do not get stifled easily in that joy. As adults do, we learn to compensate with age and experience. We “get serious” and “fit in”.
My problem in 1954 was that at 5 years old, I passed an IQ test with a high enough score that my parents were able to place me in public school a year earlier than usual. So, there I was, I was not only hyperactive, I was a silly baby among older, more mature classmates.
It was not easy. Early in the school year, I got myself blacklisted by McCarthyism. Every morning, we all stood and recited The Pledge of Allegiance. This one morning, I stood with the rest of the class put my hand over my heart and began to repeat the words. I actually remember what happened next all these years later…
The “other” plague besides Polio in 1954, you see, was a political one; McCarthyism.
If Polio was a mirror image of today’s Covid19, McCarthyism was the same for today’s Progressivism and its evil avatar, Wokeness. This plague is sweeping innocent people before it. It is carrying our nation, actually, our whole culture to the very brink of totalitarianism… RTWT AT Between Two Childhood Plagues – The Deeper Thought
As it turns out, all this movement needs do to smear and destroy anyone who opposes its “progress”, is to say “That’s not who we are”. That insidious non-sequitur has been used to compel huge numbers of people to at least pretend to believe that some very normal and reasonable beliefs that were universally accepted only years of months ago are not just wrong but outside the pale of acceptable humane ideation- “not who we are”. Here is a partial list of those ideas:
It is the right of a sovereign nation to maintain control of its borders
There are two genders, male and female not withstanding a natural range of gender confidence or dysphoria
The wish to have a means to keep public washrooms from being used by sexual predators to prey on women and children
That people who work hard to succeed should be able to keep, protect and enjoy the fruits of their efforts
Not every black male that is shot by a policeman is a victim of systemic racism even if he was in the act of endangering other black people, black police officers or even white people
Looting of retail stores and violent vandalism against public monuments are not “understandable reactions” and need to be punished
Small and privately owned businesses should never be driven out of business and otherwise sacrificed to test unproven and unscientific theories of pandemic management
The educational system from top to bottom should be a place of free exchange of ideas not indoctrination and safe spaces from scary ideas.
“Here was a people whom after their works
thou shalt see wept over for their lost dominion:
and in this palace is the last information
respecting lords collected in the dust.” –
The Arabian Nights.
In a land that the sand overlays – the ways to her gates are untrod –
A multitude ended their days whose gates were made splendid by God,
Till they grew drunk and were smitten with madness and went to their fall,
And of these is a story written: but Allah Alone knoweth all!
When the wine stirred in their heart their bosoms dilated.
They rose to suppose themselves kings over all things created –
To decree a new earth at a birth without labour or sorrow –
To declare: “We prepare it to-day and inherit to-morrow.”
They chose themselves prophets and priests of minute understanding,
Men swift to see done, and outrun, their extremest commanding –
Of the tribe which describe with a jibe the perversions of Justice –
Panders avowed to the crowd whatsoever its lust is.
Swiftly these pulled down the walls that their fathers had made them –
The impregnable ramparts of old, they razed and relaid them
As playgrounds of pleasure and leisure, with limitless entries,
And havens of rest for the wastrels where once walked the sentries;
And because there was need of more pay for the shouters and marchers,
They disbanded in face of their foemen their yeomen and archers.
They replied to their well-wishers’ fears – to their enemies laughter,
Saying: “Peace! We have fashioned a God Which shall save us hereafter. We ascribe all dominion to man in his factions conferring, And have given to numbers the Name of the Wisdom unerring.”
They said: “Who has hate in his soul? Who has envied his neighbour? Let him arise and control both that man and his labour.”
They said: “Who is eaten by sloth? Whose unthrift has destroyed him? He shall levy a tribute from all because none have employed him.”
They said: “Who hath toiled, who hath striven, and gathered possession? Let him be spoiled. He hath given full proof of transgression.”
They said: “Who is irked by the Law? Though we may not remove it. If he lend us his aid in this raid, we will set him above it!”
So the robber did judgment again upon such as displeased him,
The slayer, too, boasted his slain, and the judges released him.
As for their kinsmen far off, on the skirts of the nation,
They harried all earth to make sure none escaped reprobation.
They awakened unrest for a jest in their newly-won borders,
And jeered at the blood of their brethren betrayed by their orders.
They instructed the ruled to rebel, their rulers to aid them;
And, since such as obeyed them not fell, their Viceroys obeyed them.
When the riotous set them at naught they said: “Praise the upheaval! For the show and the world and the thought of Dominion is evil!”
They unwound and flung from them with rage, as a rag that defied them,
The imperial gains of the age which their forefathers piled them.
They ran panting in haste to lay waste and embitter forever
The wellsprings of Wisdom and Strengths which are Faith and Endeavour.
They nosed out and digged up and dragged forth and exposed to derision
All doctrine of purpose and worth and restraint and prevision:
And it ceased, and God granted them all things for which they had striven,
And the heart of a beast in the place of a man’s heart was given. . . .
. . . . . . . .
When they were fullest of wine and most flagrant in error,
Out of the sea rose a sign – out of Heaven a terror.
Then they saw, then they heard, then they knew – for none troubled to hide it,
A host had prepared their destruction, but still they denied it.
They denied what they dared not abide if it came to the trail;
But the Sword that was forged while they lied did not heed their denial.
It drove home, and no time was allowed to the crowd that was driven.
The preposterous-minded were cowed – they thought time would be given.
There was no need of a steed nor a lance to pursue them;
It was decreed their own deed, and not a chance, should undo them.
The tares they had laughingly sown were ripe to the reaping.
The trust they had leagued to disown was removed from their keeping.
The eaters of other men’s bread, the exempted from hardship,
The excusers of impotence fled, abdicating their wardship, For the hate they had taught through the State brought the State no defender, And it passed from the roll of the Nations in headlong surrender!
Actor Daniel Wu on Bay Area hate crimes against Asians: ‘We’re tired of this’ | Datebook . For Asians, Asians are not the most likely race to commit crime against themselves. For Asians, the most common perpetrator by race is Black. But math is now racist. This is all fueled by upper middle class and wealthy whites who love to dump on lower class whites and virtue signal. Educated POC have learned the grift and play along to get their diversity and inclusion degrees and it’s a big hustle. Telling the black community to take responsibility for their actions doesn’t line any of their pockets.
Did the Covid-19 virus really escape from a Wuhan lab? | Matt Ridley Controversially, right in the middle of the spike gene of SARS-CoV-2 lurks a surprise. Unlike other SARS-like coronaviruses so far described, including RaTG13 and the pangolin viruses, SARS-CoV-2 has an extra 12 digits inserted, creating a “furin cleavage site”. This is a feature found in other pathogenic coronaviruses such as Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and is known to make viruses more capable of infecting different tissues in the body. Yet, this remarkable insertion was not mentioned in either of the WIV’s first covid-19 papers despite a close analysis of the spike gene. [continue reading…]
Anyone mildly interested in traditionalism—be it beautiful old architecture, the preservation of fading cultures, magnificent literature, or simply an instinctive aversion to the ugliness of modernity—has probably heard of the “Wrath of Gnon,” a mysterious Twitter user who seems to spend a lot of time unleashing beauty onto social media. He—I know he is a he because in an email exchange, he referred to a promise he made to “Mrs. Wrath” to remain anonymous—combines beautiful artwork with thought-provoking quotes, all designed to make the viewer consider his worldview: His Twitter bio simply reads “Traditionalist.” [continue reading…]
Then what is the answer?- Not to be deluded by dreams.
To know that great civilizations have broken down into violence,
and their tyrants come, many times before.
When open violence appears, to avoid it with honor or choose
the least ugly faction; these evils are essential.
To keep one’s own integrity, be merciful and uncorrupted
and not wish for evil; and not be duped
By dreams of universal justice or happiness. These dreams will
not be fulfilled.
To know this, and know that however ugly the parts appear
the whole remains beautiful. A severed hand
Is an ugly thing and man dissevered from the earth and stars
and his history… for contemplation or in fact…
Often appears atrociously ugly. Integrity is wholeness,
the greatest beauty is
Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things, the divine beauty
of the universe. Love that, not man
Apart from that, or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,
or drown in despair when his days darken.
“From a student radical/hippie/leftist of the Free Speech Movement/Vietnam Day Commitee era and a full-on Democratic Liberal in the decades after, I think I’ve evolved a politics that is neither right nor left but is, in its elemental nature, draconian. In the last 20 years, I’ve taken apart my beliefs with a sledgehammer. Now I’ve got to put the surviving parts back together with tweezers and other ‘shabby equipment, always deteriorating’.”
Real World Address for Donations, Mash Notes and Hate Mail
Gerard Van der Leun
1692 MANGROVE AVE
Chico, Ca 95926
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