Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other
John Steinbeck

Merry Christmas!
This years podcast for Christmas: Well, it’s big. Took a while to prune down to this size; nearly two and a half hours! And I think it’s pretty fine.
Lydecker Santa and Boy I let it get big because it’s been a cruddy year and we may be facing the end of the country. I mean, Donald Trump is the worst president since Nixon. Trump is going in declaring he’s a racist bigot crook and claims it doesn’t matter. We knew what he was when you elected him. Elected him with all the crime and corruption and hatred you knew he’d bring.
Yeah, the year was a mess so it’s all the reason to celebrate because it may be the last time. There’ll be times coming when the celebration means more but the last time we can rejoice in freedom is always memorable.
Too many of my friends died this year. All tragically because all dyings are tragic. More reason to wonder why I’m still hanging around. I dropped a 150 pound hunk of steel on my head this fall. It didn’t kill me. Then O tried to face plant myself while driving my shoulder into a brick wall. It hurt but I wiped the blood out of my eyes and finished walking the dogs. I’m still here. Maybe as punishment? I doubt that. I can still sing.
We had some fun this year, at least in this house. Had three foster dogs, two of them are in a better place already. One, Big Samson the Gentle is going to be ready for a forever home sooner than we’d think. He’s really a loving kind.
We moved. It was hell and torturously expensive. Still deep in debt over it.
It’s one of the small reasons this might be the last Christmas PodCast. BlueHost, who I’ve been pretty happy Getting The Tree with have announced a jacked up rate increase, about 70%! I don’t think I can afford that. I’ve made a point of ignoring all entreaties to monetize the site. Sometimes that gets me taken advantage of. It’s a small thing and doesn’t mean much. The site will vanish is all. But maybe I can find a cheaper acceptable alternative. I’ll look.
The site has had over two million unique visitors just to the main page, about seven million other people just looking for some music or to look at the pictures. I think that’s fine and gratifying. The pictures are worth seeing and the music worth hearing. HEY! Check out Material Issues great Christmas track “Merry Christmas Will Do” And Chris Von Sneidern’s track Holiday Special “Santa Claus,” for me they’re the new Christmas Anthems. But all the tracks are memorable, I think. I will always enjoy how spell correct tried to change Vibeke Saugestad into Vitamin Suggested. The podcast has already had about four thousand downloads and that’s just from the way I slop things around with all my non-announcements.
I do think you’ll like the music and I think it will make your spirits gladder and take you away from this place and to the place where dreams seem like yesterdays and hopes happen every tomorrow. It’s Christmas time and that means something. It’s the time you can believe Old Man Potter got arrested for stealing Uncle Billy’s money. A time when kindness is repaid with love and mercy. It’s that time when WWI troops stopped killing each other and sang carols to themselves and to their enemies and didn’t start shooting each other until December 26th. It’s a time when people are bigger than nations and we can take a minute and see the other person hiding there too afraid to speak. It’s Christmas.
As long as you can reach out and find a hand or a fuzzy head to hold and pet nothing is as bad as we think and all we are doing is what we need to do. And we believe that somewhere we are all trying to do the right thing.
Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah. Feliz Navidad. To a brighter New Year.


CandC 39
Aloha Christmas – Dukes Of Surf
Ski Party – Wondermints
Are You Ready For Christmas – BBBs
Merry Christmas Will Do – Material Issue
Even Santa Gets The Blues – Eugene Ruffolo
It’s Xmas (And Everyone Is Miserable) – Dirty Sidewalks
Help Me Forget – Solicitors
A Christmas Carol (For The Losers In Love) – Vibeke Saugestad
Christmas Eve Can Kill You – Everly Brothers
Christmas At Ground Zero – Weird Al Yankovic
A Surfer’s Christmas List – Surfaris
I Want An Alien For Christmas – Fountains Of Wayne
I Want Elvis For Christmas – Holly Twins (with Eddie Cochran)
(I Want) A Beatle For Christmas – Patty Surbey And The Canadian V.I.P.s
Santa Got Lost In Texas – Little Joe (Michael Landon)
Santa Got A DWI – Sherman Linton
Christmas For Cowboys – Jars of Clay
Come All Ye Faithful Surfer Girls – Chevelles
Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer – Tommy Roe
Jingle Bell Laugh – St. Nicklas
Jingle Bells Slide – Jack Scott
Hey There, St. Nicholas! (Plain White T’s vs Smokey Robinson) – Voicedude
Little Drummer Boy – Miracle Legion
Santa’s Got an Airplane (Version 2) – Beach Boys
Santa Claus – Chris Von Sneidern
Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Ronnie Spector And Darlene Love
Under The Christmas Tree – Swingin’ Neckbreakers
2000 Miles – Grip Weeds
Christmas Must Be Tonight – The Band
Merry Twist-Mas – Marcels
Come On Christmas – Barely Pink
It’s Always Christmas At My House – Huntingtons
Let It Snow – Me, You And Her
Look Around You (It’s Christmas Time) – Bobby Goldsboro
4th Of July / Christmas Rag – Peter Case
A Round About Christmas – Kingston Trio
Shchedryk (Ukranian Bell Carol) – Pink Martini
Jingle Jangle Christmas – Vibeke Saugestad
Christmas Would Not Be Christmas – Carpet Frogs
X-Mas – Epicycle
Everyday Is Christmas – SWAG
The Dawn Of Correction – Spokesmen
Twas The Night Before Xmas – Huey Piano Smith
White Christmas – Platters
The Bells Of St. Mary – Bob B Soxx And The Blue Jeans
Amazing Grace – Jeff Beck
Gloria in Excelsis Deo – London Symphony Orchestra
New Year’s Revolution (demo) – Graham Parker
The Christmas Song (Unreleased Alternate Take) – Nat King Cole
Silent Night – Everly Brothers And The Boys Town Choir
O Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles) – Mormon Tabernacle Choir

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MP3 Version that I’m to Jolly to wonder why MP3 still exists

Lies written in ink cannot disguise facts written in blood
Lu Xun

Indian Rug
Maybe I’m wrong but I think we all need a break from Donald Trump and autocracy and the hell we’ve visited upon ourselves.
Time to go home and see the family, especially those of us who’ve had our families torn away from us for the simple Thanksgiving crime of getting old. Cause the world sucks right now. The politicians who are foolish enough to call themselves our government are thinking about nothing more than getting rich. They keep forgetting us. They forget Matewan, Hoffa, Gutherie, Steinbeck and the right hand of the God which isn’t them but is us, the people who live and work and die. Who really don’t want to get rich, who don’t worry about position, who just want to see some reasons to smile.
Yeah they forget about us and what history has shown we will always do when with all their greed and their scheming and brilliant plans and their art of selfishness.
So I hope you get to be with your family whatever, whoever they might be and how many of them might be left. I hope you get to drive cause flying is sure a pain now, a terrible pain. Easiest way to control us is making it miserable to travel. It’s all right, they’ve never been able to close off our blue highways.
They’ll rely on the stolen freedoms to keep us occupied while they use their positions to steal and exploit. As usual they’ll forget that we’re here.

This podcast is made for DAP’s, for earbuds. If you can play it in your car that’s groovy, maybe even better. It will get you home and get you through rants from your uncle and Mom’s disapproving glances. It will get you home and then back. I promise.
Happy Thanksgiving.

I’m working on the Christmas Podcast!?!? Rah. It ought to be pretty good and some fun!

Cool And Crazy 38
The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Flogging Molly
The Impression That I Get – Mighty Mighty BossTones
God Only Knows – Nylons
Nancy Jean – Richard Barone
It’s A Hard Life – Roger Daltrey
Hallelujah! – Clique
Spam Song. – Monty Python
I Should Have Known Better – Sand Rubies
My Wife Thinks You’re Dead – Junior Brown
How Fine Can One Guy Be – Jelly Beans
I’m Gonna Steal Your Girlfriend – Teen Machine
Southern Love – Montesas
Gigantor – Dickies
Afterglow (acoustic) – Quiet Riot
Carol – Marauders
Malaguena – Ritchie Valens
Farmhouse – Phish
I Need Your Love – Boyfriends
Mercury Blues – David Lindley
Shut Down – Ramouns
Help You Dream – Blasters
C’Mon Everybody (alt) – Eddie Cochran
Dearest – Buddy Holly
Shanty Tramp – Betty Dickerson
Horn Of Plenty – Ribeye Brothers
Since I Lost Your Lovin’ – Lori Burton
Stop Your Sobbing (stereo) – Kinks
I Still Want You – Paul Collins’ Beat
Dark Side (live) – Shadows Of Knight
I Need You – Lolas
Juvenile Delinquent – Rubinoos
Lover Boy – Robert Gordon
Die Everyday – Martinets
Any Time At All – Magic Christian
In Time – Tearaways
Diane – Therapy?
Gee – Beach Boys
I’m A Believer – Rocking JoJo and His Red Hot Angels
Shake Your Tail Feather – Five Du-Tones

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But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more
Hans Christian Andersen

Zebra Rider by Benda

Click images for desktop size: “Zebra Rider” by Benda
I don’t sleep well. A lot of reasons; dreams, anxiety, pain. I find that listening to something distractting at least shuts down some of the issues. For a while the distraction has been old time radio podcasts. Dog Day Afternoon
Right now my favorite are the 1940/50’s Bud Collier “Superman”. Superman was always so rigid and cool despite that. He was something solid that never shifted his perspective.
One thing that the radio series reminds me of, very often vividly, is that Superman was not only for truth, justice and the American way, but that he defined the American way as good sportsmanship and tolerance and on the constant vigil against evil. Evil was corrupt politicians, hateful business men who tried to turn honest working men and women into slaves to further their own selfish ambitions. These evil men stirred up hatred and bigotry in order to control the workers they were intended to nurture and protect.
Superman fought this stuff in the 40’s but it still exists today, it doesn’t bother to conceal itself anymore, this apocalyptic evil, it has used super villain powers to twist and distort laws, placed evil men in power who believe that innocent men belong in prison and that justice is only for the wealthy.
You could join the Superman Crusader club and get a, probably, bit chin silver like adjustable ring for only a box top and a dime (in cash-no stamps). You did have to agree to be tolerant, a good sport and to always help others; debts owed to you are meaningless while debts you owe are paramount (not talking about money debts – the Kinney Corp tried to turn Superman into a shill – it couldn’t take) Pretty trivial stuff unless you mean it.
Most people think I’m pretty far right wing or they figure I’m a liberal. It’s because I believe in Greenshoes by Vargas

Click images for desktop size: “Green Shoes” by Vargas
people and I think that dogs and most other animals have as many rights as people.
I’d say I’m pretty right wing. For my little trite reason; I think that justice is ephemeral and what matters most is freedom.
I discard the present day right as fanatics and nuts, if only for this insane belief that corporations are people. Corporations have spents billions on creating the most corrupt Supreme Court in US history to get them to lie and claim that corporations are people. They’re not. They were never intended to be. It’s one of the reasons that people are allowed to hide behind the corporate veil. The corporate veil allows them to be inhuman and evil, androids with no emotions committed to profit at any human cost. It lets them hide and get tax benefits for their “smarts”.Satanic Rites Of Dracula
Recently BP was convicted for manslaughter for the people they killed in the Gulf Oil Spill. Dick Cheney’s corporation, Haliburton, was also convicted. There were different charges, I don’t remember them exactly. They were heinous.
Who is in prison for these offenses? No one because corporations aren’t people.
I’m just upset. Two weeks ago it looked like my wife and my remaining puppies might find a little bit of peace and some small ease. My wife’s step-father left her a small inheritance. It was his final hope that she have some of that small hope and peace.
I think part of the problem that ensued are partially my fault. He asked me about Mare being the executor. He was worried about his daughter being upset by this. My step father talked in ellipses and spirals. What I heard was that his daughter was always angry and had always been angry, even Grey_spider's_web_1440x900.jpg

Click images for desktop size: “Spider’s Web” by Grey
when she was a child. He loved her and was afraid of her feeling left out of his will. I thought there would be no problem with her being co-executor with my wife.
I was wrong. I’m sure her step-sister does not see herself as evil. She just spreads the lie that she is protecting herself. To herself she is probably just getting some revenge against my wife for marrying into her family and against her slacker brother because he dared to be born.
She refused to sign the papers disbursing the small estate. It cost my wife a couple hundred hours of work and it cost us a few thousand dollars and it cost us the house where we could live together.
I fear her father would be disappointed that she has gone against his explicit wishes. ( hope he came to his decision without considering my hasty advice.
Of course the [evil] stepsister waited until it was certain we lost our deposit etc. My wife defends her. That’s just one reason I married my wife.
I’m glad I don’t have any family anymore.
I still miss my puppy everyday. Some days more than others.

Mark Kelly – Husband of Gabby Giffords

Dark Day by Benny

Click images for desktop size: “Dark Days” by Benny
Mark Kelly is the husband of Gabby Giffords. Giffords was one of the victims of the Tuscon Arizonia shooting many believe was inspired by the hate speech of Sarah Palin. Th following is the statement read into the record at the sentencing hearing of Jared Loughner, the man who shot Giffords in the head. Giffords shot 19 people that day, including children, yet, inexplicably this damaged man is still a hero to too much of the Christian Right. They defend him and they claim that if another person at the public rally was armed it would have ended differently. Whether that means the other armed person might have shot Lougner or joined him in extending the carnage is always unclear to me.
I should clarify that in my mind the person not actively involved in stopping evil is supporting evil.
The text below is from the transcript. It made me cry.Creepy 1970

Mr. Loughner, for the first and last time, you are going to hear directly from Gabby and me about what you took away on January 8th, 2011 and, just as important, what you did not. So pay attention.
That bright and chilly Saturday morning, you killed six innocent people. Daughters and sons. Mothers and fathers. Grandparents and friends. They were devoted to their families, their communities, their places of worship.
Gabby would trade her own life to bring back any one of those you savagely murdered on that day. Especially young Christina-Taylor Green, whose high-minded ideas about service and democracy deserved a full life committed to advancing them. Especially 30-year old Gabe Zimmerman, whom Gabby knew well and cherished, and whose love for his family and his fiancee and service to his country were as deep as his loss is tragic. Especially Judge John Roll, whom Gabby was honored to call a colleague and friend and from whose interminable dedication to our community and country she gained enormous inspiration. Gabby would give anything to take away the grief you visited upon the Morrises, the Schnecks, and the Stoddards – anything to heal the bodies and psyches of your other victims.
And then there is what you took from Gabby. Her life has been forever changed. Plans she had for our family and her career have been immeasurably altered. Every day is a continuous struggle to do those things she was once so very good at. Gabby is a people person: she exudes kindness, creativity, and compassion. If she were not born with the name – “Gabby” – someone would have given it to her. Now she struggles to deliver each and every sentence. Her gift for language can now only be seen in Internet videos from a more innocent time.
Dream Forest by Geopics

Click images for desktop size: “Dream Forest” by Geopics
Gabby was an outdoor enthusiast. She was often seen rollerblading with her friend Raoul in Reed Park, hiking in Sabino Canyon, or careening down Rillito Wash Trail on her bike, as she was the night before you tried and failed to murder her. She hasn’t been to any of those places since, and I don’t know when she’ll return.
There’s more. Gabby struggles to walk. Her right arm is paralyzed. She is partially blind. Gabby works harder in one minute of an hour – fighting to make each individual moment count for something – than most of us work in an entire day.
Mr. Loughner, by making death and producing tragedy, you sought to extinguish the beauty of life. To diminish potential. To strain love. And to cancel ideas. You tried to create for all of us a world as dark
 and evil as your own.


 But know this, and remember it always: You failed.
Your decision to commit cold-blooded mass murder also begs of us to look in the mirror. This horrific act warns us to hold our leaders and ourselves responsible for coming up short when we do, for not having the courage to act when it’s hard, even for possessing the wrong values.
We are a people who can watch a young man like you spiral into murderous rampage without choosing to intervene before it is too late.Indian Boy at Crow Fair by Bama
We have a political class that is afraid to do something as simple as have a meaningful debate about our gun laws and how they are being enforced. We have representatives who look at gun violence, not as a problem to solve, but as the white elephant in the room to ignore. As a nation we have repeatedly passed up the opportunity to address this issue. After Columbine; after Virginia Tech; after Tucson and after Aurora we have done nothing.
In this state we have elected officials so feckless in their leadership that they would say, as in the case of Governor Jan Brewer, “I don’t think it has anything to do with the size of the magazine or the caliber of the gun.” She went on and said, “Even if the shooter’s weapon had held fewer bullets, he’d have another gun, maybe. He could have three guns in his pocket” – she said this just one week after a high capacity magazine allowed you to kill six and wound 19 others, before being wrestled to the ground while attempting to reload. Or a state legislature that thought it appropriate to busy itself naming an official Arizona state gun just weeks after this tragedy occurred, instead of doing the work it was elected to do: encourage economic growth, help our returning veterans and fix our education system.
The challenges we face are so great, but the leadership in place is so often lacking. In so many moments, I find myself thinking, “We need Gabby.” In letter after letter, I’ve seen that others agree. As Americans mourned the six who died, they also mourned the loss of a representative who embodied the service they realized they should expect from those they elect, the type of person our county desperately needs to provide leadership and solve problems. Gabby was a courageous member of congress. Willing to stand up to the establishment when the establishment was wrong. She was thirsty for partnership across the aisle and was an unrelenting champion for her 600,000 constituents. One of which was you.
There’s something else Gabby and I have been spending a lot of time thinking about. The way we Donna Ferrato

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Donna Ferrato
conduct politics must change. Sure it’s easier to win a debate if you can turn your opponent into a demon, but that’s not how we move forward. Not only does slash and burn politics make Americans cynical about their leaders, but it leads to bad ideas. It creates problems instead of solving the ones we have now.
Even amid all that was lost, Gabby and I give thanks for her life, her spirit, and her intellect, which are a continued force in this world despite what you’ve done. We exalt in sharing our lives with each other and with our family and friends.
As a city, Tucson has grown stronger. We love this community, and we love our neighbors. We are resilient, and the dynamism and compassion of our fellow Tucsonans will continue to push this city forward.
And there is what persists in Gabby: her love for this city, this state and this country. Her commitment to lifting us all up, and her ability to lead. Mr. Loughner, you may have put a bullet through her head, but you haven’t put a dent in her spirit and her commitment to make the world a better place.

 Mr. Loughner, pay close attention to this: Though you are mentally ill, you are responsible for the death and hurt you inflicted upon all of us on January 8th of last year. You know this. Gabby and I know this.


Everyone in this courtroom knows this.
You have decades upon decades to contemplate what you did. But after today. After this moment. Here and now. Gabby and I are done thinking about you.

Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will
Nelson Mandela

La by Boris Vallejo

Click images for desktop size: “La” by Boris Vallejo
I think Obama has let us all down. There’s no change and no hope. Somehow he turned into a Republican.Labyrinth
There’s no defense for his retracting the EPA rule that would have save the lives of about 1.5 million kids and saved suffering for millions more. It’s unpardonable as is his excuse for doing this is a pure Republican fabrication: It would be too expensive for cash heavy corporations to stop killing children ergo children have gotta go.
And the word is that his job program is to ape Georgia. He’s going to implement the Republican ideal and force people on Unemployment to work for free.
Georgia has 19 people enrolled in the program and 16 have gotten jobs from the program. Sounds like the perfect solution if you’re determined to be incredibly ineffective.
So far the only people Obama has pleased are the RIAA and the MPAA, He’s not fought a single battle and won. I don’t think he’s won a fight at all.
He’s allowed the rise of scum like Rick Perry and morons like Palin and Bachman.
He’s the worst leader since Bush.
What a disappointment. I voting for the Green Party.

I’m joining the Lane Kiffin Must Go movement too. Even though USC beat Minnesota is was a shameful exhibition. Five bonehead plays that would have gotten a high school coach called on the carpet are inexcusable in an elite program.
Going for 2 point conversions twice and failing? Going from the shotgun on 4th and 6? A non-existent running attack. Linebackers in disarray and a soft Tampa 2 that delights opposing OC’s? It was clear Frost by Ankhammentu

Click images for desktop size: “Frost” by Ankhammentu
he was giving an inferior team every chance to win the game. He was playing inane NFL football in college football. It has never worked and it’s embarrassing to see it being shoved down these loyal hardworking kids throats. The kids are winners the coaches are not.

I got my puppy’s blood taken today to do a full blood panel. I worry over her. Gentle dog is having a bad allergic reaction. I think it is due to this hot weather. Things are blooming that are not supposed to and producing things that negatively effect us all.
He’ll be fine but the medication hit him pretty hard. Poor guy.

The Best Laid Plans

Woman Wailing for her Demon Lover by Hannes Bok

Click images for desktop size: “Woman Wailing For Her Demon Lover” by Hannes Bok
So, I’ve been manager for two weeks and it sucks . . . What makes it worse is that the customers like me so business is up about 7% and about 20% on my shift, which means I’m even busier in a job I hate which really sucks.
Hentai It didn’t help that I put in 50 hours last week and no day off. I was told I was going to get a “write up” for working too much overtime. That makes so little sense to me I don’t want anyone to explain it to me.
Maybe things will be better when I get the next paycheck, but I doubt it sincerely.

Some fundamentalist Christian stranger went to a bit of trouble to get my e-mail address to chastise me for criticizing St Thomas Aquinas. I thought only Catholics recognized Saints. Shows a lack of knowledge of other religions on my part I guess.
So the church made him a saint. They took away St Christopher’s sainthood but I still have his medal. The church says the Pope is infallible but they took away St Christopher’s sainthood. I’ll stand by my opinion.
My memory is that Aquinas was the first guy ever canonized with no miracles to his claim or credit. And I also remember that he wasn’t canonized for his inane opinions about animals having the soul of a table, he was sainted for teaching and setting up the seminary process to churn out more and better priests. And the Catholic Church is reaping the benefits of that today.
There’s also no mention of how Aquinas survived with his contemporary who proceeded him into sainthood, St Francis. Francis proclaimed not only did animals have souls but that all creatures were his brothers and sisters in God and Christ. He preached to birds, wolves and dogs so that they might Untitled by John R Neil

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by John R Neil
also have redemption and enter heaven.
So when it comes to saints I’ll still to the fallen Christopher and St Francis and look at Aquinas as a political creation.
Once I lived with 4 dogs, 2 rabbits, a cockatoo, finches, a rescued sparrow and hummingbird (they’d fallen from their nests and refused to be released to the wild). When I’d come home they all had to come to me and meet me at the door, primarily to complain about the others in the house.
The sparrow liked to climb into my shirt pocket and have me tote him around. The dogs were always the most upset. The birds loved to take baths in their water dishes which drove the dogs insane and the rabbits. Well, I was convinced that the rabbits have more intelligence then most think or have the courage to accept. The rabbits would wait for the dogs to fall asleep and then they would stalk them on tip toe (!). Then when they were close enough they’d spring in the air and land right on the dog’s stomach!Grizzly
In the ensuing commotion the rabbit would run for all he was worth with the dog in hot barking pursuit. The rabbit always went for the bed. He ‘d go under it. When I looked under the bed what I’d see was the dog desperately trying to get at the bunny. For his part the bunny was munching calmly and contentedly on a piece of alfalfa he’d previously placed there; munching about 2 inches from the dog’s grasping jaws.
I have no idea why the rabbits thought this was a great joke and I also know that the dogs held no grudges as they would often sleep with the rabbits sleeping tightly against the dog’s stomachs.
Now I still think that the dog’s ability to forgive both the birds for using their water bowls as bath tubs and the rabbits for their violent practical jokes show that they have souls. If forgiveness and loving other creatures aren’t the foundations of having a soul then what good is a soul at all?

My puppy remains happy. She wants things that I don’t always understand. I’m lucky she can be patient with me, in an impatient way of course. She hasn’t made up her mind about how she feels about my new schedule. She likes me being home at night but misses me being there during the day. Another consideration of our future I guess.

And I’ve been having a wonderful time hacking my nook. I’ve added an email client to it. I tried it as a full fledged Android tablet and was not impressed. I prefer the Nook but with added features! Right now I’ve been rereading “Lone Wolf and Cub” I’m on volume 10 of 28!

Words mean exactly what I want them to mean
Humpty Dumpty via Lewis Carrol

Route 163 by Kuba Klewaniec

Click images for desktop size: “Route 163” by Kuba Klewaniec
Just finished re-reading Steinbeck’s, “The Grapes of Wrath”. Great book, great story.
What’s crazy is that a rare masterpiece of a book was actually made into a masterpiece of a movie.The Blue Dahlia
I’m used to a masterpiece being decided as much by the medium as the content. I can think of great books making good movies and great movies being made from decent books, But almost no great movies coming from great books.
I think its a testament to John Ford that the hardest thing about reading the book is shaking the near indelible images from the film. And its a testament to John Steinbeck that it doesn’t take long for Tom Joad to be talking in his own voice instead of Henry Fonda’s, and for the Preacher to become something big and real instead of a creation of John Carradine’s.
They’re both great works and they stand independently without complimenting each other. They remain unique and special each unto themselves. I think this is mainly due to the brilliance of the story. Stories about people finding their own way in a terrible land full of promise, promise withheld from the people, are always the stuff that fires up my imagination, It’s the sort of story that creates values and gives a vivid purpose to morals.
The book is what’s in front of me now. We know the story, the dust storms and the banks that created the depression. The rich bastards that perpetuated the depression for their own self serving purposes.
In the book the enemy is spelled out plain: “when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the oppressed. The great owners ignored the three cries of history. The land fell into fewer hands, the number of the dispossessed increased, and every effort of the great The Stranger DC Comics

Click images for desktop size: “The Stranger” by DC Comics
owners was directed at repression.”
One of the things that sets literature apart from fiction is the ability of the writer to touch a stone and to see that stone from the gravel pit and into a future that exceeds his own generation’s lifetime.
Steinbeck in telling the simple tragedy of the Joads driving a clunker 2,000 miles has set the stage for myth and metaphor. The simple plight of one family is amplified through it’s present into ours so that people become symbols and names fail the reality and the names become us.
Explicit in “Grapes of Wrath” is the rise of the Populist movement in America. Populism terrified the big owners. They had to brand it with false names calling the adherents commies and reds. They were no such thing.
Populism believed in keeping people alive. It believed in self government , in supporting yourself and each other. It believed in feeding the children and in giving a man the dignity befitting a humanBorn To Be Bad being. Not very lofty ambitions.
The billionaires called the populists, reds, thugs, they called them an evil that would destroy America and they refused to let them alone and worked their hardest to destroy them. Steinbeck summed it up, “And the great owners, who had become through their holdings both more and less than men, ran to their destruction, and used every means that in the long run would destroy them. Every little means, every violence, every raid on a Hooverville, every deputy swaggering through a ragged camp put off the day a little and cemented the inevitability of the day.”
See, the Koch Brothers haven’t done anything new. They learned a few things. They appropriated the populist moniker and replaced swaggering deputies with racist young people and soft frightened old people. They used fear to motivate the people who don’t have enough to arm them against the people who don’t have anything. Then they went after the unions, the workers, while they acquire and force out the small businessman while telling the small businessman it is all the fault of those other guys. The Koch Russ Tamblyn-West Side Story

Click images for desktop size: “Russ Tamblyn”
Brothers and their allies scream: It’s the Chinese or the Koreans or the Japanese and its your next door neighbor. It is everyone but me. And all we do we do to protect you until you become one of them.
Populism was bought with blood and gunfire and some of the blood was that of starved to death babies and all of it was from people who just wanted to work and have a home and enough to eat to stay alive. What we have today are the jack booted owners appropriating a name in an effort to side step the real suffering they are causing.
A better example of Tea Party faux populism is seen clearly in the film, “Meet John Doe” which is related to Steinbeck in its populist views and its view of the many by exploring the plight of the few. In “Meet john Doe” a genuine populist movement is financed then used and abused for personal gain by Eddy Arnold. Of course, in the movie as in real life, the populist characters survive the horrid abuse and exploitation because the faith in fellow man is greater than the faith in governments and establishments.Bride of the Gorilla
The book “Grapes of Wrath” is bleak because a world controlled by people who have forgotten their humanity in favor of acquisition is a terrible and bleak thing. The world of Ayn Rand jerks is a desolate and an unrich place not fit for habitation even by her adherents. Deeper and of great beauty is the life of those poor who struggle along and learn to live together with each other who see life as a small chance at pleasure and happiness.
“Grapes of Wrath” is a great book, meaning it’s entertaining, lively with a story to tell about people.When you tell a great story about people you manage to become pretty all encompassing, not sodden or turgid but inspirational even in despair.