OT - Where are we headed as a society?

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Last evening one of the news stations was doing street interviews. I saw a relatively intelligent and affluent young man compare the death of Michael Jackson with the death of a president.
This morning all of the news stations are running seemingly full time coverage on this national tragedy. One broadcasts appeared to be from the senate floor.
All of the internet news and hub pages are plastered with his picture and stories of the untimely death.
They are waiting on toxicology reports to see what he had in his body when he died.
Granted, as a young man, Michael Jackson was a stand-out performer from a very talented family. Then we watched him slowly go nuts. He changed his color. He destroyed his looks with countless body modifications. At one time he appeared to be changing his sexual appearance. He hung his infant son over a balcony rail by one leg. He became a nearly recluse nut that built a fairly-land to attract children.
What in the hell is wrong with a society that regards such a creature as a fallen hero?
Good Grief!
RonB
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We slow down and gawk at the scene of an accident. Human nature to be spellbound by the bizarre. Hence the joke: Q: How many Torontonians does it take to change a lightbulb? A: 400,000. One the change the bulb, 399,999 to slow down and take a look at the old bulb.
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Robatoy wrote:

There weren't nearly that many people there. ;-)
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RonB wrote:

Ummm, no, actually he didn't. That clip has been on TV about a thousand times since yesterday. While Jackson's act was incredibly reckless and revealed more about what a messed-up freak he was than we already knew, he had both hands on the kid's body, he wasn't dangling him by a leg.

Hopefully most of the people mourning Jackson are thinking of when he was undeniably a brilliant entertainer. Not my cup of tea, but it would be silly to pretend he wasn't extremely good as a performer. Too bad he lost his mind along the way of course.
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Right, but so what? Why should an entertainer be regarded as a hero? To me, a hero is the cop who puts his life on the line every day to guard the safety of people he will never meet. The firefighter who runs into a burning building when you or I would run out. The nurse who works herself ragged every day caring for strangers. The EMT working frantically to stabilize an accident victim in the desperate hope of keeping him alive long enough to reach the ER. The retired businessman volunteering at the local library, teaching children to read. The soldier. The blood donor. The teacher. The hospice volunteer.
Those are the *real* heros. Not Michael Jackson.

Indeed, but again -- so what? There are some 15 to 20 million other people in this country with some form of serious mental illness, whose stories are just as tragic. They will never be celebrated by the news media, nor mourned by strangers, but their lives are no less important. I watched, over two years, as an accelerating descent into paranoia turned a once pleasant and outgoing colleague into a surly and suspicious brute. She is equally a child of God with Michael Jackson, and therefore of no less value, yet her story will never be told by CNN, nor, when she passes, will the local newspaper proclaim above the fold (as it did today) "We Have Lost an Icon".
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Since his death, a credit, I've heard several times, incorrectly attributed to him, is the creation of the music video, now a standard in the music industry. It was the Beatles that created the first music video and it was Paul McCartney that recommended, to Michael Jackson, to start making them for his own music.
Sonny
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Sonny wrote:

Interesting history of music videos at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_video#Antecedents:_1910s.E2.80.931950s. I remember seeing a Cab Calloway video in a theater in the 1940s sometime.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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jo4hn wrote:

Here is a 1932 "music video" of sorts ... three middle class white girls from NOLA singing with "soul", before it was invented:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
Afn3Z-BWI
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Swingman wrote:

Good choice. The Boswells were quite popular before the Andrews'. Check out the videos and look here for a quick bio: http://www.singers.com/jazz/vintage/boswell.html
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jo4hn wrote:

A friend and fellow musician was writing a book about Connie Boswell sometime in the mid 70's. She was fortunate to have spent some time with and interviewed Connie shortly before she died. I have been fortunate enough to have the writer as a house guest many times since, and we still listen to the interview/talk about little else when together.
Last I heard the book is still being worked on ... <just like a musikian to procrastinate for 30 years>
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That was AWESOME! Thanks for that. I'm a huge fan of the Roches, Dan Hicks' Hot Licks and stuff like that. Nothing quite like three or more women finding 'Harvey' in the harmony. Vocal harmonies, done right, can make the hair on my arms stand up straight. Mostly when done with all natural women, but the guys can do it too. Sometimes a combo, like Mammas and The Papas. (They coined 'Harvey' as that sweet thing in the attic when harmonizing voices become one voice.) Hollies, Peter & Gordon, Everly Brothers, CSN&Y on a good day, .... the list is long, but it has a common thread. What do we have now? Auto-Tune?
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"Robatoy" wrote:

the list is long, but it has a common thread. What do we have now? Auto-Tune?
Near as I can tell, the Everly Brothers had one hit in 1958 and nothing since.
Are they still performing?
Are they still alive?
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Everly Brothers --- Wake Up Little Susie Everly Brothers --- All I Have To Do Is Dream Everly Brothers --- Bye Bye Love Everly Brothers --- Devoted to you Everly Brothers --- Kathy's Clown Everly Brothers --- Let It Be Me Everly Brothers --- Lucille Everly Brothers --- Til I kissed Ya Everly Brothers --- Bird Dog
Just I few I have.

Haven't a clue...
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Robatoy wrote:

If you like vocal harmonies in a men's choral setting try
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WSbq3TCcd0
. Sit back, relax, and listen...     j4
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Robatoy wrote:

Hey, don't knock Auto-Tune ... saved many a take in the studio, and the only reason I was able to pinch hit on a background vocal as a LAST resort! :(
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Swingman wrote:

>> What do we have now? Auto-Tune?

Nova on PBS had a segment with the guy who invented Auto-Tune last evening. Nothing new, just sad to once again see how this culture will abuse anything it gets its hands on.
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When Cher came out with it swinging, I thought it was kinda cool,,,once. Then Kid Rock was all over it. Now I can't stand the sound of it. You are not supposed to hear it!!!!!
Without it, there would not be a Celine Dion. Fact: she can't carry a tune or hit a note if her life depended on it.
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Robatoy wrote:

Agreed. I used it sparingly mixing in the studio to save an otherwise outstanding take where you couldn't comp the vocal for some reason ... maybe just pulling one or two suspect notes into tune ... the kind of off pitch note that no one could agree whether it was really off or not, particularly with I, III, V harmony parts
I probably used it most often on upright bass to correct intonation problems due to both the instrument, and the player. A lot of jazz bassist, even the well known ones, simply do not play in tune, ever!
Of course, this was all done in mix down ... I, and any musician I know worthy of the name, wouldn't waste time playing with anyone who had to use it live ... there are too many talented people around that will waste your time equally well. :)
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Doug Miller wrote:

No offense, but I don't see anyone but you using the word hero in reference to Michael Jackson.
People get silly over famous actors, singers and so on, especially if they were of a certain age when that artist's work was popular. Look at how millions of people reacted when John Lennon died, or Elvis, or Jerry Garcia, or Pavarotti (whose funeral was a national event in Italy). If you grew up listening to a performer's music you're going to have an emotional attachment to some degree, it's human nature. As to the deaths of famous people getting more press coverage than regular folks, well duh. Surely this isn't the first time you've noted this phenomenon?
Of course part of this is the former profession of journalism (now a branch of the entertainment industry) going into a feeding frenzy just as they do when a celebrity is involved in almost anything, must less dying unexpectedly. Is it a bit nauseating? Sure, but it's been that way for awhile now, it isn't a situation unique to Michael Jackson.
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On Fri, 26 Jun 2009 13:59:33 -0700, DGDevin wrote:

Guess that makes me inhuman. I can think of several singers that I enjoyed listening to at different times in my life, but I never gave more than shrug and a "too bad, I'll miss the music" when they died. I've never understood the fascination with celebrities.
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