Tag Archives: Holidays

HAPPY VETERANS DAY 2018

Veterans DayWell, it’s been ONE HUNDRED YEARS since November 11th, 1918 saw the end of World War One, or the Great War as it was called before anyone knew a second global conflict would occur. As we all know the date eventually became designated as the day for honoring the people who make it possible for the rest of us to lead our lives in relative safety. 

Irrational political partisans often forget that the only reason any of them have the luxury of sitting back and making pompous, self-righteous pronouncements is because of the men and women who go out and actually DO something.  Continue reading

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Filed under Neglected History

A THANKSGIVING TALE FROM THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR

truro-massTwo thousand fishermen from Cape Cod had gone off to enlist in the Continental Army, and in their absence the British had repeatedly landed raiding parties to harass the citizens.

Every man, woman and child on the Cape hated the soldiers and sailors of King George and would do anything to work them harm. When the Somerset was wrecked off Truro in 1778 the crew were helped ashore, but they were immediately marched to prison.

It was November – the night before Thanksgiving Day in fact – and ugly weather caused a British three-decker warship to yaw wildly and drift toward land with a broken tiller. No warning signal was raised on the bluffs; not a hand was stirred to rescue. The New Englanders who saw the accident watched with sullen satisfaction.

Ezekiel and Josiah Breeze – father and son – stood at the door of their cottage and watched the warship’s peril until three lights twinkling faintly through the gray of driving snow were all that showed where the enemy lay, straining at her cables and tossing on a wrathful sea.

They stood long in silence, but at last the boy Josiah said “I’m going to help the ship.” Continue reading

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Filed under Neglected History, Revolutionary War

OLIVER! – CONSIDER YOURSELF

Oliver!Thanksgiving is this Thursday, which means that on Wednesday Night Balladeer’s Blog will be showing its yearly Thanksgiving Eve presentation of Oliver! Yes, I know there’s no connection between Thanksgiving and that musical based on the Dickens novel Oliver Twist. 

The Christmas season is too packed with theme movies so I long ago chose Thanksgiving Eve for Oliver!  Here’s the song Consider Yourself as Oliver Twist meets the Artful Dodger:

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SILVERADO (1985)

Top Frontierado Movie

Top Frontierado Movie

Frontierado is coming up Friday, August 4th!

SILVERADO (1985) – I’ve never made any secret about how Silverado is, to me, THE official movie of the Frontierado holiday. The film has all the high spirits and family appeal of Star Wars plus the well-choreographed action scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark. On top of that Silverado features all the  highly stylized gunplay of the best Spaghetti Westerns but NOT the mud, blood, sweat and brutality of that genre.

This movie is pure escapism and features the kind of preternaturally accurate gunslingers that I jokingly  describe as “Jedi Knights in the Olllld West”. These guys (as well as most of the villains) can literally shoot the needles off a cactus, simultaneously draw and shoot with pin-point accuracy and can just “sense” when some low-down hombre might be pulling a gun on them, even with Continue reading

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Filed under FRONTIERADO, opinion

OLIVER! FOR THANKSGIVING EVE

"Please, sir, may I have some more?"

“Please, sir, may I have some more?”

It’s that time of year again! Just a note in the spirit of the holiday season to mention my favorite Thanksgiving Eve movie.

Every Wednesday before Thanksgiving I make a point out of watching the musical Oliver!

I know the musical sentimentalizes  several characters that Dickens portrayed in a sinister way in the book (especially Fagan and The Artful Dodger) but the finished product has always seemed very holidayish to me. Continue reading

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CLOUDS WITHOUT WATER (1909): ALEISTER CROWLEY FOR APRIL 1st

Clouds Without WaterWhat better way to mark April Fool’s Day than by commemorating one of the wittiest and most daring of practical jokes, one perpetrated by Aleister Crowley in those brilliant years before drugs and/or self-delusion fogged his mind. Decades before the pathetic “Peekaboo Crowley” of much renown Aleister was still churning out some very enjoyable poetry – some of it brilliant. The Sword of Song and Konx Om Pax are my favorite volumes of verse by “the Laird of Boleskine” … AFTER Clouds Without Water, that is.  

Clouds Without Water was not Crowley’s only literary practical joke, of course, but the humor of it resonates to this very day, thanks mainly to the never-changing air of pious self-righteousness that afflicts most of the world’s clergy-members. And not just pious self-righteousness but a habit of condemning in the strongest language works of art which their self-limited minds clearly don’t understand.

THE JOKE: Clouds Without Water was published under one of Crowley’s pseudonyms – Reverend Charles Verey. It was circulated to various ministries and teaching colleges allegedly as a condemnation of “the type of atheism and socialism” that the young and the bohemian were embracing. Crowley – writing as Reverend Verey – wrote a foreward and a closing prayer for the volume of poetry as well as (when you know the full story) HILARIOUS footnotes expressing the kind of simplistic moral outrage that only the most narrow-minded of holy-rollers can spout.  Continue reading

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Filed under Mythology

OLIVER: A THANKSGIVING EVE TRADITION

"Please, sir, may I have some more?"

“Please, sir, may I have some more?”

It’s that time of year again! Just a note in the spirit of the holiday season to mention my favorite Thanksgiving Eve movie.

Every Wednesday before Thanksgiving I make a point out of watching the musical Oliver!

I know the musical sentimentalizes  several characters that Dickens portrayed in a sinister way in the book (especially Fagan and The Artful Dodger) but the finished product has always seemed very holidayish to me. Continue reading

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Filed under A CHRISTMAS CAROL