May 31, 2006

May 31, 2006: #1 Bud Talkinghorn

My apologies to you, Bud. I have been preoccupied for a bit and these should have been posted earlier.

Can the Wiggles save music?

I am sure that the first question that needs answering is "who the h*** are The Wiggles? They are four Australians, who used to play different bands in Australia to little lasting acclaim. They met when studying for education degrees. The men were dismayed at what music was being offered to pre-schoolers so they took Anthony Field's songs from his Cockroach days, rejiggered them to a 4-5 year old's interests. After four years of fronting a popular Aussie kids show, they were picked up by Disney. Meanwhile, Harold Chizick, a Toronto toy maker, began selling Wiggles toys, guitars, even funiture. The whole Wiggles thing exploded into mega-stardom--200 tours a year, millions of videos sold and their faces plastered on everything from Motts Juice to Yoplait.

If they were just another kiddie band, one could say "Who cares?" But their genius for me is that they lard their tunes with jazz, country-rock, R&B, pop, and Motown rhythms. Besides which, they use every instrument imaginable. For instance, how many kids get to hear zithers, fuzz pedal, bouzoukis, pump organs and trombones? Their legions of fans are being exposed to the great musical traditions of our age. Perhaps later on they will be able to enjoy music other than the tin-eared "garage rock", or the equally hideous rap/hiphop that infests the download sites. Look, I have access to a great music library, so can peruse numerous new "supertalents" like Beck, Oasis, and Wilco. They simply never appeal to my ear. They try too hard to be different, which unfortunately often translates into tunelessness. Or at worst, cacophony. It can be hoped that the immense popularity of The Wiggles will attune the youngsters' ears to a wide, melodic brand of music. John Fogerty. of CCR, appeared on one of their videos and proclaimed them extremely talented songwriters and musicians. Coming from him, that is high praise.

© Bud Talkinghorn

The Caledonia Protests

Caledonia is merely the latest illegal act by an Indian tribe. If the "activists" were non-native, the barricade would have been torn down days ago. And you may bet that resisters would have been tear gassed and arrested. However, after Oka and Ipperwash, the police have adopted a velvet glove approach if the protesters are aboriginal. The blacking out of the town, when they tore down a transmitting tower to re-enforce their blockade should have been the final outrage, but the cops did nothing. No doubt their orders came directly from the Premier's office. Those protesters might be Liberal voters. Besides, the P.M. has to listen to the endless elites' drone about "residental schools" and "historic injustices". It was only when the natives brought in a backhoe to tear up the main road into town, that the townspeople went ballistic and attacked the natives. As one Caledonia woman on CTV stated, "This is terrorism. And it is never going to stop." If the authorities don't get some backbone, it never will.

Perhaps, with a new Indian Affairs Minister, we will get some some semblance of control over the anarchy that characterizes a number of reserves. Then there is the vast fraud and mismanagement of the $9 billion that they take in every year from government coffers. The Eskasoni Reserve in Nova Scotia (pop. a few thousand) is run by a chief making more than the Prime Minister. His reserve has all the pathologies that plague so many reserves. There have been reports (from someone who had occasion to know) of widespread financial abuse, child neglect, and rampant alcoholism observed. Why is this chief making almost a quarter of a million dollars to manage such a squalid community? I hope that absurdities like this will be history when Jim Prentice gets rolling. Phil Fontaine and his ilk will be displeased, but the taxpayers (natives included) will be overjoyed.

If these protesters were gainfully employed, they wouldn't have the time for their theatrics. However, since our Supremes decided that "oral history" must be given legal standing in land claims, we have seen ever more demands based on dubious evidence, i.e. "The elders have declared that the Sky God gave all of present day Vancouver to the Gwinchin tribe." ******, the Ottawa nabobs, with their political correctness, have turned the Indians into greedy landgrabbers. Given their proclivities, our betters would turn the whole native shebang into a cultural petting zoo. Enough already!

© Bud Talkinghorn

Ray Nagin to the rescue

It never ceases to amuse me when a complete failure like Nagin gets re-elected for mayor. He ruled over a city with one of the highest crime rates and welfare dependancies in the nation. Still, nothing beats Marion Barry getting re-elected in Washington D.C., after he brought his mistress back to D.C. so they could party down--with a little crack cocaine. Billed under miscellaneous expenses. Then there was that little embezzlement charge. However the black citizens saw nothing odd about this and brought him back.

Nagin's municipal government had to be the first responder in Katrina, yet he allowed the city buses and the 400 school buses to be drowned, when they could have been evacuating his "chocolate" constituency. What does he think when he sees the footage of that colossal disaster he was partly responsible for? Obviously for the voters, the race card trumped common sense. The city of New Orleans is still a disaster zone, with whole wards a jumble of flattened houses and junked cars. Yet, Nagin called for thousands of citizens to return within weeks of the hurricane. His re-election is right up there with Govenor Huey Long's. Long said at a stump meeting in New Orleans, "My opponents say I have stolen millions from you folk. Well, I might have, but for every million I might have stolen, I've spent twenty million on you." He was re-elected. Isn't that a fabulous moment in politics? Nagin must have studied Long's playbook. Maybe with the disappearance of large numbers of public guests / criminal citizens, he will be able to raise the standard of living of the Crescent City's populous. America will be watching.

© Bud Talkinghorn


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