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The Cam Before The Storm.

This is a webcam of the centre of New Orleans. The link is HERE

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Part of the Union?

I had a chuckle at Mr Eugenides article about going to the Royal Mile to see Scotland’s victorious team GB members returning with their medals in open topped bus fashion. Mr. E conducted a quick survey to find a union jack in amongs the plethora of flags on display and in a half hour search in ‘Scotland’s most unionist city’ found a grand total of one. Even Chris Hoy was wrapped in…………..a saltire!

The TV Evangelists (1) Jimmy Swaggart

Jimmy Lee Swaggart (born March 15, 1935 in Ferriday, Louisiana) is a Pentecostal preacher and pioneer of televangelism who reached the height of his popularity in the 1980s. Swaggart is first cousin of recording artists Jerry Lee Lewis and Mickey Gilley. The sons of three sisters, all of them share similar middle names and play the piano. All were born within a year of one another.

Swaggart is the son of a Baptist minister and started preaching on street corners at the age of nine. He established a media empire buying up radio stations to separate as many gullible Americans from their money as possible ‘spread the word of God’ but by the mid 70’s his attention had turned to TV. By 1983 he was the most popular TV evangelist in the USA.

In 1986, Swaggart exposed fellow Assemblies of God minister Marvin Gorman, who was accused of having an affair with another pastor’s wife, who was at the time undergoing counseling with Pastor Gorman. Some said this was done out of fear that Gorman was taking away from Swaggart’s audience and donations. Gorman was based in New Orleans and was adding stations throughout the southern region and was beginning to add stations on the west coast and the northeast. Gorman was also in the planning stages for a weekday telecast. Once exposed, Gorman was defrocked from the Assemblies of God and his ministry all but ended.
The following year, Swaggart exposed fellow Assemblies Of God televangelist Jim Bakker’s sexual indiscretions and appeared on the Larry King Show, stating that Bakker was a “cancer in the body of Christ.” He and similarly-minded Baptist evangelist Jerry Falwell investigated Jim Bakker and eventually discovered his indiscretions. In 1987, Jim Bakker’s ministry was falling apart as a result.

As a retaliatory move, Marvin Gorman hired a private detective to follow Swaggart. The detective found Swaggart in a Louisiana motel on Airline Highway with a prostitute, Debra Murphree, and took pictures of the tryst. Gorman presented Swaggart with the photos in a blackmail attempt to force Swaggart to come clean, but Swaggart refused. Gorman then presented the pictures to the presbytery leadership of the Assemblies of God, which decided that Swaggart should be suspended from broadcasting his television program for three months. Perhaps only by watching the video above can anyone jusdge the level of Swaggart’s contrition.

On February 21, 1988, without giving the details of his transgressions, Swaggart tearfully spoke to his family, congregation and audience, saying, “I have sinned against you, my Lord, and I would ask that your precious blood would wash and cleanse every stain until it is in the seas of God’s forgiveness.” On a New Orleans morning news show four days later, Murphree stated that while Swaggart was a regular customer, they had never engaged in intercourse.

Against the ruling of the governing body of the Assemblies of God, Swaggart returned to his television pulpit long before his three-month suspension expired. He stated, “If I do not return to the pulpit this weekend, millions of people will go to hell.” Believing that Swaggart was not genuinely repentant in not submitting to their authority, the Assemblies of God immediately defrocked Swaggart, removing his credentials and ministerial license.

On October 11, 1991, Swaggart was found in the company of another prostitute, Rosemary Garcia, when he was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol in Indio, California, for driving on the wrong side of the street. According to Garcia, Swaggart stopped to proposition her on the side of the road. When the patrolman asked Garcia why she was with Swaggart, she replied, “He asked me for sex. I mean, that’s why he stopped me. That’s what I do. I’m a prostitute.”Rather than confessing to his congregation, Swaggart told his flock this time that “The Lord told me it’s flat none of your business.” His son Donnie then announced to the stunned audience that his father would be temporarily stepping down as head of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries for “a time of healing and counseling.”

Swaggart’s escapades have been celebrated in song at least twice from two very different sources. First of all this revenge attack from Ozzy Osbourne who had been attacked by Swaggart as being a Satanist for his 1980 record ‘Suicide Solution’.

And this is the third part of Frank Zappa’s Texas Motel Medley which uses three Beatles songs to satirize TV evangelists in general and in this song Swaggart in particular.

http://boxstr.com/files/3357134_kkepp/108%20The%20Texas%20Motel%20Medley.mp3

(Transcription from Rochester, NY, March 11, 1988 by Douglas Obrecht)

Let me take you down, ’cause we’re going to… the Texas Motel.
Don’t mind the smell.
It’s nothing to get hung about.
Please leave your cash on the table.

Weeping looks better with eyes closed…
While I’m confessing all my sins.
[Oh, please forgive me. Oh, I’ve sinned!]
It’s getting hard to plook someone, but it all works out.
It’s all pornography to Jim.

Let me take you down, ’cause we’re going to… the Texas Motel.
We might go to hell.
But we’ll have lots of company.
Falwell and Pat and that weasel.

No one knows who’s in my dream…
[Bud McFarlane, ladies & gentlemen]
I mean it must be high or low. (I think)
[freshly indicted] I mean, I can’t you know, tune in, but it’s all right.
[He can plea bargain this one]
That is, I think it’s not too bad.

Let me take you down, ’cause we’re going to… the Texas Motel.
Don’t mind the smell.
It’s just some jizz from Jimmy-boy.
How ’bout some hay for the donkey?

No one knows, sometimes think it’s me…
[Ed Meese, ladies & gentlemen] But you know, I know when it’s a dream.
[I think]
I think I know, I mean, I guess, but it’s all wrong.
[Wait a minute, that’s right]
That is, I think I disagree. [Uhh…]

Let me take you down, ’cause we’re going to… the Texas Motel.
Don’t mind the smell.
It’s just some old pornography.
Just keep on strokin’ that sausage.
Just keep on strokin’ that sausage.
[Jimmy-boy!] Just keep on strokin’ that sausage.

Source of information: Wikipedia

The Fab Four -Where Do You Stand?

A friend has done an article on his blog (sadly private so I can’t post the link) pointing out that this week marked the 42nd anniversary of The Beatles’ last live performance (excluding of course the impromptu show on the roof of the Apple building in 1969).

beatles

The heyday of the moustache.

The fab four invoke strong opinions. Apparently you either love them or hate them. I’m not so sure. They were such a significant part of my childhood and provided much of the soundtrack. I do think though that they were very much in the right place at the right time. I can’t remember the last time I deliberately listened to a Beatles track. What I’m trying to say is that I’m abivalent to them. How about you?

The Calton and Bridgeton

I did a wee bit of looking around about Calton following my posting (The Poverty Ladder) yesterday. There’s a good Wikipedia page HERE from which this passage comes:

“The area became known for its weaving industry. On 30 June, 1787, a meeting of weavers was held on Glasgow Green. Their wages had dropped because of the increased importation of cheaper foreign textiles. Most of the workers decided to take strike action, although some accepted lower wages and carried on working. The dispute came to a head on 3 September, 1787: when violence erupted after some striking weavers tried to seize materials from weavers who had carried on working.
The military were called in and a detachment of the 39th Regiment of Foot opened fire on the demonstrators. Six of the men killed at the scene were locally called ‘martyrs’ and some of them were buried in the Calton Cemetery off the main London Road. The families of the men could not afford a headstone although, a century later, a memorial was raised to commemorate their actions.”

And almost inevitably for a deprived Glasgow area……..

“The area has experienced sectarian tensions for generations; the Orange Order have a particular foothold in this area and there are also Irish Republican organisations present. This is reflected, albeit much declined in modern times, in gang and sectarian related graffiti. In the 1960s, an area of the Calton was known locally as Tongland, prominently marked out as such by graffiti. Tongland appears in Gillies MacKinnon’s 1995 movie Small Faces.”

Bridgeton Cross

In my previous life in the mobile disco business, I did a bit of work just along the road from Calton in Bridgeton, which also borders Glasgow Green. In particular we did work in a pub just down from Bridgeton Cross and near to the Orange Lodge. Man it was mean. There were guys with knives, drug dealers and psychos – and that was just the bouncers! That was where you earned your stripes! DJ’s who worked there never feared going anywhere!
I remember one day coming up the road from Glasgow Green to drop the gear off for that night’s entertainment (the actual gig was usually delegated to someone else!). There was a commotion outside the Orange Lodge and several police vehicles redirecting traffic. There was also a fire engine. It turned out that one of the members of the lodge with paramilitary links to Northern Ireland had occasion to need a place to hide some explosives. Unfortunately he had stored them too near the gas oven in the kitchen and when some members arrived to cook up the Saturday pies the heat had got to the semtex or whatever it was causing an explosion! or at least so the story went.

I’m sure there are many similar tales of the Calton and Bridgeton.

The Poverty Ladder

Sometimes an item on the tv news can surprise you. Sometimes there will be a story which will disgust you. Sometimes the reaction may be shock or horror. Combine them all for this one. A World Health Organisation study has concluded that Calton , in the east end of Glasgow, has a male life expectancy of 54. Lenzie, a suburb to the north of the city, and a very pleasant one at that, boasts a life expectancy of 82. Lenzie is less than 15 minutes drive from Calton

Four times as many adults of working age in Calton are unable to work due to illness compared with the national average; nearly three times as many people are admitted to hospital; and 61 per cent of adults have no qualifications, compared with 33 per cent in Scotland overall. Calton has the lowest household income of any area in the UK. What little disposable income there is is often spent on booze, fags and junk food.

Last night on BBC news an Indian man was interviewed. He earns the equivalent of £200 per month. He spoke very well and explained that whilst he was poor he had enough to feed and clothe his family and give them a good diet. His life expectancy is eight years more than it would have been had he lived in Calton.

So while the European Parliament spends millions dreaming up new human rights to shower on us like so much confetti (and probably sending overseas aid to India), the UK government updates Trident and assists America in invading foreign countries, what about areas like Calton?
John Mason, the newly elected SNP MP for the area, said: “These statistics are shocking, but sadly familiar. Poor health has characterised the East End of Glasgow for far too long. It is absolutely inexcusable that life expectancy in Glasgow is lower than that of India, where 80 per cent of the population live in poverty.

“Clearly, the area’s challenges are complex and will not be resolved overnight, but action must be taken on the blights that have held us back for too long. For example: measures to tackle excessive alcohol consumption and a lack of exercise as well as addressing maternal health, drug and alcohol misuse and early-years provision.”

Meanwhile in other news, the seventh Duke of Sutherland has offered the nation two of his paintings for the bargain price of £100 million. The fist Duke had a rather less cilvilised way of making money. He cleared thousands of families from his estate and burned their houses to make way for sheep in the Highland clearances. He was the richest man in Britain.

The great and the good are wringing hands to explain how important it is for Scotland to retain these paintings. Meanwhile life expectancy in Calton is 54.

Pass the sick bag.

Scotland Goes Pop! (7)

I remember very clearly the first time I heard this record. I was a DJ at the Saints and Sinners in Glasgow (Now KIng Tuts) and had received a promotional copy of it. It was 1984 and to be honest I wasn’t keen on much of the music I was playing at the time. The ‘new romantic’ vibe was still happening and although that threw up a few decent records, like punk it was really just a fashion thing with music piggy backing it (stands back for alternative view).

Anyway I listened to this and it spoke to me immediately. I loved the whole imagery and sound. It seemed to me that The Blue Nile had raised the bar by some considerable distance with this single. Funnily enough I bought the album (A Walk Across the Rooftops) soon afterwards and I struggled with it for a long time before it became embedded as one of my favourite albums of all time. The album was released by Linn Records. Linn were (are) are Glasgow based hi-fi hardware company and they picked up on AWATR as an album which could promote their products.

My liking for this record began something for me which has lasted nearly quarter of a century. During that time only four albums have surfaced but we are told there is another one on the way (I’m not holding my breath!) In the meantime if you haven’t heard A Walk Across The Rooftops, Hats or Peace At Last (or High) they are available at knock down prices. What are you waiting for?