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The Awful Truth and What’s on Your Playlist

The Awful Truth has a way of sneaking up on you. I once had a body type like Popeye’s Olive Oyl. Yet around age thirty, my clothes began to get mysteriously tighter. I went into denial. I even tried telling myself “they must be making my size smaller.” But there was no denying the Awful Truth.

Life is infested with Awful Truths. And sometimes the Awful Truth is ironic–as in the ill-timed arrival of what would otherwise be considered good fortune sense. In my case this arrived as the staggering and horrifying realization that I am smarter than at least three fourths of the population. This gave me the heebie-jeebies because I’ve always known how fundamentally stupid I am.

Yet stupidity does not appear to ruin one’s chances to go far as much as ignorance can. If you know the right people and are willing to be useful to them in an obsequious manner, a lack of brainpower is not necessarily a barrier to success.

Years ago, I happened to meet a person later elected governor of my state. She had eyes like a Chicken. Two terms on, a new candidate ran for the retiring governor’s place and got in. I attended a rally and (albeit from a distance) explored his eyes for the telltale sign of poultry and found it. This told me the Awful Truth about politics.

Writing is often about acknowledging, if not seeking, the Awful Truth. Often I have begun a project feeling one way about a subject then discovering that I really didn’t know as much as I had thought I did. The Awful Truth made itself clear.

Nowadays the internet is rife with op-ed material written by people who cannot write and know nothing about seeking the Awful Truth. These are Chicken-eyed writers. You see a stunning amount of opinion over fact anymore in Wikipedia and other once reliable sources. It cheapens the craft, degrades the platform, deadens intelligent discussion and should not be encouraged with desultory “likes” or silence. I very much would like to someday create a site that routinely exposes the flat out lies told on the internet and to cast a light on parasitical advertisers such as those I see preying on the fears of the elderly on otherwise laudable retro TV networks like Me TV. It is much too late to do anything about politicians.

I know that some sites claim to do such; but there isn’t enough self policing online.

I will call it The Awful Eye of the Chicken!

Enough clucking…

The Happy Truth

What a wonderful assortment of writers we have this week. Each one displays a keen awareness of the Awful Truth and the fearlessness needed to tell it.

We welcome Douglas Robbins to the site. The Unknown Writer led off the week and it is a wonderful blend of desperation and hope. It made me grieve for many wonderful creations out there that do not receive recognition because of all the word pollution emitted by the Chicken-Eyed Hacks. Maybe a writer needn’t get as rich as Stephen King to be happy, but, damn it, you should get something for the effort. That reminds me, commenting on stories is something, and they are free.

Rania Hellal is quickly making a great impression with her lovely narcotic prose. Tuesday’s The Hive underscores that sentiment. “And what is sin if God himself didn’t see it.” I double-Dog dare any writer to claim that they don’t wish they had written that line. I wish I had.

Our beloved Hugh Cron held the center of the week together with A Conversation About the Sixties. This also contains some great passages: “I’ve already seen a dead queen. My old uncle Jasmine had an open casket. He had a frock on. It came as a bit of a shock to my aunt.” There is always overwhelming honesty and humour in Hugh’s work that is also driven by fearlessness. He ain’t afraid to say it. He also never fails to congratulate writers on their stories; something that dates back all the way to 2014 (when Liz was a fey lass of eighty-eight). I do hope that the shy people catch the hint.

Thursday saw the return of David Rudd. The Fall and Rise of Uncle Albert is presented in an elegant style seldom seen anymore, which never flags. The wit is dry and sophisticated. And the strange run of the subject’s biography is highly entertaining.

Who else but the great Tom Sheehan should close the week. Horse-Collared is one of an amazing 209 and counting publishings and acceptances Tom has had with us alone. His amazing seventy-plus year career continues to thrive; and this tale set two-hundred years ago is indicative of his technique and imagination.

Well there they are. Please have a look if you haven’t yet. And maybe even offer each one a little compliment or encouragement. Another Awful Truth is the way we tend to become invisible as time goes by. Only the Chicken-Eyed don’t make an extra effort; thus they wind up on the menu..

Playlist 2023

I find the music playlists on our devices fascinating. They often say much about a person’s personality. It’s been a while since I last asked what are the next ten songs on your current playlist. Below is mine.

Slow Motion-Blondie

Only Yesterday-The Carpenters

In a Big Country-Big Country

Wow-Kate Bush

Eleanor Rigby-Beatles

After the Fall-Klaus Nomi

Days of Our Lives-Queen

Ode to My Family-Cranberries

I Almost Lost You There-Screaming Trees

A Fine Fine Day-Tony Carey (clip included at bottom)


14 thoughts on “The Awful Truth and What’s on Your Playlist”

  1. An elegant and well worded post. I shall from this day until my last day look for signs of poultry in politicians. I feel it may turn parliament into a KFC waiting room. I don’t have a play list as such. My husband tends to be in charge of our listening pleasure and I just whiine and complain about it. I do love me a bit of Bruce Springsteen though and of course Leonard Cohen – favourite at the moment Goodbye Angelina. Days of our lives is a real heartrending thing and of course anything by the Beatles is great by me. Well practically anything. thanks for this Leila.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Here in the USA we were recently told “You have to love this bill it will fix all the infrastructure for only a few trillion dollars”. Well what’s in it? Nobody knows. How could any one person know what four thousand pages cover. Don’t worry about the money, we’ll pay for it out of the multi-trillion dollar debt and tax rich people more. Maybe.
    Politicians’ skill is manipulation. There is no need to know more than a chicken. They have staff and campaign managers for that. I can easily imagine “Hey staff make me popular with farmers.” “OK, were on it. We’ll make a thousand page bill with tax breaks and subsidies.”
    Some like the left wing, some like the right wing, I like Buffalo wings.
    I have a playlist for cds for our high school 80th bidet. Johnny Ray, Quarterflash, Paul Revere And The Raiders (Paul Revere Dick was sometimes seen around Portland State College – he caused the breakup of my roommate and his girlfriend by boffing said girlfriend), fine cover band Johnny Limbo and The Lugnuts.
    Rock or Roll, pick either or both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Doug
      Working for the government has placed many stupifying documents in my hand. Not a single one has made it as far as my mind, for it takes three pages just to explain how to shrinkwrap a pallet of vending machine snacks. I hope that someday a law will be passed that prohibits deliberately confusing language. But no one will be able to read it.
      But the Geese are passing overhead today, so maybe it will soon be spring.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t look at the man behind the curtain. You may know about Portland / Metro coming up with special taxes on the rich (we don’t pay them being a part of the 90%), but I don’t like them. I’m convinced that a politician’s number one goal is to find ways to spend money. At the state level it must be paid for by some kind of tax, because income, property and other taxes are not enough. Every few years some politicians tells us we need to add (without replacing any of the existing taxes) a sales tax to get those visiters. States must pay for what they spend, Feds run up debts and print money.
        I’m sure your Canadian, UK, South Africa don’t have problems like this. Do you have a sarcasm emoji?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent post! Filled with wit and astute observations. Leila, are you somehow related to Dorothy P? I’ve recently rediscovered The Traveling Wilburys so my playlist is loaded with their songs, with End of the Line on top.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just jumping in here.
      The first ‘Travelling Wilburys’ album is close to being a perfect album. (With ‘Rumours’, ”Bat Out Of Hell’, ‘The Lexicon Of Love’, ‘The Sea Of Love’, ‘Innocent Man’, ‘Pump’, ‘Discovery’, ‘The Bad And The Lowdown World Of The Kane Gang’, ‘Can’t Stand The Heat’
      …And probably a few more that will come to me now that I have posted this!!)
      …Anything by Franky Miller and Dorothy Moore!
      …Oh and Etta James!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Goddam, WP jumped my comment for David.
        Hello Hugh!
        Give me Etta over Aretha any day. She and Billie Holiday were fantastic, save (if their songs are accurate) for their taste in men!


      2. Come with me to the sea, the sea of love. Phil Phillips if my useless brain is working. One of my 150,000 favorite songs. Anything by Etta James going back to “Dance With Me Henry”. “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, many from the lamented Marvin Gaye, but certainly the groove of “Got To Give It Up”, Fats Domino “The Fat Man”, Ray Charles “Two Years Of Torture”, “I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town”, Elvis “Stranger In My Home Town”, “Feel So Bad”, Stones “Live With Me”, Aretha “Daydreaming”, “Rock Steady”, I’ve got another few thousand that shouldn’t be missed.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you, David
      You are always generous and kind.
      Upon Roy Orbison’s death in late 1988 it was rumored that Freddie Mercury was invited to join the Willburys , but had to decline due to his health. Such a shame, the illness curse on that group, but they were brilliant.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi Leila,
    This may become a posting in itself!
    I don’t know if I can explain this clearly. I will seek out fact but I will never believe it and if I do use it, I use it ironically or with a touch of sarcasm. That way if it is correct folks think I’m being ironic or sarcastic and if it isn’t, well the same thing happens. To me that’s a win / win!!
    When you touch on a writer swimming in their opinion more than fact is that old problem of their voice bleeding into a story. They should keep that for essay’s. I think the best way to write is to go against what you believe, that way you question and consider. Let’s be honest, it is very difficult to try and balance a topic if you feel strongly about it. So in a weird way, going the opposite way to how you feel is a lot easier!
    There are some cracking observations from you within this post!
    Thank you so much for the kind words on my story of last week, your opinion and comments mean so much!!
    And finally, the playlist. Well I have a bit of a problem as I was wanting to shuffle my Amazon Music playlist and let you see the first ten that turned up on shuffle – But it’s not playing! So what I did was pick a song, the first one and see what I could find on YouTube from there that I either have or would want.

    – ‘In The Midnight Hour’ (Roxy Music version. All versions are good but I have some cracking memories regarding the ‘Flesh And Blood’ album)
    – ‘Party Fears Two’ – The Associates.
    – It’s A Mystery’ – Toyah (I don’t have this one!)
    – ‘Will You’ – Hazel O’Conner
    – ‘People Are Strange’ – Echo And The Bunnymen version.
    – ‘Understanding Jane’ – The Icicle Works.
    – ‘The Story Of The Blues’ – The Mighty Wah! (Another one I need to include)
    – ‘Broken Land’ – The Adventurers
    – ‘Killing Me Softly’ – The Fugees. (Need to find this too. Lauren Hill’s voice is a bit special.’)
    – ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ – Coolio. (I don’t know why I adored this from the first time I heard it but I do!)

    And lastly, I didn’t think I knew who Tony Carey was so I did a wee bit of research. (Cracking song by the way!) He played with Rainbow who I loved and I see that he was on the ‘Rainbow Rising ‘ album. ‘Run With The Wolf’ and ‘Tarot Woman’ were two outstanding songs in a belting album. Sad to see a picture of Cozy Powell in that line-up!! (He was killed in a car-crash when he was trying to reach his girlfriend who was having trouble with her ex) That guy did play with some of the GREATS!
    Brilliant post that made me think on many a thing and re-discover Toyah! (What a braw wee lady!!)


    1. Too old and American to know any of those except the last two on the list. “Killing Me Softly” definitely the Roberta Flack version. No rap on my list – very few after the 1960s (Sheryl Crow). I frequently like Al’s version better than the original. Saw him briefly I think in a Sonoma County California celebration. “I’ll Repair For You” Friends parody.

      Liked by 1 person

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