Art is The Very Essence of Our Being

September 29th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

artlascouxIngmar Bergman at an advanced age unbelievably got into a physical altercation with a man who criticized his work and until the day that he, Mr. Bergman died, never forgave the man who merely wrote a negative review about him. I saw an interview on a NetFlix special, and was shocked to hear Ingmar Bergman, many years after the incident, state that he continued to harbor hatred for this man, and flat out stated that he ought to burn in hell for eternity.

Believe it or not, I get it !!! My wife and I run a blog in which we both take tremendous pride. I, personally take offence when someone criticizes not the content (we actually encourage disagreement and debate) but rather denounces the style , etc.  – Worse still is when someone doesn’t even read what we wrote. Surely not everything we put up is a masterpiece, but it is a bummer when people just completely dismiss it – all the blood, sweat, and tears into every single word for nothing.

Every true artist wants everyone else to appreciate his or her work and except for a handful of artists like Woody Allen who genuinely, at this point in his career, really doesn’t care if people say something akin to “Your Last film sucked !!!” The fact is Woody Allen has been around more than a half century, has made dozens of masterpieces throughout his career, and is lucky enough to be absolutely secure about his work and his legacy.

Quentin Tarantino, the famous filmmaker, is in such an incredibly fortunate position in which making $$ or turning a profit means absolutely nothing to him. Of course, Mr. Tarantino wants his latest work to be a blockbuster so the producers, money – men, and investors are happy, but not unlike Woody Allen, he’s really concerned a whole lot more about chalking up another perfect gem for generations after his death so they can watch, enjoy, and appreciate it.

I was just reading a piece from the New York Times Book Review which basically describes how the American novelist, William Gaddis, became suicidal after getting negative reviews for his first novel, ‘The Recognitions’  –a book he thought would put him on par with the all-time greats of the twentieth century. Instead, he said, “Nobody even bothered to read my book (it was too long and difficult) …. America has odd ways of making one feel one’s self a failure.” Later, 20 years later, after Gaddis died, ‘The Recognitions’ was named one of ‘Time Magazines’ 100 best novels from 1923 – 2005.

This sort of contradicts what I’ve just written so far but, I sometimes wonder if it is even necessary that your art is seen, celebrated, and appreciated. Just think about the Lascaux Paintings which are paleolithic cave paintings painted circa 17,300 years ago. This work was obviously not meant to be seen by anybody (the pitch dark blackness and the art in a cave) but by the artists themselves and I suspect perhaps by whatever gods the people of that time were worshipping. So, WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ?


The Catharsis of Sad Music

September 27th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

sadhurtsToday not unlike every other day, I had NPR on and a most interesting topic was brought up, which made me pause and think: What are your favorite sad songs? Why? And – In addition, why do sad songs not make us sadder but more importantly make us a little stronger and even help us along with all the unspeakable difficulties that lie ahead when something tragic happens to us. So of course NPR (I think it was “On All Things Considered”) simply the greatest radio media source in terms of higher education had a scientist who was theorizing as to why sad songs and catharsis in general is such an integral part in dealing with grief and moving on without falling apart.

Catharsis – the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music is the OED definition and makes sense !!!

Anyway, what they posed to the listening audience was: What were your favorites (or perhaps more aptly stated, songs that most resonated with you?) and I thought about this and put together a list of 6 of my all – time favorites. Here they are and why:

  • #1 has to go to ‘Adagio For Strings’ by Samuel Barber. This is without question the most hauntingly tragic yet most beautiful piece of music I have ever heard in my life and if this doesn’t move you in anyway then you are not a human being. I know ‘Adagio For Strings’ has been used as a score for several films, one of which was Oliver Stone’s ‘platoon’ (Easily the score was the best part of the film).

  • After ‘Adagio…’ it’s difficult to place any given song in any particular order because they’re all profoundly moving and sad. Anyway, Warren Zevon’s  ‘Keep Me in Your Heart’ is monumentally heart – wrenching, especially if you’re or were a Zevon fan. I pulled 2 videos from YouTube 1. The song itself with some amazing shots and 2. The David Letterman Show the day he died…. Warren and David had an incredibly special relationship. What really killed me about Warren was his rebellion & the sense of injustice and the line “…grab your coat, I’m your mutineer” just makes me weep every time I hear it     and here’s Dave & Warren

  • ‘Brian’s Song’ by Henry Mancini will bring even the most hardened person to tears. The song is utterly sad and cathartic but what amplifies it is the movie (low – budget TV and basically not a very good movie but there are a couple of scenes in it that will make grown men reach out for the Kleenex) Here’s the best link I found on YouTube … watch the whole thing, it’s awesome

  • How about the Hollies and ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ … again, it’s the story that rips your heart out, especially in this lousy economy. In a nutshell: The line “he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother” is from the old 30’s movie Boy’s Town. The scene is a young boy carrying his little brother, who is crippled and can’t walk in the ice and snow. It is during the depression and they are homeless, unwanted, and not needed by the world at large. They encounter a catholic priest, father Flannigan, who is moved and asks ” isn’t that a heavy load for such a small fellow” he replies “he ain’t heavy father, He’s my brother”(boy ain’t he lucky. That’s an insider)

  • Yep, Elton John’s, ‘Funeral for a Friend’ is a must. He really drives home the fact that this life in terms of the age of the universe (14 billion yrs. Old) is just sort of a meaningless blip .. f^&k the rich, they will get theirs – lol !!!  “The roses in the window box tilted to one side, everything about this house is going to grow and die”

  • Well I’ll leave you with John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ which is just prodigiously crushing!!!

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? There are so many more songs out there and while I was writing this, I thought of a few more, but I’d love to hear what yours are.


The Disturbing Unhinged Hatred in This Country is Rampant

September 25th, 2013 by Michael Tabor


People are angry and if you’re a celebrity or happen to be perceived as someone who happens to have some sort of privilege in this country, the United states of America, or as Bill Maher calls this republic “the greatest Ponzi scheme ever known to man”, then you’re a mark.

You don’t have to be anybody for that matter like myself, who is simply a person along with my wife who has a free op – ed blog; most of the time the comments are civil, incisive, and just great (we’re lucky here) but occasionally you will get some knucklehead who will spew non – sensical hatred. The real over – the – top animus can be found on any of the social networks like Facebook (if you have friends of friends of friends who really aren’t your friends). You will also encounter satanic bile if you elect to get involved in a thread in a chat room or any other such forum in which there is relative anonymity and no regulation. And the fact that current technology allows any given individual to be nameles is the reason we see this or if you buy into what Bill Maher says that people are truly insanely unhinged because of this dreadfully bad econmy.

It’s frightening to think that there are really people out there who are filled with this “disturbing unhinged hatred”. The daily Kos used this phrase, which incidentally sums it all up. Click on the link and enjoy…this is very funny.

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think? I loved what Joe Rogan had to say about people who tell you to “Die ! Die! Die ! you talentless fu#$@% lowlife, etc.” in which he said that he’d love to take out his treasured samurai sword and disembowel everyone of these pusilanimous anonymous cowards.


Pope Francis’s Big Vision is Exactly What the Catholic Church Needs

September 20th, 2013 by Michael Tabor


I was raised a catholic and taught to believe that the church’s #1 priority was to serve the poor and oppressed. Pope Francis is trying in an earnest and dauntless – perhaps defiant manner to arouse the world to not forget “I tell you the truth that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven … it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Just yesterday, the pope went further to declare that the church is obsessed with gays, abortion, and contraception and that his papacy is more interested in helping the poor and needy. The New York Times reported that this sent shock waves throughout the Roman Catholic Church. It is truly astounding that there were reverberations of discontent in July within the church when Pope Francis merely stated “Who am I to judge” about homosexuality when you consider how many appalling scandals have come out for not just homosexuality but pedophilia within the clergy.  The staggering hypocrisy!!!

I applaud Pope Francis for stating that the clergy is wrong for putting dogmatic orthodoxy before love and serving the poor and marginalized and enough with the fire and brimstone. There are so many friends and acquaintances of mine who have either 1. Walked away from any form of organized religion completely and have turned to other more tolerant worldviews i.e. eastern thought. 2. Still are Christian but have changed denominations or 3. Have embraced secularism and view science as the only real outlet for explaining and understanding who we are/why we are here/is there a purpose?, etc.

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? It’s interesting to note that Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis’s predecessor was anything but liberal and open – minded to how the world has changed.


Yesterday’s Garden

September 16th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

flowers in a jarYesterday’s garden

Graces the table,

Dropping its petals

On yesterday’s mail.

A letter from Ellen

Mingles with cup and spoon

Along with the pattern

Of my curtail.



The afternoon sun

Refills an empty glass.

My eyes drink it up

Tasting what’s left.

Bursting with orange.

Hinting of bergamot.

A fanciful flavor

That I forget.



Where are my glasses,

The better to understand

Yesterday’s letter

Addressed to me?

It mingles with cup and spoon

Along with a plate

Of yesterday’s garden.

Where can they be?


Sunday Symphony Of Sounds

September 15th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

September crickets.wind chimes

Glass wind chimes.

A rush of wind in the maples and cedars.

Traffic on Washington Avenue.

Church bells chiming Westminster three o’clock.

A motorcycle revving up.

More wind. More chimes.



A motorcycle on its way to somewhere

Dying in the distance.

A helicopter surveying the scene.

A siren (police or ambulance).

A rush of wind.

Children playing.



September crickets.

A tinkle of chime.

Traffic like a rush of wind.

Wind like a rush of traffic.

The spray of water hosing

Something made of plastic.

A squeaky rubber toy.



Nothing but the crickets.

And wind.

And chimes.



What About Arts & Letters Daily as a Homepage???

September 14th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

arts&letters2I’ve had Yahoo as my homepage for more than a decade now because it’s light and breezy, it’s indeed a search engine though not as good as Google, right on the mark with timely  breaking news, and basically everything important that’s going on in the world can be found right there on the site. It’s 2013 and there’s essentially not a single piece of information that exists that cannot be found at your fingertips – both classified (WikiLeaks) and certainly all unclassified stuff .

Obviously , today we can find out anything about anything, anywhere – anytime and it basically comes down to what we want thrown in our face, first thing i.e. Justine Bieber and some real news – Yahoo, your basic no- nonsense best search engine that there is in Google, your work address (yuck, don’t bring work home), or something a little different such as a web portal which happens to be in my opinion the greatest place on the net, especially if you’re interested in an absolute treasure trove of scholarly information and beautifully – written essays of everything under the sun including: philosophy, aesthetics, language, literature, trends, breakthroughs, ideas, criticism, culture, history, music, art, disputes, and of course it includes a tad of gossip.

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? If you haven’t visited Arts & Letters Daily yet, take a look and enjoy !!! This morning I read a little something on Thomas Pynchon, Franz Kafka, Picasso, Shakespeare, on & on … life is short, art is monumentally long.


Rush (The Band, Not the Fat Conservative Blowhard) Circa 1978

September 12th, 2013 by Michael Tabor

rush2Is it Possible to Get Better Than This???

I had the great pleasure of seeing Rush again this year (VIP tickets  – a birthday gift from Magdalena) for the amazing Clockwork Angels tour at the beginning of this summer at Jones Beach on Long Island. They were just fantastic as they have always been every time I have seen them play live. I’ve seen Rush in person I believe six times now and the one instrumental, which is a masterpiece among masterpieces, they didn’t play this time however (the concert was so great anyway, it didn’t matter) was ‘La Villa Strangiato’.  Check out this old 1978 clip I found on YouTube  

I’ve written plenty on this site about my favorite progressive rock group but I just wanted to throw this re-mastered version of ‘La Villa …’ (it’s a live version of the song but they  re- did it in the studio, note for note, which makes it that much more remarkable – wow !!!) I haven’t seen before. Enjoy and check out the comments from fans who are just as fanatical about them as I am.. here are just a few:


“Absolutely incredible. Amazing. Fantastic. A masterpiece. A classic. Perfection beyond perfection. 3 geniuses at their own instruments.

I look forward to seeing them again this year.

Muchas gracias”


“Now that’s how you make love to your guitar”


“masters of progressive hard rock, best band ever”


“I remember seeing them twice in this era. Just a little after this, actually. Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres tours I think. Mind blowing perfection”


“Nothing better…I saw this era of Rush in concert”


“Just totally mind blowing. God I love this kind of music. So technical and so masterful. Just fuc%$* narly in every sence of the word. RUSH truly means perfection.”

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? You can search this site if you want to see what else I’ve written about ‘Rush’ in the past.



Tyler Talks Chivalry

September 12th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

The Beans watch PBS Mystery programs but don’t seem to realize there’s a bona fide Miss Marple series right under our own roof! Way up at the top of the stairs leading to one of the attic rooms is a closed door. What’s in the Mystery Room??? Rumor has it that it’s a safe haven for an ancient lady cat who’s 19 Bean years old. This calculates to an unbelievable 133 feline years! What’s more, she lives like a Queen in there and if my hunch is right, I think she’s a princess kept captive and therefore aim to rescue her. Fear not, M’Lady! I come equipped with my paratrooper’s gear!tyler

They say she’s a centenarian. I’m not sure what that is but I think it has something to do with having a long white beard. If this is correct,  I can tell her to drape it out the window so I can climb up and save her like Rapunzel. Don’t expect me to marry her though. I’m only in this for the reward money. Then again, I don’t recall having heard of any reward offered, so it’s quite possible I’ll get nothing more than my picture in the local news. But it’s a start. Maybe I’ll  land a book deal!

However, there are reservations concerning her age. Does she hobble about with a cane and will it get in the way of my rescue attempts? Does she wear orthopedic shoes impeding a smooth transition to the outside world? Is her tail all rickety and crooked with R thritis that might get in my way and possibly crack and fall off while we’re making our escape? Does she wear false teeth kept in a jar at night and insist upon putting them back in before we bolt? I could get caught red pawed and be extradited to Texas just as I was getting used to it here. These are the thoughts that plague me.

I make a tentative swipe under the door but all I get is a dust bunny. The Beans are always sucking them up with the vacuum but must have missed this one. It has no ears so I fail to see why it’s called a bunny. I make little chirping sounds under the door but there’s no answer.  She must be deaf. I bet she stole the bunny’s ears and they’re defective. I chirp louder. Here comes Snowshoe to kick my butt for making annoying little noises. I dash into the next room and wait awhile. It’s starting to get dark. Perfect rescue hour….

“Tyler! Suppertime!”

I nearly kill myself jumping down the stairs two at a time. Slurp! Chomp! Lick! Yummy….Momma Bean scoops me up when I’m done and tucks me downstairs for the night. Well. That’s that. Rapunzel will have to wait until tomorrow. Then again, what good is a book deal to me anyway? I’ll have to go to all the book signings and write phony inscriptions for Beans I’ve never seen in my life and pretend to like them. Yuk! “To So-and-So, I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have delighted in meeting you so you can buy my book and make me rich so I won’t have to write anymore. Regards, Tyler”. No….I’m staying right here and let Rapunzel rot in her room. Then I can eat all her food.

So…………whadayathink? Have you ever had the inclination to be a Knight In Shining Armor? And then change your mind because it’s just too much trouble? YAWN! Yeah, me too. Chivalry’s not dead. It’s just a little tired.


Mystery, Doubt, and Uncertainty is What Makes Life Grand!!!

September 12th, 2013 by Michael Tabor


The late Richard Feynman who died 25 years ago at the age of 69 of cancer was probably the greatest scientific genius since Albert Einstein. What made Dr. Feynman so wonderful was that he was so down – to – earth that he made the most monumentally complex scientific ideas and concepts intelligible to us mere mortals. Yes, he was a little kooky, but when you win the Nobel Prize, you’re no longer goofy, you’re the expected “eccentric genius”.  I don’t want to elaborate here right now on the man who alas is remembered by many as someone who was a part of the Manhattan project but just really urge everyone to find the time to watch this special PBS broadcast which so brilliantly captured the essence of the man who will live on forever in our hearts and minds.  



Click on and enjoy and of course, WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ?