AA's Bill W.; The Underground Man; and Al Jarreau

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Bruce Deile

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#1
Dec 20, 2011
 
Their quotes regarding sexual immorality/depravity (details as to where these are from on other thread--'AA's Bill W. Used LSD in Sobriety'):

Bill W.: "But I can't give it up"

Underground Man: "They give me no...I'm incapable of being...good!"

Al Jarreau: "...always trying to do those things I know are right to do but always someone there to stop me"
Bruce Deile

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#2
Dec 20, 2011
 
With Al Jarreau--discrimination; Underground Man--political oppression (some translations have him say he can't do good because "they won't let me"); Bill W.--unwillingness/lacking God's grace...

...so these are not easily dismissed as mere excuses. Very real, and human, struggles with trying (and then not trying), to live moral lives.

Mental illness; the Underground Man demonstrates mental illness in the episode of being unwelcome at the dinner party. Anti-social behaviour/schizophrenia could be a very real antecedent.

With AA, it's explained by either Silkworth or Tiebout near the end of 'AA Comes of Age' that the gist of AA's therapeutic method is to get the alcoholic extroverted--reaching out to others instead of being absorbed in self (selfishness; self-centeredness, etc.). But may be much less an option when neuro-psychiatric manifestations are involved since social interaction risks stress, and stress exacerbates mental illness. Specifically if those neuro-psychiatric manifestations have been induced by LSD, neuroleptics, or any other psychotropic drug. Golyadkin in Dostoevsky's 'The Double' comes to mind as well. Probably not a mistake it is included with 'Notes From underground' in the translation copy I recently checked out from the library.
Bruce Deile

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#3
Dec 20, 2011
 
Will post this again:

Al Jarreau - You Don't See Me (live, 1976)

video by musicbox285

Youtube video--live performance in Hamburg, Germany--brilliant, one of the best performances I've ever seen on YouTube.
Bruce Deile

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#4
Dec 20, 2011
 
[spoiler alert; at the end of this post; 'The Double']

And did Dr. Rutenspitz give Golyadkin LSD or something that induced or exacerbated rather than healed mental illness? As experimentation and/or socio-economic eugenics (wherein the "weak and unfit" are considered an unnecessary burden on society), thereby hastening if not causing Goyadkin's psychiatric demise/involuntary commitment? And that by Dr. Rutenspitz himself in a terrible phantasmagoria (a term one study guide applied to an incident near the middle of the story but one I felt very much applies to the incident near the end when Golyadkin is committed).
Bruce Deile

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#5
Dec 21, 2011
 
Lady (Anna Magnani) is told by the nurse that she is pregnant by Snakeskin (Marlon Brando); the nurse then replies:

"Why don't you get the calliope--and the clown--to make the announcement."

The Fugitive Kind; Tennessee Williams

(that scene available on YouTube video titled "TFK-2" --I think it's on the second page of YouTube search 'The Fugitive Kind')
Bruce Deile

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#6
Dec 21, 2011
 
Youtube:

Sheila - Adios Amor

video by neurophilefragile

Or another version:

Sheila Adios amor et Tout le monde aime danser dans Tilt

video by martirubio1959

Because yet another video version has this comment below it:

"The song is in french. It says
Until then my love! I am leaving tonight because it is best that we don't see each other again. Don't try to keep me from doing so. Until then my my love, let me go. The verse says I am in love with you but I have no right to dream of being yours someday, considering you have a wedding band on your finger. I am not adventurous enough, nor could I ever live with myself knowing that I would purposely be hurting someone else.

jandjlove2005 10 months ago
Bruce Deile

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#7
Dec 21, 2011
 
Hilarious. Hadn't known what the song was about until now when reading that comment. Couldn't have been better timing as it fits right in with the discussion. In fact, on the video version by pierrebonhivers, I had written the following comment that still appears three years later:

I don't understand French but absolutely love this video. Impossible not to love her laugh and the way she sings ad lib during the interview. And the Italian and German versions. What a great clip. Thanks so much.
Azorka82 3 years ago 2

--that was my YouTube channel--Azorka82--the dog in Dostoevsky's 'The Insulted and Injured'.

This just made my day! Too funny!
Bruce Deile

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#8
Dec 22, 2011
 
What made that even more special (above) was that last year, right before Christmas, I was viewing Dalida's "Avec le Temps". Loved it so much, but then began searching the songs meaning. Discovered it is a song by Leo Ferre about moral anarchy. So disappointed--that horrible revelation rained all over my Christmas parade! But now this year, right before Christmas, Sheila's Adios Amor is revealed to mean (if that comment under the video translating the French meaning is correct) a woman is making a moral decision so as not to hurt another.

That makes Sheila this threads moral heroine!

Like Liza in 'Notes From Underground'(which the introduction explained was a Mary Magdalene/reformed prostitute parody since the reformed prostitute was a popular motif in literature at that time). Funny. Hopefully all this doesn't leave me "morally decaying in a corner".

Merry Christmas!
Bruce Deile

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#9
Dec 22, 2011
 
That's the better version of her Adios Amor:

Sheila Adios amor et Tout le monde aime danser dans Tilt

video by martirubio1959

Fun to view Sheila talking afterwards too...
Bruce Deile

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#10
Dec 22, 2011
 
Just what I thought...after the laughter has died down a bit, feeling a bit left "morally decaying in a corner". So I've gone back to some of the other songs on Al Jarreau's 'Look to the Rainbow'(a comment says it was recorded live in Austria in 1977, hadn't known that, I actually had the album many years ago). Just listened to 'Could You Believe'--very, very uplifting--a very beautiful song. Will try and post the lyrics up here in a moment. Al Jarreau had some really good songs--jazz gospel songs--juxtaposed with the, what I can only guess would be considered Christian existentialist,'You Don't See Me'.
Bruce Deile

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#11
Dec 22, 2011
 
'Could You Believe' lyrics...I took the liberty of correcting one verse--somebody may have given it a gay spin--but instead of what they had--"when my man is worried", I put what should be the correct verse--"when my mind is worried"; kind of funny in a way that somebody would have gone and done that--Al Jarreau kind of has a way about him you don't know if he's gay or not but I think he's been married to a woman for many years...

Could you believe in a dream when I tell you that it's true?
Could you believe precious friend of mine?
And would you believe when it seems you are glad with what you do
Give you courage to carry, give you courage to carry
Courage to carry your spirit up on high
Just to carry your spirit up on high

I saw people in trouble, yes heard the angels cry
Now don't tamper with my children, no, no, made the devil fly
Spent the night with David, he taught me what to say
I was looking for a smooth stone when I heard him pray

Could you believe in a dream when I tell you that it's true?
And could you believe precious friend of mine?
And would you believe when it seems you are glad with what you do
It'll give you the courage to carry, the courage to carry
Courage to carry your freedom up on high
Go 'head and carry your spirit up on high

Oh, I could sing at times and reasons
Reason to lay your burden softly down
Kings and Prophets did for freedom
Precious dreams imprisoned underground
Well, I've got this song that I'll sing
And I'll make the mountains ring
Tell my mama that I am homeward bound

Could you believe in a dream when I tell you that it's true?
And could you believe precious, precious friend of mine?
Would you believe when it seems you are glad with what you do
Find More lyrics at www.sweetslyrics.com
It will give you courage to carry, give you courage to carry up
Just to carry your spirit up on high, Lord
Just to carry your spirit up on high, up on high

Oh yeah, can carry up on, carry
Oh I make this promise, my Lord, I'm gonna carry
Ooh, and I promise to look for that little light
Little bit of light, gonna look for that light
Gonna look for that light bit of light when my heart is in trouble

Oh and I make this promise to look for that light
Little bit of light when my mind is worried
You see the same night that brought the children through, yes it is
And it's the same night that brings the spirit through

He'll believe, gonna believe, I'm gonna believe
Don't you believe, I'm gonna believe, I'm gonna believe
Yes, I do believe, oh yes, I do believe
I'm going to believe, I'm gonna believe y'all
And I gotta believe, I gotta believe, I gotta believe

My better taught me to believe
My mama taught me to believe
And I believe, and I believe, I believe, I believe
Just believe, just believe, just believe, just believe
Just believe, just believe, just believe, just believe
Just believe, just believe, just believe, just believe, oh my friend

Try it out one more time, try it out my son
And you'll learn how to believe
Bruce Deile

Bellingham, WA

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#12
Dec 22, 2011
 
Yeah, those lyrics are sabotaged on numerous lyric websites, but he definitely sings "when my mind is worried". His wiki page:

Jarreau has been married twice. His first marriage, to Phyllis Hall, lasted from 1964 to 1968. His second wife was model Susan Player whom he married in 1977. Jarreau and Player have one adult son together, Ryan.

It was reported on July 23, 2010 that Jarreau was critically ill at a hospital in France, while in the area to perform a concert at nearby Barcelonnette, and was being treated for respiratory problems and cardiac arrhythmias.[4] He was taken to the intensive care unit at Gap late on July 22, 2010.[5] Jarreau was conscious, in stable condition and in the cardiology unit of La Timone hospital in Marseille, the Marseille Hospital Authority said. He was expected to remain there for about a week for tests.[6]

Since then, Jarreau has made a full recovery and continues to tour extensively.[7]

----

I attended a concert of his at Wembley Arena in London in 1984. It was quite good, really enjoyed it.
Bruce Deile

Bellingham, WA

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#13
Dec 23, 2011
 
Yeah, Al Jarreau is my favorite singer:

Al Jarreau - We Got By (live, 1976)

vidoe by musicbox285

In the song he thanks Aretha Franklin and Sly Stone (from Sly and the Family Stone) for helping him to get by. Look at the applause he gets at the end--Europeans love Al Jarreau. Often saw Al Jarreau and George Benson concert posters when traveling in Britain/Europe in '84,'90, and '94--they must tour Europe frequently. David Sanborn opened the concert of Al Jarreau's I attended in London in '84. He was really good too, and his bass player Marcus Miller put on a remarkable performance.
Bruce Deile

Bellingham, WA

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#14
Dec 23, 2011
 
Many good songs on Look to the Rainbow--this one is fantastic:

Al Jarreau - Letter Perfect (live, 1976)

video by musicbox285


Don't know why I've always loved jazz/gospel. Maybe it goes back to visiting Fort Sumter (start of the Civil War) in Charleston, South Carolina on a field trip as a first-grader.
Bruce Deile

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#15
Dec 23, 2011
 
Lyrics to Letter Perfect :

Letter perfect stars of
gold in school
You got a right to shout,
you been living the Golden Rule

In your time broken-hearted
beggars danced for you, girl
"Doing alright,"I hear you shout,
"I'm living the Golden Rule"
(But then I hear you say)

Hurry down, sunset,
hurry, get dark like wine
Hurry down, sunset,
hurry, won't see, won't find
No suffering, see nobody,
you can't see nobody

You should let some love and
kindness shine through you
You'll be alright then you'll shout,
"I'm living the Golden Rule"

Must I fall down upon my
hands and knees
Get to begging you, please
Honey, open up your eyes
I'm before you with my
glaring needs
You can't see nobody

Oh pretty baby, help me,
honey, oh sweet thing
Take off them dark sunglasses,
I'm right here in front of you
Would you open up your eyes?

I need your loving
I need your care and hugging
You can't see nobody
I'm going home
Oh, leter perfect stars of
gold in school
You live the Golden Rule
Letter perfect stars of
gold in school
You got a right to shout,
you been living the Golden Rule

In your time broken-hearted
beggars danced for you, girl
"Doing alright,"I hear you shout,
"I'm living the Golden Rule"
(But then I hear you say)

Hurry down, sunset,
hurry, get dark like wine
Hurry down, sunset,
hurry, won't see, won't find
No suffering, see nobody,
you can't see nobody

You should let some love and
kindness shine through you
You'll be alright then you'll shout,
"I'm living the Golden Rule"

Must I fall down upon my
hands and knees
Get to begging you, please
Honey, open up your eyes
I'm before you with my
glaring needs
You can't see nobody

Oh pretty baby, help me,
honey, oh sweet thing
Take off them dark sunglasses,
I'm right here in front of you
Would you open up your eyes?

I need your loving
I need your care and hugging
You can't see nobody
I'm going home
Oh, leter perfect stars of
gold in school
You live the Golden Rule
Bruce Deile

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#16
Dec 23, 2011
 
I don't know what the heck those lyrics are saying. Just threw them up there earlier, the song is a good one to listen to though. Just realized, although I grew up in Anchorage and there were seldom ever any concerts, once down here in the "Lower 48" happened to see over the years:

Al Jarreau (London in 84)
George Benson (Arizona State Fair; 1985 or 86) and at Elliot Bay Jazz Festival 1990 or 1991
Dizzy Gillespie (RIP); Elliot Bay Jazz Festival 90 or 91
Earl Klugh; Seattle 1990 or 91
Freddie Hubbard (RIP); Tacoma 1990 or 91

Had a ticket for Linda Ronstadt in Tucson but didn't feel well beforehand and gave it away to a friend. Would have loved to see Miriam Makeba but hadn't learned of her until reading of her death in the newspaper. Etta James too would have been good to see, but read recently her health is in decline. Loved her 'Rather Be a Blind Girl' song, fogrot the exact title of it--"I'd rather be a blind girl than to see you turn and walk away from me...". Miriam Makeba has some really good videos on YouTube singing in Africa.

Had hoped listening to the Al Jarreau songs would be encouraging today but although they're uplifting in a way, in another way it brings to mind how much closer I seem to the Underground Man, "You Don't See Me", and Bill W.--it's a spiritual antithesis that has occurred in my life at one time (early in sobriety), but since then...

Well, at least it reminds me there is better, and there are thsoe who've had much greater burdens/obstacles to overcome and have done so--they've found (or been graced with) the willingness to surrender to God's will when the natural course would instead have been to be embittered concerning life's realism. It doesn't seem much positive change can come about though without a significant spiritual experience through prayer. Spiritual growth "of the educational variety" hasn't seem to change me positively enough (AA's reference to William James' writing that many people do not experience a profound religious experience but grow spiritually over time through spiritual experiecne of the educational variety).
Bruce Deile

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#17
Dec 23, 2011
 
Yeah, dreadful. Discouraged a bit instead of encouraged by those uplifting Al Jarreau songs. Brings to mind still being in need of spiritual growth that never seems to come. That's not dependent on worldly circumstances (basic needs; ambitions, realtionships, etc.), but can occur, does occur for some people, through a better relationship with God. Until then, it's the same old thing like the Underground Man refers to of being incapable of doing good. W/out surrender/grace it seems largely futile. Dr. Bob's words were helpful (relatively speaking) in 'Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers' about not sitting around and being a spiritual sponge, but growth occurring through being of service to others. A positive thought, yet one is of little help to anyone without God, so how do you begin to reach out to otehrs unless motivated by a spiritual experience? Where/when does the willingness come from otherwise? And that's not to mention the psychiatric dilemma of risking worse psychiatric agitation when attempting to socialize.

The holidays get this way. I'll finish off here with a very religious thought (paraphrase) by Corrie ten Boom (actually theer's a humorous anecdote I'll relate too):

Look without and be distressed;
Look within and be depressed;
Look at Jesus and be at rest.

Okay, the humorous part:

In Corrie ten Boom's 'The Hiding Place', she describes her time in a Nazi concentration camp (and one in which her sister died in if remembering correctly). And an incident where a gypsie woman is enraged at Corrie ten Boom for holding bible studies (in the concentration camp). The gypsie woman begins screaming at her and then flings a menstruation rag that sticks to the side of Corrie ten Boom's face! lol

That always makes me laugh. Funny too that Corrie ten Boom was self deprecating enough, humble enough, to relate the incident, willing to laugh at herself over what must have been a horribly humiliating personal experience.

There. That's better. Smiling now.

Merry Christmas!
Bruce Deile

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#18
Dec 23, 2011
 
Pardon me; context above, waht with being in spiritual doldrums at present, may have made it sound like I was laughing at Corrie ten boom instead of laughing with. But not so; laughing good naturedly when recalling 'The Hiding Place' incident.

One other funny thing:

Gave those Linda Ronstadt tickets to two gay men I knew from AA. They returned sheepishly reporting the place was filled with hispanics (they were white) and Linda Ronstadt sang the entire concert in Spanish. That the hispanic people kept looking at them and smiling. lol
Bruce Deile

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#19
Dec 24, 2011
 
And that last post was meant as humour towards Chrsitianity--not toards the Holocaust or concentration camps. That's too serious to make jokes about, but religion is open game. I think anyhow, since in the Book of James it says something to the effect that a perfect religon is just this, to help the orphan, and to visit the widow, etc. Context meaning the Christian religion is imperfect (or why esle would James need to specify what is and is not a perfect religion?). Some may think it too irreverant, and maybe it is, maybe I'm wrong, but have always found Dostoevsky cracking jokes against his own religon very funny (he was Russian Orthodox Christian). One of the funniest passages of his I recall is in 'The Brothers Karamazov'--the conversation between the crazy monk Father Ferapont and the young monk from Omsk (the snippet here begins with the young monk addressing Father Ferapont):

"Your words are terrible! But, holy and blessed father," said

the monk, growing bolder and bolder, "is it true, as they noise abroad

even to distant lands about you, that you are in continual

communication with the Holy Ghost?"

"He does fly down at times."

"How does he fly down? In what form?"

"As a bird."

"The Holy Ghost in the form of a dove?"

"There's the Holy Ghost and there's the Holy Spirit. The Holy

Spirit can appear as other birds- sometimes as a swallow, sometimes

a goldfinch and sometimes as a blue-tit."

"How do you know him from an ordinary tit?"

"He speaks."

"How does he speak, in what language?"

"Human language."

"And what does he tell you?"

"Why, to-day he told me that a fool would visit me and would ask

me unseemly questions. You want to know too much, monk."

"Terrible are your words, most holy and blessed Father," the

monk shook his head.
Bruce Deile

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#20
Dec 24, 2011
 
That cracks me up! Like he's making fun of patriarchal religion. But he does it as though laughing with and not at. That's why I don't find it offensive as irreverant. And that's the thing about Dostoevsky--he gets you to laugh about Christianity because he's doing so from that perspective--laughing with and not at. At least when trusting that's what he's doing. Some portray him as being too dark in that way, and one writer referred to him as "the nastiest Christian I've ever known". However, that writer, forgot his name at the moment, is known for writing really horrible stuff.

One other thought is that referring to the 'Hiding Place' reminded me of the film 'Schindlers List'. Only just saw that film this past year (in WWU library), and the most horrifc part was when the children come around that corner, all in a group singing those songs in unison. It's like a horror film at that point. I was always reluctant to see that film, knowing that it was so serious, but if anyone is reading this and hasn't seen it they might want to watch it.

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