Into The Groove with Madonna

Although “Like a Virgin” was the launching pad for Madonna, “Into The Groove” in my opinion was the sounding board epitomizing her stellar career in music. It also showcased her surprising talent on screen in “Desperately Seeking Susan”. I ponder how many incredible 80’s songs were inspired by the successes of Madonna and Michael Jackson. It was such a phenomenal time to have an ear to the radio irrespective of over played hits.

There’s nothing particularly interesting about the chord combinations but the changes are very well timed with the beat amidst a synth sound reverberating throughout. The coolness of the track melded with the rawness of her character in the movie. There is nothing cerebral about it. It’s all feel. It’s all vivacious no holds barred fun. How much of the free-wheeling Susan Thomas from the script was inherently Madonna? Enough I suspect to give the movie that intrigue value eliciting commercial success. The spirit within the groove certainly featured the movie fully and composer Thomas Newman had his hands full filling in.      

Good Biomechanics of Running

I’ve been running recreationally my whole life with a particular hiatus during period of some knee discomfort. Today I comment on good biomechanics of running. My experience in running combined with my undergraduate degree in sports science compels me to evaluate good running form. My component coach during my fundamental course work in “kinesiology” in first year was Gabor Simonyi. This Hungarian master of hammer and shot put technique has a storied history in Canadian Athletics typified by the seven of eleven conference championships won by my Alma Mater the University of Alberta during his tenure and coaching leadership. He was a quirky slight fellow more adept at the intricacies of biomechanics than of the administrative side of sport as testified by former athletes.

Gabor had two primary focal points around the stride. I remember him incessantly referring to angle of attack and center of gravity. In my mind, I see him to this day demonstrating the foot hitting the ground in a backward propelling manner appealing to his students. One never gets set up properly without the necessary forward lean. We need to want to go just like the skier looking down the escarpment looking to attack versus cautiously navigating a path. Naturally, good mechanics also require stability in the pelvis and relaxation in the ankle. With a mind keen to move forward rather than up, we limit the impact as the foot lands. Arms work productively with balance and thrust.

Fatigue is a reality in running and the heroic propensity to overdo is ever present. People should take breaks when fatigued. Endurance arises from repetition and practice. Us mere mortals are always in a continuum of fitness due to schedules and lifestyle demands cognizant that exercise is our own responsibility to ourselves.    

Brain Function and Exercise

Not only does the heart need to often pump blood against gravity to the brain, but it does to so with the goal of extending supply to vast regions of the brain. Strong brain function requires exercise. In the event of arteriosclerosis due to a sedentary lifestyle, the carotid and vertebral arteries may be forced to work less efficiently thereby impacting oxygenation at receptor sites. Exercise increases heart rate and circulation speed thereby increasing the probability that distant receptor sites receive nourishment potentially starved during the sedentary state. Athletes have reported states of euphoria upon hitting the Max V02 threholds. Others have collapsed not being able to endure heightened levels of physiology having not trained sufficiently to reach such states.

As we grow older, there is an increased probability of plaque deposits building on the arteries in absence of exercise. COVID-19 has become an added variable leading to exercise reduction arising from the supposition that facilities’ access have been restricted.

Now it’s going to be winter in Canada and you can increase your “screen time” or get out into the great outdoors with some heavy breathing and fun. Nakiska’s opening date is scheduled for November 11th due to the best snow making capability in Western Canada.    

Platitudes from Houston City Officials RE: Deaths At Concert

What is it about a civil society that you can’t go to a music concert in peace expecting law and order? Is it just Texas – that gun wielding state which through its leadership has scorned COVID precautions? How do otherwise law abiding citizens turn to gate busting hooligans because a rapper takes that stage? Why is it that law enforcement is now in this passive mode of complicity when witnessing misdemeanours and regulatory infractions? What’s happened to our moral compass of heeding the regards of others?

I was aggravated while listening to a Houston city official reference the notion that nobody should be concerned that a love one’s life would be in jeopardy upon attending a concert. YET IT HAPPENED! Had these city bureaucrats learned nothing from the Las Vegas massacre just two years ago!  Then there was the MSNBC news anchor reporting of the tragedy in an almost enthusiastic tone as if she was looking for ratings instead of expressing events indicative of solace and grief.

Something is amiss in the conscience of man. Something has happened. I’ve taken notice and theorize with respect to the cosmic source. However; a case can obviously be made that evil has always been with us and manifestations of such are simply now readily highlighted through the mechanism of mass multi-media. As our experience unfolds in the human race at a time when we can now commercially send people to space…how is it that we can’t effectively administer occasions of culture?  

Vancouver Sun Edit Reposted Here RE Trump Signage

The big “Trump” sign still persists in his closed hotel on Vancouver’s West Georgia. This is my Vancouver Sun comment which was struck due to an apparent breach of guidelines in context of article questioning the sign: “Pure sign (pun obviously intended) of a dysfunctional society incapable of doing the right thing at the right time (sign removal) in good faith with honour and integrity. Put the tomahawk chop to this sign.” Could it have been the “tomahawk chop” reference (Trump reported to have exhibited the chop at Chiefs game on Sunday) which produced the guideline infraction without the editor’s knowledge of Trump’s weekend conduct. Perhaps. What do you think? One more example of political correctness gone berzerk?

Sean Chu on Hot seat

New Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek appears to be grandstanding right out of the gate with an indignant exclamation that she won’t swear in city councilor Sean Chu on Monday. I’ve heard the details from Chu regarding the specifics pertaining to the under aged woman whom he thought was of age since they met at a bar. He passed a polygraph test and claimed that he drove her home when it was determined by the woman that advances became uncomfortable for her. Now you’ve just had an election and you want him to resign. You might as well just stone him like it was the 14th century. This guy seems like he sincerely wants to serve Calgarians and he’s been convicted of no crime. Yet, it’s becoming clear that in this era of political correctness that some are starting to believe that a mere distaste for someone else’s conduct is in and of itself grounds for abrogating judicial discourse. It certainly will not look good on Gondek if she follows through on her apparent decision not to swear in her councilor thereby instilling dysfunction at city hall right at the administration’s outset and precisely at a time in the city’s history that it needs improved performance.

Misinformation Maelstrom

The cost of a college education in the U.S. has been beyond the reach of most Americans unless students were willing to take on large debt to finance. Do we now have a misinformation maelstrom? Consequently, the majority of Americans have not received an undergraduate degree. Access for Canadians has been better. Collegiate level courses do impose an investigative burden on students to undertake the meaning of research in a critical way. In accessing such research citing references for formulating thoughtful response, a logical representation of assertions are presented oftentimes via term papers. This proactive pursuit of analyzing research data in the context of any shortcomings of research parameters or controls lends credibility when drawing conclusions or recommendations as does any acknowledgment of bias by the academic.

Academics have come under intense scrutiny with the proliferation of social media platforms. Politicians lacking in integrity have capitalized on the majority of a populous who have not been through any formal process of scrutinizing research through higher education but are amenable to the convenient mechanism of messaging through social media. A scholarly approach is to embark openly with objectivity, candour, and transparency whereby a non-scholarly approach may infuse personal bias, undocumented study, unsubstantiated assumed external influence, or hearsay.

Unfortunately, society has taken a dark path of late and a case can be made that ignorance from a lack of access to higher education deserves some blame. We’ve been witness to a segment of the population which believes that evil lurks at every turn and that liberty is under threat by government and /or elite covert entity(s). After all, if elite high net worth families are accessing off shore corporate accounts in order to avoid tax with impunity while my politicians continually exercise poor judgement on behalf of the electorate, and the gap between the rich and poor forever widens, then shouldn’t the common one be suspicious of any vaccine?

It’s hard to blame one unaccustomed to the scientific process of discovery to have faith in procedure when the canvass of a society is tainted by corruption, deceit, and legal largesse. What price is now being paid for a society of which for the most part has been blocked from access to higher education? We seem to be facing issues not necessarily anticipated through social media technology as a perceived by a net negative. Such a perception will not be calming to the ears of executives at Facebook, Alphabet Inc. (Google), or Twitter.

Culture Void & Pandemic

Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders was interviewed in 2014 where she touched upon situational anecdotes, spontaneity, and setbacks during her rise to fame. Artists of the late 70’s and 80’s had more of life experience even in their youth to draw upon while creating their art. In fact physical art and modeling were in her background while forming the Pretenders which arose primarily as a result that no other band would have her.   

The interview got me thinking about listening to The Pretenders back in the 80s not knowing at the time band personnel behind the song “Back in The Chain Gang” and “Brass In Pocket”. There were so many pop ‘80s bands creating melody that we thought that this would always be the way. However; we’ve come to learn that the era was extraordinary for one hit wonders and catchy pop riffs. The scene was tight inspiring collaboration. Simple Minds had connected with Chrissie (in fact she had married front man Jim Kerr) while touring and the connection for me resolves with my everlasting affinity for Simple Mind’s “New Gold Dream”.

It’s been 18 months now and our youth have not had access to live events – musical or otherwise which are occasions which cement memories and this has been collateral damage of the pandemic. I really empathise with the opportunity cost in intangible terms. I recall such joy when going to see movie classics such as “Saturday Night Fever”, “Grease”, “Bad News Bears”, and “The Breakfast Club”. Concerts such as Tina Turner, John Cougar, and April Wine stirred the spirit. A bit later, there were the dance clubs playing New Order tracks from their double album “Substance” amidst the strobe lights and ambience. Disco still carried an influence and attire mattered out in the clubs. Friends would swap physical LPs and the actual vinyl would serve as reminders of the tracks for discussion. Some sleeves would even carry lyrics. College dorm lounges served as meet ups for night life forays.

From my viewpoint, culture was running stale pre-pandemic and now it’s naturally become worse. Despite initiatives with funding the few newer venues have lacked the warmth and appeal typified by a place engrained with history. Older venues haven’t been able to keep up the rent and too few philanthropists were quick enough to save old halls. Certainly urban planning decisions have also played a role in retracement of culture in Canada. Will there be a day when the suburbanites with their fenced yard and double attached garage look back and wonder what happened to their Friday and Saturday nights?           

Consequence of Distractions In Government (Afghanistan)

I need not tell you of the major international news today. Let me say this. Lives and enormous treasure were committed to overthrowing Afghanistan in 2001 via the ill conceived policy of George W. Bush following September 11th. Now the Taliban has it back and international security along with the liberty of Afghan citizens has been weakened. Strict Sharia Law will be re-imposed. The resolve of the G7 and the Afghan government with its militia was insufficiently strong and it should be considered a failure that the Taliban has regained control given the history.

What is the backdrop in which all this has taken place?

  1. Increased government debt
  2. An American populous justifiably concerned about funding the defence of a nation other than their own
  3. A Donald Trump presidency plagued by scandal, deceit, incompetence, and self interest over public interest along with mistrust by allies
  4.  A pandemic along with associated political haggling and resource uptake
  5. The weakening of NATO and the United Nations under the Trump administration
  6. An Afhani army equipped with 300,000 troops (trained and funded by G7 nations),an air force, special forces, and heavy equipment compared all compared to 175,000 Taliban fighters armed by means not fully verifiable

Intelligent Voices On Mute

Have you ever noticed that it’s the quiet ones oftentimes most cerebral and wise? Have the intelligent voices been put on mute? In this social media oriented environment, unfortunately society is not well served by having their voices “on mute”. The megaphones seem to be in the hands of the blasphemous and irrational.

My blog serves as a conduit to broadcast my occasional philosophical rants. I do so in the context of a politically correct theatre whereby professional organizations muzzle their members, stake holders are intimidated by the bureaucratic maze, government officials show up unimpassioned in the comfort of their home office. 

Then there are the news organizations keen to report a traffic accident or a tawdry affair of a public figure or the banality of a Stevie Nicks decision not to tour in the face of COVID but absent in the context is the reporting of the Taliban regaining a foothold in populous Afghanistan cities with the departure of G7 troops. The editorial boards frustrate public debate with their protective bias with a justification that contrasting opinions are tainted with a compromise of their community guidelines. Cutting opinion coloured with sarcasm and eloquence is mistaken for personal attack. Editorialists are now too daft to know the difference.       

The intelligent either puts up a blog like mine in appeasement of intellectual vigour or steps away with indifference in character of the disposition of prototypical Canadians. There’s always letters and emails I suppose if one possesses intense follow up protocol.  If you are a borne and bread Western Canadian in the middle of your life having not attended French immersion as a child during a time when so little of it was available – you most likely won’t be seeking federal political office.

The megaphones are abundant but you shake your head at what comes out of them. It is so bizarre that you need to possess through training – acumen for idling the rational mind instead of joining the chorus of folks now trumpeting the “mental health” mantra.     

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