MarsEarth

Old world wisdom, new world insight – poems, poetry, philosophy, dreams, commentary, ideas


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HOPE is not a four-letter word

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

“Allegory of hope” Francesco Guardi  1747

In speaking English or learning to speak it, there are some idiomatic phrases which take on certain meanings.

Expressions and exclamations are usually formed when certain words become more commonly used by active groups or pockets of society.

This makes the language more useful and in some cases more colorful and expressive.

More people are then very willing to use a new expression in regular conversation because it is helpful in conveying the meaning of something important.

The subject of much contemplation this summer I am concentrating on is hope
Hope is defined as “the feeling that what is wanted – can be had.
Also, it can mean that what is wanted will turn out for the best.”

What is it about hope that causes us to feel optimistic?

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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – # 3

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Is there such a thing as an ultimate sacrifice? There are many stories in Earth history that detail the struggle of one man and also of one woman. These epic heroes are against the odds of success. They are in some sort of peril, facing overwhelming forces or powers. Usually there is little energy left in the tank – so they act through pure adrenaline. They are committed to an ideal which is often retold as the salvation of those left behind. These fighters take the battle to the enemy or opposing force. They attack with purpose. They counterattack with precision. They often win the battle or the war. We back at home celebrate their victories and anniversaries, but remember the lost. When our heroes lose, they lose it all. They lose their future, their reward, and in one final indignity, their lives seem to be silently snuffed out. Is this the ultimate sacrifice which a hero can give for the good of those she/ he loved? Is more lost when they die for what they believed in?

In some sense we all lose when any loved one perishes in our place. They take on the responsibility of protecting our rights and way of life.  It is the fighting men and women of our nation’s military who appear to be the larger-than-life subject matter in a particular song from Five Finger Death Punch (5FDP). This group is American heavy metal band from Las Vegas, Nevada. Formed in 2005, the band says that their name comes from the Kung Fu genre film “The Five Fingers of Death” (1972).  As I understand it 5FDP  originally consisted of vocalist Ivan Moody, guitarist Zoltan Bathory, guitarist Caleb Andrew Bingham, bassist Matt Snell, and drummer Jeremy Spencer in 2005. Caleb was replaced by guitarist Darrell Roberts one year later. Then in 2009 he was replaced by Jason Hook. By 2010 bassist Matt Snell split from the band and Chris Kael took up the position. With all the talent coming and going, it’s a wonder that the foundation members did not seek out some type of separation counseling. Is what we see happening on the outside of a person explain the pain going on inside that person’s mind?

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Billy Graham – not gone, just moving on ahead as promised

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

William “Billy” Franklin Graham Jr. KBE was born November 7, 1918 and died February 21, 2018. Billy was an American evangelist, a significant evangelical Christian figure, and an ordained Southern Baptist minister. He is still considered one of the most influential preachers of the 20th century. His evangelical revivals are re-broadcast into the 21st century.

Be of Good Cheer
” ‘Jesus said, I have overcome the world.’ Now, Jesus made this statement just before he went to Gethsemane and just before he went to Calvary. He warned the disciples in that upper room. He said, ‘As the world hated me, it will hate you, too.’

“He used the word COSMOS, the world SYSTEM. Not the Earth. Not the trees. Not the Nature, but the WORLD SYSTEM. And, the Bible teaches that this WORLD SYSTEM is dominated by EVIL. Satanic cosmic principles of force and greed and selfishness and ambition and pleasure seem to be in control most of the time. Continue reading


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American History Month – featuring some not so famous Black Americans

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Turn on the TV and you will see iconic images of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. being used to sell automobiles. Seriously? This is what we as a society must guard against –  having well established heroes being used as economic pawns on the boob tube. So, how do we do this? Write letters? Protest on the Mall in Washington, D.C.? Make demands on social media and get millions of hits with a YouTube video? Remember the purpose of the last video you watched? Me neither.

The BEST way and the EASIEST way to solve this dilemma is to remember. We need to REMEMBER who we are! Yes. The purpose of every commemorative is to recall the good, and the bad, and then some more good (if possible). Every day is American History Day in the USA. Somebody is usually tinkering with something that moves us a little closer to “smarter” or “richer” or “cooler.”

I want to consider February my AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH which just happens to feature Black American citizens. The people I have commemorated here are heroic because of the determination that they showed against society, against naysayers, against a rigid system that tells US we should value things and not people.  Here is my list of genuine role models.

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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – # 5

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Is there any significant difference between longing, yearning, and pining. Each word gives a feeling of separation, emptiness, incompleteness or even loss. Why do Humans have such feelings and dreams and fears? These emotions often propel us into that place where being away from a loved one can invoke physical pain. Is it because we were designed this way? Was it a set of learned combinations?

Human societies must have suffered a lot in order to teach the next generation to be mindful of  sadness. We still glorify pain and loss in our stories and songs today. When was the first time these words were ever spoken: “I miss you” ? We may have uttered this phrase aloud after reading a letter from someone far away. Or, we could have longed, yearned, and pined for a loved one after discovering that they were undergoing a difficult trial or some extreme hardship.

Our best artists use musical instruments to generate vibrations mimicking groans that excite the brain. These sounds invite use to relive our valuable memories. Mellow tones for self-awareness and high shrill vibrations for self-preservation. Distinctive melodies cause us to feel both joy and pain. David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright of Pink Floyd the progressive rock band constantly were constantly perfecting a combination of sounds to evoke emotion. This was evident in the group’s ninth studio album “Wish You Were Here.” It was released in the UK on the Harvest Record label, and on Columbia Records in the USA. Neither company could keep up with the public’s demand for the it. The saddest song on the record asked the most questions.

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AI Counterculture: Humans make the rules and Humans break the rules

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

A long time ago in the dinosaur age of the 1960s, there was a group of enlightened musicians living in a then functional country named “Greece.” Before the recession of 2006 through 2009, or the adoption of the Euro Dollar, a debt crisis wrecked Greece’s economy.

This upheaval at home spurred four young Greeks to foretell the future.

 

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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – # 7

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Somewhere in our past – and even our present for many of us – we can recall someone who has reached the limits of physical pain. They have hit the wall of emotional strain. Perhaps felt the crushing blow of loss.  Could be the loss of a loved one. Or loss of self worth. We empathize and want to help. We want to ease their suffering. We want to wave a magic wand or call in a favor from G_d, then *poof* the miracle changes everything. We don’t have that kind of power. So our relationship with this person changes. They want out. Or they decide to give up because they are tired of fighting the pain. They let go and leave… forever. They release their grip on this realm, but we refuse let go of their memory.

After seven years of touring and writing songs and studio efforts, the band Breaking Benjamin was able to address the kind of sorrow that humans face when badgered by hopelessness, age, cancer, and worst of all pain in their bodies and minds. The band formed in 1999 with Benjamin Burnley as lead vocalist and guitars, Aaron Fink as lead guitarist, Mark Klepaski as bassist, and Chad Szeliga (originally Jeremy Hummel ) as drummer.

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