Monthly Archives: August 2015

Netflix Gold: The Wrecking Crew


Before I begin, let me introduce to you someone who has been called the greatest bass player in the world. Now, mind you, I might have been expecting the likes of Paul McCartney or Jack Bruce (Cream), maybe Jon Entwhistle (The Who). But when I heard Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys say that this person was the greatest ever, I had to take notice. So let me introduce to you, Carol Kaye**:


Carol Kaye? Who the heck is Carol Kaye? That would have been my thought a week ago. And then I watched a documentary on Netflix entitled “The Wrecking Crew”, that was absolutely mind-blowing! I grew up when music was truly great, the 60’s. Whether you had The Beatles, The Stones or the Beach Boys competing, you had great bands and great tunes coming out.

But did you know that the likes of The Beach Boys, The Association and other bands didn’t play on their records? Al Jardine, of the Beach Boys, explains it best. “We were on the road doing 150 shows a year. There was no way we could turn around and go into the studio.” Instead, the vocals were done by the band, but all the music was done by a group of 20-25 LA studio musicians who were loosely known as “The Wrecking Crew.”

And this documentary is a loving picture of the music that these musicians created in the name of others. If you have Netflix, add The Wrecking Crew to your queue. You won’t be disappointed.

** Oh, as to Carol Kaye? Here is a list of the singers and bands that she recorded for:

The Beach Boys
Phil Spector
The Door
Ritchie Valens
Frank Sinatra
Nancy Sinatra
Glen Campbell
Leon Russell
Sonny & Cher
Joe Cocker
Barbra Streisand
Ray Charles
Frank Zappa
Ike & Tina Turner
Johnny Mathis
Simon & Garfunkel
The Righteous Brothers
Herb Alpert
The Buckinghams
Paul Revere & the Raiders
Gary Lewis & the Playboys
The Monkees
Buffalo Springfield

That’s one impressive list!

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What’s Worse Than A Plucked Chicken?


In my original Plucked Chicken post, I spoke about refused husbands operating in a fog. These good men are miserable in their marriages, but try to convince themselves and everyone else that their marriages are good, and would be great IF it weren’t for this one little, small, tiny, infinitesimal issue, that could stand a bit of tweaking. “What’s that, you ask? Am I happy? No, I’m miserable.”

Here’s how I know that many of these guys are operating in a fog: many are seeking ways to diminish their sex drives and libidos. I’ve read many introductory posts on marriage fora in which these refused men ask if there is something that they can do to lower their sex drives, or some food supplements that will reduce testosterone, so that they won’t be miserable anymore. I can even recall a few asking about chemical castration.

Guys, when you get to the point where you are considering any form of castration, your head is in a pea-soup fog!

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Quick Hitter: R-E-S-P-E-C-T, OMG!

In 1967, Aretha Franklin recorded a song that has become a part of our culture, “Respect.”. It is said to be a feminist marching song, demanding respect for women. Coupled with her performance of “Freedom”, in Blues Brothers, in which she publicly chews out her husband, we have a perfect image of female emancipation, all embodied in one person.

But I discovered something this morning……..

Irony Lives!!

This female demand for respect was written by a man, and recorded two years earlier, in 1965! Here is a recording of the original songwriter singing his soon-to-be chart topper

What you want, honey, you got it
And what you need, baby, you’ve got it
All I’m asking, for a little respect
When I come home.
~ Otis Redding, 1965

These opening lines were originally the heart cry of a husband to be respected in his own home. Ironic, huh?


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“A Wife’s Heart: Colloquy”: #5


This is the fifth in a series of posts in which Chris Taylor (of Forgiven Wife) and I dialogue about ideas and issues brought up in her post, A Wife’s Heart. (Here are the links to part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 6, part 7 and part 8.) Chris and I have chosen colors to help with reading clarity in trying to incorporate our comments into her original text; my comments are in blue and Chris’s in purple.

In her original post, A Wife’s Heart, Chris shared eight recommendations for helping a wife in the process of healing her heart. In our last colloquy, we discussed the first four of her suggestions, and it was our intention to discuss the second set of four suggestions. However, as we got into them, we realized we has too much to say for one post, and so we’re dividing our discussions into smaller, more ‘bite-sized’ posts. (Chris’s recommendations are  highlighted with bold text.) Continue reading


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Matinee Monday: Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939)


It is the task of biographers to tell the why’s, how’s and wherefore’s of a person’s life, but how do you sum up a life? How do you get to the person and learn how his journey affected his soul? James Hilton did an exemplary job in his novella, Goodby, Mr. Chips (1933), telling the progress of a British boys’ school teacher from a second-rate teacher in a second-rate school to beloved icon.

Like Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind, Goodbye Mr. Chips was a recent literary work, a product of the 30’s. Another of the Class of ’39, Goodbye Mr. Chips is unlike GWTW. Goodby Mr. Chips was not grand in scope nor in size, it didn’t aspire to present an epic tale, merely the memory of a life that seemed small, but touched many.

Hollywood has told this story twice: once in 1939, starring Robert Donat as Mr. Chipping, and a second time thirty years later, with the great Peter O’Toole as the title character. Both were nominated for Best Actor Oscars. Mr. Donat received the award in ’39; O’Toole had the misfortune to be nominated the same year that John Wayne was nominated for his role in True Grit. While True Grit is an excellent film, it is pretty much acknowledged that Wayne was a lock for the Oscar, as he was the sentimental favorite of the Academy because of his many years in Hollywood.

Robert Donat’s portrayal of Mr. Chipping over the 63-year span of the film is a wonderfully sensitive look into the transformation of a life through times of joy and sadness, love and loss. Mr. Chips, as the boys of Brookfield call him, starts the film as a “rookie” teacher in the British school system, but over time, is transformed as time the the movie progresses into a beloved institution, through no fault of his own.

A sentimental movie, a sentimental story, Goodbye Mr. Chips is a loving look back at a way of life that doesn’t exist anymore, but deserves to be remembered. The only decent clip I could find shows how the timid Chips actually professes his love to Miss Kathy, a woman he met on holiday, and who would instigate his transformation:



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The Apostle’s Creed; Final Word

Last week, I posted my final commentary on The Apostle’s Creed. Actually, it was the final commentary on The Apostles’ Creed, I purposefully changed the punctuation on the title of the Creed, for a reason. The moving of the apostrophe changed it from plural to singular, from OUR creed to MY creed. (I wondered it anyone would catch on to that, but no one ever called me on it.)

Years ago, in one of the libraries in which I worked, I came across a book entitled Pride Of Our People, which was a book of Jewish heroes. This book spoke of Jews down through history, scientists and rabbis, leaders and mystics, who were important Jews, Jews who made an impact in the world and in Judaism. But the one thing struck me as I leafed through that book was that Jewish history didn’t “end.”

For Christians, it seems that God stopped working when John the Apostle put down his pen after writing Revelation. For Christians, it seems, the heroes that are worth studying and remembering and emulating are all contained within the pages of Scripture. We forget that God created and instituted the Church, and that the Church has been living and working for two thousand years now. The Church has been creating saints, evangelists, apostles, and disciples for two thousand years, and each one had the same statement, the same belief. That is what the Apostles’ Creed is; it is the statement of faith of the Church. Not some articles of faith of the Assemblies or statement of beliefs of the Lutherans. No, it is the basic statement that defines the belief of the people who gather under the banner of “Christian.”

Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote a song entitled “The Church Triumphant” which has a recitation by Gloria, with the theme statement, “God has always had a people.” To me, the Apostles’ Creed is the statement of those people down through the centuries. When I say the Creed, I see myself taking my place in the van of saints that stretches back to the Upper Room. For me, Christian history didn’t end with the last apostle.

Instead, when I say the Creed, I am saying that I stand with the likes of Luther and Zwingli, Zinzendorf and Patrick, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham and D. L. Moody. When we read the Creed in unison, in our church service, I know that I am stating my belief in “the faith that has, once for all, been handed down to the saints.” (Jude 3)

Here is The Church Triumphant. As you listen to the recitation, think about you taking your place in the van of saint living, and who have gone on before.


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Bad Teaching: “Like Christ Loved The Church”, pt. 3

bad teaching

In my last post in the Bad Teaching series, I started writing about the idea of what “Loving Your Wife As Christ Loved The Church” (herein abbreviated to LYWACLTC) does NOT mean. After all, I had noted that this phrase from Scripture seems to have become the shibboleth of just about every pastor, counselor and marriage writer I’ve come across.

As I pointed out, I noticed that while these well-meaning advisors, with well-intended advice, can cite Eph. 5:25 like a mantra, they almost NEVER tell us what it means, and more importantly, what it DOESN’T mean. Last year, with that thought in mind, I started asking just what bad marriage advice should NOT be a part of LYWACLTC, and I came up with a list of things that Paul did not intend when he wrote to the Ephesians.

I realize that my ideas are capable of stirring controversy and disagreement, and I intend to discuss the list in depth; however, in today’s post, I am only going to address the first point on my list:

LYWACLTC does NOT mean:
1 – you are to be a slave to your wife.

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Monday Matinee: Gone With The Wind (1939)


Let’s address the elephant in the room. If I am going to write about the films of 1939, there is one film that must be pushed out into the middle of the room, front and center. In 1936, Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel, Gone With The Wind, which became the top-selling book for two years running. David O. Selznick bought the rights to GWTW early, but due to problems, it took three years to film and release the movie.

One reason that it took so long to get the film to the screen was because Selznick only wanted one man to play Rhett Butler, Clark Gable. Gable was under contract to MGM, who wasn’t about to lend Gable to another studio. Lending actors to other studios to make movies was a common practice, but by the late 30’s Gable was such a hot property and screen idol that MGM wouldn’t lend him. To give you an idea of just how idolized Gable was, check out this video of a pre-Oz Judy Garland singing a love song to a Gable photograph:

In order to get Gable, Selznick negotiated an exorbitant deal with Sam Goldwyn’s father-in-law, Louis B. Mayer, in which he took on huge financial obligation, and gave MGM distribution rights.

But. He got Gable.

And for Scarlett O’Hara? The drama was no less intense. Selznick, for publicity, announced a 1400-person casting call for actresses to read and audition for the part. The gimmick did generate a swell of publicity for the film, but didn’t produce someone for the role. Instead, a veritable Who’s Who of Hollywood actresses (and their agents) were lobbying and working the phones for the part of Scarlett, including Katherine Hepburn, Jean Arthur, Tallulah Bankhead, Joan Bennett, Paulette Goddard, Susan Hayward, Vivien Leigh, and Lana Turner. In the end, it came down to Paulette Goddard (who had starred opposite Gable in It Happened One Night, in 1934) and Vivien Leigh; Selznick’s choice was Goddard, but controversy over her marriage to Charlie Chaplin caused him to opt for Leigh.

Despite the casting problem, the end result was that Gone With The Wind won ten Oscars and became the all-time grossing movie production up to that time; it took another 25 years for a film to earn more than GWTW. According to Wikipedia, when adjusted for monetary inflation, is still the most successful film in box-office history.

Tortured though it might have been to bring about, here is the first meeting of these two fabled characters:


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The Apostle’s Creed, #21

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of the Father Almighty.
from thence he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,

   and the life everlasting. Amen.

Years ago, we had a small book of poems by a woman named Helen Plotz, entitled, “Life Hungers To Abound”. I’ve never forgotten the title of the book, although I can tell you nothing of the poem it apparently comes from.

But those four words describe our world, the spread of all living things, plant and animal, on the face of the earth. We are finding, through research and exploration, that there doesn’t seem to be a niche on the earth that some plant or animal doesn’t find a way to survive. Penguins come to mind, as well as the mutant-looking sea creatures that our unmanned submaries are finding in the deepest of oceans, where no light can penetrate.

In man, this drive to live animates us to strive, to work, to accomplish something, ANYTHING, before we die, but inwardly, we realize that we, too, are merely Ozymandias.

But unlike all other life, mankind has an innate knowledge that this is not all there is; we know that “God has set eternity in our hearts.” (Ecc. 3:11) The apostle Paul spoke to this innate knowledge when he addressed the Athenians and reminded them of their own altar “To the Unknown God.” The mathematician/philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote:

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”

With this last statement, the Creed, while staying within the bounds of the revelation of God, speaks to this hope of all humanity. This final statement of the Creed, “I believe in the life everlasting,” affirms trust in God to fulfill the hunger for life that is inextinguishable.

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Plucked Chicken, Anyone?


As you might expect, given the focus of my blog, I spend a bit of time reading what different husbands say about their marriages, about their sexual frustration with living in a sexless marriage. Quite often, these poor sods will say something that just has me shaking my head. Here they are, living a life of sexual denial and misery, but they will always include a line or three saying something to the effect that, other than the imposed celibacy, they have a great marriage!

My reaction is usually along the lines of “Well, then, if you’ve got such a great marriage, then why the heck are you bitching about it on-line?”

Uh…. Maybe I should clarify that. That’s what I say in my head; out loud I say, “Idiot!” Much nicer, right? Here’s the problem: these guys are operating in a fog. Here they are, being sinned against by their wives, and yet they are being apologists for them. Continue reading


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