Hate. Thinking. Gratuities. Pure Talent.

“No One Is Born Hating…” Thoughts On the Last Day of March. Tip On the Entire Amount? “From the Beginning.”

  • Quote of the Week: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. Racism is a refuge for the ignorant.” – Nelson Mandela

I have had enough. I have again been reminded that yesteryear’s imperialism, capitalism, and slave trade remain instigators of worldwide racism. While we are aware of the current racial divide among our friends and foes, the past tells us that segregation of race was exemplified by apartheid in South Africa, genocides such as the Holocaust, and the racial atrocities we have witnessed in Rwanda, Armenia, and many other countries including the United States. Unfortunately, as years have gone by, sanctions leveled with racist entities have had little to no effect – even the United Nations chimed in with their 1978 Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice, stating “All human beings belong to a single species and are descended from a common stock. They are born equal in dignity and rights, and all form an integral part of humanity.”

I recognize and admire the efforts from leaders who have made a stance with racism. While people including Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Thurgood Marshall, Abraham Heschel, and many more helped pave the way for a better level of racial equality, their efforts have been overridden by the vast amount of people instilled with pure hate. It is year 2024, and the level of worldwide racism continues to raise its ugly head, witnessed by incidents at festivals, sporting events, and other public gatherings. Recent racial incidents at the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, with students in Bulgaria, and at various international soccer matches present modern-day examples of racial rage and anger – with no end in sight.

Vinicius Junior, at twenty-three years old, is regarded as one of the biggest talents in world football. The Brazilian striker, who plays for the massive Real Madrid club in Spain, as well as Brazil’s national team, has been a target of racial abuse from fans of rival clubs. This disgusting behavior towards Vinicius Junior and other black players has been happening for years, exemplified by chants of “monkey” and other awful racial abuse. The “NFL” of Spanish Football is La Liga, which from what I have read has done little to stop the systemic barrage of racial abuse directed towards players of color, especially Vinicius Junior. In the video below, he broke down in tears when asked about the repeated barrage of abuse directed at him. Again, it is 2024, and with all due respect to the efforts of the many to stop the flow of racism, this is another sad state of affairs not only in Spain, but worldwide. As the Mandela quote states, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin…” I was so sad and disgusted watching this video.

Vinicius Junior At a Recent Press Conference.

  • Things I Am Thinking on the Last Day of March:

Beyonce Covering the Beatles’ “Blackbird.”

  • The battle of gratuity. I have been going back and forth with this question with a friend for months. The scenario: there is a restaurant that both of us enjoy once a month or so. Great food and drink, and excellent service whether dining at a table or at the bar. The bill for the four of us, including wine, comes out to a round number of $600.00. Of the $600.00, the two bottles of wine total $200.00. I say you tip on the total of $600.00. My friend argues with me that restaurant owners have told him that you tip on the $400.00 food portion. There is some gray area with the scenario due to the restaurant wine being offered and poured by a sommelier, or your table’s server.

If you have a party of ten, and the total bill is $3,000.00, with $700.00 of that total being wine, do you tip on the $3000.00 (x 20 percent = $600.00) …or do you tip on the food portion of $2,300.00 (x 20 percent = $460.000)? Come on, chime in with your take on this sleep-depriving dilemma.

With all that said, if you are a moron acting like you know how to taste wine, you have no choice but to tip on the entire bill. Right?

Her Expression is Priceless!!

  • As always, I try to provide my take on Pure Talent. While I realize I go ‘old school’ on many of my Pure Talent takes, it is not easy for me to benchmark the talent of today versus yesteryear. Sure, the take above with Beyonce demonstrates her vast talent, but it has occurred to me, after seeing both the Eagles and War in the last three weeks, that songwriting and the ability to perform are better reflected from the past. Remember, it is JUST MY TAKE, and as always, I welcome yours.

This band and this artist came to prominence after performing at the Isle of Wight Festival in the summer of 1970. The Isle of Wight is a small island of England, sitting off the coast in the English Channel. With a population in 1970 of less than 100,000 people, the festival, which included Jimi Hendrix, Chicago, Moody Blues, Miles Davis, Joan Boaz, Jethro Tull, Sly and the Family Stone, and Emerson Lake & Palmer, drew 700,000 people. Emerson, Lake, & Palmer’s album, “Brain Salad Surgery” launched their stardom, becoming one of the most commercially successful rock groups of the 1970’s.

Greg Lake was an English musician, singer, and songwriter who helped shape the progressive rock genre in the 1970s. He founded King Crimson and then formed Emerson, Lake, & Palmer. This solo of the song “From the Beginning” shows off Lake’s awesome voice and guitar skills. This timeless classic brings us a sense of nostalgia and relationships, with an opening line “There might have been things I missed, but don’t be unkind,” -I assume reflecting through past regrets and mistakes. This song, if released today, by an artist like Chris Stapleton, Sam Smith, The Weekend, Keith Urban, Adele, or Teddy Swims, would easily hit the top of the charts. Listen to the words – this is Pure Talent.

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake, & Palmer

Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and Have a Great Easter Sunday!

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