Snark: to annoy or irritate

"Snark" has been in English language dictionaries since at least 1906, and Lewis Carroll used the word to describe a mythological animal in his poem, The Hunting of the Snark (1874). Most recently, the word has come to characterize snappish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited comments or actions directed at those who annoy or irritate us.

At first, this blog was just going be a place to gripe, but because it's more satisfying to take action than it is to merely complain, now most of the posts/reposts suggest ways to get involved in solving problems.


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Monday, January 17, 2011

Peace Train, take this country....

"For out on the edge of darkness,
there runs the Peace Train.
Peace Train, take this country...."
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the USA. Dr. King was born on January 15th, but the holiday honoring his life and accomplishments is celebrated on the third Monday of the month every year. The holiday was signed into law by President Reagan in 1983, but it was another 14 years before the holiday would be celebrated by all 50 states (in 2000). To hear Dr, King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, go to http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream2.htm  
When I turned on the radio this morning, I heard a song that took me back to the 1970s, when Dr. King's vision of a better America actually seemed possible. The US was still waging war in Viet Nam, but many musicians and other public figures were actively promoting messages of peace and understanding. The song was "Peace Train" by Cat Stevens (see lyrics, below).  As I sang along, for a moment I once again felt hopeful that my nation would end its greed and war-mongering and take the lead in promoting a better world for everyone. Now, 40-some years later, I can no longer summon that kind of hopefulness, except suddenly, briefly, and accidentally, as I did this morning.
Cat Stevens, who changed his name to Yusuf Islam after converting to Islam is an English musician. 
Here is a little information about him from Wikipedia:
His early 1970s record albums Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and the Firecat were both certified as Triple Platinum by the RIAA in the United States. He has also earned two ASCAP songwriting awards in consecutive years for "The First Cut Is the Deepest", which has been a hit single for four different artists. Stevens converted to Islam at the height of his fame, in December 1977, and adopted his Muslim name, Yusuf Islam, the following year. In 1979, he auctioned all his guitars away for charity and left his music career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes in the Muslim community. He has been given several awards for his work in promoting peace in the world, including 2003's World Award, the 2004 Man for Peace Award, and the 2007 Mediterranean Prize for Peace. In 2006, he returned to pop music with his first album of new songs in 28 years, An Other Cup.




Peace Train
Now I've been happy lately
Thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be
Something good has begun

I've been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Something good's bound to come

For out on the edge of darkness
There runs the peace train
Peace train take this country
Come take me home again

Peace train sounding louder
Ride on the peace train
Come on the peace train
Peace train's a holy roller
Everyone jump upon the peace train
This is the peace train

Get your bags together
Come bring your good friends too
Because it's getting nearer
Soon it will be with you
Come and join the living
It's not so far from you
And it's getting nearer
Soon it will all be true

Peace train sounding louder
Ride on the peace train
Come on the peace train

I've been crying lately
Thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating?
Why can't we live in bliss?

For out on the edge of darkness
There rides the peace train
Peace train take this country
Come take me home again

Peace train sounding louder
Ride on the peace train
Come on the peace train

Come on, come on, come on the peace train...


--Cheryl




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