Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Apollo 8's Christmas Message (1968)

The year 1968 was one when the Vietnam War was raging at its height, there were protests, riots, assassinations and unrest throughout the West, the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia, and the US presidential election was one of the most tumultuous. Amidst the unease and unrest, a remarkable event occurred on Christmas eve: U.S. astronauts became the first humans to circle the moon, and while there, delivered a hopeful Christmas message. Its a message we would do well to be aware of as we deal with the uncertainty of the present age
Here's the full inspiring message.

The voyage also produced the iconic "Earthrise" photo, which showed Earth amidst the darkness of space.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to everyone on "the Good Earth."

Thursday, December 13, 2018

'80s Holiday Cheer

Here's some '80s holiday music memories.

Band Aid, "Do They Know Its Christmas":A multi-musician effort to raise funds for African famine relief made up of some of the most well-known '80s musical acts.
(Note: I initially mistakenly placed above a video for a subsequent version of "Do They Know Its Christmas" which was not the original '80s version.  I have corrected this, and now the original 1984 version of this song is posted above.)

The Pointer Sisters, "Santa Claus is Coming To Town"

Wham, "Last Christmas":One of the most "stylistically 80's" Christmas songs

Eurythmics' "Winter Wonderland"

Billy Squire, "Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You"

John Cougar Mellencamp, "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"

Friday, December 7, 2018

U2: "Happy Xmas" (And Some Thoughts)

Here's U2 in 1988 performing John Lennon's 1971 classic "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)."  Its indeed the holiday season again, and a time for joy as well as introspection. I love looking back nostalgically at the past, especially a hopeful moments. As typically nostalgic as this may sound, it does seem to me that things were more genuinely joyful and hopeful in times past. Of course, there was obviously still pain and sadness then too (after all, there were wars, and crises, and problems, and crime back then too). But it honestly seems to me as if those moments when joy and hope were present seemed more real and full back then. There was a greater space for things like genuine happiness, without irony.  Today, there seems to be a harshness in the air, and happiness just a little more circumscribed.

Here's a song I enjoyed listening to back in the '80s, Pat Benatar's "We Belong." Its not  a Christmas song, but one that maybe invokes a spirit that is applicable year round, including the holiday season. I guess I'm taking this time to ask that we think about whats going on, and what we can do. Maybe we can reach out to one another.  Maybe we can reach into our faiths and beliefs.  Maybe we can listen to one another better. Maybe we can all give thought to how to make the world less bitter, and more hopeful.

To all my readers:
Merry Christmas!!!
Happy Hannukkah!!!
Happy Holidays!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Monkees: "Unwrap You At Christmas"

Here's a new Christmas song from '60s pop group/TV stars the Monkees.  This song makes me smile for a number of reasons. First, it good to see that the Monkees are still at it all these years (albeit, sadly without Davy Jones, who passed on a few years ago). Second, its a Christmas song, which is always good. And, lastly its so upbeat and cheerful.