All Souls Day – A Democratic Day

A key purpose of All Souls Day (the second of November) is to remember all those dead souls who need our rememberance. This is a very democratic contrast with the preceding All Saints Day where the focus is on more illustrious people.

George Bernard Shaw died at the age of 94 on All Souls Day in 1950 from renal failure. This was a result of injuries sustained when he fell while pruning a tree. Only two people have ever won both a Nobel Prize for literature and an Oscar. Shaw was the first. Bob Dylan was the second.

One of Shaw’s many famous peices of thought is this idea: “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”

Modern western societies are now trashing very hardwon liberties out of fears which I believe constitute mass psychosis.

Lest we forget that life based on knowledge is always better than living in fear.

Geoff Fox, All Souls Day, 2021, Terra Nullius.

Mark Twain, Satchmo and New Orleans

The city of New Orleans was founded on May 7, 1718.

In 1859, Mark Twain wrote, “It has been said that a Scotchman has not seen the world until he has seen Edinburgh; and I think that I may say that an American has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi-Gras in New Orleans.”

In 1865, Twain wrote: “When you want genuine music–music that will come right home to you like a bad quarter, suffuse your system like strychnine whisky, go right through you like Brandreth’s pills, ramify your whole constitution like the measles, and break out on your hide like the pin-feather pimples on a picked goose,–when you want all this, just smash your piano, and invoke the glory-beaming banjo!” Here I think Twain was looking for the type of freedom which would later on be born and reborn many times in New Orleans.

In 1901, New Orleans saw the birth of Luois Daniel Armstrong. about whom Bing Crsoby said that he “was was the only musician who ever lived, who can’t be replaced by someone …….. ‘Reverend Satchelmouth’ ……… is the beginning and the end of music in America.”

Satchmo himself said, “Every time I close my eyes blowing that trumpet of mine, I look right into the heart of good old New Orleans. It has given me something to live for.”

From Tennessee Williams: “America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.”

From Bob Dylan, “There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better …….. ……. Everything in New Orleans is a good idea.”

E Pluribus Unum.

God’s Blessed America.

Geoff Fox, 7th May, 2020, Down Under