Famous teetotalers #1: Starr and Nietzsche

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starkey_2015Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) – One of two surviving Beatles who, from the 1960s, said in an interview after Sgt. Pepper words to the effect that drugs make you a lousy musician and artist: “we were just junkies dabbling in music”, he said in 2001. But as for alcohol, it took its toll on him during and after the Beatles’ breakup. He is clear of that now , and has been inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once for being a member of The Beatles, and once for his solo career.

nietzscheFriedrich Nietzsche (philosopher) – This German philosopher was one guy that never drank. He was frequently in frail health, both physically and mentally. Maybe he should have had a few schnapps. But he lumped alcohol and Christianity together as those two things that prevent us from facing our problems head-on. Alcohol dulls our senses, and never solves our problems, and we need to face life squarely and honestly, he would say. You have to respect that. Sadly, he died at age 55, never knowing the success of his contributions to philosophy. Even after his death, his contributions were used to justify anti-Semitism during the rise of the Third Reich. This was nonsense, of course, but it meant that the true value of his philosophies were not going to be seen until a half century after his death, or until the mid-20th century.


Crappy Album Covers #14 – I need help

Hits: 12

Freddie Gage has with this album cover, achieved a level of morbidity reserved only for folks like Nietzsche or August Strindberg. He has made a name for himself as an evangelical preacher who has won favour with the likes of Jerry Fallwell.

As a casual passerby who may not have heard of Freddie Gage, I would see that much of the design is taken up by the title.

Obviously, the death of all of his buddies weigh very heavily on his mind. He is from the southern USA and not some war-torn country. I am sure he didn’t lose anyone at Gitmo.

I think in reality, the voices inside his head told him to kill all his friends. Now he lives in regret, and in fulfillment of his persecution comlpex, he is now in actual pursuit by law enforcement.

So, what to do? Well, he could plead insanity when they arrive to apprehend him. However, he still has to live with all that guilt, on top of his illness. How does he do that?

Well, Dr. Murray Banks has the answer. He will be a fountain of advice and wisdom for our poor friend Freddie, telling him how he can live with himself, up until his first psychiatric appointment.

What about the artwork here? Late 50s to mid-60s low-budget cartoon-style artwork. For this, I would like to invent a new word to describe the effect: it’s chugly (cheesy + ugly). I think chugly was a popular style back then. It was during and after the McCarthy era that this artwork seemed to have its heyday. It didn’t offend, it could not be called “sexy” or “political” or anything else that was a virtual McCarthy-era cuss word. It was the artistic drek that could only come from the era and sociopolitical climate in which it existed. Lately, I have noticed that Starbucks and Chapters Bookstores have veered dangerously close to this kind of aesthetic.

For the record, “All My Friends Are Dead” is also the title of a song released around 2003 by the Norwegian punk rock group Turbonegro.

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