The choice: To know but to be silent

Last evening I was tired and watching a movie that I just could not get into, a best picture-nominated movie called The Power of the Dog. That’s all on me, I am sure, as my attention span was wavering. The movie received 12 Oscar nominations, so who am I to say that it is not excellent?* I will attempt to watch it again while it is still available on HBOMAX, oops! Netflix. As an alternative, I put on some music for background, and ended up listening to Simon and Garfunkel.

My brother Steve was a composed and quiet man, and when traveling would listen to S&G more than anything else. In 2011 he lay on his deathbed, we around him waiting for the inevitable. They were playing religious music over the speaker for his benefit, and my son went down to the nursing station and asked that they play S&G instead, and they obliged. Steve went out listening to two of the finest musicians of my era, and certainly the best songwriter.

S&G got off to a rocky start, and broke up on occasion. After their Tom and Jerry days, Simon went to England, which is where he was when he was contacted by Mike Nichols and asked to write  some music for The Graduate. From that came a series of songs, the most famous called Mrs. Robinson.” It was originally going to be a send up of Eleanor Roosevelt, but was adapted to the movie.

For me, the move to England is odd, Even more so is noted to the left, a screen cap from The Peerage, the website that lists all the high and mighty of Great Britain over time. We know that most musicians are famous more by lineage than talent, but Simon is someone truly talented. It happens, I guess, right Ms. Swift?

One thing led to another, and I found myself listening to The Sounds of Silence, some of the most moving lyrics ever written. I’m going to print them below, maybe interspersed with some commentary, but if there is no commentary, it just means that my verbiage was not up to the superb quality of Simon’s.

By the way, in 1971 I was going to school and working a graveyard shift at a local grocery store. Two of the guys I worked with were gay before gay was OK, and had bits of fun with me, knowing I was straight. One night when all three of us were off we went out drinking, and these two filled my aged-21 naive head with their view of Hollywood, where everyone was gay. All of the top talent, singers and actors were, according to these two, privately gay, even Bob Hope. I asked how they knew, and one opened a matchbook ever so delicately and took out a match, saying something like “We have our signals.” Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were both gay, they told me, and the song below was an anthem, the “Sounds of Silence” being those signals sent to one another as they lived in the closet of the straight world. I know now they were wrong, but was affected for the first time in my life of awareness of the gay culture hidden in plain sight. Anyway, the song below is not the gay anthem. They were wrong about that.

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

I read long ago, I think in Rolling Stone Magazine, that the words “Hello darkness my old friend” came from Simon’s late night habit of sitting quietly in a dark bathroom and meditating.

In restless dreams, I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light, I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never shared
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

Those words, people talking without speaking, hearing without listening, writing songs not shared, are so potent, almost Shakespearean in content. What goes on around us all day, every day? I am not talking about texting and all the electronics that goes on today, but rather our emotional lives, hidden behind our faces, subtly signaled. The signals are picked up by anyone with any awareness, but we never talk about them. They are the part of our lives that gives us depth and meaning. And no, it is not just the gay culture. It is all of us.

“Fools” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
Then the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
In tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence

“Prophets” are widely misunderstood. As a school kid, I thought they were people who knew the future. They don’t, as no one does. They are instead the people who see more in the present that anyone around them, the ones who know that Covid is fake, as are wars and assassinations and mass shooting and slaps on the face during the Oscars. What is our reward? Ostracism. If we want to get along in this world, we have but one option: Silence.

____________________

*I did not watch the Oscars, but was secretly hoping that West Side Story would garner best picture. It is a massive remake of the 1961 movie, but honest to its roots. The singers were pure singers, no Autotune that I could detect, and superb choreography, and with every Leonard Bernstein song left intact, not jazzed up. At then at the end of the credits the screen says, by the way, that 15,000 people worked on the movie. I wonder if it is Spielberg’s masterwork, his magnum opus. He made the ’61 work so much better by toughening up the Sharks and the Jets, making them more menacing even as they sang and danced. That’s quite an accomplishment.

43 thoughts on “The choice: To know but to be silent

  1. Oscar noms. Movies released any recent decade, let alone this one. HBO. Paul Simon. Mike Nichols. Rolling Stone magazine. Steven Spielberg.

    That’s a lifetime or two of Total-Fakery, spookery, payola, and propaganda there…!!

    And how do you “know now they were wrong”?

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    1. “I’m sittin’ in a railway station, got a ticket to my destination” was written by Simon during his stay in England. While there he got a call from Nichols, who wanted him to do the soundtrack to The Graduate. That does not go by me – an unknown artist who has never done a project like that gets pulled back to the US to reunite with Artie and make a huge hit soundtrack. That’s really odd. But I let it go in the piece as I wanted to focus on the lyrics.

      I was a Rolling Stone subscriber for years, in fact, when my brother who died stopped by here for a (I did not yet know) final farewell, I photocopied for him a long piece from RS about S&G. So I know I was a subscriber in 2011. I still believed in many things then that I am now disabused of. So don’t suggest that you are talking over me. I know all this stuff goes on, that Spielberg is juiced. I’ve written here about the K and the G in SKG, that they are really a set of twins once known as Buddy Holly. I am alone in that belief, but stand by it. In the intervening time between Holly and K&G, they were known as “Gram Parsons.” If you want to know about a spooky fake death, read about him.

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      1. Simon probably could have made just as much money writing lyrics for other artists than he did off his own songs, But he probably preferred doing his own compositions. From what I know about him; From what I’ve heard, He’s a very reserved guy who doesn’t like to spend a lot of time in one place at any time. Probably Shy…And prefers to remain within the sound of silence. His writing speaks volumes. is he a prophet; Whats a “prophet”? I think along the way he had an epiphany; a sudden striking understanding of some things…Something that aroused him; Awoke his senses with a deep awareness and understanding of what was unfolding before his very eyes that very few people can see. He’s gifted in a way that he was able to put his revelation into words…Words you may interpret in many different ways; to have different meanings to each individual listener. But I’m sure he knew what,”He meant”and he was laying it out to open your eyes to the world around you; Even if it was only for himself.

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        1. As I see it, he had given up on a music career in the US, and moved to Britain, where he would be connected and guaranteed success, even if modest. But Nichols had him in his Rolodex and knew of his heritage, and knew that he also had some raw talent. So it was no coincidence that Nichols contacted Simon, as they were insiders. Nichols surely brought in others to spice up the music and make them stars. Mrs. Roosevelt became Mrs. Robinson by aid of the Wrecking Crew, as with all their other numbers. Simon was juiced. How much talent, how much juice? I do not know.

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          1. A lot of the guys took the same route because they had a better shot at breaking into the business. it’s easier to gain some traction over there and work your way back here to the states. it’s so competitive here without the right connections, it’s nearly impossible, especially back in the 60s and 70s. Over in Britain they have a saying; You haven’t made it until you “Make it across the pond”. How much juice; I don’t know enough to speak on it, But as far as Simons Lyrics ? Safe to say that was all him,Man.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Mark, I know how you feel about posting music videos on your venue. This isn’t the place for it, unless “You” post it, so I didn’t. But I came across a band called “Disturbed”who did a rendition of “The Sound of Silence”. And I thought you might like to check it out.But be prepared, I know what the song means to you,and of course nothing compares to “The original”. You may find it “Delightful or Disturbing”..Or Both, whichever way you look at it. When you find the time to listen to it ..Tell me what you think.

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              1. I have no problem with posting of videos, but the person I addressed made it a habit, on or off topic, along with every little thought that ran through his head. In that situation, he needs to get his own blog. I am not his posting wall.

                And yes, I know about Disturbed, perhaps in the manner you discovered him, via Fil of Wings of Pegasus? If not, he does an analysis.

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                1. Yup, That’s where I found it. The guy has a voice of both an Angel and a Devil in my opinion, But if you’re going to cover a song. it’s O.K. to do at weddings,parties and Barrooms. But if you’re trying to do a “Remake”…You better damn well do it “As good or Better”than the original, Because if you can’t do it justice…Then leave it the fuck alone.

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          2. I said it about The Beatles, and now about S & G: yes, the assistance, if there (and hidden) , bothers me… but how about the resultant music and lyrics? Fantastic. Maybe The Assistance did insert subliminal words and frequencies – I don’t know. It seems though, once again, that not everyone falls prey to that shit – and can just listen and appreciate. Maybe my open crying at certain songs, in general, IS the intention.

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            1. Back in the 60s and 70s they could do instrumentals on behalf of rock stars, ergo the Wrecking Crew, but these people had to put out quality songs and singing. The Beach Boys could not play their stuff, but they were a harmonic group and they did the vocals on all their stuff, except those parts done by Glen Campbell when Brian was unable to perform. I remember them coming on the Tonight Show, and they told Johnny that they started as vocal harmonizers, and sitting on the couch, sang a piece without any backing. They were good.

              Likewise the Beatles, were very carefully recorded and in perfect pitch. There’s a piece by them, however, called The End I think, where each of the three, John, Paul and George, supposedly does a guitar solo to close out their group recordings. Maybe George, maybe, but I am betting Clapton stopped by that day.

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      2. Mark, you re not lone. I love the Buddy to K&G ruse. The Parsons interlude has always troubled me, though- it breaks the pattern- a dead rock star doesn’t become another dead rock star, does he? But, maybe there was a role to be filled and he/they were the only one’s in the bastard file available.
        Geffen (which auto correct turns into Gofence) seemed to have a ghost persona name Neil Bogart, founder of Casablanca Records. I haven’t done a chop because Bogart’s face seems to derive from one (1) photograph during his tenure as a music mogul. Check google images. It’s bizarre. Geffen and Bogart were born just weeks apart and I wonder if the Bogart persona was some kind of money laundering op for the Geffen group to get their sea legs. Just wild and crazy spitballing.

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      3. Wait, what??? Buddy Holly was a set of twins? Okay, please tell me where I can read more of your analysis regarding that topic. I’ve read about Gram Parsons, and that nothing about his death ever made sense, so I shouldn’t be surprised if BH is fake, as well…

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  2. Mark

    I’d like to read your piece about SKG.
    Can I find it on here?

    Have just been reading MM on Holly last night. I’m interested in your take.

    Thanks for your insights

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  3. Mark

    Thank you. Fascinating work & discussion. I’ll read again when you have done the face splits. It got me thinking about the face splits you did the other day with Darwin and Max Igan, how the two pics of Igan didn’t match. Maybe Igan is twins? That could feed into what Stephers said about having a sense that Igan has a role..

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  4. Paul Simon has a brother, Eddie, who is supposedly younger but looks incredibly like Paul and may be his twin.
    He is a good musician and singer as, well.
    I make no claims but it is interesting to say the least.

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  5. Hello Mark, have you ever looked into the sudden appearance of Tyka Nelson shortly after Prince’s “death”?

    She is said to be a sister of his who is a singer/songwriter. She claims not to have wanted to hitch a ride on her brother’s success and strangely was not aware of his success until the last four years before his death.

    She is also the sole heir to his fortune as Prince would not have written a will but she also claims that he saw his death coming.

    There are no known photos of Tyka and Prince together.

    There is a lot you can do with silicone and a fatsuit. I think it takes a more practiced eye than mine to see through that.

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      1. Not sure if I posted this before–it’s a Prince music video for the song “Face Down,” which–in its visuals and in the song’s lyrics–seems to be Prince’s statement of intention for faking his own death. The video even blatantly foreshadows Prince masquerading as a woman after the fake death. Throughout the video, someone who looks like Prince is lying face down in a coffin. At the end of the video–at the 3:07 mark–a figure dressed in black and wearing a widow’s veil lifts the veil, and we see the “woman” is Prince. Oh, and a refrain of the song is, “Dead like Elvis.” Lots of conspiracy candy.

        I’m pretty convinced “Tyka” is Prince. Even if not, it seems obvious to me that “Tyka” ain’t no female.

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        1. Thanks SCOTTRC, that is very telling indeed.

          From the lyrics of Face Down:

          “Somebody once told him that he wouldn’t take Prince through the ringer Let him go down as a washed up singer”

          That’s “ringer” without a “w”. This is how it is written on all sites on which the texts are published, not a typo. It is phonetically the same as “wringer” but means “one that enters a competition under false representations” (or “one that strongly resembles another).

          And then there’s a Money Mix of Face Down that starts with the lyrics “Don’t play with my money Face down, never gonna take what’s mine”

          I am now truly convinced that he was playing the sole heir to his own fortune as an explanation of why no one else would share in the inheritance.

          That didn’t really work according to this Rolling Stone article: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/prince-estate-value-1285413/

          The album Face Down is on is called “Emancipation”, “the fact or process of being set free from legal, social, or political restrictions; liberation” (Oxford Languages). The cover features an image of two fists breaking free from a chain. Remember when Prince wrote “slave” on his face as a criticism of how the music industry treated him?

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          1. I also have the impression that the second verse is about his estate:

            And they just laughed in his face
            Talk to your lawyer but you got no case
            What you need to do is keep your place
            Next time you pull a card, it better be an ace motherf*#ker
            Or you can lay face down

            About being buried face down:

            “Archaeologists suggest that positioning a person’s skull face-down in their grave signifies that the community not only wanted to humiliate the person, but also make it more difficult for them to rise from the dead.” (digventures.com)

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          2. XS (and Greg and ScottRC),

            Tangentially (and esoterically) speaking . . .

            The director of Prince’s 1995 music video, “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” was Antoine Fuqua: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/antoine-fuqua-prince_n_5719a629e4b0d0042da8cd06. According to the Huff Post article I linked, Fuqua collaborated with Prince “around the same time that nasty record-label contract disputes inspired him to write the word ‘SLAVE‘ on his cheek during performances.”

            Fuqua is currently directing the new 2022 film, “Emancipation,” starring Will Smith (the Fresh Prince https://freshprince.fandom.com/wiki/Will_Smith) about a runaway slave (named Peter): https://www.radiotimes.com/movies/emancipation-film-release-date/. According to the Radio Times article I linked, “The film is based on the true story of ‘Whipped Peter’, a slave who emancipated himself from a plantation . . .”

            Yesterday (3/30/22), Radar Online published an article about the Smith/Rock Oscars encounter titled, “Chris Rock Comes Out Of Hiding, Keeps ‘Bruised’ Face Down As He Arrives In Boston For First Show Since Will Smith’s Oscars Slap”: https://radaronline.com/p/chris-rock-first-sighting-boston-photos-will-smith-oscars-slap/. The Radar Online article noted that Rock “has remained tight-lipped about the incident.” Interestingly, in 2016 – in reference to Prince’s reported death and the 911 caller (Andrew Kornfeld), TMZ titled their article “PRINCE
            911 CALLER TIGHT-LIPPED
            During Death Investigation”: https://www.tmz.com/2016/05/06/prince-andrew-kornfeld-911-caller-investigation/.

            Notably, “Peter” (a la Will Smith’s new character in Emancipation) means “Rock” (a la Chris Rock): https://www.biblehub.com/greek/4074.htm.

            There was one more metaphorical (black) “Rock” seen “face down” this past week . . . https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/18072031/chilling-calls-tyre-sampson-fall-icon-park/. According to the Sun article I linked, a 911 call was made exclaiming that Tyre Sampson was seen “face down.” The name, “Tyre” means “Rock”: https://www.worldhistory.org/Tyre/. This particular story and the associated name, Tyre, has numerous occult signals. In fact, the free fall ride (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop_tower) at the ICON park (evoking Prince as the pop music Icon https://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/music/prince-iconic-purple-rain-musician-dead-57-publicist-n559946) that the 14-year old Tyre was on (and allegedly fell from) could be likened to an elevator (circling back to Prince’s alleged death in an elevator, which was invoked in his lyrics https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/prince-predict-death-stars-haunting-7807949).

            There may be additional esoteric parallels that could be drawn in relation to the Princes and slave/emancipation signaling (and even the “face down” language and “rock” invocation). Though, I understand that most people do not head into the esoteric weeds in the way that I am compelled.

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            1. Stephers, you do go further down those roads than I do, but God bless you for it, haha.

              I noticed, but didn’t mention, upon rewatching the Face Down video, that Prince the “slave” is wearing what appears to be a Covid-era medical face mask when he is thrown “face down” to the floor by other band members at the 0:05 mark. This video, as best I can tell, was released in the mid to late 1990s, and I can think of no symbolic or aesthetic reason for the face mask that would have made sense back then. But almost 20 years later, the face mask imagery ties in quite neatly with the theme of slavery that Prince was so concerned with.

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            2. it just seems so much “time and wasted effort” to go thru all those “Changes to disappear” Just because they’ve had enough of the “lime light”. some may wanna live a normal life now and escape all that madness; and some may wanna boost their record sales after they make that final bow. Once you’re declared “DEAD” you just simply walk away…Like Tom Petty Said, “I’m gonna free fall out into nothin’, Gonna leave this world for awhile.

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                  1. I’m not saying some people haven’t left their past life to come back as somebody else; under a new guise to perform under a different act. I’m doubting that has not happened. But it Boggles my mind why anyone would want to step away from one Gig to another, unless they had some unfinished business they couldn’t achieve as their former selves…Certainly if it wasn’t more profitable.

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            3. According to Miles Mathis, Pfizer is the sponsor of the Oscars this year and they are coming out with a drug for alopecia.

              I have not been able to detect a single bald spot on Jada Pinkett Smith’s head, to be honest.

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    1. I’m not seeing Prince as Tyka Nelson in any photo researching. Unless they are using silicone or some form of face fx. There are a few photos where you can see Prince in Tyka andmake it seem he could have special effects done to look like her. But most photos could be compromised. I do not think he would have plastic surgery to look like that. Although I do not think Prince Rogers Nelson is dead. I said the same about Randy Rhoads, I actually believe he became his sister Kathryn Rhoads D’Argenzio.

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      1. Greg, I’d be interested to see what you’ve done as far as photo comparisons.

        In this YT clip of Tyka’s acceptance speech for a posthumous AMA award for Prince, a lot of commenters–Prince fans–seem convinced Tyka is Prince in a body suit with facial prosthetics. I’m inclined to agree–I wouldn’t imagine he’s had plastic surgery, either. But Tyka’s voice sounds, to my ears, like a male voice–Prince’s voice–straining to pass for female. Wish the technology to do voice analysis/comparison was widely available. That voice is suspicious, lol.

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          1. Okay, after seeing this clip in which Tyka names her half-siblings as caretakers of his estate and legacy I may have to go back on what I said earlier and has the Tyka display served its intended purpose after all. There is a good chance that the legal battle was fake.

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          2. Ya after watching that clip it seems that could be Prince in disguise. He/she acknowledged other siblings too. So the photos I looked at may be multiple people or even created. Any Skip Tracers or retired Private Investigators around? As Stepher’s comment implies to me that the themes are all connected and something bigger is at play other than people/celebrities, changing identities and pushing agendas, playing games for the wealthy elite. How far can we take it or close can we get to the truth of it before we realize we just have photos and videos posted on the internet to go by.

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      2. “I do not think he would have plastic surgery to look like that”

        I don’t think so either but I do have the impression that Tyka’s face is a silicone mask.

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  6. I spent today working on it, and I was being deceived by the overlays, the Gifs. It’s not as simple as I thought, and I am caught in some quandaries. It will be a new post in the coming days. Right now all I know is that there was more than one “Buddy Holly”, and I can tie them directly to Geffin and Katzenberg. But the Parsons interlude, not so much. Things are missing. The Geffin connection, for sure, but I cannot tie the Holly boys to the Parsons. I can only link Katzenberg to an odd looking Holly who does not match the rest. It’s a pretty good match.Confused, I am.

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