Do You Forgive Me? Well, I Forgive You Too.

Do You Forgive Me? Well, I Forgive You Too.

I really meant to post this piece about The Rose some time ago, and I’m sorry for being so late. Do you forgive me? Well, I forgive you too.

The Rose is the acclaimed 1979 dramatic musical film that tells the story of a self-destructive 1960s rock star, who struggles to cope with the constant pressures of her career and the ruthless demands of her business manager. The film is a fictionalized documentary based on the tragic life of singer Janis Joplin; it was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Actress in a Leading Role (Bette Midler).

The following two music videos from the film comprise the beginning and end segments of The Rose. If you never get the chance to watch the whole movie, these videos will show all that you really might need to know.

Bette Midler: Midnight in Memphis (The Rose, 1979)

Bette Midler: Stay With Me Baby (The Rose, 1979)

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The Rose: When the Night Has Been Too Lonely

Bette Midler: The Rose (1979)

Janis Joplin (1967/68)

The Rose: When the Night Has Been Too Lonely

It’s the dream afraid of waking
that never takes the chance,
It’s the one who won’t be taken
who cannot seem to give,
and the soul afraid of dying
that never learns to live.

In the 1979 movie The Rose, Bette Midler played Rose, a role that was a fictionalized biography of Janis Joplin.  For her outstanding performance, Midler was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 1980.  She was named Best Actress by BAFTA in 1981, and received the 1980 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress.  The Rose follows Rose’s career during her last tour.  Her rock and roll lifestyle and constant touring led her to an inevitable breakdown; she gave and gave and gave, until she had nothing left to give.

Bette Midler: The Rose (Music Video)

Bette Midler: The Rose (Extended Trailer, 1979)

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A Commemoration to Mark the Seventh Anniversary of 9/11

A Commemoration to Mark the Seventh Anniversary of 9/11

Sarah McLachlan: In Memory of WTC 9/11

Bette Midler: Wind Beneath My Wings

“The Prayer for America” Memorial, Yankee Stadium (11/23/2001)

Father Mychal Judge: The Saint of 9/11

Father Mychal Judge was a Franciscan priest who served everyone that he encountered with the passion and spirit of St Francis. Those who knew Mychal Judge have described him as carefree, open-eyed, laughing and humble. Some of his greatest friends were alcoholics whom he had saved from street corners, a mother who lost her daughter on TWA Flight 800 and a disabled former policeman whom he wheeled across an embattled Northern Ireland in an attempt to persuade the people there of God’s healing power of forgiveness.

Mychal Judge was also the dedicated official Chaplain for the New York Fire Department. He rushed to be with the FDNY firefighters at the site of the 9/11 World Trade Center tragedy, and as he was kneeling to give Last Rites to a fireman who had just perished there, Mychal was struck by falling debris from the burning towers and killed.

Father Judge was gay, which he knew would have caused him to be barred from the priesthood under the current Pope. He kept knowledge about his sexual orientation closely guarded, because he was acutely aware that it could become an obstacle to his work with some of the beloved firemen to whom his ministry was so dedicated.

In addition, many people have a special remembrance of Father Judge for his labors with and on behalf of persons who were suffering with AIDS during the early years of the crisis. Beginning in the early 1980s, when HIV really began to emerge with its fury of terror, Father Judge was one of the first persons to courageously devote himself to caring for those who were stricken, mostly alone, isolated from society and totally abandoned by their families. His steadfast kindness continues to stand as a role model for us all.

As part of this 9/11 memorial article, it is very worthwhile to remember the touching documentary about the life of Father Judge, Saint of 9/11. I am pleased to present the full version of this documentary here for you to view:

Documentary Film: Father Mychal Judge: Saint of 9/11

(Please Click Image to Watch this Documentary)

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Martin Luther King: A Remembrance

Martin Luther King, Jr: He Marched President Obama into the White House




One of the most visible advocates of nonviolence and direct action as methods of social change, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929. As the grandson of the Rev. A.D. Williams, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist church and a founder of Atlanta’s NAACP chapter, and the son of Martin Luther King, Sr., who succeeded Williams as Ebenezer’s pastor, King’s roots were in the African-American Baptist church. After attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, King went on to study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and Boston University, where he deepened his understanding of theological scholarship and explored Mahatma Gandhi‘s nonviolent strategy for social change. King married Coretta Scott in 1953, and the following year he accepted the pastorate at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. King received his Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston University in 1955. On December 5, 1955, after civil rights activist Rosa Parks refused to comply with Montgomery’s segregation policy on buses, black residents launched a bus boycott and elected King president of the newly-formed Montgomery Improvement Association. The boycott continued throughout 1956 and King gained national prominence for his role in the campaign. In December 1956 the United States Supreme Court declared Alabama’s segregation laws unconstitutional, and Montgomery’s buses were desegregated.

Rosa Parks: The Montgomery Bus Boycott

Barack Obama Speaks at Selma, Alabama

Seeking to build upon the success in Montgomery, King and other southern black ministers founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957. In 1959, King toured India in order to further develop his understanding of Gandhian nonviolent strategies. Later that year, King resigned from Dexter and returned to Atlanta to become co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church with his father.

In 1960, black college students initiated a wave of sit-in protests that led to the formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). King supported the student movement and expressed an interest in creating a youth arm of the SCLC. Student activists admired King, but they were critical of his top-down leadership style and were determined to maintain their autonomy. As an adviser to SNCC, Ella Baker, who had previously served as associate director of SCLC, made clear to representatives from other civil rights organizations that SNCC was to remain a student-led organization. The 1961 “Freedom Rides” heightened tensions between King and younger activists, as he faced criticism for his decision not to participate in the rides.nnConflicts between SCLC and SNCC continued during the Albany Movement of 1961 and 1962.

In the spring of 1963, King and SCLC led mass demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama, where local white police officials were known for their violent opposition to integration. Clashes between unarmed black demonstrators and police armed with dogs and fire hoses generated newspaper headlines throughout the world. President Kennedy responded to the Birmingham protests by submitting broad civil rights legislation to Congress, which led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Subsequent mass demonstrations culminated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in which more than 250,000 protesters gathered in Washington, D. C. It was on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

King’s renown continued to grow as he became Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1963 and the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. The Presidential Medal of Freedom was awarded to Dr. King by President Jimmy Carter in 1964. However, along with the fame and accolades came conflict within the movement’s leadership. Malcolm X‘s message of self-defense and black nationalism resonated with northern, urban blacks more effectively than King’s call for nonviolence; King also faced public criticism from “Black Power” proponent, Stokely Carmichael.

King’s efficacy was not only hindered by divisions among black leadership, but also by the increasing resistance he encountered from national political leaders. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s extensive efforts to undermine King’s leadership were intensified during 1967 as urban racial violence escalated, and King’s public criticism of the U. S. intervention in the Vietnam War led to strained relations with Lyndon Johnson’s administration.

In late 1967, King initiated a Poor People’s Campaign designed to confront economic problems that had not been addressed by earlier civil rights reforms. The following year, while supporting striking sanitation workers in Memphis, he delivered his final address, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” The following day, April 4, 1968, Dr. King was assassinated.

To this day, King remains a controversial symbol of the African-American civil rights struggle, revered by many for his martyrdom on behalf of non-violence, but criticized by others for his militancy and insurgent views.

Clayborne Carson, Editor
Martin Luther King Biographic Note
Stanford University


After her husband’s death in 1968, Coretta King emerged as an important activist in her own right. She founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and led the fight to make her husband’s birthday a national holiday. Yet she also was known as a loving mother who reared four children alone. She instilled in them a reverence for the ideals their father espoused, as well as an independence to chart their own courses, even if it challenged long-standing ideals of who or what they should be.

She became an international advocate for peace and human rights. She met with presidents and world leaders and was arrested fighting against apartheid. And well into her 70s, she traveled the globe to speak against racial and economic injustice, promote the rights of the powerless and poor, and advocate religious freedom, full employment, health care, educational opportunities, nuclear disarmament and AIDS awareness.

Coretta Scott King, 78, of Atlanta, died on February 4, 2006, at a holistic hospital in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, about 17 miles south of San Diego. Despite her physical struggles, friends and family members said her last days were painful, she had made a surprise appearance the previous month during The Martin Luther King Center’s annual “Salute to Greatness Awards Dinner” in downtown Atlanta. She was wheeled into the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, triggering an admiring standing ovation. She smiled, waved and kissed family members, but she did not speak. It would be her last public appearance.

A Musical Tribute to Correta Scott King:

On January 31, 2006, National Public Radio broadcast “A Musical Tribute to Corretta Scott King.” To honor Mrs. King’s memory, the program drew upon music from a long-standing tradition in Atlanta. From the 2005 edition of the annual King Celebration concert, the tribute to Mrs. King included Lift Every Voice and Sing, performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the glee clubs of Morehouse and Spelman colleges. The tribute also included a 1998 interview on National Public Radio, during which Mrs. King had reflected upon the importance of music to the Civil Rights Movement.

A Tribute to Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement

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Bette Midler’s Vegas Extravaganza: The Showgirl Must Go On

Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On

It’s been four long years since Bette Midler last dazzled audiences on the stage in the United States. But next week, she’ll open at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas with what looks to be a knock-out crowd-pleaser in The Showgirl Must Go On. The stage is sure to display the admired diva’s well-known reputation for extravagance.  The set has taken more than a year to construct and has pieces that were created in Los Angeles, New Jersey and New York before being shipped to Las Vegas.  The pieces include three 45-foot-tall trees and curtains that were created out of hundreds of thousands of individually painted gold coins.

Pink clouds compose one of the many electronic images that will glide across a video monitor the size of a movie screen, which serves as a backdrop for the stage.  Bette’s headdress is made of 63 pink silk feathers, nearly 20 feet tall and weighing 3,200 pounds (no, she will not actually wear it).  To amplify her on-stage frolicking, Midler will have a wealth of visual props on hand, along with a 13-piece band, 20 female dancers, 4 backup singers and 5 changes of costume.

The Showgirl Must Go On

Bette Midler: The Rose, Las Vegas (1997)

Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On

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Mourning the Amish Tragedy

Grieving in Silence

Milk Truck-Driver Executed Children in Pennsylvania Amish Schoolhouse

Charles Carl Roberts IV, a 32-year-old milk-truck driver carrying three guns and a childhood grudge, stormed into a one-room Amish schoolhouse on Monday, sent the boys and adults outside, barricaded the doors with two-by-fours and then opened fire on a dozen girls. Roberts killed some of the girls and critically injured others, before turning a gun upon himself and committing suicide. The latest reports state that six of the girls have died and the death toll might rise. Most of the children were shot execution-style at point-blank range after being lined up along the chalkboard inside the schoolhouse, their feet bound with wire and plastic ties. The shooting occurred around 10:45 a.m. on Monday in Nickel Mines, which is located in the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country.

On the evening of the shooting, Amish neighbors from the Nickel Mines community gathered to talk about their feelings of grief with each other and mental health counselors. According to reports by counselors who attended the grief session, the Amish family members grappled with a number of questions: Do we send our kids to school tomorrow? What if they want to sleep in our beds tonight, is that okay? But one question they asked might surprise outsiders. What, they wondered, can we do to help the family of the shooter? Plans were already underway for a horse-and-buggy caravan to visit Charles Carl Roberts’ family with offers of food and condolences. The Amish don’t automatically translate their grieving into revenge. Rather, they believe in redemption.

The Funeral Services

Funeral services for many of the children are being held on Thursday. In the aftermath of Monday’s violence, the Amish are looking inward, relying on themselves and their faith, just as they have for centuries. They hold themselves apart from the modern world, and have as little to do with civil authorities as possible. Amish mourners have been going from home to home for two days to attend viewings for the five victims, all little girls laid out in white dresses made by their families. Such viewings occur almost immediately after the bodies arrive at the parents’ homes.

Typically, they are so crowded, ”if you start crying, you’ve got to figure out whose shoulder to cry on,” said a Mennonite midwife who delivered two of the five girls slain in the attack. At some Amish viewings, upwards of 1,000 to 1,500 people might visit a family’s home to pay respects. Such visits are important, given the lack of e-mail and phone communication.

Update: In Thursday’s Amish funeral ceremonies, made even more touching and heartbreaking by centuries-old simplicity, four of the little girls were buried as the Amish of Pennsylvania turned the other cheek. With television and newspaper cameras kept at a distance, and police helicopters enforcing a no-fly zone overhead, one of the few non-Amish guests invited to the funeral of seven-year-old Naomi Rose Ebersole, the first little girl to be buried, was Marie Roberts, the killer’s wife.

With tears in her eyes, Mrs. Roberts sat in the back of one of the 34 black horse-drawn carriages that were part of the funeral cortege behind Naomi’s horse-drawn hearse. On the way from the church to the hilltop cemetary, the procession passed Mrs Roberts’ home where her husband, Charles, loaded up his guns before heading for the little village school on Monday.

On Saturday, Amish mourners joined family and friends for the funeral of the Pennsylvania truck driver who killed five Amish girls before taking his own life. Charles Carl Roberts IV was laid to rest in the graveyard of the Georgetown United Methodist Church, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The cemetery is not far from the school where the shootings took place and the Amish graveyard where his victims are buried. The Amish who came to the burial gave condolences to Roberts’ wife and three children.

Also on Saturday, local Amish leaders met to discuss the future of the West Nickel Mines School. Mike Hart, one of two non-Amish members of a board set up to handle donations following the killings, said the plan is to build a new school in a different location.

As part of their traditional manner during times of crisis, the deeply-religious villagers of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, turned inwards for support yesterday with prayers before, during and after each of the three ceremonies. As a Quaker, I have an empathic sense for the devout, private and quiet commitment to passivism and peace shared by members of The Old Order Amish. My kindest thoughts are with the Amish people as they embark upon the mutually reciprocal journey of healing themselves.

Background Music by Bette Midler:

Slide Show: A Memorial for the Amish

(Please Click Image to View Slide Show)

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