I carefully composed a reply on Google keep notes but found out substatic doesn't let me copy it into this reply so I'll get back to you in the morning when I'm at my computer

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I only finally opened your links so I could exit your comment, without feeling guilty. Then you hijacked 90% of my writing time today. I only have myself to blame for indulging myself by writing more than you will ever find time to read.

I am intrigued by your offer. “Life’s Lessons” are what I am all about.

As a person recovering from addiction and a retired Addiction Counselor, one of the favorites I gathered along the way was “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson!”

However, I am at a tipping point, both in my writing life and in my efforts to shepherd family and friends through their escape from the Drug World’s *Fatal Attraction*. Right now, they are doing well, but their trendlines are not only *not* straight up, but also not a straight incline, with the possibility of a sudden precipitous decline always one impulse away. Sometimes caused by a sudden uptick that makes them forget where they came from and where they want to be going and “Yes, I’ll have one…” sidetracks them

I think I am hearing you say that there are many approaches to your own method of Mediating Lessons for additional emotional impact.

I have a dream myself. Getting, say, Steven Spielberg, to create a story or documentary that would use Jurassic Park style reptilian creatures to drive home the message that allowing our own reptilian brain to hijack our more evolved brains and employ those for behaviors dedicated to immediate feelings of pure pleasure, “self-will run riot” will ultimately lead only to pure misery for all.

Those behaviors are not limited to abusing substances. Right now, the world is faced with individuals so selfish that they would invade another country or destroy democracy in pursuit of their own pleasures, none of which can ever be “enough.” The suffering of little children should be enough to deter any “human” with a functional mammalian brain from pursuing goals that will only lead to “lose-lose” outcomes for *everyone*!

Our Founding Framers knew better and tried to build guardrails against those who are incapable of caring about others.

I see the bottom of my lunch bowl drawing nigh and feel the fading of my brain which is telling me that I now must “Rest and digest” my food and my morning’s thoughts and experiences, in hopes of making sense of them for myself and others.

In my 80th year on the planet, I never know how much physical or mental energy I will have to dedicate to a given project, but if you have any suggestions for putting that energy to use on a project that I feel qualified to participate in, let me know.


A sudden faceplant into that bowl made me remember my vow not send replies until my brain has a chance to regenerate.

I had also made a vow to reply to five other folks that I met through the Writers’ Hour that have given me ideas that I have been trying to flesh out, working them in around my IRL concerns. S.E. Reid’s “Nostalgia” discussion, The Footloose Muse’s “Freedom” column and the “Sober Girl’s” columns that I haven’t gotten around to in spite of knowing that this was a person in early recovery, which is where I met my clients.

One of my visions is to Crowd Source some ideas that I have come to realize that I will never have time to achieve on my own. Not only information, but also ideas, “want to be free,” so I’m going to start a subsection of my Substack for those ideas.

One of them would be a Musicwise publication. Or…if you were interested, on *your* Substack.

I haven’t had time to read your examples and still don’t, but I can feel my rabbit-chasing gene kicking in, so…

And…then I idly clicked a link on my Substack dashboard and went haring after a publishing/theme rabbit.

Proving once again that those internet Rabbit Holes are really Black Holes of Time, full of exciting references that lead to other BHT or Dead Ends that I still read because reading is what I do.

Substack’s constant updates/new features make the old-fashioned “pencil sharpening” prep time pale. *Catch-22* has a scene wherein one of the characters goes through the process of making a list, underlying important items with flair etc. then leans back, satisfied that he has accomplished something.

Alas, I don’t do that. I just comment parenthetically until even my own eyes cross and my brain refuses to feed my mind more data and I click on YouTube to learn the latest outrage from Ukraine or Agent Orange’s latest attempt to destroy the democracy that made it possible for him to lie his way to the most powerful position in the most powerful nation in all history.

(Leans back, satisfied that he has accomplished something…)

(Snaps to attention. Remembering he had a *plan*!)

Yes! Read your example.

I thought of BTF when I saw the “Best time traveling movie…” URL, then thought, but no, it is probably some obscure movie I never heard of. I actually did see that during the “honeymoon” phase of a rekindled flame with the woman who finally became my wife. She was a movie freak, but after that flame flickered under the relentless assaults of her drug use associated problems, I was back to reading and she was back to watching *The World According to Garp* alone for the hundredth time.

I could call upon her “Knowledge Base,” but meth’s relentless assault on her life’s flame caused her to pass ten-years ago.

(Snaps to attention…)

So, I did read the example. While I could only recall the scene where McFly slides across the stage on his knees and the teens stopped dancing and stand still, appalled by this sudden trip to music’s future did complete a connection between my limited KB and music.

Having been there for rock and roll’s borning cry, “A wop-bop-a-luma-a-wop-bom-boom,” seeing Elvis in concert in Omaha in 1956, on his first tour out of his home region, suffering through the Mafia’s takeover of *our* music (Payola and Mafia nephews), reading the actual newspaper account of *The Day the Music Died* on a cold Wednesday morning and being doubly disappointed, because Buddy was due at my hometown venue on Thursday night. Motown, Dylan, the British Invasion, movies like Monterrey Pop, Woodstock, Joplin in concert, many more in my extended adolescence, including the three-day Woodstock of the Midwest at the 1974 Ozark Mountain Festival at the state fairgrounds in Sedalia MO …

I was going somewhere with that when that burst of nostalgia carried me into my musical past.

Oh, yeah. So, when Marty was sliding and the teens were staring, I was thinking, “That would never have happened at the Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines. We were already hip to music at that age…”

But…were we? If you haven’t been brought along that trip in stages, would your musical ear “hear” music or noise?

Then…I recalled my first exposure to Led Zeppelin in 1969. Drunk, eating steak and eggs after the bars closed, during my honkytonk era as I became a sheetrocker, hanging with rednecks, listening to jukeboxes featuring songs by Merle and then having my musical “ear” assailed by “I’m gonna give you every inch of my love,” funny to my still juvenile sense of humor, but, my God!

Loud and annoying, as I came down from the speed that had propelled me through my day, drinking a half-gallon of milk, then, finally hungry for something solid (as in solid, blood-clogging fats) and seeing teens at another table, obviously digging it, I was starting to appreciate my father’s lack of appreciation for Elvis.

A few years later, accompanying my youngest brother and his friends, I was happy to attend a Led Zep concert in St. Paul. And, recently, I discovered A Tribute to Led Zeppelin, featuring Heart at the Kennedy Center, a performance of *Stairway to Heaven* that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up and brought tears to my eyes.

BTW, that song and *Hotel California* are anti-drug songs. “There’s a lady who’s sure that all that glitters is gold…” and “you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave…”

And…of course, I had to read the obituary of Nurse Ratchet…

One more thing: I don’t care for “Musicals” where they interrupt the action and everyone breaks into song, with tunes that seldom grab my attention. But…music that blends seamlessly with the storyline was exemplified for me in 1957, in *The Girl Can’t Help It*, when they broke away from Jayne’s Mansfield’s enormous breasts to Little Richard screaming the title song, still one of my favorite tunes from him. He later described her as “amazing.” Sophia Loren, who I consider a more attractive female, must also have been “amazed,” based on a photo of her sitting next to Jayne at some event.

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>>In my 80th year on the planet, I never know how much physical or mental energy I will have to dedicate to a given project, but if you have any suggestions for putting that energy to use on a project that I feel qualified to participate in, let me know.<<

You mentioned “Catch-22”:

>>Catch-22* has a scene wherein one of the characters goes through the process of making a list, underlying important items with flair etc. then leans back, satisfied that he has accomplished something.<<

It sounds to me that “Catch-22” (1970) would be the perfect film to draw life lessons from.

I love “musicwise.” That would be a lovely newsletter section! Perhaps a life lesson from “The Girl Can’t Help It” (1956) would make a great post. I have two music-focused entries on “moviewise” that you may find interesting:

A Short History of Jazz in Movies: 1927 - 2016


Reaching Nirvana :Classic Albums: Nirvana – Nevermind (2005) Documentary


Anyway, I appreciate you taking the time to respond, and I thank you for sharing this gem:

“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson!”

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