Sociology

WHEN THE OGRE OF CHILDREN IS CALLED PAS. “THE CHILDREN MUST BE HEARD”

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THE COLLECTING OF SIGNATURES AGAINST THE PAS

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WHEN THE OGRE OF CHILDREN IS CALLED PAS

THE CHILDREN MUST BE HEARD
(Children must be heard)

 

schermata-2016-05-03-alle-18-53-00The Federico Heart Association (Federiconelcuore) expresses bewilderment about the initiative  to hold a study day entitled “Children who refuse to meet a parent,” which will take place May 5, 2016 at the Auditorium  in Florence.
In the presentation, it reads that the event will be entirely dedicated to the “problem of minors who, in the course of a judicial separation between the parents, refuse to meet with one of the parents”, the phenomenon defined by the organizers “Parental Alienation”. The parental or parental alienation is a pseudo-scientific theoretical construct that seeks to attribute the behavior of a child who refuses to meet one of theschermata-2016-04-19-alle-11-49-16 parents to a campaign of denigration of the other parent, who would be able to manipulate the feelings of lesser inducendogli unjustified aversion. MISUSE theory lacks official recognition because of the absence of scientific evidence and is not encoded by the major systems of classifying DSM-5 and ICD-10 disease. Besides not being based on sound and replicable studies, parental alienation is built based on a false premise, ie a strong prejudice that the vast majority of allegations of mistreatment and abuse in the family minor, in particular those moves by women over cases of dispute for custody, are false, artificially constructed in order to obtain undue advantages of the courts. In fact, empirical research shows that the refusal of a child is most often caused by the injurious behavior of the rejected parent, guilty of domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, and the valuation procedures offered by the theory of parental il-fine-settimana-fa-male-agli-italiani-boom-di-certificati-medici-il-lunedì-mattinaalienation, refusing to consider alternative explanations to the behavior of the parties involved, it puts at risk the safety and health of women and children. In 2012 the Minister of Health has stated that this theory has no scientific basis and that same year the Minister of Health of Tuscany Region declared that “The position of the subject region is in line with what the scientific community” feeling “what unless inappropriate for a professional … refers to a disease not recognized scientifically and not classified as a disease. They are objecting to the use parental alienation also the National Federation of doctors’ orders, the Italian Societyimgres of Psychiatry and Italian Society of Paediatrics, who pointed out that, in the absence of the necessary scientific comfort, you run the risk ” to adopt not strictly check potentially productive solutions even more serious damage than theories claim to prevent. ” The Research Institute of the American prosecutors of the National District Attorneys Association, wrote in 2003, about parental alienation, which “is an unverified theory that, if not challenged, may cause long-term consequences for children looking for protection in the courts, “and that” it can threaten the integrity of the criminal justice system and the safety of abused children. “in the United States, in the revision of guidelines for judges PAS-300x169in 2006, states that the parental alienation “favors the abusers of children in custody disputes”, while the Association Spanish Neuropsychiatry in 2010 stated that “its application to court has serious risks.” It is also expressed about the Department of Canadian, who described the parental alienation Justice as “not supported empirically,” while the junta directive of the Professional College of Psychologists of Costa Rica mentioned the dangers associated with it, caused by ‘ “impossible to discern, using the criteria of PAS among the veracity or falsity of sexual harassment / abuse / neglect exercised by a parent defined as a victim.” That said, the Federico Heart Association in reiterates its deep concern in relation to the legitimacy and the logistical support offered by the Region of Tuscany in an event aimed at spreading a theory rejected by the international scientific community and accused of constituting a danger to the ‘physical safety and physical and psychological well-being of vulnerable groups such as the kids

SPREAD MORE ‘YOU CAN OUR INITIATIVE
Association: Federico in the heart- (FedericoNelCuore)
President. : Antonella Penati mother of Federico Barakat
WWW.FEDERICONELCUORE.ORG

Ass. Federico in The Heart
Resp.Regione Marche- Blogger: Dr. Chiara Lo Scalzo – https://ilricciocornoschiattoso.wordpress.com/author/ilricciocornoschiattoso/

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IDEAS AND TRENDS FOR HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING

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The countdown is on! Time to check gifts off the list and start wrapping things up.  Find stocking stuffer gifts, colorful Christmas gift baskets, and unique Secret Santa gifts that will keep them guessing.

RegaloRossoAre you ready to welcome Christmas? Do you have any idea about the latest Christmas trends that are presented for the next year? It seems that your answer is NO and this is why we are here to bring to you the latest and hottest Christmas trends for 2015 to help you to know how to decorate your home for welcoming this happy occasion. In fact, most of the ornaments and decorative items that are used for decorating home for celebrating this happy occasion are usually the same every year but there are simple changes that are presented every year and these changes include colors, materials and a diversity of ways that are followed for arranging ornaments whether it is in your Christmas tree or other spaces that can be decorated in your home.

Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if everyone were the same? If we all had the same color of skin, hair, eyes, etc., and we were all built just alike? Imagine if we all wore the same clothes, drove the same cars, sounded the same, and even smelled the same. The world would be so uninteresting! Thankfully, the world is filled with people of all shapes and sizes who have individual tastes, thoughts and beliefs, and that is what adds character and color to an otherwise bah-humbug…people didn’t want run of the mill items to place under the tree, but ordinary items were all that could be found. It’s no wonder people become so frustrated with shopping during the holidays!

Countless people around the world unite and celebrate Christmas every year. This is the most awaited celebration of each and

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every one of us. The holiday season is soon to arrive and everyone is already preparing for this special day. Like the angels, shepherds, and wise men in the past, the excitement and anticipation does not and will never wane. Make this date unforgettable to you and to others by sharing the love, the joy and the warmth of this special day. 

We all look for the ideal Christmas gift. It’s a quest that takes some of us longer than others. Here at christmasgifts.com, we take a lot of the guesswork out of finding the right gift. We provide a place full of possibilities for everyone. We feature a variety of Christmas gift ideas from large to small, frugal to extravagant, and simple to grandiose. Yet, all of them have one uniting aspect — to make this Christmas season the most memorable.

Who says shopping for Christmas gifts has to be complicated? When you know the person whom you are buying for, what gift you’re getting becomes less of a mystery. Nowadays, people buy gifts for more than just family. The list can include friends, co-workers, classmates, and neighbors. Some even buy gifts for those they don’t know by participating in a charity gift drive or a secret Santa gift exchange.

An easy solution is just to pick up a gift card for a local or online general merchant. It’s nice, but doesn’t necessarily have the same appeal of a package that you don’t know what is inside. We carry gifts at this website that are meant to stand out and be cherished and remembered. We specialize in showing unique Christmas gifts for everyone. From tiny stocking stuffers to gifts that are too large to fit under the tree, we have it all. Additionally, we have a multitude of decorations to make your holidays festive and enjoyable.

If you have a pet, they should be remembered at Christmas as well.   They are a part of the family also.   They would love to receive a new water bowl or food dish for Christmas as well as new toys chew on or play with.

Avoid the bah-humbug shopping experience and that bored reaction from your gift recipients this holiday season and forget about those generic gifts on the seasonal aisle at your local five and dime.

Of the Month Clubs to Warm Your Loved One’s Heart: Choose from a wide variety of monthly club subscriptions and present your loved ones with gifts that bring them holiday cheer throughout the upcoming year. With fruit gifts, gourmet food gifts, dinner gifts, cigar gifts, and even gift cards of the month, the right monthly subscription is right here!

Personalized Gifts: Nothing makes a gift more unique than to personalize it with the name, special quote, or touching sentiment that makes your loved one smile.


Jars of Notes:
Beautifully decorated jars of notes are filled with personalized messages that your loved one can open anytime he or she needs a special life throughout the year.

Experience Gifts: Enable your recipient to experience something he or she has always dreamt of like a hot air balloon ride, flying lessons, a scenic cruise, or even a massage. With thousands of experiences to choose from in a variety of price ranges you are certain to find the right experience for your loved one.

How giving experience gifts can create memories that last a lifetime.

While the tangible gifts (such as gift baskets, clothing, and books) will never go out of style, the Christmas season has a new player in town; experience gifts.  Experience gifts can be big like a hot air balloon ride to cross off your bucket list or learning to fly a helicopter, or small like a picnic in the park together or tickets to a baseball game. But one thing’s for sure, there is a perfect experience gift for every one of every age, and for every budget.

Create Exciting Holiday Memories: Think outside the box this holiday season and consider giving your teen a gift thatbrizzolari_6807x-pacchetto-rosso creates exciting memories that can be cherished for years to come. An experience gift is the perfect solution. With thousands of different experience options in a wide variety of locations, you are certain to find the perfect adventure for your teen. Choose from things like hot air balloon rides, skydiving, city tours, and much, much more.

Get Personal: Just like anyone else, teens love having their own name on their belongings, and even the most finicky of teenagers will love having a gift that is made especially for them. Choose from personalized shirts or hoodies, coffee mugs, jewelry, or even custom photo frames.

With a wide variety of music gifts, we’ve got something for every teen on your list this Christmas. Check out items such as built-in headphones and is compatible with your tween or teen’s iPod, or consider a portable multimedia player that features a top loading CD/ DVD tray and a 7 inch television screen. Other ideas to think about?    How about music?lessons plus ways to create their own music?

Whether you are Daddy’s little girl, Dad’s special son, or a mom who is in search of the perfect gift for that special dad in your life, there are many fantastic choices.

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Pocket Watch: Remember all of those times Dad showed up early for your school plays, sports games, and other activities? And how he never missed a beat when it was bedtime, suppertime, or the game was on TV? Show your dad or someone who is like a father to you how much you appreciate his timeliness with a personalized pocket watch this Christmas.

Cigars: An excellent Christmas gift dads who tend to enjoy an occasional cigar or the cigar enthusiast in your life, the cigar gifts at ChristmasGifts.com are smokin’ hot this year.

Experience Gifts: Give Dad that experience he’s always dreamt of with flying lessons, golf lessons, sky diving, race care driving and more.

Fake Magazine Covers: Feature Dad and all of his accomplishments on the cover of a fake magazine.

Personalized Glasses: Deck the man cave this Christmas with personalized beer glasses.

Surveillance System: Encourage Dad to keep his eye on you (like he needs any extra encouragement) with a home surveillance system.

Portable TV: Now Dad can watch the game no matter where he is with a portable TV.

Jars of Notes: Give Dad a sentimental jar of notes filled with your most heartfelt messages this holiday season, and show him how special he really is. Many moms’ would also like a special gift like this as well.

Personalized Photo Frame: Remind Dad of those special times you’ve shared throughout the years with a personalized01-pacco rosso photo frame. Don’t forget to insert your favorite photo for an even more special gift. Remember mom with a foto of a special memory in such a wonderful way.   It   would mean a great deal to her also.

Coffee Center: Dad will look forward to waking up to his favorite specialty coffee drink this winter when you present him with a new coffee center.

Handmade items.   Parents would love to show case something that you made with them in mind be it a homemade potholder, a picture or something of your own creation.   One thing I remember giving to my brother and nephew is hot wheel cars; they still are popular and unique toy today as well as a remote controlled car.

If you’re unsure of what to give it’s a perfect time to be creative and use your imagination in creating a gift for that hard to pleased person in your family.   It means a lot that shows you put a great deal of time and thought behind your gift. And the recipient will appreciate it that much more.

FOR MOM –   ISPIRED APPAREL

A variety of new sweaters and shirts have arrived! There are great apparel in both misses and plus sizes and most of our tops also come in additional colors!

Velvet is definitely the fabric for winter and a Velvet Cowl Neck Sweater is perfect for season! The sweater has a flattering waterfall hemline and relaxed cowl neck. This beautiful top comes in Navy and Black and is selling fast!

The Beaded Tunic is a piece that is sure to make a statement. The beautifully beaded scrollwork design instantly updates any outfit and the longer hemline makes it appropriate to pair with leggings. Choose an elegant combination of gray with silver beading; or if you are feeling bold, go for the red with black trim!

Fringe on clothes is a huge trend for the season and a Fringe Poncho is both stylish and functional. This layering piece can also be worn around your shoulders. It’s rare to find a button down poncho, and this one comes in both burgundy and black!

This holiday season; don’t forget to add some sparkle to your outfit!  The long sleeves sequin hemline tunic looks flattering on all shapes and sizes.  You can dress up this top by pairing it with a festive skirt or a pair of velvet draw string pants.  You’ll have a smart holiday look that won’t take a lot of time or effort to pull together. Ladies You can’t go wrong this season with a sequined mesh top with sparkly sequins and gorgeous georgette hemline.  This festive top is comfortable enough to wear all day, and the twinkling sequins give it a polished look.  It goes well with casual or dressy pants.

But always put time and thought into the gift you a looking to give that special person. Nothing is more embarrassing then to grab a gift only to have it refused, rejected or returned. The only trend these days     that I am not sure about is the hoverboard.   While it is growing in popularity amongst young people, it doesn’t appear all that safe.     If someone in your family is asking for one, use good judgement before purchasing it.   There should be no accident that happens as a result of getting a gift that appears safe, when it really may not be.     Just like giving a pet as a gift just because a youngster may want one.   They need to be responsible in taking care of the pet and taking good care of it. And not grow tired of it after a few days. Also giving a youngster a gift that is popular or that many of their classmates and friends have is no reason to give in to their desires and demands.   They really have to truly want the item and show that they can be responsible in taking care of their gift and be grateful for what they have received (and hopefully not turn into a spoiled brat).

Kathy Kiefer

BLACK FRIDAY – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

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BLACK FRIDAY – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

What is “Black Friday”? What is the definition of “Black Friday”? Why is it called “Black Friday”?

Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States (the fourth Thursday of November). Since middle 1960’s through the present , it has been regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the US, and most major retailers open very early (and more recently during overnight hours) and offer promotional sales. Black Friday is not an official holiday, but California and some other states observe “The Day after Thanksgiving” as a holiday for state government employees, sometimes in lieu of another federal holiday such as Columbus Day. Many non-retail employees and schools have both Thanksgiving and the following Friday off, which, along with the following regular weekend, makes it a four-day weekend, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers. It has routinely been the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005, although news reports, which at that time were inaccurate, have described it as the busiest shopping day of the year for a much longer period of time. Similar stories resurface year upon year at this time, portraying hysteria and shortage of stock, creating a state of positive feedback.

In 2014, spending volume on Black Friday fell for the first time since the 2008 recession. $50.9 billion was spent during the 4-day Black Friday weekend, down 11% from the previous year. However, the U.S. economy was not in a recession. The Christmas creep has been cited as a factor in the diminishing importance of Black Friday, as many retailers now spread out their promotions over the entire months of November and December rather than concentrate them on a single shopping day or weekend.  Contrary to what many believed, Black Friday did not originate from the sales of slaves on the day after Thanksgiving.

For many years, it was common for retailers to open at 6:00 a.m., but in the late 2000s many had crept to 5:00 or even 4:00. This was taken to a new extreme in 2011, when several opened at midnight for the first time. In 2012, Walmart and several other retailers announced that they would open most of their stores at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, prompting calls for a walkout among some workers. In 2014 stores such as JC Penny, Best Buy and others opened at 5 PM on Thanksgiving Day while stores such as opened at 6 PM on Thanksgiving Day. Yet there are retailers who opted not to open at all on the holiday, so that employees could enjoy the day with their families. More announced they would do the same for 2015.  I have never gone shopping on either Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday, and have no intention of starting now.

The news media have long described the day after Thanksgiving as the busiest shopping day of the year. In earlier years, this was not actually the case. In the period from 1993 through 2001, for example, White Friday ranked from fifth to tenth on the list of busiest shopping days, with the last Saturday before Christmas usually taking first place. In 2003, however, Black Friday actually was the busiest shopping day of the year, and it has retained that position every year since, with the exception of 2004, when it ranked second (after December 18).

Black Friday is popular as a shopping day for a combination of reasons. As the first day after the last major holiday before Christmas, it marks the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Additionally, many employers give their employees the day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. In order to take advantage of this, virtually all retailers in the country, big and small, offer various sales including limited amounts of doorbuster/doorcrasher/doorsmasher items to entice traffic. Recent years have seen retailers extend beyond normal hours in order to maintain an edge, or to simply keep up with the competition. Such hours may include opening as early as 12:00 am or remaining open overnight on Thanksgiving Day and beginning sale prices at midnight. Historically, it was common for Black Friday sales to extend throughout the following weekend. However, this practice has largely disappeared in recent years, perhaps because of an effort by retailers to create a greater sense of urgency.

The news media usually give heavy play to reports of Black Friday shopping and their implications for the commercial success of the Christmas shopping season, but the relationship between Black Friday sales and retail sales for the full holiday season is quite weak and may even be negative.   “Black Friday” as a term has been used in multiple contexts, going back to the nineteenth century, where in the United States it was associated with a financial crisis of 1869.

Many merchants objected to the use of a negative term to refer to one of the most important shopping days in the year. By the early 1980s, an alternative theory began to be circulated: that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss for most of the year (January through November) and made their profit during the holiday season, beginning on the day after Thanksgiving. When this would be recorded in the financial records, once-common accounting practices would use red ink to show negative amounts and black ink to show positive amounts. Black Friday, under this theory, is the beginning of the period when retailers would no longer have losses (the red) and instead take in the year’s profits (the black).

Despite frequent attempts to control the crowds of shoppers, minor injuries are common among the crowds, usually as a result of being pushed or thrown to the ground in small stampedes. While most injuries remain minor, serious injuries and even deliberate violence have taken place on some Black Fridays.

The day after Thanksgiving as the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season may be linked together with the idea of Santa Claus parades. Parades celebrating Thanksgiving often include an appearance by Santa at the end of the parade, with the idea that ‘Santa has arrived’ or ‘Santa is just around the corner’ because Christmas is always the next major holiday following Thanksgiving.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many Santa or Thanksgiving Day parades were sponsored by department stores. These included the Toronto Santa Claus Parade, in Canada, sponsored by Eaton’s, and the Macy*s Thanksgiving Day Parade, sponsored by Macy*s. Department stores would use the parades to launch a big advertising push. Eventually it just became an unwritten rule that no store would try doing Christmas advertising before the parade was over. Therefore, the day after Thanksgiving became the day when the shopping season officially started.

The sale day has caused a number of controversies over various practices: (1) Making unreasonable demands on staff, including requiring them to work, often long shifts, during Thanksgiving; (2) Health and safety risks due to insufficient staff for crowd management; (3) Selling “derivative” products manufactured just for Black Friday with lower specifications; and (4) Many employees are left with no choice but to work. (Work on Thanksgiving/Black Friday or be terminated).

Kmart began the trend of opening on “Gray Thursday” by opening at 7am, Thanksgiving morning, to appeal to those who wanted to miss any Black Friday traffic altogether, but still be home in time to have dinner with their families. As far back as 2009, Kmart has been utilizing this trend. It wasn’t until 2012, with backlash from the media, that Kmart started only opening at 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day, but staying open straight through Black Friday instead.

In recent years, retailers have been trending towards opening on Gray Thursday, occurring Thanksgiving evening. In 2011, Walmart began its holiday sale at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day for the first time. In 2012, Walmart began its Black Friday sales at 8 p.m. the day before on Thanksgiving; stores that are normally open 24 hours a day on a regular basis started their sales at this time, while stores that do not have round-the-clock shopping hours opened at 8 p.m. Competitors Sears and Kmart also opened at 8 p.m. on Thursday night, while Target and Toys “R” Us opened at 9 p.m. Other retailers, such as Lord & Taylor opened on Thanksgiving for the first time. In 2013, more retailers announced plans to open earlier on Thanksgiving. Kmart planned to open at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving and stay open for 41 consecutive hours until 11 p.m.  Friday. Toys “R” Us opened at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Walmart planned to start Black Friday sales at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving while Best Buy planned to open at 6 p.m. JC Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Sears, and Target planned to open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. In addition Simon Property Group planned to open its malls at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, it had been reported that 15,000 consumers “stormed the entrances” at Macy*s Herald Square for the 8:00 PM opening on Thursday.   The 2014 “Gray Thursday” sales were, a failure, as overall sales for the holiday weekend fell 11% compared to the previous year despite heavy traffic at the stores on Thanksgiving night. In response, a number of retailers decided to go back to closing on Thanksgiving for 2015, and Wal-Mart, although it is holding firm opening on the holiday and holding its sale, also pledged to offer the same deals online for those who wished to stay home.

Some websites offer information about day-after-Thanksgiving specials up to a month in advance. The text listings of items and prices are usually accompanied by pictures of the actual ad circulars. These are either leaked by insiders or intentionally released by large retailers to give consumers insight and allow them time to plan.

The term Cyber Monday, a neologism invented in 2005 by the National Retail Federation’s division Shop.org, refers to the Monday immediately following Black Friday based on a trend that retailers began to recognize in 2003 and 2004. Retailers noticed that many consumers, who were too busy to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend or did not find what they were looking for, shopped for bargains online that Monday from home or work.

The National Retail Federation releases figures on the sales for each Thanksgiving weekend. The Federation’s definition of “Black Friday weekend” includes Thursday, Friday, Saturday and projected spending for Sunday. The survey estimates number of shoppers, not number of people.

The length of the shopping season is not the same across all years: the date for Black Friday varies between November 23 and 29, while Christmas Eve is fixed at December 24th had the longest shopping season since 2007.

Kathy Kiefer

WHY IS THERE SO MUCH VIOLENCE AND TERRORISM TODAY?

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WHY IS THERE SO MUCH VIOLENCE AND TERRORISM TODAY?

Let me preference by saying that the face of Terrorists/terrorism and violence know no race, color, creed, nationality or even religion. Especially in the wake of the recent ISIS terrorism attacks in Paris.   Why do they do these horrendous acts? DO they really enjoy killing and seeing others suffer at some lunatics’ hand?

It has been reported that The Islamic State claimed the attacks were in response to France’s campaign against its fighters and insults against Islam’s prophet. The group warned that France would remain one of its top targets. Many of the world’s Muslims are not members of this or other extremist organizations; they remain true to their faith and their faith’s teachings.   Unfortunately these members of such extremist groups are doing their religion a disservice as well as giving it a bad name. It’s a little disconcerting to hear that there may have been some home grown terrorists in France that were (or potentially) communicating with the factions that actually were behind the terrorist attacks all around the country.

These attacks by these extremists have been deemed a crime against humanity. And the organizations recruited members from all over the globe.      In an effort to combat their efforts, all peoples and nations to stand together to fight the machinations of these groups.   Tighter the right will persevere against hate and violence.   The causes of terrorism seem almost impossible for anyone to define. Here’s why: they change over time. Listen to terrorists in different periods and you’ll hear different explanations. Then, listen to the scholars who explain terrorism. Their ideas change over time too, as new trends in academic thinking take hold.

Many writers begin statements about “the causes of terrorism” as if terrorism were a scientific phenomenon whose characteristics are fixed for all time, like the ’causes’ of a disease, or the ’causes’ of rock formations.

Terrorism isn’t a natural phenomenon though. It is name given by people about other people’s actions in the social world. Both terrorists and terrorism’s explainers are influenced by dominant trends in political and scholarly thought. Terrorists—people who threaten or use violence against civilians with the hope of changing the status quo—perceive the status quo in ways that accord with the era they live in. People who explain terrorism are also influenced by prominent trends in their professions. These trends change over time.

Although many people today believe that that religious fanaticism “causes” terrorism, it isn’t true. It may be true that religious fanaticism creates conditions that are favorable for terrorism. But we know that religious zealotry does not ’cause’ terrorism because there are many religious fanatics who do not choose terrorism or any form of violence. So there must also be other conditions that in combination provoke some people to see terrorism as an effective way of creating change in their world.   These terrorists and potential terror cells have no place in society and the world today.

There are two more reasons why asking, “What conditions create a favorable climate for terrorism?” is better than asking about causes The first is, it makes it easy to remember that there are always at least several conditions. Terrorism is a complex phenomenon; it is a specific kind of political violence committed by people who do not have legitimate army at their disposal. A second reason that has been useful for me, as I ask questions about terrorism, is that thinking in terms of ‘conditions’ helps me remember that people have a choice about whether to use violence.

There is nothing inside any person or in their circumstances that sends them — like a monopoly piece headed directly to “Go”— directly to terrorism. Instead, there are certain conditions, some of which make violence against civilians seem like a reasonable, and even necessary, option. Despite this, and some of the deeply unforgivable circumstances that foster terrorism, people always have the free will to seek another course of action.

Viewing terrorism as the extreme edge of mainstream trends helps us understand, and thus seek solutions, to it.  When we view terrorists as evil or beyond explanation, we are inaccurate and unhelpful. We cannot ‘solve’ an evil. We can only live fearfully in its shadow. Even if it is uncomfortable to think of people who do terrible things to innocent people as part of our same world, I believe it is important to try. You will see in the list below that people who have chosen terrorism in the last century have been influenced by the same broad trends that we all have.

In the early 20th century, terrorists justified violence in the name of anarchism socialism and communism. Socialism was becoming a dominant way for many people to explain the political and economic injustice they saw developing in capitalist societies, and for defining a solution. Millions of people expressed their commitment to a socialist future without violence, but a small number of people in the world thought violence was necessary.

In the 1950s through 1980s, terrorist violence tended to have a nationalist component.   Terrorist violence in these years reflected the post-World War II trend in which previously suppressed populations committed violence against states that had not given them a voice in the political process. Algerian terrorism against French rule; Basque violence against the Spanish state; Kurdish actions against Turkey; the Black Panthers and Puerto Rican militants in the United States all sought a version of independence from oppressive rule.

Scholars in this period began seeking to understand terrorism in psychological terms. They wanted to understand what motivated individual terrorists. This related to the rise of psychology and psychiatry in other related realms, such as criminal justice.

In the 1980s and 1990s, terrorism began to appear in the repertoire of right-wing, neo-Nazi or neo-fascist, racist groups. Like the terrorist actors that preceded them, these violent groups reflected the extreme edge of a broader and not-necessarily violent backlash against developments during the civil rights era. White, Western European or American men, in particular, grew fearful of a world beginning to grant recognition, political rights, economic franchise and freedom of movement (in the form of immigration) to ethnic minorities and women, who might seem to be taking their jobs and position.

In Europe and the United States, as well as elsewhere, the 1980s represented a time when the welfare state b had expanded in the United States and Europe, the agitation of the civil rights movement had produced results, and globalization, in the form of multi-national corporations, had gotten underway, producing economic dislocation among many who depended on manufacturing for a living. Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, the most lethal terrorist attack in the U.S. until the 9/11 attacks, exemplified this trend.

In the Middle East, a similar swing toward conservatism was taking hold in the 1980s and 1990s, although it had a different face than it did in Western democracies. The secular, socialist framework that had been dominant the world over—-from Cuba to Chicago to Cairo-—faded after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and the death in 1970 of Egyptian president Gamal Abd Al Nasser. The failure in the 1967 war was a big blow—it disillusioned Arabs about the entire era of Arab socialism. Economic dislocations because of the Gulf War in the 1990s caused many Palestinian, Egyptian and other men working in the Persian Gulf to lose their jobs. When they returned home, they found women had assumed their roles in households and jobs. Religious conservatism, including the idea that women should be modest and not work, took hold in this atmosphere. In this way, both West and East saw a rise in fundamentalism in the 1990s.

Terrorism scholars began to notice this rise in religious language and sensibility in terrorism as well. The Japanese Aum Shinrikyo, Islamic Jihad (holy war) in Egypt, and groups such as the Army of God in the United States were willing to use religion to justify violence. Religion is the primary way that terrorism is explained today.

New terrorism forms and new explanations are underway, however. Special interest terrorism is used to describe people and groups who commit violence on behalf of a very specific cause. These are often environmental in nature. Some predict the rise of ‘green’ terrorism in Europe–violent sabotage on behalf of environmental policy

No matter the location around the world, we are all one family and need to stand strong and support where ever the violence occurs that meaning the victims and countries. The little things matter, like donating blood that would help those that need it.

Kathy Kiefer

The Mediterranean Diet

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The Mediterranean Diet

Myths, Facts, and Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

Improving Emotional Health

When you think about Mediterranean food, your mind probably goes to pizza and pasta from Italy, or hummus and pita from Greece, but these dishes don’t exactly fit into any healthy dietary plans advertised as “Mediterranean.” The reality is that a true Mediterranean diet consists mainly of fruits and vegetables, seafood, olive oil, hearty grains, and more—foods that help fight against heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and cognitive decline. It’s a diet worth chasing; making the switch from pepperoni and cheese to fish and avocados may take some effort, but you could soon be on a path to a healthier and longer life.

What is a “Mediterranean diet”?

Mediterranean Diet Pyramid

Pizza, gyros, falafel, lasagna, rack of lamb, and long loaves of white bread: all these foods have become synonymous with what we call “Mediterranean.” We picture huge, three-hour feasts with multiple courses and endless bottles of wine. But over the past 50 years, Americans and others have altered the idea of Mediterranean fare, ramping up the meat, saturated fat, and calories at the expense of the region’s traditional fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seafood, olive oil, small amounts of dairy, and a glass or two of red wine. What was once a healthy and inexpensive way of eating back then is now associated with heavy, unhealthy dishes that contribute to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.

After World War II, a study led by Ancel Keys of the Mayo Foundation examined the diets and health of almost 13,000 middle-aged men in the US, Japan, Italy, Greece (including Crete), the Netherlands, Finland, and Yugoslavia. Remarkably, well-fed American men had higher rates of heart disease than those in countries whose diets had been restricted by the deprivations of war. It was the men of Crete, arguably the poorer people of the study, who enjoyed the best cardiovascular health. This was due to physical labor and their unique food pyramid.

The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid is based on the dietary traditions of Crete, Greece, and southern Italy circa 1960 at a time when the rates of chronic disease among populations there were among the lowest in the world, and adult life expectancy was among the highest, even though medial services were limited.

Aside from eating a diet consisting mainly of fresh and homegrown foods instead of processed goods, other vital elements to the Mediterranean diet are daily exercise, sharing meals with others, and fostering a deep appreciation for the pleasures of eating healthy and delicious foods.

Myths and facts of a Mediterranean diet

Following a Mediterranean diet has many benefits, but there are still a lot of misconceptions on exactly how to take advantage of the lifestyle to lead a healthier, longer life. The following are some myths and facts about the Mediterranean diet.

Myth 1: It costs a lot to eat this way.

Fact: If you’re creating meals out of beans or lentils as your main source of protein, and sticking with mostly plants and whole grains, then theMediterranean diet is less expensive than serving dishes of meat, cheese, and processed foods.

Myth 2: If one glass of wine is good for your heart, than three glasses is three times as healthy.

Fact: Moderate amounts of red wine (one drink a day for women; two for men) certainly has unique health benefits for your heart, but drinking too much has the opposite effect. Anything more than two glasses of wine can actually be bad for your heart.

Myth 3: Eating large bowls of pasta and bread is the Mediterranean way.

Fact: Typically, Mediterraneans don’t eat a heaping plate of pasta the way Americans do. Instead, pasta is usually a side dish with about a 1/2-cup to 1-cup serving size. The rest of their plate consists of salads, vegetables, a small portion of meat, and perhaps one slice of bread.

Myth 4: If you follow the traditional Mediterranean diet then you will lose weight.

Fact: Those living on Greek islands don’t enjoy good cardiovascular health just by eating differently; they walk up and down steep hills to tend to their garden and animals, often living off what they can grow themselves. Physical labor plays a large role.

Myth 5: The Mediterranean diet is only about the food.

Fact: The food is a huge part of the diet, yes, but don’t overlook the other ways the Mediterraneans life their lives. When they sit down for a meal, they don’t sit in front of a television or eat in a rush; they sit down for a relaxed, leisurely meal with others, which may be just as important for your health as what’s on your plate.

Health benefits of a Mediterranean diet

A traditional Mediterranean diet consisting of large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil—coupled with physical activity—reduces the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. More specifically:

Protecting against type 2 diabetes. A Mediterranean diet is rich in fiber, slowing down digestion and preventing huge swings in blood sugar.

Preventing heart disease and strokes. Refined breads, processed foods, and red meat are discouraged in a Mediterranean diet, and it encourages drinking red wine instead of hard liquor, which have all been linked to heart disease and stroke prevention.

Keeping you agile. The nutrients gained with a Mediterranean diet may reduce a senior’s risk of developing muscle weakness and other signs of frailty by about 70 percent.

Reducing risk of Alzheimer’s. Researchers speculate that the Mediterranean diet may improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels and overall blood vessel health—all factors that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Halving the risk of Parkinson’s disease. In a diet containing high levels of antioxidants that prevent cells from undergoing a damaging process called oxidative stress, the risk of Parkinson’s disease is practically cut in half.

Increased longevity. When there is a reduction in developing heart disease or cancer, as in the case when you follow a Mediterranean diet, there is a 20% reduced risk of death at any age.

How to make the change

If you’re feeling daunted by the thought of changing your eating habits to a Mediterranean diet, here are some suggestions to get you started:

Chicken Salad

  • Eat lots of vegetables. Try a simple plate of sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and crumbled feta cheese, or load your pizza with peppers and mushrooms instead of sausage and pepperoni. Salads, soups, and crudité platters are also great ways to load up on vegetables.
  • Change the way you think about meat. If you eat meat, have smaller amounts and leaner cuts. Put small strips of chicken on your salad, or add diced prosciutto to a whole-wheat pasta dish.
  • Always eat breakfast. Fruits, whole grains, and other fiber-rich foods are a great way to start your day, keeping you pleasantly full for hours.
  • Eat seafood twice a week. Fish such as tuna, salmon, herring, and sardines are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and shellfish like mussels, oysters, and clams have similar benefits for brain and heart health.
  • Cook a vegetarian meal one night a week. If it’s helpful, you can jump on the “Meatless Mondays” trend of foregoing meat on the first day of the week, or simply pick a day where you build meals around beans, whole grains, and vegetables. Once you get the hang of it, try two nights a week. Be sure not to load up on cheese, though.
  • Use good fats. Extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, sunflower seeds, olives, and avocados are great sources of healthy fats for your daily meals. Some vegetable oils higher in polyunsaturated fats—like sunflower, safflower, soybean, and corn oil—are more heart-healthy than the mostly monounsaturated fats in olive oil.
  • Enjoy some dairy products. Try small amounts of cheese, and eat Greek or plain yogurt. You want to make sure to choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
  • For dessert, eat fresh fruit. Instead of ice cream or cake, opt for strawberries, fresh figs, grapes, or apples.

Quick start to a Mediterranean diet

There is new, even stronger research backing up the Mediterranean diet as a way to prevent vascular disease. The diet includes generous quantities of olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish; limited portions of red meats or processed meats; and moderate amounts of cheese and wine. So how can you make the switch? Start with small steps, jump-starting your effort with these top five tips:

  1. Sauté food in olive oil, not butter.
  2. Eat more fruits and vegetables by having them as a snack, or adding them to other recipes.
  3. Choose whole grains instead of refined breads and pastas.
  4. Substitute fish for red meat at least twice per week.
  5. Limit high-fat dairy by switching to skim or 1% milk from 2% or whole milk.
Instead of this: Try this Mediterranean option:
Chips, pretzels, crackers and ranch dip Carrots, celery, broccoli and salsa
White rice with stir-fried meat Quinoa with stir-fried vegetables
Sandwiches with white bread or rolls Sandwich fillings in whole-wheat tortillas
Ice cream Pudding made with skim or 1% milk

Kathy Kiefer

JAZZ AND BLUES MUSIC

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JAZZ AND BLUES MUSIC

The development of an African American musical identity, out of disparate sources from Africa and Europe, has been a constant theme in the musical history of the United States. Little documentation exists of colonial era African American music, when styles, songs and instruments from across West Africa commingled in the melting pot of slavery. By the mid-19th century, a distinctly African American folk tradition was well-known and widespread, and African American musical techniques, instruments and images became a part of mainstream American music through spirituals, minstrel shows and slave songs. African American musical styles became an integral part of American popular music through blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, and then rock and roll, soul and hip hop; all of these styles were consumed by Americans of all races, but were created in African American styles and idioms before eventually becoming common in performance and consumption across racial lines. In contrast, country music derives from both African and European, as well as Native American and Hawaiian, traditions and yet has long been perceived as a form of white music.

The ancestors of today’s African American population were brought to the United States as slaves, working primarily in the plantations of the South. They were from hundreds of tribes across West Africa, and they brought with them certain traits of West African music including call and response vocals and complexly rhythmic music, as well as syncopated beats and shifting accents. The African musical focus on rhythmic singing and dancing was brought to the New World, and where it became part of a distinct folk culture that helped Africans “retain continuity with their past through music”. The first slaves in the United States sang work songs, field hollers, and, following Christianization, hymns. In the 19th century, a Great Awakening of religious fervor gripped people across the country, especially in the South. Protestant hymns written mostly by New England preachers became a feature of camp meetings held among devout Christians across the South. When blacks began singing adapted versions of these hymns, they were called Negro spirituals. It was from these roots, of spiritual songs, work songs and field hollers, that blues, jazz and gospel developed.

Spirituals were primarily expressions of religious faith, sung by slaves on southern plantations. In the mid to late 19th century, spirituals spread out of the U.S. South. In 1871 Fisk University became home to the Jubilee Singers, a pioneering group that popularized spirituals across the country. In imitation of this group, gospel quartets arose, followed by increasing diversification with the early 20th-century rise of jackleg and singing preachers, from whence came the popular style of gospel music.

Blues is a combination of African work songs, field hollers and shouts. It developed in the rural South in the first decade of the 20th century. The most important characteristics of the blues is its use of the blue scale, with a flatted or indeterminate third, as well as the typically lamenting lyrics; though both of these elements had existed in African American folk music prior to the 20th century, the codified form of modern blues (such as with the AAB structure) did not exist until the early 20th century

The process of transplanting music between cultures is not without criticism. The folk revival of the mid-20th century, for example, appropriated the music’s of various rural peoples, in part to promote certain political causes, which has caused some to question whether the process caused the “commercial commodification of other peoples’ songs and the inevitable dilution of mean” in the appropriated music’s. The issue of cultural appropriation has also been a major part of racial relations in the United States. The use of African American musical techniques, images and conceits in popular music largely by and for white Americans has been widespread since at least the mid-19th century songs of Stephen Foster and the rise of minstrel shows. The American music industry has actively attempted to popularize white performers of African American music because they are more palatable to mainstream and middle-class Americans. This process has been related to the rise of stars as varied as Benny Goodman, Eminem and Elvis Presley, as well as popular styles like blue-eyed soul and rockabilly.

Folk music in the US is varied across the country’s numerous ethnic groups. The Native American tribes each play their own varieties of folk music, most of it spiritual in nature. African American music includes blues and gospel descendants of West African Music brought to the Americas by slaves and mixed with Western European music. During the colonial era, English, French and Spanish styles and instruments were brought to the Americas.

Blues are the basis for much of modern American popular music. Blues can be seen as part of a continuum of musical styles like country, jazz, ragtime, and gospel; though each genre evolved into distinct forms, their origins were often indistinct. Early forms of the blues evolved in and around the Mississippi Delta in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The earliest blues-like music was primarily call-and-response vocal music, without harmony or accompaniment and without any formal musical structure. Slaves and their descendants created the blues by adapting the field shouts and hollers, turning them into passionate solo songs. When mixed with the Christian spiritual songs of African American churches and revival meetings, blues became the basis of gospel music. Modern gospel began in African American churches in the 1920s, in the form of worshipers proclaiming their faith in an improvised, often musical manner. Composers like Tommy Dorsey composed gospel works that used elements of blues and jazz in traditional hymns and spiritual songs.

Blues became a part of American popular music in the 1920s, when classic female blues singers like Bessie Smith grew popular. At the same time, record companies launched the field of race music, which was mostly blues targeted at African American audiences. The most famous of these acts went on to inspire much of the later popular development of the blues and blues-derived genres, including the legendary delta blues artist Robert Johnson and piedmont blues artists Blind Willie McTell. By the end of the 1940s, however, pure blues was only a minor part of popular music, having been subsumed by offshoots like rhythm & blues and the nascent rock and roll style. Some styles of electric, piano-driven blues, like the boogie-woogie, retained a large audience. A bluesy style of gospel also became popular in mainstream America in the 1950s, led by singer Mahalia Jackson. The blues genre experienced major revivals in the 1950s with Chicago blues artists such as Muddy Waters and Little Walter as well as in the 1960s in the British Invasion and American folk music revival when country bluesmen like Mississippi John Hurt and Reverend Gary Davis were rediscovered. The seminal blues artists of these periods had tremendous influence on rock musicians such as Chuck Berry in the 1950s, as well as on the British blues and blues rock scenes of the 1960s and ’70s, including Eric Clapton in Britain and Johnny Winter in Texas.

Jazz is a kind of music characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisations. Though originally a kind of dance music, jazz has been a major part of popular music, and has also become a major element of Western classical music. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Early jazz was closely related to ragtime, with which it could be distinguished by the use of more intricate rhythmic improvisation. The earliest jazz bands adopted much of the vocabulary of the blues, including bent and blue notes and instrumental “growls” and smears otherwise not used on European instruments. Jazz’s roots come from the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, populated by Cajuns and black Creoles, who combined the French-Canadian culture of the Cajuns with their own styles of music in the 19th century. Large Creole bands that played for funerals and parades became a major basis for early jazz, which spread from New Orleans to Chicago and other northern urban centers.

Though jazz had long since achieved some limited popularity, it was Louis Armstrong who became one of the first popular stars and a major force in the development of jazz, along with his friend pianist Earl Hines. Armstrong, Hines and their colleagues were improvisers, capable of creating numerous variations on a single melody. Armstrong also popularized scat singing, an improvisational vocal technique in which nonsensical syllables are sung. Armstrong and Hines were influential in the rise of a kind of pop big band jazz called swing. Swing is characterized by a strong rhythm section, usually consisting of double bass and drums, medium to fast tempo, and rhythmic devices like the swung note, which is common to most jazz. Swing is primarily a fusion of 1930s jazz fused with elements of the blues and Tin Pan Alley. Swing used bigger bands than other kinds of jazz, leading to bandleaders tightly arranging the material which discouraged improvisation, previously an integral part of jazz. Swing became a major part of African American dance, and came to be accompanied by a popular dance called the swing dance.

Jazz influenced many performers of all the major styles of later popular music, though jazz itself never again became such a major part of American popular music as during the swing era. The later 20th-century American jazz scene did, however, produce some popular crossover stars, such as Miles Davis. In the middle of the 20th century, jazz evolved into a variety of subgenres, beginning with bebop. Bebop is a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, improvisation based on harmonic structure rather than melody, and use of the flatted fifth. Bebop was developed in the early and mid-1940s, later evolving into styles like hard bop and free jazz. Innovators of the style included Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, who arose from small jazz clubs in New York City.

 Kathy Kiefer

A BRITISH MUSICAL INVASION

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A BRITISH MUSICAL INVASION

 

stones-624-1381341116What has made the invasion of musical artists from the United Kingdom so special?  Why is their influence so widespread? Is this influence still felt today? And why are some of these groups (i.e. the Rolling Stones) are still going strong some 50 years later?

The British music invasion of the early Sixties is a hazy memory to most of us who are old enough to remember it at all. For many of us, it’s the kind of memory that makes us smile and remember a time when things were less complicated… when we shared with each other the pure joy and energy

The British Invasion was a phenomenon that occurred in the mid-1960s when rock and pop music acts from the Unitedthe-beatles-pic-pa-703378395 Kingdom, as well as other aspects of British culture, became popular in the United States, and significant to the rising “counterculture” on both sides of the Atlantic. Pop and rock groups such as The Beatles, The Dave Clark Five, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, Herman’s Hermits and The Who were at the forefront of the invasion.

The rebellious tone and image of US rock and roll and blues musicians became popular with British youth in the late 1950s. While early commercial attempts to replicate American rock and roll mostly failed, the trad jazz–inspired skiffle craze, with its ‘do it yourself’ attitude, was the starting point of several British Billboard singles.

Young British groups started to combine various British and American styles, in different parts of the U.K., such as a movement in Liverpool during 1962 in what became known as Merseybeat, hence the “beat boom”. There were some observers that noted that US teenagers were growing tired of singles-oriented pop acts like Fabian. Bands with a Mod aesthetic became the most popular, but bands able to balance both (e.g., The Beatles) were successful.

It’s hard to imagine the invasion taking place without the Beatles. Many of the bands swept along on the Fab Four’s coattails to the top of the American charts possessed no more talent than the bland teen idols they had displaced. The Beatles, however, were another matter. Three of members–the songwriting team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and, to a lesser extent, lead guitarist George Harrison–were capable of producing first-rate material. After a brief period of covering American R & B, pop, and country standards, the group went on to compose a long string of rock classics, many of which are likely to be performed for generations to come. The band members were also all excellent musicians, thanks in large part to years spent performing in small clubs in England and Germany. Lennon and McCartney both were superb vocalists, capable of putting across rave-up rockers and introspective ballads in an equally convincing manner.

Love_Me_DoDespite the band’s ability–so easy to assess in retrospect– success in the U.S. might easily have eluded them had not conditions proved ripe for receptiveness on the part of the American public. The Beatles, under the skilled management of Brian Epstein, had attempted a number of times in 1963 to secure a hit record on the American charts. Songs like “Love Me Do,” “From Me to You,” “Please Please Me,” and “She Loves You”–all hits in the U.K.–had gone nowhere when released by various labels in the states   By late 1963, however, the nation was caught up in communal sense of mourning, brought on by the assassination of popular President John F. Kennedy. The Beatles–with their cheeky wit, and catchy, upbeat pop songs–proved to be the perfect anecdote America’s collective depression. In addition, the mop-top hairstyle exhibited by the band members garnered considerable attention. As had been the case with Elvis Presley’s heavily greased DA hairstyle of the mid-1950s, the Beatles look engendered considered controversy on the part of the adult establishment when it first assaulted thesullivan public consciousness. It provided instant credibility with America’s youth, who were always in search of culture symbols to both collectively identify with and flaunt in the face of authority figures as an act of rebellion.  On February 9th, they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, Nielson Ratings estimated that 45 percent of US television viewers that night saw their appearance. It is ironic that the biggest moment in the history of popular music was first experienced in the US as a television event.” The Ed Sullivan Show had for some time been a “comfortable hearth-and-slippers experience.” Not many of the 73 million viewers watching in February 1964 would fully understand what impact the band they were watching would have.

hermans hermitsfotoOver the next several years groups like Peter & Gordon, The Animals, Manfred Man, Petula Clark, Herman’s Hermits, The Rolling Stones, Lulu, Dusty Springfield, The Dave Clark Five and others, would have one or more number one singles in the US. Other Invasion acts included Van Morrison and Them, The Searchers, Chad & Jeremy, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Tom Jones, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin, The Spencer Davis Group, Small Faces and numerous others. And some had achieved a measure of success on the American charts. The Kinks,music_the_animals although considered part of the Invasion, initially failed to capitalize on their success in the US after their first three hits reached the Hot 100’s top 10. Perhaps of even greater importance, countless other British youths were inspired to become musicians, resulting in a steady stream of talent which has remained undiminished to the present day.

A second wave of the invasion occurred featuring acts such as The Who (who went on to create the rock-opera Tommy), The Zombies and The Hollies, which were influenced by the invasion’s pop side and US rock music.

The musical style of British Invasion artists, such as the Beatles, were influenced by earlier US rock ‘n’ roll genre which had lost some popularity and appeal by the time of the Invasion. Other white British performers, particularly The Rolling Stones and The Animals, appealed more to an ‘outsider’ demographic, essentially reviving and popularizing, for young people at least, a musical genre rooted in the rhythm and blues culture, which had been largely ignored or rejected when performed by black US artists in the 1950s. Such acts were perceived by the US public as much more ‘edgy’ and even dangerous. This image marked them as separate from beat artists such as the Beatles, who had become a more acceptable, parent-friendly pop group. The Rolling Stones would become the biggest band other than The Beatles to come out of the British Invasion.   The British Invasion had a profound impact on popular music, internationalizing the production of rock and roll, establishing the British popular music industry as a viable centre of musical creativity, and opening the door for subsequent British performers to achieve international success. In America, the Invasion arguably spelled the end of instrumental surf music, pre-Motown vocal girl groups, the folk rock revival, and the teen idols that had dominated the American charts in the late 1950s and 1960s.

beach_boysBy early summer the floodgates had burst open; there seemed to be more British artists than American on the airwaves. Indeed, a considerable number of established U.S. acts–to say nothing of the more marginal recording artists–virtually disappeared from the charts in 1964 (some never to return). Only a handful of American artists continued to thrive in 1964 and beyond, most notably the Beach Boys and the Four Seasons. New homegrown talent found it necessary to incorporate elements of the Mersey-beat sound such as the trademark jangly guitars and seamless three-part vocal harmonies. The garage punk and folk rock movements were particularly influenced by English rock bands. Some American groups found it expedient to ape the British Invasion look to the extent of carefully covering up their native origins.

Probably the most positive result of the British Invasion was its role in clearing away the musical deadwood which had found a home on the American charts. With many of the long established American acts–as well as countless lesser luminaries–unable to compete with the host of often lackluster British stars, fresh stateside talent was more readily able to garner the attention of record company executive. Within a year or two of the initial British onslaught, a new wave of American musicians had already laid the groundwork for the creative renaissance in popular music during the latter half of the 1960s.

Though many of the acts associated with the invasion did not survive its end, many others would become icons of rockMoTown_PunkRawker_Motown music. The claim that British beat bands were not radically different from US groups like The Beach Boys and damaged the careers of African-American and female artists has been the subject of controversy about the Invasion, even though the Motown Sound actually increased in popularity during that time.

motown.540x242Other US groups also demonstrated a similar sound to the British Invasion artists and, in turn, highlighted how the British ‘sound’ was not in itself a wholly new or original one. Anticipating the Bay City Rollers by more than a decade, two British acts that reached the Hot 100’s top 20 gave a tip of the hat to America: The Dakotas and the Nashville Teens. The British Invasion also drew a backlash from some American bands, e.g., Paul Revere & the Raiders who dressed in Revolutionary War uniforms, and Gary Puckett & The Union Gap donned Civil War uniforms.

The British Invasion’s influence on rock music in the United States waned from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. Early 1970s exceptions were Bad-finger, The Raspberries and Sweet, who played a heavily British Invasion-influenced style deemed power pop. In 1978 two rock magazines wrote cover stories about power pop and championed the genre as a savior to both the new wave and the direct simplicity of the way rock used to be. New wave power pop not only brought back the sounds but the fashions, be it the mod style of The Jam or the skinny ties of the burgeoning Los Angeles scene.

The genre has, over the years, continued to have a cult following with occasional periods of modest success.

Kathy Kiefer