Archive | July 12, 2014

2014 Brazil World Cup, July 13: Pope vs. Ex-Pope, Argentina v. Germany — Is God Playing Favorites?

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.... .. ... .. .


by Anura Guruge

Related Posts:
1/ Francis’ Argentina Won
2/ Did Francis pray for Argentina
3/ Francis please pray for Argentina

++++ Search ‘Francis’ for many other posts —>>>

popes2014fifa56This, of course, is not the first Argentina v. Germany World Cup FINAL, but it is the first time we have had ANY World Cup Final when there has been a living pope and an ex-pope, each representing one of the countries.

This is like God’s personal referendum — who will “I” (in this case God (not I))  please, the outgoing, amazingly popular, bubbly, soccer-made Argentinian Francis or the dour, serious, retiring, but scholarly German Ratzinger (who probably cares not a jot for any sport).

It really should be the Pope’s WIN — i.e., Argentina.

Francis is THE POPE.

Ratzinger is BUT the ex-pope.

They are not peers. One is THE Vicar of Christ on Earth, the other is like Sarah Palin, an official that resigned mid-term.

God, unless he is even more fickle than we invariably expect him (or is it her) to be, can’t, or shouldn’t, favor an ex-pope over a current pope.

When we have the current President and all the ex-Presidents attending public events, the reigning President, as is his due and right, always gets precedence and deference. Should be the same here.

Argentina has to WIN.

If Argentina doesn’t win … OMG!

I am with Francis. He is THE POPE.

Pope Francis’ Visit To Sri Lanka On January 13 – 15, 2015 Might Not Be Such A Great Idea.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related posts (click to access):
† Francis must apologize …

Θ Extremist Buddhist violence …                    Θ Appeal to all Buddhists
Θ Pope Francis should pray …                       Θ Curbing the Extremists

+ Buddhism & prayer
+ 2nd largest religion
+ ‘Poson’ in June                                               + 2014 Vesak greeting
+ Happy Vesak 2014                                         + Vesak 2014 Pandols

∅ Reincarnation  Question I

∀ Buddha’s descendants

++++ See Category ‘Sri Lanka‘ or search on ‘Sri Lanka‘ & ‘Buddhism‘  for other related posts >>>>

†††† Search ‘pope‘ for a TON of posts about Pope Francis and other popes >>>>

Click to access initial announcement of the trip by the Vatican.

Click to access initial announcement of the trip by the Vatican.

This will not be the first time a pope has visited 70% Buddhist Sri Lanka (née Ceylon). It won’t even been the second time. It will actually be the THIRD papal visit!

Paul VI (#263) made, quite literally, a flying visit in December 1970 and John Paul II (#265) visited in January 1995.

But that was then and this is now.

Pope John Paul II meets with Aunty Bandaranaike, then Prime Minister (again), during his January 1995 visit.

Pope John Paul II meets with Aunty Bandaranaike, then Prime Minister (again), during his January 1995 visit.

The Roman Catholics make up (roughly) 6.1% of the island’s 20 million (or so) population. Christinas in total account for just about 7.5% of the population. 70% are Buddhists, ~13% Hindu and ~10% Islam.

Until quite recently a papal visit to Sri Lanka would not have been an issue in the slightest. It was a country, as I have repeatedly written about here, noted for its religious tolerance.

But things have taken a very nasty turn in the last few months with these crazy, radical, nationalistic Buddhists. Please refer to the links above. They are already calling for Francis to apologize for the Portuguese of Ceylon 400 years ago!

I do not worry for the pope’s safety for multiple reasons. For a start he has unique protection from above and I am sure that the Sri Lankan security forces, who have a LOT of experience in safeguarding VIPs, will make 100% sure that the pope is safe. It is the third reason that worries me. The pope will be safe because any violence will be directed at Sri Lankans! You know that adage about communal violence when it comes to matters nationalistic or religious. They only kill their brothers.

So here is another amazing and ironic twist to Sri Lanka’s baffling nationalistic woes. The current president, a rabid nationalistic Buddhist (who I think (and I may be wrong) has stirred up much of the current extremist Buddhist fervor) is married to a very devout, practicing Catholic! The president, for all of his Buddhist supremacy rhetoric, is very pro-Catholic and very fond of pressing the flesh with Catholic prelates. For heaven’s sake he even dresses like a pope with a red stole!

It is the rabid, radical, extremist Buddhists that worry me. The pope coming to Sri Lanka will serve as a RALLYING POINT for them. A definable event. Red meat to a rabble that will claim to be mainly vegetarian though they will have no compunction against mindless violence. So this is just a heads up. This might not the the wisest thing to do. The pope better start praying for the SAFETY of the Sri Lankan Catholics. I haven’t had a chance to check of late, given that I have been crazy busy, but I trust that his peace for the Middle East, Iraq etc. have worked. So at least the Sri Lankan Catholics, and I know a few of them, including the retired Archbishop of Colombo, will be safe.

Gordon Lightfoot In Wolfeboro, N.H., July 11, 2014, Still Magical And Majestic.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Gordon Lightfoot: setup
>>July 11, 2014.

>> Gordon Lightfoot, Wolfeboro,
>> NH, 2014
 — June 15, 2014.
>> Devanee … Great Waters
>>May 24, 2014.

++++ Search on ‘Wolfeboro‘ for many other related posts >>>>

Click to ENLARGE.

Gordon Lightfoot, Anura Guruge, Devanee Guruge, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire,  July 11, 2014 concert at Kingswood Performing Arts Center.

Though it was late and he had graciously met with over 40 adoring fans he still, very kindly, agreed to sign my original 1974 record. He didn’t just dash off his signature. He penned it very carefully. A class act. A very fine gentleman and gentle and kind he is. Absoulte delight. A credit not just to Canada but to mankind.

Though over the decades he must given his autograph close to, if not more than, a million times, he took time to do it. There was never a sense of hurry. He used the stage to autograph by LP. I was very grateful. I did NOT want to impose though I got to meet with his TWICE last night. He emantes kindness. A very gentle soul.

Gordon Lightfoot, Anura Guruge, Devanee Guruge, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire,  July 11, 2014 concert at Kingswood Performing Arts Center.

Off the 600 or so LPs I had in 2006, I only kept about 60 (i.e., 10%) of the very, very special ones when we decided to move from Gilford. Since we first thought we were going to move to the U.K. we had to pare down to the bone. I wasn’t sure BUT in the back of my mind I knew, or at least HOPED, that I had kept at least ONE Gordon Lightfoot record — given my respect for him. I had. It was from 1974. That is when I had my 1st job. But, money was never that much of an issue and I might have bought this earlier in the year. It still had the price “2.29” in U.K. Sterling pounds!

Gordon Lightfoot, in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, on Friday, July 11, 2014, at the Kingswood Performing Center, was invigorating, refreshing and soothing.

He was majestic and magical.

You felt his gentle, evocative music, with its poignant lyrics, course through your veins cleansing you and making you feel blessed.

Thank YOU, Gordon Lightfoot for all you have done for all of us.

He sure did cast a magical spell over a 850 strong audience who not just appreciated his classic music, but realized that they were privileged to be seeing him perform in 2014 — especially when he reminded them that at least one of the songs he played was written, by him, in 1967. That was the year Deanna was born.

It was very special for me on multiple fronts. I have always, going back to the early 1970s, been a great fan of his. I saw him, in an open air amphitheater, in Mesa, Arizona during the Summer of 1980. It was indeed a kick yesterday to meet, work with and occasionally chat with his stage-manager of 36-years, the AMAZING Chuck, and learn that he was there for that concert.

It was the first professional, famous person concert where I helped with the setup (and then the takedown).

Given the four hours I worked in the morning I was allowed to be on the stage for the concert. Gordon’s crew had stage right, we had stage left. For 95% of the concert, I stood, in the wings, no more that 35′ from Mr. Lightfoot — behind him, to his right.

Though we had set up the mikes and the monitors I hadn’t really noticed that they don’t use any ‘foot’ monitors, at the front of the stage, pointed at them. The keyboard player, drummer and the lead guitarist have their own, very cute personal monitors. I got to know them well since I personally put them up, checked them for sound and then packed them up after the delightful concert. The lack of the ‘typical’ stage facing monitors meant that much of what I got to hear was unamplified. That was cool. Yes, there were bits I couldn’t properly hear, but it was worth it.

It was wonderful concert. It was soothing.

Suffice to say that at 75 Mr. Lightfoot sings somewhat softly. That added to the charm and ambience. I realized that he has a drone to his signing. It is amazingly melodious and tonally rich. Never realized until I was standing that close that he mainly uses 12 string guitars. He appears to have two 12 strings and one 6 string. Yes, the cover of his iconic ‘Sundown’ LP, the one that I had autographed, does show a 12-string. Never noticed it.

What last night was in Wolfeboro was really a very sophisticated, enchanting soiree. 

I got to meet with him, and shake hands with him twice. No I wasn’t being greedy or selfish — depriving someone else of time with him. The first time was serendipitous. After the show, given that we had done the plug-in to begin with, Chuck tasked Devanee and I with unplugging all of the guitar and mike cables, winding them up, tying them and storing them in their case. So I was crouched down picking up a guitar cable when one of Gord’s crew members said “excuse us”, I stood up and I was face-to-face with Gordon. I always smile and I guess my face must have lit up. He stuck his hand out, we shook hands, I thanked him and he thanked me back. It doesn’t get any better than that. He then went down the side steps to meet the fans, including many that I knew (with Dr. Jack Polidoro chief among them), who had been patiently waiting for him. They were all getting their pictures with him and autographs. I had taken my LP and we did have a camera. I waited until everybody was nearly gone and it was just Jack with his family. Devanee and I jumped down from the stage and asked his crew chief whether it would be OK if we pestered him for a second. They had seen us all day working on the stage. So I guess they didn’t want to be rude. They said we can be the last — and to be quick. We tried but Gordon was wonderfully gracious. I thanked him again.

I want to see him again.

He is still magic. I hope he will continue to shine for many years to come.

He is in Burlington, Vt, tonight. It is probably sold out. But, if you can try and catch him. It will enrich YOUR life.

The three of us in uniform leaving for the concert. Devanee, prior to helping with takedown, worked the Box Office. Deanna was an usher. So that is what they had to wear. Only the stagehands wear the black shirt. I changed, in the KIA, right after the show because I wasn’t going to push boxes up the ramp, which I did for 20 minutes, dressed in heavy black clothing.

Gordon Lightfoot, Anura Guruge, Devanee Guruge, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire,  July 11, 2014 concert at Kingswood Performing Arts Center.

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