It wasn’t bad enough that we had Beyoncé faking singing the Star Spangled Banner at President Obama’s second inauguration. Her lip-syncing is the ultimate symbol for a failed and fake President and his administration as well as for the continuing decline of the United States of America.
Compare Beyoncé’s performance to a real singer – a heroine, a woman of substance, and woman of real achievement who over came real adversity – Marian Anderson, who sang the Star Spangled Banner at John Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. And it was every bit as cold that day, if not colder, than it was in 2012 for the over praised and pampered Miss Beyoncé.
I did not think anything could top lip-syncing as a symbol of how far the United States of America has fallen in the last ten years or so.
Color me naive.
Now we have Beyoncé’s performance of soft porn at the Grammy’s this year.
Is this a warning sign? Is America truly in decline and has she reached the apogee of that decline with Beyonce’s shameful performance at the Grammys this week?
Decline or Just a Cycle???
In his book, When Nations Die, Jim Nelson wrote the first symptom of national decay is the decline of art and entertainment. As Beyonce’s performance proved, too much of what I see on TV and in movies these days is just plain rude, crude, and vulgar.
Another symptom of decline according to Nelson is that rhetoric becomes combative and intolerant. I see that almost every day on comments on Twitter, Facebook, and especially in the Comments sections of many blogs. There is no tolerance for dissenting viewpoints any more, no politeness, no manners
The Roman poet Livy wrote that the citizens of the Roman Empire were self-indulgent and greedy which led to dangerous excesses. Today’s America is all about excess in every part of life.
Many religious leaders say the first symptom of a nation’s decline is the decline of the family. The number of children born out of wedlock increases every year in America.
Other signs of decline are an increase in violent crime by young people, a declining middle class, and a debt ridden government.
A Permissive Society
In short, we have become a more permissive society. Today America is characterized by greater tolerance and a more liberal attitude in areas such as sexuality, drug use, and obscenity.
Not all of that is bad. Some of the changes were long over due. But today I have to wonder if maybe we have gone too far.
I very sadly believe we are on the precipice of going the way of Greece, Rome, and Great Britain.
However, I keep reminding myself that America has redesigned herself many times during her history. America cycles and swings back and forth from liberal to conservative, from right to left, from excess to frugality with regularity. We adjust ourselves to the times.
Can we do it again? Or have we gone too far this time?
1111 A Historian’s View
In his magnificent history of the United States, America, Alistair Cooke wrote:
As for the rage to believe that we have found the secret of liberty in general permissiveness from the cradle on, this seems to me a disastrous sentimentality, which, whatever liberties it sets loose, loosens also the cement that alone can bind any society into a stable compound – a code of obeyed taboos. [Emphasis mine.]
I can only recall the saying of a wise Frenchman that, “liberty is the luxury of self-discipline.”
Historically those people that did not discipline themselves had discipline thrust on them from the outside.
That is why the normal cycle in the life and death of great nations has been first a powerful tyrant broken by revolt, the enjoyment of liberty, the abuse of liberty – and back to tyranny again.
As I see it, in this country – a land of the most persistent idealism and the blandest cynicism – the race is on between its decadence and its vitality.
Who will win this race?
Nutella Stuffed Strawberries and Strawberry Nutella Milkshake
I would be very remiss if I did not tell you that next Wednesday, February 5th is World Nutella Day.
I wanted to share this info and these recipes in time for you to enjoy the day as well as have a few quick and easy recipes to make for the day.
Both of these recipes are incredibly decadently heavenly!
Plus for most of the world suffering under this year’s frigid weather we need something to make us feel good; something that is just pure pleasure to get us through this frigid winter. Nutella fills that bill and need perfectly. Don’t you agree?
Except for the Food Police, is there anyone who does not love Nutella? Yes, it has a fair amount of sugar in it. But it is just so divine! Sugar helps you stay warm longer! That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!!!
Did you know, it is a commandment of the Food Gods, who are higher than and rule over the Food Police that you must eat Nutella everyday.
You can find hundreds of recipes on the net from cakes to truffles and everything in-between.
For those not in the know, Nutella is the brand name of a hazelnut chocolate spread. Manufactured by the Italian company Ferrero, it was introduced to the market in 1964. [Source: Wikipedoa.]
According to the official website:
World Nutella Day was created in 2007 when Sara Rosso, an American blogger living in Italy, thought that there were many days in the year but no day set aside to appreciate Nutella. Why not?
And so World Nutella Day was born.
The Nutella web site also has hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of recipes. I did not use any of those recipes.
I found two really easy recipes to share with you today. The first one is real simple and the other is easy too.
# 1 Nutella Stuffed Strawberries
This recipe comes from food.com
I am doing double duty with this recipe, as these little morsels would make a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift too!
This is what you will need for 18 strawberries:
18 teaspoons Nutella
Here is what you do:
Wash strawberries and pat dry.
Remove caps and center ‘stem’ creating a small opening to stuff the Nutella into.
Pipe 1 teaspoon of Nutella into each strawberry. I just use a baggie with a small cut in one corner.
I also find that putting the strawberries in an egg holder makes it much easier to stuff the little devils without squashing them.
Total cost = $4.09 for 18
# 2 Strawberry Nutella Milkshake
This is one of the most delicious milk shakes I have ever had.
This recipe cones from two peas and their pod
This is what you will need for 1 milk shake
½ cup milk
½ cup strawberries I slice them
2 big scoops of vanilla ice cream
¼ cup Nutella – 4 tablespoons
Optional: Whipped cream, sprinkles, and extra Nutella
Here is what you do:
Add milk, strawberries, vanilla ice cream, and Nutella to a blender. Blend until smooth.
NOTES: I slice the strawberries because it is easier than having the blender have to cut them up. I also just use a tablespoon to get the Nutrlla out of the jar; much easier than trying to get the Nutella in and then out of the measuring cup – waste too much that way. And it is much harder to lick the excess out of a measuring cup than of a spoon.
Add a spoonful of Nutella to the bottom of a large glass. Pour the milkshake into the glass.
Garnish with whipped cream and sprinkles. Serve immediately.
Total cost = $3.42 without optionals
Quote of the Day
Of all the supervised conditions for life offered man, those under USA’s constitution have proved the best. Wherefore, be sure when you start modifying, corrupting or abrogating it.
Martin H. Fischer