Post 201

No One is To Blame: The Inspired Song of 1986

1986 has one inspired song as well, and it’s not “That’s What Friends Are For.” Oh man – that’s what I call a Sock Puppet Song. Any song that has the words “Keep smilin,’ keep shinin’” needs to be shot, hey? On the one hand, I can’t believe it was the top song of 1986, but on the other hand, there wasn’t a whole lot of competition.

Ah – I don’t want to be so critical, but I’ve just stepped out of a cesspool of smut.

You go into a song remembering the good ol’ blue-jeans-boy image that some of these artists had, like Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams, and then you shake your head reading the dismal lyrics. I read that Rod Stewart was knighted. I’m not sure what the standards are for that prize (fame plus an English accent?), but he doesn’t strike me as a knight.

Oh well.

Once again, I wasn’t consulted.

And most female artists are quite obviously selling something other than their musical talents. It’s actually quite gory, and a damning reflection on the music show-biz industry. So I have come across inspired songs where the co-writers were female, but I haven’t so far found any inspired songs where the lead vocals were sung by a woman. I was hopeful when I heard the Bangles sing “Manic Monday,” which reminded me of Dolly Parton’s “Nine to Five,” but it didn’t quite make it. And I was hopeful for Annie Lennox’s songs too, but it wasn’t to be — not so far, anyway.

So I soldier on, wading through this muck, where about 90% of the songs are about having sex in The Very Near Future, and about 15% of that 90% are unquestionably about having adulterous sex. Reviewing the lyrics written or chosen by certain artists becomes predictably grim — I weary of the songs of Billy Ocean, Diana Ross, Lionel Ritchie, and Madonna. Tina Turner and George Michael were musically more captivating, but time and again, the songs failed the test. And yeesh, what’s wrong with this ‘Sheila E’?

With all these performers, you study the songs and you wonder. Are you telling me that you really don’t have ANY OTHER IDEAS about stuff to sing about? Really? Nothing else going on up there?


Double sigh.

I’m not saying that it’s impossible to have an inspired song about sex. It’s possible, in the same way that Scripture has a book called the Song of Songs, where breasts are compared with fruit. (What was it again? Pomegranates? Cantaloupes?)

It’s possible, but it’s not going to be the way it was in these songs of 1986. Even “Take My Breath Away” — which I had hoped would pass, in the Song of Songs sort of way — fell short of the mark.

Oh well, one day all of these smutty blights upon our culture will be forgotten. (I’m referring to the songs, not the people.) Things that are good stick around, and the rest just wither and disappear. (People have eternal souls; they never disappear.)

So sure, right now, the latest music seems to have the brightest future, but it doesn’t stay this way. Sure, right now, such-and-such a band seems to be quite a legend (it’s in the Crayola Hall of Fame, along with those pensioners Lemon Yellow and Violet Blue), but that kind of credential can only be mentioned so many times before your grandchildren begin to give each other knowing looks. Most people don’t care; they’re not keeping track of how many millions of albums were sold by that decades-old band.

None of that stuff matters at the end of the day, so it’s very unfortunate that lives are wrecked as people compromise themselves for a chance at fame. And it’s sad that aging singers stretch themselves to keep the spotlight just a little bit longer. I’m not saying that a singer who likes to sing is obliged to hide himself at a certain age — of course not — but I’m saying that fame shouldn’t be pursued. If it comes as a byproduct of doing something good, that’s fine. However, like money or status, it shouldn’t be sought as a goal in and of itself.

There are better things to do.

You could, for instance, make a pie.

(Pies are good, and I really very badly need to brag about me and my apple tree. This is the scoop: on October 4, I woke up and collected apples from the tree, and made a pie with them. It’s a combination apple tree, which means that as a result of grafting, the tree produces different varieties of apples. So I collected ’em, peeled and sliced them and so on and so forth. Pretty neat, hey? That’s my pie story.)

Or you could go out for dinner. I went to Uncle Ed’s the same day, and it was very good. I was cautioned, before going, against asking how Uncle Ed was doing. VigilantOne, I suppose, thought I might be the type to ask. He wanted to avoid An Awkward Moment.

You see, Ed Stawnichy passed away back in 2009. He was Polish, and if I’m remembering this right, his wife Jane is Ukrainian. She and her daughters are in charge now. The food was delicious and the restaurant was spotless. I highly recommend the place, if you happen to be in town.

You could take your bandmates there. The menu is clear and the photos are labelled.

Or you could go there alone, and if it’s cloudy or raining, you could look out the window while you have a bowl of hot borscht.

You could order pie for dessert.

Oh, sometimes I miss you so!

(I digress, again.)

So anyway, here we go . . .

The song from 1986.

No One Is to Blame — Howard Jones
(Lyrics: Howard Jones)

You can look at the menu, but you just can’t eat
You can feel the cushions, but you can’t have a seat
You can dip your foot in the pool, but you can’t have a swim
You can feel the punishment, but you can’t commit the sin

And you want her, and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame

You can build a mansion, but you just can’t live in it
You’re the fastest runner but you’re not allowed to win
Some break the rules, and let you count the cost
The insecurity is the thing that won’t get lost

And you want her, and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her, and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame

You can see the summit but you can’t reach it
It’s the last piece of the puzzle but you just can’t make it fit
Doctor says you’re cured but you still feel the pain
Aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain

And you want her, and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her, and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame

No one ever is to blame
No one ever is to blame

Post 200
To Dearreaderreaderdeardeardearreader

348,686 Words
Plus These

Truth isn’t invented or created, of course.
It’s there, waiting to be found or revealed.
And discovering unchanging truths,
just below the surface of the everyday,
is one of the great rewards of conversation, reading and prayer.
Here, I share some of my recent finds,
lest I burst.

Reaching post 200 puts me in a retrospective mood, but I’m at a loss for words.

So I guess we can just hang out.



So how have you been lately?

I haven’t seen you in a while — what have you been up to?


I’ve been blogging, and I’m working on post 200 — right now, as a matter of fact.

So how are things?   Are you happy these days?

Keeping out of trouble?
I remember when we used to talk.   That was fun.   You had some neat ideas.   Yeah — I remember how we used to joke around.    

I don’t know if things were better then, but it sure felt fine at the time.

Oh well.    I guess I’d better be going. (Got to finish the post, after all.)

I’ll see you around —

Until next time, dear Reader.

Post 199

You're the Inspiration: The Inspired Song of 1985

Um, yeah.

I have only the one.

Oh well, at least it’s a good one. I read now that Peter Cetera began the song at home, but got new ideas while in Italy, where he was surrounded by age-old art and architecture. What a relief that Peter Cetera wound up singing his own words, instead of Kenny Rogers. (The original plan was to write a song that Kenny Rogers would sing, but in the end, Rogers didn’t pursue it. It would have sounded entirely different.)

Here it is:

You’re the Inspiration — Chicago
(Lyrics: Peter Cetera and David Foster)

You know our love was meant to be
The kind of love to last forever
And I want you here with me
From tonight until the end of time

You should know
Everywhere I go
Always on my mind
In my heart, in my soul

You’re the meaning in my life
You’re the inspiration
You bring feeling to my life
You’re the inspiration

Want to have you near me
I want to have you hear me saying
“No one needs you more than I need you”

And I know
Yes I know that it’s plain to see
So in love when we’re together

Now I know
That I need you here with me
From tonight until the end of time

You should know
Everywhere I go
You’re always on my mind
You’re in my heart, in my soul

You’re the meaning in my life
You’re the inspiration
You bring feeling to my life
You’re the inspiration

Want to have you near me
I want to have you hear me saying
“No one needs you more than I need you”
(No one needs you more than I)

Want to have you near me
I want to have you hear me saying
“No one needs you more than I need you”
(No one needs you more)

You’re the meaning in my life
You’re the inspiration
You bring feeling to my life
You’re the inspiration

When you love somebody
‘Til the end of time
When you love somebody
Always on my mind
No one needs you more than I

When you love somebody
‘Til the end of time
When you love somebody
Always on my mind
No one needs you more than I

Post 198

Below the Surface:
The Tale of the Small Plane, the Stranger and the Shadow

I have another version of events with respect to the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. (“Kennedy”) and others.

Trust me — I didn’t go looking for this. I thought my next post would be about Trump or about the hits from 1985. I guess I was wrong.

As for background, I had it stored somewhere in my brain that Kennedy had died in a plane accident along with his wife, but that was the extent of my knowledge. I would not have been able to tell you anything about when or where or who and whom.

But yesterday I became more interested, because I was there when the mystic was answering questions about the events surrounding Kennedy’s death. She couldn’t see everything, but she could see a lot.

In this version, Kennedy is a very capable pilot. He was, according to the mystic, very well suited to flying planes and would almost have made a good astronaut. He was unfazed by interruptions and was good at multi-tasking. He was able to keep maps in his head and he could keep track of where he was, even in poor conditions. Going upside down was not an unpleasant thing, for him.

According to the mystic, it was no big deal for Kennedy to do things like crash a plane. He was kind of like that, she says. He also didn’t mind flying in bad weather or low light. He sometimes did that. He was rather rash and immature. But other than that, and other than the fact that he didn’t mind crashing things, he would have made a great pilot.

On the night of his death, he didn’t set out to fly in foggy conditions. However, when he noticed the fog, about half way through the flight, he didn’t opt to stop.

There were five people in the plane. In addition to Kennedy and his wife Carolyn, there was Carolyn’s sister. She was the jittery sort and would have preferred to be elsewhere; she would have told you that her sister had forced her to come along, says the mystic.

And there were also two others. The first was a co-pilot (not a flying instructor), who also knew how to fly, but did not fly that evening. He and Kennedy were buddies, being similar in age and interests. They got along well and were both willing to bend the rules.

And then there was another man, who was not known to the others. He was an immigrant, born in northern India to parents who were not necessarily of Indian ancestry. This man (“Stranger”) requested a ride on the night in question, and Kennedy said yes. I asked the mystic why Kennedy agreed and she says that the request didn’t strike him as a big deal. He was relaxed at the time (a party or some pleasant get-together) and the fellow seemed to need this favour. It’s true that Stranger didn’t entirely fit in, being more serious, older and darker in complexion than the rest, but Kennedy wasn’t in a questioning mood at the time.

So they flew for a while, and part way through the flight, Kennedy felt uneasy for no reason. This was out of character for him; he was generally very confident. At that point, he made a radio call, wanting them to send an escort plane; he said that he wasn’t sure if his plane would reach his destination smoothly. He didn’t indicate why, but a listener would assume that he was referring to the weather. His message was unclear, because the communication system in the plane had been tampered with, but sufficient information came through in the form of a numeric code to notify those on the ground that the message was coming from Kennedy’s plane. However, the message was ignored.

Kennedy was alone in the front of the plane and the co-pilot was relaxing in the passenger area of the plane, which suited Kennedy just fine. Carolyn was asleep (snoring too) and was characteristically enjoying a deep sleep. (Mystic laughs to see that the only time Carolyn didn’t sleep deeply was when she was pretending to be asleep.) The sister began the flight very wide awake, but then towards the end of the flight, drifted in and out of sleep. She couldn’t stay asleep because she had nightmares, which was not unusual for her. The co-pilot was very bored during the flight and restless. At one point during the flight, he went up to Kennedy to try to strike up a conversation, but Kennedy seemed distracted, and so the co-pilot let things be. He sometimes tried to initiate a conversation with Stranger, but Stranger was rather uncommunicative, and the co-pilot couldn’t get any traction.

Stranger attacked Kennedy from behind less than fifteen minutes after Kennedy had placed the call. There was a light barrier separating Kennedy from the passenger area of the plane but it was open.

Stranger had a gun but he did not use it.

Stranger was a wild and impulsive man, who began life in an unremarkable way but who became progressively more unstable, choosing time after time to act on negative and irrational notions. He was not motivated by reasons of religion, and on that topic, he held no ‘official’ position. After arriving in the United States, he met with some people who had a plan to murder Kennedy. They knew of him because he had a reputation as an assassin. Stranger and three other American candidates had been interviewed for the project. A fourth candidate did not show up for his interview. The strategists were seeking an American for this project because they wanted the murder to be completed quickly, being, as it was, merely one part of a larger plan. Stranger was chosen because he was serious but also very driven and determined. He seemed focused and hungry to do it.

Stranger already disliked Kennedy, prior to meeting with the strategists, even though he had never met him. He had no reason for his dislike, but his negativity towards Kennedy increased rapidly over time, and Stranger did not do anything to control it. If anything, he nourished his hostility.

It would have been more efficient for Stranger to shoot Kennedy, but there are some people who are so wild and animalistic that they do not proceed sensibly in carrying out their evil intentions. Instead, he lunged forward towards Kennedy and grabbed his neck.

The co-pilot tried to intervene, but the attack was already underway, and he was unable to prevent Stranger from continuing to attack Kennedy. Kennedy had one hand on the controls and the other hand in the air, trying to repel Stranger. I asked the mystic why the co-pilot didn’t take over the controls, and she says that there was too little space in the area, with Stranger in the way.

The co-pilot did see and seize Stranger’s gun, and wondered whether to unload it. He decided against it and tossed it towards the rear of the plane. He probably should have aggressively tackled Stranger, but instead he hesitated, worrying that if he pulled Stranger back, then this would cause Kennedy to also be pulled back and off the controls.

By this point, both Carolyn and the sister were wide awake and screaming. The sister’s scream had awakened Carolyn. Carolyn began to stand up and wanted to make her way towards the front of the plane, but both her sister and the co-pilot wanted her to stay seated. One of them made Carolyn rebuckle her seat belt.

The plane began a descent, but it was not as is sometimes described. The radar records were not accurate, due to several factors, including the weather. The descent began as a rather controlled spiral.

Kennedy died in the struggle with Stranger, suffocated in his seat. At this point, the plane made an abrupt flip.

The mystic describes it as appearing something like the movements you’d see in a high jump, with the plane winding up on its back. I see her make a motion with her hand, to describe what she sees.

The sudden jerk of the plane caused Stranger, who was lunged forward onto Kennedy, to fall backwards, and he hit his head on the wall or floor of the plane. He died before the plane hit the water.

The co-pilot was able to survive the mid-air flip; he clutched onto the back of a seat and was not initially hurt. He died, however, when the plane crashed into the water, as did Carolyn and her sister.

The plane’s flight and descent was observed and videotaped by passengers in a small plane trailing behind. The plane shadowing the Kennedy plane contained approximately five men. This second plane (“the Shadow”) was capable of landing on water and it landed near the Kennedy plane while it was still partially afloat.

One of the men in the Shadow had tampered with the Kennedy plane before it went into the air.

Two other men, already dressed in scuba-diving equipment, exited the Shadow and entered the Kennedy plane. They had many plans, but were unable to do everything that they had wanted to do.

They shut off the fuel, but it was not easy to do, because the plane was no longer running. (If the investigators had been more careful, they would have found that the switch had been forced into position. Instead, they were so excited by their discovery of the switch’s position that they didn’t look any further.)

And here, it was interesting to me to hear mystic explain the purpose of the fuel-off switch. She said that it was intended for emergencies, and was not easy to move. The idea of the switch was for pilots to use it in the event of a fire outside of the plane; removing the fuel would, in theory, give the pilot a few extra moments of safety and reduce the chance of an explosion. The mystic described how the designer of the switch was really pleased with his work.

The divers brought the body of Stranger into the Shadow, because they wanted to create the illusion of an accident.

The divers began to run out of oxygen and therefore had to abandon their further plans. Part of their plans included obtaining the flight log, but they were not able to do this. They returned to their plane and left the scene. They deposited the body of Stranger on a shore further away, so that it would not be connected with this incident.

In addition to the five men in the Shadow, there were other people who were cooperating on the murder. There were, for instance, some accomplices involved in interfering with the communications between the plane and those on land, including the radar equipment.

One of the primary strategists behind the Kennedy murder died soon after this plot was carried out. He died while carrying out a later project, which was similarly evil.

As for the slowness of the coast guard search teams, this was not affected by any interference by others, and was nothing more than normal delay.

Some of our questions to the mystic yielded no answers. She was unable to see what had happened to the body of the co-pilot, and why his friends and family did not connect him to the flight upon realizing that he had died, and she was unable to see what the larger plot was — the plot which had this murder as a part of its goals. Lastly, she was unable to say what had happened to the flight log, though she said that Kennedy did keep one.

In total, there were approximately twelve people involved in this nefarious affair. Most of the people are still alive, and so we’ll probably know more, sooner or later.

After all, as Chesteron says, “All men thirst to confess their crimes more than tired beasts thirst for water . . .” (Illustrated London News, March 14, 1908)

Post 197

Missing You and the Other Inspired Song of 1984

I am finding that those artists with a Mr Nice Guy image aren’t faring so well – I am thinking here of Elton John, Billy Joel and Phil Collins, but I’m sure there are others. Time after time, their songs don’t work. It’s becoming quite predictable. Even though they have a range of styles, it’s always wrong. “Allentown” came close, but the dismal aftertaste was a red flag. And the song, “An Innocent Man,” which is a more clearly articulated version of Yes’ song “Owner of a Lonley Heart,” is all the worse for being so crystal clear. Then you know it stinks. In that one, Writer says that he’s innocent, and therefore he’s the one to pick for the sack tonight. Here are some lyrics: “Some people sleep all alone every night / Instead of taking a lover to bed . . . You know you only hurt yourself out of spite / I guess you’d rather be a martyr tonight / That’s your decision / But I’m not below / Anybody I know . . .”

Ack, ack, triple ack.

The song goes on to portray Writer (“Innocent Man”) as a real rescuer — willing to wait, to sacrifice, to do anything. He makes it seem like he’s entirely accommodating and almost Christ-like in his empathy, concern and caring, but notice that there’s mockery in these lines if you don’t choose to sleep with him: “I guess you’d rather be a martyr tonight.” And with these lines, the lyricist groups himself with the people of the world who view themselves as Hot Stuff. If you don’t want their company, then they so quickly say that you’re out of your mind. They point to your rejection of them as a Vewy Stwong Case in favour of your inability to think clearly. You don’t dig me (no more)? Then you must be cwazy! This is how their argument unfolds. In their anger at being rejected, they look to belittle or even condemn the one who rejects them, though they cannot find genuine fault.

Ill-intentioned egoists.

Let’s move on.

Listening to Phil Collins’ “Against the Odds,” I conclude that it is a Very Bad Sign if you start laughing when you hear a singer describe how sad he is. It is a sign of impending 80s-hit-rejection if you find this funny: “I wish I could just make you turn around / Turn around and see me cry.”

Ha ha ha!

Oh dear. What do you picture here? A man standing there on the streetcorner with tears running down his face, while his arms are outstretched towards you? He sings, “Pleeeeeeese!” And of course you know we’ll have to shoot this scene in the pouring rain. Or maybe we could run it as an edgy black and white piece. The camera will zoom in on the kleenexes all scattered around the floor and then slowly climb up to show the red nose and droopy eyes of the guy sitting on the corner of his bed. Something like that? (I know, the nose wouldn’t be red if we shot this in black and white, so we could colorize it afterwards I guess, for Sadder Effect.)

But I mean, really! — the imagery of the line is just too pathetic: “Turn around and see me cry.”

And he sings, “So take a look at me now, oh there’s just an empty space.”

An empty space? That’s it? The man has now become an empty space?

Ha ha ha! It makes me think of the supersized “art” on the corner of 87 Avenue and 112 Street, where a giant statue has a head and feet stuck onto either end of a giant empty rectangle.

It’s unpleasant, just like this song. Please make it go away.

Now of course, this is not to say that sadness cannot be done in a song, and this is not to say that I laugh at the concept of a man being sad. It’s just — it’s just — it’s just that it’s a delicate thing for a man to sing about himself weeping. It doesn’t usually work. For a man to sing that he’s “Cry-y-y-y-y-y-y-ying over you,” doesn’t make him seem more appealing. I don’t know. Give the man a teddy bear and slowly back away. Close the door; the man needs some privacy right now.

It just doesn’t work.

There are so many ways to do sadness which are far more effective.

Take, for instance, John Waite’s song “Missing You,” where he knows that he’s in defiant denial of his own emotions. It does connect and it’s one of the two inspired songs of 1984. I like how the title tells the truth. The lines are well done and really communicate the lyricist’s desolation and grief.

The other inspired song was “Hold Me Now,” and there is a fleeting reference to crying, but it’s in the context of a man and woman sharing every other kind of emotion together as well. It is not entirely dissimilar in theme to BNL’s “One Week” song, but unfortunately the BNL song was too conscious of its own cleverness. Too often BNL’s songs suffer from a show-offyness, where their ability to deliver rhyming and snazzy lines at super-sonic speed negatively impacts the plan for the melody. There has to be a balance between the lyrics and the melody; you don’t want one to overshadow the other.

“Hold Me Now,” by Thompson Twins, gives the listener a realistic picture of the ups and downs that characterize long-term relationships, while ending with a theme of forgiveness. It reminds me of the words of the Papal Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, which was also inspired. That’s because it doesn’t shy away from describing things as they actually are as a starting point. It’s a document which takes stock of how things really are, right now. It seems to say, ‘let’s begin with our feet on the ground.’

From there, we will go up, like a rocket.

And here, I have to point out that the David Bowie lyrics that were quoted by the Vatican person which Fr. Rutler says frightened and intimidated him were these: “Ground Control to Major Tom / Commencing countdown, engines on / Check ignition and may God’s love be with you.”

Isn’t that cool? It’s a rocket theme!

But anyway, to return to “Hold Me Now,” the writer contrasts the good days (the photo on the wall) of what seems like perfection — unending laughter and bliss — with the current situation. The current situation is messy and full of imperfection. Nevertheless, you are left with the impression that the current situation is perhaps better than the frozen image, filled as it is with forgiveness and constancy through thick and thin. “But you know that there’s nowhere / That I’d rather be / Than with you here today.”

It’s a good song.

Here are the lyrics for both:

Hold Me Now — Thompson Twins
(Lyrics: Tom Bailey, Alannah Currie and Joe Leeway)

I have a picture,
Pinned to my wall.
An image of you and of me and we’re laughing; we’re loving it all.
Look at our life now, tattered and torn.
We fuss and we fight and delight in the tears that we cry until dawn

Hold me now
Warm my heart
Stay with me
Let loving start
Let loving start

You say I’m a dreamer;
We’re two of a kind
Both of us searching for some perfect world we know we’ll never find
So perhaps I should leave here, yeah yeah go far away
But you know that there’s nowhere that I’d rather be than with you here today

Hold me now
Warm my heart
Stay with me
Let loving start
Let loving start

You ask if I love you; well what can I say?
You know that I do and that this is just one of those games that we play

So I’ll sing you a new song
Please don’t cry anymore
And then I’ll ask your forgiveness,
though I don’t know just what I’m asking it for

Hold me now
Warm my heart
Stay with me
Let loving start
Let loving start

Missing You — John Waite
(Lyrics: John Waite, Mark Leonard, Chas Sandford)

Every time I think of you
I always catch my breath
And I’m still standing here
And you’re miles away
And I’m wondering why you left

And there’s a storm that’s raging
Through my frozen heart tonight

I hear your name in certain circles
And it always makes me smile
I spend my time thinking about you
And it’s almost driving me wild

And there’s a heart that’s breaking
Down this long distance line tonight

I ain’t missing you at all
Since you’ve been gone away
I ain’t missing you
No matter what I might say

There’s a message in the wild
And I’m sending you
This signal tonight
You don’t know how desperate I’ve become
And it looks like
I’m losing this fight

In your world, I have no meaning
Though I’m trying hard to understand

And it’s my heart that’s breaking
Down this long distance line tonight

I ain’t missing you at all
Since you’ve been gone away
I ain’t missing you
No matter what my friends say

And there’s a message that I’m sending out
Like a telegraph to your soul
And if I can’t bridge this distance
Stop this heartbreak overload

I ain’t missing you at all
Since you’ve been gone away
I ain’t missing you
No matter what my friends say

I ain’t missing you
I ain’t missing you
I keep lying to myself

And there’s a storm that’s raging
Through my frozen heart tonight

I ain’t missing you at all
Since you’ve been gone away
I ain’t missing you
No matter what my friends say

Ain’t missing you
I ain’t missing you
I ain’t missing you
I keep lying to myself
Ain’t missing you . . .
I ain’t missing you
I ain’t missing you
I ain’t missing you
I ain’t missing you
I ain’t missing you
Ain’t missing you

Oh no
No matter what my friends might say
I ain’t missing you

Post 196

Cain Was Able: A Quick Look at a Song that Worked

For an example of lyrics that were inspired, look at the first stanza of Journey’s “Faithfully:”

Highway run
Into the midnight sun
Wheels go round and round
You’re on my mind

Look at what Jonathan Cain accomplished in just a few lines.

This stanza gives us the setting. Notice the very clever tension between stillness and movement. The idea of the moon, of midnight and of a highway create images that are rather lonely, unmoving and calm. But you can tell there’s movement mainly by the word “into.” The writer is on a run towards the moon. He could have said ‘under’ the midnight sun, but the movement is more directed and you could almost say more aggressive than that.

I really like the third line, because the phrase “wheels go round and round” could be a reference to the truck (yes, I know it’s not stated as a truck, but I picture a large rig filled with band gear), but it is also a way for English speakers to describe thinking. And he’s got that line positioned right before he talks about thinking: “You’re on my mind.” So you’ve got the idea that he’s thinking about someone while he travels along the highway.

Well done.

And there’s even some rhyme in here, with ‘run’ and ‘sun’ and sort of with ‘round’ and ‘mind’ – at least in that final consonant blend. But a perfect rhyme isn’t necessary. Rhyming shouldn’t ever really be the engine or primary goal of any piece of writing.

Here’s the second half:

Restless hearts
Sleep alone tonight
Sending all my love
Along the wire

Once again, very nice. The writer loves someone (later in the song, he refers to raising a family, so that’s how we know he’s writing to his wife), and that someone loves him back. They both have “restless hearts.” The word ‘heart’ is lovely here, and it’s an example of what I said previously, about how spouses protect the privacy of each other, and how words about romance become more tasteful, refined and discreet in their proper context. Consider how another writer could have easily bungled these lines. Try to find a song where these words are put into such close proximity to each other and still remain noble: “restless,” “sleep,” and “tonight.” But Cain has done it. The words work, and you’ve got romance even with reality. The writer is saying that two people are unsettled because they cannot be together. And once again, there’s a tension between stillness and motion. The hearts are restless, wanting to move together, and yet there is the word ‘sleep.’

I cannot say that Jonathan Cain was deliberately aiming for a contrast between movement and stillness, but that’s how it goes with inspiration. An inspired songwriter operates on one level, but things are happening on more than one level. The completed work is multi-layered, more complex than it seems at first glance, and internally connected. It even rhymes sometimes. When he is finished, the inspired author is just as surprised as anyone else that it turned out so well.

To return to the song, “Sending all my love / Along the wire” is a poignant line, because by it, the writer communicates the pathos of his situation. Human beings are body and soul. What a torment it is, then, to be physically separated from the one you love!

Ah, well done, Jonathan Cain.

And here, let me tell you that I just read, on Wikipedia, some information about the song, which I hadn’t done prior to writing the above paragraphs. How interesting! It says that this song was written on a napkin. You hear this kind of thing from time to time. It’s what we humans do when we really want to catch something, and we weren’t expecting to need to write. That supports my idea of inspiration, as does the little detail that the melody came to Cain in a dream.


But anyway, the rest of the song is very lovely too. It’s written by someone who can speak, almost cynically, about the hardships of a life that so many people want. He talks about not knowing where he is, and that’s understandable. Being on tour and travelling in general is disorienting, and it isn’t something which God calls many people to do. St. Paul went here there and everywhere, but that’s the exception, not the rule.

God knows people do best when they set down roots.

I like how Jonathan Cain referred to the show-biz music world as a circus. His words tell the truth with just the right mixture of detachment and resignation:

Circus life
Under the big top world
We all need the clowns
To make us smile

I like.

I like the symbolism. Those big-top tents are enormous and the imagery is bang on — another world is formed under those tents. It’s an unreal, temporary and fleeting world.

The stanza continues with this:

Through space and time
Always another show
Wondering where I am
Lost without you

You can feel the weariness in the line, “Always another show,” but it is done well. It’s not a complaint; it’s a statement of fact — he’s describing the reality without wanting sympathy.

The reference to ‘space and time’ ties back to the idea of trying to send all his love ‘over the wire.’ The words “lost without you” are beautiful, following as they do the previous line, where he says that he is “wondering where I am.”

Such a well-written and well-performed song.

But I guess I’ll leave it now, even though the other lines are very good too. I just wanted to show you that there really is something behind these inspired songs; I don’t pick them out of hat, and I also don’t get to pre-decide, based on what I remember about it, or based on what I’ve heard about the band or the singer. Once a song is examined, it’s usually pretty clear where it falls. Some songs come close, and others crash and burn so definitively. Yet when all is said and done, I can explain why such-and-such a song is wonderful, and why such-and-such a song didn’t make it.

But for the most part, I won’t have the time on my blog to go over every line in every song — you’ll just have to take my word for it. It’s either that or we’ll have to meet some evening soon. I’m picturing some orange soda pop and cheesy nacho chips, but you can have beer if you want.  Make sure we get some napkins; we might have to scrawl out a song.

I’ll tell you why I’m right and I’ll tell you why you’re wrong.

And then we can go play some pool.

I’ll win (you had too much beer), and then I’ll drive home.

Into the midnight sun.

Post 195

Blithering Lyricists:
Analysis of a Song Saying Something or Other

I haven’t forgotten about my 80s music project. I have been wanting to get back to it, because I’ve already identified the inspired songs for 1984 (both of them), and I would like to look into 1985.

But I got sidetracked when I thought about Sting’s biography — it made me remember Patrick Craine’s article in the Faithful Insight magazine, which made me remember Fr. Rutler’s comments in his article for Crisis. And then there were the two unrelated posts, one about envy and one about questions and answers.

But I’m back.

Looking over my list, I came across Yes’s song, “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” My comment beside the song title was: “most nonsensical lyrics.” I didn’t mean that they were the most nonsensical lyrics of all time, but just for 1984. I wrote that comment before I listened to Duran Duran’s song “The Reflex.” Beside that song, I also wrote, “most nonsensical lyrics.” And later on, I wrote, beside “Round and Round,” “weak lyrics, goofy.” And then beside “On the Dark Side,” I wrote, “8 lines!” by which I meant that there were only 8 unique lines. That’s very few, even for a rock song.

But anyway, I did spend quite a bit of time considering the lyrics of “Owner of a Lonley Heart,” because I wanted to explain to you why I thought they didn’t make much sense. I thought I could summarize the problem quite quickly, but it is so often the case that properly examining and explaining something (even a few lines of verse) takes a lot of words.

So a post was born.

Now there are songs which make less sense than this one, but usually it’s because they say too little. Boy George’s songs are kind of like that, and quite a few (most?) Enya songs are as well. They seem so poetic but they’re like cotton candy. Filmy and dreamy and full of nothing, when you get right down to it.

(Which reminds me — I don’t like cream-filled cookies either.)

However, this song was different because there are so many words and so many varieties of instructions, yet you struggle to know the take-home message. What’s the point, boys?

In my investigative research on this critical topic, I came across a group of people posting comments about the song — they each thought they nailed it, but their interpretations were all over the place.

But the fault isn’t with the listener. The fault is with the song, which is rather a mess, and therefore won’t make the cut for 1984. But it will get a post. It’ll be post number 195.

“Owner of a Lonely Heart” was written by four men who didn’t seem to entirely agree on what the song was trying to say. So it kind of says everything and nothing all at once. It’s kind of amusing, actually. Not inspired, but amusing.

The music was good, mind you. Probably the band was talented.

Let’s do this a stanza at a time:

Move yourself
You always live your life
Never thinking of the future
Prove yourself
You are the move you make
Take your chances win or loser

The writer is describing how ‘you’ (let’s call him or her ‘U’) behaves. Writer doesn’t seem to be very pleased with U. That sounds more like frustration or accusation in the phrase, “you always …” Writer also sounds rather bossy, because the stanza has two imperatives. He wants U to move, and he wants U to prove himself (or herself). Ah, and there’s another direction. He says to U: “Take your chances.”

And unfortunately, if this transcription of the lyrics is correct, Writer says, “win or loser,” which doesn’t make the most sense. It would’ve been better to leave it as a one-syllable word and leave it to the singer to stretch the vowel as needed:

Win or Looo-ooose.


Piece of cake.

Stanza 2:

See yourself
You are the steps you take
You and you, and that’s the only way

So here Writer continues describing U. U is a very solo person, by the looks of it. I am not sure why Writer cares about U’s outlook. A typical story-line in pop songs would have Writer trying to persuade U to view things differently because Writer wants to run a romance with U. A less typical story-line would be that Writer just wants to give helpful advice to the world. Maybe Writer is a blogger. I know the type.

Alright, to continue, here’s stanza 3:

Shake, shake yourself
You’re every move you make
So the story goes

Ah — another imperative. At this point, Writer is directing U to shake himself. Or maybe I should say that Writer is telling U to shake herself. To save typing, I’m going to proceed, from now on, as if U is female. That would be a fair assumption, statistically speaking. In most cases, the men sing about the women.

In writing, “so the story goes,” we don’t know whether Writer is saying that U is being dishonest, and merely telling a fabricated story, or whether Writer is saying that this is how things unfold, again and again. I am going to opt for option two, because so far U hasn’t been doing a lot of talking.

Stanza 4 is the refrain:

Owner of a lonely heart
Owner of a lonely heart
Much better than a
Owner of a broken heart
Owner of a lonely heart

Okay, so there are two possibilities here. The first is that Writer is saying that U thinks it’s better to be lonely than heartbroken. The second possibility is that Writer thinks it’s better to be lonely than heartbroken. I think the first possibility is more likely, because all along, the song describes the perspective and approach of U.

Here’s stanza 5:

Say – you don’t want to chance it
You’ve been hurt so before

Writer says that U has been hurt before and therefore doesn’t want to enter into another relationship. That’s quite clear, so that’s good.

Stanza 6:

Watch it now
The eagle in the sky
How he dancin’ one and only

Alright, so now we’ve got an eagle. Hello Mr. Eagle. I’ve got nothing against him, but having Mr. Eagle around definitely creates a different mood — different from the shaking that was recommended in the earlier stanza. Reading Wikipedia, I learn that the original lyrics got ‘improved’ by others and then ‘improved’ again. Jon Anderson is the one who added the eagle. But the gunshot sound immediately afterwards was the way the others ‘took down’ Jon’s bird. That’s funny, and sounds very much like what could easily happen when a bunch of guys work ‘together’ to write a song.

But anyway, the eagle idea is pushed to try to fit with the theme. The eagle is dancing “one and only.” Okay. That’s a stretch.

Obviously, Writer is setting things up to rhyme with the word ‘lonely,’ which, in this song might be somewhere around the corner.

Or maybe it’s not, but it never hurts to be prepared.

Stanza 7:

You, lose yourself
No not for pity’s sake
There’s no real reason to be lonely
Be yourself
Give your free will a chance
You’ve got to want to succeed

(Ah, there’s the word ‘lonely.’)

There is really no way to understand what is meant by the “lose yourself” first line. It could mean pretty much just about anything. I don’t think Writer was trying very hard. I think it just worked with the three-syllable imperatives that were already in place (move yourself, prove yourself, see yourself, shake yourself).

And the part about “pity’s sake” is anyone’s guess. You could bend that line any which way and not know from anything else whether you’re right or wrong.

Anyway, this stanza appears to be an advice-giving session by Writer who has had too many peanuts and too many beers. Here’s what he’s got:

“Be yourself.” This is good advice, if your ordinary self is somewhat decent and generally well-meaning.

“Give your free will a chance.” Hmm. This is rather thin, perhaps a variation on “Give peace a chance”?

Then we’ve got, “You’ve got to want to succeed.”

I see.

It sounds like Writer is trying to persuade U to ‘succeed.’ What does success mean? I think it means, here, having a successful relationship. And who knows — perhaps it means having a successful relationship with Writer. Perhaps Writer is very slick.

Stanza 8 is the refrain, and then we’ve got this for stanza 9:

After my own indecision
They confused me so
Owner of a lonely heart
My love said never question your will at all
In the end you’ve got to go
Look before you leap
Owner of a lonely heart
And don’t you hesitate at all – no no

This is quite interesting, because it’s a departure from what’s come before. Now Writer has switched from talking about U’s life and is now talking about his own. He has become rather autobiographical here. He says that he has been undecided himself.

Then he says that “they confused me so.” Ah. Now we have a “they.” This is the first “they” in the song. Who are the “they”s? Shall we guess or should we ignore it? Let’s speculate, because the songwriters don’t give us many clues. Let’s go with something safe, like this: when Writer attempted to get in the game of love, Writer got confused by different people. Poor bloke.

The words, “Owner of a lonely heart” appear twice in this stanza, but I don’t think it amounts to much. He is perhaps referring to U with an alternate name.

Writer is becoming quite chatty here, actually. Writer says that “My love” said stuff. This could mean either that a woman said stuff, or it could mean that the love in his heart gave him direction. You can’t really tell, but “my love” seems to have a lot to say. Mind you, at some point, the words of wisdom may be coming from Writer as opposed to “My love.” The transition, if there is one, is hidden.

Here’s the advice:

– “Never question your will at all.”
– “In the end you’ve got to go.”
– “Look before you leap.”
– “And don’t you hesitate at all, no, no.”

What’s that phrase about a lot of cooks in the kitchen? Something about wrecking the soup. Or maybe there are two separate sayings. I can’t remember. How about if you go check and I’ll keep blogging?

My point is that the advice comes across as quite contradictory. I’m picturing a swimmer standing on the diving board while one coach hollers, “In the end you’ve got to go,” and another yells, “Look before you leap,” and the last yells, “And don’t you hesitate at all, no, no.”

Ha ha ha.

This song has a lot of advice. It’s kind of an all-purpose song, I guess, kind of a one-size-fits-all song.

The wonkiest bit of advice is probably “never question your will at all.” I think that’s very bad advice, and impossible, as a matter of fact. Never question anything that you want to do? You want to go right and you want to go left so you should just go? It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as you don’t question your choices? Blither blather.

Stanza 10 is the refrain and stanza 11 is the refrain again. The last stanza is this, so it’s a last chance for Writer to pull everything together.

Sooner or later each conclusion
Will decide the lonely heart
Owner of a lonely heart
It will excite; it will delight
It will give a better start
Owner of a lonely heart
Don’t deceive your free will at all
Don’t deceive your free will at all
Owner of a lonely heart
Don’t deceive your free will at all
Just receive it

Hoo boy.

I really have almost no idea what Writer is saying here.

Writer seems to be saying that stuff is going to happen and this stuff will, in effect, serve as U’s decision. The word order shows that U wouldn’t be actively making decisions; it sounds more like U is left with the aftermath of different things.

And I suppose that if you do live your life in an utterly thoughtless way, leaping here and leaping there, then you’d experience a lot of unintended ‘conclusions.’

However, it did sound like, a few stanzas ago, that U had already decided how to proceed. But, of course, I can’t say for sure. Maybe U is as undecided as Writer says that he once was. Who knows?

This stanza seems to describe the gold at the end of the rainbow that U will find, if U decides to leap. Are these rewards offered by Writer? I’m not sure. In any case, U will find that “it” will excite, and “it” will delight, and “it” will give a better start. And as a closing line, Writer directs U to “just receive it.” (Lyrically, “it” is almost never a hit.)

Is that the same “it” that will excite and delight and whatever and whatever? (Hey U! The exit is that way. I’ll distract him while you head for the hills.)

And this stanza also introduces the notion of starting. There is a comparison between starting one way, which is worse and starting another way, which is better. Once again, we’ve got “it”: “It will make a better start” is the line. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, and besides, it sounded like U wasn’t wanting to get started at all.

A person really wonders what the “it” is, but I’m not so sure that Writer knows either. Too bad, because “it” might be quite important, coming as it does at the end of the song. Perhaps “it” is the ‘success’ that was mentioned earlier, and back then, my guess was that success meant a successful relationship.

But maybe I’m wrong.

Maybe “it” is the eagle. Mr. Eagle hasn’t made an appearance since his cameo earlier, so maybe he’s “it.”

Tag! You’re it!

The song closes with more advice. Three times, Writer tells U, “Don’t deceive your free will at all.” Three times!


What on earth does that mean? How does a person go about deceiving her free will? I think that Writer has had even more beers than before, and he doesn’t know what on earth he is saying by this point but he wants to sound deep and just a touch philosophical.

Sure, I understand the concept of poetic license, but this is just babbling.

Maybe Writer thinks that free will means something like a will to be free, a willingness to be free, or a desire or yearning to be free. Who knows? And the word ‘free’ perhaps is meant to represent a spirit of willingness to take risks and a willingness to risk a broken heart. After all, Writer has stated that there’s no reason to be lonely.

Maybe it’s something like that.

On the other hand, maybe it’s not.

I’m just trying to make sense of it all, and unfortunately, I suspect that this is more than Writer did.

Or, to be more exact, this is more than the writers did — all four of them.

They were too busy shooting down Mr. Eagle.



Ha ha ha!

Post 194

Asking & Answering:
Three Exceptions to the Rule
That You Don't Deserve an Answer

Sometimes I say that asking questions is okay and even refreshing and good.

But sometimes I say that asking questions is not okay and even invasive and rude.

So what’s the deal?

To ask or not to ask — this is the question.

Questions are tricky.

Forming and Posing Your Question: The Primary Issue is Intention

You’ll notice that Jesus’s reactions to questions depended upon the motive of the person asking. When the Pharisees ganged up to come up with some questions designed to trap him, Jesus would often answer their questions with a question.

So check your motives. Or, for a simpler test, check your feelings towards the person you’re quizzing. Do you like him? Do you trust her? Do you actually want an answer to your question or are you just trying to make the other person look bad in front of others? Are you asking a child a question as a way of gaining information about another adult? Are you appointing yourself ‘teacher’ and asking a child questions to assess knowledge of this fact or that? Intention is everything.

Consider your question.

Is your question sarcastic?
Is your question condescending?
Is your question cutting and mean?

Hmmm. Then maybe you should shelve the question. Disqualify yourself.

The positive flip side of this is that if you do have good feelings and intentions towards someone else, probably your questions will be inoffensive. Probably your question will be okay. He or she will sense that your curiosity stems from genuine caring.

Ask away.

However, even in this latter case, do not feel entitled to an answer to your question.

In General, There is No Entitlement to Answers

I can think of very few instances where one person is truly entitled to an answer from another. Most of the time, the person does no wrong by responding with silence, or by refusing to answer. From an etiquette or social-relations point of view, things could get awkward, but there is no moral fault here. It is not unchristian to decline to answer a question, if the question asks more than you’d like to answer. And sometimes, the first question is fine, but the second question goes too far. You’re allowed to bail, anytime you like.

Consider, as I said previously, Jesus at the tribunal. He did no wrong in ‘choosing to remain silent.’ He did not tremble before the local authorities and so he didn’t answer questions that he didn’t want to answer.

Good for him.

Exception #1: Entitlement to Answers Often Exists Between Spouses and Within the Immediate Family

Nevertheless, there ARE instances where one person is entitled to an answer from another.

When the Blessed Mother asked Jesus about his decision to stay behind in the temple, young Jesus answered her. In addition to being his mother, she was, at the time, actively caring for him. In this role and situation, she was actually entitled to an answer. So you see, entitlement isn’t always a bad word.

What follows is an incomplete list of instances of entitlement to answers:

  • A wife asks her husband why he came home so late. She is entitled to an answer.
  • A husband asks his wife why the car is missing a wheel. He is entitled to an answer.
  • A girl asks her father whether there are monsters in the closet. She is entitled to an answer.
  • A boy asks his mother if zombies are real. He is entitled to an answer.
  • A boy asks his mother when she’ll be back. He is entitled to an answer.
  • A girl asks her father when he’ll be back. She is entitled to an answer.

Those are examples from family life, and questions in family life are very often deserving of answers. In other words, the asker of the question is entitled to receive a prompt and honest answer.

But the line must be drawn. Extended family members are quite likely to overstep their bounds, feeling entitled to answers when they aren’t.

A Distinction Between Immediate Family and Extended Family and a Word About Strangers

It is not necessary for members of your extended family to know where you are going or where you went, whom you saw and what you ate.

They can ask, but they are not entitled to an answer.

Your mother-in-law is not entitled to know how your family is celebrating Thanksgiving this year, and grandparents have no entitlement to know what your educational plans are for your children. Uncle is not entitled to know the square footage of your house and Auntie is not entitled to know whether you are planning to have another child or two (or three or four).

I am not suggesting that these questions cannot be asked in a spirit of friendly conversation, but I am on the subtopic of entitlement, and my point is that such questions do not in fact have to be answered. There is no entitlement.

So keep that in mind.

Perhaps it is time for people to realize that you are entitled to your privacy.
Perhaps it is time for people to realize that you don’t discuss all of your plans and all of your past.

When it comes to your life, you keep some things private.

That’s fine.
You’re allowed.

When it comes to your life, you make some things public.

That’s fine.
You’re allowed.

Don’t feel guilty because you don’t want to discuss, with others, your health, your diet or your religious beliefs.
Don’t feel like a criminal because you don’t want to discuss, with others, the inner workings of your relationship with Scrabblehead.
Don’t feel unchristian because you don’t want to discuss, with others, your plans for your family.

It’s fine.

Not everyone is entitled to an answer.

As for strangers, they are almost never entitled to answers, whether or not they are governmental officials. Unfortunately, as in Jesus’ day, the local authorities tend to forget this, and are visibly shaken when people do not dance to their tune. They rend their garments and lose their glue, as VigilantOne would say.

Exception #2: Entitlement Exists In Situations of Trust

With this subtitle, I am referring to those limited and specific instances where one person is entrusted with a special role. If I hire you to cut my hair, then I am entitled to ask you what kind of toxins you’re planning to apply. If I hire you to cut my grass, then I am entitled to ask you when you will start. In cases like that, the asker is entitled to an answer.

Similarly, if I’ve entrusted you with the care of my child or my aging relative or my pet iguana, then I am entitled to answers to my questions about this responsibility you’ve undertaken for me. Dentists and doctors, be prepared to account for what you have done and what you are planning to do.

These types of relationships and situations create that entitlement, and hence when we hear Jesus’ parable about stewards and servants, we hear that the master asks the questions and the servants reply. In the same way, an employer can ask the employee when he expects to complete his work, and a director can ask her cast when they expect to memorize their lines. Or if a tenant makes an inquiry about ongoing charges and expenses, she is entitled to receive the clarification she seeks. It is wrong, in such a case, for the landlord to ignore the question.

Of course, the trust relationship often runs both ways, and so in an employer-employee situation, the employee is entitled to answers regarding his wages or the work that he is expected to do.

Exception #3: Entitlement Exists Where You Have Been Harmed

And there is another set of cases where people are entitled to answers. In these cases, the person who does not answer is being unjust and is committing a sin. I do not say that they are committing a civil or criminal offence; I say that they are committing a sin, and that is far worse.

What are these cases?

These are cases in which the person has interfered with your life and a failure to answer your question causes further harm, or prevents you from mitigating or minimizing the harm to you or those in your care. Some examples:

A. If I have stolen your snow blower, then you are entitled to know what I have done with it and where I have stashed it. It is wrong, in such a case, for me to refuse to answer your question.

B. If you have lied about me and insulted me by email, then I am entitled to know what you have said, and to whom you have said it. It is wrong, in such a case, for you to refuse to answer my question.

C. If Gavin has poisoned Gabriel’s goat, then Gabriel is entitled to know what Gavin gave her. It is wrong, in such a case, for Gavin to refuse to answer Gabriel’s question.

D. If a mother collects her child from a caregiver, she is entitled to know why her child’s hair is now several centimeters shorter.

E. If a man notices that his book of quotations is now annotated with pencil, he is entitled to know why the guest took such liberties and whether other books or objects in his home have been written on as well.

In cases like these, silence compounds the misdeed.

It’s quite simple, really.

I would call it common sense.

And a Word About Defamatory Words

With respect to item B above, the Canadian legal system, when dealing with cases of defamation, puts a great deal of weight on the conduct of the defendant following the original defamatory statements. So, for example, if you defame me, and I discover this, drawing your attention to the fact that you have said false things about me, then the clock begins ticking. The waveceptor watch’s timer begins running.

Your refusal to answer fair questions will be noted. Your refusal to provide full and accurate records will be noted.

In setting the amount of appropriate monetary compensation, the court will make a note of your actions after you were first notified. Did you cooperate with the victim or were you obstructionist? Did you take steps to remedy the damage or did you continue? (Some defamers stop and apologize, but others, rotten to the core, become further inflamed upon being asked to behave and they redouble their lies, going wider and wilder than before.)

Witnesses are routinely called in such cases, and their conduct is scrutinized as part of the package. Past correspondence, electronic and paper, are required to be produced. Anonymous tips and clandestine whispers can, in this context, be brought forth into the light of day. And hey, it’s handy that gmail lasts almost forever.

From what I understand, there is no upper limit in Canada on the amount that can be awarded for slander and defamation. The courts understand that a person’s reputation is something valuable, and if false things are said about a person, then compensation is fair.

Sounds good to me.