Way back in the dark ages, the third week in February (an otherwise dreary and neglected month) was designated National Brotherhood Week. As designated special weeks go, it was never a big hit with the general public. In the 1980s, it disappeared completely. Probably because it failed to sell greeting cards. Which is, I believe, the point of this kind of created event.


The National Conference for Christians and Jews (NCCJ) came up with the idea of National Brotherhood Week in 1934. Given the current political climate, maybe we can agree more brotherhood year round would be an improvement. Sadly, we no longer have even that one, measly week.

February is now Black History Month which seems to mean movie channels run films featuring non-white stars, unless you watch PBS or the History Channel. There you might see a documentary or two. A man who took it seriously — back in the ever older days — as he took all politics seriously, was Tom Lehrer. He taught math at Hahvid (Harvard, if you aren’t from around here). He didn’t write many songs. Till his dying day (which hasn’t occurred — he’s alive and living in California), he thought of himself as a math teacher who wrote silly songs — not as an entertainer.

Despite this unfair self-assessment, I’ve always felt Tom got this celebration dead to rights. Ya’ think?

Check him out on YouTube. He only wrote about 50 songs and most of them are posted in some video or other. Me? I’ve got the CDs.

Remember CDs?


Given recent interactions with North Korea, I thought I’d add these two extra little ditties. They seem so … appropriate.


  1. angloswiss May 9, 2017 / 1:10 am

    We don’t do anything like that. Switzerland has four official languages, together with various language borders. If I go to Biel half an hour away, they already begin speaking French. We don’t have to celebrate brotherhood, we live with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Garry Armstrong May 9, 2017 / 12:53 pm

      I like your train of thought, Mrs. Swiss.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kvennarad May 9, 2017 / 1:28 am

    What kind of cah does Tom Lehrer drive? 😀

    I love his work. Another under-rated satirist (mainly because he is more famous for ‘novelty’ records – his record company wouldn’t release his more satirical material) is Stan Freberg. His ‘Take an Indian to Lunch Today’ is in the same bracket as Lehrer’s ‘Brotherhood’. I once heard an interview with him in which he described how he got the inspiration to write it, and I have been hoping someone will put that online. Basically in the interview he had been berating the USA’s treatment of Native Americans, and rather impetuously offered to buy lunch for any Native American who turned up at his hotel that day – appropriately he was staying at The Algonquin! When he got back to his hotel he was met by the manager who said, “Mr. Freberg, there are two dozen Indians in the foyer asking for you!” And sure enough there were, complete with buckskins and eagle-feather bonnets. True to his word, Stan Freberg conducted them to the hotel dining room.

    “Table for twenty-five, please,” he said the the Maitre d’.

    “Do you have a reservation?” replied the Maitre d’, with a completely straight face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong May 9, 2017 / 1:39 am

      I had Freburg’s records when I was a kid. On 45rpm.

      Lehrer didn’t get stopped. He just went back to teaching math at Harvard. He never considered himself a real entertainer — and said so. Often. But I’ve been following him since I was about 10 maybe? One of my older brothers friends brought the record over and I got hooked for life. I wish he’d written more, but at some point, he’d had enough. He quit.

      He said that he could have done a lot more, but he didn’t want that for his life. Some people are not ready for show business 😀


      • Garry Armstrong May 9, 2017 / 12:55 pm

        How ’bout an E-Card to MacCheesehead 45 with “Kumbaya” and a freeze frame of Snoopy.


  3. lwbut May 9, 2017 / 5:13 am

    Do you have a reservation??? – BWAAHAAHAAHAAHAAHAA! :-D:-D

    Answer: – Yes, i have several, but i’ll throw caution to the wind and we’ll eat here anyway!

    Whatever happened to Roosevelt’s promise?? I guess if a President’s promise ever means anything it’s only for as long as he’s the President. If that is indeed true then in this current case it might just be a good thing?



    • Marilyn Armstrong May 9, 2017 / 5:15 am

      He tried his best. No one can fix what may come after they are dead. No one. Including Presidents.


      • lwbut May 9, 2017 / 5:22 am

        Very True. The ones who come after though can choose to keep to the same moral code/judgements – or leave them and behave differently. Also, not everyone will choose to follow a leader ( i.e. he’s not MY president) or honour their promises – even if they are decent ones. 😦



  4. swo8 May 9, 2017 / 10:49 am

    I don’t remember a Brotherhood Week in Canada.
    Love Tom Lehrer’s sense of humour. I bet he was a great math teacher.


    • Marilyn Armstrong May 9, 2017 / 6:34 pm

      And we were young together, too 🙂 Hell, I remember when we first GOT CDs and started replacing all our records.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Emilio Pasquale May 9, 2017 / 7:13 pm

        An old girlfriend had me throw away all the albums I had. Classics like early James Taylor, Crosby Stills and Nash, Jefferson Airplane, Joni Mitchell. I still don’t talk to that old girlfriend!


        • Marilyn Armstrong May 9, 2017 / 8:21 pm

          I gave them to my boss who turned them all into CDs for me and kept the records. Which worked out for me. I really didn’t have room to store them. They took up a LOT of room.


      • Garry Armstrong May 10, 2017 / 11:28 am

        Remember 78’s?? Don’t say no!


        • Marilyn Armstrong May 10, 2017 / 12:20 pm

          Of course I do. I think we still have some in the closet. And maybe a machine on which to play them, too.


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