15 Nov

When it all comes down to it, aren’t we all really looking for a little respect?

R-E-S to the P-E-C-T

Unless you can sing like Ree Ree, respect is a little harder to come by. Usually, it’s earned through the decent treatment of others. You know, the thing you were taught in Kindergarten, in Sunday School, in Catechism…..”The Golden Rule”, a/k/a the Law of Reaping and Sowing, better known as “karma”.

Pardon this rant, but this has been on my mind.

To me, the problem manifests when people somehow think that they’ll gain respect by bashing others or bullying or making fun of someone. I HATE THAT CRAP. Intelligent disagreement and civil debate on a particular subject is fine. Got no problem with that. But, what I really abhor is when somebody — anybody — makes other people feel crappy to have some kind of control and quasi-respect. Has that ever worked?

I mean, who enjoyed being teased or ridiculed growing up? Who has ever endeared themselves by making others feel crappy? Aren’t there 1,000 movies like Revenge of the Nerds, Never Been Kissed, She’s All That, Just Friends, etc.? And don’t you just want to punch the jock, cheerleader, clearly evil asshats bent on making people feel bad?

My theory of people that live to tear down others is a lack of respect for self. Because they do not like themselves, they can’t love others. In not loving others, they have little or no remorse in inflicting great pain on others. That brings retribution and lack of acceptance which feeds the vicious cycle.

What is the point? Isn’t life too short? Isn’t it easier to be supportive and positive rather than critical and negative? And, does anybody really get satisfaction in making fun of someone’s weight? height? looks? handicap? misunderstood humor? lack of intelligence? religion? ethnicity?

Isn’t time better spent encouraging and building others up? Yeah, yeah, I know…..rainbows, kitties, baby ducks and squishy muffins…

I’ll conclude this pontificating with a little Staple Singers:

Give a cahoot, don’t pollute.


Posted by on November 15, 2007 in aretha franklin, random crap, that's life


9 responses to “Respect

  1. Jan

    November 15, 2007 at 1:03 am

    MM: I don’t know what prompted this post but nothing but love here.

    A Little Respect – Erasure

  2. Jan

    November 15, 2007 at 1:06 am

    Respect – Otis Redding and the Bar-Kays

    I meant to post this in the last post and accidentally picked Erasure. I realized that I love that Erasure song and it certainly speaks to the point.

  3. music maven

    November 15, 2007 at 7:49 am

    Thanks, Jan. It’s just been on my mind. My kid, who is basically “normal” was treated very badly by a bunch of bullies who did it because they could and my son was the new kid. I watched how that changed my son from a confident, happy fellow to a very cautious and reserved kid. I see it at work, in the organizations I’m involved in and even at church. After some navel gazing, I just felt the need to comment, which is part of what this blog is about for me.

    So, no issues about lack of respect here. I appreciate everyone’s civility and thoughtful discourse.

  4. music maven

    November 15, 2007 at 8:00 am

    Oh, and I got to say that while I love Otis, Respect is owned by Aretha.

  5. brc

    November 15, 2007 at 8:27 am

    Venting is good for the soul. It gets it all out rather than keeping it all bottled up inside. I can empathize with your feelings. And when you see it deflate your children it hurts even more than when it happens to you.

    I agree that people who bully others do it because putting others down is the only way they can feel better about themselves. Whether its insecurity or posturing the end result is the same.

  6. jenfera

    November 15, 2007 at 9:51 am

    You said it, MM. I enjoy your rants! If everyone just truly bought into “do unto others…” the world would be a better place.

  7. Jan

    November 15, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    MM: There is no doubt that Respect is owned by Aretha. I love it when I hear a new cover and that becomes the definitive version for me. An interesting topic no?

  8. shrewspeaks

    November 16, 2007 at 7:32 am

    What more can I say that ReeRee and the Staples Singers haven’t already said?

  9. Colette

    November 16, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Hey folks:
    Right on the nose, MM! You know my devotion to Madame Ree. And I’d like to recommend a wonderful disc that just came out:

    “Rare & Unreleased Recordings from the Golden Reign of the Queen of Soul” (Rhino)

    Lordy lordy! No “Respect” (she did that definitely before), but some very amazing second takes and covers. Aretha singing “My Way!” And “My Cup Runneth Over With Love!” A must for any devotee.

    Also out is a new album of her duets with other folk, and a disc of a live concert in her prime which I haven’t heard yet (“Oh Me Oh My: Aretha Live in Philly” also on Rhino).

    I adore the Otis version of “Respect,” and of everything else. He was truly one of the most exciting soulmen ever, packing every millimeter of feeling and sexuality into every note he sang. But Aretha is indeed the last word on this one — here’s another version of her singing it in that fantastic European concert there are many clips of:

    I also want to point out that even though “Respect” is apropos to everything MM mentioned, it was first and foremost when it came out received as a Civil Rights anthem. Black Power was on the rise at the time, and Aretha’s declaration of black folks deserving respect after centuries of slavery and racism hit a nerve — as did these tunes from James Brown & Martha and the Vandellas:
    – love those gals boogeying in yellow chiffon! — James Brown doin’ it up on Soul Train

    FINALLY…Very interesting interview with The Divine REe in the NY Times recently in which she revealed: 1) her engagement to a guy is broken; 2) she’s creating a play about her life; 3) her next album will be soul music (“for the boomers”) and she may be on American Idol next year. Can’t seem to post the long URL, but just go to and look for it there — it was in the paper a couple Sundays ago.

    If I can’t help myself, someday I’ll do the whole Aretha Story……..


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