Friday, November 11, 2016

Politics: Fight The Power

Public Enemy, Fight the Power (purchase)

Sometimes, simple sentiments say it best.  Sometimes, there really are no words and music, glorious, pulsing, pounding music, makes life livable.

Like many fellow Americans, the words—the reality of the words “President-Elect Trump”—have me alternating between nausea, bewilderment, speechlessness, disgust and just plain furious anger. I don’t know what to say.

Thank God we have music in times like this. I don’t know what else I’d turn to.

That’s all I got for this month’s theme. Politics is dead, I think. Time to take the power back…

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Politics: This Is Not America


Just a short contribution, in light of Tuesday’s shocking election result. I’ll try to have something more substantial on the debacle over at Another Old Guy in a few days. (Here it is!)

My first thought when I heard the final result was that this was not the America that I knew, and that turned to nauseous feeling when I realized that half of this country sees America in a very different way than me—where division, hate, misogyny, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, bullying, greed and egotism are glorified. And I was pissed.

Here’s what my America is:

we believe that the American dream is big enough for everyone — for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities. For everyone. . . .

I count my blessings every single day that I am an American. And I still believe as deeply as I ever have that if we stand together and work together with respect for our differences, strength in our convictions and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us.

Because, you know — you know, I believe we are stronger together and we will go forward together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that. You know, scripture tells us, “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

So my friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary, let us not lose heart, for there are more seasons to come. And there is more work to do.

That was from the concession speech delivered by Hillary Clinton, the one candidate who was qualified, both by experience and temperament, to lead America, the candidate who, as I write this, got more votes than the President Elect, and who would have made a damn fine President. And someone who, at least publicly, is a lot more gracious than I feel right now.

 I’d like to hope that what has happened over the last year is not America. But I’m just not sure anymore.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

POLITICS: FDR's Secretary of State

purchase [ FDR in Trinidad]

I would have preferred to post this 24 hours earlier: hate to be accused of tilting the votes one way or another.
Rather than ramblin’ off on a tangent about how the state of the poor in the US is a result of politics and dragging Ry Cooder into the whole business, I might have gone directly to some Cooder politics in my previous post.
An article published via NPR a while back noted that Barack Obama was only the 2nd US president to visit Trinidad. He was preceded by FDR. To follow up on FDR's visit, Atilla the Hun composed a song.

To me, Cooder's <Into the Purple Valley> is about the time he solidified what I see as his style: crisp guitar of a semi-jazz style, assertive vocals, unusual backing bands and song-choice/themes that bring (musical) history to life.
Several others have taken up the song (van Dyke Parks and Ry among them).
The NPR story noted that FDR's Secretary of State received a certain amount of credit in the song (it was Cordell Hull), and the article continued by asking if Obama's Secretary of State (at that time) would have gotten as much credit today (need I tell you who that was?)
Now, we know a little about Obama’s musical taste - see the various artists he has invited to the White House, and we know that FDR became a fan of calypso following his visit to the island. But how much do we know about his Secretary of State’s (AT THAT TIME) musical preferences? Hope the results wont skew your votes either way!