Monday, September 24, 2018
Rhiannon Giddens plays her heart out and tears her way through the entire catalog of your emotions, but the music business is a tough row to hoe. America and the world are littered with talentless drones who have accumulated multiple millions of dollars by peddling crap to fools, poor bony things who rely on technology to even hit the notes in their songs, and male artists who believe that it is sufficient to stalk around the stage menacingly grunting about gangster shit that they don't really understand at all. It is manifestly unfair, and no just God would allow it.
But there is no God, just or otherwise, so we must only hope that Ms. Giddens, and other extremely talented but noncommercial artists, can manage to make a living so that we can continue to enjoy their music.
I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't spoil this with commentary.
This song sounds exactly like I feel today. Maybe it sounds better than I feel, but it does capture some of the tense, explosive quality of it. You've got people, life, fate, and the world. That's a real race to the bottom, don't you think? All of my life I've known people who didn't seem to mind at all, who didn't seem to see the frantic, horrible desperation of it all. I have always wondered how they did it, how they just smiled through it and mastered it and prospered. I don't get that part at all. I don't find it heroic, just amazing.
I try to roll with the punches, and somehow I make it to the end of the round, and with little enthusiasm for the enterprise I answer the bell for the next round. Seven decades now! There have always been times, though, when I get pinned against the ropes and take a real beating. I really wonder why anybody bothers.
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Just about a week ago I was semi-complaining about Facebook. Specifically, I was complaining about how easy it is now be misunderstood by fellow travelers who can be way too quick to place you in the basket of deplorables. Political allies or not, people will seize on the smallest damn thing and run with it. The name-calling can begin almost immediately.
Here’s an example. This tempest in a teaspoon is still going on, as we speak. The names have been changed to protect the guilty. In this dialog, I am me, Fred Ceely, and the belligerent is listed as “Opponent.”
The post was about that Brett Kananaugh fascist asshole whom Jimmy the Greek says will soon occupy a seat on our once-respected Supreme Court. These are all of the comments on the thread so far. The Opponent got it rolling.
Opponent: From the greatest political whorehouse in Texas.
(Unrelated comment by me.)
Fred Ceely: Admit it, (name of mutual Facebook friend, redacted), it will be hysterical to watch this sniveling mediocrity immediately switch to "Imperial Mode" when he takes the bench.
(All of the below comments are “Replies” between me and Opponent.)
Opponent: I don't think I would see humor in that prospect and neither would anyone else who has a minimal amount of sanity.
Fred Ceely: (Opponent’s name) I assure you, sir, that I do possess a minimal amount of sanity. My doctor has confirmed it, and I believe him. (You, however, have obviously not been reading the memos about civility. Why, you almost hurt my feelings! Perhaps you should consult with your pastor, you know, or take an anger-management class.)
Opponent: Fred Ceely Fuck You. How's that? This is a serious issue but you think there will be funny situations when he is confirmed for the SCOTUS. I can assure you that it will be anything but funny.
Fred Ceely: Oh, relax, (name redacted). You'll pull a muscle.
Opponent: Fred Ceely You are too old to be so flippant about our democracy being in a crisis. People like you are the problem Fred. Get off fb and go watch some sitcoms or game shows. Moron.
Fred Ceely: You're too easy, (name redacted). Go bother somebody else that you don't know anything about, about something that you don't understand.
Opponent: Fred Ceely Did you join the Peace Corps to avoid military service? You look the right age for it. Just askin' (sic)
Fred Ceely: (Name redacted), now you're embarrassing yourself. In 1967 I joined the U.S. Navy, preferring NOT to avoid military service. I was in my fifties when I joined Peace Corps, serving my time in Thailand, working on teacher-training and curriculum development. Any other rude questions? Maybe I can help you. I've never been arrested.
Opponent: I've never been arrested either and I am a veteran too. BFD. From your comments you appear to have the political attitude of a teenage high school drop out (sic), which I could understand from someone in that category, but you are way too old for that. You just don't get the seriousness of the situation apparently. I have never encountered anyone your age that was as cavalier about politics as you appear to be. Stand for something you worm or you'll find yourself standing for everything.
Fred Ceely: I "don't get the seriousness of the situation?" I'm "cavalier about politics?" Nobody who knows me at all would say those things about me. Come on, you're embarrassing yourself. I have a blog you know, ten years of writing frequently about politics. Instead of stroking yourself in public you could go and find out all about my politics. You read one comment and fly off into a delusional snit. What are you, the Amazing Kreskin or something?
Fred Ceely Hey, Norman, I hope that you are having a good sleep. You can throw around your ad hominem attacks on me willy-nilly if you want to, it's a free country, but just in case it would occur to you to base your opinion on facts, here is a little something to go on: https://spineasytime.blogspot.com/.../our-supreme-court...
Our Supreme Court and Our Future (ed. This is a post from 2014 that I am very proud of. I actually did research!)
Opponent: Fred Ceely "you're too easy" sound familiar? Thanks for taking the bait DUMBASS!
Fred Ceely: Don't you think that we've upset poor (name of mutual Facebook friend, redacted) enough? Isn't it late where you are? Get some rest.
That’s the end, so far.
Honestly, I have no idea what bait I took, but evidently I took it too easily. Because I’m a dumbass, which even I will admit on most days. Did I give away the secret identity of my blog? No, it can’t be that. Google does that in a heartbeat. I hope that Opponent gives up at this point. Not gives up, it’s not a contest, just lays off.
It is kind of upsetting to me when two of my Facebook friends start this kind of nastiness under my name. I’m certain that our mutual friend feels the same. That’s why I have been so gentle with Opponent so far, in spite of all of his name-calling. I love the way people go to your page seeking something that they can use against you. How great is it that all he could find on my page to “incriminate” me was my service in the Peace Corps! Jeez, Louise, what a Boy Scout I am! “Well, he was in the Peace Corps, and he’s a geezer,” says Opponent, “maybe he joined that outfit to beat the draft!” I’ve got quite a footprint on the ‘Net by now, you’d think that even Opponent could find something better than that. You could find a better sleuth in a nursery school.
So yeah, Facebook, a mixed blessing.
Monday, September 10, 2018
Having proven that I still listen to new music and find much that is very original to be entertained and amazed by, I present to you, Jeff Beck.
Many guitar players have a lick that other talented players find difficult to duplicate, and some will throw one out there that just plum confuses other guitar players. How did he do that? That zone of confusion for other players is where Jeff lives.
Here's six minutes of live playing, up close and personal, that leaves me slack-jawed except for the frequent outbursts of laughter. Not a lot of effects here, and he's never pushing pedals. He only touches the amp briefly in the beginning. After that it's all in his hands, the wammy bar, and the volume knob. Maybe the tone knob, I couldn't catch that. Did he touch the pickup selector switch? I didn't notice. Whatever. This is all Jeff's hands, the wammy bar, and the volume knob.
Jeff might be the only guitar player working today who stands alone being able to play his own brand of totally original music. Jeff Beck music. I doubt if there's anyone else at all who could duplicate this style. All this time he's been entertaining us, and he's still brash, surprising, always playful, rough and sweet, jagged and super-smooth, and always unpredictable.
God bless him. He's a treasure.