Keep On Rockin’

I got to thinking about all the rock and roll stars I’ve been lucky enough to see perform live in my life. Maybe you won’t be impressed by this list, but I kinda was.

Elton John. Billy Joel. The Eagles. Bruce Springsteen. Steely Dan. Rush. Neil Diamond. Stevie Wonder. Dan Fogelberg. Roger Waters. Phil Collins. Cher (with Cyndi Lauper). U2. The Doobie Brothers. Cat Stevens. The Allman Brothers Band, Joe Walsh, and The Marshall Tucker Band (together).

Oh, and N’Sync, with two of my nieces. Shriek!!!

Many of these guys, I’ve seen twice, and in Elton and Billy’s case, four times each.

Then, of course, there are the ones who got away, like Genesis, Wings, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Stevie Ray Vaughn, to name just a few.

Oh, and Johnny Cash.

Yes, Johnny Cash, my first musical hero. I would have loved to see him live.

I thoroughly enjoyed every concert I attended. (Well, not so much N’Sync, but my nieces loved it.) There’s nothing like the energy at a live rock concert. When it’s good, the performers and the audience feed off each other to make an unforgettable experience.

If you were to ask me what my favorite show was, I’d give you different answers, for different reasons. The easy answer is Elton, because he’s my favorite artist, from a long way back. Billy Joel, because he’s another piano player, like I once was (though nowhere near that caliber).

For professionalism and virtuosity, Steely Dan and Rush take the honors. For the sheer spectacle, I gotta give it to Cher and Roger Waters. Those weren’t just concerts, they were events.

The Eagles were and are my favorite band vocally. Their harmony just shines.

Stevie was just incredible. He is so musically gifted. He’s really one of a kind.

But nobody, and I mean nobody, gives more of himself onstage than The Boss. Bruce Springsteen just lays it all out there every time, and the E Street Band is always equal to the task. It is amazing to watch.

It’s great to see live shows coming back now, after going missing last year. There are still some restrictions in place, though. My sister-in-law and her daughter are going to a concert tonight, but they have to show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result from the last 24 hours. It’s a new world, folks.

But it’s still a chance for fans to go see their favorite artists, sing along jubilantly, and just forget the world for a few hours and be only about the music. And that’s worth something.

Rock on, y’all.

Critical Race Theory is not about being anti-white

For those of you concerned about Critical Race Theory (CRT), here’s a quick and easy explanation from an authority on the subject. For your education.
Larry

IISWHITE

       I have been studying, writing, and teaching on the subject of whiteness and systemic racism— Critical Race Theory — for almost twenty years. For the critics and detractors, let me share with you what I know and what I do.  First and foremost, let me start with what Critical Race Theory (CRT) is not. It is not “white people bad” and “black people good”.  It is not about making the white kids feel personal shame or personal responsibility for all the injustices that Black and Brown people have suffered and continue to suffer. Never, in any classroom discussion is it argued that white people do not suffer.  No one is saying that all white people are rich or that white people do not know extreme poverty.   In fact, I try to avoid using the words “white privilege” and “white supremacy” because they are…

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The Final Frontier

Well, it’s official, now.

My wife and I are both retired. Her last day of employment was Tuesday.

Mine, unfortunately, was March 16, 2020. I’ve just gone from collecting unemployment to collecting monthly pension. Which my wife will now also collect. Along with the money we’ve saved over the years, we should be in good shape financially. (We hope.)

We’ve kind of been rehearsing for this, actually. She’s been using vacation time for a while, now, so we’re already used to not working. And I think we like it!

Not that we haven’t been busy. It seems like there’s something that needs to be done all the time. Good thing we’re not working, I guess.

We don’t have plans to travel anytime soon, COVID still as rampant as it is. We can’t see getting on a plane and being in such close quarters with a bunch of strangers who may or may not be vaccinated. Same with a train. We would like to eventually go some places, though. Maybe someday, traveling this way will be safe again.

And driving somewhere just takes too long, and we don’t want to be away from our cats for that long. You pet owners understand.

Anyway, in the meantime, we’re just enjoying not having to go to bed at a certain time, or get up at a certain time, watching TV, going out with friends, spending quality time with the cats…you know, taking it easy.

Who knows, we may take up a hobby at some point, or do some volunteer work; you never know.

But our new chapter has begun, and we’ll just see where it leads. Together.

All you guys out there still working, have a happy Labor Day weekend. We don’t have it off, anymore.

Take care, everyone.

A Letter to Americans about Afghanistan, from the Margins of Empire

Kenn Orphan gives us a lot to think about in this post. Read it, think on it, and share it.
Larry

Kenn Orphan

Dear Americans,

I wanted to share some thoughts with you on Afghanistan, as it sits amongst the rubble of another indifferent imperial folly with the dread of more fundamentalist authoritarian terror on the horizon. And especially on the American public’s disconnect from its own government’s culpability in spreading misery there and throughout the Global South. I wanted to talk about reflection too.

I wanted to talk about twenty years of drone bombing civilians like a grandmother picking okra in her field, incinerating people, even in hospital, of Marine night raids on terrified civilians, including women and children. kicking in doors, torching villages. Twenty years supporting and propping up a corrupt Afghan proxy government even though the US intelligence were informed countless times of their corruption. Even though the Taliban will likely be worse, let’s not pretend that these last 20 years under American occupation has been a bucolic 4th of…

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The Daily Grind


I grind my teeth a lot these days. It’s a new habit.

About the only times I don’t do it are when I’m eating or sleeping, and I’m not totally sure about the sleeping.

I think it’s rooted in anxiety.

I’m just really at a loss for what to say, anymore, people. That’s why it takes me so long to write anything these days; I’m just stupefied by what I’ve seen these last few months.

In my 62 years of existence on this planet, I have never seen my country in as sorry a shape as it’s in now.

Whether it’s climate change, COVID vaccines, election results or America’s racist history, there are lots of folks who are so deliberately ignorant of facts (and so in your face about it), and so blindly accepting of the most outlandish fiction ever created, it could make my head explode.

And I don’t know what to do about ‘em. They’re dug in. They will not listen.

That’s maddening. Heartbreaking. Even dangerous.

And that last part really scares me. It gives me nightmares.

The only bright side I can see is, they’re in the minority. Reason and common sense, along with compassion for others, can still be found in this country in great supply, fortunately.

But not a day goes by that doesn’t give me a reason to grind my teeth. At the brazenness, at the endless lying, at the defiant middle finger being directed at our democracy.

Folks, America is being tested as it hasn’t in a very long time, and it will be up to us to answer this challenge, in whatever way we can. The stakes are just too high.

What can you do? What can I do? It’s time to decide, and to act.

I just hope my teeth don’t get ground all the way down to the gums.

Wear Orange Day

This is a message worth sharing, so I am. I wasn’t aware of Wear Orange Day before, so thanks, Jill.
Larry

Filosofa's Word

I typically make fun of all the ‘national days’ … I mean, there are some thoroughly ridiculous ones like National Lima Bean Respect Day, National Rat Catcher’s Day, and National Talk In An Elevator Day.  However, there are a few of the national days that are worthy of being honoured, and today is one such day:  National Gun Violence Awareness Day, also known as Wear Orange Day.  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I hate guns and would happily see every last one of them destroyed, so it should come as no surprise that I’m writing about this day.

Until a few days ago when a dear friend emailed me about this day, I was not even aware of it … which likely means that most people are unaware.  Raising awareness is the goal of this day, and I aim to do my part to help raise that…

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