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7 Random Observations Just To Get That Damn Rash Off The Top Of This Page

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Dana Buoy--"Call To Be" (mp3)

Frankly, staring at that thing has been giving me writer's block. Feeling intense pressure to come up with something just to move the rash lower down, I've been coming up empty. Here follows a variety of largely-unrelated observations about anything and everything. I figured that if I could come up with at least seven of them, throw in a few pictures and a song or two, and stretch out this introduction, I could get that inflamed region out of sight and mind for anyone coming to our site. At least, it won't be the first impression anymore, and newcomers will no longer be tempted to scroll down to find out whether or not they have stumbled onto some kind of physical maladies and oddities website.

1. In less than 9 months, we will have finished another presidential election. It will no doubt be a contentious affair. I don't worry that much about the Republicans, who have already beat each other up pretty good, but I'm sure that our president who has been under siege since before he was elected has more attacks coming his way, fueled and funded by the Super PACs that Chief Justice John Roberts and his Supreme Court majority have perpetrated on this country. This may go down as the most destructive ruling the high court has handed down since Plessy vs. Ferguson. You may remember that Obama scolded the court for this ruling at his first State of the Union, though he has since embraced his own Super PACs for the upcoming election. Hypocrisy or fighting fire with fire?

2. In the three weeks since I saw the Food Network show "The Big Waste," it has never been far from my mind. If you haven't seen the show, it's another of the competition show--Bobby Flay and another chef vs. a couple of female chefs, preparing a meal for 100 people--but with a twist: they have to use food that restaurants, grocery stores, farms, and food purveyors have thrown out or are planning to because they can't sell the food. The enormity of the waste, just on the show, is stunning. The expansiveness of the waste, when our entire country is factored in, is flat-out immoral. And it isn't restaurants, etc. that need to shoulder the blame. It's all of us. We have to change.

3. I ate at Paula Deen's restaurant a couple of nights ago. Let me put it simply: if your mother is a good cook, a Southern cook, a country cook, she's probably better than Paula Deen. Paula's offerings were solid, but not distinguished. It was like eating through the greatest hits of the South, as performed by a group of session musicians, who are extremely skilled, but who play anything with that skill, if not passion, and who don't write any of their own material. The beauty, the glory of home-cooking is that it has the idiosyncracies of a home cook. Paula Deen is trying to be everybody's home cook all at once, all while masquerading as a chef.

4. My daughter is in Florida with her grandmother for a month; I took my father to Tunica this week. Both are reminders, to me at least, that whatever we can do with or for elderly people needs to be done as often as possible. An elderly person living alone in a house or an apartment gets depressed. They can't help it. People who live alone in that profound way miss much of the significant human contact, including physical contact, that we enjoy each day, and all of the phone calls, emails, or even cats that we might provide such a person can in no way replace our physical presence. I have been surprised yet again by how much a little trip or a long trek with a granddaughter can lift the spirits of elderly parents and grandparents.


5. Both Billy and I have yet to be "wowed" by new music in 2012. I know we're only a month or so into the year, but that does not bode well. Billy has mentioned this year as a year to fill in some of the gaps from the past in his music collection. That's what I did last year, which is why I didn't post any kind of "best of" lists. I got onto hypem.com last night for several hours, trying to get a sense of what people were posting that I might be interested in. A couple of those appear above, at the start of this post, but I couldn't find much that engaged me. Here's hoping that will change, but I am not optimistic. I can't even conceptualize right now what fresh approach to popular, or even not-so-popular, music might inspire me to get excited.

6. Whitney Houston's death tonight is sad, tragic, but certainly not shocking. Ever since her marriage to Bobby Brown, her career trajectory and life trajectory have both been decidedly downward. It's the kind of thing that leaves an average joe like me feeling pretty helpless. Whitney had almost completely disappeared from public view, but every time she did surface, it was painfully obvious that drugs had taken control of her. Did she always have the prediliction for them, but was largely shielded from them until she met Brown? Or did they become her best companion when her career disappeared and she needed something to make her feel good? I don't know. But anyone who still sees Brown's song, "My Perogative," as any kind of valid manifesto can only do so by ignoring the negative impact it had on those around him.

7. In less than 9 months, we will have finished another presidential election. I have travelled quite a few miles in several different directions in the past few months. I also drive around this city regularly. I like to drive; I put in a lot of miles. And here's what I've noticed: nothing. That's right, as I've passed cars on the streets and highways of the southeast, I haven't seen any political stickers on the cars. Some Obama stuff to be sure, as well as some anti-Obama stuff, regrettably. But of the many Republican candidates who have vyed for the top spot during the past several months of debates and primaries, I have seen no signs. Our primary in Tennessee is a little over three weeks away, but nada. I don't if this means anything or not, but it does seem like in other years, there were primary candidate favorites that people were willing to display on their cars.

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