The Trouble with Blogs in 2017

I legit have nothing new to say, almost every day since Trump took his totally undeserved and unearned office.  The protests are amazing, the real gathering and uniting against a common enemy that America should be about at the best of times.  Trump has shown us the real America, by trying to divide us, he has brought us together, and brought the hate fueled race war mongering of his ilk to the forefront.  We are afraid, bur we can’t give in to the fear. The fear strengthens the hate, and helps him further cement his horrible policies.  But that isn’t something that hasn’t been said, as I mentioned before.

I share post after post after post on facebook about what is happening.  Never have I felt so well-informed, while never being so weary and sick about the latest event, or executive order, or Trump tantrum about tv ratings, but have to keep paying attention.  But I never have much to add in addition to what is already being said, and sometimes that shakes my confidence or just makes it hard to keep good things in my brain.  But I’m working on it, we are working on it, America is working on it.  Believe it or not, but we have to build a strong wall in our hearts in our minds, not on our borders, to ensure we will never be played the fool.

I know people who have always been casually racist, whether from naivete, lack of education, or any number of factors that I can’t pretend to be aware of.  People will always say things that upset or offend without meaning to, and people will act differently around certain cultural groups, simply from lack of interaction with them, and that is something a lot of these people are working on. Let’s face it, depending on the situation, it is something each and every one of us is working on.  But my real point was that some people who I have for a long time perceived in this way, are really showing me their true selves, and it isn’t pretty.  It has become clear to me, that while many of us are trying harder to avoid our “accidentally racist,” words and actions, others who have always seemed that they didn’t mean to make these slip ups, in fact just don’t want people to realize just how much hate and bigotry is inside them.

 

Be ever vigilant, and now more than ever, be willing to call people out on their racism, sexism, homophobia, islamophobia, and just about anything else. Intolerance is wholly intolerable…

“It’s Better To Burn Out Than To Fade Away..”

Kurt Cobain mentioned this Neil Young lyric in his suicide note, which really shook up the music world in a number of ways.  I mean his death in general impacted not just a generation of music fans and fellow musicians, it shook up the entire industry, it shook up entire schools of musical thought.  But all the same, it cemented the truth of Neil Young’s lyrics.  What does music mean to you, or to anyone?  What does making music do for us?  It’s just like what writing does for people like us, here at the bottom of the bottle.  Neil Young’s lyric will always ring true for so many of us.  Nobody wants to fade away.  I mean, I don’t really think anyone wants to literally burn out, right?  But nobody wants to fade, people want to remembered for something for anything.  People want to make a lasting impact or deliver a lasting contribution to this world that we were thrown into, and not by choice.  Nobody chooses the life they initially start with, but we do have at least some choice in the life we end up with.

I recently learned of the passing of a friend of mine.  I wouldn’t say we were close, but I’d say he did always leave an impression on me.  He always lived the way he chose to, and some of those choices, at a very human level, were certainly not great choices, just like all of us don’t always make great choices.  That’s normal.  We choose to smoke, when we know exactly what cigarettes do to us.  We choose to do any manner of things, knowing full well that they are habit forming or that they will kill us.  We choose to spend money on things we know are only fleeting. But that’s the other point of the song lyric.  If we truly live our lives, truly embrace our lives,  and the choices we make therein, we all have the capacity to burn very brightly.

But more on my fallen comrade.  He went out of his way to not be liked, and was the ultimate embodiment of everything my friends and I believed in during the parking lot days. Being uncool was always cool. Doing things just because others wouldn’t.  You would find him on the street any random day, playing some really shitty song on his guitar, because it was his right to be as good or as bad at music as he saw fit.  Addled by drugs at the best of times, my friend still danced to his own drummer, you get me?  He was a compassionate soul, even though he was always rough around the edges.  He couldn’t get out of his own head most of the time, but he always got into ours.  He made us think about choices, he made us think about freedom, and life itself.

He never asked the deeper questions, because he never had to.  Being near him, unsung hero of all that is considered Rock and Roll, of all that we decided to embrace as sidewalk punks and gutter trash, made us think, made us always question authority, and for that we are forever grateful to him for never letting us forget.  It is truly tragic, that some of his choices brought him to this end, but we owe it to him to burn ever brighter in spite of this.  And we also always have a choice on whether or not we look the other way, maybe we should pay more attention to the lost causes, to the people who can’t get out of their own way, and really even just stop and say hi, once in a while, it’ll make all the difference in your life and everybody else’s.

Bottoms Up to You My Friend…