There is so much to talk about, almost none of it good. Money that you earned and saved is being effectively squandered by inflation, as those savings lose their value in large measure because the political party in power is made up of idiots and liars. The president, who was a louse before he was insane, doesn’t care about you any more than the reprehensible Donald Trump did, and neither do any of his lefty elitist colleagues.
Sixty-four years ago, the number one song in the nation was a simple thing sung by the Kingston Trio. It was called “Tom Dooley.” The performance, coming at the height of the great folk scare of the 1950s and early 60s, began with Bob Shane’s banjo riff, played on a plectrum banjo like — maybe the same as — the one I have upstairs in the banjo locker.
It is accurately said that pride goeth before a fall. Please make no mistake: What follows is not written out of pride, nor some desire to say, “See? I told you so.” Quite the opposite. I possess no special gift of prophecy. I have no access to inside information. I guess I have wits enough to survive — made it this far, anyway — but nothing much beyond that. Yet somehow I was able to predict a lot of what has happened in the last year or so.
It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized that the electric bass guitar is an instrument designed so that music-ish sounds can be made by creatures who lack opposable thumbs.
It’s something that I’m sure crops up from time to time in all our lives: Is it about time to build a banjo?
Monday was the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial’s dedication, and while that’s scarcely an event that should make us stop in reverent silence, it made me smile.
Spring is here — actually, in a little over a month it will be summer — and welcome as it is, the season is accompanied by some annoyances.
You want to stop prejudice and discrimination? Okay, let’s do it. And let’s begin with the most oppressed of all the minorities, a group that includes 12 percent of the population and that has been made to bend to the will of the majority, from long before our country’s founding. It’s a minority that has been ignored, abused, mistreated, and shut out of important parts of society.
The last couple of years brought us a desire to escape from the real world, maybe more than ever before. Due to the circumstance that led us to seek a hiding place, many of the refuges from reality we’ve traditionally sought weren’t available. We didn’t have movies at movie theaters. We didn’t have concerts. We lost sporting events. The attempts to provide substitutes were poor replacements for the real thing.
It is sad to see a newspaper die. It is sadder still when that death is a particularly gruesome suicide. For just under 15 years I was associated with a small paper in my small town. I wrote a weekly column — this column — for all of that time; for four rewarding years I was also the paper’s photographer.