Guilt (October 6th, 2018, Columbia, MO)

What a disgusting week. True: we little people can’t really know what happened between the now Supreme Court judge and the professor. It’s entirely possible that, after the hearing where the two parties aired their takes, and after the FBI in rushed manner nosed into the deets, the “Senate” didn’t see enough hard evidence to support the prof’s testimony. All we had to go on, really, were the personalities and the probabilities.

I’ve known many women who have struggled through Dr. Ford’s experiences (1 in 4 American women have); Kavanaugh reminded me of a good 50-100 blowhards I’ve known (family, friends, and acquaintances–all men) who are aghast that anyone should question their graspings. Or imagine that they had, indeed, grasped at all. I’m a white man. I sprang from a midwestern Christian environment, but I sprang out of it once I realized there wasn’t much of a commitment to the spirit of the texts. Prejudice. Judgement. Greed. Fear. Insulation (yeah: insulation). Idolatry (“sniffing the jocks of the rich and famous and loud”). I love this country in many ways, but I hate it in others–it is not, by a long shot, an entirely benevolent force in the world, but it does, no doubt, have potential. Right now, with a schmuck–a zit, a boil, an abscess–as a president, it’s an embarrassment. Surely, for you, he’s brought folks into the light that you once loved and now behold with horror. Lou Reed: “You can’t depend on the goodly hearted / The goodly hearted / Made lampshades and soap.” We didn’t think it could happen to us, but it had already happened (Africans, immigrants, natives), and it is happening, in a different iteration, again.

As usual, needing some ballast to keep me from sinking into total darkness, some music appeared out of the ether to keep me afloat. I hadn’t listened to Marianne Faithfull in a bit, but she was a favorite of my mother-in-law, who passed in 2013 from brain cancer. Nicole and I were revisiting some of Faithfull’s music on her mom’s birthday (Lynda loved her), and, while luxuriating in tracks from Broken English, Strange Weather, and Blazing Away, I sat bolt upright in realizing it was just what I needed. That craggy, outraged, authoritative voice, declaiming against male force, was stronger than any of the bullshit emanating from social media.  It was, indeed, what I (we) needed, and continue to need, and it was a bulwark versus despair. The weather is strange, but the bravery, resistance, anger, and sarcastic wit in her interpretations helped me feel we’ll come out on the brighter side of it.

Short-shrift Division:

I must say, Television’s Adventure sounds even better than it did at the time. If Marquee Moon is an A+, Adventure is an A: the lyrics might actually be better, and, while the guitar pyrotechnics may not be as ecstatic and explosive, they might be more lyrical. “Glory.” “The Fire.” “The Dream’s Dream.” For tapping into the spiritual-abstract realm of human experience, those are hard to beat. Personally (see above), I needed to be transported, and this album was potent. My only question is what licks Richard Lloyd is playing, because it all sounds like Verlaine.

 

 

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