I did not really know California’s Matt Coleman, the one described by Mendocino Land Trust board president Winston Bowen as “steady, hard working and unpretentious … the kind of person you want on your team.” The Matt I knew and loved for a decade was capricious, contrarian, big-hearted but unpredictable, full of wild ideas, and nobody’s property. He was precisely the kind of guy I wanted on my team, and my team has not been quite complete since.
Any objective consideration of Rhett’s recent work, in his years leading up to a certain age we don’t discuss, reveals that the dude is only getting better. 2018’s The Messenger is one his most daring and vibrant solo albums to date, one that stretches the boundaries of his songwriting voice. All of The Old 97’s recent records are just blisteringly good, reveling in musical brotherhood and seasoned, second-nature craft.
Other than for throwing a little baggie of penny candy in every shipped box, Sweetwater is known, lightly mocked, and finally respected in a say-uncle way for their tireless, incessant emphasis on personal relationships and first names. As soon as you create an account there, you are assigned a kind of “music bro” sales liaison. Thenceforward, all pages of the site will be, for you, branded with your personal music bro’s likeness and contacts. And you will get regular calls.
No competency and achievement is safe from self-doubt. No proof is enough. That suspicion is a symptom of imposter syndrome, wherein the afflicted feels unqualified to do any of the things they can, um, do, and suspects that their secret is always on the verge of being out, their jig up. It is by my estimation a worldwide epidemic.
The age we are living in is starting to feel like an omni-trigger, a cosmic strategy to tease it all out right now. The great tabling of pathos and pathology may account for sharp spikes in suicide rates and opioid relapse, a marked uptick in Kingston gunplay, and in my general observations a soaring epidemic of ragged despair and public displays of end-of-rope rage against the air and sky!
I have no idea what’s behind the outages. Downed tree, Liz thinks, but well into the calm after what wasn’t much of a storm anyway, I prefer to suspect a creeping infrastructural collapse, a climate-related over-taxation of the Eastern Seaboard power grid and SCADA systems, regulatory and staffing insufficiency, and the malignant let-it-rot indifference of the one percent.
For many in New York, Irene and Sandy were startling awakenings to the fact that, yes, we get real weather here, too, weather that can destroy, disrupt, reposition large structures, and burn permanent and surreal images in our minds, like Avenue C turning into a river along which taxicabs merrily floated by toward New York harbor and the light of Liberty.
The superintendent of a tiny, predominantly Mexican Arizona school district struggles out loud over an agonizing decision he has to make whether he should open his schools or lose five percent of his annual funding. He’s already had a teacher die of Covid-19, contracted at one of his schools when only two other teachers were present and all protocols strenuously observed.
I did not know until today that pizza entrepreneur Cosimo DiBrizzi was murdered in his home in May 2004. It was all over the news, of course. DiBrizzi was a fairly big deal nationally. In 2002, his pizza empire had been ranked number 72 among the nation’s top 100 pizza chains by Pizza Today. I am mildly surprised I have no memory of the story, but the early aughts were some fairly bleak and inattentive years for me.
“I can’t forgive you until you blame yourself.” You think you are getting a stock emotional platitude from the heart of the self-help 1970s: no one can love/accept/forgive you until you love/accept/forgive yourself. Then it pulls a fast one at the end, suggesting that meaningful forgiveness may be impossible unless some degree of guilt and complicity has been copped to. Otherwise, what good forgiveness?