Tag Archive: Winter In America


Just like in a company, where the employees reflect the personality of the CEO, so goes a nation or country, IMO.
Hearing about more terrible acts of gun violence, antisemitism and racial intolerance in-general these days is directly related to the individual who is, unfortunately, the current “CEO” of our country, The United States of America, residing in our “White House”.

Every American should own one of these. Just call and they will send you one!

As a general rule, I intentionally steer clear of polity here, but my diary is exploding with the need to carry this cautionary educational message for our last post of 2019.

Like the late American President Ronald Reagan’s “trickle-down economics”, so goes the behavior of our country morally, socially, harmony and friendly. Not saying all of us are so influenced – we who have education, independence and individuality enough to make our own decisions don’t quickly fall under the spell of the “soup-of-the-day” – but many people who erroneously feel their voices aren’t heard do drink the (spiked with hate) cool-aid.

This individual of whom I speak has no shame; when he is wrong in thought, word or deed, always finds someone else to blame. His absence of character staidness has filtered dangerously into pockets of our populace, similar to how a cult would.

His recreant attempts to somehow bend the traditional and established norms of the office he and his contrivers disinformed groupies into casting electoral votes for and acts in depredation of our Constitutional rules terrorize our very way of life over the six decades that I have been alive and beyond. It is as if the late Alabama Governor who stood in the doorway of educational institutions to deny black students entry in order to preserve segregation has been reincarnated into a slightly slicker, taller version! Without shame, lying and then lying again as a spoiled child would when caught red-handed time and time again, while querulous about the press (aka “media”) he is at the very least pernicious to our civil discourse among a diverse nation of people. He doesn’t know when to belt-up!

Fantasy: I wish I could run for president so I could beat him! Reality: Yet, I am too much an imperfect human being, and in this climate of looking up candidate’s assholes, those willing to take me down would find some shit they would try to wipe my face with. Therefore, I feel that something/someone else will have to happen to save us “normal” educated majority masses from this dictator wannabe. Denial never solves; it makes it worse. This guy plans to campaign for another term with soiled underwear showing through his pants, without compunction about his repulsive smell, because he refuses to wipe his own behind.

He can’t wipe enough!

The solution is to elect a leader who speaks not in 140-character “tweets”, but to us all with televised speeches and with the traditional “weekly radio address”, eloquently, teaching and uniting upon the civil manners, mores and etiquette-based values of yore. Too much contentious nonsense with this guy; time for a return to compromise and civility in America. Even with the few things that disappointed me about President Obama, I know that we were a happier country during his two terms and neither Bush, Clinton, Bush the Father, Reagan nor Carter and their predecessors trampled upon our sacred U.S. Constitution like this guy is!

And that brings me to my Word of The Year for 2019, “terrible”.

Everytime I turned around this past year, from the time my landlord sought to not renew my lease in early spring, for reasons which are still a mystery, I found myself thinking or uttering aloud, “TERRIBLE!”

*Relocating interstate into a falsely advertised house to find moldy, sickening air and an uncooperative property manager: “terrible!”
*Uncouth, embarrassing behavior by the so-called President alienating allies? “Terrible!”
*almost weekly reports of mass shootings of innocents and gun violence not seen in decades! “terrible!!”
*antisemitism rising to a level not seen since Hitler’s time. “Terrible!”
*Copy-cat violence and too many guns on city streets – “Terrible”
*Oh, did I mention the obstinate Property Manager? Yes, I did but he gets another “TERRIBLE”.
*Ageism making money hard to come by the longer you live? “Terrible”.
*Not being able to get back on the radio in the profession I loved and was very good at? “Terrible!”
*Watching senescent relatives aging and the breakdown of our human bodies with disease, is in many ways sad and…almost, ”terrible”.
*Corporate greed and the closing of brick and mortar stores: “terrible”.
*Increasing lack of human toll takers at bridges and tunnels and all those jobs lost? “Terrible!”
*Many loose nuts with mental illness running loose when they shouldn’t be, and causing harm to people? – “Terrible”
*Educational disconnect between generations born since 1999, which leads to the collective having to revisit atrocities we thought were settled and negative history repeating itself. “Terrible and tragic”.
*Housing construction codes so poor one can hear the flushed water of the tenant upstairs cascading inside the wall – gross and “Terrible!”
*People staying inside too much and watching too much video and television – especially the news – “terrible!”

We teeter on the edge of abysmal era where there is no punishment for obvious transgressions by an executive, if he can deny it long enough. That would be truly terrible if it comes to pass. United we stand, divided we fall.

Please have a safe New Year’s Eve into 2020, and if in a crowd, keep your head on a swivel while enjoying and having as much fun as possible, these troubled days! I hope my word of the year in twelve months is something like “wonderful”!

It was a truly modern info moment. I’m doing my goodnight ‘My Vinyl’ “Tweet” of the day into the Twittosphere, when next in the stream and before mine can appear pops, “Breaking News! Gil Scott Heron dead at 60.” last night. Immediately I reply to the Tweeter of bad news, “ 4 REal? Oh Sad…major part of my musical comeuppance in college radio via dancefloor-filler, “In The Bottle” RIP Bro Heron”    

back coveer

 

Wow!” I thought, “ I’m on Twitter and witness history as one of (maybe) the first to know this!” one of the reasons I have grown to tolerate that platform is that appeals to the subliminal sense or need for immediacy of current events in its own special way!

I started to write this then and there; nope, too close to “Au Revoir” for-the-night time after a physically strenuous Friday and mentally gnarly week. Therefore, here we are now with an homage to my one Gil Scott Heron vinyl, “Winter In America”. Obviously, this one should be brief, but no promises, okay? 😀

When I think of the now “late” Gil Scott Heron, I go back to my days at the University and the hit record from this album, “In The Bottle”.  His image makes me think of another tell-it-like-it-IS spoken group, The Last Poets.  All I wanted to know about most music back then, in my “baby” DJ days, was would it get people up on the floor and dancing to it? That is how I could look good and get paid by whomever was employing me for that purpose – even if that “person” was me.  So the larger “message” of Gil Scott Heron – the poet , keyboardist and Brother-man was initially kind of secondary, but in retrospect he was one of those whose lyrics clarified shit from the streets that I had only heard about at the time.

cuts and players

As time went by, I was proud of him as a militant messenger as I like to see part of myself being in the mirror. Principled and even brutally eloquently relevant and truthful in his succinct lyrics and rhymes, I knew intrinsically that he would be “alright” and was a protector and purveyor of the thoughts about our place as Black Americans in society that most people would only think and not say. What’s more, he did it with music, one of my favorite things, and that made him all the more koolThis album felt like conversation as well as a class.

my vinyl GSH

I probably first heard “In The Bottle” on the Frankie Crocker-programmed WBLS-FM of 1974, although another party or DJ could have been just as timely. All I knew was that it was about a guy who drank too much as imitated by Gil from the jam’s outset, but who cared? When that first note hit, the guys were up and asking the chicks to dance with them en-masse! “A dolla-nine-get-a-bottle o’wine, a dolla-nine-get-a bottle a-wine, in the bot-tle…” 

I remember getting amusing requests from cats who would saunter up to my booth and request, “Hey, ‘Man, you got any Gil Scott Heroin, Brotha?” To which I learned to sometimes reply, “No, my Brother, we don’t do no hard drugs up in this booth…” (read again to catch the subtle comedy if you didn’t “get-it”), before I’d relent and tell him I “got’cha covered!”. That smacks me in my funny bone annoyingly if you’ve read the stated causes of his death.

Brian Jackson got the co-top billing on this album, which as I write this, I wish I knew the story of how I came to acquire it, or why he did get that recognition and what happened to him. If you know, please write it in a comment below, but he never became as famous as Gil Scott Heron did, and where is he now?

Even though “Winter In America” is the title of my one-and-only vinyl by Gil, the song by the same name came out on his next album, “First Minute of A Brand New Day”. He will probably be remembered by the world’s masses though, for another song/album title, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” which came out right after “Winter”, I believe.  Those two LPs set GSH off into the stratocastersphere!

I am sad that his needed voice is now silent too early, but at least being who he was, he left some homework behind for all of us to catch-up on an apply.  “Just how blind will America be?” he asked in the wake of the Nixon Watergate scandal . I can rhyme that and say, “these days we continue to see!”   Gil Scott Heron performed the serious science with an ironic sense of humor that is lacking among many of the broadcast talking heads here in 2011.

photo props to cafemaroon

                                         Only sixty-two?  That is Scary. 

 

                      Side Two, track five, “Peace Go With You Brother”. 

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