rising fears and rising tides…

The weather is changing, it has been cooler in the evening the last couple of weeks, it rained once and now it is scheduled to rain for a few days, I am not ready to give summer up but it is sweatshirt weather, time for hoodies and maybe wearing socks, who knew? Well let’s be honest here, everybody knew, it’s the inevitability of the seasons changing and nothing staying the same. The big question these days though is how extreme will those seasonal changes be?

The pandemic has been one aspect of the ever changing scene here on the compound, we live outside the least vaccinated city in the great state of Oregon, fair dues it is a very small city and very rural, if only 20 miles or so south of Portland. It is a city renowned for civic duty, in fact during last years fires the inhabitants were celebrated for helping fire crews and in fact running their own citizen led crew. The other side of that is it is a very Trump oriented population as well which has emphasized how the Trump world has effectively managed to not only get people to vote against their own best interests but now make health decisions agains their own interest and their relatives. This is the dialectic we are all dealing with it seems, actively working against our own best interests, health wise, tax, wise and politically, while espousing civic duty as a value is the new normal.

So we all sit here on our property trying to figure out how to grow vegetables in winter, maybe some chickens and how to ford the creek. It also seems somewhat sensible to keep our values and ideals a little quieter than we are used to in order to feel a bit safer. It is strange in the land of the free to feel so constrained by your own beliefs. We live at the bottom of the hill and I get a little twinge of fear as the big dual axle diesel trucks rev their engines before the climb, there is no real reason beyond machismo for this, it is the same feeling I get as I drive by the house festooned with Trump 2024 flags or the relentless flag wave at the main intersection in town. This weekend while driving home there was a truck honking it’s horn, we had three sheets of ply wood on the roof and I thought the load had shifted and started to slow down and pull over when my son pointed to the flag waving throng at the intersection and I realized what was happening and pulled back into traffic. My heart rate had risen at the thought of the load moving and then it rose again at the open carrying flag wavers on the street.

Isn’t it enough, pandemic, fires, storms and heat?

Well at least Syd has a new shelter, better than the tarp city we used to build every few months.

this is it this it this is it…

Well it’s Monday and time to take off.

Time to get the week off to a great start with one of the most brutal and unrelenting albums of all time. Conceived, recorded and mixed with intent to harm/reconfigure your brain.

I have no idea why I don’t play this more often apart from my brain is jelly by the end. From the crushing bass, the motorik drumming to the unrelenting riffing and then the electronics all over the place and is that a sax, this album will alter your neural pathways.

The transition from the opener Brainstorm to Space Is Deep is one of my favorite moments in recorded history. Lemmy’s melodic yet brutal bass playing is all over this album holding stuff together. Side One will break you down and then Side. Two will finish the job. From Lord of Light to Time We Left This World Today followed by the acoustic, menacing The Watcher to tuck your paranoid self in at the end there is no hope. If you make it through you’re an addict and heading for the wormhole.

Happy Monday…

The river flows…

I’ve loved Pink Floyd since the first time I heard Piper at the Gates of Dawn. I’ve spent long hours with headphones on laying on the floor coming to terms with the ultimate meaning of the universe. I’ve had insights and realizations and bored my wife to tears.

For a period in the early part of the 21st Century I was part of a bootleg hub. Until the politics and bickering got too much and I decamped to safer waters. I’ve probably owned every album several times over up to the great Roger/David schism I just never bought them.

One of my first gigs was The Wall at Earls Court. Not my favorite album but I still have vivid memories of the day and night. It’s a long way from Liverpool for a 13 year old in the back of a Hillman Imp.

They are my safe band. Comfort music for the soul.

Today I surprised myself by picking up The Endless River. Well it was cheap but it’s the last album under the Floyd moniker. And now there’s a gap. Every obsessive collector knows that feeling and what is inevitable.

Someone I’m not sure who described this album as the only Floyd album that looks backwards and honors the past. Maybe that’s appropriate for a last album there are sounds that reference the entire history of the band throughout the predominantly instrumental album. Ricks organ sound from the sixties the unmistakeable synth sound from Wish You Were Here. Riffs and solos from all over the history and even a brief drum solo that takes you back to Set The Controls.

Gilmour said it’s an album for the fans who want to put on headphones and get lost in a long piece of music and he is probably right.

For me it was the soothing panacea I needed as my brain tries to deal with the hypocrisy and strangeness of my chosen home country. The Trump flags, the anti-vaccine protests, the 9/11 gung-ho ultra-patriotism all melded into the gentle wash and sound affects of the instrumental Floyd.

Good luck out there it’s getting strange.

find the cost of freedom…

I sat and watched the dreadful mistake of Afghanistan come to its inevitable conclusion, did anyone ever think it was a good idea?

All I could think was since 9/11 how much life, military and civilian and other resources have we as a species wasted?

I read/watch the news seeing ours and others freedoms being eroded, our hopes being quashed and I wonder.

Being a pacifist it seems is now considered unpatriotic, having a social conscience is considered at best socialist, at worst communist. Doubting that all military personnel are heroes is a sin worthy of stoning and considering that some peoples may have a reason to have a suspicion of the west can’t be contemplated, The idea that racism may have permeated our laws and society is intolerable.

Sometimes it really feels that we have become the thing we are so adamant we are fighting against, nations governed by intolerance, where compliance is more important than thought. We rail against women being oppressed in other countries and allow it to happen in our own, the hypocrisy is palpable.