I Knew it Wouldn’t Work Out

For a hayseed like me.

If I ever figured out how to rank my all-time favorite songs, this one would be in the top 25.  I’ve heard a buttload of songs, so top 25 is good.  Very good.

The best songs sound like a Cormac McCarthy story (with or without the Spanish), told over music that sounds like rockers playing country.  So many so-called Americana artists are long on (attempts at) the Cormac part, while utterly ignoring the rocking part.  Bores me to tears.  Listen for that guitar solo.  William Clark Green, from Tyler Texas.  Like Earl.  And the Jackal, I think.

Now she tries to act.  Like she don’t remember me.

Yep. It happens.

Back in Tyler, the Jackal once had a date with a future Ms. Universe.  I wonder if she’d acknowledge him now.  Maybe, in the way some of the pretentious fondly recall their embellished trip abroad back in college.  I’ll be your third world country, if you be my reality show.  Or something like that.

I once overheard this epic response to a snobby inquiry in a semi-crowded elevator.  “Did you study abroad in college?”  “Every chance I could.”  Mental high-fives were given.  One other guy laughed out loud too.

All that highfalutin’ stuff  bores me to tears.  So do fancy cars, and names.  The King makes it a point to memorize the names of all of his kids’ friends- their real names- not the made up ones like we give our pets.  I think he has charts.  I imagine Angel from New Jersey is written in pencil on the edge of a page.  I’m a sonder-loving edge dweller myself, who wrote on concrete sidewalks with pine tree bark when I was a kid.  No charts, no chalk, but probably some names.  I don’t remember many of them.  Andy, Thomas.  Definitely Buck.

But the King is a good soul, so chart on, brother.

What doesn’t bore me to tears, but still involves them, is StoryCorps.  It provides more tears per minute than any other podcast I’ve heard.  This one is a recent favorite.  Like a lot of them, it makes me feel better about the human race in general, and worse about my place in it.

Tiny Buddha, is sort of the opposite.  A lot of new-aged fluff, and then every once in a while a knock-out punch.

Self-protection might involve avoiding the family (or certain members) while you take time to figure things out; *** it might mean a short, long, or forever period of limited or no contact. It might mean a whole host of other things, entirely.

A-fucking-men, sister.  It’s too often the people who don’t grasp or care that their baggage is crushing bystanders who scream bloody murder at the sight of circled wagons.  I had a recurring dream when I was a kid that I lived in an underground bunker in the woods behind my house.  It was peaceful, like staring at your hands in church.

Speaking of names, I wonder what my dogs would call me if they could talk?  Food-giver, Rex, Asshole?  Some dude displaying both the cognitive ability and self-awareness of my dumbest dog (the little one that won’t come when you call him) called me an absolute asshole this week.

I should get a tax deduction for the charity I give people once in a while when I choose not to fight back.  My dogs might or might not agree.  I shot the big one with a BB gun once when he didn’t come when I called him.  Maybe he thinks I’m an asshole too, but now he comes when I call him.  Every time.  When I cook a burger for dinner at the farm, I cook him one too.  It’s complicated.

I know I ain’t got it so bad.  I can go home at night.  Sometimes.

Charlie Parr.  From Austin.  Minnesota.

The Two Best Songs of 2015

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Tangled, by Brent Best, formerly of Slobberbone.  From the fantastic Your Dog, Champ.

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And The Bird Hunters, from the Turnpike Troubadours’ self titled record.

Those of us who grew up out in the country, bird hunting with our dads, uncles and friends, behind legendary Pointers who now occupy dusty frames on our favorite walls will have a hard time not getting a little misty-eyed over the old bird dog named Jim and the Belgium-made Browning, like those many of us inherited from people we idolized.

This World is Cruel

 

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Shocked and alone, I pretended to be dead for over an hour, lying among people who could see their loved ones motionless. Holding my breath, trying to not move, not cry – not giving those men the fear they longed to see. I was incredibly lucky to survive. But so many didn’t. The people who had been there for the exact same reasons as I – to have a fun Friday night were innocent. This world is cruel. And acts like this are supposed to highlight the depravity of humans and the images of those men circling us like vultures will haunt me for the rest of my life. The way they meticulously aimed at shot people around the standing area I was in the centre of without any consideration for human life. It didn’t feel real. I expected any moment for someone to say it was just a nightmare.

From Isobel Bowdery’s heart-wrenching account of surviving the Paris attacks.

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In the midst of pointless tragedy brought on innocents by the worst of humans, there was humanity.  There always is.

But being a survivor of this horror lets me able to shed light on the heroes. To the man who reassured me and put his life on the line to try and cover my brain whilst I whimpered, to the couple whose last words of love kept me believing the good in the world, to the police who succeeded in rescuing hundreds of people, to the complete strangers who picked me up from the road and consoled me during the 45 minutes I truly believed the boy I loved was dead, to the injured man who I had mistaken for him and then on my recognition that he was not Amaury, held me and told me everything was going to be fine despite being all alone and scared himself.

There’s no easy answer to the sort of depravity that leads to these despicable acts of terror.  I’ll always choose peace and love over war and hate, when that choice is available.  I don’t know what can be done to bring people together, and reverse the divisive trend driven by religious zealots on all sides.  But I know one thing- people have fucked with France and the United States before.  It never worked out for them before, and it won’t this time either.

Viva France.

The Leftovers is Must-Watch TV

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“I hate to be hysterical about it, but The Leftovers is absolutely clowning the rest of television in this quantum leap of a second season. It’s doing monster-truck wheelies over the competition. There’s been a lot of amazing television in 2015, but with every new episode of The Leftovers comes the very real possibility of seeing a “top 10 episodes” list violently upended.”

Source: “Lens” · The Leftovers · TV Review The Leftovers just won’t stop kicking the rest of television’s ass · TV Club · The A.V. Club

This is spot on.  The Leftovers was just OK the first season.  It has reinvented itself into something otherworldly and mesmerizing this season.  It’s a must-watch show. Even the opening credits are phenomenal.

 

Movie Review: Beasts of No Nation

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I watched Beasts of No Nation yesterday and today, on the treadmill. Here’s my quick review.

Title: Beasts of No Nation
Director: Cary Fukunaga
Genre: Drama

Why I Watched It:
Netflix, which released this as its first original feature-length film, recommended it to me.

Interesting Fact:
Cary Fukunaga was the director of the first season of True Detective.

Review:
This is an excellent movie, action-packed, with great characters, and an important political message that does not get in the way of a great experience. Highly recommended.

Best Thing About It:
Abraham Attah as Agu. Oh, and Stringer Bell.

Worst Thing About It:
This is a fictional story, but this sort of thing happens for too often to far too many children.

Rating: ★★★★

More:
IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes

The Coolest Dude; the Only Question

The coolest dude on earth answers the only question that matters.

When I am forced to listen to someone tell me self-serving things I either already or don’t want to know (think political candidates and sales people), and he or she asks if I have any questions I always ask this one.