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Futureproofing: Navigating The Ruins

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Quote Of The Day, Faulkner Edition

Even a liar can be scared into telling the truth, same as an honest man can be tortured into telling a lie. - William Faulkner, in 1932's "Light In August"

Dando and Parsons

As I (and countless others) have written before, Gram Parsons left a huge musical legacy for a man who died an early death. While many have emulated his style, no one comes closer than Evan Dando, both with The Lemonheads and as a solo performer. The career of Dando has more than a few parallels with the career of Parsons, including being "the next big thing" while not quite making it.

The Lemonheads' music was fun three chord rock during the Seattle grunge era, when everyone hated themselves and wanted to die. Thus, Dando's lyrics were often criticized for being childlike by people who missed the point entirely. Tho popular in the early to mid 90s, the Lemonheads never reached superstar status, in much the same way Parsons' work with the Flying Burrito Brothers and as a solo artist never seemed to get off the ground.

The parallels don't end with great music greeted with less than stellar receptions. Both are legendary substance users, with Parso…

Futureproofing: Know Your Enemy

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. - Ephesians 6:12
Knowing your enemy is a skill that requires patience and understanding. As the quote above indicates, the enemy isn't always an individual, but a mindset or process. In ancient times, the problems wasn't necessarily the citizen of a Roman territory going about his business, the problem was Rome. This is not meant to excuse all abusers (think Nazi SS officers and the "following orders" excuse), but people for the most part are decent. However, powers, processes, and zeigeist can lead even the strongest astray.
In our time, greed, fear, and hate are all great enemies, alone or in combination. Those in power, be it world leader or bank branch employee, can use any of the above to keep the rabble in place. Never forget: you are the rabble to the person on the opposite side o…

The Ballad Of Mary Crider Holder

I'm spending a little time on Ancestry these days, and between online resources and talking with relatives, I'm learning quite a bit about my forebears. My paternal great grandparents have proven to be a fascinating study. Let's take a look at the story of John Wesley Holder and Mary Crider Holder
John Wesley is a bit of a mystery. He was a sharecropper on the Crider farm in Rocky Face, Georgia. No photos exist of the man, and very little is known of him. What is known is that in 1909, John Wesley, age 37, married Mary Crider, age 25 and a daughter of landowner Elijah Crider, on December 26. This didn't go well with her father, who disowned his newlywed daughter. As they say, nevertheless, she persisted, embracing the life of a laborer's wife and giving birth to four children. Life was hard; they lived in a shack on the farm, subsisting only on her husband's labor. Before his death, my grandfather recalled waking many a cold winter morning to find snow or fros…

From Classic To Classical

Being a man of a certain age, I enjoy classic rock. The problem with classic rock is classic rock radio stations, which seem to play the same 3 songs by the same 6 bands over and over again. As much as I love Zeppelin and Steely Dan, I need more than multiple airings of "Black Dog" and "Ricki Don't Lose That Number." I need variety. With that need in mind, I recently tuned in to the classical music station on my car radio.
The music is beautiful, of course, but most interestingly, it's all new to me. With the exception of music used in movies or cartoons, I'm not that familiar with classical music. I'm catching on quickly, as the radio hosts often share stories and anecdotes about composers and performers. It's a brave new world for me, and one I find very interesting.
For the record, Kronos Quartet is the Led Zeppelin of contemporary classical music.