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Friday, January 8, 2016

Year seventeen.

Aren't you sick of the Gregorian calendar? I'm thinking we should start calculating time on the basis of how long we've been blogging. So hell ... call this Year 17. Happy 17! Four more years and we can drink in front of our parents! (Four years of what we've got coming, and I suspect we will need to.)

I know you're all wondering what we've got planned for the new year. I know this because I can read your mind like a billboard. Just call me Kreskin. Or Criswell. Whichever works ... just be sure to preface it with "THE AMAZING ... " or I'll have to bring my $3.95 magic set back to the toy store, top hat and all. (Some Christmas THIS turned out to be!) Anyway, as I said, I'm sure you're wondering, and if you are, well, you're not alone, because we're wondering what the hell Big Green is going to do this year, too. Maybe call a contractor to fix the leaky windows in the abandoned Cheney Hammer Mill. (Question: Is a large, jagged hole in the glass considered a "leak"?)

There's been talk of another album. I mean, a Big Green album, of course, not just some random album we picked up at the second hand store. (Though there has been talk of that, too.) The next obvious project would be a collection of Ned Trek related songs, upgraded and in some cases re-recorded from the versions on our podcast, THIS IS BIG GREEN. We wrote about 15 or 16 songs last year, maybe more, and re-recorded some older pieces, so there's enough material, particularly when you consider the 30 or so from the previous two years. Of course, Matt walks in with a new song practically every week, so about all I can do is try to keep up with the fucker. FUCKER!

I think the dictionary is in Smith's quarters. Get it.Hoo-boy, there's an echo in here. And I'm getting dirty looks from the neighbors, so I should wrap this up. Will we be doing any live performances this year? Don't know. It's always a possibility. Matt talks about it from time to time, and I certainly think about it. There's the logistical issue, of course, and then there's .... well ... making it sound like something more than pure suckitude. But those are relatively minor problems in the grand scheme of things.

What does that mean, exactly? Not sure. I will consult Marvin (my personal robot assistant), whose electronic brain is programmed to interpret the most abstruse sentences imaginable. Hope his batteries are fully recharged.

Last stand.

So this week we were treated to Son of Cliven Bundy (Ammon) bringing his band of brothers up to Oregon to take a stand for freedom. The freedom, that is, to use public land as if it belongs to you and no one else. What these "patriots" are taking issue with is the jailing of these Oregonian ranchers who set fires on federal land, once to clear brush, the other time apparently to hide evidence of poaching. They were sent to jail on a relatively light sentence, released, and then ordered to return on the basis of a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years for federal arson, the latter decision handed down by a higher court.

A few snacks short of an insurrection.Bundy the younger and his comrades apparently see this as the next chapter in the titanic struggle that began at old man Cliven's ranch, when the Feds impounded his cattle until he coughed up the $1million or more he owed the People of the United States for use of their (a.k.a. our) land. So they holed up in the office of a federal bird sanctuary, toting their best firearms (you can't spell Ammon without ammo), and hoped for the same outcome as happened with Cliven - namely, a federal climb-down. (And judging by the fact that they didn't bring along nearly enough granola bars for a long stay, they are probably expecting that to happen right along.)

Okay, without getting into the tedious details of this incident, I want to make a couple of points. First, there's no particular federal overreach here. If I went down to the local federal building and built a campfire in the lobby, I would be arrested and charged ... and I would expect to be. That said, the federal government is in a way responsible for this ridiculous standoff by virtue of its actions ... or inaction. Daddy Cliven still owes the government over a million dollars for his use of federal land. What's more, his supporters pointed guns at federal law enforcement and paid no penalty. When you allow something like that to happen without adequate response, you encourage others to try. That's George W. Bush logic. Even so, in this context it makes sense.

Ever wonder what would happen if these dudes were Black or Native American? Stop wondering - we already know. Ask Fred Hampton. Ask the guys who were in the standoff at Wounded Knee in the 1970s. Ask MOVE. Overwhelming force is what they get; patience is what Ammon and Cliven Bundy get. That's called racial preference, people.

luv u,

jp