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Friday, May 6, 2016

Downville.

Hey, you know what? I saw a car pass in front of the mill today, just a few minutes ago. Amazing, right? Wait a minute ... there goes another one!

Yeah, I guess you can tell that this town is dying. No doubt about it ... since the old Cheney Hammer Mill shut down, there's no reasonable way of making a living around here. Some stragglers work at the corner CVS, a handful more at the non-name convenience market across the street. It's just plain dead. Damn good thing we don't perform any more, or we'd be starving to death for lack of paying gigs. Sure ... we're starving, but it's for an entirely different reason: inertia!

You know what they say, though. (That's all I've got on that, because, after all, you know what they say, so I don't have to tell you.) There are a lot of things you can do while standing still - one of them is mixing. That's what we're doing ... or that's what I'm doing, anyway - rhythm tracks, mixes, blah blah blah. A lot of standing around, pacing back and forth, cupping your hands behind your ears and furrowing your brow. Once in a while, I'll send Marvin (my personal robot assistant) out for some take out. (He wheels over to the local quick lunch stand and looks for unclaimed packages, basically - the discount method!)

Standing here.As I mentioned in previous posts, we're finishing eight songs for the next episode of Ned Trek, our Star Trek parody that's the baloney in the cheap-ass sandwich known as the THIS IS BIG GREEN podcast. Even when you fly as low to the ground as we do, mixing eight songs is a heavy lift. Imagine sweat dripping from my brow as I twiddle the knob on my superannuated Lexicon effect processor, Marvin occasionally daubing it with a facecloth. More reverb? A rotary effect of some kind? Those vocals need help, damn it! These and a thousand other decisions must be made before we upload our work to literally handfuls of fans. Hard job, but somebody has to do it.

So it's just as well that there aren't a lot of distractions around these parts. Call it a musician's paradise.

And the winner is ...

It seems like just yesterday we were staring at a line of 20 or more lunatics vying for the Republican nomination. And now, a few short months later, it's all over bar the shouting. And there will be shouting, make no mistake. Donald Trump is now the presumptive nominee of the Republican party, as per Reince Priebus, and his two last competitors, "lyin'" Ted Cruz and "non-descript" John Kasich have dropped out of the race. Poor Kasich ... he never did well enough even to get a decent Trump nickname. That's got to hurt.

Trump's secret plan to stop ISIS.Kidding aside, we have a major problem - namely that one of the two people that can possibly become president of the United States is now Donald Trump. With regard to governing policy, foreign or domestic, this man is a monumental ignoramus and a congenital liar. Worse, he engages in these incendiary rants that stoke the flames of hatred and bigotry, recalling a violent past that he often invokes when urging his flock towards toughness. Perhaps most infuriating is the story about General Pershing and the execution bullets dipped in pig's blood. Trump's recounting goes something like this: We need to be tough, like in the good old days. Pershing was tough - he both desecrated and executed captured Muslims during the conflict in the Philippines at the turn of the last century. Ergo, we must follow the same standard as Pershing and abandon our squeamish "political correctness".

Interestingly, none of the news networks appeared to look much closer at his story, nor the context within which it would have occurred. The American takeover of the Philippines was one of the bloodiest colonial conflicts we have ever engaged in. No one seems all that bothered by this. What I hear more about from the mainstream media is how Trump is likely to be "on the left" of Hillary Clinton on trade and on foreign policy. That is a hard circle to square. Yes, Clinton is a virtual neocon on a lot of this stuff and has an enthusiasm for intervention that outstrips that of her husband. But Trump is no pacifist. When he talks about destroying ISIS, it's pretty clear what he means, and his hostility towards trade deals is conditional and not very principled. The left will have no influence on him whatsoever. But Hillary? That depends on us.

We will be working against the election of Trump this fall - that much is for sure. It's likely to be a tough slog, but it's one that must be won. We cannot afford a Trump presidency, and that particularly applies to the more economically insecure among us.

luv u,

jp