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Friday, February 10, 2017

Just holler.

Delays, delays, delays. Frankly, production is a pain in the ass. That said, what do I do for a living? I'm a producer, damn it. I should have been a janitor. (Though on Sundays, I'm that, too.)

Yes, friends ... the THIS IS BIG GREEN podcast wagon has hit a few bumps in the road. Is it because our Ned Trek productions have become too elaborate and costly? God, no. It's STILL the most cheap-ass podcast on the planet. (We still have that trophy somewhere. I think Anti-Lincoln is using it for an ashtray.) No, it's not complication, it's ... well ... the OTHER kind of complication. Frankly, I need six hands. I could also use a third leg. One ass is enough, of course. The point being, we are spread kind of thin here in Big Green land.

Sure, if we were any other band-focused podcast, we would be content with just hollering randomly into the mic every week and dropping that onto iTunes. But if you're Big Green (and we are), the quality goes in before the name goes on. (Note to lawyers: we make no claim of ownership over the preceding slogan, and it does not in any way reflect the character of our organization.) Of course, the term "quality" is, in fact, value-neutral: things can be of good quality, bad quality, etc. But that's not the point. Every episode has some kind of "quality", and until we insert that value-neutral substance into the file, it ain't going nowhere. Short answer: we're running behind ... again. But THIS IS BIG GREEN is still a thing, and it will return.

Are the 80s over yet?Okay, I'm not going to dip into one of those "things were simpler in the old days" reveries, but what I'm describing are both first-world problems and 21st Century foibles of a type that would have baffled us back when we started this moth-eaten music collective known as Big Green. When we first started using that moniker in 1986-7, we were working with people out around Albany, NY. Matt was writing songs like a mad man, just as he does today. Only there was no internet, no smartphones, no simple way of getting your music out there other than standing on a stage or hawking home-made cassette tapes at the local record shop. Kids these days!

Look away!

Break out your banjos; looks like we have a new A.G. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions will now oversee the Justice Department, which includes the FBI, U.S. Attorneys offices across the nation, and (gulp) the Civil Rights Division. (Now I know why the chorus of Dixie goes, "Look away! Look away!") Dark times indeed, except that this is just part of the story, because we now have anti-public education zealot billionaire Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, former Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, former Breitbart editor and longtime white supremacist Steve Bannon as a permanent member of the National Security Council, retired general and current crackpot Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor .... shall I go on? This just in: elections have consequences.

Look away! Look away!Of course, the most problematic member of the administration is the man himself. Only 20 days into this regime and it feels like forever. In a way, it might as well be three years in. I keep hearing pundits, like sometime Trump adviser Joe Scarborough, saying that he needs to dial back the motor mouth a bit .... as if that is ever going to happen. Why the hell would he? It's worked very well for him so far. Anyone who has ever worked for a small businessperson knows how that works. The man is going to impugn the judiciary when it goes against him and praise it when it decides in his favor, period. Separation of powers, constitutional laws and traditions - none of that means anything to him. He has dictatorial tendencies, and we have placed him into the most powerful office on the planet. Nice going, people.

Okay, before I descend into a Winnebago Man - like tirade, let me talk about what isn't different about this administration. One thing is that they hide their bad military decisions behind the soldiers who are killed by those decisions. Previous administrations have done this more artfully, but no less cravenly. I'm referring specifically to the raid in Yemen, which has many troubling implications, but which by all accounts was a Rescue One-level disaster, resulting in the death of a Navy Seal, wounding of others, the destruction of an aircraft, and the killing of perhaps two dozen civilians, including children. Spokeswalrus (sorry, walruses!) Sean Spicer announced that to call this raid anything less than a success is to denigrate the sacrifice of the lost Navy Seal. This jiu jitsu move is well practiced - the deep implication is to deflect blame on the dead guy, while making it sound like you're outraged that others aren't properly honoring him. Effing disgusting.

So something old, something new. Either way, it's going to be a long four years.

luv u,

jp