exhausted on a beautiful day in michigan

This was made by my granddaughter Lucy. I talked to her today as well as Sarah and Alice. We did an unscheduled video chat.


Yesterday Eileen and i had a lovely day at the beach. People were not socially distancing or wearing masks but we managed to find an isolated place next to the channel to picnic, play boggle, and do some reading. It got chilly so we went back to the car just in time for it rain. These date days are a a god send. They leave both of us more relaxed.

Today I seem to be in some sort of reactive exhaustion. I am more tired today than I have been since Sunday.

Kill 'em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul (Hardcover) | Politics and Prose Bookstore

I finished James McBride’s Kill ‘Em and Leave ‘Em: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul. I thought it was excellent. McBride is both a musician and a journalist as well as a good writer. Combining these skills and points of view makes this an invaluable book for understanding many things about music in America today.

This morning when Elizabeth asked Alex what she wanbted for breakfast, she said, “Popcorn!” I thought of the above tune.

Here are some very fine passages of McBride that I made a note of.

“The legacy of caring, insight, trust, and sophistication that makes up black American Christian life and culture is fragile compost for the American storytelling machine, which grinds ol stereotypes and beliefs into a kind of mush porridge best served cold, if at all.”

“Here’s how music history in America works: a trumpet player blows a solo in a Philly nightclub in 1945. Somebody slaps it on a record, and fifty years later that same solo is a final in a college jazz department, and your kid pays $60,000 a year to take the final, while the guy who blew the solo out of his guts in the first place is deader than yesterday’s rice and beans., his family is suffering from the same social illness that created his great solo, and nobody gave two hoots about the guy when he died and nobody gives two hoots about his family ow. They call that capitalism, the Way of the World, Showbiz, You Gotta Suck It Up, an upcoming Movie About Diversity, and my favorite, Cultural History. I call it fear, and it has lived in the heart of every black American musician for the last hundred years.”

“Talent is just dessert in the ear-candy business anyway. It’s about who can stand the ride, the merry-go-round that forces you to toss off self-esteem, decency, and morality and pull out your gun on the competition—beat ’em down with the barrel instead of killing ’em outright, then pick them up afterward and say, ‘Get up, let’s do it again.’ A life of making ear candy can kill off every dream you ever had.”

“…[T]he information machine turns a truth into a lie and a lie into the truth, transforms superstitions and stereotypes into fact with such ease and fluidity that after a while, you get to believing, as I do, that the media is not a reflection of the American culture but rather is teaching it.”

“…{A] lot of American church music has become like Broadway shows, all cowboy hat and no cowboy, lots of lights and sound, the drummers basically conducting the thing from beginning to end, with massive choirs hollering lyrics you can’t understand. It’s a lot of puff and smoke.”

Like I said, I like the way he writes. i have a couple more novels by him on my to-read stack.

Well, I’m exhausted so I think I’m going to leave it at that today. See you on the screen of life.

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