The Gods Must Be Crazy

Tomorrow morning I am getting a skin test.  I suffer from allergies that are beyond what most people associate with the term.  I took a skin test before and was allergic to every airborne allergen except for dog.  I haven’t been able to take antihistamines in the last week.  Posting has been a bit slow as I get closer and closer to outer space.  I almost find it to be comedy, as spending time outside is one of my favorite things to do.  Meanwhile nature, sometimes, hates my shit!  I often think of the title of the 1980 comedy The Gods Must Be Crazy!

I genuinely care about people, but I am an introvert who feels worn down and runs out of patience if I don’t get enough alone time.  I feel that there is a mysterious spiritual side to life, but when I am in church I never feel further away from it.  I could make many statements like these.  Maybe it isn’t the gods that are crazy, but me!  Who knows such things…

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Austin, Allergies, and Other Things

Allergies in Austin have knocked me out of commission the last few days.  For any of you who are thinking coughing and sneezing, I hope you are not asking me to laugh in your face.   It’s more like someone is injecting one with Nyquil, but a brand of it that is actually increasing your cold.  I sometimes wonder if my conspiracy-theory friends are right about the government and chemtrails.  Anyway…

The Walking Dead is the best show on TV right now.  (At least until the return of Mad Men.)  Describing why would take a whole series of posts, but a lot of it has to do with the fact that week after week it pushes the limits of what you can do with characters in long form writing.  Breaking Bad, which I love, took Ned Flanders and turned him into Scarface, but this has done that for almost an entire cast.  Meanwhile, while you knew Walter White was crossing a line that shouldn’t be, with the rules of society gone out the window on The Walking Dead, you don’t know whether the characters are people that should be rooted for or feared.  The show has a moral complexity to it that I find really interesting.  It looks at human nature outside society in the same way that a novel like Lord of the Flies does.  As a bonus, it is flat out entertaining as hell!

I’m watching Better Call Saul right now.  I’m still on the fence about this show.  There is a lot to like in the performances and the details of the writing.  However, the show still feels like it is building towards something, that it hasn’t arrived yet.  I’m going to stick with it as I trust Vince Gilligan, also the creator of Breaking Bad, will pull it all together.

If anyone is interested in South African Music, I can’t recommend the compilation Homeland: The Best of Black South Africa enough.  It’s one of those rare compilations that plays like a really great album.  Every track has a commonality that feels related to the others, but the diversity of artists means that it also never gets boring.  I clearly can’t understand the lyrics, but this is soul music, in the sense that it is uplifting and life-affirming, even if you get the sense that it was created under hardship.

This week I go on the road with Shinyribs to Florida for a festival.  You can get the details here:

Shinyribs Shows

I hope to be back up at my usual posting rate by tomorrow, but if I’m not, you know why.

In the future when all’s well…

Jeff

Werner Herzog and the Violence of Nature

My output has been a little slow the last two days due to a one two allergy punch of a high mold count and what is known in Texas as Cedar Fever.  I love nature, but sometimes she hates my shit!  I am a big supporter of protecting the environment.  I find the natural world fascinating, beautiful, and full of mystery, but I am under no illusions about the nature of nature.  Nature and evolution are a nonstop story of things killing other things.  Although I love to spend time in the outdoors I know that if I had to survive in the outdoors I would probably freeze, get dehydration, starve to death, drown, be eaten, or meet any other number of unfortunate ends.  When I went to snorkel at the great barrier reef last year they gave us a lecture before we left the boat about what could hurt you if you touched it.  The list was so long I just remember thinking, “well just don’t touch ANYTHING!”  The Australian beach and rainforest were also full of what not to do lists.  When I was at the beach on the edge of the rainforest there were all kinds of saltwater crocodile warnings.  Thinking about this tonight reminded me of Werner Herzog’s speech above.  This speech is from the documentary Burden of Dreams, which is about him making the movie Fitzcarraldo with Klaus Kinski.

Random Thoughts On Music Journalism, Politics, Ceder Fever, Television, and Greg Abbot’s Evil Face

I spent most of the morning working on interview questions for an interview that is coming up with one of my favorite bands.  I got burned once before by Kristeen Young, who committed to an interview and then vanished off of the face of planet earth, so I don’t like to announce things until they happen now.  To be fair to her it was right during the time that she was fired off of a major tour, so perhaps her world turned upside down.  I don’t pretend that doing interviews with this blog is a thing of major importance.   However, it is something that I would like to do in the future, to pay tribute to people that I respect, and learn more about them.  I feel that music journalism has gotten incredibly lazy, and it is so rare that I read an interview that goes into any kind of depth about the thing that most interests me, which is the actual music.

It is Ceder Fever time in Austin, Texas.  For those of you that are not familiar with that phenomenon, imagine if trees started pumping out Nyquil into the air in gigantic toxic amounts.  Nature hates our shit right now and everyone I know that is affected is hunkered down trying to escape it, though it is always a losing battle.   My dog is giving me the hairy eyeball for not taking her on any long walks recently.  If output is a little slow, trust me, walking across the room is a herculean task at the moment.  I have never done cocaine, but if it was presented to me at this moment on my kitchen table, I would huff it down in a heartbeat for energy.

As it gets closer to the changing of the guards in the political world, I am astounded at the amount of stories already showcasing the idiocy that is coming our way, both nationally and here in the state of Texas.  I shouldn’t be, I knew we were doomed, but I at least hoped the shitstorm would not start until the actual process of governing started.  Governor-elect Greg Abbot is a particularly evil fucker, and the sight of his face alone makes me want to develop a reality escaping drug habit for the term of his reign.

The Netflix show Peaky Blinders has been extremely entertaining so far.  I’m into season two already and I was surprised when Tom Hardy, one of the best actors around now, popped up for several scene stealing moments.  He knows how to punch through the mask to the world of insanity.  I want to finish this season before I comment on the show’s overall merits.  Visually the show is an absolute marvel.  If I had any criticism at this point it would be that the soundtrack bothers me on occasion.  There are are also moments of coincidence, that while not annoying, distract a little bit from the show.  It does seem as if they are done to move the plot along at a quicker pace, and aside from that the writing is really great.

That is all for now.  More to come…

Jeff

Random Thoughts

I have been knocked out the last few days with allergies.  I love nature but sometimes it hates my shit! 

Tomorrow I am heading out on tour with Shinyribs.  You can check the dates at http://www.shinyribs.org.  I have two pretty brutal travel days coming up as we need to drive from Austin to Chicago.  After that I hope to resume my normal posting schedule. 

I have been laughing my ass off at the show An Idiot Abroad.   Check it out if a comedy travel show seems like something you would enjoy. 

I have also found that, for someone that has certain introvert tendencies,  that I really enjoy canvassing.   Who would have thought?  I hope to share why at some point. 

The right wing still seems batshit insane.  I can only hope that reason will prevail and that they will doom themselves in the long run.  I was in Tyler, Texas the other day right before a gun rally at a bar.   The first guy there was wearing what else but tight cowboy jeans,  a Texas flag t – shirt,  and a camo hat.  I have shot skeet and enjoyed it, I have plenty of friends with guns, I don’t spend much time thinking about guns, but this kind of public display makes me wish every gun in America would be melted down.  If you are someone that likes to hunt and believes in 2nd Ammendment rights, I hope you realize this kind of behavior is counter productive.  To me it is ignorant behavior that reeks of bullying and intimidation.  I am against the militarization of our police and our citizens. 

Sorry for my absence for those of you that come here regularly.  I will return soon. 

In the future when all is well…

Jeff