Happy first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere!
As Rev. Davis might say, ‘There’s a bright side, somewhere.’ I’m going to start with my bright side. Aside from the fact that my family is still healthy and we have food on the table, I’ve really been enjoying my Flammang J-35’s. There’s a lot of great builders out there right now and indeed, it’s acquirer’s heaven for guitar players. Great thanks to our friend Jason up in Canada for turning me onto David Flammang’s superb J-35 guitars, Tom Feldman up there in Minnesota for the personal introduction to David and David himself for his artistic vision and fine craftsmanship in building truly great guitars.
Foto by Jorma Kaukonen
Foto by Jorma Kaukonen
Does this mean I’m divesting myself of my beautiful Martins? (And yes, I have four and my daughter has one of the two short scale Jorma M-30’s made) Of course not. Long scale Martins and short scale Gibson style guitars are apples and oranges. For example. It is difficult for me to execute Mann’s Fate on my Martin. For that reason, it has been out of the rotation in performance. It was written on my old 1958 Gibson J-50 and the song’s evolution is predicated on that guitar’s physical properties. My new Flammang is that guitar only in the present and without dings. I see this tune coming back and more.
Now, on the subject of ‘coming back,’ that may or may not be another story altogether. First of all my heroes today are the health care workers who put their lives on the line every time they interface with a patient whether there is confirmed COVID-19 present or not. Bless these brave souls! Not far behind are everyone else who is still able to go to work to keep this country and our world running. If I am still able to go to a filling station and buy gas or fuel this means that somewhere workers have extracted the petroleum, refined it and trucked it to its destination. You get the picture. That’s just an example.
To take the long and somewhat dour view of all this there are many possibilities for the new reality as it evolves, and one of them is that people like me will be superfluous for a while. Yeah, I live in a rural invoronment pretty much in a world that is somewhat easy to control… to some extent. At some point as social gangrene eats away at our extremities survival will make as adhere to some cold equations.
(As I’m writing this, our daughter, Izze, is cooking her breakfast and the first tragedy of the day is that the bakery in Athens is closed.)
The Cold Equations… a short story by Tom Godwin that I read in 1954 in Astounding, a science fiction mag. Astounding would become Analog in time but back then it was Astounding and I bought it every single month. This short story has engaged, and enraged readers for over sixty years but that’s a discussion for another time.
‘The story takes place entirely aboard an Emergency Dispatch Ship (EDS) headed for the frontier planet Woden with a load of desperately-needed medical supplies. The pilot, Barton, discovers a stowaway: an eighteen-year-old girl. By law, all EDS stowaways are to be jettisoned because EDS vessels carry no more fuel than is absolutely necessary to land safely at their destination. The girl, Marilyn, merely wants to see her brother Gerry, and was not aware of the law. When boarding the EDS, Marilyn saw the “UNAUTHORIZED PERSONNEL KEEP OUT!” sign, but thought she would at most have to pay a fine if she were caught. Barton explains that her presence dooms the mission by exceeding the weight limit, and the subsequent crash would kill both of them and doom the colonists awaiting the medical supplies. After contacting her brother for the last moments of her life, Marilyn willingly walks into the airlock and is ejected into space.’
Cool… a little time travel for me here. Anyway, there may be some ‘cold equations’ in our future. Who knows. Looking at the news this morning and listening to the drunken babble from spring breaker twenty somethings on the beach in Clearwater, Florida… it gives one pause for thought. What a time indeed and what a bunch of dumb asses.
OK… moving right along here. Check out a 2015 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie with Abigail Breslin called ‘Maggie.’ This is a really cool little post-apocalyptic movie where Arnold has a great dramatic role. In this little movie compassion triumphs.
For us here in the time of World War C… what next. Hard to say.
At some point, those of us not working and ‘sheltering in place’ will no longer be able to afford that. What then? As I’ve been fond of saying with a wry smile on my face, I (and folks like me) am like a court jesters and without a court and a king… we’re out of work. I’m not a farmer or a survivalist so I don’t have a lot of the skills that might become necessary. I’d probably have to be a taker to survive unless the future offers something else. Predictions of the future whether from you, me, the government or anyone else are gratuitous. Reality will tell us what’s real.
With that in mind my post World War C reality is still kicking in while the pre-C world hangs on. I have an interview at 1300 about the Fur Peace Ranch and while I’m waiting for that I think I’ll pick up my David Flammang J-35 with a torrified top and work on a cool little ending I’m adding to Blue Railroad Train.
My thought for today…
So far, so good.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst, and keep smiling.
From Jack Casady
From Zach Kearse