Saturday, June 17, 2006

Just Another Saturday

That’s my buddy Lee in the pic above. He looks pretty good for a guy pushing 50, doesn’t he? The bike? A 2003 Honda VFR 800 Interceptor. Lee got in pretty late Thursday evening…well after 2300. It was a long day’s ride from Houston to P-Town (15 hours), especially considering the triple-digit temps and high winds we experienced. We had a couple of beers and then drove over to the Big(ger) CityTM around 1:00 a.m. for huevos rancheros at an all-night eatery (P-Town closes down around 2300, the only all-night restaurant is Mickey Dee’s). Lee’s visit was short but sweet. Lots of reminiscing went down, mostly about old flames followed up with “where are they now?” conversations. Ah, lost youth…
Here’s an interesting list, illustrated with album cover art (thumbnails) for The Top 500 Albums of the Last Millennium. The tag line for the list sez “Most significant albums recorded in previous millenium.” Heavy on Beatles and Stones and light on hip-hop (or rap, or whatevah the current term is), with a few surprises. I own nine of the top ten and 55 of the top 100. I looked around the site for a write-up on the criteria used to select the Top 500, found nothing. Same with the “according to who?” question. Still, the list is fun to browse. (h/t: Rodger)
Natalie Maines, quoted in The Telegraph (UK):
"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."
You’re free to express yourself as you please, Darling Natalie, and I, in turn, am free to not buy your frickin’ music. Ever.
Insulting the President of the United States before an audience on foreign soil is, in my eyes, relatively small potatoes compared to questioning the very concept of patriotism. By making that statement above, Natalie Dear revealed a shocking lack of understanding of one of the most basic American moral values, to wit: personal responsibility to, and respect for, the nation. In a time of war, patriotism may also be defined as the personal obligation to support and defend the country. In other words, patriotism is the deep-seated feeling that what we have…our traditions, our history, our values, our laws, our society…is not only worth defending, it’s something we must defend. And Natalie apparently doesn’t believe that is true.
I suppose our collective memory as a nation is short, because the Chicks new album was number one on the Billboard charts the week after its release. On the other hand, I have read that dates on the Chicks’ current tour are being cancelled due to poor ticket sales, one of those cancelled dates was supposedly in Houston. The fact concerts are being cancelled due to poor sales is good news.
The three Dixie Chicks are still popular, highly visible entertainers. And, like it or not, entertainers are powerful role models in our culture. Entertainers achieve power through sales. Less sales, less power. Poor sales, little or no power. Recording contract cancellations follow, as do interview opportunities, appearances on late night talk shows, and other publicity, thereby denying these people a platform for spreading their views. Patriotism has been under assault for a while; the three Chicks are just part of a small, albeit very vocal group of folks assailing patriotism. I don’t care to support people who denigrate the core values of our country, and I damned sure don’t believe the Chicks’ values in this one specific but important area are worthy of respect or emulation. In this regard the Chicks are not suitable role models, period.
It’s a personal thing for me. I will not ever, ever spend my money to directly or indirectly support views I hold to be reprehensible. And that goes for Neil Young, too.


  1. Of the top 500, I think I own two off the whole list!

    About the Ditzy Twits--you ain't missin much.

  2. Hi Buck! Just a quick visit to wish you a Happy Father's Day! Glad you had a great time with your friend Lee.

    My husband will be playing violin at church for all the other fathers and then will have to go out to the festival grounds to finish constructing his booth. The deadline is fast approaching. Poor guy pulled a calf muscle exactly a week ago, which put him behind a bit, but he's picking up speed.

    I have tons of end of school stories to edit online, mostly from New Jersey (finished up the ones from Alaska and Slovenia) so I guess our Father's Day will be spent working. We'll see about celebrating tomorrow with the guys.

    Fun to see the top 500 list. My sons have quite a few of the ones mentioned (no Stones or Michael Jackson, though). They play a lot of this music, too. My oldest likes the old blues guys (Charlie Patton, Little Walter, Robert Johnson). My youngest likes Velvet Underground, Hendrix, folk music from Malaysia and Madagascar. They both love Dylan, the Band. (We've heard on good authority that Hendrix visited a girlfriend in the house we now live in, back in those crazy days)
    Me? I like the Russian composers best (Borodin, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakoff) along with many other classical composers. My husband? Even though he plays beautiful violin/fiddle (all kinds), he doesn't listen to music much. Go figure!

    Good thoughts on patriotism. Natalie sounds a bit confused to me. Angry, too. Maybe she'll work it all out one day.

    Have a great day!

  3. Becky: Of the top 500, I think I own two off the whole list!

    You've got your work cut out for you, Girl! Better get on it!

    Thanks for the Father's Day wishes, Bec. I'm sorry to hear about your husband's calf muscle, and sorrier still you have to work today! Does it help to say "been there, done that?" Probably not... :-)

    We have Mussorgsky in common, Bec. I have several renditions of "Pictures..." and enjoy them all. I'm surprised you didn't list Tsychovsky, or is that because it's almost a given that one who loves Russian composers doesn't have to mention him? I'm in tune with your oldest, as well. My music collection has scads of the old blues guys, a genre I came to love while living in Britain, of all places. Your average Brit knows a helluva lot more about our roots music than the average American, and that's a subject I could go on about for hours and hours and hours...

  4. Hello again, Buck!

    Just got back. I dropped my husband off at church. (He pulled his muscle while doing a "skipping" maneuver in church as a matter of fact. That'll teach him.) Went to the market and gulped hard at the amount tendered. Thought I'd check your posts before I start in for good on my work and there you were!

    You and my oldest would have lots to talk about. He's really into the history and roots of the blues, too. I remember how much the Beatles loved the blues way back, before we did over here.

    I didn't mention Tchaikovsky because I made the mistake of overplaying him in my younger years and I don't enjoy him as much as the others now. The fact that we have a ballet studio next door to us that performs The Nutcracker every year (rehearsals go on all year long) doesn't help. Just yesterday, my youngest and I rolled our eyes at each other over hearing the "Chinese Dance" for the tenth time this week. That isn't the fault of Pyotr Ilyich, of course!
    I love Pictures at an Exhibition, too. But my very favorites are his two operas, Boris Godunov and Khovanschina. The second is, I think, an acquired taste but I'd recommend Boris. Crank it up loud and you'll be blown away by the beginning.
    Like you guys with the blues, I've explored the "Mighty Five" of the Russians. Borodin is another one I love. In fact I wrote an article on him if you're curious. (Just look up "Borodin My Hero Project")

    What was I saying about getting to work?


Just be polite... that's all I ask.