Friday Homestead Dispatch
Canorous Clown Cavities
We all have regrets and most of us know that those regrets, as excruciating as they can be, are the things that help us lead improved lives. Or, rather, there are certain regrets that, as they emerge, can accompany us on the incremental bettering of our lives. Regrets are forever floating to the surface… They require our attention. You have to do something with them. One way is to seek forgiveness by making what might be called living amends, by using whatever gifts you may have in order to help rehabilitate the world. —Nick Cave (the musician)
And now a quote in another vein of thought by former Kansan Gary Durrett who’s been living in the City of Angels for many years, and who has a individual way with words…I believe he is currently being spanked by Facebook for this delicious rant:
For fuck's sake - Florida was a purple state two election cycles ago - when did it turn into hillbilly Hungary? DeStalin looks and acts like a guy who hasn't taken a shit in 5 months - a sawed off, overdone roast beef in an ill fitting suit with the features of a perpetually pissed off George Wallace glowering at the "liberal media" that he'll soon need to break out of his totalitarian reich in 'gator’ land. Is being white in AmeriKKKa really that oppressive? I never realized the degree I'd been discriminated against my entire life. Are black history and where trans folks take a leak the pressing issues in this failing republic? Is Disney really Satan's playground? Did beating to death the suddenly pejorative word "woke" poll through the roof with the trailer trash elite suddenly running the state? After a quick scan of the horror show called CPAC and the fire hose of bile lapped up by the attendants, one can only find disturbing parallels with 1932 Germany. Ordinarily - I'd dismiss it all as a cult that represents a clear minority of the Ugly American - until you realize that a surreal gangster named Trump actually won in '16 and Ronny won Florida by 20 points & enjoys a supermajority of like-minded fascists with no tolerance for opposition. Is this really what We the People are looking for? 74MM voted for Trump a second time after watching him bulldoze the presidency & turn it into a Trump gift shop.
It can't happen here? Buckle up, campers.
Florida is not the only state where racism is still rampant. As reported by the New York Times Georgia Republicans are introducing bills that are part of a broader push by conservative lawmakers around the country to rein in prosecutors whom they consider too liberal, and who in some cases are refusing to prosecute low-level drug crimes or enforce strict new anti-abortion laws. To Fani T. Willis, the district attorney in Atlanta, these bills are racist and perhaps retaliatory for her ongoing investigation of former President Donald J. Trump.
Ms. Willis, who first described the bills as racist in a State Senate hearing last month, repeated the accusation in an interview at her downtown Atlanta office this week, pointing out that the majority of Georgians now live within the jurisdictions of the 14 minority prosecutors. She said, “For the hundreds of years we’ve had prosecutors, this has been unnecessary, but now all of a sudden this is a priority. And it is racist.”
Senator Brian Strickland, a Republican who was presiding over the meeting, told Ms. Willis, “You’re being emotional.” Love that mansplaining…
Republicans are Fox News. After Biden’s Budget Plan speech House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tweeted that Biden is “completely unserious. He proposes trillions in new taxes that you and your family will pay directly or through higher costs. Mr. President: Washington has a spending problem, NOT a revenue problem.” What he leaves out is that the proposal ensures that no one earning less than $400,000 per year will pay a penny more in new taxes. Why doesn’t he also mention that it calls for strengthening Social Security and Medicare, something most Americans like, and putting the burden back on the wealthy. If only a handful of Republicans in the House had any spine to join Dems to pass this thing, it would benefit ordinary Americans. As Heather Cox Richardson says, It offers a stark contrast to the theory of the Republicans since the 1980s, that the government should cut taxes and slash government spending to free up capital for those at the top of the economy—on the “supply side”—with the idea they will use that money to invest in new business that will then hire more workers. So-called supply-side economics was championed as a plan that would enable everyone, from workers to financiers, to thrive together as the economy boomed, but it never produced the kind of growth its promoters promised. Instead, when combined with dramatically increased defense spending, it exploded deficits and added dramatically to the national debt. But, as Gary so succinctly put it in his rant above, many people are inclined to vote against their own interests:
I’m sure you’ve heard of the Global Seed Vault in the Norwegian Arctic. Opening in 2008, it has been closed to the public which has made it the subject of internet doomsday conspiracy theories (what hasn’t?). According to the Guardian, The deep-freeze, designed to last for ever, is co-managed by the Norwegian government, the Crop Trust and NordGen, the genebank of the Nordic countries. The seeds could hold answers to agricultural challenges posed by climate crisis, invasive species, pests, changes in rainfall patterns and rampant biodiversity loss are studied, and it opens three times a year to accept new deposits from other seed banks around the world.
On the vault’s 15th anniversary happening now, you can take a virtual tour! Stefan Schmitz, executive director of the Crop Trust, says “The virtual tour gives everybody the opportunity to look inside. We think that is a general question of transparency and accountability to the broader public. What is secured inside the vault is one of the most important global public goods we have on Earth. But we need to protect them, secure them and to make sure that they are conserved in perpetuity.”
In theory, the seeds are safe, although the entrance to the facility flooded with meltwater in 2017 after a heatwave in Svalbard. The island is the most rapidly warming part of the planet but experts say the deposits are buried so deep in the permafrost that they will be safe for centuries. Seeds are replaced every few decades and if the cooling system ever failed, it would probably take hundreds of years for the temperature inside the vaults to rise above zero.
Soon to be a Stephen King novel, Whiskey Fungus Fed by Jack Daniel’s Encrusts a Tennessee Town! So says the New York Times. It is driving a wedge between some residents of Lincoln County, Tenn., and Jack Daniel’s, the famed distillery founded in 1866 in neighboring Moore County. For months, some residents have complained that a sooty, dark crust has blanketed homes, cars, road signs, bird feeders, patio furniture and trees as the fungus has spread uncontrollably, fed by alcohol vapors wafting from charred oak barrels of aging Jack Daniel’s whiskey.
Not only in Tennessee has this been happening. In Pitlochry, Scotland, check out the walls of the Blair Athol Distillery. The black color on the walls of the distillery was actually some kind of fungus, Baudoinia compniacensis, which feeds off the alcoholic vapors from the oak casks inside the buildings. Every year as much as 2% of the whisky evaporates through the wood so that after 12 years, the normal aging time for the Blair Athol Single Malts, only about 75% or three quarters of the original whisky remains in the cask! The rest, as they say, has been shared with the angels. However, a good thing about this evaporation, even if it reduces the strength of the whisky in the cask, is that it's the most volatile alcohols that evaporate first, those that slash & burn. So the Angel's Share is really not such a bad thing.
In case you missed the film writer Charlie Kaufman’s (Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich and Adaptation) acceptance speech at the Writer’s Guild Awards recently, he had some provocative words to say about the power elite, which can apply to all fields of art. “We are trained to believe that what we do is secondary to what they do. I have dropped the ball, I have wasted years seeking the approval of people with money. Don’t get trapped in their world of box office numbers. You don’t work for the world of box office numbers. You work for the world. Just make your story honest and tell it. Our work is to reflect the world, say what is true in the face of so much lying. The rest is window dressing at best, ‘Triumph of the Will’ at worst. The world is beautiful. The world is impossibly complicated. And we have the opportunity to explore that. If we give that up for the carrot, then we might as well be the executives. They’ve tricked us into thinking we can’t do it without them. The truth is they can’t do anything of value without us.” He went on to quote the poet Adrienne Rich, who famously wrote, “I do know that art means nothing if it simply decorates the dinner table of the power which holds it hostage.”
The folks who bring you the Tucson Folk Festival, TKMA, will be hosting an Open Mic on Thursday, March 30 from 3-6pm at Monterey Court. It will feature several artists who will be performing or volunteering at this year’s festival and this is your chance to catch them all at one venue. Thanks to Jonathan Frahm for organizing this event.
And it will be immediately followed by the shenanigans of the Morpholinos with me-myself on accordion, Neil McCallion on guitar, Karl Hoffmann on bass, and Nick Augustine on drums. Make reservations for either or both events!