A Gloomy Afternoon

     I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, dark, damp weather is the occasion for my gloomiest thoughts.

     It’s that sort of day on eastern Long Island. I’ve spent most of the day dealing with household chores and minor necessities, basically trying to keep from thinking about “big stuff.” While the “big stuff” is the usual grist for my mill here, now and then I feel the need to escape from it. There aren’t many ways to do that: prayer, paperwork, routine labors, scouting around the bulgier commentary sites on the Web, and miscellaneous diversions. Anything not to think about the mess we’re in.

     Well, around 3:00 PM I ran out of long-deferred minor repairs and recordkeeping, and turned to music. I needed to hear something cheerful…no, joyous. Something that would get a dead man dancing. Skip the uplift; give me a musical good time. So I dialed up some Gershwin: specifically, Rhapsody in Blue.

     I found a performance of that piece on YouTube with Yuja Wang as the pianist, said “Perfect!” and started it playing:

     …and the sheer joy in Wang’s ultra-bravura performance left me thinking “Why can’t life be like that again? Why can’t we get shut of our current mess and get back to living?

     Well, of course there are obstacles. Most of them are political. Just now federal power lies in the hands of people who openly hate America and what Americans have built for themselves. For the moment, an insufficient number of us are willing to rear up on our hind legs, bellow “Enough already!” and eject the Usurpers from the corridors of power. Old TJ made mote of that sort of reluctance in the birth document of the nation:

     Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

     When will we recognize the “design to reduce [us] under absolute Despotism,” eh? Do we need for the puppeteers holding Joe Biden’s strings to declare the total abrogation of the Bill of Rights? Perhaps to mandate a 100% level of taxation on everyone who makes more than $100,000 a year? To decree the confiscation of all internal-combustion-powered vehicles? Or to hold an actual slave auction of American citizens to the Red Chinese?

     We’re armed today. We might not be tomorrow. The Usurpers are doing their damnedest to strip us of our armament. They only started with the uniformed armed forces. It’s really We the People they fear most. We outnumber them 100 to 1, and they have nowhere to hide. Why sit we here idle?

     Oh, what am I saying? You have too much to risk by signing up for a rebellion, right? You might lose your Social Security payments. Never mind. Go back to your baseball game and your gas grill. All rise for flag salute.


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    • Roll-aid on April 17, 2023 at 4:43 PM

    Note there is not a scrap of sheet music in front of her.

    I have always loved this music, even as a teen-ager in the mid ’60’s.   Gershwin’s music was supremely self-confident — as was the society in which he lived.

    We can perform his music, and do it well, even today.   But producing its equal may well be beyond us.


    • Dan on April 18, 2023 at 12:37 AM

    Everybody knows what the problem is.  And pretty much everyone knows what the necessary solution is.  The real problem is nobody wants to be the first to actually address the problem effectively.  Thus the problem gets worse and the people behind it continue to make it worse.

    • VietVet on April 18, 2023 at 7:45 AM

    I grew up through high school and college playing first chair trumpet and can still sing this music in my head.

    She’s incredibly talented but more impressive is her skill. Great talent makes a great pianist but great skill makes an artist.

    My eyes are leaking this morning. Thank you for sharing this

    • SiG on April 19, 2023 at 9:14 PM

    In the early ’90s, I worked at the opposite end of town, and driving to work  was 20 minutes each way on good days.  I’d listen to a CD of that and give the whole ride to it.  I still love that piece and get misty-eyed when I hear it.  The only disadvantage to the job I retired from was it was too close to listen to that – for the last 20 years I worked.


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