Archive for the ‘narrative’ Category

What we have Learned

May 11, 2020

(If you prefer to hear spoken word, listen on this mp3:)

What we have Learned

Now we are engaged in a great covid war, testing whether this nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great media platform of that war. We have come to protect our institutions—our medical facilities and places of commerce, our recreational spaces and houses of worship, our business enterprises and residences—to assure our citizens of safety in their public paths through these gathering places. Those whose lives have already fallen under the infection of covid shall not have died in vain. Rather, let their untimely demise serve as a warning to us who remain. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

Nevertheless, as we approach the end of Phase 1 of our long battle against covid, we find ourselves at a crossroads where some among us would persevere in their advocacy of dire measures to lockdown our mobile inclinations, while others of our citizenry would  demand release from them.

Yet . . .it remains for us the living, surely, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work through which these fallen do testify, by their very absence, of our need to persevere in the battle to defeat Covid-19.

The challenge ahead indicates a full-court press to oppose us— in the fateful minutes of the second half of our struggle against a teeming virus that dribbles feverishly against our most fervid defense.

At this critical moment of our offensive thrust, we find victory in the whizzing of our great  object through the last net of infection.

3-pointer

Thus do we celebrate the 3-pointer which, we hope and pray, shall be celebrated as our game-winner:

~ Six feet Apart—or Six feet Under!

~ Grab the Soap—Don’t be a Dope!

~ No need to Ask—Wear the Mask!

And I lay before thee  the great challenge before us in  such a time as this:

Whether by .gov compulsion, or by personal conviction,  shall we—shall we who are scattered like precious seed in the winds of time —shall we shrink from the dear prospect of adopting—whether voluntarily or by compulsion during these perilous days— these simple habits as a matter of common sense and common courtesy?

Nay, I say, nay, we shall not shrink from the task before us!

Send us your tired, your weary, your socially distanced yearning to be healed, so that healing of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth!

Glass half-Full

. . . to be a Demublican

May 10, 2020

I was raised down in Louisiana, way back in the 1960’s. At that time in the Bayou state it seemed like everybody and their brother was a Democrat.

In 1969, I was Student Council President at our high school, and my buddy Doug Lambert was President of the Key Club.

When I moved across town to LSU, Doug and I were roomies for awhile and there was a lot going on on at LSU at the time.

There were, in fact some deep changes taking place on campuses all across the nation; students were getting more and more involved with politics.

I recently wrote a novel, King of Soul, about all of what was going on during those turbulent times. Take a look at it  my website below, or on Amazon.

In 1972, George McGovern was organizing his campaign to challenge Nixon’s presidency. Doug suggested that he and I stand for election in a precinct caucus to represent McGovern as delegates at a state convention, leading up to the the Democrats’ national convention.

Well there wasn’t much of nothin’ that I can remember about that, except that McGovern did later get the nomination, but I wasn’t there.  He ran against Nixon and lost big-time

. . . which was kinda odd because a couple years later the American people ran Nixon out of the White House because of his shady dealings pertaining to the Watergate break-in and other quasi-illegal activities.

The groundswell of opposition to Nixon that resulted in his exit from office was a little bit like what’s happening to Trump now. However, a lot of the bad feeling about Nixon was probably directly related to his procrastination in getting us out of the war after he promised during the campaign to get us out of it.

Well somewhere in all that hullabaloo I got registered as a Democrat.

I stayed that way for more than a few years, although I was not into politics and voting during the period of my spousal search and subsequent raising of a young family.

Somewhere in the ’80’s, Ronald Reagan went over to Berlin and told Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down that wall. It was a great follow-up to Kennedy’s Ich bin Ein Berliner stroke of genius, so I registered as a Republican, and I stuck with that affiliation for a quite a while.

We used to have a Republican party in this country; it stood for Constitutional law, free enterprise, freedom of religion, low taxes, and a respect for the right of every person and every family to make the best (s)he can out of what (s)he can get without a lot of interference from the government.

But nowadays I get the feeling that the Republican party has disappeared; it has been superceded by a bunch of yessir this and yessir that yes-men who form all their strategies around what the Donald says and what he approves of or does not approve of.

But hey. True leadership requires speaking to all the people all the time, invoking the traditions of this already great nation to inspire citizens to work actively in cross-the-aisle cooperation to solve our problems.

Leadership is not about evaluating policy decisions based upon whether the advisor, inquisitor or reporter is for you or against you based on some vague theory of fake news.

The only good thing that sticks in my mind about this current president is that he ordered our embassy in Israel to be moved to Jerusalem. I have always wanted a President to do that. Good move, there, Mr. President.

Nevertheless . . .

What we need now is a President who will not be distracted by useless judgements re: who is for him or who is against him.

In this present time of covid-crisis, we need a President who can truthfully say, as Gerald Ford did in 1975:

“Our long national nightmare is over.”

Oh! if our current President could only manage to  make such a declaration legitimately, after actually inspiring us and  leading us into paths of healing instead of quibbling over who’s on his side or who’s on Nancy’s side.

We need a President who can say, as Roosevelt did in 1933:

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

So I am declaring my affiliation now as a Demublican.

Maybe I’ll vote for a third-party candidate, as I did last time, or maybe I’’ll find a reason to support the Donald if he’ll straighten up and fly right, or maybe I’ll vote for Joe.

I don’t know.

Donald, see if you can get yourself settled down to actually lead this nation out of the Covid threat, instead of fretting over whether you’ll be re-elected or not, because your paranoid pugnacious politicism is screwing up everybody’s confidence that we can actually defeat this iinvisible monster.

Get your act together.

You too Joe! You might find yourself in the hot seat, come next January.

As Uncle Walter would say, if he were here:

“And that’s the way it is, May 10, 2020.”

Cronkite

King of Soul 

The WhodooUthinkUFoolin Virus

May 2, 2020

This just in:

Recent reports of the GoingViral pandemonium indicate that 19th-century Noveloqueen, Mary Shelly, might have been onto something when she cloned up her  beastly tale of some monstrous constrosity way back in 1818.

Correction: Make that 2018.

Novel Innards of Hubris (NIH) research indicates that Mary was indeed onto something when she hypothesized that the Franken coronanstein could have pathogenically busted out of some Woohoo research lab  at WhodouuThink University, near Foolin’, NY.

Mary was not just foolin’ around when she was caught red-handed,  tinkering with the pathogenicity of potential pandemic pathogens in her NIH-funded research on Howdoos YourGenomeGrow mutatational virology.

We have repeatedly received viral reports again and a gain of function mutations going viral where scientists flit around with disaster-prone bats in Believit, Ornotario.

Although the reports cannot be confirmed, the proof is nevertheless in the puddintane and I’ll tell ya the same blame game that is reportedly  going viral every time your garden-variety whistleblower’s twizzle gets blown or thrown out as fresh fodder  for CNthis, MSthat or Foxwoxy cottontail to jump on like a dog on a transgendated bone.

Exactly whether In Vitro or In Vivo these clonations have been detected is a matter of some speculation by the day-traders who perpetually monitor the Dow Genes infestuals in their OCD gyrations to buy the dip or to be or not to be or maneuver some newly-concocted transgendetic mutation of DNA into the profitability of Darwin’s Original Species and its corresponding mutational manipulation for the descent of Man.

Covidmicro

Cross-species specimens have already been sighted in Whoohoo. Waterloo, and the Whodoo UThink Ufoolin Valley of Utah.

When geriatric musitionalist  Paul Stuky was queried about these alleged cross-species escapeades, his obscure replay was:

“I can dig it . . .

But if I really say it,

the radio won’t play it,

unless I lay it

between the lines.

    https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=TrXXx9706tc

And yet, and yet, on the other side of the Web, Ecohellth researchers stated inequivally, when asked if there was any danger in transgendetic lab procedures,

“This is nonsense. but not to worry. We’ve got u covid.”

Meanwhile, in Moscington, the President of the USSAR was queried about these GoinViral reports; he said not to woory cuz he wooda shooda cooda trump any Covird opps that those gene-snippers might throw at us.

In a final note, the number-crunchers and wave-flatteners have confirmed that indeed there is nonsense in the ongoing genetic ruminations; and if not heeded in a timely manner we could run the risk of making Amerika great again while facing a second wave of Whoodu uThink Ufoolin virus going viral all over again.

Glass Chimera

Liberty or. . . Death by Covid?

April 30, 2020

Some people have to work for a living.

This reality does not just go away. In the next few months, we will see every shade of compliance and non-compliance with pandemic prohibitions and practices.

In a free nation, we should get used to the fact that not everyone is in agreement about strategies to strike a balance between defeating Covid and preventing a new epidemic of poverty.

Remember too, strategies vary, state by state. It just so happens that the New York Covid epicenter is also the media capital of this continent. Stringent restrictions for defeating Covid have been admirably initiated and administered by Gov. Cuomo in New York State. Media mouths and talking heads headquartered in the Northeast reflect the urgency of that region’s life-or-death struggle with coronavirus.

New York — especially the City — is a special case due to the extreme density of population there and the widespread use of mass transit.

In other states, however, especially southern states in which mass transit is not as highly developed, population is more widely spread out. There is far more space already existing between people, towns, suburbs, institutions, retail outlets, public parks, etc. Governors in these states, including many in the west and southwest, will have— regarding their policy responses and timetable — more flexibility in their judgements. Every Governor, every public official is now involuntarily sucked into an unprecedented, massive public problem: how to balance public policies to accomplish the defeat of Covid vs. preserving what is left of economic viability.

The immensity of this epidemic’s destruction is unprecedented in the history of our nation . . . except perhaps the dire destruction and loss of life of the Civil War, and the 1918 wartime war against a flu epidemic.

Official responses in states with low population density will not be as extremely restrictive as in high-density states; nor will such prohibitions extend as far into the months ahead. Balancing Covid-control against this unexpected 1930’s-ish poverty wave will be no walk in the park. Our entire nation–indeed the whole world–has been blindsided by this epidemic.

As Governors and other officials respond according to their states’ respective needs, so will the citizens therein be reacting in a wide variety of strategies,with some citizens acting much more cooperatively in the public space than others.

Many Americans still take quite seriously the words of Patrick Henry in 1775:

“Give me liberty or give me death.”

LiborDeathPH

Liberty does not come cheaply. The cost is dear.  Back in the day. . . 1970ff, Crosby Stills Nash Young Gilmour sang out a dirgeful reflection of just what this life comes down to. . .

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-Y0SMitMpk

“Find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground.”

Do not expect all the citizens of this free nation to agree on all the strategies for controlling Covid while preserving freedom. Many will die, but many will not. The best you can do is be an example in wearing your PPE and mask while ardently exhorting others to do so, for as long as this damned disease requires.

Let’s not forget, though, that freedom of assembly is a Constitutional right. Public declarations in that realm are not too be taken lightly. Ultimately such restrictions are subject to the 1st Amendment assurance of our shared liberty.

So don’t expect that all Americans will agree with the myriad of public prohibitions and practices that are provoked by the spread of this disease; do expect that you will hear about, read about, and surely encounter in public places . . . unmasked citizens who are not wearing the politically correct mask and/or PPE. Pshaw! on them.

Also, get used to the fact that our showman President is clueless when it comes to speaking publicly about this very large problem. In his public persona, the man is too obsessed with interpreting every development in terms of whether those persons are for him or against him. If you don’t like what he does, vote for Joe.

As for me, I don’t care who is President next year. I care about defending my family and our households against this disease, while upholding the freedoms we are entitled to as Americans.

We sincerely hope that whatever measures our President initiates, implements, advocates  . . . will effectively reinforce the efforts and precautions undertaken by all Americans to slap this dreaded disease back down into the ground.

Lean on your state .gov and local officials for guidance.

As for me and mine (my ICU nurse wife). . . we wear the mask and use hand sanitizer while visiting enclosed places in our Appalachian town.

And remember: not every masked person you meet is a bandit.

Glass Chimera 

COvidConfusioCantioAudio

April 24, 2020

Yesterday’s stubborn poem about a stubborn disease has now been rendered to audio version:

COvidConfusioCantioAudio

Covidmicro

Glass half-Full 

COvid Confusion

April 23, 2020

COVID conveys

Confusion, by intrusion,

Contending against our

Contemporary illusions. This damned

Corona thing prevents people from

Congregating, cuz social distancing

Cockamamie

Constricts us to

Collaborating in

Convoluted ways. So we must let ourselves

Commiserate over the loss of

Conventional

Collaboration. But hey!

Coincidentally, we can

Conclude:

Connecting online

Can take the place of the old face-to-face

Conversing like we used to do before this

Cockamamie commotion

Came along, to

Collide with our former

Conductions of

Community-oriented

Cooperation. But this

Collapse of our real

Convening capabilities

Compels us to somehow find new solutions to old

Conundrums. I know this seems a little

Convoluted, but maybe we

Could please try a little harder to

Coordinate our

Collective tactics for the

Continuation of life under these

Confounded

Conflummucks! these

Constrictive

Conditions! Dam! hey we’ll just have to

Conjure up some

Confidence in our public health officials who

Could contrive some strategy and

Concoct some solutions, hopefully better than

Chloroquine, cuz too much of this

Cockamamie

Cwuarantine

Confinement gets them

Contrarian

Confederates all

Conflagrated and

Coiled up like friggin’

Cobras with a

Conniption fit, like, like

Contending, like:

Contrarian

Could we please get this

Cockamamie Covid Contusion

Concluded?! like the

Ckid in the

Car-seat who

Cried out about

COVID Conclusion:

Are we there yet?

but hey I say

Nolo Contendera with

CDC’s strategy of

COvid agendera. Just please

Conclude. You

Copy that? If not,

Elude!

 

Glass half-Full

Prine’s Paradise Demise

April 14, 2020

My old friend Terry, fellow baby boomer, called me the other day; he had a few things on his mind concerning the state of the world and so forth.

One very recent development that my friend was wondering about was the death of singer/songwriter John Prine. Terry was not so much surprised or alarmed at the death of the low-profile, though legendary, songwriter, because death happens to each one of us eventually anyway.

What perplexed my old singing buddy was how the obituary had captured the attention of the mainstream media.

“Mainstream media”. . . I hesitate to use that term, because, in our lifetime, the popular understanding of that term has changed.

When we growing up in the 1950’s-60’s etc. . .the mainstream media was thought to be, generally, the big three TV networks—CBS, NBC, ABC, along with the big heavyweights in print, the Times, the Post, the Journal etcetera etcetera.

As our lifetime got played out, the internet eventually eclipsed those old-school news sources. Replacing the former “mainstream media”, along came the heavyhitters that we all know today: Google, Facebook, etc etc, accompanied by a select few quasi-traditional TV networks—CNN, MSNBC, Fox, and of course the big kid on the blog for wonky elites, progressives and Democrats—NPR.

So last week, suddenly John Prine tributes were all over NPR et al with wide-eared wonder at the obscure songwriter’s profundity and prolific legacy, even though ole John had never hit the big time.

The biggies pretty much ignored the singer while he was alive; but when he died, several of them were, for a few days, all about John Prine this and John Prine that.

My friend Terry was perplexed why there would be so much media stir about Prine when they had previously not paid much attention to him. In other words, what’s the big deal about John Prine dieing?

I was wondering the same. Over the last few days, I have pondered what could be the explanation for this development, and I have figured it out.

My theory is this:

John Prine was prophetic. His song, Paradise, represents a profound foretelling of an isolated event that became—because of Prine’s song—a symbol of our present worldwide irresponsible destruction of the natural world.

To employ an academic description: the industrial destruction of one specific site—Paradise, Kentucky— is a microcosm; it  represents on a small scale what later happened (and had been already happening) in a worldwide plundering of natural resources at the terrible expense of our naturally beautiful planet.

What intensified the significance of the Muhlenberg County destruction was this fact: “Mr. Peabody’s coal train (that) hauled it away” was rapaciously extracting vast shovel-fulls of COAL, which has become the #1 villain on the Unwanted List of climate change alarmists.

SmokIndust

Last week, in the wake of John Prine’s demise, many progressive commentators in the NPR et al vein of mainstream media suddenly realized—because of their youthful listening to Prine—the prophetic significance of this one song. So they began to talk it up.

As far as the song goes . . . it is a historic, lamenting composition. . . in my opinion one of the great songs of the American folk legacy.

You are invited to listen to my rendering of the tune:

     http://www.micahrowland.com/carey/PrineParadise.mp3

 

King of Soul

I’m Convinced

April 12, 2020

There’s a lot be said, and much to be written, about how we got here, where we are headed, what we will endure, what we will enjoy, and why it all happens.

Of all the sages and great men and great women throughout the ages, I do  not know of one whose claim to truth—whose claim to know what he is talking about, and what our purpose is here— I do not know of one whose accomplishment can be more convincing than the prophet  who rose from the dead. There is not one man nor woman whose wisdom or feats can match  this one miraculous labor of love:

Being tortured to death, rising from death back into life, and then living to tell about it.

There is no treatise on truth, no explanation of existence nor spoken lecture on the meaning (or absence thereof) of life. There is no heroic feat, no dramatic rescue, no profound work of art—that can match or exceed personal victory over death itself.

So I’m going with the one who survived death: Jesus.

I’m not the only one. Take a look at history and you will see how many men, women and children have, over two thousand years, cast their lot in his direction.

Believe it, or not.

If you can’t agree with me now, just recall this testimony when you are, let’s say, one hour or one minute from your death. At that moment, consider carefully whether you will truly want to  reject the rescuing hand that is extended to you just after crossing . . .

Better yet: believe me now, that. . . that hand is gesturing for you now, because the gift of eternal life through faith is even more precious–and more lovingly beneficial to others– when it comes into full use during this present life of trouble, trial, and triumph.

EmptyTomb

King of Soul  

zombie time

April 11, 2020

About 2700 years ago, some obscure blogger posted this, although my translation is a little bit off:

DeadSeaC

He was despised and forsaken, a man of sorrows, living with the worst of all human feelings–he was, like, the guy you look away from while passing in the street.

We didn’t like him.

But somehow he carried the terrible weight of our pathetic existence; this God-forsaken wanderer was afflicted with the worst fate that any humans have ever inflicted on their-fellow-man.

As it turned out, we discriminated against him, pushed him down as if he were the lowest of the low. Even so, he didn’t raise a big stink about the maltreatment that was inflicted on him. He didn’t whine about the injustice that he ended up getting.

He got screwed-over like the worst of the worst, even though he had done nothing to deserve such a judgement.

I mean, he never hurt anybody, never raised his hand against any person; he was no bully. In fact, he told the truth about everything everywhere he went. He was known for it. In fact, that’s what got him into such deep shit. He was a truth-teller . . . didn’t sugarcoat anything.

He was, like, a good guy. Looking back on the whole damn torrent of events, it doesn’t make any sense. The events of that terrible time just escalated far beyond any reasonable justification for what they did to him.

I mean, if there’s a God in this universe, he just, like, didn’t care at all about the devolution of events that, like, seemed to conspired against this man.

His fate was cast with the common criminals, but some rich guy showed up to deal with the corpse.

Tomb

Go figure. I mean, it doesn’t make any sense to me. Sometime I wonder if anybody in this life ever gets what they deserve. The one-percenters get to set themselves up all high and mighty, while homeless folk just get shoved into the dead-end corners underneath freeways, and dumpster-diving and hitting people up for handouts on the street.

But this guy didn’t do any of that. I don’t think he even had a place to crash at night, although he was one of the smartest people I ever heard railing on the street about this God-forsaken planet that we’re trashing worser and worser every day that goes by.

Now that they’ve disposed of him, no tellin’ what’s gonna happen next.

Slab

I mean, it’s like zombie time, but we can’t even go see a dam movie any more. No more Saturday night at the movies for us. Who’d’ve thought you couldn’t even catch a flick on a Saturday night? What the hell is the world coming to? All the worst stuff is going viral, while the best are clueless. Who knew?

King of Soul

Queen Corona

April 1, 2020

Hey! Who knew?

Somebody somewhere

must have been dreaming

this one up

for next blockbuster

disaster flick

while we were looking the other way

searching for needle in a haystack

next thing you know

we’re  caught in the middle

of hundred year flood

so to speak

though it started as a trickle,

but suddenly swirling whirling

wuhan never saw it hurling

its way through hubei

exotic epidemic

starting, like, quite anemic

but before you know it

mutating to pandemic

mutilating expectations

it was one in a million

i’m tellin’ ya!

straw that broke camel’s back

the damn thing—

a wild card

that brought down our worldwide

house of cards

flinging shards of dollar hordes—

so steadily deadly

everywhere it went

strickening  our system’s

wheelin’ dealin’

achilles heel

nobody saw it coming

GoldRepair

black swan swimming

in the dead of night

just aint right

left without a clue

who knew?

the next big thing

going viral

would be some very vague

plague

nobody ever heard of

who’d’ve thought it

the queen of quite a

lot of unlikely

events

crown it queen

of destruction:

coronavirus.

Even with 2020 vision we never saw it coming.

Blindsided we were.

Actually,

I noticed one person did

see it coming: Chris Martenson.

But don’t blame the messenger.

Don’t blame anybody. Just

Do unto others

as you would have them

do unto you.

Selah.

Glass half-Full