The Jazzonian
Jazz is Diversity. Jazz is Democracy.

#Wheelchairistocracy

From the demented mind of Rusty Taylor
Jester and Vocalist for jazz band
Southern Standard Time
A Monthly Newsletter
August 2018

The Jazzonian is a quirky e-newsletter published monthly unless the author is somehow incapacitated. It details the growing jazz scene in Columbus, Georgia and the surrounding Chattahoochee Valley, written exclusively by Rusty Taylor, a Mercer alumnus and the quadriplegic jester-singer for the vocal jazz band Southern Standard Time. The newsletter takes a rhetorical approach to current events from the point of view of a progressive student of Life who, for thirty-two years and counting, has been unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living.

But he can write... and sing.

Important Notice

The Columbus Jazz Society is planning a monthly jazz jam in the Columbus, Georgia area. Please give us some feedback on the best days and times by the completing the 5 minute survey from the link below:


Pass this along to anyone you know that may be interested in live jazz.
Points of Interest
in this week's issue

  • Salutations
  • Groovy Upcoming Events
  • Autobiographical Stories
  • Short Story - The Awakening
  • Swan Song: The Grand Ol’ Parties Are Over
  • Word of the Month - alexia
  • It’s A Quad Thing; You May Not Understand
  • Capitalism Versus Communism
  • Flaxen Obsequies
  • Tweets of the Month
  • An Apostrophe That Will Interest Only A Few
  • Traitor Places
  • Jazz Is Diversity
  • Glossary
  • Valediction
Salutations

Greetings!...

Before we begin, I must apologize for the premature sending of a skeletal August issue of The Jazzonian last month. It was a mistake. I am a staff of one. I have no one else to blame for the typos, incorrect syntax, and all the unforced errors that are all too common within the dissemination of this newsletter that can be effectively described as “aureate commentary written in a fairly unique style that is enjoyed by only a few who dig an artistic expression that is challenging and fun.” However, I have been adulated recently by a few fans who seem to really dig my abstruse style. I would like to thank you, dear readers, for inspiring me to continue this labor of love, so… let us begin:

Greetings fellow Jazzonians, and welcome to the official August edition of our monthly e-newsrag of yellow journalism disseminated with the intent of spreading good vibes about Jazzonian reality that emphasizes peace, love, diversity, and communication between jazz enthusiasts (active listener and musician alike)… oh, and to strongly disparage the participants in the current attack on our nation’s founding principles, vituperative commentary brought to you by the anticipated feeling that major economical and political changes are about to happen within the boundaries of our planet’s macrocosm. Before we get into all that, July was a groovy musically inspired month.

On Saturday, July 7, 2018, I was invited to sing for the 28th Anniversary celebration of the passage of ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, sponsored by the Fulton County Commission on Disabilities, Abel 2, Inc., and wonderful volunteers. It was an awesome program of artists ranging in disparate disabilities performing a wide range of artistic genres from comedy, singing, rap, to a wonderful Elvis impersonator who is autistic--incidentally, he brought down the house... metaphorically. The building is still intact...

The Fulton County Commission sponsored the talent showcase of individual artists with disabilities and was emceed by comedian Jessie Simms. Jessie has Cerebral Palsey but he is funny, which works out great; it helps one's career as a comedian if he is funny. Fo' mo' info on Jessie, visit his facebook page by clicking here .  I am honored to have been chosen to sing for the event (that was videoed, so there exists evidence of this performance somewhere on the planet). Atlanta pianist Darren Winters accompanied me, which makes me beam with pride because he is a really remarkable musician and a wonderful man. Incidentally, the county commissioner chairman Robb Pitts was present, and he dug my interpretation of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia On My Mind,” so much so that he asked me to sing it for their upcoming meeting; unfortunately, there wasn’t time enough to work out the logistics, but maybe another opportunity will manifest from this.

The celebration was so groovy.
In 2010 Jessie Simms signed a contract with John Roberts Power, which is the owner of one of Americas top talent agencies named “Starz 2 Be”. Right now Jessie is pursuing his career as an entertainer taking different opportunities to appear in various movies, television shows, and all forms of entertainment. He is also working on bringing out his new movie and stage play to take around the world
DEVIN “DELVIS” LANNING came to my attention when, as Board Chairman of the Georgia Music Industry Association, I was asked to Judge a group of Talented Independent Artists throughout a six week contest. From the moment that DELVIS came to the stage and the music started, I knew there was something special about this 13 year old boy. His voice was amazing and sounded exactly like Elvis Presley even at such a young age; AND, DELVIS had ALL the”Elvis Moves” down pat too. 

The audience as well as the Judges were stunned by this young boy who was so obviously talented. BUT, what we didn’t know until he made his way into the Finals of the competition was that DELVIS is Autistic and has been dealing with his Autistic Challenges since birth. 

Only after he completed the contest, was I made aware of the fact that DELVIS did not speak until he was almost 4 years old, and it was at this age that he began his connection with Elvis Presley. As DELVIS began speaking, he ALSO began singing Elvis Presley Songs!! To this day, his parents do not know how DELVIS became aware of “THE KING’S” Music as they did not play any of it in their home.
Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts with vocalist Rusty Taylor at the 28th Anniversary Celebration of ADA in Atlanta
The jazz jams at Eighth and Rail have been really groovy lately. The crowds have been just short of ridiculously animated, not like cartoons but with the unbridled enthusiasm of a two-year old bolt of lightning. Young people, people with more life experience, pulchritudinous people to offset people like I who are aesthetically impaired, tall people, people who are vertically challenged, endomorphic and ectomorphic body types, but they all come to actively listen to jazz played by some of the planet’s most talented musicians starting with the Jane Drake Band: Jane Drake (vocals), Taylor Pierce (guitar), Coleman Woodson III (keys), and Eric Buchanan (drums). £
Photo of weekly jazz jam at Eighth and Rail in Opelika, Alabama hosted by the Jane Drake Band, a photo by Auburn artist (and aspiring torch singer) Teresa Rodriguez. Pictured above from left to right: Nick Johnson (sax), Patrick Davis (percussion), Taylor Pierce (guitar), Eric Buchanan (drums), Coleman Woodson III (keys), Rusty Taylor (vocals), Burdette Burks (flute, vocals), and Jane Drake (vocals and jam host)
Every July, the Auburn Knights Orchestra celebrates its anniversary, which is groovy for the Eighth and Rail’s jazz jam because some of the alumi musicians stay over and join our regular group of weekly jazzonian dreamscape jammers. I’m sure that I’ll forget a few, but last month’s jammers included Jonathon Harms (guitar); Nick Johnson (sax); Dan Mackowski (guitar, although he has been bringing a slide guitar that has given the jam a slightly different feel that adds to the music’s intrigue); Kathy Roberts (vocalist); Burdette Becks (vocals and flute); Ryan (trumpet), an Auburn Night alum; a Dark-haired woman bassist from out-o’-town; Chris Helms (sax), Patrick Davis (percussion); Robert Morgan (guitar); Elwood Madeo (guitar); David Morgan (drums), Sam Williams (sax), and, of course, the irrepressible Teresa Rodriguez (who has also sung with the Hot Club of Auburn at Piccolo’s and pictured below.)
Teresa Rodriguez singing with the Hot Club of Auburn at Piccolo's in Auburn: Patrick Bruce (guitar), Dan Campbell (violin), Jason deBlanc (bass).
Oh yeah, I’ve been going to the weekly jam for a few years now. Back when I started, the audience was, well… sparse, so I got to do a lot of singing for a few loyal listeners. The jam now has a steady, really groovy crowd each week. I’m not sure if I contributed to the increase in the number of listeners we now have, but the optics give that appearance, so I am encouraged to sing two songs per the three sets allotted… unless, of course, the number of visiting musicians dictates a more equitable sharing of stage time, which are the jams I love most; the more musicians, the better; it’s the musician/listener relationship that makes Tuesday evening in Opelika, Alabama such an endearing experience.

Of course, I am aware of four area jams: Eighth and Rail (in Opelika, hosted by the Jane Drake Band), Venkman’s (in Atlanta, hosted by Joe Gransden), Red Café Lounge (in Atlanta, hosted by Gordon Vernick), and Brin’s Wings (in Montgomery, hosted by Coleman Woodson II). The Columbus Jazz Society is slowly stirring back into action; hopefully, it will re-establish its monthly jam. All in all, area jazz jams are a cost-friendly, really creative and groovy time. Each are a gas.

* * *

Piccolo’s Lounge is couched within the hallowed halls of the Auburn Hotel and Conference Center in Auburn, Alabama, a cozy li’l carpeted lounge with a televised fireplace, couches, overstuffed chairs, tables, and an aura of academic erudition. Three black and white portraits of Louis Armstrong, Lester Young, and Dizzy Gillespie hang from the wall beside a grand piano that sits on a slightly elevated stage. For Friday and Saturday evening entertainment (except during college football season when Auburn University has a home game), a cat named Tim Chambliss books jazz acts.

On July 20, 2018, the Hot Club of Auburn played at Piccolo’s. These cats play the swing music associated Django Reinhardt. An Atlanta cat named L. A. Tuten played bass, Patrick Bruce sang and played guitar, Dan Campbell sawed the violin, and Taylor Pierce played guitar; these guys were awesome. Every time I hear them I leave the building with an exhilarated and heightened perception of reality. These cats massage my soul with the furry warmth of a flocculent, purring kitten.

The world seems to be hanging precariously from an unstable precipice overlooking razor-jagged pugnacity; dark clouds of uncertainty loom ominously over our national conscience like the asphyxiating smog that choked Los Angeles in the 70s. Perspicacity is attacked by a nearly insignificant sect of individuals too lazy or unmotivated to improve their cognitive abilities so they childishly attack erudition by parroting simplistic sound bites with language that imitates a three-year old’s demand for chocolate ice cream for breakfast. Fortunately, area supporters of music, art, literature, and scientific methodology can find temporal sanctuary at the area jazz jams that populate our moiety. The Jazz Revolution is gaining momentum, so join in the fun; it could salvage your emotional salubrity.

Peace Through Music

__________________
£ Unfortunately, Eric Buchanan has recently undergone visceral surgery and shall be incapacitated for a while. I am sure you will join me in sending positive energy to Eric and his family, especially his wife Akiko, who will undoubtedly feel the challenges that Eric’s physical nemesis actuates.

Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)

Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"
Abel 2, Inc.

Mission Statement: To enhance the Quality of Life of People with Disabilities and the Under-served by Creating Music and Arts opportunities for Employment and Enjoyment!

  • Are you a Performing Artist (singer, dancer, musician, actor, comedian, poet, etc.)?

  • Do you have a disability?  

  • Do you know anyone who is?  
Abel 2 wants you to promote your talent!

We are in the process of building a database of performing artists with disabilities who reside in the Southeast. Send us the contact name and information on our "Contact Us" page or email us at Abel2Nonprofit@aol.com. Be sure to include your talent, level of experience, head shot, and video of one of your performances. Click on banner for more info. Myrna Clayton - pictured above - is Artistic/Executive Director of Abel2. Click her photo to access her facebook page.
Bad Jokes of the Month

How do you get two piccolo players to play in perfect unison?
Shoot one.

Did you hear about the guitarist who was in tune?
Neither did I.

What do you call a guitarist who breaks up with his girlfriend?
Homeless.

How do you get a guitar player off of your front porch?
Pay for the pizza.
A Joke/Pun I Recently Made Up

When an Asian gnat becomes one with the universe, it has attained the highest level of insectival nirvana, a state of spiritual purification called Budapest … She then realizes that Nirvana can only be attained in the country of Hungary. (Thank you. I’ll be here all week… don’t forget to tip your waitron and your favorite bartender.)

Tweets of the Month
There are, unfortunately, too many people who still support Trump and his meretricious agenda even after he metaphorically fellated Vladimir Putin in Helsinki; their supremely cultic fawning for the false bravado of an overt coward is as obvious as black and white… the colors, not a racial pejorative. Their rhetorical obsequies are simply a very misguided attempt to maintain the appearance of a soi-disant perspicacity that, in reality, doesn’t exist. They are just stupid. #RussianSympathizers 
—@SSTJazzVolcalist

Trumpeters for Trump are the metaphoric sheep that are following a pernicious shepherd toward the abattoir of their own destruction. Ironically, the badly coiffed herder is a buffoonish vulpine carnivore sartorially arrayed in ovine dissemblance, i.e. Trump is a state-propagandized fox in sheep’s clothing. #RussianSympathizers 
—@SSTJazzVolcalist

My parents’ great-grandchild recently visited. His name is Rydruh D. Storm, and he is just over two-years old, a bundle of nearly endless energy that vacillates between sheer joy and unadulterated rage as easily as DJ Trumpster tweets pejorative messages that derogates the physical inadequacies of others while totally ignoring his own culpable weaknesses both in character and physique. My brother, Rydruh’s grandfather, is a lumbering bear with a huge heart, and it is the most honest joy to watch his grandson’s eyes sparkle with ecstatic happiness accompanied by a shrill cry of elation that liquefies ear wax—which slowly effuses from the auditory organ’s eustachian tube—when he sees his grandfather and then dramaturgically hugs his trunk-like thigh. I can’t imagine how I would feel if I were my brother, whom I love dearly, and someone snatched away Rydruh from my life to have him returned months later only to have that child fear me or to reject me so totally that he prefers the comfort of the foster mother who had comforted the child during the separation.
—@SSTJazzVocalist

Trump is not a Russian puppet; he’s a Muscovite Marionette, and Putin is the puppeteer controlling more than Dumpty-Trumpty’s mouth, he also delicately controls the demagogue's movements.
#RussianSympathizers 
—@SSTJazzVocalist

If Jesus had been a conservative, there would be no Christian religion today. Donald J[ackanapes] Trump and his avid supporters are the contemporary personifications of the ultra-conservative Pharisees and #sad Sadducees of biblical history. Jesus was a progressive who changed the antiquated theology of the Old Testament, converting the status quo into a more progressive ideology that included the gentiles who had been previously ostracized. Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. Stop using his philosophy to justify evil intentions.
—@SSTJazzVocalist

One reason that #MuscoviteMarionette is having success despite his obvious lack of empathy and mental acuity is because he has formidable foreign intercession; unfortunately, this international imposition is from despotic nations like China, Russia, and North Korea while our traditional allies, especially Albion and Canada, are treated as adversaries. No wonder the flaccid zephyr of verbally bellicose incoherency is so ignorantly confident; however, Robert Mueller and his army of mermidonic intellectual warriors will take down the #MuscoviteMarionette as easily as a squad of Navy Seals can subdue a pack of Cub Scouts. #RussianSympathizers 
—@SSTJazzVocalist

It wouldn’t surprise me if Mueller’s internal investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election uncovers indictable evidence of malfeasance when George W[ar Criminal] Bush the Lesser allowed Saudi Arabian delegates safe passage out of the United States immediately after the infamous attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. 
—@SSTJazzVocalist

Jews and other minorities were the “undesirables” during Nazi-occupied Germany, and they were used as forced labor to build secret airports and warehouses and such. Immigrants, the LGBT community, women who have abortions (but who cannot afford the luxury to travel abroad to civilly eliminate their unwanted pregnancies while exculpating the men who impregnated them), and people of color are the GOP’s current “undesirables.” It wouldn’t surprise me if the immigrant children who have been savagely separated from their parents are building Donald Trump’s insipid wall to barricade our nation against Mexican immigrants falsely indentified as enemies of the state. #RussianSympathizers 
—@SSTJazzVocalist

God is omnipotent. This means that she has unlimited power. The bible, according to some, is the irrefutable word of God penned by God herself, and therein lies some of my confusion: Genesis states that God created the Universe in six days and on the seventh day God rested. Why would she need to rest if she had unlimited power?
—@SSTJazzVocalist

The fact that we, as white people, don’t have to look at the optics of any situation, the way things like racial diversity and setting (i.e. having a news conference in Aspen, Colorado but having few, if any, reporters of color)… the fact that we translucently pigmented humans don’t have to consider optics is an indisputable boon of white privilege.
—@SSTJazzVocalist

The climax in the corruption of our nation’s current interpretation of capitalistically influenced democracy (wherein unconscionable amounts of money tilt the balance of political power (and control) in favor of big business at the expense of the influence of the average citizen, which is the cornerstone of a true democracy that considers common people the primary source of political power, i.e. majority rule) will happen when Vladimir Putin no longer needs the influence of Trump’s presidential usurpation, and Trump ends up the sacrificial expiation to the muscovite Moloch (for the benefit of any Trump supporter who may be inadvertently reading this essay, Moloch is a metaphor for Putin) after drinking polonium tea… possibly in Albion.
#RussianSympathizers 
—@SSTJazzVocalist

Our government “of the people, for the people, and by the people” is morphing into an exclusive administration that ludicrously and nearly exclusively enriches people who irrationally support the Capitalistic exploitation of terrestrial resources that benefit the baronial minority. What our country needs now is a revolution based on the reduction of authoritarian autarchy and gives a voice to the majority of the disparate public denizens. #RussianSympathizers 
—@SSTJazzVocalist

Be careful for what you wish. This aesopic apothegm has been literarily assayed since, at very least, the sixth century before the common era when King Midas commanded the headlines of the ancient journalistic newspaper called the Grecian Picayune . It is also an underlining theme of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s novel about a carbon-animated experiment that slips from the control of its creator to ultimately destroy the scientist who created him. Paul Manaforte recently complained to his judge that his prison cell was too confining for him to effectively prepare for his upcoming trail, and he requested for better prison conditions. The judge then acquiesced and arranged to move him to a less restrictive incarceration, which Manaforte quickly rejected. Seems that his previous confinement was viewed by himself as a country club in which he was not required to wear prison attire, in which he had a spacious work area away from other prisoners, and had access to computers that he exploited to send out unauthorized emails. The judge moved him to the second more restrictive prison against his will.
—@SSTJazzVocalist
Groovy Upcoming Events
  • Friday, August 3rd starting at 7 pm ET at The Fire Stone Wood Fired Pizza and Grill in Woodstock, Georgia, two of my favorite jazzonian musicians will be featured. Laura Coyle and Trey Wright. According to the Jazz Near You website: "The mainstay of this vocal and guitar duo is classic jazz and bossa nova, with a dash of Dolly Parton, Paul Simon and other favorite songwriters." Fo' mo' info, click here. (I really do dig this duo and will try to find transportation for a road trip... plus, the pizza sounds intriguing. Who doesn't like pizza? Please don't answer... I really don't want to know the answer. Trust me; ignorance is bliss.)
  • Sunday, August 5th starting at 12:30 pm ET at Venkman's in Atlanta for their bottomless mimosa brunch, the Matthew Kaminski Trio will be playing. Matthew is the official organist for the Atlanta Braves baseball team, and rumor has it that the Brave's current success is largely due to Matthew's creative musicianship... and the fact that the Braves' lineup is freakin' awesome. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, August 10 - Happy 9th Birthday to Piccolo's. From 5 'til 7:31 pm CT, Piccolo's Lounge, in Auburn, Alabama, sponsors a Sunset Celebration on the A - T Patio with live music, wine specials, and a complimentary sparkling wine tasting at 7:31. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, August 10 from 7:31 'til 11 pm CT, Kidd Blue Band will perform at Piccolo'S Lounge in Auburn, Alabama. To learn more about the Kidd Blue Band, visit their website by clicking here.
  • Saturday, August 11 from 6:00-8:00 pm CT Piccolo's 9th birthday celebration continues with a Walk About Tasting on the A·T Patio featuring four food & wine stations. Tickets are available on Eventbrite. Then from 8:00-11:00pm | Live music and $5 cocktails, draft beer & glasses of wine in Piccolo's. Champagne Toast at 9:30 pm CT. Band TBA.
  • Thursday, August 16 - THE PIANO MAN IN PICCOLO - Kenny on the Keys is back to perform your favorite songs from 7-9 pm CT in Piccolo's. Come sing along with Kenny Heard. To learn mo' about Kenny, visit his website by clicking here.
  • Friday, August 17 - Happy 9th Birthday to Piccolo's. From 5 'til 7:31 pm CT, Piccolo's Lounge, in Auburn, Alabama, sponsors a Sunset Celebration on the A - T Patio with live music, wine specials, and a complimentary sparkling wine tasting at 7:31. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, August 17th starting at 8 pm ET as part of the summer jazz concert series Jazz Matters At Wren's Nest sponsored by The Wren's Nest in Atlanta's Historic West End, The Edwin Williams Experience will be performing, including David Cole, Larry Hall, and TC Carson. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Saturday, August 18th starting at 7:30 pm ET, Jazz In The Alley- Norcross, Georgia At Betty Mauldin Park will feature Remey Williams and Greg Robbins. Jazz in the Alley is a free jazz concert series sponsored by the City of Norcross, Georgia. The series aims to showcase various jazz artists with diverse genre backgrounds. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, August 24 Happy 9th Birthday to Piccolo's. From 5 'til 7:31 pm CT, Piccolo's Lounge, in Auburn, Alabama, sponsors a Sunset Celebration on the A - T Patio with live music, wine specials, and a complimentary sparkling wine tasting at 7:31. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Sunday, August 25th starting at 1230 pm ET for Venkman's bottomless mimosa brunch, Shakta Jazz Trio featuring Chapman and Waters will perform. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, August 31 Happy 9th Birthday to Piccolo's. From 5 'til 7:31 pm CT, Piccolo's Lounge, in Auburn, Alabama, sponsors a Sunset Celebration on the A - T Patio with live music, wine specials, and a complimentary sparkling wine tasting at 7:31. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Saturday, September 3 pm starting at 3 pm ET at the amazing RiverCenter in historic down Columbus, Georgia the U.S. Navy Band Country Current will be playing. The United States Navy Band Country Current is the Navy’s premier country-bluegrass ensemble. The group is nationally renowned for its versatility and “eye-popping” musicianship, performing a blend of modern country music and cutting-edge bluegrass. This seven-member ensemble employs musicians from diverse backgrounds with extensive high-profile recording and touring experience in the music scenes of Nashville, Tenn., New York, New Orleans and more. In the tradition of country music, each member is a skilled performer on multiple instruments. The band utilizes banjo, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, fiddle, electric bass, upright bass, dobro, pedal steel guitar and drum set. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Thursday, September 6th starting at 8 pm ET, Michael Feinstein will perform at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center in Atlanta, GA. According to All About Jazz: "Michael Feinstein was born in Columbus, OH, and developed an interest in the piano and in show music at an early age. After moving with his family to Los Angeles in 1976, he met Oscar Levant's widow, who in turn introduced him to Ira Gershwin. He was hired by Gershwin in 1977 to help organize The Gershwin archives, and continued to work with the lyricist until Gershwin's death in 1983." Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Saturday, September 8, for two shows at 7 and 10 pm ET at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta, GA, Rebirth Brass Band is playing. "The Rebirth Brass Band rose from the streets of New Orleans to international renown with a mix of the brass-band tradition and a refreshingly modern sensibility. The Rebirth Brass Band mastered the traditional jazz sound of their hometown and then melded it with funk, R&B and, most recently, hip-hop, they are as capable with spirituals and rags as it is with brass-band boogie." Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Monday, October 8 starting at 7:30 pm ET at the amazing RiverCenter in historic downtown Columbus, Georgia, the Winford Marsalis Quartet will be playing. According to the venue's website: "NEA Jazz Master, renowned Grammy Award®‐winning saxophonist and Tony Award® nominee Branford Marsalis is one of the most revered instrumentalists of his time. Leader of one of the finest jazz quartets today, and a frequent soloist with classical ensembles, Marsalis’ most current recording with his quartet is Four MFs Playin’ Tunes. On this album, the song takes center stage, with the band members bringing their considerable musical expertise to bear, as they focus on each tune as an important musical entity unto itself and not merely a vehicle for showcasing individual talent. Charles Gans from the Associated Press exclaims, “Saxophonist Marsalis leads one of the most cohesive, intense small jazz ensembles on the scene today…. This album shows that Marsalis’ quartet hasn’t skipped a beat with the change in the drummer’s chair, effortlessly playing often complex original tunes that are thoroughly modern while referencing past jazz masters.” The Branford Marsalis Quartet is one of the most innovative and forward‐thinking jazz ensembles around today!" Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Monday, October 29th starting at 7:30 pm ET at the amazing RiverCenter in historic downtown Columbus, Georgia, the U.S. Navy Band Commodores Jazz Ensemble will be playing. The U.S. Navy Band Commodores, the Navy’s premier jazz ensemble, celebrate their upcoming 50th anniversary serving the Navy and the nation through America’s quintessential art form: jazz. Under the direction of Senior Chief Musician William C. Mulligan, the U.S. Navy Band Commodores’ 2018 national tour highlights the legacy of innovation in Navy Music from John Coltrane, Artie Shaw, and Clark Terry to the world-class composers, arrangers and performers the comprise the unit in the present day. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Saturday, December 15th starting at 7:30 pm ET at the amazing RiverCenter in historic downtown Columbus, Georgia, the MCoE Holiday Concert will be presented. For over 50 years, the Maneuver Center of Excellence Band has taken great pride in entertaining the soldiers, military families, and civilians of the Fort Benning, Columbus, and Phenix City communities. The Band’s performances create esprit de corps among soldiers and veterans, as well as provide patriotic spirit within the civilian community. Currently, the MCoE Band, with its eight performing groups, accomplishes over 500 military missions a year in support of the military and civilian communities in and around Fort Benning. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Monday, December 17th starting at 7:30 pm at the amazing RiverCenter in historic downtown Columbus, Georgia, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas will be in town. I know it ain't jazz, but I really dig Chip Davis' musical prowess. According to the venue's website: "Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis has been America’s favorite holiday tradition for over 30 years! Grammy Award winner Chip Davis has created a show that features Mannheim Steamroller Christmas classics along with a selection of compositions from Chip’s groundbreaking Fresh Aire series, which introduced the distinctive Mannheim sound to all of America. Experience the magic as the spirit of the season comes alive with dazzling multimedia effects and the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller!" Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Saturday, January 19, 2019 starting at 7:30 pm ET at the amazing RiverCenter in historic downtown Columbus, Georgia, Kenny Brawner will channel the spirit of Ray Charles. According to the venue's website: "This concert/theatre work brings the music and the story of the great Ray Charles to vivid life! Portraying Ray, master pianist/vocalist Kenny Brawner leads his 12-piece orchestra and three sultry vocalists (a la the Raelettes) performing this American legend’s most popular hits: “What’d I Say?,” “I Got a Woman,” “Mess Around,” “Georgia On My Mind,” a blazing hot duet on “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” and many more! The music is interwoven with monologues depicting how gospel, blues, jazz and country influenced Ray’s style, while also reflecting on American social history, his epic battle with drugs, and his triumphant return home to Georgia." Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Saturday, May 18th starting at 7:30 pm ET at the amazing RiverCenter in historic downtown Columbus, Georgia, Cantus Columbus will perform Say It With Music: The Songs of Irving Berlin. From the venue's website: "In this fourth concert homage to the founders of the American Songbook, the professional chorus Cantus Columbus and the distinguished string quartet Vega Quartet, directed by William J. Bullock, present tasteful arrangements of the songs of Irving Berlin (1888–1989). The concert follows previous collaborative tributes to Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, George & Ira Gershwin, and Jerome Kern." Fo' mo' info, click here.
Autobiographical Essays

Unintentional Masquerade


Crippledom. The word is a noun that sadly connotes, promotes, and strongly encourages nearly insignificant, ultra-provincial, minutely microcosmic, and chronically monochromatic negative imagery, but this ignorant connection of paralysis to lugubrious expectations is not, for me, a reality understood by my personal experience. My paralysis is almost always surrounded by ineffable thaumaturgy as that witnessed during every seasonal change. Life is merely the opportunity to react positively to the unexpected. And the choice is... everyone’s. Every now and then, I try to challenge a perceived veracity. Why can’t crippledom be fun?

Crippledom is rarely laughed at but is rife with comic possibilities. What if somebody confined to a wheelchair falls out her electronically energized metal horse? Depends on whether it’s a drama or comedy. My college professor, Dr. Steve Bluestone, once told me that the difference between a drama and a comedy can be demonstrated by a man’s tripping and falling to the ground. If the scene is a closeup, the pain in the man’s visage creates a dramatic event; the audience empathizes with the man. If the scene is envisioned from afar, the scene becomes more comic; the audience is purposely separated from the emotional connections; laughing is then easier.

It would be so groovy to watch a sitcom with the setting of a bustling city sidewalk: two characters are discussing the sundry aspects of their lives when a paraplegic navigates her wheelchair too close to the edge of a curb on the other side of the street, tips over, and falls (unnoticed by everything but the camera) into water that has stagnated in the gutter on the side of the street―the two characters continue their discourse without ever acknowledging the incident that in reality would cause as much commotion as two epileptic lizards dancing to Glenn Miller’s In The Mood . Now that’s funny! but you’ll never see it because of a fear quickened by demagogic pedagogy used to obfuscate unfounded social dogma to sterilize our society, a herded skein of sycophantic ovine supplicants who graze hypnotically in pastureland programmed in life-like detail on electronic games that desensitizes the flock to graphic violence but a society that must, ironically, revert to calling a crippled boy by the appellation of physically challenged because the former appellation might offend annoyingly moral sensitivities.

Yes, I have thus far in my life of paralysis fallen out of my wheelchair on two occasions and have fallen out of my Hoyer Lift twice. A Hoyer Lift (pictured below) is a tool with a hydraulic pump that uses chains connected to an extended arm and to a net that is placed underneath my fleshy hind end; the pump is then used to raise me up so that I may transfer from my bed to my wheelchair and visa-verse without causing permanent back damage to whomever is helping me. It’s really like a lift on the docks that transfers cargo to a ship but instead of bananas from Guam, the Hoyer transfers my fat ass.
The first time I fell from my Hoyer lift was when I was living in the infamous Columbia Apartments in Decatur, Georgia. I was getting ready for bed while, ironically, the Slam Dunk Competition for the NBA’s All-Star Weekend was on television. The person who was helping me was a really effete dude, but I knew him from my days at Shepherd Spinal Center, where he still worked; he was very personable, affable, congenial, and smartly dressed; most importantly, he was very concerned with my well being. He had come to me at a time when I was not having much luck with my attendant care, and we got along really well. I am still very fond of him.

After he pumped me up in the Hoyer lift so high in the stratosphere that I grew dizzy from the lack of oxygen, something happened and I came crashing down to the ground with the force comparable to the energy created by the flatulent expulsion from an exceedingly corpulent man after his rapid mass consumption of a recipe that includes volatile chili peppers of varying sizes, colors, and heat intensity; greasy pork renderings; a five-day old burrito; and semi-chunky milk from the carton with a very questionable expiration date. It happened so quickly that there was no pain (the fact that I have no sensation in over 90% of my body is irrelevant!), but what was really unbelievable was that my friend was determined to try to pick me up without assistance―this really tiny effeminate man was carrying on... hysterically. From the ground, I calmed him down and had him go get help from some neighbors, which he did. This was when Dominique Wilkins unjustly lost to Michael Jordan in the NBA dunking competition, and I can sympathize with Dominique; I didn’t receive appropriate recognition for my slam dunk either!

The second time I fell from the lift was when my father and I went, ironically, to Panacea, Florida. We enjoyed a little bar on Alligator Point (a lounge that no longer exists). The building had an incredible ramp up to the front entrance that was ten or more feet high above the sandy ground. It also had a beautiful back deck that faced the oftimes placid Gulf of Mexico from which I witnessed many breathtakingly beautiful nocturnal vistas. It was the July fourth weekend, and this is where we decided to spend the three days; however, there were no hotel vacancies anywhere around to accommodate us. We ended up bedding down in Tallahassee then driving the thirty or so miles to spend our days nearer the ocean.

Luckily, we found a motel in Florida’s capital city, and it provided beds under which the Hoyer’s base could fit; many beds I’ve used in various motels have a solid base which forbids the use of my Hoyer Lift. When this happens, a two-man transfer must be employed for me to get into bed. Since my father was the only other person from whom I was to receive assistance at this time, it was rather fortunate that the Hoyer could be used. My father pumped me up and swung the Hoyer around so that I was floating above the bed, but something happened and I felt the effects of gravity as I started free-falling toward the bed. In those few infinite seconds neither of us got excited; I was, after all, falling toward the soft bed, but when I hit the mattress, I bounced back upward... towards the oncoming Hoyer Lift, and it came crashing down on my head with the force comparable to the energy created by an exceedingly corpulent man... wait… I’ve already used that metaphor... let’s see... the Hoyer came crashing down on my head with the force comparable to the aromatic energy created by underwater flatulence the morning following an evening of late-night, hasty Krystal hamburger consumption after hours of excessive imbibing. (Now that was a bit too detailed!) Anyway, after my liberal use of vociferous language, we started laughing. It was, after all, funny... well, after the pain subsided.

The two times I fell out of my wheelchair involved my next door neighbors when I lived near Lake Bottom Park in Columbus, Georgia, the Fountain City. I rented a house from a simoniac Baptist preacher who coveted the greenback and used his interpretation of Christianity to buy many houses that he could rent out at exorbitant fees... but I digress. My friend Tom, with whom I attended high school, was grilling steaks out in his backyard, and I strolled over in my wheelchair to experience the elevated testosterone that accompanies my gender and barbecues.

As I came through his gate, I noticed holes in the yard that his dogs had excavated for reasons known only to the canine species but probably deriving from some instinctual preservation for prehistoric mating rituals used by the ancestral male to attract his potential bitch-mate by showing her what a nice hole he could dig, or maybe Tom’s dogs just liked moving dirt. I pulled back on my control lever so that my wheelchair would reverse direction, but the ground was sandy and my wheels lost traction, spinning ineffectively and almost pleading with my chair to back-up out of danger, but my front left well found the hole, and I, once again, felt the effects of gravity as it pulled me toward the earth.

“Here I go!”

It was all I could say, and I said it with such insouciance that the crash must’ve shocked Tom, but he quickly put down his cooking instruments and made me more comfortable on the ground, then he got his wife Diana to help. The really wonderful thing about the whole experience was that they got me back into my chair, arranged my clothes to help me appear less disheveled, and Tom never burned the meat! Tom shall remain evermore in my mind the consummate outdoor gastronome.

The second time I fell out of my chair was at the house that I rented from the cupidinous Baptist preacher, but this time only Tom’s wife Diana was with me. My high school coach and his brothers had built me a long straight ramp that led to the front porch, a front porch I really enjoyed. I was talking to Diana as we approached the ramp, but I missed it with my left wheel, and the wheelchair careened off the lip of the sidewalk, sending me like Icarus to the soft carpet of grass. I remember reading that the definition of flying is to throw one’s self at the ground but to miss it. I didn’t miss the ground, so I guess I wasn’t flying.

“Here I go again.”

I don’t know why, but in situations such as these I don’t get excited.

Diana straightened out my body so that I’d be more comfortable on the ground then phoned my uncle for help. It was a beautiful early spring day, and the sun was graciously warm. Diana went inside and got a blanket and a pillow to make me more comfortable. So there I was, laying supine on the blanket with a pillow under my head, and I was absorbing the sun’s warm embrace, talking amiably with the wife of my good friend. After about twenty minutes Gary Gotterby, a friend of my uncle's, pulled into my driveway. Gary and my uncle had coached together at a local high school, and it was through my uncle that I had met him. My uncle was tied up with work when Diana had called him, so he called Gary and asked him to check on me. Gary and I affably embarked on the casual conversation that spontaneously quickens on almost perfect days such as we were experiencing when Diana asked what method Gary and his friend were going to use to get me back into my chair.

Gary was taken aback because he wasn’t informed that I had fallen; he merely thought I was sunbathing. After the laughter died down, Gary and his friend lifted me into my chair and life was again chary [pun intended]. It was at this time I first realized that there are times I don’t look crippled.

Peace Through Music
Short Story
The Awakening

There’s an intense, irritating bright light shining from the ceiling, and I can barely move… my head, yes… my shoulders and my arms, limited but yes… the rest of my body doesnʼt seem to want to move… doesnʼt want to respond to my kinetic intentions, and I canʼt speak because thereʼs a breathing tube in my throat restricting my vocal cords… I think. Iʼm strapped to a hospital bed, supine, but Iʼm in no pain; in fact, I feel really great, light and foggy, more comforting than disconcerting by any stretch of my imagination, a roiling contentment ameliorating all anxiety and encouraging total mental and corporeal serenity.

I have no idea where I am, but Iʼm not alone… Iʼve been in this, this medical unit… (I guess itʼs medical unit)… longer than I can remember… and certain images and patterns keep repeating in my mind… my dreams… my thoughts… images like the unalterable pellucid light that continually shines from directly above me, hovering incessantly like an over-doting parent… my guardian… or guard… both calming and unnerving in its ubiquity, a single, bright, wide beam streaming straight down from an intense round bulb in a sterile room filled with chrome, white linen, and hypoallergenic instruments. Soft voices from sterile white jackets endlessly flit by in what seems like a steady stream of amicability, each dulcet affirmation reassuring in its encouragement but ominous in its lack of detail. I seem to be continually taking pills and IVs, a fastidious pharmaceutical regiment that dictates the verity of my mindʼs embracing only a few anachronistic images.

What happened to me?

Something is terribly wrong with my left leg. Itʼs swollen to twice its normal size; the outer skin blistered as if burned, and a high fever runs through it, consumes it, colors it a deep burgundy. It is so swollen, my toes look like miniature balloons filled with volatile poisons ready to burst through the taut skin. I fall in and out of consciousness… easily… dreaming an endless series of eerily similar dreams, each new dream begins with my swollen, blistered leg raised and a doctor wearing what appears to be immaculate white, plastic, aeronautic or underwater diving gear—hermetic, impersonal, impenetrable, antiseptic, which I assume is for the doctorʼs safety. Clearly, something very serious is happening. I must be highly contagious; the entire room is a bright white altar to sterility. Everything is clean, shiny, technologically sophisticated. The array of monitors is confusing, but their frenetic flashing and brilliant colors are convincing… and comforting; I must be receiving the very best of care… but why? Iʼm not rich… or worthy. Through the clear mask of the doctorʼs helmet I see her comforting, intense, passionate green eyes, and I hear unmistakable embryonic compassion in her dulcet voice.

Iʼve lost total track of time and am so affected by these goddam pharmaceuticals that I really donʼt care… about the time... anyway I just want all this shit to be over with. I miss Angela. I desperately want to heal… get better… get out of this place. It seems like Iʼm doing the exact same thing I had just done, thinking the same thoughts, living the very same moment… some… time… ago.

I am suddenly very cold… zero to the bone, violent chills painfully sprint across my immobile torso then through my extremities. White flitting nurses glide towards me, covering me with warm, flocculent blankets…

I finally feel a tiny semblance of heat deep within the most distant recesses of my visceral being; the modicum of heat slowly spreads… I feel its incipient warmth encroaching radially through my torso and beyond, like a celestial chord that whistles through summer trees.


I fall asleep.

Suddenly wide awake, I rashly gasp volumes of air, intense heat expelling from my lungs as if from Vulcanʼs billows, a heavy, whistling metal-strengthening heat used by the smithy of the gods to create mythological weaponry. Again, white flitting nurses fly to my side, removing the blankets and bringing me drinks that are refreshingly cool. The heat slowly evanesces and I am reasonably comfortable; I fall asleep… again… and dream.

An old, console television set turns off. The tiny white spec in the middle of the screen slowly dissipates until it finally, almost imperceptibly, disappears, leaving behind a subtle fog that turns into a silvery, dusty moth, fluttering in slow motion within another more pallid light; this misty illumination slowly morphs into the sterile lamp that floats above my supine body.

The pharmaceutical schedule I maintain doesnʼt seem to be helping my leg at all, but it does cradle my consciousness in a satin pillowcase that makes dreaming a premium recreation. Even so, the repetitive series of dreams remind me of my youth and a similar theme of benign, looping iteration.

I am with high school buddies Sean Perry and Tommy Robinson, in Tomʼs apartment doing hits of nitrous oxide. Sean and Tom sit across from me and are staring, ready to observe how the gas will affect me. Suddenly, I shoot out of my body like a bullet. The deliquescent room slides into an amorphous stream of fuzz, streaking vertically, but Tom and Sean remain in focus as the smeared walls speedily pass by, aging in time, frenetically slipping by like a blurred photograph taken at high speeds. I am journeying to the very zenith of our terrestrial boundary, and as I thrust ever higher, Tom and Sean smile ever increasingly at me. My path is true.

Just before I reach the zenith of our sublunary existence, my body aggressively ricochets straight down with the same intensity and speed. Iʼm rapidly falling back toward reality. Sean and Tom, still in focus, slowly lose their smiles as I flash past the point of origin. I am now streaking towards the nadir of terrestrial existence, and as I sink further into oblivion, my anxieties increase.

Despair tightly grips my chest and I plangently cry out in emotional pain, but just as suddenly, I rebound back upwards, reliving the previous journey towards the zenith, only this time I journey just a bit higher, and the smiles of my friends become more intense, as if in recognition that I am about to break on through to the other side and discover reality. Iʼm ecstatically laughing, screeching in delight. This is incredible. My stomach has left my body and I am riotously chaotic. Spent. I will soon understand the Universe… the vast… Universe.

I suddenly stop then shoot back down toward the nadir of existence, again, crashing back into the darkness of ignorance and superstition, coming closer to the end just as I had come so close to what, in retrospect, must have been the beginning. Again, I shoot back upward, the room still a blur and my friends still in focus. I come even closer to the riotous zenith. Back down I plummet, and the yo-yo effect continues, each time getting closer to the zenith as to the nadir, reliving the dichotomous gamut of emotions with each directional change. When I reach the highest point, the point at which I am about to enter into the realm of reality, I see my two friends frown at the realization that I am denied entrance into whatever reality I errantly thought I was destined to discover by unknowable forces beyond our understanding. I see a dingy subtle misty cloud slowly metamorphose into a silvery, dusty moth that instantly flies away. Suddenly, I shoot back downward. Each journey from the zenith to the nadir becomes shorter and less intense until the yo-yo journey finally returns me to my original state. When I come back to myself, at the original point of departure, I look at Tom and Sean who are smiling radiantly at me. They donʼt know the details of the journey I had just taken, but they can tell that I had just concluded a powerful trip.

The dream series continues as I lay in the rigid hospital bed, but semi-lucid thoughts from my past are now commingling with images of my dream series: the wretched leg, flitting white jackets, chrome, and visual monitors with kaleidoscopic symbols convulsing on myriad screen monitors. I think about my youth: Right after I graduated from high school I got a job at a nursing home as an assistant to the men in the Maintenance Department. Mr. Thackery was the head maintenance man; Sonny and Jack worked under him. Mr. Thackery and Sonny were Vietnam vets, and where Mr. Thackery was a no nonsense kind of worker, Sonny was never without a joke. Jack was older, a veteran of WWII, retired from the U.S. Navy. Jack was also an alcoholic. Although everyone knew it, no one mentioned it because Jack seemed harmless. All he did was fix the wheelchairs for the residents in a closet that was just big enough for him and the chair he was working on. Jack stayed in the closet-room until the end of the day, mostly incapacitated in a ever-expanding, wan fog, surreptitiously drinking liquor and fixing wheelchairs.

The images of Jack slowly evanesce into a wavering dream journey, and I melt once again into flocculent somnolence… to dream the eternal nightmare that Hamlet dreads and King Lear curses.

Gently, I am awake… from the dream, again, the television setʼs being turned off. Pellucid light from the angry lamp above shines down steadily, intensely onto my red swollen, blistered, peeling leg. The frenetic monitors flash meaningless symbols, benevolent in their color, and white coats flit like colorless butterflies around the equipment. The doctor looks at me with her intense, compassionate eyes. She puts her finger over the hole in my trachea, and I realize that I can now speak.

“Whatʼs up?” I whisper.

“Well, weʼre about to try another antibiotic. Hopefully, this one will work.”

“This infection seems to be a humdinger.”

“Yes, weʼve never seen anything like it before.”

“Really? Have you consulted any other doctors?”

I notice the CDC on her lapel.

“Iʼm sorry, son. Weʼre your final appeal.”

“How long have I been here?”

“Shhh. I need to run this final test.”

The word final floats above my mindʼs eye like the words spoken to Alice from the hookah-toking caterpillar in Wonderland; the pharmaceutical effects help the word dance to the beat of my heart. I know that the doctor is doing her best, but what if she isnʼt good enough. If this is the final test, I will either awaken with my leg propped up and the curing process in its initial stages, or I will dream of the television setʼs being turned off for one final time.

Then what?

More mind-mending medicine easily eases the anxiety that has been fluttering through me like a mindless butterfly. I think of Jack… fixinʼ wheelchairs… bibulously sippinʼ lethean amnesia. Jack spent the latter part of his adult life incognizant of the world around him. Drunk. Unaware that Death was silently waiting. A dusty moth summons me back to my dream, but before I let myself slip into the journey, I think once more about Jack… and envy his drunken ignorance.

By Rusty Taylor © 2005
This Month at The Loft
Columbus [GA's] Home For Jazz Music
Upcoming schedule
  • August 3  - Grud, a touring jazz band from New Orleans.
  • August 10 - Solar Quintet.
  • August 17 - Kevin Vannoy and the Basin Street Boyz.
  • August 24 - Six String Theory with Neal Lucas.
  • August 31 - The Ben Weatherford

Peace Through Music
Swan Song: The Grand Ol’ Parties Are Over
Isn’t it ironic? There are people, everyday people meandering through the flora and fauna of the third fairly insignificant planet that orbits the medium-sized sun of our solar system, one of billions of solar systems currently extant within our galaxy, the Milky Way, which is one galaxy in billions of others that humanity has verified over a couple millennia, and these people incubate unfeigned fear that our human species will become subservient to robots in the not-so-distant future. “What’s ironic about that?” I can hear you asking.

We’re already there. Robots have taken over much of our lives. How many hours are we playing video games? How many hours do we spend binge-watching Netflix series? How many deaths can be attributed to texting while driving? Our attention spans are continually filled with hypnotic regularity by computers that only ten years ago seemed like magic.

The entropic citizens of our planet whose physiological manifestations are waning towards ultimate mundane resting inertia effectively paved the way towards our species’ annexation to robotic intentions with the idolatry of the once emotionally overwhelming miracle of television, which, in their youth (and if their families could afford it), ostentatiously ignored the consequences of the rampant conservative social ennui that effectively suckled generic lassitude while emboldening the privileged disposition to become more sedentary and, more detrimentally, to stop thinking. This, obviously, encouraged all the television owners who could afford it to justify protecting their possession against possible culpable subterfuge—by unworthy penury—at all costs because, let’s face it, one family’s owning a television while many other families are unable to afford it, for whatever reason, is beyond prudence or reason.

More poignantly, the vilified laborers who couldn’t afford the mind-numbing electronic audio/visual superfluity didn’t have the leisure time to enjoy the diversion provided by the entertaining delusion that distracts their already thoroughly engaged attentions away from earning a decent living on a “minimum wage” (which is the least amount of money possible for labor that creates egregious wealth for the people who “own” the privilege to be called “emperors” of a corporation, smarmy people who are, more than likely, past their prime and physically incapable of working as hard as the laborers they callously exploit—the idea of providing the most minimal remuneration possible to compensate the assailed laborers for work that is indispensable to the mien of Capitalism is, very simply, legalized and justified slavery).

How is that not favoritism ? And how is “favoritism” not white privilege … the color, not the race… like a white lie ?

What’s a man to do when he owns the only television in his neighborhood? Why, he moves himself and his family into a gated community; that way, he doesn’t have to feel shame when he looks into the eyes of them who can’t afford a television… but even that’s not enough. When he thinks about it, anybody can simply walk through that gate of the limitedly bastioned neighborhood—the only vehicular oubliette (if you will) in or out of the homogenous community, i.e. the only entrance and exit into the neighborhood of mansions, manicured lawns, and luxury automobiles—and steal his television, so he makes laws to protect his boob tube , his electronic mind-numbing machine. This is the beginning of class warfare and white privilege … again, the color, not the race.

Once the television owner began congregating with other television owners, they all started to worry that many, many more of the other people who exist on the same planet as they—but are unable to afford televisions—could also congregate together and contrive secret and devious plans to arrogate all of the neighborhood’s televisions, so the television owners created laws that would protect all their possessions, which was followed by the need to make laws to increase their wealth while depriving “outsiders” equal opportunities.

With the extra appanage, the television owners were able to make more laws that allowed them to purchase more televisions, but they also made laws to give them more power, among the more insidiously effective is the Supreme Court ruling involving Citizens United that gave corporations human rights. I know it sounds apocryphal, but television owners are quite Machiavellian; they justify their avarice with religious symbolism that masks their obvious supplication to the seductive Goddess of Largess, Capitalism. The really befuddling aspect of this insipid modus operandi, other than the reality that really ignorant and mean-spirited people can easily enact this nefarious agenda, is that the self-identified elite have actually convinced nearly all the people who can’t afford televisions that they don’t deserve a television because they are not intelligent enough, not moral enough, or both… yet the non-television-owning people fain accept the ridiculous premise.

Technology is advancing more rapidly than it ever has in the age of modern humanity. Robotic machines are slowly taking over the mundane tasks for which cheap labor (slavery) is necessary… necessary? No! I meant for the further enrichment of people who exploit “others” to assure that their “morally and intellectually superior families” (who already possess unmitigated opulence) can supplement their dubiously acquired amassment of specious trinkets while denying the poor—or, more accurately, the exploited —from even possessing the necessities for life such as housing and healthcare, which coerces the penurious work force into believing that volunteer fealty to corporate supplication is their “social obligation” that guarantees their receiving insubstantial health insurance when the corporations (that are “legal” persons sans empathy) could very easily afford universal healthcare for all their employees in lieu of giving more money and power to people who already possess much more than they need so that they can purchase ridiculously outlandish yachts for CEOs who spend more time on golf courses than in their penthouse corner offices that offer stunning panoramic views enjoyed by few.

The last decade alone has produced technological advances that until their formal presentations seemed thaumaturgic. People now possess much more leisure time, but what do they do with that time? They go home and watch insipid programming, binge-watching banal series like “Duck Dynasty” (as if they’re going to leave their air-conditioned house, laboring out of their vibrating, overstuffed lazy-boy throne to travail into a hot and humid swamp to kill a duck then process it for sustenance), “Naked and Afraid” (justifying their lust-riddled voyeurism by asserting a need to understand what they may have to consider if, for someone unclear reason, they should find themselves completely naked somewhere on the planet where exposure to the elements wouldn’t kill them almost instantly), or “Honey Boo Boo” (actually… I have no clue how anybody could justify watching this show… like watching that now-cancelled show about the Dugger buggers…).

Yes, the upper echelon of our society has so much more leisure time, but instead of seeking the pathway to their ultimate and most sacrosanct terrestrial destination, they spend it superfluously: watching the boob tube or focusing on their phones while interacting with their friends in virtual reality instead of meeting up with them vis-á-vis. We now interact socially more on the computer than in proximity with other tangible anatomical realities; we are losing the desire to touch, feel, and smell our loved ones. Simply hearing and seeing their digitized physiognomy is enough to consummate our relationships, and soon, the computer will simulate the act of sex… not making love, mind you, but the physical carnal stimulation of ejaculatory indulgence… to climax at will and with more comfort and sanitation. Why do we need bodies when, soon, all the things we enjoy as biologic organisms will be done within the realm of binary simulation?

Robotic machines are steadily taking the jobs of “unskilled” laborers (as if growing edible flora or repairing an automobile or waiting tables for hubristic patrons can be classified as “unskilled” while manipulating resources (money and human chattel) is not only extolled as “skilled” labor but “divinely sanctioned” as well). This robotic encroachment doesn’t solicit the concern of the social elite… yet, but it won’t be long before their duties are executed by computers much more efficiently. Their “skilled vocations” will be outsourced by Roddy McDowell§. Then comes the revolution.

In its current interpretive manifestation, Capitalism is a nefarious economic system based on exploiting the limited natural resources of our planet by debasing cheap labor that benefits the few while taken advantage of average citizens to favor of the Sadducees and Pharisees of contemporary society. Capitalism is slavery, but its time is limited. After computers take on the quotidian tasks of the “social elite”: the money manipulators… and warriors… and kitsch entertainers, et al. Everybody will then be treated equally; there will no longer be a need to belittle women, young adults, the LGBT community, immigrants, the handicapped, or racial minorities by the morally annoying.

The planet has enough resources to feed everybody. Humanity has the ability to give healthcare to everyone who needs it. Once the “necessary” cheap labor force is eliminated by robotic technology, people will then be able to more effectively “pursue their happiness.” Believe it or not, there are people who have, beating within their own hearts, a strong desire to help other people instead of incessantly stroking their turgid egos with an unforgiving yet relentless desire for autoerotic consummation. There are people who actually care more for others than they do for themselves. We are surrounded by people who are underpaid servants: CNAs, nurses, teachers, fire fighters, police officers, etc. These people would fain assist others who need help because their self-sacrifice defines them as who they are: human beings with empathy.

We have already succumbed to the lassitude of technologically influenced recreation; two-year olds can already play video games; many in our nation are disillusioned with the current two-party political impotence of corpulent, aristocratic, and patriarchal inefficiency. Soon, every job that is currently executed by cheap, human labor will be executed by robots. We, as a species, will then dissolve the current discriminatory political and economic zeitgeist of an arabesque acquiescence to opulence in order to engender something innovative, something that will encourage eclectic and diverse participation among the disparate anthropological essentials of society. Everybody will benefit, and our species will begin in earnest its emotional evolution towards a planetary assimilation of peaceful diversity.

Peace Through Music
_______________________________________
§ Roddy McDowell was the voice of C-3PO in the ’77 film “Star Wars.” Yes, I’m old…
Word of the Month

a·lex·i·a n. Loss of the ability to read, usually caused by brain lesions. Also called word blindness.
It’s A Quad Thing, You May Not Understand

I am a quadriplegic. If you know me personally, and you have any empathy, then you have helped me because (and I cannot stress this enough) I am unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living. Can you even begin to understand what that means? I need help doing EVERYTHING!

Imagine if you will… I am lying in bed at 6 a.m. and am unable to move. I keep the thermostat at around 65º F because I need the coolness to last the entire night. Why? Well… it’s because I am living all by myself,Φ paralyzed and unable to pay for the 24/7 assistance I need, so I am assisted into my bed at night by a wonderful person who agrees to accept my proffered meager wages, but she leaves afterward because, again, I am unable to pay anyone to be there throughout the night to help with ad hoc acts of kindness: if I need a drink of water… if I spasm in the night and end up in an uncomfortable position… if there is a fire, burglary, attack from a group of nubile admirers who want to marry me because I am just THAT irresistible… or to take off a blanket when I get too warm for which the necessity of a more frigid local atmosphere is integral.

I really feel the need to emphasize this last point. During the night, especially during the winter, when I first get put in bed, I am, initially, cold after my helper undresses me. I then ask for a warm blanket to assuage my chilled condition. A few hours later, I am too warm. Ah! There’s the rub! Remember that I am unable to pay someone to stay with me during the night. After I am secure in bed, my helper leaves for about six hours until she returns or someone else shows up the following morning to help me out of bed and get me ready to go to work where I will have 8-10 hours of proximity to co-workers, many of whom are eager to assist me when needed. This is why I kept the temperature so cool, so that I didn’t get too warm. Yet what happens when the morning helper fails to show up… for whatever reason? For me, the definition of ‘eternity’ is the three or four hours that I waited in bed wondering if anyone would miss me before the odor of my carrion seeped into the neighborhood and catalyzed a police investigation into the cause of the putrescent stench.

I broke my neck when I was twenty-two-years old.

I reckon that, back then, which has been thirty-two years ago, I was young and naïve; I actually looked at the world with childlike innocence. Not childish, mind you, but with a fearless faith in the benevolence of the human character to have pity on a young man, a boy, who is unable to do anything for himself. I honestly believed that practically everybody on the planet would fight one another to assist me in times of need if I were to try to achieve any modicum of success as defined by our narcissistic nation of chronic materialism, so, in a nutshell, I graduated from college with a BA in English and a minor in Computer Science, then not quite a year after I received my sheepskin, I was employed fulltime as a computer programmer. Almost immediately, I stopped receiving governmental assistance. In fact, the government failed to stop sending checks for about a half a year, which they deducted from my paycheck until the balance was zero even when I was making less than $20,000 a year and needed to pay for attendant care out of pocket.

So there I was, happily employed, doing my thing as an American, paying taxes but needing family members to volunteer their precious time to help me, which they did. I bounced around from family member to family member, each sacrificing time and personal freedom because we, as a family, wanted to contribute to the fulfillment of our country’s commitment to equality for everyone, and everything was good. Then, serendipitously, a loophole was discovered in the corporation’s insurance policy that would grant me $100 per day exclusively for attendant care. Life in the corporate world was good.

Unfortunately, the world imploded on September 11, 2001. George W[ar Criminal] Bush and his administration lied our nation into a war that, for all intents and purposes, is still waging (much to the delight of the CEOs for our industrial war machine businesses that are making billions of dollars). He quickly drained the surplus coffers that ultimately led to the economic crash of 2008. It was during this economic failure that I was fired from my job. I will, one day, detail what happened, but, for now, I will say that the main reason for my severance had to do with a small-minded individual with too much power and his attempt to justify his salary doing a job that could have been done more efficiently by a brain-damaged dung beetle. (Can you say coprophagous?)

Of course, I didn’t fight at all to keep my job; in fact, I was grateful to have been released. If I hadn’t been fired, I’d still be there today, and I would have wasted away my life living for a retirement that may never have come to fruition. There are two reasons why I didn’t mind being fired. Well, three really. The first one is when I rolled out of the building for the very last time and actually felt the weight of all the pressure I was under as it desperately dissipated from my shoulders and left me as calm and secure as I have ever been. It was intense and immediate confirmation that I had made a decision that saved my life.

The second reason for my apathy in being fired is that Human Resources was dictating whom I could choose to help me when it came to emptying my bladder. I shan’t go into detail here, but after I cussed out the HR representative, the upper echelon still did not want to fire me, which still makes me feel good with the realization that I was considered a valued corporate asset. (I had survived a couple previous layoffs, and a few managerial types appreciated my limited programming skills… still, this was also the beginning of the economic crash of ‘08, and nobody was secure in her job.) However, when I asked the supervisor to change the company’s policy concerning my catheterization (my emptying my bladder), he said no. Imagine your boss’s trying to control how you urinate. What’s next? The possibility of telling an adult woman what she can or cannot do to her own body? Or maybe a boss, with the cerebral benightedness of Donald J Trump, telling you that you may not choose assisted quietus during the most painful finality of your battle with intestinal cancer while maintaining the objective volition to put down a pampered pet that is suffering similar anguishing pain.

The main reason I wasn’t very concerned about my being fired was because of the aforementioned insurance policy that paid for attendant care: The policy was for only for ten years… and I was eight years in.

One hundred dollars a day for ten years seems like a lot of money, and, for many, including me, it is. Let’s face the reality: that’s $36,500 a year for a total of $365,000. But when you’re asking someone to help you do everything for you 24-hours a day, the paycheck seems woefully inadequate. Why should I, just one person, deserve so much when I put in so little?

In retrospect, I have been unworthy of all the resources I have claimed throughout my life, and I am left with the accompanying guilt. If I had only accepted my fate as a quadriplegic back in 1986 and merely let the government pay for my paralysis by staying home (with family members or a nursing home), nobody would have been upset with that decision; it would have been accepted as the only viable option. Everyone would have pitied me. But no! I have the support of wonderful family members and friends who embrace my passion for life, my passion for writing, my passion for singing, and, quite frankly, I have inspired a few more people than I’ve disappointed. I have no idea what the future holds, but even if I end up in a nursing home, I will use all my ingenuity to continue writing until my words run dry immediately after my Muse exits from my life. I will, however, sing until I die.

Peace Through Music
_______________________
Φ For sixteen years while I worked as a computer programmer, I lived by myself in a small house on Rosemont Drive; although, my maternal grandmother and her youngest daughter, my wonderful aunt, lived in the house just behind me, and our houses were connected with a baby monitor so that in case of an emergency, say like the need to pull a blanket off my torrid body after becoming miserably warm… or a burglary… or fire… I could easily call out for assistance. My aunt and her faithful dog Ellie Mae (a mutt mostly Golden Retriever) would answer the call… for which I am eternally grateful.
Capitalism vs Communism

It tickles me that some people plangently decry adamant protestations against Communism (Socialism) yet simultaneously laud the ersatz “trickle down” capricious conceit of Capitalism as a god-sanctioned benchmark of success when, in reality, they are so similar as to be virtually identical. Stick with me here.

Communism is an economic theory characterized by collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members. Communism is a beautiful theory, but its implementation failed to take into consideration the all too human impetus towards self-preservation, especially towards the egocentric impulses of arrogant and disdainful condemnation of humanity haughtily deemed inferior. There are some people who acquire power over others mainly through guile. They then use the power to subjugate the factions of society they deem as powerful antagonists who threaten their wealth or they judge them as biologically irrelevant. People in power are blinded by emotion and hubristically claim superiority over everybody else so that after they amass power from the previous government, they conveniently fail to relinquish the power they were conferred by the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, and they then use this power to wield control over them.

Capitalism is an economic theory characterized by private or corporate ownership in the production and distribution of goods and services. It also theorizes that its development is proportional to the acquisition of profits and its equilateral reinvestment between expenditures and profit sharing. Currently, Capitalism is propagandizing the idolization of the “trickle down” fantasy of wealth distribution, which plangently claims that if we give the über wealthy more money, they will gladly share it. This is a beautiful theory, but it fails to take into consideration the all too human impetus towards self-preservation, especially towards the egocentric impulses of arrogant and disdainful condemnation of humanity haughtily deemed inferior. There are some people who acquire power over others mainly through guile. They then use the power to subjugate the factions of society they deem powerful antagonists or irrelevant. People in power are blinded by emotion and hubristically claim superiority over everybody else so that after they amass power from a somnolent society they then use this power to wield control over them.

Seems that the people who blindly acquiesce to the expectation of finding terrestrial Utopia (Heaven on Earth) are the ones for whom the excesses of either economic theory (Capitalism or Communism) benefit. Both economic drivers coddle their fallacious individual (or familial) assumptions of intellectual or moral superiority. They then mock the people who are disinterested in absconding with the golden calf of materialistic speciosity, and they feign happiness in their lifestyles that are filled with immoderation and in sexual depravity (including divorce and abortions in aseptic hospitals abroad) as well as an egregious hoarding of many of our planet’s resources. Seems that both economic theories involve a small group of people who exploit a much larger group of people then justify their covetousness with obfuscation of social mores. It’s the paradigm of the division between the haves and the have-nots. So what is the difference between Communism and Capitalism?

Unfortunately, Capitalism has morphed from an economic theory into a malicious political platform that has transmogrified the dream of economic equanimity into a subgenre of fascism but instead of the government’s controlling the purse strings, big business does with emphasis on the bottom line sans human emotion.

Peace Through Music
Flaxen Obsequies

Have you ever watched “Leave It To Beaver”?

It’s not a trick question nor an innuendo; it was a popular television series of the 50s like “Father Knows Best,” “Hazel,” “Dennis the Menace,” etc., a show that overtly propagandized a patriarchal household wherein the male, the father, was the unquestioned head; albeit, he was characterized as a mild-mannered, uxorious man with wisdom and equanimity, yet he was, for all intents and purposes, the despotic ruler of the family; his slippers, newspaper, sweater, and pipe were ready for his enjoyment the second he walked into his house after a long day’s work (for which he was overpaid while it now seems very likely that he sexually assaulted his secretary and berated his subordinates behind their backs to other members of the corporate hierarchy); his submissive wife did the household chores in a black dress and pearls with a perfect coiffure; his submissive children appeared happy and always complied with their father’s wishes. Basically, the man was king of the house; we’ve all heard the aphorism, but it is based on a fantasy, an exaggerated depiction of the ruthless and extravagant megalomania of Caligula (or Donald Trump) wherein the male’s whims were sated whenever he felt any urges. Instant gratification.

This is the ‘meriKKKa that Donald Trump and the GOP want to recrudesce… the fanciful country they want to make great again… without acknowledging the fact that life was not as picturesque for practically everybody else when pasty white men were gods!

I am a witness of patriarchal authority that can be symbolized as a triangle with the white male the sole occupant at the apex, a man who is supported by everyone else’s sacrifice below his lofty status. This has been the model of leadership going back to the bible, an apocryphal book in that nobody knows the original author; few can even interpret the language of the original text nor, in many cases, does anybody know anything about the person or people who translated it, yet the bible has been declared with pomp and circumstance to have been written by an omniscient and omnipotent deity that nobody contemporary has ever seen. How convenient.

White women overwhelmingly supported Trump in the 2016 presidential election, but why? The answer is not too difficult to discern; it goes back to the aforementioned television show “Leave it to Beaver.” White women have been proselytized to remain loyally supplicated to their husbands through a massive propaganda campaign that involved indoctrination through television, the church, and through patriotic coercion. For millennia, women have been molded from birth to adjust their ambitions so that they may find a suitable husband to treat them like the aforementioned antiseptic wife from the mid-twentieth century.

These women married men who may not have been adequate providers in this sense. I, personally, know of a few women who planned their lives following this ridiculous premise; unfortunately, it took many years for them to discover that they, the women, were much more savvy than their husbands. I have a friend who married a military man who retired as a Major. That’s fine, I guess. It is, at very least, average, but I have no doubts that had she been in the military, her perspicacity and wit would have had her retiring as a colonel, possibly a general. What do you do when you find out entirely too late that you married the wrong man… why you voted for a man who promised to return the world back to what you dreamed about as a child instead of altering your dream to suit your own ambitions? Yes, the reason is a simple acquiescence to lassitude… or a draining fatigue.

The GOP is desperately trying to turn back the clock to a time when balding and corpulent white men held almost all the power. Unfortunately, they are, in the words of Prince Hamlet, poised “to bear arms against a sea of troubles and, by opposing, end them.” They are in full body armor, gilded paladins slashing their swords against an advancing sea surge that is overwhelming them, yet they haughtily mock the incoming tide not realizing that just beyond the nearest wave is an azure tsunami that will quell their dreams of racial purity. Let’s face it. There are far more Spanish speaking people in America (north, central, and south) than there are white men. Women are finding their voice. So are the young people, who have witnessed first hand the oppressive nature of the patriarchal system of government that has favored so few for so long.

Matriarchal authority is just off stage and eager to step into the spotlight. Its power is represented by a circle, eternal, neither a beginning nor an end, a continual nurturing instead of division based on specious or illusory bravado. When the U.S. accepts the matriarch as leader, the world will follow… or, more likely, visa versa. Our planet will then be at peace until nefarious intentions bring back Machiavellian illusions that, once again, attempt to favor one faction of society over another.

Peace Through Music
An Apostrophe That Will Interest Only A Few

Although it is generally frowned upon when one gives oneself a nickname, I believe that few would oppose giving oneself a disparaging cognomen. In that sprit, I am thinking about giving myself the nickname Aureate Scribbling Scrivener ; more specifically, I shall punctuate my signature with its accompanying acronym: Russell Allen Taylor, A.S.S.

Admittedly, my writing style is challenging. For me, as the writer, I find the challenge fun. I not only dig my aureate style, but I take pains in developing its distinctive sesquipedal expression. I spend probably too much time searching for a perfect word or phrase, keeping in mind not only lexical awareness but, more importantly, for me, a satisfactory rhythmic influence. I also dig mundane trivia that involves historical linguists. With that in mind, I submit the following for your perusal from my American Heritage Dictionary:

Over the course of the century unique has become the paradigmatic example of the class of terms that do not allow comparison or modification by an adverb of degree such as very, somewhat, or quite. Thus, most grammarians believe that it is incorrect to say that something is very unique or more unique than something else, though phrases such as nearly unique and almost unique are acceptable. In the most recent survey the sentence Her designs are quite unique in today's fashion scene was unacceptable to 80 percent of the Usage Panel.

Critical objections to the comparison and degree modification of absolute terms date to the 18th century and have been applied to a wide group of adjectives including equal, fatal, omnipotent, parallel, perfect, and unanimous. According to the standard argument, such words denote properties that a thing either does or does not have but cannot have to a qualifiable degree. Thus if unique is properly used to mean “without equal or equivalent,” something either is unique or it isn't, and phrases such as very unique and more unique can only betray a weakening of the sense to mean something like “unusual” or “distinctive.”

It is true that comparison and modification of unique are often associated with the style favored by copywriters, as in the advertisement announcing that Omaha's most unique restaurant is now even more unique or in the claim that a new automobile is So unique, it's patented. But modification of unique is also found in the work of reputable writers, where it may lack any connotations of hyperbole. A painting is described as the most unique of Beckman's self-portraits, and a travel writer states that Chicago is no less unique an American city than New York or San Francisco.

The relative acceptability of these usages reflects the semantic subtlety of unique itself. If we were to use unique only according to the strictest criteria of logic, after all, we might freely apply the term to anything in the world since nothing is wholly equivalent to anything else. Clearly, then, when we say that a restaurant or painting is unique, we mean that it is worthy of inclusion in a class by itself according to certain implicit but generally accepted criteria. Thus a legitimately unique painting might be one that realizes an unparalleled aesthetic vision, but not one that is rendered only in pigments whose names begin with the letter o; and a legitimately unique restaurant might be one that serves 18th-century French cuisine according to the original recipes, not one that has been installed in a converted sardine cannery. Given this understanding, it is not inherently impossible to think of uniqueness as a matter of degree, in the sense that one painting or restaurant may be more or less worthy of inclusion in a class by itself than some other.

What is troubling about the copywriters' use of unique is not that the word has become a synonym for unusual. Rather, it is the copywriters who are using the word in conformity with strict logic. Uniqueness is claimed for a restaurant in virtue of some trivial properties of its decor or menu, or for a resort hotel that simply happens to have a singularly picturesque view of the bay. Though it may be true that such properties render these things logically unique, they do not constitute legitimate distinction.

Also…

The vibrant energy of American English sometimes appears in the use of Latin affixes to create jocular pseudo-Latin “learned” words. There is a precedent for this in the language of Shakespeare, whose plays contain scores of made-up Latinate words. Midland absquatulate has a prefix ab-, “away from,” and a suffix -ate, “to act upon in a specified manner,” affixed to a nonexistent base form -squatul-, probably suggested by squat. Hence the whimsical absquatulate, “to squat away from.” Another such coinage is Northern busticate, which joins bust with -icate by analogy with verbs like medicate. Southern argufy joins argue to a redundant -fy, “to make; cause to become.” These creations are largely confined to regions of the United States where change is slow, and where the 19th-century love for Latinate words and expressions is still manifest. For example, Appalachian speech is characterized by the frequent use of recollect, aggravate, oblige, and other such words.
Traitor Places

Who knew that Donald J[ackanapes] Trump the Kleptocratic Moron™ is an expert on the nascent carbonic genesis of one-third of the divine Christian trilogy… an expert on Jesus’ birth. He is, after all, a “stable genius,” the manic manger manager of misguided mendacity.

I actually feel a bit of sympathy for Trump… in the same way I empathize with Charles Manson, Hitler, Genghis Khan, Susan Smith and the ilk of humanity who have demonstrated behavior that is not conducive to a peaceful, harmonic, and diverse existence between the disparate social elements that populate our planet: What chemical, electrical, or magnetic stimuli influenced the corporeal, psychometric, psychosocial, and orgone gestalten of these people to encourage actions that appear unconscionable to the mores of the society they represent? Quite simply, what makes these people and people like them act in ways that endanger the lives of others with such efficacy that their termination from society is the most utilitarian precipitate?

Donald Trump must be the loneliest man on the planet, but his solitude is catalyzed through his own tangible and ethereal prodigality; it is the physiological and psychological makeup of his quintessence that silently and irrefutably coerces his action-center to focus exclusively on his id, the totally unconscious section of the human psyche that serves as the instinctual impulse that demands the immediate gratification of primitive needs (nonindustrial, often tribal culture characterized by a low level of economic sophistication… Can that be why he’s filed for bankruptcy multiple times ?).

Let’s face it, the man is a braggart who claims to be a soi-disant “stable genius” with “the best words; I know the best words”; a man who has pretended to be someone else when lauding his own self-perceived mental acuity, more specifically an unmatched business acumen that has been conveniently bestowed upon him by meretriciously divine patronage, which gives him, gratis, the perquisite (something claimed as an exclusive right) to claim a solitary cult-approved victory over the status quo by claiming to be an outsider who will “drain the swamp” of governmental corruption by replacing career politicians and diplomats with calloused business barons who view the bottom line of relentless economic growth with no empathy to the assets (human and capital) that had been necessary in the recent past despite their having actively participated in the events and activities that led to the accumulation, knowledge, and skill that, in turn, earned corporate profits, which failed to trickle down to the lower rungs of the corporate ladder. (CEO’s income has increased much more lucratively while proletarian and bourgeois wages have remained comparably stagnant.) This calloused downsizing of equipment is necessary, but to treat humanity similarly lacks pity and compassion. It is euthanasia but without human volition… which is murder.

Donald Trump has been a megalomaniacal person his entire life. He has married thrice really attractive women but has demanded peremptory assurances that limit distaff freedoms of speech in the aftermath of a marital severance that seems to be a foregone conclusion before the covenant of marriage loosely binds one party member more restrictively than her masculine counterpart; Trump is being sued by multiple women who claim to have shared coital energy with him despite his marriage vows to each of his three wives; Donald Trump has penetrated the pudendal barbican of an adult film star; it would surprise no one if Dumpty’s “locker room” banter brags about exploiting more women into sexual liaisons than Wilt Chamberlain… yet he is still not happy. The dude incessantly pouts about the White House, wandering halls in solitude, trying to find anyone who will praise him as his support teams earnestly plans for ways to avoid his presence. Although she lacks inner beauty, Dumpty’s wife has purchased surplus silicon pulchritude, but that relationship is about as loving as the Menendez brothers’ to their parents. How can Trump’s life be emulous to anyone?

Yet it is.

Peace Through Music
Jazz is Diversity

Change is coming (a change that is “blowing in the wind,” baby!), and this is why the emotionally malleable people who dig the status quo are anxious. Diversity! Every form of media has it, and it has surreptitiously slipped into communities across the nation. I am only fifty-four years old, but I can tell you that back in the 70s, an epoch that current history depicts as a time of rock-n-roll (especially, for me, Led Zeppelin), peace, love, harmony, hippies, the indigenous American Indian’s‡‡ crying at the corporate poisoning of Mother Earth, Coca-Cola’s wanting to “teach the world to sing,” bell bottoms, the Muppet Show, the cheesiness of “Happy Days,” “Mork & Mindy,” and “Johnny Carson,” and it was a golden age… for white people.

Just down the street from my house, maybe four or five blocks away, was a disenfranchised neighborhood populated by carbon-based entities with a more swarthy hue who had a host of problems I never knew existed. How could I? I was too busy watching a caucasian alien from the planet Orc trying to explain-ian (communicate) to his home planet about achromatic human matters that highlight the cultural insouciance of our individual path’s to the paradigm terrestrial possibility while almost anticipatoreally [sic]¥ succumbing to the unconscious consumption of planetary resources via the porcine populated spacecraft piloted by “Pigs in Space.”

The darker-hued people in this under-represented neighborhood had it bad. Hell, Apartheid was extant, and I was as clueless as a kid raised during the distractions of 70s could be. Hell, Jimi Hedricks was the coolest mother-fucker on the planet. This was my only reference to Afro-centric sensibilities, and it was way cooler than Fonzi, even though Fonzi, in the mind of a kid who lusted after both Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith, was way cooler than Elvis. (As an aside: my admiration for Elvis, the Beatles, and the Bee Ges has increased as I gain life experience.) The inequality in the sharing of planetary resources was extant during the 70s, but it was shielded from my white world. That’s what made shows like “All in the Family,” “Sanford and Son,” and “Good Times” as effective as “dy-nooooo-mite!”

Although assuaged so that the message of social inequity could be more easily digestible for the faction of society able to process the veracity of this injustice, of which we paste-fleshy participants were indirectly culpable, the shows were popular, although televisual [sic]¥ choices were limited to the three major networks ABC, CBS, and NBC and to the public broadcasting networks that could not be accessed during inclement weather or unless one adjusted the wire hanger from the closet that was used after the original antennae broke to get better video reception. Fact is, media helped disseminate the message of inequality to the mass of humanity who watched it. The seeds were planted.

The mature population was unimpressed, but it was these media programs that cultivated the youth into thinking about a worldview that extended beyond their limited periphery. The moiety of my existence was the walking distance to the neighborhood Sing convenience store, the outermost boundary of my universe until the seventh grade when I was allowed to walk just less than a mile to Rothschild Junior High… and, no, I never walked barefoot in the snow uphill both ways across steep ravines and craggy precipices; in fact, I only walked to school the one year in seventh grade (1975-76);§ until then, I rode a bus, but, keep in mind, segregation, in Columbus, Georgia, began around 1970, and, at least in west-central Georgia, racial tensions were as taut as my anal sphincter whenever I hear Donald Trump’s speaking extemporaneously. Again, the racial tension was, in my mind, strained and reinforced by the seclusion of my personal milieu. These atrocities only occurred in a distant land far, far away.

Back in the ‘70s, one would never have seen an advertisement in which a bi-racial couple would kiss; in which two dudes might be an intimate couple and nobody gave a shit; in which two women might be a couple… (oddly, that one didn’t bother quite as many “Christian conservatives” as two dudes’ kissing…); in which a more voluptuous woman was in any form of entertainment save as comic relief; transgender people and the rest of the LGBT community weren’t even acknowledged as… ANYTHING. There was no Internet. There were no cell phones. People had to be in the same room as the phone to talk to anyone, and the phone never moved; the “mobile” phone was the phone that had the thirty-foot extendable cord that would allow its user a limited area around which to roam.

People were more secluded, and events outside disparate communities—even horrific, social concerns wherein a bully invariably and violently molests another more vulnerable human—were totally ignored. (Whether this was unconscious apathy or culpable volition is kindling for a separate fireside chat.) Currently, racial, spiritual, intellectual, physical, and emotional inclusion is ubiquitous in society, especially within the manipulative world of Capitalistic propaganda, i.e. advertising for resource consumption. Diversity. Isn’t it great?

And that’s the problem for conservatives who have, traditionally, partitioned nearly all aspects of quotidian existence into manageable constituent elements. For generations, compartmentalization has defined the ontology of hardworking emotionally sensitive people who feel slighted for not being urbane (which they are coerced into believing makes one weak), but this troglodytic insularity—a philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of individual existence, which stresses freedom of choice and is responsible for the consequences of one’s actions—has been obliterated, and it’s been the illusion of control that has nostalgically importuned the predetermined conclusion that life had been more tranquil “in the past,” in the mindset that there is an assiduously defined place designated for everything (including intangible elements like religious, economic, and social dogma) and that everything is (arbitrarily) in its own place… everything “seems” to be controlled back when they “felt” safe; although, the social zeitgeist in the harmony of the past that they so adamantly presume veracious (possibly without malice) never provided the same comforting social security for other human beings who may have looked dissimilar or who failed to culturally express their personal pursuits of happiness similarly.

For conservatives, individuality has usurped all communal utilitarian significance even, unfortunately, when it ignores destructive “acts of God” that haunt the “deplorably poor” citizens who are unable to excessively exploit the privileges of Capitalism, pitiable people like the children being ripped from mammary salubrity or the Puerto Rican victims of hurricane Maria, acts that seemingly connote that humanity is as influential as a god; a form of megalomaniacal ego-assuaging mindset that allows individuals to arrogantly believe they can control what a woman can do with her own body; a cultic belief that dragoons one to pay taxes for an illegal, preemptive, aggressive military conflict against a sovereign nation, a poorly planned war-like mission that murders civilians; a faith that allows a minority to restrict birth control for poor women while simultaneously using tax money making possible the turgid coital-influenced intentions of corpulent men in rippling flaccid skin to dream of and actuate carnal indulgences with nubile nymphs of tensile pleasure or… well, you get the picture.

The media has been influential in the advancement of social evolution that has insidiously attenuated the exclusive and domineering patriarchal influence of virile men that has been the modus operandi for last few millennia, but it is being replaced with the matriarchal influence of nurturing inclusion. Contemporary advertising is effective propaganda that embraces social diversity; the mature population is unimpressed, but the youth are listening, a future generation of progressive thinkers who “will learn much more than I will ever know, and I think to myself, ‘What a wonderful world.’ ”

_____________________
‡‡ Super hero
¥ This word doesn’t exist in the current lexicon, but I like the way it sounds.
§ I do remember walking to school and the digital thermometer displayed by a bank near the school read 17º F, which probably amuses anybody from Fargo, ND.

Peace Through Music





  • Ad·le·ri·an (²d-lîr“¶-…n) adj. Of, relating to, or being a psychological school based on the belief that behavior arises in subconscious efforts to compensate for inferiority or deficiency and that neurosis results from overcompensation. [After Alfred Adler.]
  • an·a·cli·sis (²n”…-klº“s¹s, …-n²k“l¹-) n. Psychological dependence on others. [Greek anaklisis, a leaning back, from anaklinein, to lean on : ana-, on-; see ANA- + klinein, to lean; see klei- below.] --ana·clitic (-kl¹t“¹k) adj.
  • ap·pa·nage also ap·a·nage (²p“…-n¹j) n. 1. A source of revenue, such as land, given by a sovereign for the maintenance of a member of the ruling family. 2. Something extra offered to or claimed by a party as due; a perquisite: The leaders of the opposition party agreed to accept another government's appanages, and in doing so became an officially paid agency of a foreign power. 3. A rightful or customary accompaniment or adjunct. [French apanage, from Old French, from apaner, to make provisions for, possibly from Medieval Latin app³n³re : Latin ad-, ad- + Latin p³nis, bread; see p³- below.]
  • bar·bi·can (bär“b¹-k…n) n. A tower or other fortification on the approach to a castle or town, especially one at a gate or drawbridge.
  • bi·o·psy·chic (bº”½-sº“k¹k) adj. 1. Having to do with the relationship between psychological and biological phenomena. 2. Involving both psychological and biological phenomena.
  • boob·oi·sie (b›b”wä-z¶“) n. A class of people regarded as stupid and gullible. [boob + (bourge)oisie.]
  • er·satz (µr“zäts”, µr-zäts“) adj. Being an imitation or a substitute, usually an inferior one; artificial: ersatz coffee made mostly of chicory. See Synonyms at  artificial. [German, replacement, from ersetzen, to replace, from Old High German irsezzan : ir-, out; see ud- below + sezzan, to set; see sed- below.] --ersatz n.
  • fa·vor·it·ism (f³“v…r-¹-t¹z”…m, f³v“r¹-) n. 1. A display of partiality toward a favored person or group. 2. The state of being held in special favor.
  • ge·stalt or Ge·stalt (g…-shtält“, -shtôlt“, -stält“, -stôlt“) n., pl. ge·stalts or ge·stalt·en (-shtält“n, -shtôlt“n, -stält“n, -stôlt“n). A physical, biological, psychological, or symbolic configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that its properties cannot be derived from a simple summation of its parts. [German, shape, from Middle High German, from past participle of stellen, to place, from Old High German. See stel- below.]
  • Gib·ran (j…-brän“), (Gibran) Kahlil. 1883-1931. Syrian-born American mystic poet and painter best known for The Prophet (1923), a vivid description of his philosophy of redemption through love.
  • ne plus ul·tra (n¶” pl¾s ¾l“tr…, n³” pl‹s ‹l“trä) n. 1. The highest point, as of excellence or achievement; the ultimate. 2. The most profound degree, as of a condition or quality. [Latin n¶ pl¿s ultr³, (go) no more beyond (this point) : , no + pl¿s, more + ultr³, beyond.]
  • or·gone (ôr“g½n) n. A theoretical universal life force emanating from all organic material that purportedly can be captured with a boothlike device and used to restore psychological well-being. [Probably : org(anism) + -one.]
  • pawl (pôl) n. A hinged or pivoted device adapted to fit into a notch of a ratchet wheel to impart forward motion or prevent backward motion. [Probably from Dutch pal, from Latin p³lus, stake. See pag- below.]
  • pro·te·an (pr½“t¶-…n, pr½-t¶“-) adj. 1. Readily taking on varied shapes, forms, or meanings. 2. Exhibiting considerable variety or diversity: “He loved to show off his protean talent” (William A. Henry III). [From Proteus.]
  • qui·es·cent (kw¶-µs“…nt, kwº-) adj. Being quiet, still, or at rest; inactive. See Synonyms at  latent. [Latin qui¶sc¶ns, qui¶scent-, present participle of qui¶scere, to rest, from qui¶s, quiet. See QUIET.] --qui·escence n. --qui·escent·ly adv.
  • quis·ling (kw¹z“l¹ng) n. A traitor who serves as the puppet of the enemy occupying his or her country. [After Vidkun Quisling (1887-1945), head of Norway's government during the Nazi occupation (1940-1945).]
  • re·cru·desce (r¶”kr›-dµs“) intr.v. re·cru·desced, re·cru·desc·ing, re·cru·desc·es. To break out anew or come into renewed activity, as after a period of quiescence. See Synonyms at  return. [Latin recr¿d¶scere, to grow raw again : re-, re- + cr¿d¶scere, to get worse (from cr¿dus, raw; see kreu- below).] --recru·descence n. --recru·descent adj.
  • ux·o·ri·ous (¾k-sôr“¶-…s, -s½r“-, ¾g-zôr“-, -z½r“-) adj. Excessively submissive or devoted to one's wife. [From Latin ux½rius, from uxor, ux½r-, wife.] --ux·ori·ous·ly adv. --ux·ori·ous·ness n.
  • yellow journalism n. Journalism that exploits, distorts, or exaggeates the news to create sensations and attract readers. [From the use of yellow ink in printing “Yellow Kid,” a cartoon strip in the New York World, a newspaper noted for sensationalism.]

My Definitions
  • pre·dicta·ble (adjective): anything that Sarah Huckabee Sanders says during a press conference concerning the quisling who usurped the presidency of the U.S.
Make Concert Stages Accessible
The next time you go see a live musical group, check out the stage. Does it have a wheelchair ramp leading from the audience to the stage or are their steps? Is there a wheelchair ramp backstage? Is there handicapped parking where the performers load and unload? Chances are that the venue doesn’t provide these accommodations. It’s like this: my biggest challenge as a quadriplegic jazz vocalist is finding accessible stages on which to perform. I was once raised up to a five-foot high stage using a forklift and a wooden palette because the stage was not wheelchair accessible. Fortunately, I didn’t die. Point is that there are
few wheelchair accessible stages; otherwise, I’d sing much more often.

It’s easy to see why this isn’t a mainstream problem: there are few “physically challenged” performers, but that’s merely an excuse encouraged by indifference. We handicapped performers exist and are eager to share our dreams with fans who dig what we do. But why are we unconsciously ignored? That’s easy: Being unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living is a major downer; the wheelchair, quite frankly, is a symbol of lost hope. Let’s face it; it’s a marketing problem, and this is where you come in to save the day.

Physical handicaps are wrapped in lugubrious imagery, but not every moment of life in a wheelchair is steeped in mournful decay. Believe it or not, I laugh every day… some days more than others, but if life were perfect, I, for one, would take a bite of forbidden fruit to find some excitement from the decay of entropy (the hypothetical tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity). What I’m trying so desperately to connote here is the fact that having a physical challenge can, at times, be fun and inspirational. What we need is positive imagery, and here’s where I ask for a favor from you, dear reader, and it has to do with social media, more specifically, using the ubiquitous #hashtag: will you help by coming up with a #hashtag meme that has positive connotations for the handicapped and send it to me. This could be fun. Maybe I can come up with prizes for creative contributions. Regardless, this could be the beginning of a social movement that witnesses an outcry of creative energy by talented people who have difficulty overcoming the obstacles that are hidden from people who can hop out of bed running full tilt. By the way, I’ve come up with a possible #hashtag meme that might work: #FantastAbility. What do you think?

The gauntlet has been dropped. Do you accept the challenge? Please reply to this email with as many suggestions as you want, and challenge your friends as well. Let’s see if we can extend this conversation internationally. (Actually, when you send in your suggestions, include the name of your hometown city. We’ll see how far this request goes.) Let’s make the wheelchair a symbol of fun… or grace… or intelligence… or, dare I say it? Let’s make the wheelchair Sexy!



Jazz Etiquette 
There are few absolutes in life, but this is a definite one: do not stand in front of the bandstand playing air guitar, air trumpet, air bass, or air drums. This activity irritates the musicians. It is disrespectful to both musicians and fellow listeners. It also makes the air player look like... well, there's really no need to spell this one out. Please, save those air moves for the National Air Guitar Championships held annually in Las Vegas.

In today’s society, texting is as ubiquitous as sunshine is to day. Please, do not text while watching live jazz; if you're not into the performance, leave. Along the same line, turn off the cell phone. If you are so important that you cannot miss calls, perhaps you - and everyone else in the audience – would be better served if you did not go to hear live music. If you'd get upset watching somebody else do it then it's wrong for you, too.

Try not to get up and walk out in the middle of a song. It is rude, akin to walking away from someone who is speaking directly to you. Likewise, please refrain from talking during the music. No one came out to hear about your day. More often than not, other audience members came to hear the music.

Most jazz musicians and seasoned listeners will agree that it is acceptable to clap after the solos that each musician takes. However, it is a good idea to keep this applause to an enthusiastic minimum because the next musician usually has already well begun her solo. By the time the claps and cheers fade, the audience has missed a good section of the next solo. Be a good listener. Learn to notice the interaction amongst musicians on stage. An understanding of their communication with each other will help novice listeners, and those not familiar with the song, to learn when the song has ended. Clap, cheer, whistle, or shout, after the last notes of the song are played, not during.

The most important rule of etiquette when it comes to live jazz deals with the type of common sense your grandmother believes you possess: be respectful. Other than that, have fun. Jazz is inclusive and strongly embraces peaceful harmony. It is the type of music that demands active listening to maximize the musical experience to its most positive conclusion. If you have an uncontrollable urge to get aggressively plastered, go listen to a more kitsch musical performance. Hardly anyone there will notice.

Peace Through Music


Interesting Blogs and Websites by Interesting People

  • A Blog by Dallas Smith
  • A Blog by Susan E. Mazer
  • Collaborating since 1984, Susan E. Mazer and Dallas Smith create some of the finest contemporary instrumental music available. Our compositions for harp and woodwinds merge the aesthetics of jazz, classical, and world music into an experience that feeds both the intellect and spirit. Extending beyond the boundaries of genre, our unique sound has a richness in melody, rhythm and sonority. Visit their website by clicking here.
  • Now available in more than 750 healthcare facilities in the U.S. and Asia, The C.A.R.E. Channel’s stunning nature video and original instrumental music provide a therapeutic tool for use at the patient bedside, waiting areas, and public spaces in acute care hospitals, residential care facilities, hospice/palliative care units, cancer centers, children’s hospitals, and rehabilitation centers.
  • The Rude Pundit - Proudly lowering the level of political discourse.
  • Randy Hoexter is a jazz pianist, composer and educator living in Atlanta. He is currently the Director of Education at the Atlanta Institute of Music. His recent release, “Fromage” Featuring bassist Jimmy Haslip, Drummer Dave Weckl, and the finest of Atlanta jazz musicians has been receiving rave reviews. His previous recording “Radiant” with Mike Stern, Dave Weckl and more, also received critical acclaim.
  • Jimmy Haslip  World-renowned bassist
  • Sam Skelton  Saxophone/woodwind virtuoso and educator
  • Trey Wright  Gifted guitarist and composer
  • Kit Chatham  Brilliant percussionist and drummer
  • Carl Culpepper Virtuoso guitarist and educator
  • Jazz Evangelist Great jazz blog and reviews.
  • Wonderful freelance writer Candice Dyer.

Weekly Area Jams
Eighth and Rail
Every Tuesday 7 - 10 pm CT
The Eighth and Rail in historical downtown Opelika, Alabama is the venue for a wildly groovy weekly jazz jam as hosted by the Jane Drake Jazz Band. It's a cozy celebration of life that has become a buzzing collection of jazz-loving fanatics gathered together in a coterie of peaceful, fun-loving positive energy. I am downright proud as a peacock with enhanced LED-flashing feathers to participate in the jam on a regular basis, and I really love it! Proprietor Mike Patterson makes the wonderful sushi and Miss Tiffany keeps the affable atmosphere at a lovely level of emotive satisfaction. Plus... they serve an awesome cheesecake that'll make you wanna slap yourself so hard as to tell horrific knock-knock jokes to mimes. No lie. We have really talented musicians come in from the bi-state area: Auburn, Montgomery, Tuskegee, Columbus, LaGrange, Fort Valley, et al. The jam begins at 7 pm and ends at 10 pm CT. Hopefully, I'll see you there.

Eighth and Rail
Venkman's Jazz Jam
Every Tuesday starting at 8 pm ET
Venkman's is a nightclub in Atlanta , a venue that Joe Gransden uses for his weekly jazz jam. This is where the Who's Who of the Atlanta Jazz Scene come together to dazzle us mortals. It's free and starts at 8 pm ET. Fo' mo' info, click link below. I've participated in this jam a couple of times, and I love it as well. Joe Gransden always welcomes me with a smile that will melt antarctic glaciers in the middle of winter, which, oddly enough, is during June through August... when it's so hot and humid in middle Georgia that my toenails sweat. Nevertheless, Joe's band often includes keyboardist Kenny Banks (sometimes Kevin Bales), drummer Chris Burroughs and bassist Craig Shaw, and these cats kick it. When I find the transportation, I'm going.

Red Light Cafe Jazz Jam
Every Wed at 8 pm ET

I have not been to the weekly jazz jam at Red Light Cafe, but it is hosted by the Gordon Vernick Quartet, and I am a huge fan of Gordon's, so I'm planning to go soon, and when I do... Ha! I'm very likely to get excited. Fo' mo' info, click here .
Apache Cafe in Atlanta
Every Wed at 9:00 ET
Al Smith's Midtown Jam Session @Apache Cafe!  Contemporary Jazz , Soul, R&B vocalists jam Session. Featuring live band led by keyboardist Al Smith! Vocalists are invited to sign the list and jam with the band, musicians can sit in too... a must attend! Different Dj spinning on the back patio each week! SPECIAL GUEST HOST EVERY WEEK! Doors open at 9pm and list-sign up is at 9pm. Event admission, the day of, at the door, is CASH. Fo' mo' info, click here .
Brin's Wings in Montgomery
Every Wed from 6 to 9:00 CT

Brins Wings in Montgomery presents Coleman Woodson Jr. Jazz Jam from 6-9 CDT. No cover. Fo' mo' info, click here .
La Salle Bleu Piano Bar in Montgomery
Every Wed from 6 to 9:00 CT
Jazz jam La Salle Bleu Piano Bar, 9 until, no cover. Fo' mo' info, click here .
The Suite in Columbus, GA
Every Thursday at 9:00-11:30 ET
Thursday, January 11 from 9-11:30 p, EDT Live Jazz - Big Saxy Thursday, The Chemistry Project Band starting at 9 pm at The Suite Bar and Grill .
Irish Bred Pub in Montgomery
Every Sun at 9:30-12:30 CT
Third Thursday jazz jam session at the Irish Bred Pub Montgomery, 78 Dexter Ave, Montgomery, Alabama 36104, Corner of Dexter Ave and Perry St, 3 blocks from Capitol. Fo' mo' info, click here .
1048 Club in Montgomery
Every Sun at 9:30-12:30 CT

The 1048 Cafe is in Montgomery, AL. The weekly Jazz Jam led by Sam Williams, 9 pm CDT, $5 cover. I don't really know that much about it, but the 1048 has a jazz jam every Sunday from 9ish 'til whenever. Apparently the jam draws some incredible musicians. Fo' mo' info, click here .
The Suite in Columbus, GA
Every Sun from 6:00-11:30 ET
Michael Johnson and the Silent Threat Band plays at The Suite in Columbus, GA from 6-11:30 pm ET at The Suite Bar & Grill, 5300 Sidney Simons Blvd. Fo' mo' info 'bout the band, click here .
Piccolo's Lounge, Auburn

It's not a jam, but the Piccolo lounge offers a comfortable, clubby environment. Leather club chairs, a cozy fireplace and comfy banquettes serve as a relaxing getaway. Enjoy a single malt scotch and relax and unwind from a hectic day or meet friends to hear live jazz every Friday and Saturday night, of non-home football game weekends. Fo' mo' info, click here .
Smiley Face Bolt
A Little Lunch Music
at Jule Collins Smith Museum, Auburn University
On Thursdays at Noon, make a lunch date with our region’s finest musicians. A Little Lunch Music is an informal, come-and-go performance presented by JCSM and coordinated by musician Patrick McCurry. You can sit in and listen to the entire performance, dine in the Museum Cafe from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT, browse the Museum Shop or explore the galleries.
For more info, click here.

NOTE - A Little Lunch Music is on Summer hiatus.
Videos of the Month

  • The first video has beautiful scenes of our home planet against the musical background of The Pat Metheny Group's song "The Awakening" from their album Imaginary Day.

  • The second video is when Dick Cavett interviews Miles Davis in 1986.

  • What I really dig about the third video (other than the fact that 'Wonder Over Yonder' is one of my all-time most favorite cartoons in all the land) is that the antagonist, Lord Hater, 'hates great; best villain,' reminds me of our nation's 45th president in that he's a cowardly bully who lacks self-confidence.
Lyrics


The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

The first time, ever I saw your face,
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and the stars
Were the gifts you gave
To the dark, and the endless sky.

The first time, ever I kissed your mouth,
I felt the earth move in my hands
Like the trembling heart
Of a captive bird
That was there, at my command
My love.

The first time, ever I lay with you,
I felt your heart so close to mine,
And I knew our joy would fill the earth
And last 'til the end of time
My Love.

The first time, ever I saw your face.

By Ewan Macoll and Peggy Seegar
Fo' mo' info about the song, click here .
Jazz Association of Macon
We Promote Jazz in Macon
and Middle Georgia
Our purpose is to:

Encourage and support creation, presentation, and preservation of jazz music.
Support the creation of new audiences for jazz music.
Provide education and information about jazz.
Encourage young musicians to learn and appreciate jazz.
Develop a network among local and regional jazz advocates.
Increase awareness of jazz events and musicians in our community.

To read their blog, click here .
Area Musicians
Actually, this is a link to a page of my personal website, but it makes it much easier t maintain. It is a dynamic list of area musicians that will, hopefully, be continually updated until I can no longer do it. If you are a musician who is not listed or you are listed but with invalid info, please let me know, and I'll make the appropriate revisions. Thank you, and click here to visit the link.
High Museum of Art: Atlanta Jazz
Live jazz in the Robinson Atrium at the Atlanta High Museum of Art every 3rd Friday of the month. Fo' mo' info, click here .
On-line Radio
  • WCUG 88.5 Cougar Radio - Columbus State University.
  • KUNR 88.7 Reno, Nevada.
  • KNCJ 89.5 Reno, Nevado.
  • Saturday Night Jazz hosted by Scot Marshall and Dallas Smith (Columbus, GA native) - Scot and Dallas bring their rich musical experiences together in "Saturday Night Jazz" to feature music which ranges from the latest releases to jazz classics and occasional recordings by local artists, as well as announcements of upcoming local jazz events in the Reno-Tahoe area. "Saturday Night Jazz" is supported by the Reno Jazz Orchestra and For the Love of Jazz. Dallas' program airs on KUNR (kunr.org) from 10pm-12am PST/1am-3am EST. The 9pm-1pm EST broadcast is on KNCJ (streaming via the kunr.orgwebsite).
  • WCLK 99.1 Atlanta's Jazz Station, Clark Atlanta University.
  • Adore Jazz - Adore Jazz makes listeners relax, feel, think and smile through listening to the finest vocal jazz.
  • WTSU 88.9 Troy State University - Ray Murray's Jazz Radio Show Saturday nights at 10 pm Central Time.
  • WVAS 90.7 Montgomery - Jazz, Blues, News, and views.
Jazz Matters @ The Wren's Project
Preserving a musical culture, tradition & Art Form
 
Jazz Matters , Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that believes Jazz Matters, because music matters.  Jazz is America's only original art form and this national treasure was created by African Americans.

It is our vision to Preserve a Musical Culture, Tradition & Art Form by:
  • educating & developing new audiences;
  • inspiring new Jazz artists; and
  • providing a forum for artists to perform and perfect their craft

Peace Through Music
Valediction
And now, the time has come for us to face the final curtain... at least until next month. So much is happening in our country; the news cycle seems to bring an endless barrage of discouraging information concerning the current administration of DJ Trump, who is either really doltish or he has a physical anomaly that negatively affects his cognitive competence. Neither excuse is acceptable, but at least I can salve my nerves with jazz music and by writing pejorative commentary about the hypocrisy and the prodigal behavior of the grand ol' party that had, for decades, decried an illusory relationship with the middle- and low-classes of society who they invariably dupe into accepting their maliciously unconscionable behavior. I don't know if music calms the savage beast or breast, but it surely calms my nerves after our president tweets something that sends my digestive tract into a frenzy.

I have a strong feeling that Robert Mueller's investigation is going deep into the GOP's darkest secrets to reveal the obvious: that they've never cared for anything but self-preservation; they don't have any moral obligation, merely obfuscatory rhetoric to addle voters who have been coerced into believing that our nation owes them special privileges that they, themselves, would deny others--who are much more needy of assistance--by verbally cudgeling them with accusations of incivility. It will not surprise me if the investigation uncovers Russian influence in the 2000 election of George W[ar Criminal] Bush, who also lost the popular vote. Who knows, it may, hopefully, tarnish the legacy of Reagan, who perfected the Southern Strategy that has formed the GOP mindset for decades.

If a progressive agenda is realized after the 2018 mid-term elections, a lasting peace will be realized; otherwise, our Democracy will be lost, and I will die soon after because my quadriplegia is a pre-existing medical condition. I ain't worried, though. I believe in that U.S. citizens will make the right decision... ultimately.

Peace Through Music
Donate

If you can afford it, and you think this newsletter worthy, please send a $5, $10, or $20 check or money order to:

The Jazzinian FUN’d Drive
962 Washington Road
Hamilton, Georgia 31811

It ain’t that I’m a Luddite, it’s just that I don’t know how to add a donate button that auto-magically-electronically transfers funds into my banking account. Besides, “the man” always seems to have his too-large-to-fail hand reaching out, palm upwards, in anticipation of remuneration he doesn’t deserve, fees he assesses for banking services rendered electronically via a computer application written by an underpaid intern. I guess, in a sense, I am more like Ned Ludd, the English laborer who was supposed to have destroyed weaving machinery around 1779 because he felt that technology would destroy employment for the laborer, except that I won’t physically destroy anything… other than, perhaps, the practice of usury; I merely want the practice of charging interest on loans to die of entropy. So, I reckon that I am a Luddite in that I believe in moderation and that humanity thrives when the mind and body are engaged instead of when one uses her wit to absquatulate with unjustified and excessive wealth, especially when she’s done so little to earn it.

I currently pay out $20/month to use Constant Contact to publish this weekly newsletter. If I could, I’d earn the money by singing, but my options are limited to accessible stages, which are not very common at all, and there aren’t many stages exclusively for jazz. Jazz is only granted a small piece of the pie… but it’s my passion. Seems like my only concert options are The Loft in Columbus, GA and Eighth and Rail in Opelika, AL; although, in Opelika I use a portable ramp to get onstage; one does what one has to do. When I sing at Venkman’s jazz jam, the soundman brings the microphone to my table, but I’d love to be on stage. How else can I perfect my secondary ambition to be a standup comedian. Incidentally, I currently take a sleeping pill because one of the side effects is somnambulation, but I’m still waiting to awaken ambulating.

I also have ambitions to sing onstage with my friend Ted McVay whom I’ve known forty years. We have a unique sound that, I believe, can and will be appreciated by a wider audience. We harmonize really well together, and the songs he writes are creative, witty, poignant, and fun to sing. Once we get a bit o’ steam, we’re bound to be a formidable, creative musical energy, positive, peaceful, loving. I will then, hopefully, make enough dough to overpay the people I need to assist me in acts of daily living. My family has already done so much for me and need a break. Thirty-two years is an awful long burden… thirty-three this April 18. ‘Til then, if you are able to comfortably part ways with a few bucks, I sure could use it.
Social Media Experiment

In an ignorant attempt to exploit social media to expand my personal fan base, I've created this section to list hashtags and other metadata that might auto-magically give more access to the newsletter I write. Hope it works.

#Wheelchairistacracy #SouthernStrategy #QuestForBest #GroovicusMaximus #FantastAbility #WheelChairistotle #SCI #Handicapplication #Impairistotle #MuscoviteMarionette #BlackLivesMatter 
#Wheelcherry #RudePundit #MakeStagesAccessible 

@SSTJazzVocalist @frangelaDuo @JoeGransden @AtlantaMagazine @VenkmansATL @rudepundit @MalcolmNance @EricBoehlert @CharlesPPierce @StephMillerShow @JohnFugelsang @Thom_Hartmann @anniesellick  @TheRealTBone