Hello friends. 2020, “The Wretched,” is well beyond its halfway point. In November, we citizens of the United States can decide if we want to embrace fear and welcome four more years of chaos and division or try to embrace hope and start to heal a fractured country. I know which one I will choose, because I wake up to a weird, unsettling alien environment every day. Unbelievably, we live in a country whose leader desires the approval of Vladimir “Divide and Conquer” Putin, rather than the population he’s sworn to protect. All Americans would have considered this unthinkable and dangerously crazy at one time; that the “head” of the United States would cozy up to anti-democracy dictators for advice and guidance. But, as it turns out, a lot of folks are just fine with using an obnoxious bully as a weapon against their neighbors. America, and all that makes it unique and special, is falling apart and about 40% of us are cool with continuing in that direction. Too many people are enjoying and encouraging the darkening of their hearts, just like Italy in the 1920s and Germany in the 1930s. Humans have a great capacity to rationalize and ignore and to be led by ego. We’re insecure by nature and also profoundly driven by convenience (bad combination, btw). We don’t like to be hassled because our own lives are MOST important. This is understandable, but it’s also a very low bar, and makes it too easy to see someone else as sub-human. It takes a lot more effort to look outside and put the needs of others ahead of our own because we’re constantly being pulled back to a place where it feels way too comfortable being the worst version of ourselves, eventually preferring hate to love. It’s quite easy to gather a tribe around what you dislike. Complaining and bitching are so simple. By the time we’re 5 or 6 years old, we have ‘em both down. You know, it’s ironic that those who fear and detest the “sub-human” often become the definition of sub-human. Is our collective mindset moving toward kill or be killed? Could be. Life, itself, is a slippery slope. When you combine guns with Jesus anything goes. I wonder if hard-core evangelicals ever ponder how much they have in common with the Taliban. Jeez, Devo was so right. Besides, it’s hard work to not settle for being lowest common denominator. Everyone is aware I love my pets but I also know we people gotta constantly work to be more than animals, more than just eat, drink, sleep, poop and pee, if, for no other reason, so we’ll be capable of taking care of animals. Cats and dogs, without responsible human intervention, can wreck a place pretty fast and not give a damn. They don’t know that the order we provide contributes to their chances of being happy and healthy. Or do they? If we put a stack of clean clothes on the bed in our house, guess where the cats want to sleep. Guess who would rather eat every snack out of a completely clean bowl. Guess who, apparently, would prefer to wait until the litter box is 100% clean. Hmm, okay, my point is sorta floating around a little, but I think you get it. I suppose if all efforts to right our ship fail we should, at least, feel privileged to be alive and witness the collapse of the country. Is that a silver lining?
NOT BAD NEWS. Brave Combo will be performing a real-time, live-streaming concert on Friday, September 4 from the beautiful grand stage at The Levitt Pavilion in Arlington, Texas. The show starts at 8:00 pm (CST). So, please tune in and watch us horse around for a couple of hours. The production will be fantastic, so you can stream us to your 80” TV and crank the volume and pretend you’re about a foot in front of us. If you run out and get a fog machine it will be even better. Did you know you can get a decent fog machine and a gallon of the fog juice of your choice for about $100-125? Add a couple of little lasers and a strobe light and you’re in business. Just a suggestion on how to make time at home more fun. I read that people are getting tired of making sour dough bread and visiting by Zooming, but don’t let it get you down. The novelty of staying at home all the time doesn’t have to wear off yet. Work that brain! Think harder. Get creative! Stay strong. Fighting the virus is our generation’s war and it involves literally everyone. That’s a pretty big event and there are ways to be an active participant in whatever the battle might be, like wearing a mask. At the very least it’s real-life entertainment. We can either cower on the sidelines or jump in the fray. We can either sit on the edge of the pool in fear or learn how to swim. The first step is, of course, to tune in on Friday, September 4 at 8:00pm (CST).
MORE NOT BAD NEWS. Okay, our calendar took a bunch of hits, but some festivals and concerts are still going to happen and new dates are actually being added, with all of the safety measures in effect. All shows will be outside. Some will be drive-in wing-dings, some will have squares or circles to stay within and some will require audience members to fly around with jet packs. So, check our itinerary often.
As I write this it’s 95 degrees outside (feels like 103) and very humid. I’m happy to be in my office and not on the way to Walmart. After this I plan to work on a couple of new videos which may upset some fans and make them leave the Brave Combo universe. If that happens, it’s still a free country for a little while, so I certainly respect your decision to bail and wish you the best. It’s unfortunate political differences are as raw and inflamed as they are, but someone in a position of power doesn’t know anything else and keeps stirring the pot. I’ll just leave you with this question and your answer will tell you all you need to know. Are you more MLK or KKK? Happy trails, everyone.