Hmmm. You know, sometimes I wonder if anyone, including myself, needs to spend too much time expressing his or her point of view about anything anymore. The internet, social media, smartphones, etc. have given everyone a big voice, with some folks desiring and commanding much more attention than they may deserve. If it’s all just 100% self-serving ego-stroking and the numbers indicate you’re reaching a lot of people through connecting grievances, weird and scary things can happen on a large scale. Welcome to the here and now. Several monsters have been created and allowed to run free. You know, Pandora’s stupid box stuff. Or another way of saying it is this. “A bunch of bad children are bullying other children on the playground, and everyone has cameras. Moms and dads are indifferent.” So, here we are, witnessing unbelievable human de-evolution and feeling powerless to change the course. I said months ago, and I’ll say it again, as we’re entering the glorious time of Presidential debates, there is only one question to ask the candidates, “What is YOUR plan for uniting the country?” They would each answer that first, then get on to the trivial stuff. And if they’re gonna engage in typical political cat-fighting, on stage, they need to fight more like cats, with way more paw waving and slapping. And hissing! One of our cats, Betsy, likes to box with the other cats. She has long legs and just starts waving her front ones around like a windmill right in front of Dot, for instance, then Dot starts doing the same, with neither making much contact, just paws flying in circular motions and big alert eyes. It’s a laugh riot! Seriously!
Whatever, there’s just too much of too much of too much. And I regularly wonder if my little drop in the bucket is worth the effort. Or worse, is my drop getting us closer to the dam breaking. I mean, celebrity-worship is what got us into our current mess, right? Everything is an attention-getting PR stunt. All of the social media platforms have just been crash-courses in ME, ME, ME, right? But are we actually celebrating the worst part of humanity? Is all social media, indeed, the Kool-Aid? Why do we need influencers? Isn’t that the opposite of thinking for yourself? Hoo-boy! I have never been drawn to doing things in a conventional way. My mother often told me life was not always gonna be fun and games. Of course, I knew that, but life could also be a perpetual bizarre curiosity. Why can’t I just be fascinated by everything and, in fact, entertained, by everything?
Speaking of being fascinated, have you been checking out the images from the James Webb Telescope and many other incredible new telescopes? If not, why not? They give me a LOT of perspective that I think I need. Simply put, it’s one of the main things that makes Earth seem like a big, dumb playground. All I know is that Putin ain’t shit 100,000 light-years away, but there’s a lot going on out there, which, no surprise, makes Earth look like what it is; a tiny speck! We are all privileged to be alive when, through modern technology and science, we can truly start to see just how vast the universe is. It makes me feel small and insignificant, yet, somehow, it also gives me a sense of peace and strength. It makes me care even more about the lives of animals who are so often harmed or neglected by what we people think we should be doing, because they’re always innocent. We are out of control in so many ways, but I also know we usually think we’re doing the best we can. We can’t even solve problems which are right in front of us every day because we’re so selfishly divided, again, like spoiled little brats. Jeez, our only hope is for some evil alien power to attempt to take over the planet and threaten us all, evenly, at the same time. Maybe we should hope for that. I know kids could get excited about it. If that does happen, the aliens better have some cool ray guns which make AR-15s dissolve in a person’s arms. But, in reality, this would be big fun for all of our country’s angry and frustrated gun-loving citizens to finally get to unleash on something with their private arsenals. You know a lot of folks are just itching to try out their insanely expensive weapons. Right now most of those guns are taunting them, “Come on big boy, you wasted a lot of dough on me. Pull my damn trigger!!” My grandmother used to paint hand grenades. I think I’ve mentioned that before. Okay, there’s my miserable crap to throw on the opinion pile this month, which no one even needs to know. Now onto shameless self-promotion.
Polka season is in full swing and Brave Combo is right in the thick of it. We started as a polka band, you know, and have learned a lot about the genre over the 44 years we’ve been making noise. Most of our polka gigs right now are Oktoberfests, which feature German-style polka music and for most of our shows we have added one of the best tuba players in the country and his first name is also Carl. It’s Carl Kleinsteuber, folks! And our friend, Dave Monsch, who filled in for Jeffrey while he was recovering from back surgery, seems to be digging it and he’s fun to be around, so we also have two woodwinds at this moment. Then there’s Robert on guitar, Alan on drums, and myself doing what I do. The sound we’re making is huge and I think it’s pleasant to hear, as well. You, literally, owe it to yourself to experience this musical glory live. Check our itinerary and make your plans. We are devoted to the power of tension and release and polka is the best at maximizing the energy of such a thing. Some music is all release. No tension. Speed metal is all release. Death metal is all tension. One time we were on a bus full of senior citizens in Sweden and death metal was playing over the sound system in the bus. Everyone seemed cool with it. That music is very popular in Scandinavian countries. I think it’s a Viking thing.
One of our non-polka-geared performances coming up is at The State Fair of Texas on Thursday, October 5. Three hard-hitting sets at convenient times for you. Yee-haw! And I was thinking about us doing a good old-fashioned theremin battle on stage, between Dave and Jeffrey. They each have one and are about equally proficient at it. Would you come to the fair for that? We have a long relationship with the fair and know more about it than we probably should, but it’s, indeed, a hoot and Fletcher’s has vegan corn dogs! Jeez, a theremin battle and a vegan corn dog! What more do you need? Anyway, many years ago we scored and recorded the music for a popular documentary about the fair. It’s called A FAIR TO REMEMBER: THE GREAT STATE FAIR OF TEXAS. It’s by filmmakers Alan and Cynthia Mondell and North Texas PBS giant, KERA, is airing it several times, before and during the run of the fair. Check your local listing if you are in the KERA viewing area. Or check it out online, perhaps, through KERA. Even without our amazing music, the film is excellent and, in some case, shockingly informative.
The three new Tiny Tim tracks will be released soon. You will be amazed at how much you’ll be able to relate to them.
Life is suffering
That’s very clear
So where is hell
If it’s not here
All together now!
Okay, go out and keep making your private hell for yourself, and have fun in the process!