Election Day should not be so stressful. I suppose it always has been to a degree, but there’s a new and unwelcome element of real fear involved this year, I believe on both sides, which itself should give us pause. I don’t know if it’s foreign interference, media fragmentation, poor education, racism, classism, confirmation bias, or what – actually, I think it’s all of those things and more. But it’s just straight up WRONG that so many Americans have declared the other half of us to be actual enemies. We can sum it up with “united we stand, divided we fall”, but I think that’s too simple. America faces a multitude of existential challenges right now – the pandemic, a cratering environment, rising foreign competitors, it goes on and on – and we face all of these things at a moment when we are stupidly, selfishly divided. It doesn’t have to be this way.
I have been as guilty as anyone of being determinedly, doggedly, stubbornly rigid in my beliefs, and dismissive of those who disagree. I’m not saying I’m compromising my notions about what’s right and what’s wrong, but I AM saying that I have done a poor job of considering political positions that don’t align with my own. I have not been a good listener. And no matter what happens tonight, I resolve to do better. Mere hours before this huge election might seem like too little, too late for this to become clear to me – but I believe that America is stronger than any officeholder or momentary trend. 50 years from now, this election will be a footnote in a history book. Right now, we get to start writing the next 50 years, and it’s going to take ALL of us becoming better listeners – and to consider our fellow Americans countrymen above competitors, no matter their persuasion.
We don’t have to agree with each other to understand each other. No matter the outcome tonight, it’s time to start LISTENING. Please join me.
Here’s a great and welcome distraction from election indigestion: Waterloo Records has re-opened!
We can’t tell you how great it was to see all y’all at Stubb’s for our special edition of Blues On The Green! It was a pretty perfect place to do it, and thanks to your cooperation, we may have just arrived at a workable model for live music moving forward. Some shots from the last show with Gina Chavez and Kalu and the Electric Joint, courtesy of Austin360.
Tracy Chapman made her first live TV appearance in several years last night, with a pretty terrific election tune, gotta say.
And finally, today is Adam Ant’s birthday! I only today learned the story of when Adam sought the management of Sex Pistols mastermind Malcolm McLaren, who promptly stole members of the Ants to form the band Bow Wow Wow (who, looking back, had a similar tribal-percussion sort of sound). But you can’t keep a good man down.