Tom Waschkowski is a musician’s musician who has spent decades performing in rock bands, writing and recording. He has also dedicated many years to producing records for other artists, including for me. I recorded two albums of original songs in Tom’s studio in the early ’80s. In 2014/15, Tom was back in the studio to create A Crow By My Door, a fascinating collection of seven self-penned songs and five covers of the material of others. The CD runs the course from tempestuous to tender, as a variety of Stratford and area musicians contributed their talents to this offering. Featured here is one of Tom’s original songs, Professional Saviour. On the recording, Tom contributes bass, accordion and string arrangements as well as vocals. The CD is available in the Corner Store.
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel once asked his audience if they over noticed that what people say they aren’t, they are. This week, a strong family values guy (and all-round hater) in the U.S. was outed as having an affair with a co-worker.
And this story from the Huffington Post seems to fit right in.
“The former head of Colorado’s Republican Party has been charged with voter fraud just months after he accused Democrats of the same crime. A spokesman for Steve Curtis confirmed the February charges to the Denver Post. Curtis, who ran the party from 1997 to 1999 and now hosts a talk radio show, is also accused of forgery.
“In October, Curtis said on his show that ‘virtually every case of voter fraud I can remember in my lifetime was committed by Democrats.’
“When his ex-wife Kelly went to vote in South Carolina last fall, she was told she had already voted in Colorado. Steve Curtis is the only person in Colorado to have been charged with voter fraud this election. He forged her registration and voted in her name.
“Curtis said during the October segment that he was voting for Donald Trump, who has long claimed that voter fraud is a widespread problem in the U.S., despite ample evidence that suggests otherwise. Earlier this year, the president claimed that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally in the 2016 election, an allegation that he has still not been able to prove.
“Curtis isn’t the only Trump supporter to have been charged with voter fraud. Terri Lynn Rote was arrested in October after she apparently tried to vote twice, the Des Moines Register reported.”
One secret to the success of TV journalist Rachel Maddow is she pays no attention to what politicians and others say. For example, she completely ignores Trump’s infamous tweets. Instead, she concerns herself exclusively with what all these people do. In life, and especially in politics, words are cheaper than the measures in Donald Trump’s proposed budget.
Usually, the only ones who are fooled are those who want to be.
I knew a man who could count to ten
But he couldn’t count to twenty.
“You need more school,” I told my friend.
He told me he’d had plenty.
He couldn’t count as high as me
But one small thing he could do:
He could count his blessings, one by one,
And he told me, “So should you.”
I knew a man who couldn’t read
Or even write his name.
“You need to go to school,” I said.
He said no, thanks all the same.
And while he couldn’t read a book
I noticed something strange.
He could read a man with just one look,
He said, “Try it, for a change.”
I knew a man who never had
Two coins to rub together.
“You should go back to school,” I said.
“Your life sure would be better.”
“My life is fine, just as it is,”
My friend replied to me.
And I knew what he had said was true
‘Cause he never lied to me.
It’s so easy to add up another’s
Good points and his defects,
And calculate his quality
On a scale from sad to perfect.
But I have noticed, through the years,
My calculator’s broken.
A man might not proclaim his worth
But his deeds have been well spoken.
The way young people dress. Baggy pants, torn blue jeans, short skirts, backwards caps, etc. We had bell bottoms, polka dot shirts, bikinis and Speedos. And we invented streaking.
Today’s music. Lots of great stuff out there if we will admit it and open our ears. Adele, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, good country artists by the truckload. Even Paul McCartney is collaborating with new artists. The Beatles loved all music, even country, bluegrass, big band, jazz. They never restricted themselves; why should we?
Breastfeeding in public. We willingly eat in front of strangers. Our babies can’t? Nipples are pretty common things, it seems. I saw two of them in my bathroom mirror while I was shaving this morning.
Women’s heads covered by religious garments we think are being forced on them by their husbands (they aren’t). We forget the nuns we grew up with who were also covered in black from head to toe with only the smallest area of their faces shown and who definitely took a back seat to the men in their same calling.
Today’s TV shows. If the cast of the Honeymooners or I Love Lucy were still alive and able to operate remote controls, they’d laugh like crazy over so much of what is appearing on the trails they blazed.
Marijuana. Human beings began searching for mind-altering substances when we were still living in caves. We will still be doing it when we’re living on Europa and Mars. Pot might not be perfect but if we need a drug to get mad at, let’s pick alcohol, a socially acceptable substance which devastates society a thousand times more than any weed you can grow in your backyard.
Other people’s religions. If you practise a religion at all, this should be a big red flag for you. Something about love thy neighbour, live and let live, Golden Rule. If a turban or a scarf or a prayer mat upsets you, get mad at yourself for being such a close-minded ass.
Taxes. Yes, let’s get rid of taxes. Good luck fighting the fire that consumes your house in the middle of the night or fending off that burglar that wants to take your stuff. Pre-taxes, my great-grandfather owed his Ontario county two days a year of backbreaking labour to build the roads around his farm. Refusal to help meant time in jail. So, yes, no taxes. See you at the Highway 401 repaving near Toronto next week. I’ll bring the donuts.
Pornography (child porn excepted). Of course, no one is forced to see it. You have to go looking for it, unless you consider sex in TV ads and shows unavoidable. It has been said of Puritans that they were forever bothered by the suspicion that people somewhere were having fun. Other prudes also worried that sex could lead to dancing. I knew of a man who never got over the fact that he was born in bed with a woman. We have no trouble exposing everyone to images of hatred and violence and war, but we get very nervous about images of love making. Even simple nudity. How odd.
Tattoos and face rings. Often the ones who get most upset by these things are older men who wish they had the courage to get a tattoo or an earring. Conformity is the goal for these men. Straying from the acceptable is terrifying. In the sixties, dads were upset their sons were growing their hair long. When those long-haired males became dads themselves, they got upset when their sons came home from the barbers with their heads shaved.
I like what our Canadian prime minister says. Diversity is not a problem in our society; it is our strength.
Lots to be mad about these days, I guess. Maybe we should save our wrath for the important things.