Johnny Cash – American IV – The Man Comes Around

At the end of his life Johnny Cash recorded a multi-album project.  Listening to this album it’s unmistakable that we’re listening to a man at the end of his life.  His voice is in tatters but for some of these songs it’s actually quite effective.  The songs were a very divergent group that crossed over popular styles that spanned generations.  There’s everything from modern songs like Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” to old standards like “Danny Boy” and “We’ll Meet Again.”  And he included pop songs from the 1960s and 1970s like the Beatles’ “In My Life,” the Eagles’ “Desperado” and Simon and Garfunkle’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”  He also includes several country western standards like “Sam Hall” and “Streets of Laredo.”  But the highlight of the album is the title song “The Man Comes Around.”  It’s a dark vision of the Judgement Day.  Cash claims that some of the lines came to him in a strange dream.  I listen to this song when I’m feeling particularly pessimistic about the future.

Not all the songs work for me.  And I’ll guess that not everyone will agree with my picks but here they are:

  • The Man Comes Around
  • I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
  • Streets of Laredo
  • Sam Hall

For older die-hard fans of Cash this will be a bitter-sweet experience because of the circumstances of this music.  But I think the title song is a very stirring song that’s worth a listen by country music fans.

01FEB2020 – Quote of the Day

Satiety depends not at all on how much we eat, but on how we eat. It’s the same with happiness, the very same…happiness doesn’t depend on how many external blessings we have snatched from life. It depends only on our attitude toward them. There’s a saying about it in the Taoist ethic: ‘Whoever is capable of contentment will always be satisfied.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Senators are Saying the Farce May be Over By Sunday

Apparently more senators are coming forward to tell the press that the Republicans have the votes to deny witnesses and move on to the final vote this weekend.

Good.  It’s about time.  I can’t wait for the State of the Union Address.  Maybe Pelosi will boycott it and we won’t have to see her hideous face.


Escaping from Their Better World

Joss Whedon is a colossal Progressive Jerk.  His politics are as stupid as the politics of any of the other losers in Hollywood.  But his one saving grace, in my opinion, is that he created the “Firefly” television series and the follow-on motion picture “Serenity.”  Serenity is a perfect metaphor for the culture we live in.

In the fictional Firefly universe, the powerful elites control the “Core” worlds where life is luxurious and everything is controlled by the security state known as the Alliance.  Out on the rim life is difficult and the inhabitants chafe under the hegemony of the Core which defeated their Rebellion in a devastating war. But they are far enough away from the Core that they can evade much of the control if they live outside the legitimate business world.  One such concern is the Firefly Class spaceship “Serenity” captained by former rebellion soldier Malcolm Reynolds.  Mal now runs Serenity as a trading ship which indulges in all manner of illegal enterprises and is constantly on the run from the Alliance security forces.

In the movie Serenity Mal is in more than the normal amount of trouble because one of his crew possesses a dangerous secret that the Alliance will do just about anything to stifle.  On a distant world the Alliance tested a chemical called pax.  It was meant to remove all aggression from the populace and therefore create a “better world” free from anger, hate and fear.  Unfortunately, it not only eliminated aggression it completely eliminated the will to live and the inhabitants just lay down and died.

To stop Mal and his people from revealing this secret the Alliance sends their most skilled “Operative” to eliminate Serenity.  In one of the pivotal scenes the Operative reveals to Mal his motivation.

Mal – Do you even know why they sent you?

Operative – It’s not my place to ask.  I believe in something greater than myself.  A better world.  A world without sin.

Mal – So me and mine gotta lay down and die so you can live in your better world?

Operative – I’m not going to live there.  There’s no place for me there any more than there is for you. Malcolm, I’m a monster.  What I do is evil.  I have no illusions about it, but it must be done.

Later on, Mal stops running and decides to take a stand.

Mal – This report is maybe twelve years ago.  Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up.  This is what they feared she knew.  And they were right to fear because there’s a whole universe

of folk who are gonna know it, too.  They’re gonna see it.  Somebody has to speak for these people.  You all got on this boat for different reasons but you all come to the same place.  So now I’m asking more of you than I have before.  Maybe all.  Sure as I know anything, I know this, they will try again.  Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean.  A year from now, 10, they’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people better.

And I do not hold to that.  So, no more running.  I aim to misbehave.

To my mind this is exactly what we are faced with in our present culture.  The elites are determined to force us to live by the rules they have invented whether we want to or not.  In their minds we are evil children who need to be punished and trained to love Big Brother.  They don’t want coexistence.  They want capitulation.  But the truth is we are stronger than we know and stronger than they fear.  The main thing is not to play by their rules.  And by no means play fair.  Deception and secrecy are perfectly reasonable in the present situation.  Use whatever advantage you find and be sure to protect you and yours.  Don’t let them wear you down.  And don’t let them steal the enjoyment of life with your family and friends.  That is the definition of victory.

And to paraphrase Malcolm Reynolds, without a doubt we need to misbehave.