Tuesday, July 23, 2013

San Diego Staying Classy

Politics is largely public theater.  Never mind that it is a distraction while an army of Artful Dodgers pick your pockets clean.

I must say the San Diego political machines have created some theater that is more peculiar than most.

I'm in SD county, but not city.  Huge county.  Anyway, the mayor had been annoying people.  Some nicknamed him, "the emperor", but I didn't keep up with why.  The funny thing is that lot of people said they liked things he'd done as mayor but not how he did them.

Then his own party said he was rubbing his staff the wrong way--literally.   They even came up with a name for one of his moves, the Filner headlock.

Demonstrating their inability to do anything sane, republicans are jumping on the bandwagon in self-righteous competition with the democrats who got the band wagon going, and were trying to crank up the self righteous media posturing.   Republicans should play quiet calm and sympathetic to the dems who are leading the charge to get rid of their own mayor.

It's like two guitar players trying to one up each other.  Each surreptitiously bumping his volume up until you have ear bleed.  So the trick to looking better is to subtly encourage the other guitar player to bump his volume beyond sane, while never increasing your own.  People can only take so much hysteria.  They need breathers.

Everyone is outraged, "on behalf of women everywhere".    They are overacting.  I peg many of them for creeps, themselves, and the outrage act doesn't ring quite real.

Now his very recently exed fiance has come out with some kind of dirt.  Nothing really all that bad compared to the workplace accusations.  He may be a creep, but when exes come out with non-essential information just to join the mob, or for revenge, that is kind of low, too.

The classy thing is that they all seem to agree that righteous outrage is the way to play this opportunity. I predict this sort of thing will become more common as it clouds the view of how their power is being used and abused.  The impatient will be taking notes.  It is the 21st century American answer to a coup or storming the castle to capture or kill the king.

It is great that Filner won't quit.  This will drag out the drama.  I'm hoping for a complex twist of plot to emerge.  Air time guaranteed now that Gloria Allred is involved.   If you abuse a position of power, the least you can do is give the public a few months of good theater.  Filner has lived on the public dime for quite awhile.

If he's slick, he'll claim this public drama is "his way of giving back".

This is what happens when someone gets away with abusing power and position to grope women, and then he gropes the wrong one.  And then other women in the place get the word.  No putting back that can of worms.

The downside will be the cost to taxpayers for the probable trial to come.  Entertainment involving government and government people is never ever cheap.

I wonder if an Diego could ever be as classy as Hialeah was the last time I lived in Dade County, FL.  Hialeah's mayor had to cut his term a little short due to a conviction for embezzling from the city.   He did a little time, then ran for mayor again, and won.

That is classy.  A city full of people who elect a guy who steals from them then are too crazy not to do it again, enthusiastically.   And there are those who think mob rule is fine.  They are nuts.  

Maybe I'm Not A Fish

Sunday I decided to go this Parkway Bar and hole in the wall for an open jam.   It was all plugged in, not acoustic at all.   That seemed interesting.

I did not know any of the players there.  The way they do it is have a sign up sheet with four sets listed.  You put your name on any of them and say what you play, like guitar/vocals.   These people know one another.  I had no idea which set would be a fit.

So, I tried to ask some of the apparent hotshots.  No help whatsoever.  If I were to pick a word that describes R&B/ rock/loud musicians, or musicians in general, with exceptions for most country/bluegrass/BallisticMountain, "gracious" would certainly NOT be the word.

All these players were really good, and obviously knew what they were playing.  You can be the ace of all time, and still be very difficult for a stranger on stage.  It is easier to jam with those who are secure enough not to make life a pain for the newcomer.

The main front for my set was a guy whose exaggerated angry frown and over abundance of tattoos seemed to telegraph a message of "I'm Mr Badass and I hate everyone".   By the time I left, I think he and I were of the same mindset.  For a little while there I hated everyone, too.  Including him.

I could not hear myself at all.  And it seemed the guy kept pulling out stuff that had irregular and odd progressions.  It almost seemed as if he purposely threw curves.  I noticed a slight look of shock when he thought a minor key thing would be undoable for me.  It happens that minor stuff is usually much easier for me.  Once he figured out I had a hot at sinking my teeth into that tune, he made a point not to let that work out.   Some guitar players should be sent to an isolated place where they can annoy one another death,  rather than foisting themselves upon the innocent and decent.

I stayed the whole set and added what I could, but overall I do not think I did anything to further my standing in that crowd.  Maybe if I had the prescribed look it would help.  Maybe if my increasing aversion to strange crowds was less intense that would help.

Maybe if I did not dislike a certain type of attitude among musicians I would be OK.   I was in disbelief at the lack of information and assistance I received when I asked.  Usually people do better than that.  They had their cliques, and their fun.  I did not have a good time.

I won't be back even though some of what they do attracts me.  Overall, as good as it was---and these people were very professional, skill wise--none of it was the kind of thing that lifts me up, makes me want to move, be happy, live.

Certain music hits me like that, and I need everything I can find that make me want to be happy and live.

Maybe I'm too vain.  My feeling is that I'm at least as good at what I do as they are at what they do, but I am more original and less of a tired stereotype.  But I may be more tired in general.  Also, that doesn't mean I'm better to listen to.  I'm just tired of so much same old thing from various groups.  I must bore more easily than I thought.

I've never liked it at all, on a job or elsewhere, when people play that game of not making life easy for the new person through the door.  I've seen it a lot and I try not to be that type.   One thing for sure, I've dealt with enough of that in music scenarios to last a life time, and I won't put up with it ever again.

So, I gave it a shot in order to broaden my horizons and I won't deal with those people again.  I left wanting to smash their guitars over their affected, empty heads.  But I behaved the whole time.

It turns out I may not be where I think I should be, doing what I ought to do, to justify continuing to play, but the people I do play with are good people, not Jr High cool boys and girls showing off and finding satisfaction through exclusion of the unknown.  These are the most decent and gracious of any groups with which I've played; the ballistic Mountain three and their friends.

That's how I met Joel many year ago.  I answered questions he had that people at the jam wouldn't.  I was helpful and often felt shut out myself at that place.  Besides, it is simply good manner to repectfully answer sincere questions if you can.

I'm quite mad at myself for waiting it out at that open jam (I played last set), for wasting my time doing something that I would rather not do unless I am good enough to be making some money doing it, for putting up with nonsense, for stagnating in my life, for letting people go, for ever getting divorced, dumped or leaving in error, for being whatever it is that I am.  I'm angry for all of it.

One thing for sure, few things in life are more obnoxious than a roomful of people who think they are rock stars.  Most likely a room full of real rock stars would be equally annoying, if not more so.

Usually the most real of pop musicians play jazz, country, bluegrass, and such.  From the heart, and they know they'll never be rich and famous anyway.  I don't think I'm doing much of anything from the heart any more.  Seriously, rock and roll types are by far the most closed minded, rude, and insecure of all musicians---speaking in wide generalizations.  Facts are facts.  Not all are so bad, and many jerks can play well.  Still, rude is rude, and creeps are creepy.

Maybe I should do something else.  I'm restless and want to move.

Obviously, I regularly pine for places where I am not.

At the Parkway Bar jam I felt like a fish out of water.   Now I think it is possible that I'm just not a fish, so why keep trying to be one?

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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