“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” - Often attributed to Plato but likely from Ian McLaren (pseudonym of Reverend John Watson)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Time out

I am by nature a cynical and pessimistic person (not the same thing - it's said that an optimist is a father who will loan his teenager the car, a pessimist is one who won't, and a cynic is one who did). I don't say this to brag, I actually try to at least act as if I'm not. This blog covers topics that will, if major changes aren't forthcoming (and there's no reason to believe they will be), result in unprecedented trauma in our so-called social contract. Now, maybe we'll adapt and the result will be a stable and sustainable societal arrangement, albeit at a lower level of energy conversion. Maybe it will be a Mad Max world. I'd like to hope the former, but my makeup makes me dubious.

Thus, it's significant to me when I find something that makes me feel that it's not all bad. A few months ago, I was watching a youtube video of Leo Kottke, a guitarist I've admired for years and seen on multiple occasions. Youtube suggested I might want to see videos featuring Tommy Emmanuel, of whom I'd never heard. I didn't click on them for the first few times they came up next to Leo, but I finally did. Let me say that Tommy's talent, skill, and love of music have become one of the things that makes me believe there's good in the world and things worth preserving.

I drove four and a half hours to see Tommy Emmanuel perform in Exeter, CA and, though I anticipated that it would be a wonderful experience, I tremendously underestimated how moving it would be. His videos are all over youtube and, since this is a non-commercial blog, I've decided to put one here. It's called "Those Who Wait." I apologize in advance for no physics, vehicle, energy, or gasoline content but I feel compelled to share my wonder at this uniquely talented and genuinely beautiful musician and songwriter (the composition featured here is his). Click on it, you'll thank me. If you're wondering if he's capable of something a little more up-tempo, check out his Guitar Boogie. If your jaw doesn't hit the floor, you have more self-control than I.

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