JUST IN TIME to celebrate, or ruminate, the mid-term election, my Song of the Month for November will be a remake of “Don’t Hear Nothin.'” The original ending never felt right, so I recently fussed with it for a week or so and think I finally got it. I’m in the midst of recording the studio mix. As a teaser of sorts, this will be the cover…
You might say I’m on a climate cataclysm tear these days. You’d be right. I don’t understand our apparent indifference about something we are causing and can still somewhat correct if we’re willing to change. That seems to be the rub though: change. Although most Americans are at least dimly aware of what’s happening, collectively we’re like a deer in the headlights, unwilling or unable to make a decision to change direction.
I’m reading a book called “Don’t Even Think About It,” by George Marshall exploring the psychology behind our insidious climate denial. It references Earnest Becker, one of my intellectual heroes, who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Denial of Death” in the ’70s. Google it. His theories about how we behave when faced with death mirror exactly what we’re doing collectively with climate change: an infantile regression into tribalism, rage and defiance. Sound familiar? It seems our cultural taboo about facing and accepting death is literally killing us.
Will we wake up in time? I have no idea. I’m awake. And it feels lonely sometimes. If you’re also awake—and maybe you all are but just don’t talk to me about it—you can let me know or better yet, wake up somebody else. Time is running out.
Meanwhile, a song is coming that might make some small difference. If you agree, please share it.
THE WOMEN’S PERSISTENCE MARCH in Spokane last Sunday was another unexpected success: An estimated 6,000 participants, remarkable for a mid-sized “island” surrounded by an ocean of rural red. Great speakers, great music and a great opportunity to spread the word on the Chatty Cathy 2.0 music satire. Unlike our current congressional princess, Chatty Cathy is being well received. In just a few days, she’s garnered over 300 views on YouTube—an impressive 20% return on the flyers handed out. And on Facebook, she already has over 2,500 views and 60 shares. For Spokane, that’s viral!
IT’S HEARTENING to see the response, inspiring the hope that Ms. McMorris Rodgers’ disingenuous, faux-approachable “Cathy” brand is morphing into a more authentic “Chatty Cathy” mindless repeater of blatantly dishonest talking-points. If facts don’t matter, if video evidence to the contrary doesn’t matter, maybe satire will.
For those who have not yet seen the video…
Thanks for all your support. Maybe now I can get back to my own, moreauthentic Songs for Seekers!
FOR MUSICIANS, here is a basic version of Slip Away along with a PDF file of the words and chords. I recorded this using a classical guitar for backup, but obviously it can be accompanied by any guitar, harp, piano or similar instrument—or simply sung a cappella.
This is an MP3 file. If you’d like a CD-quality track, click HERE.
SLIP AWAY represents a fundamental turning point in my life. Before my mother’s death, I was working as an advertising creative director who was beyond burned out—and had been for years. I was so burned out, I had no inspiration left to imagine what might come next.
Then, my mother was diagnosed with inoperable cancer. I wrote this song for her, but something always came up when I wanted to play it. Then, I was with her the day she died and was able to sing it as a round, over and over, as she lay in coma. The impact on both of us was profoundly transcendent. That experience led me to hospice. In hospice I discovered chaplaincy. And in chaplaincy, I discovered a calling to work with the dying and their families, which I followed up to my retirement in 2015.