Masked Dancers

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November 20,2021- The four ladies were alternately jumping, twirling and swaying, with the energy of twenty-year-olds, though they were closer in age to yours truly. All the while, they kept their COVID masks securely on their faces. This was for the duration of a 40-minute set by local artist Jonathan Best, and his troupe of blues and funk musicians. Half of it was a funk rendition of “Blowin’ In The Wind”, which I think Bob Dylan would thoroughly enjoy. The other 20 minutes was devoted to Sly Stone’s “Thank You for Letting Me Be Myself”.

I was given an egg castanet, which is about what you would expect-a mini-Easter egg shaped rattle, for the purpose of joining in the festivities. Jonathan goes full-on, bringing his audience into the fray. Whilst dutifully shaking the instrument, I felt as if I was watching a band of dervishes, even when three of the women took off their masks. The fourth, in addition to wanting to guard against COVID, also didn’t want men to see her face, and so kept tugging her mask against her nose. To me, it is six or a half dozen, whether I see a person’s visage or not. The show was the thing. It was all just a great way to spend a couple of hours on a mild Saturday night.

The Raven is the sort of place where patrons, and the bartenders, help the lone server clear tables, when she is overloaded with delivering food. This discomfits the standard dining patron, but for me, and several others, it is second nature. We are more like family, than “us and them”. I kind of like it that way.

That is part and parcel of living in a fairly mellow town. There are those who see everything through an ideological lens, but their influence here is diluted by the culture of broad acceptance. A patron who tried to push the envelope with “Let’s Go, Brandon” ,(poor Mr. Brown, he just wants to race his stock car), was brought into the festivities by being given a larger castanet. Jonathan is a progressive, but ideology is left at the cafe door, when he is set to perform. He knows that conservatives and reactionaries love a good, lively performance as much as anyone else-and so we all rock out together.

The days before Thanksgiving are a great time for such in-gathering.

Open Letter to the Elites

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April 9, 2020-

Dear souls:

I recently watched the final episode for Season 2, of a science fiction television series, called “Manifest”.  In one of the climactic scenes, a low-level physician confronts a senior intelligence operative, about her duty to share knowledge with those underneath her.  The operative haughtily refers to the doctor as “Little Girl”, and says that, as she is responsible for protecting the nation, such as the doctor are as “insects beneath my shoe”.

It is a cliche, but still true:  “With great power, comes great responsibility”.  We also see that with great power, comes great arrogance.  Common people, whether ruled by those of liberal philosophy or conservative philosophy, are historically seen as nuisances, especially when such commoners speak their peace.

This is as true in self-styled democracies and republics, as in monarchies or dictatorships.  I witnessed the arrogance of power, first hand, in July, 2007, when Federal agents, in three instances, browbeat ordinary citizens going about their business. One of these was my wheelchair-bound wife, ordered out of the area of an overhang, in the midst of a torrential downpour.  We made it to another, more-welcoming shelter, as is often the case, when functionaries overly assert their power-and the citizen must decide to protest or improvise.

I mention these matters, as now we are witnessing the idea phase of the Coronavirusdisease2019 health crisis.  Vaccines are being actively touted, and these could be as simple as the vaccines of the 1950’s-70’s, or as problematic as the heavy metals-laden cocktails of the past three decades.  The latter brings in the most revenue, of course, and so we see entrpreneurs, investors, with scant medical expertise, in the forefront of the research funding.  We also see medical professionals, some of whom are among your number, stating that we ought to prepare to shelter in place until the vaccines are ready for mass distribution-possibly as late as October, 2021.

We see some of the same entrepreneurs calling for microchipping of human beings-a cause celebre of those who wish to control the masses.  Finally, there is a push for 5th Generation (5G) technology, in the communications industry.  This last is deemed essential, for speeding up said communication.

May I ask: Why do we need communication sped up any further?  Where is everyone going, especially following the end of the COVID emergency?  To my mind, one of the lessons of this pandemic is that humanity needs to connect more honestly, more civilly and more slowly with one another.  I see also that we need to live far more in harmony with nature, than the robust technologies being spoonfed us will allow.

I sit at the laptop, and can only sit so long, using my highly magnetic computer mouse, before my hand starts tingling. Then, I know to massage that hand, and apply essential oils.  I know, too, that a more powerful cellular device or computer will aggravate my nerves and blood vessels that much further- and I am in good health.  What of those with underlying health issues?

Friends, we are entering an age of greater spiritual awareness and of a greater sense of individual responsibility.  Fewer people, especially among those born after 1980, are going to kowtow to the “experts” or the “elites”, regardless of how you see yourselves.  As Bob Dylan once wrote: “The old world is rapidly fading.  Get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand, for the times, they are a-changing.”  One of the features of that new world will be an increase in questioning decisions proferred from on high.

I look forward to that- and rest assured, I will be among those questioning your pronouncements.

May you choose peace and truth,

Gary