Hello. My name is Jim Booth and I’m (at least nominally) a writer for S&R. For those of you vaguely familiar with my work and wondering where I’ve been, here’s a brief explanation of sorts.
It’s been a rough couple of months.
On the blogging front, the two “big” stories I spent most of 2007 writing about, the evil that is Blackwater and the Jena 6 travesty of justice, are gone from the news cycle. In the first case Blackwater coverage is now buried – by, I suspect, tacit agreement between the Bush junta and corporate media – so as to allow Erik Prince and company to slither away with minimal (if any) punishment for their crimes against humanity in the name of protecting “American interests” in Iraq. In the second case, Jena’s impetus toward equal treatment under law has dissipated (sadly) due to revelations that the principal prosecutee/cause cÃ©lÃ¨bre has been something of a habitual criminal whose previous unsavory behavior had been excused with wrist taps for the following reasons: 1) he was a star athlete; 2) he committed his crimes against fellow African-Americans rather than against whites in his home town in the deep south.
Since the relegation of these important stories to Trotsky’s dust bin, I’ve been at loose ends trying to find another story to follow to fill my niche as resident Museum Quality Boomer IdealistÂ© for this publication.
On the personal front it’s been a painful, contemplative time.
For those (few) of you (God bless you, every one) who’ve followed some of my rock music writing both here and at my blog The Savoy Truffle, you’re aware that I was a musician myself for a good number of years before retreating to a life in academia and as a writer. I played in a band back in the seventies – a band that was approached by record companies (while this sounds laughable now, back in the Beatle-cene Epoch it used to be a statement of some importance). We wrote and played power pop with country, blues and folk inflections. Some people thought we were pretty good.
Our drummer, Tony, died suddenly in October. I’ve been having real trouble getting past it. I’m haunted by what might have been. I keep remembering a quote from Peter Townshend: “Yeah, fans can say,’That crazy drummer of yours is dead. Get somebody else to play drums.’ But it’s different for me – my friend is dead. Do you understand? My friend is dead.”
Events like Tony’s passing – which we Boomers are starting to experience with alarming regularity – makes stuff like the Presidential campaign, which seems so important to the Xers who dominate this blog, seem like a lot of horse shit to me these days.
I’m trying to figure out what’s important to me now. While there’s still some time.
My fellow Boomer, Randy Newman, tried to tell everyone years ago what’s really important in life. All one has to do is fill in the blank to this lyric from one of his most well known songs:
“It’s _____ that matters….”
That’s revelatory about me as a Boomer. About all us Boomers. I notice that when I talk with my Boomer friends that we know we have an interest in this election. We know what we face. Our infrastructure is crumbling. Global heating is perhaps past fixing. We have to free ourselves from fossil fuels and develop our alternative energy sources. We have to do something to reverse the determined march toward idiocracy that our current public policies on education are causing. We have to stop that imbecilic war and stop pouring our country’s wealth down the rat hole that is Iraq. We have to stop electing the stupidest, most fucked up members of our generation as leaders of the free world.
But we’re also concerned about the important things. The things that make Boomers – well, Boomers.
The original Kinks are getting back together.
Led Zeppelin, with Jason Bonham replacing his dad John on drums, may be planning a tour.
Of course these events may not seem important to those in the slacker/latchkey/blogging generation.
See the Randy Newman quote above.
We Boomers still have all the high paying jobs.
But there’s hope. We Boomers will go the way of Tony soon enough.
Feel better now? I know I do.