News Update-Day 16

Fear is setting in.

The big story today, of course, is the old/new 17 minute Dylan track, “Murder Most Foul.” This is a masterstroke, whether the timing of the release was conscious or not. In an era where everybody is doing one thing, the person doing the opposite is king. Everybody is postponing their album release date as they live stream from their home, Dylan didn’t live stream and put out new music. Furthermore, it’s the opposite of today’s music, it is not disposable. Today’s music is all about refining the track until it fits through the little commercial hole. Have you listened to the new Weeknd album? I tried. His vocals are great, and then you hear the TR-808 and you wince. Yup, I’m talking about those synthesized handclaps/drums. Why does every track have to have this? Used to be sounds were fads. And, the first time around, after people were infatuated with drum machines in the eighties, the big thing was to go back to real drums. All this to say that I spent a long time bouncing from playlist to playlist the other night and was dissatisfied. On Apple, the acoustic singer-songwriter playlist was filled with B-level talent at best. After hearing Tom Odell, who is neither Elton nor Dylan but is above the line, this dreck was laughable. Let’s go even further! Most of these people should not be playing music for a living and their music should not be on streaming services, they’re just cluttering the lane so we can no longer find the good stuff. And no one is interested in curating the truly good stuff, no one is taking responsibility. Used to be we had multiple layers of curation. First, who got signed by the label, second, who got played on the radio, third, who got ink. Very few acts ran that gauntlet. Today, there’s a thin layer of “popular” music and no one cares about the rest. The streaming services promote what the majors want them to, even if it’s not pay for play, because the majors are continuing to release product that the streaming services need, and the hill being too hard to climb, the labels only work what is easy, and then we’ve got a ton of people who shouldn’t be in the business bitching that they can’t get paid at the bottom. And you wonder why everybody talks about Netflix instead of music. No one in music is taking any responsibility, at least no one with power or a vision.

I could go on about this forever, but we live in a world where no negativity is allowed. We’ve got to be upbeat, we’ve got to say our affirmations, polish our personalities until…

We all fall off a cliff.

That’s what’s happening now, reality is sinking in. You’re gonna be in your house for a long time.

And you might just get the coronavirus.

And you, or people who are dear to you, might just die.

The best information about the coronavirus came from Bill Gates last night on CNN:

Part 4: Entire CNN coronavirus town hall (March 26)

Wait a while for the video to load, and even though Bill is not on screen right away, hang in there, he will be.

This is the opposite of the bloviating from D.C. Here we have an intelligent person familiar with science who has studied the problem and is telling the truth as opposed to what people want to hear. That’s the problem with politics, it’s worse than show business, these people are so afraid of blowback even though we all know the truth.

Speaking of truth, the definitive song on this is Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows.” And at this point, everybody seems to know that, but they do not know the definitive version, which is by Don Henley:

Everybody Knows Don Henley Spotify

Everybody Knows · Don Henley YouTube

Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

First it took a while to adjust to the new normal, staying home, figuring out what you were going to do for supplies.

Second, you had to figure out how to do your work remotely.

Third, everybody was connecting, it felt good to actually talk on the phone.

Fourth, there was this incredible focus on the news.

Fifth, your work started to slow down.

Sixth, there was not really dramatic news every day.

And now, and now, you’re freaked out. Are you gonna get it? Is someone close to you gonna die? You can’t wrap your head around what is going on. Everybody is really staying home and business is shut down?

Then there are the deniers, like the Governor of Mississippi, insisting life will go on, goddamit, and if people get sick and die, well, not that many people will die. Death is not something you get over, whether you are the deceased or you are left behind. If you’re dead, you’re done. If you’re still around, you can’t get the deceased out of you brain, you think about them for the rest of your life, and if their ending was tragic, it makes it that much worse.

So now, we think D.C. has lost control. And we don’t understand how the right resisted a big stimulus in 2008 but is cool with one now. Proving that everything is up for grabs. In other words, the only person you can rely on is yourself, and that’s scary.

And systems are breaking down. My doctor told me his patient called an ambulance and the EMTs wouldn’t take him to the hospital, the emergency room was just too crowded. Really, this happened.

And every day someone famous gets infected. Today, it was Boris Johnson. Yesterday, it was Prince Charles. As for the President and Congress…they’re not social distancing, are they immune? NO! One of them is gonna get sick and kick too.

And then there’s that pastor who said it was all a plot against Trump and then died himself:

“Pastor who claimed Covid-19 ‘Hysteria’ Was Plot Against Trump Dies”

It’s sunny in Southern California, but it’s not sunny in our brains.

But if you want to get through it, I recommend this video:

“Nathan Sharansky on Fighting the Coronavirus”

Meanwhile, back to Henley. Am I the only person who has had “The End Of The Innocence” playing through their head?

Remember when the days were long
And rolled beneath a deep blue sky
Didn’t have a care in the world
With mommy and daddy standing by

It seems so long ago, but it was only a couple of weeks ago.

We are in this together. Protect yourself and your loved ones, this will eventually end, and you want to be here.

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