Words From The Midwest VIII

Good evening all juxtaposed; all gargantuan; all posed and foreboding. Welcome to another edition of Words From The Midwest.

I suppose I should start off just by talking about what music I’m listening to, as that is the thread that runs through these garbled words and phrases. Right now it’s The Hold Steady’s Teeth Dreams which came out earlier this year. It’s the first time I’ve listened to it. It’s good. Like everything The Hold Steady has ever put out it’s punctuated by Craig Finn’s exceptional lyrical content and The Hold Steady’s goddamn wonderful barband style and yet this album specifically is a bit more direct, if that makes any sense which I’m not sure it does. It’s guitar heavy and guitar driven. But as Track Four plays, I can say most exceptionally that it is a good record. My reviews don’t really go further than saying whether it’s good or bad. I know this. I’m alright with it.

As Hemingway was quoted as saying “write drunk, edit sober” i’m writing drunk. I’ve had some beers. I’m alright with that. I’m not going to edit sober though. I’m going to not edit as is usually my style. Maybe I’ll go back and read it before I post. Maybe not. It doesn’t really matter. No one’s reading this anyway.

To switch gears, I think I want to say straight up that this Ice Bucket Challenge is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing that it’s raising awareness and money for ALS, which is a cause that’s close to my heart as my Dad died from Lou Gehrig’s Disease. But it’s also about the most American thing that could be happening. The fact that about a billion people in this world don’t have drinkable water and We as a People have taken to dumping Ice Water on our Heads in a way to show our support of the most under-funded disease there is…It’s a bit ridiculous. It’s ridiculous that we aren’t thinking about the fact that people literally don’t have water. It’s even ridiculous that we’re raising money to fund a disease whose only “cure” is Stem Cells. Maybe the money that has been raised will help. Maybe. And maybe not. But the mere fact that people are talking about ALS is obviously a good thing. That’s something that hasn’t happened. Ever. Literally. So maybe I shouldn’t have anything to say about it.


But whatever. I don’t throw my hat into the ring of any Cause with any amount of goodwill. I just don’t Care maybe? Maybe. But maybe I just think that life is more than playing around with things out of my control. It’s more than ranting about shit that matters and yet doesn’t matter. I’ve said it before, nothing in this world is affecting me living here in Hinge Town. And again, that doesn’t make me feel good but it doesn’t really make me feel bad. It makes me feel a little guilty but fuck it. Whatever. I have to deal with my own shit first. Everyone else’s can be on the periphery of my thought process and it is. It all is. The Wars. The Disease. The Poverty. The Bullshit. It’s all there. It all plagues me. But when it comes down to it, I don’t know what to do about it and I refuse to flood my social media outlets with trite obnoxious nonsense about What Should Be Done about any of it. I have no answers. I have no solutions. And maybe there are no problems. Only Solutions. But I just don’t know. I’m at a loss. I’m clueless.


End paragraph.

So to sum up, The Hold Steady is a Great Band. Keep dumping water on your heads if you want to but keep in mind that bucket of water is precious to a number of goddamn children.

Give your money to any number of charities if you feel like it but don’t dump a bucket of water on your head just to feel a part of something beyond yourself. Quietly praise your friends for joining in. Positively be outside of your heads for some time and think about all of the people who have diseases and disorders with no cure. Pretend you have one. Live a day blind. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. But don’t take for granted the things you have that so so so many people don’t. At the very least thank God for the food you eat and the water you Drink.

The end, ya’ll.



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