On this day I am walking into rooms and forgetting why I came, walking in circles, finding irony where one was intended. Last week, some yahoo named Michael Caputo took a leave of absence from his phony baloney job as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, which wouldn’t normally transition to a slice of rock and roll history, but 2020 continues to be a year of firsts. After ranting on his personal Facebook page about imagined enemies, he calls a staff meeting wherein he announces the sixty day leave of absence, admitted he had never read the reports he was seeking to alter into fake good news, apologize for – get this – embarrassing the head of Health and Human Services, his boss, and suggesting/recommending that for their mental health, his staff should listen to the Grateful Dead. So, this unqualified political hack who spews bile at scientists, this Trumpkin sycophant, is right about one thing: Listen to the Grateful Dead. And then I wonder if he has really listened to the lyrics or if; in view of the administration’s willingness to sacrifice infected Americans, if maybe, he just likes the name – that he really thinks those who die from Covid-19 should be grateful. Like Elton John’s Levon Tostig, who names his son Jesus because he likes the name, of course Jesus wants to go to Venus, but we’re not talking about Madmen Across the Water. We are talking about the ethereal lyrics penned by the redoubtable Robert Hunter, who it turns out is the great grandson of the poet Robert Burns, and the mind-bending lyrics of the immortal Jerry Garcia, but I digress. “Levon, Levon likes his money, he makes a lot they say. He spends his days counting” See, immediately the Play Button in my head is activated. Perhaps Mr. Caputo is inviting us to “Come hear Uncle John’s band, playing to the tide” and honoring the boogaloo militias. “Goddamn, well I declare, have you seen the like? Their walls are built of cannon balls, their motto is don’t tread on me”.
I am sending out a cosmic request now – could someone send me a Box of Rain? It’s so dry here in the Attics of my Life quietly reading “the book of love’s own dream, where all the print is blood”.
Ok, so maybe not all of their songs are good for mental health, yet they DO make you think. Bozo wannabe gangster Caputo gets paid for the next two months to shut up and stay home, lots of time to earn his own Touch of Grey. There are emails which will forever take up magnetic particles in some midnight spool of archive tape stating in the craziest possible terms that there are “resistance cells in the bowels of the CDC”, a whack job whose ghostly insanity haunts the electronic halls of the Center for Disease Control. An agency run by a man who strives not to do good but to do the bidding of power-crazed Kleptocrats.
And Uncle John keeps asking a question that shouldn’t be asked, that is asked anyway: “Where does the time go?” In the analog world, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Wise words can fall from the lips of idiots. I implore you my friends to ignore the conspiracy laden rants and luxuriate in American Beauty which is a shoo in for the greatest album of all time. Especially those who think the pandemic can be quashed by tainting the data. Here’s hoping the Trumpkins sit out the election getting stoned and space dancing to The Dead.