The Friday Morning Listen: Christine Hayward – Live at E.F. Lane (2009)

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by Mark Saleski

In the past handful of years, I have jettisoned a few distractions: namely, sports and television, which are sort of related. Rounding out the list is politics. I have decided that, because my thoughts on “the right thing to do” are so far outside of the mainstream, it’s just not worth bothering with the daily catfights, arrogant proclamations, and other such buffoonery. I’ve come to believe that the two-party “system” in the United States is fundamentally broken and so I have walked away. Sure, I was a part of the 2010 “massacre,” mostly because I did not vote. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. The choice was between the shivering cowards or the ugly loudmouths. I sat it out. There was music to be listened to and words to be written. Please, don’t give me that crap about how voting is my “sacred right.” Sacred? Seriously?
The events that have transpired in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya have been truly inspiring. The difference between those protests and what some here label as “grassroots” makes me wonder if we haven’t lost our minds. Years and years of spouting and ingesting the drivel that passes for political discourse has made us look like fools.

Most of the people reading this aren’t familiar with Christine Hayward. She’s a singer/songwriter from my area. Me and TheWife™ attended a show she headlined last night, along with Klessa and Son of the Renegade. The audience, cozied into the center of the local bookstore, sat in rapt attention, transfixed by Hayward’s gorgeous voice. Supported only by her ukulele, her singing was yet another reminder that, despite the seemingly endless ugliness that tries to dominate our culture, there are always points of beauty to be found.

This is the point where I’m supposed to draw some parallel between these kinds of musical experiences and the solidarity that was common early on in the post 9/11 era. Well, I’m not up to it. Most of our empathy has been drained out of us. It seems that we’d rather demonize the other than actually use our brains to come to solutions to anything.

That’s why I’ve checked myself out of the process. There are recordings to be listened to and the related activities of musical evangelizing to engage in. Life is too short to let the buffoons win.

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