September 9, 2019

This year’s monsoon season has been quite the bust here in the Valley of the Sun, and no one seems to know what to make of it. Normally you’ll get your share of dust storms and hopefully some rain from thunderstorms – where I live has always seemed to have a protective dome over it, causing the storms to move south and north of us – but this year there has been a dearth of both. Just lots of very hot weather. Not sure if this is related to the fading El Nino or not, but I’ll tell you, I’m ready for some fall weather, even if that means it drops to the 90s. This 108+ sh*t is getting kinda old.

The firing of Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski means one thing and one thing only: the manager on the hottest seat starting next year is going to be Alex Cora. Sure, he and Dombrowski pulled all the right strings last year, but both of them have been lackluster in their handling of the 2019 season. Dombrowski made some bad signings and made the obvious mistake of thinking the club could get by without a bona fide closer, for sure, but Cora’s team has been listless at times, horrendous in fundamentals (most especially when it comes to baserunning) and he looks out of his league out there. The Sox better come out of the gates hot in 2020 or Cora will be among the season’s first casualties.

…along those same lines, I have to believe Mookie Betts is going to be traded in the offseason. For one thing, his offense has been replaced by the emergence of third baseman Rafael Devers; more importantly, the Sox need to replenish their minor leagues as a result o Dombrowski’s moves over the past couple of years. The trick will be to find a team whose minor league talent matches their willingness to pay someone like Betts, who doesn’t seem to have any desire to be tied down to any particular organization.

I have to tell you, I’ve really gotten into the music of the Bee Gees lately. Not sure how it started, actually – I’ve always liked their music but never really felt the need to take a deep dive into their catalog. But one night I was trolling YouTube and came across “I’ve Gotta Get A Message To you” and “Nights On Broadway” – two great songs by any measure – and watched a documentary on them that I found positively fascinating. Then I listened to several tracks from two of their pre-disco era, Odessa and Trafalgar, and a couple from their post-disco years, especially One, and I was hooked. Most folks will recognize Barry Gibb’s vocals, but I find Robin Gibb’s voice particular fascinating in its kind of theatrical vulnerability.

Great post over at Ace of Spades on the folk music split that occurred in 1965 when Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival. The whole thing is still kind of akin to something apocryphal in nature, but the fact was, Bob didn’t feel like being pigeon-holed into the “folk” thing espoused by the likes of Joan Baez and Pete Seeger; he wanted to be his own artist and explore where he could go, and, being true leftists, they never really forgave him for it. As OregonMuse writes in his post:

I don’t think the definitive book has been written on the early folkies all being a bunch of rat bastard commies. The closest is probably Commies: “A Journey Through the Old Left, the New Left and the Leftover Left” by Ron Radosh, now OOP.

I never really took Seeger, Baez, Buffy St. Marie, and all those folkies seriously. I thought they were a bunch of frauds and still do. Because they’re leftists, and whether they’re musicians, or politicians, or climate-change activists, they’re all just a bunch of hypocrites. Others in that genre at the time, like Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell, their politics aside, always seemed to me to have a little more gravitas and creativity.

Hard to know what to make of what’s going on in Hong Kong recently, but I have to believe President Trump is a looming large presence in the background. Anyone who thinks China is holding the upper hand here doesn’t understand the sea change being brought by a president who is willing to roll the dice to reverse decades of Chinese chicanery in monetary policy and trade. They really don’t know what to make of Trump because he’s unlike anyone in American politics they’ve ever dealt with. Unlike the presidents of the past going back to Bill Clinton, Trump isn’t willing to take bribes or favors on behalf of China’s global interests. You know they’d love to see a Democrat win in 2020, but even they have to see that the current slate of Democratic challengers is not going to get that job done. So they’re in a funk.

Rot in hell, Robert Mugabe. If there was ever an argument to be made for a return to colonialism, the kind of teapot despot Mugabe was its poster-child. He was a corrupt, immoral thug – the kind the Brits back in the day would have led out to the main entrance into town and strung up for all to see. It’s an unfortunate thing that this kind of thing is happening all over Africa, a continent that, outside of precious few instances, seems utterly incapable of managing itself in any kind of moral and competent way without foreign intervention and humanitarian aid. You look at what’s going on in places like South Africa and Zimbabwe and it’s just disgraceful that the United Nations does nothing about it.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:37 | Comments Off on Monday Musings
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