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Just Wow

March 31, 2020

Well, it’s been two and a half weeks since I suddenly flew home off tour.  Since then I haven’t ventured far out of my neighborhood.  I guess I’m lucky that quarantining comes natural to me!  Between tours I generally kick it at the house anyhow.  And run the grocery store daily. That had to stop. As did our penchant for dining out, though most of our usual haunts are doing the take out thing.  But man, I miss sitting down at the bar and the familiar bartenders and servers and whatnot. Definitely something I didn’t realize I valued so much.

I guess everyone’s values are - and value is - being reevaluated. I’m trying to stay positive, and I am super thankful that most of my peeps remain healthy.  Man, it’s freaky to hear first hand accounts though.  We do have a friend who’s a likely case, and has been hospitalized but then released, thankfully he’s on the mend.  I am worried about the nurses and health care folks we know, and those we don’t.  It was a shitty system before this, and I fear that the dedication and professionalism - and frankly compassion, of these people will allow the for-profit system to abuse them, well, to death I guess.

Regular readers will know I’ve been completely enraged at the health care system for some time.  And I get more socialist every day - even more so now.I’m beyond a Bernie Bro, folks, I’m like a Bernie Bolshevik.  When Comrade Sanders takes power we can finally nationalize the entire healthcare sector.  Health insurance executives in re-education camps . . .I can see it now.  But seriously, I think the financial people comparing this to the ’08 crisis are just stoned.  This is an unprecedented world wide calamity, not a small percentage of folks defaulting, and if / when this hit’s the 3rd world - even the financial ripple without a horrific virus will be a complete shit-show.

We are on the cusp of a huge world-wide societal change, or perhaps the virus will peak out and go away and we’ll be back to ‘normal’ in a few months.  Even given that rosy scenario, it’s looking like the Special Sauce won’t get back to tour for a few months after that.  And one of our big gigs this fall was the Blues Cruise - and well, I don’t know if I’m cool with getting back on a cruise ship this year, or ever to be honest.  That’s if the industry still exists!  I mean, I really enjoyed all the music cruises we’ve done over the years, and it’s a really fun way to bring music to the people.  Especially the Original Rhythm and Blues Cruise which we’ve done a few times, and where I felt like we were just finding our place.  The last one we were on was so cool, we went down to Cabo, and the Houseman arranged a jam session with some of the Los Lobos cats, and everybody dug it, oh man, we were just getting the vibe of the thing!

I hope that vibe can carry on some how.  But the environmental impact of the cruise industry alone is reason enough to let it go.  That’s just one of the sad truth that the virus is exposing.  And it’s just our collective willful ignorance that prevents us from seeing that this is at root an environmental crisis.  And not just the environmental impact of the crisis, the end of virtually all recycling and a return to the default of plastic, the vast amount of medical waste - all those gloves, masks, etc., go right in a landfill (ideally!)  And the disaster capitalists who run our country at the moment, - my Christ they’re stopping EPA enforcement!  WTF? - they will worsen all our lot even more before this is over.

But I’m sorry I have to say this, but the actual virus - and it’s deadly jump to us, is, if not a direct, at least Kevin Bacon (six degree) jump from climate change and sea temperature rise.  And the disgraceful destruction of the rainforest, and the horrific fires in Australia - increasing in intensity world wide.  I hope I’m not being a neophyte pollyanna, whoo-wo hippy dippy told-you-so asshole, but I seem to recall this being a warning environmentalist have been making since the Seventies (at least.)  Even a slight temperature rise will increase pandemics, damn to that fucking plural tense, because we know good and well that this is just the first round.  It’s more than ironic that the virus, of the same strain that gets us normally when we are overtaxed and run down (different corona viruses cause about 20% of the common colds,) is attacking our lungs, while we’re destroying the lungs of the planet!

Oh man, I’m getting worked up.  I’m lucky I’ve been able to get into meditation recently.  You know, I’ve always been into - Eastern Philosophy lets say, but I started doing the Headspace app, and it really helped me with the discipline to get to a daily practice.  And I must say my daily ten minutes working on my mind has really been as close to Panacea as I’ve ever been.

OK, that’s enough, I think I’m peckish.  Y’all take care of yourselves.  Follow Jimi Jazz on Facebook - I’ll be going ‘live’ with morning piano meditations and I’ll post a lesson on IGTV before too long.  Thanks for keeping in touch, keeping it together and doing your part.


Portland OR, Sunny but still cool.