Tuesday, November 18, 2008

2008 Election and Other Housekeeping Items

It's about time an election swings the right way. Don't get me wrong -- those who know me also know that 8 years ago I thought John McCain deserved a shot at the White House. He was more of a maverick then. There really was a point where even if you didn't agree with his position on something, you had to respect his point of view, which is more than I can say for most politicians these days. It's amazing how he has spent the last 8 years squandering the respect that he had earned. I am happy he lost. He would have been so very wrong for this country.

Those who are worried about Barack Obama ought to read the New Yorker's endorsement of him from their October 13 issue. I meant to post that link before the election, and I forgot. It still is a good description of what we can expect from him, and it certainly made me feel better about him. Perhaps it will do the same for those of you who remain skeptical.

Obama still doesn't excite me when he speaks, but he has a lot of fresh ideas, which is something we desperately need, and the way he has managed to inspire so many people in this country is refreshing. When was the last time we had a President who did that? Some would cite Bill Clinton, but his personal problems undermined his ability to accomplish much, and it wound up dividing the country. So, that leaves JFK, which is the type of leader we need right now. We need someone to challenge us to get off an oil-based economy and move to other sources of energy. Obama is the guy to do it, and he really has to be. We can't afford not to make the switch, and the investment that would be needed would spur our economy and our sense of innovation, which has been missing for a long time. I really believe that any bailout of the auto industry ought to be tied completely to developing cars that do not use gasoline. It really is a lot like JFK's challenge to go to the moon in the early 1960s, and it is a matter of national security.

Speaking of the '60s, The Music Box, one of my favorite hangouts online, has been stuck in the 1960s lately. They've been working their way through the recent Creedence reissues, starting with their debut, Bayou Country, and Green River. They also recently reviewed Richie Havens' Nobody Left to Crown, which is an album I want to like, but lose interest in about halfway through.

This same issue has dogged Bruce Springsteen lately, at least for me. Speaking of which, Rolling Stone let the cat out of the bag regarding a new album from Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band. It is encouraging to read about how the album came together so quickly. It just might help him rediscover a sense of urgency, which he still has in concert but has lost in the studio. Working on a Dream is due on January 27. Although Magic and The Rising were disappointing to me, I'll still be in line to pick this one up.

Last but not least, as we wait for Neil Young's Archives series, which doesn't seem as if it ever will come out, he has found another live album to release. Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House, from 1968, is coming out next week. I hope it's good, and I can't imagine that it won't be. But you never know what you're going to get with Neil.

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