Master tracks

Wow! I just discovered a video/music series published by the master himself, Jackson Browne. It’s his “live from home” series on Youtube, a set of beautiful, intimate, high fidelity versions of songs from his previous albums and concerts. At age 72 he hasn’t lost a step.

When he looks into the camera in these videos, you can see the wisdom, the sadness and humor, the intelligence of the man. It’s at least as good as any front-row, in person show we’ve seen him. And the glimpses of his house, his personal space where he’s recording these gems, are very cool.

This version of “Farther On” brought tears to my eyes. I listened to this in my 20s and loved it, and it hasn’t lost any power. The entire song is beautiful and haunting, but the final stanzas always resonate with me:

“Now the distance leads me farther on
Though the reasons i once had are gone
I keep thinking I’ll find what I’m looking for
In the sand beneath the dawn

But the angels are older
They can see that the sun’s setting fast
They look over my shoulder
At the vision of paradise contained in the light of the past

And they lay down behind me
To sleep beside the road till the morning has come
Where they know they will find me
With my maps and my faith in the distance
Moving farther on…”

He wrote this in 1973 at the age of 24. Twenty four!! Who has that kind of soul and wisdom at 24? I’ll always wonder that about JB – he’s the prototype old soul.

It was worse than we thought

OK, a slight diversion from travel stories. This is a political story that needs attention. As always, historian Heather Cox Richardson has the direct, simple to understand take on this. From her article:

“In February 2018, the House Intelligence Committee was investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, and the president became obsessed with figuring out who was apparently leaking information to the press about contacts between his people and Russia. 

Under then–Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice subpoenaed from Apple the records of the communications of California Democrats Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, and—we learned at about 11:00 tonight—Eric Swalwell, both of whom were key critics of Trump. The department also investigated members of their families, including one child. The government seized the records of at least a dozen people.

“[G]ood God,” journalist Jennifer Rubin tweeted. “They were running a police state.” For the Department of Justice to subpoena records from congressional lawmakers is extraordinary. For it to investigate their families, as well, is mind boggling.”

“They were running a police state.” That, in a nutshell is why none of the Trump cabal should ever be allowed to hold a position of power again. And should be prosecuted. The government does not and should not have the power to investigate citizens just because it doesn’t like what you say or do, or who you are. That’s dictatorship at its worst. That’s everything America was not supposed to be.

During 2016-2020, we didn’t quite realize or understand that we were living under a dictatorship. As the truth comes out, it’s terrifying. We didn’t dodge a bullet, we dodged a nuclear missile.