Thursday, May 13


• I'm one of the maybe two dozen living Americans who listened to Nick Drake while he was alive, and I spent the next twenty-five years like some gormless junior-high swain, pushing his stuff on anyone I thought would listen. (In fact, I didn't actually see the Pink Moon Volkswagen ad that kick-started his career until much later; the first notice I got was an email from someone I'd turned into a fan years before, who wrote to ask how Nick could've turned into a sell-out (!), to which I had to point out that his death twenty-six years previous was the likely cause.)

So, of course: that new AT&T ad, which not only abuses Nick but the recently bereaved Christo into the bargain. And, y'know, Art has always been co-opted, and sometimes even advanced, by rich shits and their stolen loot; I thought the VW ad did well by the Estate, and I'm glad more people found out about him. But the AT&T ad hacks "From the Morning" into a sound effect. Fucking unlistenable to anyone who knows the song, which, I might add, was the last any of us got to hear from him while he was alive, as it's the last cut of Pink Moon.

And yet that beautiful soul, painful and anodyne at the same time, still comes through. But whoever's responsible for that cut should be cast adrift. In the Gulf.

(Joe Boyd, whose memoir White Bicycles is a worthy read, had a clause in his contract requiring Island Records keep the Drake catalogue in print. Imagine such stupidity these days.)

Eric Lipton, "With Obama, Regulations Are Back in Fashion".
Jesus wept.

• If All Your Friends Jumped Off A Cliff, Would You Jump, Too? State Senator Mike Delph (R-Carmel) will introduce a proposal to empower anyone with Indiana police powers to enforce immigration laws. As though it hasn't been against the law since the 19th century to drive, stroll, or remove oxygen from The Alabaster City while colored. I suppose the good news is we don't really have anything for anyone to boycott.

• Speaking of America's Third-Worst State Legislature and its unfortunate habit of meeting, State Senator Luke Kenley, whose standing Senate committee on Government Finance, Daniels PR Damage Control, and Covered Per Diem Expenses is now in permanent session, found hisself an actuary willing to claim that Indiana's share of the Obama/Hitler Healthcare program will be twice the national average, provided you approach it with that result in mind. This, of course, led local teleprompter readers to read this off their teleprompters as though the results had been carved in stone by Cecil B. DeMille.

Kenley, whose sad descent into Wingnuttery has been traceable by the hour over the past three-four years, suggested that as a result Indiana should withdraw from the Medicaid program, thereby eliminating all healthcare costs for everyone who remains in the state. Save, of course, footing the bill for state legislators.

• Speaking of which: last Friday afternoon I developed a pain in me guts, which only got worse, and after an early bedtime I woke in the middle of the night, stood up, and discovered I had a fever and the sort of chills generally associated with epidemics stemming from 18th century hygiene practices (which, with any luck, Indiana's Republican majorities will be reinstating in January 2011). This meant one thing: my first diverticulitis attack in three years. I slept away 22 of the next 24 hours, waking only long enough to ponder the fact that what I needed were antibiotics, and that what I was likely to get from a visit to clinic, or direct to the emergency room the clinic would have directed me to after extracting $200 for its trouble, was a date with MRI, an effort to keep me there for 72 hours, and another opportunity to be reminded that Medical Insurance Accounting is a far more creative activity than I imagined back on Senior Careers Day. And I'm one of the fortunate who has sufficient insurance to prevent penury in case of catastrophic illness. Unless the insurance company gets involved.

Because, of course, it was a weekend. Now, if what I'd needed was access to fireworks and/or liquor...

A couple things are worth mentioning here. One, Indiana has limited medical malpractice awards since the mid-70s reign of Governor Otis R. "Kindly Doc" Bowen, the Unindicted Bremen Physician, so I am presumably benefitting, cost-wise, from all the inattention I can stand. And so the incontinent testing is either a) excessive caution; b) a professional tic; or c) pure profit. Take your pick. The other thing is that I shelled out $600 my cost for some Glamor Shots of my damaged knee a couple years back, and the surgeon still found some surprises once he got inside; this is the same industry which informed us that my severely demented Mother was "just a little blue" and probably needed a dog or something. Though this does lessen the threat of Indiana's impending return to leeching and Humour Balancing, at least somewhat.


Scott C. said...

Well, the one nice thing about our regression to 19th Century health care norms is that OTC bromides and panaceas will once again contain generation portions of alcohol, opium, and cocaine. So just try to hang on until the medicine show arrives.

Hope you feel better both much and soon.

Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

Sorry to hear about the diverticulitis flare-up (my mother suffers from the same malady), D.R. Please get on the mend as soon as it's possible.

Grace Nearing said...

Mr. Nearing is one of the two dozen or so Nick Drake fans still around. He too has mixed feelings about Drake being used as commercial muzak; I suppose it's better than having Drake completely lost to the ages. (And what ad agency actually retains someone old enough and/or with such an eclectic musical background to know about Drake?)

Wish Boyd would come out with a follow-up to White Bicycles....

heydave said...

So many ideas, fluttering like angry butterflies in my head...

First, get better, stat (as the doctor kids say). I can truly empathize with getting sick just prior to a weekend. Fucking two days of expensive hospital loitering just to hear "oops, it went away before we could catch it" on Monday. But get better and look for that Dr. Feelgood Tonic that Scott promises.

Second, while I'm sure you don't share all of my tastes, it pisses me off no end to hear any Who Muzak, although I realize some people claim their whole repertoire 'taint even fit for elevators. Meh.

But thirdly, and how appropriate, what make the Hoosier state's legislature 3rd best? Which states come in win and place?