where creative minds can interact
I started blogging back in the day when Myspace was an actual viable social network. That bygone era before Facebook was deemed Ruler of All Social Networks, and Myspace became the advertising flyer attached to peoples’ Facebook pages that’s about as appealing as the inside of Rupert Murdoch’s brain on bad acid.
I can’t tweet. Or at least I won’t. Except maybe on the rare occasion when I sense that my twelve rabid Twitter followers are just salivating in anticipation of when and where my next gig is.
I’m becoming, more and more, an internet hermit.
Welcome to my cave.
I’ve been traveling a good deal of late, mostly through the Midwest, Rocky Mountains, Southwest and West Coast regions of the U.S.
What always strikes me when I’m on the road is how huge the country is. On paper, it sounds like the Midwest and the West Coast, for instance, are very near each other.
The difference between the cities and the small towns or rural areas in America is also striking. Cities are for all intents and purposes the same. They pretty much have the same restaurants, the same gas stations, a similar sense of fashion. They watch the same television shows, the same movies and listen to the same music. There are obviously some architectural differences, climate differences and so on. But basically everybody is in the same hurry to get wherever it is they’re going so they can do whatever it is people in all those other cities are doing too.
But when you get into the small towns and rural areas, there is a huge difference between say Colorado and Nebraska. Or California and Kansas. Or Texas and anywhere.
America is this enormous country with a tremendously diverse interweaving patchwork of cultures, ethnicities, influences and history.
I freakin’ love it.
The bad news… a lot of these little towns are kinda falling apart. But the good news is that right in the middle of the decay, new growth is springing up.
Americans are, after all, a resilient and industrious lot. And all it really takes is a couple of people with a little bit of capital, some know how and imagination, and a whole lot of work ethic to perform the miracle of rebirth.
I see it happening all over. In Hutchinson, Kansas… in Gila, New Mexico… in Winslow, Arizona… and on and on. As Bob Dylan put it… “he who is not busy being born is busy dying.”
America (the real country, not the tottering empire) is busy being born every minute of every day. There is no going back.
Why would anyone want to?
The instigators of this rebirth are not banks nor governments. They’re visionary people, like you and me. Normal people. People who have the American Dream so deeply embedded in their cores that they might not even view it as such. People who believe that in America, given a little bit of good fortune and fortuitous timing, you can do what you want to do. People who believe that failure is always a temporary condition.
I’m kind of a news junkie when I’m home, and as I watch/listen to the news, it’s easy to sink into this kind of fuming state of frustration and anger. And we should be angry. Angry at the people who have been holding this great nation up by its heels and shaking every nickel out of its pockets. Corrupt and ethically vacuous people who pull the strings of power. And we should be angry at our supposedly representative government that seemingly has neither the will nor ability to do anything on behalf of the people it ostensibly represents.
I have to remind myself that even though there is a value to paying attention to such things, the underlying reality is that we are still a great nation… not because of the yahoos getting all the attention, but in spite of them.
America’s promise lies not in its political leaders, but within each of us as individuals, and groups of individuals. Every day, if we do what we can to make it a little better place, a little more compassionate, a little more creative… that’s what it will be.