I once read that after writing “Night Moves,” Bob Seger fell into a deep depression, fueled by the belief that he had hit the pinnacle of his career and would never write another song as great and meaningful as that one. Personally, I prefer “Old Time Rock and Roll,” but when I look at this image, I think to myself, “You might as well retire from graphic design because this is the greatest thing you’ll ever do.”
But Bob Seeger didn’t retire and neither will I. People are already asking for T-shirt versions of “Respect Your Local Monsters,” so that’s what I will make next. Plus I have another cool commission in the works.
The quote here is, of course, a riff off Woody Guthrie’s, “This Machine Kills Fascists,” message, which the folk singer wrote in black across his acoustic guitar. And the ukulele being a sort of baby guitar, its power is not as lethal, but still shots fired against the enemy.
As it’s looking more and more likely that this country is willing to go full Fascist in the next couple years, and Gen X is old and has back pain, and this is about the level of resistance I’m able to muster currently. I personally plan to get shot in the face in my own home if they start hauling off antifa. I’m Jewish and don’t have the stomach for going quietly.
Settling on a gratitude came with difficultly tonight; I seem to exist in a state of muted rage lately. That makes it hard to count your blessings. I’m either working or avoiding work at all times, and the number 1 way I’ve been avoiding work lately is this ukulele. Why is that slowly picking out “Stairway to Heaven” 40 times in a row feels easier than accomplishing the tasks I need to do, I want to do, other people are depending up me to do? Tasks I’m actually capable of successfully completely, unlike ever being able to play “Stairway” at tempo.
That’s just this week. Usually I don’t use it as a distraction, but more as a calmative. I had developed a bad habit of staring at the screen late at night, and the ukulele gives me something I can focus on in the dark (much like with touch typing, I realized the only way to learn to do it without looking was to make it impossible to look), allowing me to pull back from electricity and possibly sooth my psychotic circadian rhythms.
I’m grateful for the uke, and the ability to play music. I always, always wanted to play, but I hated the music I was supposed to learn for the piano, so I hated practicing, so I never got better. And my hands are too little and intractable for the guitar. And certain things I can only learn on my own, with my own hands. I pity the people who tried to teach young dragon about music.