Daily Archives: October 26, 2009

Freedy Johnston & Kinsley, Kansas

300px-Freedy-johnston[1]I first heard Freedy Johnston on NPR’s World Cafe where his best known album, Can You Fly? was reviewed.  I learned just recently that Johnston is from Kinsley, Kansas.  The small Edwards County town is slightly closer to Dodge City than Hutchinson on Kansas Highway 50.

According to All Music Guide: “[Johnston is] a gifted songwriter whose lyrics paint sometimes witty, often poignant, portraits of characters often unaware of how their lives have gone wrong, Freedy Johnston seemingly appeared out of nowhere in the early ’90s and quickly established himself as one of the most acclaimed new singer/songwriters of the day. Johnston was born in 1961 in Kinsley, KS, a small town with the odd distinction of being equidistant between New York City and San Francisco. Growing up, Johnston developed a strong interest in music, but living in a city without a music store or a record shop, doing something about it took some effort. When he was 16, Johnston bought his first guitar by mail order, and a year later, a friend drove him 35 miles to the nearest record store so he could buy an album he’d read about: My Aim Is True by Elvis Costello.”

KS1003011[1]Johnston headed to Lawrence and K.U. after graduating from high school.  He dropped out of college after attending less than one year.  He performed in Lawrence and was a huge fan of the local favorite new wave group, The Embarrassment.  Johnston set out for New York City in 1985.  After years of paying his dues, he produced his first album for an independent label Bar/None.  He sold off farm land that had been in the Johnston family for generations, to help produce his second album Can You Fly?  The gamble paid off and the album was named among the best of the year by the New York Times, the Village Voice, and Billboard.

Johnston managed to escape the agorophobia-producing vast open spaces of western Kansas.   With determination and hard work even citizens from Kinsley, Kansas can ascend to the world stage.

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They Shoot Falcon’s, Don’t They?

image5387408x[1]alg_balloon_floats[1]Thanks to my hero, Frank Rich, of the New York Times, for the inspiration for this thread.

Making money, and seeking one’s moment of fame these days is much like it was in the 1930’s  according to a recent NY Times editorial by Frank Rich.  The 1935 book, and then 1969 movie, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, examined the common man’s desperation for survival and attention at an especially despondent time in the history of this country.  The corruption and venality of current-day reality television and the dance marathon movement of the 1930’s are compared by Rich and unsettling similarities are revealed.

So, is it so terrible to expose one’s children to real or imagined danger if the goal is 15 minutes of fame, which can in turn, be exploited for obsence profits?  Has this Great Recession become the most recent version of the Great Depression?  What do you fine bloggers think?

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Filed under The Economy

Monday, 10/26/09, Public Square

Charles_StreetDeLuca’s Market, pictured here, is all dressed up for fall.  I took this picture during an October visit to Boston.  Our son lives just around the corner from this delightful market.  I’m going back in a couple of weeks and hoping winter hasn’t settled in.  Fall is nice, winter can be less than nice in Boston.

How was your weekend?  Did you get outside to enjoy our beautiful weather?  We tackled the piles of leaves, once again, knowing it would need to be done over again by next weekend.

Anything you want to talk about on this first day of a brand-new week?

fnord

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Filed under The Public Square