Reflections Blog

Reflections

Jonas Grushkin's Gemini

Jonas Grushkin may be one of the best jazz pianists and composers you’ve never heard of.  If so, prepare to be surprised and intrigued by his just-released album, Gemini.  Evoking dark and light, tragedy and comedy, ying and yang, and two opposites forming a whole, this album showcases technically proficient jazz combined with the raw energy and passion of blues.

The album reminded me that the piano is a percussion instrument, and Grushkin is a percussionist from his ponytail to his boot heels.  He says his earliest memory of rhythm came from his father practicing drum rolls around the house.  Lacking a drum kit, Grushkin practiced beat and syncopation on an upright piano and taught himself how to play the instrument.  He is as capable as any pianist with the soft touch, but his métier is hard-driving virtuosity, playing the keys like drums and making resounding statements that linger in the mind even as the beat and melody advance.

Tags: jazz, piano, Jonas Grushkin, blues, album, Apple Jack's
Trump in Denial

When I was in high school, I read a story about a voodoo priest who placed a death curse on a man.  The man didn’t believe in voodoo, so he wasn’t worried about it, but then he started feeling poorly.  His joints ached, he began sweating profusely, and he was running a fever.  He told a friend about the curse and asked if he should be worried.  The friend said, “Maybe you just have the flu.  If voodoo isn’t real, you’ll get better.  But if it is real, you’ll die, and what you believe won’t matter.”

This is how it is with global warming.  If it isn’t real, thousands of scientists and hundreds of world leaders are sounding the alarm for nothing, and their folly will become evident in the decades ahead.  But if global warming is real, then climate change deniers like Donald Trump, who’s announced he will pull America out of the Paris climate agreement, Steve Bannon (Trump’s shadowy rabbi), and Scott Pruitt (current Administrator of the EPA) are going to be shown for the fools they are.   The consequences of their buffoonery, however, will be felt throughout the world for decades—and maybe forever.  Trump, Bannon, and Pruitt won’t live to see the worst of the damage they’re inflicting on humanity, but our grandchildren will, as will their children and the generations that follow (if any do).

Tags: Donald Trump, president, climate, denial, Paris agreement, doomsday, global warming
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