ARE YOU FOR IT? OR AGAINST IT?

What has happened to us?

It was within my lifetime that we were, at least temporarily, a unified country. When New York’s Twin Towers were attacked, while we reeled with accepting with the reality that someone could actual pull the trigger on such a heinous act, we all put our differences aside and we were all Americans.

These days, the only thing all Americans have in common is our differences.

Having two sides to simple issues like wearing a face mask is borderline insanity, yet we’re really just warming up. In a poll released this week, only 42% said they would want to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, once we have a vaccine. So, after we test and come up with a solution to this virus, we’ll move on from “Mask versus No Mask” to “Vaccine or No Vaccine.”

And on it will go.

I hope to stick around a couple of decades so I can hear the questions I expect when people look back on this time, including, “What the hell were you guys thinking?”  Well, I can answer that now–we weren’t thinking. The American society has de-evolved into a non-thinking nation of sheep, who pick a side and then, instead of processing information, they know how to feel and embrace what “their side” believes on the topic.

I love how the millionaires in Washington, D.C. are saying that our kids HAVE to go back to school this fall. Why? To get things “back to normal” and so their parents can go back to work to return the economy to glory. A quick reminder that the people leading the charge on sending the kids to school either a) Are too old to have school aged kids or b) Make enough on their government salaries (that you’re paying) that they send their kids to private schools.

“Returning to normal” has real consequences. See California, Texas and Florida for details. World-wide, 700,000 people have already died from coronavirus. But as you would expect, we have two sides to that. One says that those statistics are true. And if you don’t believe that, you’ve got a handy collection of catchy phrases to throw out there. “Oh, not all those were COVID” or, “Well, yeah, but a lot more recovered than died!” Absolutely true, but also meaningless to those who lost a parent, a family member or a friend to coronavirus.

I have one friend whose wife spent 37 days in the hospital, including several weeks on a ventilator, and she recovered. I have a cousin in Yakima whose nursing home had a breakout, she caught it, but has since recovered. So there are two of the people who didn’t lose their life and that some will hold up and say, “See, it’s not that bad.”

It all depends on which side you’re on.

I like being on the side that wants to avoid catching the disease entirely. Sure, that means I could be over-cautious, but I’m willing to take that risk. It seems like a small price to pay. Years from now, you might want to point at pictures of me wearing a mask and say, “Boy, you were so stupid.”  In fact, I hope that happens, because the alternative–the B to that side A—is that I’m saying, “Gee, I still don’t get why didn’t roll with common sense. I miss them.”

If you can just remove the politics from your life for even just a moment, you might find that there’s a much better way to live out there. We only get so much time on this rock. Yes, you do have the God-given right to not wear a mask. To that end, no one is forcing you to get an annual physical, brush your teeth or eat healthier. Now, those are all things that will help keep you healthier and promote sticking around for a longer time, but they’re certainly not required. Our U.S. constitution protects your right to be ignorant.

Listen to your brain. It’s trying to talk to you.

Tim Hunter

Goodbye Bjarne

This is such a surreal time. Event after event canceled, weddings reduced to a small, socially-distanced collection of core relatives or just postponed with the hope of pulling it off next year. Funerals, where families gather for closure in their grief, not allowed.

Such is the case with the passing of Bjarne Varnes. We won’t be able to give him the big sendoff he deserves.

Bjarne (pronounced Byarna, although I’ve heard it like Barney with a y) was an impressive force in the local Norwegian community, and he welcomed me as a brother when I first started finding myself surrounded by all things Norwegian. When I met my wife back in 2007, she had immersed herself into the various Norwegian organizations and so, if I wanted to spend time with her, I’d need to attend meetings of the Sons of Norway, the Norwegian Commercial Club, the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce, a Norwegian Ladies Chorus Concert or a Nordic Heritage Museum event. And if I was there, so was Bjarne Varnes.

He was that guy with the friendly smile who walked like he might be in pain, but he would never let you know it. Bjarne would always greet you by name and if you could spend enough time with him, he’s easily work in a story about one of his recent trips to Norway. He had construction skills, and if he had the time to help you with something, he’d be all over it.  He always had something going on.

He emceed events in a way that made everyone feel welcome. Folksy would be a good word. But like I said, Bjarne was everywhere.

He was the University of Washington employee interviewed in this NBC story years ago.

Just a few years ago, he was among the contestants at the annual Lutefisk Eating Contest at Ballard Seafoodfest.

But Bjarne didn’t just show me a lot about life, he also taught me about the inevitable. Those close to him knew he had some health issues, which is code for battling cancer, for the last 7 years. I don’t recall the exact last time I saw him, but I remember sitting down to chat with him and asking him the typical, “How’s it going?” and he replied, “Not good, not good.” But he didn’t go into detail and he didn’t stay there. He was just informing me as a friend of the reality of his situation. He then returned to that smile of his and off we went into some other subject that had to do with living and doing and being.

You know, with this pandemic, there have been a lot friends I haven’t seen for a long, long time. I heard about Bjarne’s health failing and that this was going to be it, but before I could figure out a time to stop by and see him or if that was even possible, he passed. It’s a bit hard for me to realize he’s actually gone, because he was always so alive.

I don’t know about you, but at one time in my life, I felt if I made it 75 years, that would be plenty. Soon I will attempt a soft landing on my 65th birthday, which will put me at 10 years remaining until 75; I can already tell you that is hardly enough. I know that it was far less than what Bjarne had in mind, but the thing about Mr. Varnes was–he made every single one of those years count.

Rest well, my friend. Thanks for showing me how one of the good ones do it.

Tim Hunter

 

It’s Just a Guitar

Not really.

Those outside the music world probably can’t appreciate the significance and importance of a instrument. I mean, c’mon, it’s wood, some fiberglass, strings and you strum on it, right?

My wife’s cousin’s husband, Donnie Dacus, has put his ‘Angel’ up for sale. He posted this vivid description of its importance and how much it is a part of his story in this Facebook post this week:

My Angel – The “Alive Again“ Guitar

“Angel”, my Stratocaster,  was acquired in Hollywood Calif. from Arturo Valdez, “Guitar Maker to the Stars”. He had suggested that this guitar, which he had restored, was a perfect match for my guitar skills. He had worked on all of my guitars and Valdez comes with a Who’s Who of credentials. I have included his info here.

“Angels” first coming out party was the mid 70’s.

Her first gig with me at the Greek Theatre in Hollywood, CA. I was playing guitar with Boz Scaggs on the ‘Silk Degrees’ Tour. She sang true and in the backup band were members of Toto, David Paige and myself, along with, and of course, Boz Scaggs.

After a long US tour playing the largest venues in the country, we found ourselves on the next tour with Kiki Dee and singing beside Elton John at the Roxy in Los Angeles. After a tour through the U.S. we wound up in New York playing with Kiki Dee in a large festival in Central Park to thousands of fans.

After the tour, “Angel” lived with me while I was starring in the the Motion Picture, “ Hair “, directed by Milos Foreman. She was my direct source to an instrument and comfort during that time.

After 10 months of filming we left unexpectedly, flying back to Los Angeles after hearing of Terry Kath’s untimely death by Russian Roulette. I had been introduced as a guitarist to audition for his replacement after the band Chicago had auditioned more than 40 guitarists for the position. We took quite a chance, as we were not allowed contractually to leave New York due to filming rights.

Angel sang again clearly as we began the rehearsal playing the song “Feelin Stronger Everyday“. To my surprise, we–Angel and I–were chosen as band members to begin recording immediately after my filming was completed. She is the guitar you hear on most all of the tracks on the albums, Hotstreets and Chicago 13, VI Chicago Decades Live on “ Little One “ and prominently on the intro to “Alive Again”, which was played at the Super Bowl in 1978.

She played in front of more than 120,000 plus concert goers and appeared on the Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune front page with our picture together. We were featured in People Magazine October 13th, 1978.

Angel has played in front of millions of concert goers and her last prominent gig was on Saturday Night Live on “I’m a Man” during the end of 1979.

I have decided its time for her to fly again and share her story whether on stage or in person. She is bruised, scratched, and has changed in attitude but she has won many victories and fought many a musical battle. She won countless times.

She has traveled the world on more than 3 continents and been played by Leo Fender himself in his personal lab near Anaheim, CA. Leo Fender made several guitars for me as well. Wow!

Angel comes with Multi-Platinum and Multi-Gold Record status.

Please message me regarding sale of this collectable item. Cash Only. Please, only serious collectors

I know it pains Donnie to let this guitar go. If you have an interest or know someone who might, please pass along their information and we’ll connect them.
Tim Hunter

Ban the Mask!

Frankly, we’ve got so many bigger things to tackle, debating on whether or not you HAVE to wear a mask seems–what’s the word–oh, yeah: stupid.

Those insisting that preventing the spread of the coronavirus is an affront to their personal freedoms most likely started out their lives folding their arms and saying, “I don’t wanna!” A certain percentage of poorly-skilled and insecure parents then probably said, “OK, Buffy, if you don’t want to, that’s just fine with me.”

I think we have finally reached the point where we need to turn this around. Work with me on this, but I believe that wearing masks should be banned and made punishable by 6 months in a germy prison.

This works two-fold. To start with, all of us who insist on wearing them would become the outlaws. Allow us to feel that for a while. We could be the despised, the ridiculed, the ones doing the wrong thing. Maybe that would inspire some of those currently refusing to wear masks to wear one. You know, reverse psychology, which a skilled parent uses when their child say, “I don’t wanna.”

And, perhaps, by making masks illegal, those with the infringed rights might have a little dab of logic permeate their brains. Because, when I say, “No masks” I mean nada. Nowhere, now way, no how.

So, pity the catcher in baseball and that first foul tip that comes his way at 100 mph. Or the hockey goalie having to defend a flying piece of hard plastic with whatever teeth remain in his mouth. Welders, sorry, but you’re going to have to scorch a cornea or two for a while. I mean, we don’t want those rights infringed.

Oh, and you’ll be able to spot the beekeepers a mile away with those lumpy faces.

That’s right, we all need to realize that requiring masks are part of a government conspiracy. I believe it was the 8th amendment to the Bill of Rights that said, “Thou shalt not weareth a mask.” Or, maybe I’m confusing that with the 10 Commandments. Whatever.

This past week, I interviewed the head of the Snohomish Farmers Market up north. She had asked for the interview with the hope of conveying to listeners that wearing masks is a STATE requirement. It’s not political, and they don’t want to have to be the Mask Police. They just want to sell you berries or something and not risk getting a fine themselves.

But I’m fully braced for my mask ban to be rejected. We’ll probably just continue in our fractured way, with politics being the factor on whether we wear a mask or not. Estimates are that if we continue on our current course, upwards of 200,000 Americans will be dead from the coronavirus by November 3rd, Election Day.

It upsets me that so many people ignore the science, ignore the statistics and believe COVID-19 will just go away, as the president has suggested. I can only go by what I believe to be true and I believe that if I wear a mask, and use a lot of caution for the next four months, I’ll be among those around to vote in the next election.

Tim Hunter

All Over The Board

I usually start the week looking for something that tugs after me and requires me to make my opinion known on the subject. I wanted to go so many different directions this week, that I decided it would be best to write a few mini-blogs within the framework of the mothership.

MAKING IT COUNT–In the course of writing 991 previous blogs, the theme of not taking one day for granted has come up before, but this week just slapped me in the face. I’m glad to be reminded because I plan to soak every bit of this life up while I can, but dang, I got the point. Can we lay low for a while?

  • Naya Rivera  My wife & I made it through the whole series of “Glee” when it was on the air. Naya was the edgy character, the rebel with spunk, the rival for Lea Michele’s character. A couple of seasons in, we heard of cast squabbles and eventually, she left the show for a while, only to come back. I didn’t know her from Adam, but from all reports, the last moments of her life were spent rescuing her son from drowning before she went under. It was an act that spoke volumes about her. And they were just going for a swim.
  • The Bothell Police Officer who found himself on patrol Monday night, having to pull over a vehicle which turned into a gunfight and resulting in losing his life. It’s the first loss of life in that department in 25 years and not only is the department, but the entire community is rocked. In the days ahead, we’ll hear of his circumstances and how he had the rest of his life ahead of him.

It takes training, but slowing down enough to realize what’s going on around you will definitely help you experience so much more than just trying to get to the next thing. Enjoy it all while you’ve got it.

WEAR THE DAMN MASK–The arrogance, the “I know better” attitude of the millions of mental midgets around the United States of America has me at a loss. What do you need to know? There’s a virus, it can kill you and while it may not kill you, it could use you as a conduit to kill someone you love. How this “Wearing a mask violates my rights” concept ever started is beyond me. But rather than go on about it, how about a couple of visuals.

First off, if we had only been better about masks and self-isolation from the beginning, I can only imagine how much better off we would be.

And as for having to wear a mask, you really should put your common sense to the test.

GET UP EARLY AND SEE THE COMET  In case you didn’t know, there’s a comet that is only visible right before sunrise and only through this weekend. It’s called the Neowise comet and if you think, “Oh, I’ll just catch it next time,” well, that will be in 6,000 years. I’m afraid the only people around for it the next time will be Keith Richards and Betty White.

Of course, if you don’t want to get up at 4am just to see a comet, you can always Photoshop one in, right?

OK, there you go. As I said, not a lot to say about any one thing, but things to say about a couple of subjects. And blog #992 is in the books. Thanks for the read.

Tim Hunter

 

Yes, You Can Be A Psychic, Too!

I always knew I could be a psychic.

See, there I go again.

In fact, the future is really easy to predict if you simply observe reality.

To be honest, it didn’t really take a psychic to predict that cases of coronavirus would skyrocket if we just went outside and continued doing what we did before the pandemic, since it was “all a hoax”. Or, “It’s not that bad.” Or, “It’s the disease that kills old people.”

Do you have the right to not wear a mask in public?  Absolutely. I believe our Founding Fathers included that in the fine print of the Bill of Rights.

You have the right to not wear a seatbelt and odds are, you’ll be fine. Well, unless you get into an accident. Then you’ll hear the words, ‘Told you so’ as you fly through the windshield past the person who buckled up.

Does your freedom include being able to walk out into a hurricane or tornado?  You bet. A sound-minded person probably wouldn’t do that, but you’re all about personal freedoms, aren’t you, pal?  You need to be able to prove that you’re in control of your life and that people who have dedicated their entire lives studying diseases and epidemics–well, they’re just plain wrong and don’t know what they’re talking about. And, better yet, you’ve got the president on your side.

Several weeks ago, I predicted the cases of coronavirus would skyrocket and I was right. I take no pleasure in that and actually, wish I had been wrong. I also seriously hope the University of Washington scientists are wrong when they say 200,000 Americans will have died from coronavirus by November. However, with the current explosion of cases, it’s entirely possibly we will go beyond that.

But let’s get off “Virus Talk” and make some bold, psychic predictions. Right now, you have a fairly empty downtown Seattle, as thousands of workers have been instructed to work from home. Companies are now realizing that can be done, without hurting their efficiency, and it’s becoming obvious that you no longer need to occupy a bunch of expensive real estate downtown. Now, the easy prediction would be that there will be a crash in the commercial real estate market. And what makes that prediction a sure bet is that our incredibly wise Seattle city council decided to pass what they call a “Jumpstart Tax”, which they insist only affects the really wealthy businesses downtown. (hint–it rhymes with Schmazon) The council claims this will generate $200-million, which they say they need to fix the city’s problems, mostly homelessness.

Now, I know the council members are all busy people and maybe they just forgot about how much is already being spent on homelessness in the area. As in $54 million by the city, $195 million in King County and some estimates say as much as $1 billion in the region. We’re talking EVERY YEAR! And with every passing year and all that spending, it continues to get worse.  Dare to go downtown and you’ll find a non-stop collection of people living on the sidewalks, the freeway off-ramps or any other place they choose, not because of need, but because of choice. Resources are available, but most turn them down to continue living their lives battling drug addiction or mental health issues.

So, back to the Jumpstart Tax. My prediction is that the tax will live up to its name and Jumpstart businesses to seriously think about relocating. If I owned a company and had to choose between staying in Seattle with empty offices and a $7-million tax hit or relocating to another one of the many wonderful and welcoming cities in the area, I get out of Dodge using that $7-million I would have spent in taxes to pay for moving expenses. Most likely, I’d be able to negotiate a better lease (probably with free parking) in another city, and I can put that $7-million annual hit to my bottom line. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist.

If your logic is that “Oh, Amazon can afford that”, they already donate to charity without involving our extremely inefficient government. They estimate that Amazon contributed $2-billion from 2009-2017 and just this year, Mr. Bezos has pledged $2-billion a year towards the fight on homelessness in multiple cities. They even opened a homeless shelter in one of their newer buildings downtown. Amazon is actually doing something about the problem and so to reward them, you hit them with a tax? Sound thinking.

So when the last major business leaves Seattle and it becomes the biggest ghost town in the U.S., maybe, just maybe, Seattle voters will finally get fed up enough to make a change at city hall, and get the Emerald City back on track.

In all honesty, that’s more of a hope than a prediction. Frankly, I’ve had some serious doubts lately about the future of my once-favorite big city.

But you knew that. See how easy it is to be a psychic?

Tim Hunter

Another Streak Snapped

2020 continues to taint its reputation with each new day. Cirque du Soleil has now filed for bankruptcy and has let go of its 3500 employees. This week, as we braced ourselves for another new month and what terror it might introduce, we said goodbye to a comedy legend, Carl Reiner.

Just today, I got word that the Sears store where I held my very first paying job, is heading for the history books.

There I was, the newly-elected senior class president as I headed into the summer before my final year of high school. Somehow, I was invited to be a member of the Sears Teen Fashion Board. Those who know me well are breaking out into hysterics, so I’ll give you a moment to regroup. Yeah, I’ve never been known as a fashion plate, unless you include bad fashion.

What that meant was that yours truly actually modeled clothes at the mall when Sears was rolling out the new fall fashions. They had my picture up in the store, wearing those Sears clothes. They also offered up the chance for me to put in 10-15 hours or so each week as an employee. I was what they called, a “floater”, meaning wherever they needed extra help, that’s where I would be assigned. The challenging part of that role was showing up to work and then finding out where I was headed. I’d put on my shirt and tie, arrive at the store and some days, find myself out in the garden shop loading bags of steer manure into trunks of cars.

But as if all that history and transition wasn’t enough, this is also the week that, for the first time in years, I won’t be standing along Main Street in Bothell on the 4th of July, doing the play-by-play of the annual Freedom Festival Parade. I’m not exactly sure when that tradition began, but I’ve got to think it’s been most of the the last 18 years. I seem to remember starting it when I was still waking people up at KLSY, and that concluded in 2003.

Celebrating our country’s birthday brings up so many memories, as the celebration has evolved for me over the years. Back in the day, I remember the family piling into the car, kids in our PJ’s, and driving down to find a spot on the beach so we could watch the fireworks there. Back in South Dakota visiting relatives one summer, I remember marveling at how my young cousins were allowed to run around and light off firecrackers.

Of course, in Torrance, they only sold the “Safe & Sane” variety of fireworks which, at that time, was pretty mild compared to today’s version. There was Smokey Joe, who’s picture appeared on the bottom of the box. You’d poke the hole in his mouth and insert his “cigar” which amazingly smoked! There were smoke bombs, the occasional pinwheels and fountains. Lots and lots of fountains. Oh, and Picolo Pete’s, which we discovered as we got older, if you clamped down on the first ‘e’ in Pete, it would whistle for a while then explode.

However, what I remember most about the 4th was going to the fireworks stand and having dad say that phrase he would utter every year, “I don’t know why we just don’t light a $20 bill on fire.”

Years later, I called him up on the phone and asked him to say it again, one more time, for old times’ sake. Today, I’d like to share it with you.

 

While raising kids in Bothell, we lived in a fun neighborhood that developed the tradition of making a run to Boom City, circling the lawn chairs and then explosives that could win a war roar into the sky for a couple of hours. From those days, I recall the time my son wanted to light one of the mortars, which he did….but it fell over and started shooting into the crowd. People scrambled, dashing behind whatever they could find and luckily, no one was hurt. But it’s one of those scenes I can see in my mind like it was yesterday.

While our night-time 4th of July celebrations these days are pretty much relegated to the TV and watching the fireworks displays there, at 11am on Independence Day, my place is along Main Street, as the Kiddie Parade kicked things off, followed by the Freedom Festival Grand Parade. It’s pretty much the parade where if you live in Bothell, you’re either in or at the parade. People put out their lawn chairs to reserve their spots along the parade route up to a week before it happens.

Over the years, I’ve had a flurry of co-hosts, but for the past couple of years, Bothell Kenmore Chamber buddy Mike Rue has joined me for the play-by-play and we’ve had a blast. Since we will be silenced this year, I thought I’d dig out last year’s parade so you can get a taste of what the broadcast is like.

                                                                                         Freedom Festival 2019

Yes, the on-going nightmare that is 2020 has snapped my streak, but I’m planning to start a new one next year. Or the year after that. Whenever we can gather together again. These days, we just don’t know.

Enjoy your 4th and all the freedom that comes with it.

Tim Hunter

Sitting in History

So, last weekend, we took advantage of some friends’ offer to go east of the mountains and enjoy a socially distant visit to their Moses Lake cabin. This manufactured home with a massive deck right on the west shore of the Lake was an extremely welcome getaway.

By the way, for the record, Moses never visited Moses Lake. I had a friend ask if we got any new commandments when we were there, and I said, “No, but we could probably use a few.”

Anyway, back to this final weekend of spring burst of summer, with 90-degrees waiting for us. Their massive deck was the perfect spot to sit apart from each other and get caught up. At one point, our friend Ed suggested I try one of the wooden lounge chairs at the far end of their deck. It was something one of his sons tracked down last year. In fact, there were a set of two–faded teak wood deck chairs, as if on a cruise ship.

In fact, they were. There were two metal plaques on the chairs. One that let you know these were meant for first class.

Finally, I’ve made it!

The other plaque told me which ship it came from–the S.S. Bremen.

The S.S. Bremen was a luxury cruise ship made in a German shipyard that sailed the seas in the days before World War II.

Here’s what Wikipedia had to say about her:

SS Bremen was a German-built ocean liner constructed for the Norddeutscher Lloyd line (NDL) to work the transatlantic sea route. Bremen was notable for her bulbous bow construction, high-speed engines, and low, streamlined profile. At the time of her construction, she and her sister ship Europa were the two most advanced high-speed steam turbine ocean liners of their day. The German pair sparked an international competition in the building of large, fast, luxurious ocean liners that were national symbols and points of prestige during the pre-war years of the 1930s.

But as the clouds of war began to form, the ships were taken out of the cruise service and in fact, were actually used to put German soldiers in place for an invasion of England that never happened.

As World War II raged on, the need for munitions mean they would be more valuable torn apart for their metal. How these chairs survived over 90 years was a testament to the quality of their construction.

As I sat there relaxing, I pictured myself in the First Class section in the days when it was a luxury cruise ship, relaxing, enjoying the view and waiting for the server to bring me a cold beverage, which never happened.

I did spend the bulk of my deck time in one of those chairs, taking myself on mental vacations for as long as the quiet would last. Then, when the others at the other end of the deck started talking, I’d yell out, “Hey, you people in coach, keep it down.”

I’m not sure what came over me, but I simply fell in love with those chairs. How fortunate that their son was able to find these out there, somewhere and if they could talk, oh, what stories they would be able to tell.

For a while, I was sitting in history.

The weekend ended. I bid farewell to these chairs who continue to enjoy the view of Moses Lake. One day, when chairs are able to talk, we’ll have to get back together again so I can hear all of their stories.

I’ll bet they have some good ones.

Tim Hunter

Thuffering Thuckatash!

Every day I wake up and just can’t wait to see how the world is going to unravel just a little bit more than the day before.

Oh, we’ve got some serious issues and problems to deal with. Systemic hatred that should have been long gone, a killer virus that people insist isn’t that bad, etc. You know what’s going on.

But then, the other day, it was announced that when HBO Max revives the Looney Tunes cartoon franchise, Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd will no longer carry guns.

Can I tell you how relieved I am that this long-time threat has finally been removed and we can all walk the streets of Toontown without fear. Now, before you judge me as a “Second Amendment or Die” type of person (because people feel the need to instantly decide what other people are thinking these days), I’m not. I support the right to own guns for protection, for sport, for shooting practice–that’s what the forefathers had in mind. They did not imagine automatic weapons that can mow people down as a fundamental right. And when your laws don’t prevent mentally unbalanced people from owning these kinds of weapons, yes, you have a problem.

But this was meant to be light-hearted, so let’s get back to the original premise. I think if you’re going to take the cartoon weapons away from Elmer and Sam, you need to empty out all of those Warner Brothers cartoons so that it’s safe for young kids to look up from their single-shooter video games to watch a non-threatening cartoon.

I mean, after all, video games have never had a role in the mass shootings that have increased over the years. All this time, these dastardly deeds were carried out because no one could agree if it was Duck Season or Wabbit Season.

So, we’ve taken the guns away from those two characters. Let’s keep going:

We need to immediately confiscate Marvin the Martian‘s Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator. I get tired of his constant threats of blowing up the earth so he’ll have a better view.

Where do you begin with Wile E. Coyote? I mean, you could take away his anvil (after all, when anvils are outlawed, only outlaws and blacksmiths will have anvils). A better plan would to put him on a banned list so he could never shop again at Acme Products. Besides, Wile E., I think you could probably get a better price on Amazon.

Obviously, we need to remove the teeth of the Tasmanian Devil. Then, his biggest threat would be covering you with his slobber.

I’m going to assume that Pepe LePew is no longer acceptable with the ban on police using teargas and other harmful chemicals.

As for Sylvester the Cat, with our new, kinder, more gentler attitude towards the world, instead of constantly chasing after Tweety, maybe he should be required to go after Tweets and we can land him some kind of communications job at the White House.

And while we have no photographic proof, I’m fairly certain its just a matter of time before we see Foghorn Leghorn standing next to a confederate flag.

Oh, there are more Looney Tunes characters that have been brain-washing the youth of America. But if we right the above-mentioned wrongs, it’ll be a giant step forward to doing something.

What? I don’t exactly know.

Thufferin’ thuckatash.

Tim Hunter

 

Do You Need A Timeout?

Oh, I’m not saying you misbehaved and need to be punished. Then again, there are thousands of people that fit that category right now and probably why you went there.

No, I’m talking about the exhaustion that comes from the daily insanity of our leaders, the unrest, the rioting, the looting, the cabin-fever created by being good and staying home for several months. I’m suggesting that, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, I’d like to recommend an escape back to the 1960s.

I know, you’re thinking, “Wait a minute! The 1960’s? With all that went down in that decade? Are you kidding me?” OK, true, that was 10 years of serious unrest from civil rights marches to anti-war protests, assassinations, a doomed conflict in Viet Nam and so much more. But there was something about the decade that, if you were around you were lucky to experience it.

Two words: The Beatles.

 

I’ve written about them before, but while searching through Hulu the other day for something new, I came across Ron Howard’s “The Beatles: Eight Days A Week.”  I remember when that came out back in 2016 and how I read that it was a must-see. I felt it was long overdue, so, my wife and I started to watch it and became mesmerized. These days, so many of our memories are cleaned up, sanitized snapshots of the things we’d like to remember fondly. But, as you get longer, those snapshots start to fade. When it comes to the Fab Four, that was simply a phenomenon I will never forget.

Just like future generations will be curious about what it was like to live through a pandemic (after all, they only happen every hundreds years or so), it’s hard to convey just how much impact The Beatles had on music and our culture. They didn’t just influence music, they town ownership of the music industry and continued to evolve it as long as they were together. In watching Ron Howard’s film, I was transported back to the days when everyone on the earth knew the names John, Paul, George and Ringo (in that order) and that a Sunday night Ed Sullivan appearance meant you HAD to be in front of the TV to see them live, because all of your friends would be talking about it the next day.

The amazing thing about Ron Howard’s film is that it includes never-before-seen footage of them in concert, as if you were there. Before I go any further, here’s the trailer for the film.

To see them all so young, to watch them grow up in front of your eyes, from those fresh-faced lads from Liverpool, to the beard hippy-esque rooftop performers, it was simply amazing. For a  couple of hours, I was reminded of a very influential stretch of my childhood, as I looked back on the 60’s from my personal decade of the 60’s. Like I said, it’s hard to convey some of the things that I’ve lived through in my lifetime. That stretch of time, from their arrival in 1964 to their breakup in 1970, all occurred during my ages of 9 through 15.

As we grow older, its not unusual to fantasize about what it would be like to have grown up at a different time. For me, that would be a big, fat “No, thank you.” Each generation has their pro’s and con’s (and whatever this generation calls itself, you’ve getting a glut of cons), but I wouldn’t trade anything for being alive when music was redefined forever by The Beatles.

Watching it happen all over again was a wonderful timeout.

OK, now back to reality.

Tim Hunter