Our youngest son and his friend, Simon, are visiting us this Christmas season. With our son’s return strains of original music are again wafting throughout the house. He and Simon are composing on their computers.
It may be a return to fresh music, but everything is different now. In many ways there’s no return at all. Gone is the need for a quiet space to record in. Gone is the thrashing drum set, the pounding, melodic bass, and gone, too, are guitars. Everything you can imagine can be generated on the computer.
So there’s hope for me yet, right? Suddenly, I don’t have to be able to play an instrument well to be a musician. But I would have to learn the program. And that might be more difficult–like learning to pilot the lunar module. For now I’ll stick with the noise I can disgorge from a bass and guitar.
Manny and Simon are fine musicians in their own right, but they have embraced this new frontier. It’s like having a studio’s entire recording apparatus inside a laptop. Apparently, there’s no limit. A couple of weeks ago Manny played me his latest number, on which were 50 tracks. Fifty! The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was recorded on four-track equipment with engineers making reduction mixes, where the four tracks from a machine are mixed and dubbed into a single track on a master four-track recorder.
And now–that is to say, next month–we’ll have an entire nation’s governing apparatus inside the House of Representatives. I know: That’s only one half of one of our three branches of government. But it’s also 435 tracks–the majority Democratic.
Our criminal president, our commander-in-chief, who can’t be bothered to defend us against ongoing Russian interference in our elections because he’s in the Russian mafia, is the number one cheerleader for the looming government shutdown.
Our feckless Senate, fawning all over the president in his defense, is laughably useless.
And our Supreme Court has yet to be tested in the weightiest of any decisions to come.
That leaves the House rowing an aircraft carrier.
It will be fascinating to observe exactly what the House can and cannot accomplish. I’m not holding my breath, even if the House’s flipping is a step in the right direction.
More broadly, these days, it seems as if everyone is rowing an aircraft carrier. Life can be difficult.
A toast, then, to 2019: May it bring rest; and may it be a year of many steps, finally, all in the right direction.