Music Feed

Trucking, the Joy of Sirius Radio, and Working another Holiday

Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone lucky enough to enjoy life. I have to work on the road; and I mean really get after it. I have to unload early in the morning, make three California pickups, and deliver in Oklahoma sometime early Monday.

But that isn't the biggest problem; my radio quit. It says "amp fault" on the readout. I have no noise whatsoever. I can't listen to Sirius, get a CD, or use the am/fm.

This means I am missing the weather channel (with a hurricane in progress), mideast peace talks are on, (but I will never get to hear how we failed), and all of my favorite artists (Rage Against the Machine, Primus, The Beastie Boys, and others) will not have the joy of keeping me awake in those sleepy moments.

My radio has done this before. But this time it seems if it has finally completely shorted out. It hasn't worked since Flagstaff. This means I have had time to think, and that makes me dangerous.

Sirius has changed the way truckers do their jobs. Gone are the lonely days and nights of silence, CB radio arguments, and suitcases full of tapes and CDs. We can listen to the Weather Channel while driving through the Nevada desert. You can't even find a local am station out that far. And Sirius has given truckers opportunities to engage in regular society and keep up with current events.

I am at the Freedom Truck Wash in Kingman, Arizona, and the guys here are really helpful. When I told them my radio had crapped out, they offered all kinds of help.

Just minutes ago they asked me to pull my truck out of the wash bay, and guess what!!! I have noise again.

Maybe I won't miss my deliveries and pickups after all, and I will know every turn Earl makes.

The holiday is looking a lot better.

Thoughts on Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu is indeed "lucky" the cops didn't show up for her St. Patrick's Day striptease at Dealey Plaza. Many can argue her video is a piece of exhibitionism and not art. However, she brings up a topic we don't discuss as often as we should. "Groupthink," and its close cousin "character assassination," is typically used by people hoping to destroy another person's credibility. We all know how it works, and many of us have been victims of this behavior. If you dare to speak out against abuse, unmitigated nosiness, and pettiness, then you too may find yourself in the "crosshairs" of some unimaginative character attack. I don't know if Erykah is really focusing on her own personal experiences, or if she is trying to communicate a larger societal problem. No matter what her motives were, she has certainly created some controversy. If you are different, then you are a potential target.

Unless you are well educated, or have been a target of "group think" yourself, you may not even realize you are participating in this act of ignorance and cruelty. If you are knowingly advocating an unfair and ganglike attack on an individual, then chances are you may never suffer a just punishment. We tend to overlook this social ill. But, from a larger perspective, this garden variety tool has been used by some pretty large players. Maybe I am referring to the tactics employed by Fox News and its personalities: Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, et al. The truth is I hate to single them out; almost everyone has been guilty during the health care debate.

We can never overlook the dangers of "groupthink" and the herd mentality. This is the same type of thinking that causes innocent people to get hurt: Salem witch trials, The Holocaust, and even small town shame and ignorance.

For a better understanding of "group think" do a little research.