· I sat in my truck in the parking lot of a shopping mall in El Paso; the lights were going out at 9pm. Closing time. The Heart of America. My wife was in there exchanging something - or maybe she and her mom were robbing a jewelry store. I waited for gunfire. Sirens. Cops. I sat watching the dark glow of the mountains and conjuring up my next "rant." Maybe one more parting swipe at the whining shipwreck music biz. Enjoyable. Maybe tell how there are no more music cats like John Hammond senior who signed Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Bruce Springsteen and dozens of others, and stuck to his guns and let them develop. The Godfather. Music thrived. Creativity thrived. It used to be called "A & R."And then I thought I'd point to Nashville as the prime template for the ruination of The Song. I was thinking all you had to do was print out the Billboard Top Ten Country Charts for the past fifty years and you'd see that in 1988, or so, about the time Garth Brooks flew in on his wire, the whole thing went into the shit house. You won't recognize most of the songs after that. Disposable. And then I thought I'd dredge up a metaphor from William S. Burroughs' book: "Naked Lunch" and contend Nashville is a great example of the old carnie routine: "The Man Who Taught His Asshole to Talk." (Pardon my French.) It's a sideshow routine…except pretty soon the asshole begins to talk on its own accord and the man's head and brain and heart atrophy. Ya know? Like Nashville. Like when they told Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones and the boys they were now "credibility artists," not wanted on the air waves. But then, in that parking lot in the heart of America, I made the mistake of turning on the public radio station, and Sarah Palin was railing forth. John McCain's VP running mate? Most of you know I do not enter into political debates…but the drivel coming out of this person's mouth was on par with a white high school senior running for student body president in small town Mississippi circa 1962. Holy shit, John McCain, I use to respect you. Alaska? Governor? Credibility? Cool place, but they'd elect Old Dan Tucker governor, because "he washed his face in a fryin' pan." The dull, red neck, clichéd and infantile right wing banter emanating from this woman!…Lordy, Lordy!...it's desperate times out there. Mighty desperate. Go ahead, folks, and vote with your fear in your belly. Order up your fear with your double burger with American cheese and ketchup. Kiss my ass, por favor. I'm gonna register to vote. I shook John Kennedy's hand once and I was on the Letterman show with John McCain and respected him…but…got to register…Holy God. Got to, if I'm ever gonna tour Europe again, with this passport, and expect any amount of respect, I reckon we need a change out there. Bob Dylan's candidate is good enough for me. I don’t abide the fear routine. I don’t abide the faux John Wayne swaggering. Don’t buy it. The breath of the elephant stinks of old shoes, fear, and piss water. The Republicans have wet the bed. It's time to change the sheets.
· My fellow Americans, I thank you for your time.