I am sitting by a crackling camp fire on a Friday afternoon. The wood burning is cherry and it emits a beautiful smelling smoke. Not far from me a Hipster and his dog Lumpy are goofing around their camp site. In a few minutes I will barbecue some fresh ling cod on the fire for fish tacos. Later, I might pull out the guitar and work on my country album. Track list so far:
Had to Put My Dog Down (wish it had been my ex-girlfriend)
Going to Winston
The Construction Worker Song
Jesus Will Rise on the Internet
I’ve always wanted to cut a country album. Now is the time.
It occurs to me that the greatest modern country song of all time is The Rolling Stones’ “Far Away Eyes,” released in 1978 off Some Girls. I don’ think it can be topped. It was and was not a joke.
Why are my thoughts around a camp fire so different than my thoughts while walking on the beach? Fire is good. Fire is primal. Fire is conversational. Fire burns things to the ground. We need real and metaphorical fire in this country to burn a few things down. It’s the only way we can regenerate.
Consider this: If Sherman had burned all of the South during the Civil War, not just the path to Atlanta and Atlanta, and the North annihilated the slave-holding class altogether and the traitors like Robert E. Lee, and stuck with Reconstruction, America would be a far different and better nation today. We had that one shot. We blew it.