Well, you know Bret and me, we've never been too political. When it came to this Walker recall thing we didn't sign the petitions but we didn't go vote in the recall election either. Bret said, "I can't get excited about this guy. I mean, he surrounds himself with crooks, and beating up on state employees is, like, pathetic." (We used to laugh at state employees secretly—we both have friends who work for the state and they never got to take all-expenses-paid trips to Cancun like we did! And they sure as hell never found a case of Johnnie Walker Black scotch on their doorstep from "Santa Claus" either!).
It's pretty amazing when you think that we got to really live the high life, with a big-ass McMansion and boats and his-n'-her SUVs and paid vacations in the tropics, and state employees never had ANY of that. And yet, now everybody is screaming about their money, and Scott Walker just took a big chunk of it!!!
That certainly would be unfair to those poor state workers who worked for years for those pensions, when they didn't even get to go to the nude beach in Cancun and drink umbrella drinks for two weeks on the bank's payroll.
"I don't know how they managed to piss Walker's people off so bad, but they sure did," sez my hubby. "And I thought bankers were ruthless. Hey, can you fetch me an MGD, hon?"
A WORLD WITHOUT BOB: This is going to take some getting used to.
Others were hit hard by the deaths of John Lennon or Jerry Garcia. For me, this is every bit as significant. While others grooved to "Imagine" or spaced out on the Dead, my head swam with singular Bob compositions like "Bright Fire" and "Miles Away" and "Religion."
It didn't help to know that Bob chose to end his own life following a bad outcome to recent spinal surgery. A friend of mine right here in this town committed suicide rather than keep on dealing with incapacitating back pain, and I myself could have wound up in the same shoes after playing fast and loose with the painkillers before my miraculously successful back surgery in 2000. Friends, you don't know what pain is until your L5-S1 vertebra turns to goo and starts pressing on your sciatic nerve... like walking through fire, all day, every day.
I know that Bob did the best he could. He always did. No one seems to remember it anymore, but Bob kept Fleetwood Mac afloat between the mega-stardom of their Peter Green and Buckingham-Nicks eras. Bluesy if not a blues purist like Green, he pointed the Mac in a jazzier, more radio-friendly direction (most everyone over 40 can recall Bob's classic Mac hit, "Hypnotized"). The result was an absoutely seamless transition between hardcore Chicago blues and the bright pop confections of B/N. Not many people could have pulled that off; Bob made it seem effortless.
After Bob left the Mac, he briefly fronted a group called Paris. Their two albums formed the soundtrack of my salad years in Spokane, Washington, contemporaneous with the debut album of local legends Heart. My friends and I used to say how much we'd like to hear Bob sing with Ann Wilson; years later, a co-worker in New York City gave me a tape of Wilson dropping in at a Bob Welch concert in LA. Wilson was completely wasted and could do nothing but wail (mostly out-of-tune); Bob, being Bob, just laughed it off.
And that's what I'll always remember about Bob. I saw him onstage once in Seattle and found his good-natured direction of his band infectuous. Bob was a happy guy, and that came through in his performances. Which only made it hurt worse that he felt that he had no recourse but to take his own life.
Remember Diane Hendricks? Watch this, if that name doesn't ring a bell:
If you're a Republican or other stripe of conservative who is somewhat less than a multi-millionaire and you're thinking of voting Walker tomorrow, let me break it down for ya in case Walker's embarrassing faux pas with Hendricks or "David Koch" weren't enough to lead you to the fountain o' wisdom: Government employees may have been first—but make no mistake, YOU'RE next. The Kochs and Hendricks and their ilk have bought and paid for Scott Walker, and his job is to turn Wisconsin into a cash cow for their interests. Government employees are already paying part of their paychecks to Walker's buddies—and YOUR paycheck is next on the list.
I did the right thing. I tried to warn you.
For God's sake, you do the right thing too, before it's too late. Vote Tom Barrett for Governor tomorrow and let's restore some sanity to this beleaguered state.