When I was a kid, I grew up on an Ontario farm just outside a gorgeous little town in the Kawartha Lakes called Bobcaygeon. It was a beautiful little place that owed a lot of its revenue and survival to Yankee dollars supplied by Yankee tourists who came up from the USA every year for some R&R, the fishing, the beauty of the land and the lakes, and if nothing else, just the opportunity to get out of the big cities like Detroit or Chicago or Dayton Ohio. Those folks all seemed kind of magical to me because they all seemed to have money and big cars and I didn’t have a nickel. Furthermore they all talked about living the good life while I spent my days in the hot sun baling hay or chasing cattle or fixing fences or any other dirty job it seems like farming consists of which seemed like total injustice to me. Those days were also the beginnings of Rock & Roll, a totally magical time and music screamed through my veins like high octane gasoline!
Naturally I couldn’t tell anyone about my music dreams because I’d just get laughed out of the house and when I did try to talk to my Grandmother a little bit, she’d simply scowl at me over the top of her steel rimmed glasses and tell me about things not always being quite the way they seemed. The United States wasn’t exactly the land of milk and honey that I made it out to be, and they had their own set of problems so I needed to forget about it, and go get a good nights sleep. We had to bale hay tomorrow!
Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it!
With a few twists and turns, a few years later I was in the USA living my musical dreams, doing anything and everything it took to support them, and learning, sometimes the hard way, about “Justice for All,” as it pertained to smoky bars and strip clubs and the rules of the street.
Street justice and legal justice sometimes aren’t the same thing and the justice you get through the legal system may not be same as the justice you can buy if you have enough money. The justice that Governor Wallace perceived when he stood in the doorway of the University of Alabama and shouted “segregation forever!” is not the same as the justice the National Guard thought they were handing out at Kent State University when they shot four students who were protesting Nixon’s war in southeast Asia.
Indeed, the justice you can buy if you’re a big oil company “fracking” your way across America and creating havoc to communities in lots of different places is OK because you’re making us energy independent and free from foreign oil supply and that’s justice right? Man, justice sure wears a lot of hats!
Today I get to play music for Veterans coming home from wars in whatever godforsaken area of the world they’ve been sent to protect, and the one common enemy we’re all working against is PTSD. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) This is common amongst the military. We train these kids to go out and kill and die if necessary but above all, protect your country and WIN AT ALL COSTS! BRING OUR JUSTICE HOME!
This kind of reminds me of the same thing we do in the NFL. We bring these kids in, juice ’em up, train ’em up, and send them out on the field on Sunday to create as much havoc and mayhem as possible, but when the game is over, come home on Sunday night calm, cool, and collected and be nice to your wife and family. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, but if by chance you don’t follow those rules and stray outside the lines, Roger Goodell is going to hand out a little fine or suspend you for a couple of games. Whose justice is that?!
I used to hate James Harrison. He was one of the hardest hitting linebackers the NFL has ever seen and Roger used to fine and suspend him regularly for hitting too hard and being too mean. Recently, since the Ray Rice thing blew up in his face and Goodell is now the one twisting in the fire, Harrison tweeted him a message that said something like, “ain’t no fun when the rabbit got the gun!” NOW…THAT’S JUSTICE!!
Please send me your comments and critiques. I’ll read them all and use them if I can.
Have a great week everybody.