Showing posts from May, 2021

This bird can change (or, the disclaimer).

  I recently watched the Lynyrd Skynyrd documentary, If I Leave Here Tomorrow , a history of the band before and after Free Bird, Sweet Home Alabama and that horrible plane crash in a Mississippi swamp. It's very moving, but I was rather taken aback by the frequent display of the Confederate flag in archival concert footage. The Confederate flag, for all those who claim it's about "States Rights", essentially represents slavery, the subjugation of one people by another. I didn't even know if I wanted to be watching this. Partway through the film, the band members addressed the issue directly. There wasn't much awareness of Southern Rock outside of the Deep South, so being from the South became their gimmick, with the Confederate Flag a big part of the marketing, enthusiastically pushed by the record company. Drummer Artimus Pyle said "it didn't bother me, it didn't represent slavery to me, I didn't think about it that deeply at the time...but

Xander, 2003-2021

On a cold winter's day in 2003, I looked down at the adorable face of the new kitten my best friend had bought me as a birthday present. "I just feel like his name is Xander", I said, not quite knowing where that name had come from. "Wow, I'll have him till I'm nearly forty!", although surely I would never get that old. We both exceeded expectations.  Today, Xander died at home, cradled in my arms. Together right until the very end, as I'd always promised. I couldn't have imagined, in 2003, the journey we'd go on together. We moved from Newcastle to Sydney to Newcastle to Sydney to the Central Coast and back to Sydney (don't ask). Xander got a Dad, then became a big brother.  "So...we're really keeping this thing, then?" And then, when things didn't work out, it was just the two of us, again. I would clutch him to my chest and say "at least I've still got you" as he wiggled free. I'd forgotten what an a