Tuesday, September 06, 2005

dios (malos)...

o the music in a moment. I guess I've gotta talk a little bit about what's happened in New Orleans. I don't want to be another voice piling on to the feds response (it sucked) to what is surely one of our nations most profoundlly tragic moments, but if nothing else what happened in NOLA is a magnifying glass on what our country is and is becoming. Racial divides are still deep (especially in the South) and the rift between the haves and have nots gets wider with each tax cut throttled through congress by the majority party. All this has been repeated over and over and I don't think my voice of complaint, shock, shame and horror at what happened (and continues to happen) to the people in and around NOLA adds much to the debate.

But over the weekend I spent the majority of my time in a small town just outside of Yosemite called Mariposa. It's an old gold mining town nestled in the foothills, quiet but growing, conservative in outlook, mostly white, rapidly varying household incomes that range from retirees building homes to trailer park denizens who've never left the area. Each year my family travels to Mariposa for the Mariposa County Fair. It's an old time county fair where everyone knows everyone, the highlights of the weekend are the livestock auction and demolition derby, and you can go all weekend without seeing a shade of skin much darker than a healthy causcasian suntan.

When you walk around the Mariposa County Fair you feel an ordered sense of priorities. The people in Mariposa believe in God, their neighbors, their jobs, their family. Without being condescending (which is against my educated liberal nature I'm told) I find Mariposa to be both wonderful and repulsive. People care about each other in Mariposa, deeply and honestly, but there's also a deep distrust of minorities and "outsiders". It's a town that clings to its sense of identity even as the elements that shape that identity are changing. A new University of California System school up the road is bringing the promise of prosperity, new jobs and potential to the town but also new faces, unfamiliar accents, uncomfortable ideas and new ways of thinking. Amidst all of this the town maintains a generosity that I found unexpected. At the livestock auction the entirely white crowd (and I would argue nearly entirely Bush supporters) quickly raised nearly $40,000 for the aid the victims of the hurricane. This was entirely funded by individuals and businesses in town. It was generious, heartfelt, honest, and bore no hesitation on account of skin color. It was the best of what this country offers when others are in need and it was hopeful and, ultimately, what it's about to be American. Much has been made (rightly) about the reaction of our government to this catastrophe, but in these bitterly partisan times I found it encouraging that we as communities can instantly set aside those media propagated divisions, those soundbite controlled info bits, the tons of spin excreted from the belly of the DC beast, and act in the best interest of others no matter who they are. To hear the auctioneer behest the audience to bid up the price of the donated livestock to get more money for the relief effort and then to see the audience stand and applaud at the final dollar figure, to stand in that crowd as an outsider only slightly welcome was to see a little bit of the generosity of both wallet and spirit we're (and by "we" I mean every member of every community across the country) capable of. It was hopeful. As one gentleman sitting next to me said, "not bad for a podunk little town."

Ok the sermon is over. dios (malos) has new record coming out in October, you may the remember the band of Hawthorne, Ca kids as being Dios. But I guess Ronnie James Dio got a bit miffed about that so they had to adjust the name. They're last record a self titled excursion into pop inflected psychedelia showed much promise. The new record dios (malos) has a greater emphasis on pop than on weird. It's a strong record that may scream sell out to some older fans, but is sure to make a bunch of new ones. Me, I'm on the fence. It's a good listen and it's growing on me. We'll see.

1 song from dios (malos):

My Broken Bones


Blogger marathonpacks said...

Good lookin' out on the Dios track--that's some great country-rock there.

I seriously dug last year's record--"Starting Five" made my Top 20 singles.

Keep fightin' the good fight!

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great writing there...went well with the music too!

10:52 AM  

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