• Silver Lining in the Trump Cloud?

    • Posted on Feb 05, 2017

    Today's Courier column--there really will be some good to come of Trumpdom--and it will come from the artists, writers, filmmakers, creators of all stripes.  


    Even the blackest clouds contain streaks of light, those silver linings we need during terrible storms.  Are there silver linings over Trumpland? 

    When times are crazy, when everything seems upside down, when fools get power and destroy most certainties, creative arts flourish.  The American sixties, a decade of protest and turmoil, produced a flood of music and art that lives on.

    It’s happening again.


    • All expectations are off.  Civility, rationality, trustworthy leaders, even simple factual truths have been disappearing like frost on a sunny morning.   We’re seeing rank amateur “politicians”—billionaires—put in charge of huge, complex government operations that will certainly suffer from their ignorance and arrogance. Even Republicans are protesting, and some will certainly defect.  

    As of this writing, after ten days of Trump: chaos and protests worldwide, with no end in sight.  Protests mean marches, music, slogans, drama, all of which are grist for artists and art, and more power to them.

    • Apathy, that bane of good times, has disappeared.  Everyone has taken a stand,some with utter certainty that “alternate facts” support their leader, others who insist that proven facts stay proven.  A comeuppance is on the way, and artists are watching. 
    • Activists are getting busy.   Shortly after the election, “Cedar Valley Activates,”  a group of local citizens concerned with taking local action, was born out of a desire to tackle real problems—instead of complaining.  

    At their first meeting in Cedar Falls on December 4, well over a hundred citizens showed up and formed groups focused on health care, children’s health, poverty, environmental degradation, alternate energy, mental illness treatments—all issues that need attention in the Cedar Valley. 

    They met in Waterloo in January, and they will gather again at the end of February to connect with local agencies to help find solutions. And they’re determined to stay non-partisan.   

    According to organizer Eric Giddens, “We want to stay as apolitical as possible,” he told me, “Since we’re all in this together, cooperation is the only way to get things done.”

    Hard to argue with that.

    • People are having to decide where they stand.  Wishy-washy won’t cut it any more.   I vividly remember having to rethink my own ideas in the late sixties when the Vietnam War was gearing up.  I read, listened, discussed, argued, formed opinions, and helped support worthwhile causes.  I felt alive and challenged, as I do now.  

                I’m excited to ponder more, read alternative sources, engage more, create more blogs and other writings.    

    So turmoil isn’t all bad.  

                As Harry Lime, the Orson Welles character in the 1949 film noir classic, “The Third Man”  put it,

     "You know what the fellow said--– in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock!”

    Let our Renaissance begin. 

    Go comment!
    Posted in
    • Politics
    • Predictions
  • Trump the Magic Dragon

    • Posted on Jan 17, 2017
    Thanks to Peter Yarrow for the original song--sung and wildly popular by Peter, Paul, and Mary back in the sixties.  Great melody, and ripe for parody, especially these days.  For best results, sing, and there's no copyright, so pass it around freely.   

    (Chorus) Trump the magic dragon, lived by the sea
    And frolicked with his toady friends in a tower for all to see
    Little Mikey Pencey loved that rascal Trump
    And gave him praise and flattery and other fancy stuff.  

    1. Together they would travel on a yacht with billowed sail
    Mikey kept a lookout perched on Trump’s gigantic tail
    Diplomats and suckups would bow whene’er they came, 
    Russian ships would lower their flags when Trump roared out his name.

    2. Trump he lives forever, but not so little Veeps 
    Fakey wings and phony things make way for other creeps.
    One grey night it happened, Mikey Pencey came no more, 
    And Trump that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.  

    3. His hair was bent in sorrow, his toadies fell like rain 
    Trump no longer went to play in Washington again
    Without his straight-man Pencey, Trump could not be brave, 
    So Trump that mighty dragon sadly went back to his cave. 


    Go comment!
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“Even before the advent of the Internet, Cawelti’s columns went 'viral' in the Cedar Valley… the role of a columnist is to be thought provoking, to take tacks that shed a different light on an issue or possibly cause a reader to reevaluate a position. At the very least, it should bring clarity to a particular perspective, whether you buy into the commentator’s worldview or not.

Scott's work does just that.  Enjoy this collection of his writing.”

-Saul Shapiro, Former Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier Editor
Read Shapiro's entire introduction.


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