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Roger, do you think they’ll drop the Bomb? (Or,George Floyd is important, Pink Floyd is not.)

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The music of Pink Floyd has been an integral part of my life since I was a boy. David Gilmour made me want to play the guitar and Roger Waters held the yardstick with which every word I ever wrote was measured.

The 1983 breakup of this great band was a very sad thing, and not just because of the music. The fans were polarized almost immediately into the Gilmour camp and the Waters camp. This could be understood decades ago, when the wounds were still raw, but not anymore.

Still, ridiculous as it is, the childish bickering continues and for what? Money? If you don’t have enough by now you never will. The love and respect of the fans? That can’t be it, you’re pissing that away every single day (that’s for you, Rog.) I know. It’s got to be for justice. Oh, it’s just not fair that David Gilmour is playing music and making tons of money while Roger Waters has to content himself with playing music and making tons of money.

If I’m honest, I have to say that I haven’t heard much of this coming from the Gilmour side of the fence, even in the face of the insults leveled at his wife and kids. Maybe the stone in Roger’s craw has more to do with the fact that David’s happy at the basic human level and Roger doesn’t seem to be able to get his head far enough around the concept to make it happen for himself, which makes him more to be pitied than scolded.

George Floyd, a working class black man who lived in Minneapolis, a city in the midwestern United States, until he didn’t, was killed as the result of blatant police brutality. This heinous act was enough injustice to make any thinking,, caring person sick but it’s really just the beginning.

The injustice done to Mister Floyd has sown a swift growing seed of fear, anger and, yes. injustice which sickens the hearts and minds of otherwise good hearted people all across America. Police officers,, even good ones, are now regarded with fear and suspicion by people who would not ordinarily do so, out of fearĀ  that they or someone they love could be the next to be unjustly hurt or killed. The gross injustice perpetrated on George Floyd by these so-called law enforcement officers, so utterly derelict in their duties, has rebounded to endanger the very ones they would call their brothers.

Not all anger is righteous. Some isn’t anger at all. Please pardon me for saying so, but I have to question the motivations of people who protest social inequities by stealing from their neighbors. This behavior diminishes the credibility of people of good will and bolsters the arguments of their critics. Another injustice.

I watched an interview with Stephen Jackson, a lifelong friend of George Floyd. It pierced my heart in a way that Comfortably Numb neverĀ  did and never will. When he said that his friend would never want this, that he baptized people, I saw the greatest injustice of all: that the fire and blood, the hate, anger and fear were spewed out in his name.

Enough.

Can’t we just not be Friends?

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Before anything else, thanks to Caitlyn Kelly for suggesting that I post this, sight unseen. Let’s see how it goes.

I have lived in a lot of places, with a lot of people moving into and out of my life. I grew up in a military family, surrounded by other military families who were also constantly on the move. This changes things.

I figured out early that my base housing relationships were going to end and, most likely, they were going to end suddenly, with seldom more than a couple weeks notice. I wrote letters, maybe a few letters, to see how things were going, but it was inevitable that, by slow degrees, the distance would grow. The changes would come and we would not be there for them, until my Friends and I became people we used to know.

This used to hurt me. I didn’t understand how so many people I liked and remembered so well could just forget me. The old feeling of hurt has faded into a sort of humble acceptance that I, as a small part of the past, shouldn’t expect to be that important in the present, so good luck to you all and no hard feelings.

I have Friends now, seven at last count. They have seen me when I would much rather they had not and held me in their hearts even though I felt I didn’t deserve it. My Friends don’t all know one another but whenever I am with any of them I belong, and belonging is everything. I Love my Friends and, sad as it is to say, that’s not good enough anymore.

The wheels of progress roll and, while many good things come from this, far too often things of immense value are left ruined in the ruts they leave in their passing. Things like Friends.

The Gospel of John says ” Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I’m an atheist and, gender politics aside, I feel certain this statement is in no way an accurate reflection of many people’s Facebook profile.

Sometimes I hope for some friendship and end up with a broken heart. I will meet someone and find I really like them, then something will emerge that I simply can’t abide, can’t respect. If I still think it’s worth it, I’ll try for a while but it usually rankles to the point that the juice just isn’t worth the squeeze.

Let’s not make any mistakes here. Often as not the problem is me. I’m less than diplomatic and people don’t like that, even though it means I’m addressing them like an adult. Some people don’t like that either.

So here I am in my shop and it’s LONELY. One day this will end and my friends and I will be together once more. I will, however, still be me, just like they will be who they are and we will belong.

To the friend I had who was taken by the covid-19 pandemic, I could not be more deeply sorry. This aside, all the sorrow and regret, the tender words and forgiveness can’t change the fact that we should just not be friends.