Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day, Prince, and Harriet Tubman

I will be celebrating Earth Day by playing golf, digging up large swaths of it with my clubs. I will be doing so alongside my recently retired brother, the first such opportunity we've had to play together in several years. I'm sure that the greens-keeper at Mattaponi Springs is praying for rain to save him from the assault of the Dunnevant Brothers, but that's between him and God.

Prince is dead. David Bowie and Prince in the same year. Icons seem to dropping like flies. I wasn't a huge fanboy or anything. I always found Prince to be a weirdo, the quintessential flaky artist. But, the dude could flat out shred a guitar, and had phenomenal rock and roll instincts. When he stepped out of the shadows at the 2004 George Harrison tribute with a solo on While My Guitar Gently Weeps, it was pure magic, like all of the other big stars on that stage were looking at each other saying, "what just happened?" Of course, this morning the headlines are suggesting drug problems, the usual suspect whenever an entertainer passes. Regardless, we have lost someone important, a man of transcendent talent.

Harriet Tubman will soon replace Andrew Jackson on the twenty dollar bill. This is a good thing, not because Jackson was a bad guy, but because this is what happens to our currency from time to time. Before Jackson was on the twenty, it was Grover Cleveland. Jackson's been there since 1928. He had a good run. It's time for someone new. Tubman is a terrific choice. Here is a woman who not only escorted over 300 slaves to freedom through her Underground Railroad, but also served as a Union spy during the Civil War. More impressively, and much less known, she was the first woman in American history to lead a military raid...one which freed 700 slaves near Combahee, South Carolina. This was one tough, brave woman. She will also be the first African-American to grace our currency, something long overdue, and the first woman since Pocahontas made an appearance on the back of the twenty back in 1865. Anyone you hear complaining about this change and labeling it as political correctness run amuck...is an ignorant schmuck. Listen, somebody tries to take George off the dollar and replace him with Gloria Freaking Steinem, then you've got a case. But the removal of the white, Indian-killing, slave-owning founder of the Democratic Party, and his replacement by a bible-believing, gun-toting black Republican woman is fine in my book!