Friday, July 22, 2016

I'm "Out of It"

     A week on Cape Cod. Here are some of the things we've done:

     We went to see a Vince Gill concert at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis. I'm not a country fan and barely knew who he was; but we wanted to see what the venue is like. He put on a good show and in addition to some of his well-known (to others) country songs, he rocked out a few numbers that appealed to the rest of us.

     We also went to the Harwich band concert, held outside on the village green and led by a conductor who is well into his 80s. The songs were very different, kind of corny, featuring the likes of Disney and John Philip Sousa. But the audience was enthusiastic and consisted of pretty much the same demographic as the Gill concert -- men and women over age 50.

     We rented bikes and rode up the old railroad trail to a freshwater pond to go swimming. We also made a few trips to the beach on Nantucket Sound where the water was warm enough to take a swim. We drove up to the ocean in Orleans, at Nauset beach, but the water there was not warm enough to go in, at least not for us -- there are always a few kids who will brave the frigid waves.

     We attended the Harwich music stroll, with several bands outside on the street playing music from the 1960s and '70s. Later, we walked down to the beach and watched a full moon rise over the waters of Nantucket Sound.

     I read two mysteries set on Cape Cod. They were okay. I also read American Lion by Jon Meacham, and decided if the nation survived the presidency of Andrew Jackson (1829 - 1837) -- an outsider from Tennessee with two bullets in him (one from a dual, the other from a gunfight) who owned scores of slaves, ran as a populist against the Eastern establishment and was largely responsible for the Trail of Tears that removed Native Americans from the South and sent them out West -- then we could survive a presidency of Donald Trump. Not that I'm recommending Donald Trump. Far from it. But I'm not too worried about it, especially since his chances of winning seem slim to none.

     But here's what we did not do. We have not watched TV. In fact, the last time I was in front of a TV was two nights before we moved, a week ago Monday, the 11th, when I saw the last episode of the Netflix show "Happy Valley." If you haven't seen it, I recommend it highly. It features a strong female lead in the form of a British police detective who has troubles with her family as well as the evil nemesis who raped her daughter.

     I have not seen the news. But I heard there were more shootings. I saw something on the Internet about Trump's wife plagiarizing her speech (don't they all?). And Trump picked a vice presidential candidate. I didn't catch his name. Has Trump actually been nominated yet?

     Two more days of vacation. Then it's back to reality . . . or what passes for reality in our crazy modern world.

19 comments:

DJan said...

I wish I hadn't been subjected to the news this past week, so I envy you your vacation. You are right, though: if we can gain a long-term perspective, maybe it won't all seem so bad. But right now I'm scared for our country and the world. :-(

RJ said...

Thanks for the reference to Andy Jackson. Yeah, he is one of my least favorite presidents along with Andrew Johnson and Baby Bush. I somehow find it freeing to think that if we survived Jackson ( and Bush) we could surely survive Trump if our electoral system totally falls off its wheels and he is actually elected.

Have a good vacation and don't rush back to the matters of today too quickly...

gigihawaii said...

No need for TV. But, I do like to read the newspaper with my feet on the ottoman and me sipping a cup of coffee.

Carole said...

I heard an interview last night with Tony Schwartz, ghost writer for Trump's book "The Art of the Deal". He essentially said he put lipstick on a pig when he wrote this book for Trump. He fears the end of civilization if Trump gets the nuclear codes. He now regrets helping him write this book. The interview was alarming, to say the least.

Glad you had some nice R&R time. Always good to get away once in a while.

Olga Hebert said...

You picked a good week to be out of the media loop!

Rian said...

I've made it a point to turn off the TV whenever anything about the elections comes on. Have decided 'what will be, will be' and nothing I do will change that (except voting of course which I WILL do). I can't imagine what it's going to be like in November this year. Scares me, but I imagine we'll get through it.

Stephen Hayes said...

I wish I were as confident as you that Trump won't win.

Celia said...

Good week to out of the loop news-wise. Saw Vince Gill once, also not my kind of music but was delightfully surprised at what excellent musicians he and his band were. Sounds like a great break.

Denise said...

My hubby and I went to the Hermitage in Nashville last year and Andrew Jackson certainly was an interesting character! As an aside, if anyone is interested, I watched two nights of the Convention on PBS and it was a totally different experience from the journalistic point of view. The speeches were what they were! My mom called during the Cruz speech, and I watched it muted. That was interesting! Watching all the non-verbal stuff! You took a good week to take a vaca. Now get that condo fixed up!

BethB from Indiana said...

I haven't been on Cape Cod since 1971 when I was a camp counselor there for the summer. On one of my day's off, I went to see Leonard Nimoy play Tevye in FIddler on the Roof at The Cape Cod Melody Tent. He was wonderful although it took me a little bit to get out of my "Spock" frame of mind. I sat on an aisle seat, and he came right by me as he walked from the back to the stage singing "Tradition" that opens the show.

Once I was back in college that fall for my senior year, our drama department put on FIddler as our musical that year!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

It sounds like a wonderful vacation, Tom. A break from tv and tv news can be refreshing for sure. When Bob and I go on vacation, we never watch tv and so we've started ignoring it as much as possible when we're home as well. It does make a difference -- especially now.

I wish I had your optimism about Trump not winning. I think that there are a lot of people -- feeling left out, feeling angry, feeling they don't have a voice and grasping for hope -- who will hear his words "I am your voice!" and drink the Kool-Aid. And I think Hillary represents, for a lot of people, the establishment, Big Money and the like and that her VP choice is not especially reassuring. I can see a lot of people voting for Trump -- though I certainly won't be among them -- because they want to believe someone speaks for them. I can also see a lot of people who don't want a woman president or just personally hate Hillary voting for him instead. I hope she wins, but I don't see it as a shoo-in. I was really horrified by the clips of the GOP convention that I saw online. Chanting "Lock her up!" and one official calling for her execution and all manner of anti-Hillary novelty items. It was just a hate-fest. I wish there had been more focus on a solid platform so that people would have a better idea of what they're voting for.

At any rate, it's great that you took a break from all that and just relaxed! Cape Cod sounds like the perfect vacation spot!

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

Meacham misses the whole point of Jackson's presidency, which gave the unpropertied the right to vote. Yes, Jackson wasn't perfect, but no plotician is. H.W. Brands, a genuine historian not a right-wing journalist (wrote the new George H.W. Bush bio), wrote a more accurate, if less entertaining account of Jackson's life. If you want real history, becareful of "best sellers" by journalists which are generally hyped by fellow journalists who want to write their own books. Yes, I read journalists, but I am VERY careful. Jackson was a democrat, first and foremost. Being a former resident of NC, I am familiar with the Trail of /tears, but I think you might look at the Congress Jackson had to work with as well as the big money boys (land speculators) in NYC who were behind much of the trouble with the Cherokee Indians.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

H.W. Brands wrote 'Andrew Jackson, his life and his times,' Meacham wrote the Bush book. I inserted the parenthetical in the wrong place.

Janette said...

I like watching politicians in isolation. Enjoyed the Johnson speech a few weeks ago and the Trump the other dsy. On to Clinyon. I enjoy hearing what they have to actually zay instead of talking heads and sound bites.
Glad you are enjoying the Cape. "SOUNDS" like fun.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

Tom, the best book I've found so ffar about Andrew Jackson is by Sean Wilenz, professor of American history at Princeton. He describes Jackson as a transitional figure between Jefferson and Lincoln.

Jackson was a man of his times. The biggest mistake we can make is to look at someone in the past and judge them by what we believe today. Jackson was/is no Trump. I assume you have read/heard what T's co-author says about him, so I won't repeat it here.

However, I encourage you to discover Sean Wilenz.

Laura Lee Carter said...

You go Tom! Do we really need to know so much about EVERYTHING that happens EVERYWHERE? Time for a total news break!
"I'm learning it's peaceful with a good dog and some trees, out of touch with the breakdown of this century…" – Joni Mitchell

priscilla said...

Yeah, we're in a mess with our choices this year, but Hilary is still our choice. We LOVED Happy Valley!!! What a good series. Hope there is another coming soon.
We (as kids) spent lots & lots of time on the Cape. Wonderful times & place.
Enjoy your new n'hood when you get home. Nothing like New England!!

Barbara said...

Sounds like a lovely soul-refreshing time. Just what you need to go home to unpacking and setting up the house. Lucky you.

Still the Lucky Few said...

Not watching TV? You haven't missed a thing. Your mental health is a lot better than ours—especially those of us who are caught up in the relentless net of television politics. I hate myself for watching, but seem to be drawn into the intrigue and drama of it!