OK, here's kind of a funny lil political story, but also pretty concerning when you think about it.
Last night I went to the Ga Theatre rooftop, to see my great friends , the Dyrty Byrds, all the way from Denver, play some Rock n roll. So far so good.
So anyway, hellos are exchanged with the band, they start playing, I start heckling--you know, just the usual juvenile antics we rock guys revel in.
Then I went to the bar. Two guys were standing there, looking kinda lost, then one told me they were from Savannah. He asked some questions about some other bars in the area, said they were looking for something a little quieter. I gave directions, and as they started to leave I said, "Welcome to Athens," and shook the first guy's hand . He was very nice.
I went to shake the 2nd guy's hand--just how I was raised I guess--and he took a step back with a look of concern on his face, like I had just pulled a switchblade or pissed on his trousers. Then he pointed at my T shirt and whispered in the first guy's ear.
So the first guy (he was the designated talker I guess), said something like, "Ahhh, we're Trump supporters", and then they hustled off into the night like the masked crime fighters they undoubtedly were.
Now--let's get this straight. NObody is under ANY obligation to shake MY hand, EVER. My suggestion would simply be, if you don't want to, don't.
But this just struck me as a little odd. First, I was wearing a Drive-By Truckers shirt (I copped one of the early test prints--hee hee)--that simply says, "DBT, Dance Band of the Resistance."
Fair enough. It's a straight-ahead political point, agree with the position or not.The shirt does NOT personally insult Trump, talk about his sleazy business practices or how the Russians installed him in our White House, how he's a thin-skinned megalomaniac who frequently engages in petty twitter slap-fights with celebrities, news outlets, satire shows and writers etc --in other words he often acts about 10 years old emotionally. And believe me, that's a huge slight to my 10 year old daughter. But she'll be fine! Because? She's very smart, rational, and In general she's not--you know, Donald Trump.
But anyway--the point of this piece is--we're not supposed to shake hands now? What kind of bizarro through-the-mirror pettyville have we falllen into? No shaking hands if we voted for different candidates? Rooted for different baseball teams? Liked the Stones vs. the Beatles? Holy God. Don't we still have an option and maybe a responsibility to maintain a decent, friendly society?
Maybe I'm overreacting. But I guarantee you this:I won't refrain from shaking a hand, maintaining a friendship with, and being a decent neighbor to anyone who votedTrump, or anyone else. It seems truly bitter and destructive to me. And kinda childish. For which behavior, I guess, Trump has set the example. It seems to me his administration is just ripping down the framework of positive American accomplishment. Gutting the EPA and public schools, already passing anti -woman legislation, continuing to allow individual states to discriminate against and even fire gay citizens ( EXACTLY the same as the old state-by state anti-black discrimination, wherein we had to bring in military reinforcements to regulate the nutjobs)--
But I digress. The point is, I continue to be friendly with plenty of people who voted Trump. I disagree with their choice, but there's been a growing dissatisfaction with the gridlock status quo of American politics. Most of these Trumpsters are very nice and had their particular reasons. And wouldn't back away quivering from a tee shirt, for Crissakes.
By the way--like I said, the shirt is an early trial version I nabbed. But I'm so proud of the Truckers. AMERICAN BAND is a fine piece of work, important and timely, and it doesn't sacrifice one ounce of the fiery rock n roll band interplay they've rightly become so famous for.
And the Dyrty Byrds rocked the house that night too. Those two guys who left missed a lot. I wonder where in Athens they wound up with a Trump-adoring bartender?