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Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Writer's Life 3/13 - Cheap Thrills

Kyle Smith has a great line about Democrats in his op-ed piece in today's NY Post: "The party of labor became the party of lawyers." It's looking more and more like the late 60's, early 70's across America. The desperation to derail Trump is astonishing. Will his opponents' rancor continue to contribute to his rise, or will there come a point where most citizens feel they've had enough of the anger? I wonder if there will be riots in the street outside the Republican convention as there were outside the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1972. Stay tuned.

There have been so many deaths among rock stars lately that I decided to research comparisons to the general populace. Here are excerpts from a column by Jonathan Pearlman of Sydney, Australia, filed in Oct 2014, pared and edited by yours truly:
"Pop and rock stars die up to 25 years younger than the average person and have far higher rates of death by accident, suicide and homicide, an Australian study has found. The chances of an accidental death for well-known musicians and rock stars were found to be between five and 10 times greater than for the general population. The average musician today lives into the late 50s or early 60s and has a life expectancy about 20 years lower than the general population. The study found suicide rates among musicians were between two and seven times greater than that of the general population. Homicide rates were up to eight times greater."

I didn't sell any books today. There were a few browsers but no buyers. Early in the session a middle age woman approached and engaged me in conversation. She'd recently had an operation to repair a detached retina and is suffering blurred vision. She gave me four bucks for "good luck" and would not take any books or the Janis Joplin CD Ol' Smoky gave me the other day, which I listened to in the car yesterday. I'm not a big fan of Joplin. Usually a listen to one of her songs is more than enough for me. Since the disc had a scratch, I wanted to see if it was in good enough condition to sell. It played without interruption. I suffered through it. Its title is Cheap Thrills and the album is actually attributed to Big Brother and the Holding Company, the band Joplin fronted before breaking out on her own. It has only seven tracks. Anyway, I offered it to the woman and she sniffed. "I like Jerry Vale," she said. "He's one of the most underrated singers of all-time," I returned. In terms of vocal purity, he was as good as any pop artist ever, and his career was successful, but he was unable to rise to the upper tier, largely because of a lack of presence. When the woman gave me the money, she said: "People in Park Slope are cheap." The assessment proved correct, at least for today. If it hadn't been for her generosity, I would have walked away with nothing. My thanks. And what came up on the 27th of 40 discs I've burned for my car CD player as I was driving home? My favorite Joplin track, Move Over.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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