Wrapping the Sharp in Sweet

I don’t know this kid from Adam, but, it doesn’t matter. As cute as he is, he’s not important. What is important is the song he’s dancing to. It’s a pretty silly song by Elizabeth Cook. If you listen for five seconds, you get the gist–it’s about a snake in the bed. You kind of want it to be a euphemism, but it never quite gels into one.

The snake is just a snake.

But the little kid dances to the razor blade in this particular apple, which is why I included the video.

My pocketbook was sittin by the slidin glass door

The one I thought didn’t work no more

I set it side me on the pull-out couch

The one I’d been sleepin on to get the bugs out

And Big Mama Thornton was singing along

With pretty young Elvis and the old hound dog

Heaven turned to big deceit when something slithered down my leg

And between my feet

This is a stupid song. But this part is brilliant. You know so much about the singer–she’s in a run-down bug infested place where bad things happen when you let your pocketbook out of your sight. But she’s also in this place where Big Mama Thornton is singing with Elvis.

Now, obviously Thornton didn’t sing along with Elvis in any place but Mythic America. It’s like here we are, just listening to this silly song and through it we’re transported to that Other America, as good as if we’d gone through a magical wardrobe.

I want to think about those lyrics for a million years, just those two lines. Because you know Cook knows, if anything, in real life, Elvis was singing along with Big Mama Thornton. But something about the way she positions Thornton as the singer, Elvis reduced to the same level as the dog they share in common, that is more important than “singing along with.”

I mean, you could, judging by Cook’s line break, read it as “Big Mama Thornton was singing along” and “with pretty young Elvis and the old hound dog” trailing behind. Heaven, then, is her singing with the big deceit coming with Elvis.

But it’s not just an anti-Elvis dig, right? “Pretty young Elvis.” I feel like that’s another way that Cook puts you in the position of looking from Thornton’s perspective. Yes, it is “young Elvis” who recorded “Hound Dog” but he would have also been young to Thornton.

And I love the ambiguity of it. The suggestion that Thornton has been displaced while at the same time an acknowledgment of Elvis’s appeal.

It’s weird. It’s like a Gillian Welch song almost breaks out in the middle of Cook’s little ditty about a snake.

Speaking of snakes, man it’s hard not to wonder what’s going on in Elvis’s pants-al area every time they cut away.

Crane Weirdness

People I am completely fascinated by this hooded crane hanging out down by Chattanooga. I knew the whooping cranes had started migrating with the sandhill cranes, which tickles me. We spent all this effort and ultralight manhours to teach whooping cranes their old migratory routes and they’ve taken up following the sandhill cranes. Probably because they look like they know where they’re going. Ha.

Anyway, the general consensus seems, at the moment, to be that the hooded crane isn’t a zoo escapee but an actual Asian visitor who just got lost and took up with the North American cranes.

Sandhill cranes, I salute you for your conservation efforts. By providing companionship and migratory patterns for your less common cousins, you help ensure their survival.

Though, honestly, I’m guessing the hooded crane is going to be a freak one-off.


Something’s worth raising an eyebrow at here. For me, this continues to get at the fundamental problem Tennessee Democrats have. Even when we’re not terrible at talking the talk, we do not walk the walk.

We’re all for transparency and inclusion until we want to make secret decisions. We’re all “where were the women?” in the redistricting decision, but we don’t support women politicians and candidates.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love y’all very much, but I heard a lot of squawking yesterday about how the Republicans are going after some of our very awesome liberal women Dems. And they are. And it sucks.

But in the vast scheme of things, we could put all our very awesome women Democratic politicians in my living room and still have room. With a solid Republican majority, those politicians aren’t really a threat to them.

So, why go after them?

Because they’ve seen that other Democrats will not defend them. There’s no downside for the Republicans to take to its logical end how Democrats already act.

So, yeah, it sucks. But until Democrats stick together and help each other–even the ones people have decided shouldn’t or can’t win–and to do the things we say are important–like transparency–how are things going to be different?