Hello, I’m John McIntosh. That’s me back in the early eighties holding a fifth anniversary copy of my first successful publication What’s New Magazine. If you apply “old geezer” I have no grounds to protest.
To paraphrase a line from a Dylan song, I’m knock, knock, knocking on eighties door. I’m in that age demographic ascending life’s exit ramp. Hopefully, I’m not on the “highway to hell.”
When I make my exit, if there is a God, I’ll know my transformation from atheist to agnostic to believer was a well-placed wager. If “God”, as Nietzsche claimed “is dead” then I’ll know nothing.
Before I take my leave, I would like to say one thing in defense of my age demographic, the generation many like to condemn for mucking up everything. True confession, we’ve done our fair share of damage.
On the other hand, I believe history will show, we of the first generation of rock n rollers had among our members the highest number of color-blind individuals the world had seen to that date.
Certainly, as a percentage of an age demographic, one would expect the teens of today to exhibit greater color blindness then the generations that preceded them. That seems to be in evidence to me.
Comparing a generation with those that came before, to my way of thinking is a much fairer comparison then trying to compare baby boomers with the iGens.
If today’s young are not more deeply color blind then my generation was at a comparable age, then we might as well abandon all hope for the survival of humanity.
I was twenty-three years old in 1963 when TV delivered into our living rooms images of people being fire hosed because their hearts and souls compelled them to take to the streets for equal treatment and justice.
To this day, just thinking about it leaves me bewildered.
Our little town had one African American family and their dad was a doctor. I certainly did not feel superior to him or anybody else.
When, tunes like Johnny B Goode, Nadine or Little Queenie came over the radio or were the records to which we would dance on Saturday night, I wanted to be Chuck Berry.
John Lennon is credited with saying, “If you had to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.” As much as I love Elvis, in my book the true King of Rock and Roll is Chuck Berry.
I do not believe I was the exception in being receptive to the idea “all are created equal”. I was not the only one among my fellow travelers back in the day that had black friends and mentors.
One especially influential mentor on my early trajectory was Dr. William W. Wright Jr. Arguably, the greatest athlete my area ever produced. For me personally, it was my very first encounter with a giant in human flesh whose optimism about life was absolutely contagious.
Being six years my senior, I loved him like the older brother I never had.
My baby sister, who for more years than she cares to count has traced our family tree in the “new world” back to about the mid sixteen hundreds got just a little annoyed after the third occasion I asked if she ever found slave holdings in our lineage.
There is none. I don’t translate that into “O. K. I’m innocent of all this crap so it’s not my problem.”
I know it’s a cliche but, from where I stand, we truly are all in this together. And for the record, count me among those who see one race – the human race. And I think I read William right, when I concluded he felt the same way.
“Evil Rides”, one of my self-penned songs still moves me to this day. I was inspired by an Edmund Burke quote: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”.
I stand by the line that sings “Evil is sure to destroy you, if you do nothing but run and hide”.
I’m not running and I’m not hiding. Listen to “Evil Rides”. I think you will enjoy it.
And I’m not going to try to “cancel” you because we are diametrically positioned on opposite sides of the political spectrum. I’m not even going to dox you if you label me a racist. I know I’m not.
Additionally, how could I stand on sexist grounds of male superiority after, as a twelve-year-old I watched my Aunt Thelma emerge from under the hood of a car and declare to my uncle Jack: “You can start it now!”
Having worked for Pratt and Whitney in a Connecticut aircraft factory during WWII she was a genuine “Rosie the Riveter”. Even at a modest 5’ 2”, I personally never met any man that was a greater force of nature. Man she was something!
And trust me, you don’t even want to get me going about my mother whose heart defines love. Not just love for her eight children and a hard to love husband. I’m talking about genuine agape love.
I’m not sure she was capable of hate. She was human, so must have been. But I certainly never heard a disparaging word usher forth from her lips.
Not that she was a push over. She laid flat a burly teenager who was verbally abusing one of my sisters. Looking back at me out of those “still waters run deep” is my mother’s reflection.
What I remember most is she always tried to value others and look past things some would find grounds for separation.
It’s in that spirit we give birth to “Grackit”. At Grackit, fostering a dialog between those with opposing world views is built into its DNA.
If we hold no confidence in the judgment of a democratic majority to come down (even if belatedly) on the side of sanity then how can we anticipate anything except the total annihilation of freedom and liberty?
I believe it is imperative for the survival of the good in humanity that we allow those with whom we disagree to freely express their heart felt thoughts and opinions.
That is the public good that inspired the creation of Grackit.