Thursday, February 28, 2008

Comparing the Recently Departed: Buddy Miles and William F. Buckley, Jr.

One guy sang about "Them Changes" while playing the drums in my favorite three-piece band ever. The other taught me how to say, if not comprehend, big words when I was a kid.

Buddy Miles died recently.
William F. Buckley, Jr. died yesterday.

One guy sang about changes, while the other guy was left behind by changes in political philosophy, race politics and such, ending up in the role of some quaint, wacky older uncle who nobody listens to anymore.

Maybe Buddy Miles' afro went out of style, but Buckley's whole paleo-conservatism got left behind.

I eventually learned what a few of those big Buckley words meant ("hegemony" in particular comes to mind), and even learned to listen to his wacky uncle orations for the occasional kernel of wisdom they provided.

But between "Firing Line" and "Machine Gun"? Are you kidding?

No contest. And yeah, I know it's a Hendrix showcase, but anyone who had anything to do with "Machine Gun" had more to say than all the big words W.F. Buckley, Jr. expressed put together.

Besides Miles was that rare drummer who sang and could actually sing while playing the drums. I've tried to play the drums. I've been accused of trying to sing. Have you ever tried to do both at the same time?

R.I.P. Mr. Miles and Mr. Buckley, Jr.

Oh maybe we could suggest to any Supreme Being who might exist out there (and handles this sort of thing) to let Buckley not exactly rest in peace for, say, a weekend, to pay for those anti-desegregation sentiments and his defense of McCarthy. Maybe a three-day weekend spent floating down a river of molten tungsten while being forced to listen to Kate Smith sing "God Bless America" on continuous loop would be in order. Then he could be plucked from the molten river and left alone for the duration.

It's just a suggestion.


Randolf said...

Well, if we're going to put Buddy Miles up against William Buckley, we might as well put a superior version of Machine Gun up (no offense Humble Blogger)...if only to give Sr. Buddy his proper due:

Anonymous said...

Written by ABQNews Staff
Saturday, 01 March 2008
The Albuquerque Public Schools' search committee has recommended six finalists for the superintendent position.

The district is in the process of contacting those finalists now.

The board will meet at 5 p.m. today to approve the list, at which time the finalists' names are expected to be announced.

The Journal has learned that one of the finalists is Linda Sink, interim superintendent/associate superintendent for instruction.

Check the Journal's Web site later today for more on this developing story.