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The Friday Morning Listen: Greg Brown – Yellow Dog

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The word 'community' used to have fairly simple connotation: small groups of people drawn together due to some common element or cause: art, music, faith. Perhaps the most obvious was proximity, that is, the small town. None of these things has vanished entirely, but the noise of modern existence can make us forget. There has also been a kind of extension of the community concept, and the Internet has been the culprit. Perhaps 'culprit' is an unfair word choice as mostly, this is a good thing.

Yesterday, I had lunch for the first time with an old friend. Sounds funny, doesn't it? Well, I have "known" BC's Mary K. Williams for several years. That is, all of our contact has been via the Internet and the telephone. It's interesting how these online communities form and evolve. I "met" Mary because of an e-conversation we had about some technical hooey (website statistics monitors, I think). We hit it off on a number of topics. She then became part of the BC-related Mondo Group, a writing collective started by another BCer, the fabulous writer/musician polymath Duke De Mondo.

After mountains of e-yakking, Mary and I met for lunch. A little strange, yet very nice. We're both writers, struggling to figure out how to make a successful deep dive into the craft. We're also a part of this virtual community that has members spread all over the United States, from the east coast to the south and all the way to Los Angeles. There's a contingent over in England as well and even one crazy dude in Shanghai. Membership in this group somehow enriches us, giving insight into different angles on the many topics discussed.

None of this is to say that the original community has vanished. Greg Brown's latest record is proof of that. A live recording taken from a show he played to benefit the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve. Now here is a community: folks drawing together to protect not only a river but a way of life. In this age of political shallowness and the cynicism that it spawns, this is a more direct and sincere way of getting things done. Just listen to the passion and love coming out of Brown's baritone, it's the voice of community.

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About Mark Saleski

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    And what a fine afternoon it was. Long overdue too. And the staff of Panera’s is pleased that Sir Saleski relented and actually took a bag of chips after much prodding and pleading on their part. : )

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    stupid chain food people…i didn’t want any chips with my sandwich and they totally freaked out!!

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    That’s because not getting chips is what the terrorists do!

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    Sir Saleski – always the subversive

  • http://shanghaicafe.blogspot.com Mat Brewster

    Mary, I think I’d scrutinize Mark’s picture really closely. He might have sent a body double to your luncheon.

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    naw, she knew it was me because i said i’d wear a certain color shirt, but ended up with the wrong color.

    wait, that describes most guys, doesn’t it?

    nuts.

    p.s. “oatmeal” is so not a color

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    ahh poor deluded men. Haven’t you ever bought paint?

  • http://blogcritics.org/ Phillip Winn

    Of course we’ve bought paint! It’s usually the wrong color, though… :-)

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    oh come on, is there oatmeal paint?

    gawd, i bet that damned martha stewart line has that color.

    it’s evil.

  • http://shanghaicafe.blogspot.com Mat Brewster

    I actually went with a group of adult males (the women folk weren’t even invited) to a big fabric center this very day. They had every kind of fabric imaginable in all sorts of color. You would have loved it Mark ;)

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    I bet I would have loved it.

    Last month I was in the real neat paper store in Boston’s Back Bay – and omg – all the colors and patterns of paper – gorgeous beyond belief. I got a little damp. ; )

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    wait, wait..i actually love fabrics. heck, i even bought a magazine called “surface design” or something like that a while ago.

    this is despite that fact that i can’t tell my pale yellows from my oatmeals.

    sheesh!

  • http://shanghaicafe.blogspot.com Mat Brewster

    I neglected to mention this place will make you a pair of pants for about 11 dollars and a nice shirt about ten. Measured to size and they let you pick the fabric and design.

    Maybe I’m starting to like China after all.