In May of last year, I accepted an invitation from Prof. Dave Deamer to visit U.C. Santa Cruz and it game me the chance to meet Dr. Dick Gordon and also to visit the home of Dr. Bruce Damer.
I was thinking about Bruce last month because I wanted to sell two of my guitars that I rarely use. One of them is (well, was, I sold it) a 1968 D-12-35, a Martin 12-string made of rosewood from the Amazon, back before we figured out it was smart to not cut down the Amazon. I was thinking about Bruce because I was thinking about wood and environmentalism and also its activist segments, who don't care as much about the environment as they do hating people. I sometimes refer to the truly irrational activists as "anti-science hippies" and I have had people object to that term, believing I mean all hippies.
Of course, I don't mean all hippies. I grew up during the hippie heyday and, let me tell you, the last thing hippies wanted was more government, more laws and a social authoritarian mindset telling everyone else how to live. They wanted to explore the mysteries of the universe, not retreat to the past and stifle progress. Hippie openness is why we had university departments on paranormal activity - and once it was disproved, hippies moved on. Culturally, hippies distrusted the government - their modern-day descendants want new laws for everything, they are more like Nixon Republicans than their ancestor hippies and are out to tell us what bags to use, what soda to buy, they tell us it should be illegal to smoke a cigar in a restaurant but pot should be okay.
Bruce, though, is a 'sane hippie'. He doesn't hate anything, he loves people, he loves the world and nature, he is a man of science and technology. So, why did my article on responsible use of guitar woods and rational environmentalism not get published? Well, he is a good guy but not so good he might like being called a 'sane hippie' or anything else in an article of mine, no matter how nicely I mean it, without permission. And I never got around to writing him to ask.
It's my good fortune that he wrote me yesterday, but not for anything related to science. Instead, his...okay, I will say 'wife' though I don't know if they are actually married, so we can say wife in the broader sense - sane hippies are not going to blast me for invoking heteronormative cultural stereotypes and other sociological nonsense by using the term 'wife' when we all know 'significant other' is a dopey term.
Anyway, I got to visit their spectacular home when I was there and we visited the coast also. Here is a picture of Galen with Bloggy, looking a lot more comfortable than when Dr. Gordon had his finger up Bloggy's butt:
Yesterday I got an email from Bruce with a song Galen wrote and performed and I loved it, so I asked (see? You have to ask) if I could post it here. And I can! So here you go...
Just click the little arrow and give it a listen.
Credits, if they get link juice out of it:
Music, Lyrics, Singing: Galen R. Brandt
Arrangement: James Carter Cathcart, Tom Hammer
Instrumental Performance: Tom Hammer
copyright words and music 2006, Galen R. Brandt.
A Christmas Galen For Science 2.0