Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Get On Up!...

#adversity Adversity is everywhere. It’s relative. It's subjective. One person’s where will I sleep tonight is another person’s who will I sleep WITH tonight? I’ve lived enough dog years and summers to learn that it’s not what you do during the good times but who you are during the rough times that defines you. We have all faced adversity in some form or another and we’ve all dealt with it in our own way. The good news is; no reaction is “wrong”, it's just “yours”. You are the ONLY one that was in those shoes at that precise moment, so no one can truly judge your response or actions. (Although they will, I PROMISE you!!) 
The cool thing is, as humans, we tend to, naturally “get up”, no matter what the challenge, no matter what the hurdle. We get knocked down, we get up, simple! Watch the news (not too much though); the rape victim testifies against her assailant, the tornado victim vows to rebuild, cancer victims fight…the point is, we are hard wired not to give up, to fight. We admire and respect it in others. No news story is ever shown where the shop owner, after 30 years, is fire bombed and vows to…move to another town and change careers. We Fight! ("WE Rebuild!!) 
Now, don’t politicize my little rant, I’m not referring to world politics, just personal stuff. Because, to me,  it's all personal. It's all little stuff. Close to the ground. Don't forget the world is pretty much mostly humans. Red blooded,oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus, humans. We also have a little potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine and magnesium...humans...and humans fight back! We (meaning all humans) fight. We fight for ourselves, for our own self preservation, for our families, for our loved ones but we also fight for the less fortunate, the down-trodden, the weak, the embattled…we fight for those that we feel can’t fight for themselves. 
I love that about human beings, they don’t quit, they keep coming. They're the heroes in every cowboy movie you ever watched. Most humans don’t like crooks, bullies, racists, bigots, misogynists, the New England Patriots (JOKE!!) Seriously, most humans, that I’ve observed from near and far, are for justice and fair play. At least, fair play from their perspective. I think it’s because on some level, we’re all looking at their situation and picturing ourselves “getting up” from that. We’re rooting for them. “Don’t quit!” Remember the movie Rocky? The first one? Rocky lost! But we love Rocky because he didn’t quit, so he WON! You get knocked down, get up, get knocked down again, get up. Adversity…Walt Disney, supposedly (I say "supposedly" because all info comes from the internet now and you have to be VERY careful!!) said, “You may not realize it, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” Abraham Lincoln said "I don't care what y'all say, I ain't giving up on freeing me some slaves! Now, who wants to wrassle? " (actually, Lincoln didn't say that as far as I know but thanks to the internet, someone will probably  share that quote as a meme with a picture of Lincoln and I will be THRILLED!!) 
I’m just like you, I’ve had my share of Adversity. You and I could sit together and share stories and “one-up” each other on what we’ve been through, but at the end of it, you’ve gone through your stuff, I’ve gone through mine, it ain’t the same (although it might be), we both have the scars to show for it, and, if we’re sitting together talking about it, it means that we’ve made it through that. Pretty cool huh? “Oh you think that scar’s bad, look at this one…” Get up. I was going to write a blog about what me and the band went through this weekend with car trouble and stuff but some kid lost her fight with cancer, some family died in a bombing in Syria, a man lost his wife in a car accident, there's some really hungry folks, some people that will be sleeping outside in the cold tonight, somebody's telling their family something that's gonna change everything in all of their worlds…there’s real problems in the world that God has seen fit to protect me from! Adversity. Get Up.

Monday, October 19, 2015


I love my job. I really do. LOVE IT! I believe in God (I'm a Christian) and I believe that being a musician is what He put me here to do; to be loud, cause a fuss, make music and to entertain. Somehow, the cosmic forces of life always seem to counteract the blessings we receive. (Oh Lord don't they love to "monkey up the works"! Maybe just to give us balance. Yin & Yang.) I titled this post “Sacrifice” (not because it’s an Elton John song, although I love me some Elton John songs don’t I?) Tonight, after a harsh three days, I’m thinking of the sacrifice. Not my sacrifice; being on the road, away from my family, no sleep, bad food, miles of driving, car trouble, logistics, $$$!!! but more importantly the sacrifice of others. 
We broke down on the way to our first gig of the weekend in Washington, MO at Driftwood Distillery. The owners couldn’t have been kinder. They came out to pick us up and get us to the gig (Thank you Elijah and Joe), they loaned us a car to get to a hotel for the night after the gig, they fed the band the next day, they offered to let us hang out at their venue as long as we needed. They sacrificed so that we could do what we do. 
The next day we spent the morning at Reichers Tire & Auto, hoping against hope that they could fix the Beast with some simple mechanic magic but it was not to be. They were awesomely kind and considerate and we appreciated their efforts to get us on the road.
Out of the blue, with no real plan in place, I received a call from a man named Dale who had heard of our distress and offered to drive us (towing our trailer) to the next gig in Jackson, MO. Dale was just getting off work when he called us and came and got us and drove us 2 1/2 hours to Jackson in time for our next gig, asking for nothing but gas money. (By the way, at one point the trailer popped of the hitch and ran under the truck and we had to stop and fix it, I really started wondering if we were cursed!!) 
So we’re in Jackson, make the gig, which was a guest appearance with Eddie Turner & The Trouble Twins, and no idea how to get to Nashville! Our friend Phil Penzel offers us his REALLY nice truck to drive home in. (Phil we may need to keep this truck, it’s REAL nice!!;)
We were supposed to have a gig in Memphis but confusion and miscommunication caused us to miss it. Our friend and ally in the Blues Mr. Jay Sheffield canceled a band so that we could play but thanks to technology I found out after I’d been back home in Nashville for a couple of hours. (Thank you so much Jay for always being honorable!)
So, Sacrifice:
The Driftwood Distillery sacrificed by rescuing us from the side of the interstate, ferrying us all over town, loaning us a vehicle, giving us food, offering us shelter.
Reichers Tire & Auto worked on the Beast all morning and when they couldn’t fix it, they charged us nothing and allowed us to leave it in their parking lot until we could arrange to bring it home.
Dale drove us 2 1/2 hours to Jackson for nothing but his own kindness.
Phil loaned his REALLY nice truck…seriously, this thing is awesome!
My band…musicians are a special breed. I’m blessed to have met and known so many and they are all incredible. Ray Gonzales, Sam Persons and Braden Cameron stuck with me, never complained, didn’t gripe, pitched in and supported every decision I made to get us through this weekend. 
My brother Keith Throneberry and my cousin Mark Holt are sacrificers after the fact. They are helping me clean up the mess that was this weekend!
If I write a post about “Sacrifice” My intention was to thank and give a shout out to all the folks that helped us get through but I read the word “Sacrifice” and it keeps reminding me of the person in my life who is and has been continually making the sacrifice; my wife Buffy Holt.
A musician’s life is a hard, stressful existence (no kids, it's not all sex and velvet...wait yes it is...but it's still hard sometimes...no wait, that doesn't read well...I mean it's difficult...seriously, it's hard to be married to a musician). It’s feast or famine, all the time. It’s being successful if you’re away from home and being broke when you are home. It’s that double-edged sword; work is good but work makes you absent which is bad. My wife has been a soldier for the cause for almost 25 years now, actually she’s been with me since we started this so throw in the Buddy Guy years and we’re closer to 30! She is an amazing wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, confidant and coconspirator! If you look up “Sacrifice” in the dictionary, it should have a photo of Buffy (which, oddly enough my dictionary does! Of course they're naked photos and I love research!! I'M JOKING!! She's gonna kill me! No my dictionary is not filled with naked photos of my wife...but if it was I wouldn't be sad...no I'm kidding they're in my thesaurus...BAHAHAHAHHAHA!!! I'm so dead and this heartfelt missive is in jeopardy of being dismissed because of my frivolity. See, Buffy is the supreme sacrificer!!) . Thank you my beautiful, wonderful, amazing, Buff for sacrificing for me. 
Thank you to all the people that sacrificed for us this weekend, thank you to all the ones that sacrifice on our behalf constantly, and while I’m at it, thank you to all the service men and women that sacrifice on our behalf everyday so that you and I have the freedom to gripe and moan about how hard our day was. (That last sentence was, of course, for our American friends. Our friends around the world can ignore it, strike it or, better yet, apply it to whatever your situation is in your country. I pray for God to bless you all.)
This post is meant to be an addendum to the last post. 
When you think about the sacrifice that others are making on your behalf, you also have to realize that these are blessings. I drove home tonight thanking God for his blessings.
Sure, I could have focused on the negative and griped about the breakdown, the transportation, the loss of gigs, etc, “Why God Why?!?!” BUT I choose to focus on the blessings; 
Yes we broke down BUT thank God it was close to the gig and the owners could come and get us. 
Yes we lost our ride BUT thank God that someone heard about our trouble and offered to help.
Yes we lost a gig in the shuffle BUT thank God that it was the last gig of the run, 2 hours from home and booked by a friend who will continue to support us.
Thank God that I was surrounded by positive people this weekend who lifted me up and allowed me to get us home.
Thank God that I have a partner to come home to that supports me, encourages me and loves me. 
In short and in closing; THANK GOD

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Flag Day...

So, the controversy on Facebook today is all about the Confederate flag. This, of course, is a direct response to a person who murdered 9 innocent people in South Carolina. (please hear my sarcastic tone!) My response to all of the controversy concerning the flag is this; I met Johnny Carson once.
 When I was with Buddy Guy, we did a lot of TV; Austin City Limits, Good Morning America, QVC, etc. One of the high lights for me was doing the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. I grew up listening to Johnny Carson from my bed as my parents watched from the den. When I was old enough to stay up, I watched Johnny Carson in his plaid pants, wide lapels, Ed McMahon, Alpo commercial glory! I even owned a sport coat from the Johnny Carson Collection!…It’s funny to me that as you grow up, some things just become part of the fabric, part of the lexicon; Bugs Bunny, Leave It To Beaver, Friends, The Sopranos, Letterman…but let’s get back to Burbank!
 We were promoting Buddy’s new record, my memory fails on which one it was and a quick search of YouTube finds nothing but it really happened! All day we’re at the Burbank studios, blocking shots, timing the song, sound checking the levels. The build up to a “live-to-tape” show is exhausting! “Live-to-tape” means that we shoot the video at an early hour on the West Coast so that it can be played at the normal hour on the East Coast but we shoot it live so there are no fixes or changes. In other words, you screw up and it’s stays! Pressure! Not to mention, you’re there from 9:00 am until show time (5:00 pm?)
 We sit at the DESK and get our picture made, we take pictures of Johnny’s parking spot (Corvette!!), we hang out, we peak in to Family Feud’s set (?).
 My whole story comes to this; We played the song, 10 hours of waiting for 3 minutes of pressure. We’re done, the “Good Nights” are said and I find myself standing by the stage door waiting for our guitar tech. I look up and there’s Johnny! Johnny Carson is standing right in front of me. It’s the classic celebrity moment; 
1.I’m standing in front of someone who has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. 2.He has no idea I exist. 
3.I feel compelled say something meaningful. 
 Mr. Carson is standing there adjusting his tie, I’m standing there doing nothing, it’s just the two of us, I say “Mr. Carson, it’s a real pleasure to meet you sir and it was an honor to perform on your show.” I extend my hand, like my mama taught me…nothing…no response, almost to the point that you think, maybe he didn’t hear me…I stay…hand out…I’m looking North, he’s looking East…no eye contact…then suddenly, never making eye contact, he extends his hand, grasps mine, firm shake, he mumbles “ummHumm”…and walks away. 
 I could have thought, “what a jerk!” but what I thought was “WOW! There’s a guy shyer than me!” Maybe being in show-business gives me a different perspective on the game but I know how scary it is to put yourself out there and know that some are going to hate you, insult you, criticize you. You can be the king of the castle and still be stung by criticism. Shyness is our main disease!

 I got to meet Johnny Carson once, I shook his hand, did he embrace me or fill me with his wisdom?…NO…was he my “Johnny Carson Experience”? YES! I can carry that with me for the rest of my life and he didn’t have to carry it with him through the doorway. Something so significant to me, that wasn’t significant to him…kind of like everyday life…different stuff means something to different folks. Ramadan, Passover, Christmas or Kwanza; Blues, Rock, Country or Soul; FOX, CNN, MSNBC, CSPAN…What did I get from Johnny Carson? Courtesy. He didn’t ‘leave me hanging’…he shook my hand. When something is important to you, I should be aware and sympathetic. The reverse is true too though: when something is important to me, you should be aware and sympathetic. 7 billion folks, lots of opportunities for “offense”, lots of chances to get it “wrong”, then again, lots of opportunities to make it better. I know you’re scared, insecure, hiding…shake my hand…you’re ‘second’ might be my ‘moment’…err on the side of love…

Saturday, May 16, 2015

 My favorite stories about B.B. King can’t be told in public. Buddy and I laughed about this last week…about this very fact. About how all my heroes turned out to be real human beings. I didn’t know B.B. very well. I met him many times, toured with him in the 90’s and had the extreme honor, privilege and pleasure of sitting in on visits between he and Buddy (which is where I get many of the stories that can’t be told in public) . 
 B.B. was an artist, an innovator , a healer but most of all, a kind, humble gentleman. He carried the weight of his fame gracefully. I asked him for three autographs in my life and he granted each of them (2 for me and one for my daughter). I only asked for two photos with him, both of which he graciously agreed to. My favorite story that I CAN tell is this; we were on a package tour, B.B. was the headliner, Buddy was next and we had Eric Johnson and the Alligator All-Stars (Junior Wells and Lonnie Brooks). We were in an airport, early morning…EARLY morning, waiting on a flight. I’m sitting at the gate and suddenly B.B. and his crew arrive. B.B. sits right next to me and as a young bluesman, I’m in heaven! We say “good-morning” and for me that was enough. B.B. King looks you in the eye and says’ “good morning, young man”, I’m good! One of his aides comes up with a styrofoam platter filled with bacon, eggs, gravy and biscuits. B.B. turns to me, holds out the plate and says; “you want some food?” “Oh, no sir! Thank you!” I ain’t about to take B.B. King’s biscuit and gravy! The thing was, He WAS SERIOUS! At that moment, he was a southern gentleman who had some food and the guy next to him had none. I’ve never forgotten that. 
 When I toured with him he was still in his prime. I watched from the side of the stage, every night as he was B.B. KING! He “reached”, musically, every night. He played stuff that he hadn’t played the night before, he pushed. Tone. Phrasing. Execution. Regal. Exactly like a KING.
 I mustered up my courage once and told him that I’d love to play on stage with him sometime. He said “well, I usually just call up the headliners, but if you want to come up, that would be alright.” I held out for my moment to be when I was “one of the headliners”, it didn’t come. 
 B.B. King gave his life to his art. He toured more than any other artist, for longer than any other artist. His discography spans decades. His recordings stretch from Sun records to U2 to playing for presidents, prisoners and popes. His influence is every musician. 
 I was born in a world with Elvis, the Beatles, James Brown, Ray Charles and B.B. King. Now we have none of them. It just feels out of balance. Buddy always said “every guitar should have 2 ‘B’s on it for what he’s given us.” I feel exactly the same way. No B.B. = no Buddy, no Jimi, no Clapton, no Stevie, no Van Halen, etc. His influence won’t be truly recognized for a while. The accolades will come, the tributes, the beautiful words, passionate oratories…and then…the silence. The unbearable, unforgivable, un-negotiable silence that reflects the absence of an artist, an icon, a force…

 As a guitarist and a blues fan I mourn the loss of a hero, a guide, an emissary and an artist…but I really miss the guy that signed my daughter’s picture while we sat in the back of his bus watching a cowboy movie, I miss the guy that traded dirty jokes with Buddy while I sat there, jaw agape! I miss the guy that offered me his breakfast one morning in Texas, while we waited on a plane. Thank you Mr. King. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

ART...and sex...and Kanye...and Mylie...and McDonald's...

Watching the tribute to Stevie Wonder tonight, I was reminded, yet again, of the importance and reality of true and pure art. No, this ain’t some “old guy that hates everything new” type rant , but I would argue that due to the advances in technology, the tremendous expression of wealth and the allure of celebrity, we are inundated by an exponential amount of “white noise”, a sonic Matrix, if you will; “take the red pill and you’ll see and hear the true art in life, take the blue pill and all things the media feeds will make perfect sense…” Even among the current popular artists these deadly contaminates infect art. 
 Take Miley Cyrus for example. I can’t stand the “foam-finger, tounge-wagging, could-I-be-any-trashier? Miley”, but I have to admit, when she sings and lets the other crap go, she is a true talent. I heard her sing on the SNL tribute, doing a Paul Simon song and she crushed it. That’s an example of someone who has the talent and yet still feels they have to play the game. 
 I’m reminded of the movie This Is It; the tragic, slow-motion car wreck of Michael Jackson’s final days. While there is a lot to shake our heads at and tsk-tsk, there’s also the inarguable fact that even in a severely compromised state (as we’ve now heard ad-nauseam) MJ still was able to bring it. He hit his marks, hit the notes, made his cues and led the band. he was even making directorial directions. 
 It reminds me of the same feeling I had watching Mike Tyson being knocked out by Buster Douglas, Tyson’s on the mat, knocked out and he’s still crawling around finding his mouthpiece and getting it in his mouth because he knows “instinctively” that they won’t let him continue without it. He’s operating on that hardcore built in artistic instinct that has served artists for centuries. I feel that Michael Jackson was operating on pure built-in, ingrained instinct. He was raised up in the same Motown machine that gave us Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye & Diana Ross. Unfortunately, it’s why we see artists like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, etc. abusing drink or drugs, but still able to bring their amazing talent to the fore. The true art is HARD-WIRED.
 We, as humans, always recognize true art and admire and respect greatness. For an example I give you Prince; on the recent GRAMMY broadcast, current music royalty was represented. You had Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Beyonce, etc. BUT…Prince walks out to give an award, doesn’t open his mouth and receives a standing ovation! Greatness is recognized.
 Kanye West (thanks to the advice of his publicist and management team , I’m sure) tried to protest the awarding of a GRAMMY to Beck as an affront to art with the “neglect” of Beyonce. As I said, his move was more about his own promotion than any real regard for artistic integrity but even that reveals a lot about where we are as a culture; Kanye is either completely aware of what he’s doing and thereby giving art no true value or he’s completely unaware and is an example of the ignorance and ‘Matrix’ quality existence that permeates the current artistic landscape. 
 One more GRAMMY example; I really like the Hozier song, “Take Me To Church”. I think it’s a really cool song and I hope he has a lot more to bring to the air. That being said, once again the GRAMMY telecast reveals something. Annie Lennox gets up and does a duet with Hozier and lays waste to the place. No pyro, no vocal histrionics, no auto-tune. Just a straight up talented vocalist and performer doing what she does and killing it. 
 The thing about art is that in it’s purest form, it is completely un-reliant on commerce. You can draw a picture and put it in a drawer, you can sing at church or in your car, you can cook an amazing meal for your family, none of these will bring you a dime. That doesn’t make them less artistic or compromise the artistic qualities. You can make a sex tape and sell it for a million dollars or lip-sync (ala’ Milli Vanilli) and make money without ever scratching the surface of “art”. 
 So MY point, if I have one, is that it’s up to us as a culture, to put some kind of limits on what we will and will not tolerate in art. Van Gough didn’t get it, Mozart didn’t get it, Monet didn’t get it. I’m speaking of artistic respect and financial recognition, during their lifetime. Recognize and give credit where it’s due. Call BS on the stuff that’s obviously an opportunistic grab. 

 In the end, I equate it with food, sex and movies; I’m not saying never eat at McDonald’s, just never forget the difference between a McDonald’s hamburger and a really good steak with fresh vegetables; or, for my vegetarian friends, a frozen vegetarian dinner and a plate of freshly prepared, fresh vegetables; sex with a onetime hookup as opposed to sex with someone you’re in love with, music that you can read a book while listening to as opposed to music that gives you goosebumps, a movie that you can eat popcorn during as opposed to a movie that has you glued to your chair and feeling every emotion.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"You Can't Handle The Truth!"

GRAMMY RECAP: I really kind of dug the GRAMMYs last night. I LOVED Annie Lennox (one of my favorites), AC/DC was wreckin’ it, LOVED the Brandi Clark - Dwight Yoakum song! (Sturgill Simpson got NOTHING?!?), Buddy Guy got props (though not on TV…)The interesting thing was the conversations the next day; Kanye, Kanye, Kanye! (yes it’s a Brady Bunch reference)First, I should say that my personal opinion is that Kanye did what he did to create the controversy, conversation and press that he’s getting. “Good press, Bad press, as long as they spell your name right!” Kanye is the Rush Limbaugh of Rock & Roll; even he doesn’t believe EVERYTHING he says.
 Now the internet is lit up with Artists and fans responding in the negative. “Kick him in the …” well, you get the idea. My take, for what it’s worth, is that Kanye is (like most artists) insecure and desperate. I’m not jumping on the bandwagon to beat him up, I’m just trying to express my opinion of what he said. (Although he is married to a Kardashian, they can make a man want to be a woman!) To say that Beck, a multi-instrumentalist, who writes, records and produces his own work, who according to allmusic.com is credited as the sole composer of all 13 tracks of his GRAMMY winning record, should “respect artistry and give his award to Beyonce” who’s last album, according to allmusic.com credits 30 composers and producers, is like saying Derek Jeter should respect athletic talent and give his World Series ring to Hulk Hogan. The argument is ludicrous in and of itself so let’s take it off the table and analyze the underlying truth.  Kanye has released 8 records, (6 of which, I’d not heard of), Beck has released 12 records ( 9 of which I haven’t heard of). In their individual milieux, they are both valid. Kanye is a tremendous force in Rap/Hip-Hop and Beck is an incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer. Kanye taking a verbal swing at Beck is like me talking smack about Mike Tyson; I can play guitar better than Mike Tyson but he can also kick my a**! (I can also play guitar better than Kanye, Beyonce, Jay-Z AND Beck but that’s beside the point:))…I’M JUST JOKING! 
 My point is; life is short, love is long, true art will survive and flourish, pretenders will fall by the wayside and whoever turned off Sir Paul McCartney’s mic and reduced him to being a rhythm guitarist for Rhianna and Kanye should be dipped in peanut butter and dropped in a pack of hungry, horny dogs!

 In closing, I’d like to paraphrase Col. Nathan R. Jessup USMC; “ Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guitars. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Ryan Seacrest? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Beck, and you curse Kanye West. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Beck’s win, while awesome, probably saved lives. And Kanye’s existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want Kanye on that stage, you need Kanye on that stage. We use words like art, integrity, musicianship. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent creating something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to someone who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very art that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up an instrument, and write a song. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.” #loudisgood 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

American Sniper

I had an opportunity to watch the film American Sniper tonight. I had to watch it tonight because the Facebook feed was blowing up with too much info about the movie and even though I knew how it would end, I was curious to see how Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper would interpret the story. I prefer to see movies without any spin. I LOVE movies! If music didn’t dominate my life’s work I’d probably have pursued film in some way. 
 So anyway, if you care what I think, here’s my take away from the movie. I enjoyed it as I’ve enjoyed pretty much all of Mr. Eastwood’s work. I was a little surprised and disappointed. After what I’d read on my FB feed, I expected to either be gathering grenades and ammo to go blow up Middle Easterners or criticizing the propaganda aspect of the movie and staking out Michael Moore’s house! Sorry, for a moment I forgot that we are in the 21st century; DON’T BELIEVE ANYTHING YOU READ ON THE INTERNET, IT’S ALL PROPAGANDA!
 My take away was the psychological, physical and spiritual wear and tear that all war takes on a human. Bradley Cooper is outstanding! Our “hard-wired” desire for justice and fairness. The duality that’s instilled in those that protect our country and have families. War sucks. I should say Real War Sucks. John Wayne war is awesome. Apocalypse Now is one of my favorite movies. Real humans losing their lives for any cause or belief is a terrible, terrible reality of the human existence. Lest you want to start blasting me (actually, go ahead, I can use the traffic), I have no public opinion on politics, religion or ice cream flavors. I’m simply saying War Sucks, Bad People Are Bad, Good People Are Good and God’s Got It!
 Here’s what I didn’t get from this movie; an added appreciation for our troops - I already have the utmost respect for them, my father was a vet, my cousin was a vet and one of my oldest and best friends was a Marine sniper. I’m extremely grateful for the freedom and safety that they provide. I didn’t gain a different insight on terrorists - I already believe that terrorists are opportunistic cowards who co-opt religion to manipulate people to do their dirty work. 
 At the end of the day, I’ll say what I say to my friends; “it’s a movie, based on a true story and that means the mission statement of the project is ENTERTAINMENT (and $$$ shhhhhh).”
 I really enjoyed the film, it will be hard for loved ones of veterans and those currently serving in hostile areas to watch. I imagine that it will be difficult for those who have served to watch. I feel a degree of guilt watching it as a movie and being entertained, knowing that for some, who have experienced it, it’s not a “popcorn event”. I give it 2 thumbs up or 5 stars or whatever is the current top rating. 

 I’ll say this too; Terrorism is the school yard bully of the global stage, their strength is through fear, just like a bully. If the good people of the earth are together the bully loses steam and is easier to defeat. Oh yeah, and Hate Never Wins;)