July 21, 2019,



When I was just a kid growing up in the middle of the last Great Depression, the great American folk singer/song writer, Woody Guthrie, was coming of age and taking center stage in the protest movement against the basic injustices then being perpetrated against the poor, working class, and middle class Americans. Then, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected President, and, when I was just about ten, the USA finally entered World War II. The major issues of poverty and income disparity eventually diminished due, in part, to FDR’s social welfare programs and the euphoria of our WWII victories. By the time I had gone a decade or so past legal adult age (1964), the singer songwriter, social-protest ‘inheritor’ of Woody’s legacy, Bob Dylan, had taken over his job and the Vietnam War was just getting under-way. He was going to have a lot of work to do.

I had intended that this week’s article, i.e., my ‘Blog’, (I detest that word, almost as much as I detest the use of the word ‘grab’—as in a wait-person’s saying, “I’ll grab that coffee for you!”) to be about the current extremes of social ‘direction’ now being put under the microscope of political party nominee consideration. Every form of government from near socialism to absolute fascist dictatorship seems to have been put on the table for consideration by one candidate or another, whether they use those labels or not. Those extremes are listed from the far left side of the Democrat Party to the far right, white supremacist, very dark side of the Republican Party. Think— ‘from AOC to Donald Trump’. It’s no surprise (to me) that the extremes of governmental form now being espoused by our various 2020 presidential nominee contest candidates now match the extremes of income disparity now existing in our society. Given: our level of debt (federal, corporate and personal), the threat of more war in the Middle-East, plus our level of income disparity- we have a very sick society. Like doctors faced with a pandemic propose a wide variety of medical remedies, politicians running for office in very un-stabile times propose a wide variety of ‘governmental’ forms as their solution to our societal problems. However, rather than begin an analysis of various candidates proposed solutions to our problems, I decided that this was a good time to step back from the fray, bring my 45 RPM discs and player out of storage in the barn, and listen again to Bob Dylan’s words of wisdom in his song, The Times They Are A Changin’. I’m sure you know the melody but, just to help you remember, these are the verses:

Come gather ‘round, people

Wherever you roam

And admit that the waters

Around you have grown (gotten deeper?)

And accept it that soon

You’ll be drenched to the bone

If your time to you is worth savin’

And you better start swimmin’

Or you’ll sink like a stone

For the times they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics

Who propose with your pen (this was slightly before the days of TV news commentators)

And keep your eyes wide

The chance won’t come again

And don’t speak too soon

For the wheel’s still in spin (the wheel of fortune)

And there’s no tellin’ who (don’t guess too soon)

That it’s namin’

For the loser now

Will be later to win

For the times they are a-changin’

Come senators, congressmen (Lindsay Graham, Mitch McConnell and insert other names)

Please heed the call

Don’t stand in the doorway

Don’t block the hall

For he that gets hurt

Will be he who has stalled (see above)

The battle outside ragin’

Will soon shake your windows

And rattle your walls (and the walls came tumbling down)

For the times they are a-changin

Come mothers and fathers

Throughout the land

And don’t criticize

What you can‘t understand

Your sons and your daughters

Are beyond your command (just imagin’ AOC paying attention to orders from NP!)

Your old road is rapidly agin’ (Uncle Joe Biden ?)

Please get out of the new one

If you can’t lend your hand

For the times they are a-changin’

The line it is drawn

The course it is cast (some versions show the word ‘curse’)

The slow one now

Will later be fast

As the present now

Will later be past

The order is rapidly fadin’

And the first one now

Will later be last

For the times they are a-changin’ (they always have and they always will. It’s just a matter

of the speed of change. Alvin Toffler claims it always


I doubt very much that I could write a piece of social commentary concerning the current political situation here in the USA (and many countries abroad) as good and as ‘current’ as those words, written in 1964, describe that time of pending social and political chaos. If the above doesn’t make you want to sit down and just reflect quietly for a few minutes, the terrible heat wave now over New Mexico and most of the United States will surely do it. The last time this afternoon I saw Hubris, he was standing in the shade of a very old Cottonwood tree, flickin’ flies with his tail and waiting for the sun to set and the lower (we hope!) evening temperatures to arrive. No “Hi Ho Hubris, Aawaay!” this evening!


                                Copyright, July 21, 2019, Louis J. Christen

Lou, The Lone Curmudgeon, Writes Again!