DISPATCH 07-03-11 LOS ANGELES

07-03-11

1520 hrs. I got back here two days ago and I am leaving again the day after tomorrow.

All the Dinosaur Jr. shows are behind me and I have to say, it was a great time and I feel very lucky to have been a part of the tour.

I have a few more shoot days left on the Nat. Geo. project and then onto other things.

The last Dinosaur Jr. show was on the 27th of last month from where I last wrote you. I went from NC up to Washington DC for a couple of days. I try to go there whenever I can. If I am close by and have a day or two, I will go. I try not to be sentimental about things but I do enjoy being there and this last visit, although brief, was a great time.

One of the high points was going to the mastering session for a release that Dischord has coming out later this year. It’s several unreleased tracks by the band Void. I heard the whole thing and it’s going to be a great release for Dischord and Void fans. There’s also going to be a collection of some unreleased Faith material that I was able to hear some of and that was great as well. I never got to see Faith play, much to my regret but at least there will be more music of theirs to check out. I don’t know the exact release date of either record but I think they will be in the fourth quarter of this year if all goes to plan.

The events of the last several days in America have been making me think a lot. Michelle Bachmann is an interesting person. The fact that her husband Marcus is all of a sudden out in the open to be seen by the media’s cameras might make things a bit tricky for rep. Bachmann, considering some of the statements he is on the record saying. I don’t know if he’ll be able to walk back some of this stuff, or if he’ll even want to. 

I have been doing a lot of thinking as to where America is headed. I have been trying to get my head around the debt ceiling, what the ramifications of default will mean, if the threat is being used as a tool by either or both sides, etc.

When I hear people say that Americans are stupid and don’t pay attention to things, it makes me angry. That kind of broad brushing of millions of people is lazy thinking. I do think one thing is for sure. Americans, more and more are working longer, going further to get to an employment opportunity and have less time to read, absorb information and have the time required to come to conclusions that take multiple factors into consideration. Merely bashing the “side” you don’t agree with doesn’t always bring the best results. How the hell do you get enough facts and have the time to think it all over when you are in traffic, trying to get five hours of sleep before it all starts again or otherwise trying to keep your head above water? I think that’s one of the major challenges Americans face currently.

It’s not for me to suggest where to get your information. I go all over and check far and wide but I reckon if you’re reading this, you are very able to reconnoiter the internet and gather information as you see fit.

I will weigh in on this one thing, this being my little letter and all. It seems to me, that besides a massive public works program, I don’t know how many more jobs can be created. There are a lot of jobs that have been created by massive American corps.—in Cambodia, Saipan, etc. So, no matter what happens, besides a WPA type of thing, I don’t see where a ton of jobs are going to spring up from no matter who does what. This is the thing that I can’t get my head around. I am sure there are some jobs that could be created by careful planning but on a massive scale, I don’t know where that volume would come from if all those jobs remain outside of America. Seeing how little people will work for in other countries, I don’t see those jobs coming back to America any time soon.

On that same point, one thing that truly angers me is when I hear some imply that out of work Americans are lazy and just happy to cash an unemployment check. That assertion goes counter to the attitude of every out of work person I have met in the last several months. What an insult. I met an out of work construction worker on the street in NYC the night before my run of shows there last February. He told me about his situation and was almost in tears. His pride was extremely wounded. He’s lazy?! I have never been without employment of some kind since I was in fourth grade. I don’t know how I would handle waking up to no job of some kind. The check I cashed would just be a lump in my throat. Don’t call these people lazy.

I thought this might be a good time to let you know about my next book. I told you about it before. It’s called Occupants. It’s photos and essays from the last several years. It’s being printed now. Its official release is early October but we will be taking pre-orders for a batch that we will get about two weeks before the release date. This is the limited edition I will be signing. We will let you know when all that goes down several days beforehand. I am looking forward to seeing this book. It was one of the most time intensive projects I have ever put myself through. Hopefully you’ll dig it.

This time next week, I believe I will be in the wilds of North Carolina, or is it Kentucky? I’ll let you know.

Thanks for reading this. Henry

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