“Got to Pay Your Dues if You Wanna Sing the Blues…”

There’s a reason for internships… wait. I said that wrong, Is there a reason for interns? Other than free labor? Oh… networking and leaning the in’s and out’s of a particular trade or craft. A group of like minded individuals who can serve as mentors for a journeymen in a difficult or dangerous craft. In some cases the intern’s life depends on the internship. The life of the teacher will depend on teaching the student well if they will be working side by side on the same job.

The idea of an “internship” in the world of music seems odd at first. No lives depend upon a guitarist learning to solo with the axe behind his head. (I think the exception would be KISS…) And collaboration in the exchange of ideas benefit the artists over their entire compositional life. Hearing new riffs expands the horizon of what could be.

In this sense, the internship is a metaphor. The idea was summed up by my junior high school band director. It’s that “Johnson County Swing”. That middle class, white suburban, Kansas City Junior High jazz band swing. It’s the difference between “Peter Gunn” and “Pink Floyd”. A fresh faced young lad cannot play something quite so sultry and moving as an older counterpart because they haven’t lived it yet. They haven’t seen the heartache that can lead a man to play the blues.

It is an Internship that never ends.

Well… it will go on for “quite a while”. And the lessons learned in that process bring out a maturity in the playing that can take one by surprise. I remember one day thinking “Yeah… I get it,” after my grandfather died. My bass lines fell a little more on the backside of the beat, and the ‘weight’ of the moment helped to resonate the sound just a bit farther.

So, I get it. I understand that one must “Pay their dues”. I’ve heard commentators say, that every morning, each member of the House of Representatives wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror, and says “Good morning, Mr. President!” And the Senators, the Governors, the prominent business leaders sweating it out for decades. Many of them starting out as interns themselves! Low level staffers who dreamed of one day getting their shot at the job. Then, maybe… if the timing is right… One day!

I was a struggling musician for many years. I get it. I love how James Hetfield of Metallica describes the band’s early days… living on “fist sandwiches”… Slice of bologna+ hand= Fist Sandwich. Living in a studio apartment, dreaming of One day.

It may seem a bit presumptive to many people, that I should just start a social media campaign for Commander in Chief. As if I am better than other candidates who have busted hump working long hours over years of hard work. But that is not the case. I am not seeking to mount a political dynasty, or upend our political way of life. No one could end our country’s political way of life! It IS who we are! That ‘battle royal’ mentality is woven within the fabric of our entire society. From the schools we attend, to the careers we seek, to the daycare centers we send our kids to.

I am running for President because I believe I have a genuine solution to the majority of the societal ills We face everyday. One that has not been given a fair open discussion. One that, once acted upon, would open the legislative door to the majority of the Electorate being able to have their voices matter each and every election. A campaign focus that, to my knowledge, has not been done before. A fundamental change in the election cycle. A demand that Our ‘political rumbles’ become substantive, rather than divisive. A demand to lift up the nation’s values, that the bar be raised, so that even the weakest among us are cared for.

If I wanted to change the local politics in Kansas City… If I wanted to press for a more robust transit system that services communities across the State Line, or if I wanted to help Kansas Farmers ensure their health care needs are secure, I would run for office at the State or US Representative level. I would enjoy doing those things. But the agenda I am pursuing cannot be achieved by running for city councilman. The idea I have cannot be realized by a junior Senator from Kansas.

Being that the majority of Americans would benefit from a Constitutional Convention to address the large number of social issues causing division in our communities, our families, and in our Congress, we must propose Amendments and seek to ratify them via a political mandate. When We have a candidate that we ALL can Unite behind and confidently vote for, in such a large overwhelming way that it COMMANDS the attention of the legislatures, the solution to these issues will materialize faster than you could imagine! Once the active distortion of the truth is silenced by the voice of The People, those who oppose truth and openness will be seen clearly.

And We will welcome the Trolls. We will listen to the Trolls, but we will not fear them. Stand Up! Walk into the light and Speak Freely! Whether genius or insanity, everyone MUST be heard.

…I suppose it’s up to The People now. Keep your head UP!!

JC

Leadership

I have to teach my 12 year old son about leadership. This will be either a good conversation, or a head butting contest. Knowing my son…

He is playing Fortnite: Battle Royale and has becomes focused on the win. He has developed decent leadership skills, but is becoming a bit overbearing. He seems too focused on the win. I’ve got to figure how to tell him to focus on “the assist” as hard as he does “the win”.

Now, I’m NOT a military strategist. I AM an Eagle Scout. And I have been part of successful teams. The biggest lesson I have learned from that experience:

Don’t go into business with family or friends. It will destroy that relationship. Every time.

I would say, being from Kansas, in recent years our State has been home to quite a few good leaders. The one that I gained the most from watching was Roy Williams, coach of the KU Jayhawks. His strategy was quite simple: fundamentals, deep bench, every one touches the ball before it goes in, everyone wins. When everyone’s talent is being utilized to its fullest potential, no one can stop you. Focus hard on getting the ball into the RIGHT person’s hands at the RIGHT time, and it’s bank! Nothin’ but net.

So, it went well. He is very perceptive and open to criticism. Unlike me, when I was his age (or like his little brother… grrrr… he and I are too much alike) I was stubborn and wouldn’t listen to sound advice. Or, I would think I knew better and do as I thought best.

I can’t tell you how many times I have said in the back of my mind “Damn, Dad. Why didn’t I listen?” I know someday that will be the case with my kids. I guess that’s how it goes.

Keep your head UP!!

JC