About Donald F. Carnage
November 20, 2020  

United States’ President Donald Carnage insists that the Presidential race was rigged by lefty Democrats. Astonishingly, even a few Republicans insist that his rigging accusation is bulls****t. That dog don’t hunt, Texans would say.  President “Carnage”? Daily, Trump is damaging American democracy and risking our future in the world.

Onward and upward, or sideways.  The COVID-19 pandemic is eating our lunch everywhere, worldwide.  Many have died, a great many more are getting sick, national economies are falling through their backsides, and businesses of every type are running out of money. Though there is a possibility of temporary aid from the government. Columnist Heather Cox Richards reminds us that “…by law, virtually no state and local governments can operate with a deficit, though the federal government can”.  States have seen their revenues evaporate during the pandemic at a time when all their citizens need robust unemployment dollars and social-welfare programs. They need support through this emergency. But folks are mostly sitting at home, watching TV, getting zip income, hungry and fearful. Kids are anxious because their parents aren’t getting money enough to plan meals and are frightened about next week. And then what?

Don’t lose track, now. President Carnage – our “Commander” only until January 20, when Biden inherits the Rose Garden – will retire with Obama, the Bushes, Clinton, Ford, etc. – none too soon, even if you enjoyed his manic style learned on commercial TV. (You’re FIRED!!) Ahh, the good old days when you could change channels and be done with Mr. Carnage.

Elephants In The Room
What we have now is not one but two elephants in the room, huge scary animals we don’t want to think about, a reality we don’t want to acknowledge. Setting aside the virus – which is awful and has caused 250,000+ deaths and 11,530,193 illness cases to date. THIS is Elephant No. 1 in our face every day. And President Carnage never mentions these colds facts, though its effect is layered throughout the nation and the world. WE ARE ALL anxiety-ridden, parents anxious about jobs (if they are lucky enough to  have one) and  money,  their children and their older parents… WILL THERE BE ENOUGH MONEY TO MAKE IT? And WILL WE GET SICK…(and die!). Will masks and social distancing be enough? Will there be enough health care, doctors and nurses? And what if WE get sick and can’t help each other?’

This – our number one Elephant – is a very large, stinky, worrisome animal and it will hang out with us until the virus is smashed – and let us hope we will survive. And of course, all of us will not survive. We are realists, most of us. If you’re not, well, get your mind right.

Elephant No. 2
Global News, Governments, Scientists and Medical Processes: e.g., Human Beings

Human-generated news – analyzed, discussed, chosen, written, parsed, is in our face every day, every moment, and in sooo many avenues: television, internet, radio, “news surrounded by chat, talk-radio”, conversations we have with peers and family daily. It is all so loud and compelling – in our face at such times of crisis where wars are ongoing – and there is disunity everywhere. Humanity – we Homo sapiens – are a unique “race”, although we individuals seem to be variants of some weird complex entity: head, arms, legs, a body containing and connecting all manner of organs, arteries and veins, very complex connections that cook a human to action – until the brain checks out.  Pretty incredible.  That’s another story for another time.

So the “news” connects us all, routinely, quickly,  continually,  so that we can better understand ourselves, each other, and our peers. Thus we make decisions about our lives, work, children, what our governments and businesses are doing – are they doing it well, appropriately, correctly, so our lives are appropriate for our lives. We are asking a lot – and we get a lot, more than we want or need – so we have to parse and decide what we need, and when, and how. Complexities surround us and we must choose, all the time.

That’s it for today. Good luck to you and yours. I’ve gotta rest…and I’m getting a new book for light reading. If You Give A Pig The White House, written by Faye Kanouse. Available from your local book store, Amazon or Barnes and Noble. En Joy!

Time To Act:  Save Humanity From Itself

    This is a moment in our history – for us humans – that offers us an opportunity to BEGIN to save us from ourselves.

    I’m skipping past our most brutal, terrible quandaries: the coronavirus, the millions of dead and many more diseased; so many people have lost their jobs, their businesses, and their opportunities to make money.

    So…what do we do? We begin to build around the rubble of the old business and social systems – our Capitalist foundation which worked well for mid-and-high-income people – but never for low-income, marginalized, retired/fixed incomes, scraping by in every sense of the word. Capitalism is FAILING, battered and scrambling to survive the next body-blow to its belly.

     What can we do? BEGIN to create an ALTERNATE economic model, a system that offers sufficient breadth of incomes for the lesser among us. For – in other words – everyone. *Give us your tired, your poor, your humble yearning to breathe free* – that is MOST OF US suddenly, now. We need to imagine AND CREATE – on paper – a truly fair Capitalist system – call it NeoCapitalism for a coronavirus-damaged economy.

     Get on board with me, people. Say yes to …Let’s figure this out. We are very smart and very empathetic folks. Put our shoulder to the wheel. Can I have your okeydoke?? I’m not running for anything. I’m the idea-guy at this point.

NeoCapitalism for a virus-damaged economy. We must not wait a year to turn the key on this project. Let’s get our the thinking caps on tight. How should our NeoCapitalism economy look and feel and sound to start with??

     Kick any ideas, reactions, thoughts back to me. Let’s begin to boogie! We must start to move forward…

Bill Ardis:- ArdisRadio.net and WomanUp.social (offers the newly revised Declaration of InTERdependence – to include women)


Post-Pandemic:
We Must Change Our Culture and Economics

Worldwide. We need to prepare for the coming year, as we survive, as we must, Covid-19. Here is my offering as what we consider, to plan, to prepare. Get your thinking cap on. This is world-changing.

When Covid-19 is no longer terrorizing USA’s social and economic functions – and killing thousands of citizens – we must build a simpler model for managing our nation in a world that is functional and successful, both socially and economically. To succeed, our model would create and maintain systems in a way that allows ALL PEOPLE to have the necessities of modsern life: comfortable housing and accommodations; sufficient guaranteed income, education, child care wherever needed, and medical and psychological assistance where needed ….. and sufficient income to maintain auto(s) as needed..

At this writing, more than 135,000 Americans have died of Covid-19. We understand and accept that service workers – assistants for others, hourly wage-earners, and the like, in many social/business activities – must be supported as well as our wealthy individuals, whether or not they are technically citizens of the United States. Many non-citizens are doing the heavy lifting for many of their managers.

Further, we need to identify a team of innovative economic/social minds to analyze a path to move away from the current economics of capitalism – which permits egregious wealth to settle at the pinnacle of our upper classes. This challenge will be dynamic and controversial. An economic system that requires very much ‘tighter’ tent-poles for its construction, implementation and management. Meaning the gap between the very wealthy – folks who own major properties which supply large income streams; who travel at will to other countries extensively – whose life and livelihood is locked down and predictable. No significant stress. Just decisions.

So, at a high level: My plan requires ALL people to have sufficient income to have housing, foodstuffs, medical/psychological assistance as needed. Period. This humane requirement is essential to our future economics, top to bottom. Everyone has access at the ready. Just like wealthy folks. Period.

When we recover from Covid-19, the traditional Capitalistics quality will no longer be appropriate. We will be a VERY different world culture. Traditional Capitalism was seemed to work until the early 1900s. From that point forward, the stepladder for adequately paying jobs – for cooks, waiters, repair workers, security guards, transportation workers, janitors, and the like – the payments dwindled so that any TWO or THREE hours taken from work for critical needs – didn’t suffice. College-student workers, part-timers often can no longer scuffle to make enough income to do what is required – for family needs – medical, children, family needs, urgent care –things that cannot be planned for, must-do activities which cannot be done readily without taking ‘business’ time …therefore money lost to pay for regular bills and expenses.

All the items I’ve outlined are much more critical for lesser-educated folks, the many “service” workers. Because, of course, racisms is alive in our current perception of our fellow humans. A wholly different issue.

Therefore we MUST reexamine all aspects of Capitalism as it is and rebuild it as needed, so our economic system benefits ALL HUMANS. Lacking that, our future will not be bright. As it is, much damage has been done, now. A path forward is now our need.

Post-Pandemic: Change Our Culture and Survive By April, 2021

We need to prepare for the coming year, as we survive, as we must, Covid-19. Here is my offering as what we consider, to plan, to prepare. Get your thinking cap on. This is world-changing.

When Covid-19 is no longer terrorizing USA’s social and economic functions – and killing thousands of citizens – we must build a simpler model for managing our nation in a world that is functional and successful, both socially and economically. To succeed, our model would create and maintain systems in a way that allows ALL PEOPLE to have the necessities of modern life: comfortable housing and accommodations; sufficient guaranteed income, education, child care wherever needed, and medical and psychological assistance where needed ….. and sufficient income to maintain auto(s) as needed..

At this writing, more than 135,000 Americans have died of Covid-19. We understand and accept that service workers – assistants for others, hourly wage-earners, and the like, in many social/business activities – must be supported as well as our wealthy individuals, whether or not they are technically citizens of the United States. Many non-citizens are doing the heavy lifting for many of their managers.

Further, we need to identify a team of innovative economic/social minds to analyze a path to move away from the current economics of capitalism – which permits egregious wealth to settle at the pinnacle of our upper classes. This challenge will be dynamic and controversial. An economic system that requires very much ‘tighter’ tent-poles for its construction, implementation and management. Meaning the gap between the very wealthy – folks who own major properties which supply large income streams; who travel at will to other countries extensively – whose life and livelihood is locked down and predictable. No significant stress. Just decisions.

So, at a high level: My plan requires ALL people to have sufficient income to have housing, foodstuffs, medical/psychological assistance as needed. Period. This humane requirement is essential to our future economics, top to bottom. Everyone has access at the ready. Just like wealthy folks. Period.

When we recover from Covid-19, the traditional Capitalistics quality will no longer be appropriate. We will be a VERY different world culture. Traditional Capitalism seemed to work until the early 1900s. From that point forward, the stepladder for adequately paying jobs – for cooks, waiters, repair workers, security guards, transportation workers, janitors, and the like – the payments dwindled so that any TWO or THREE hours taken from work for critical needs – didn’t suffice. College-student workers, part-timers often can no longer scuffle to make enough income to do what is required – for family needs – medical, children, family needs, urgent care –things that cannot be planned for, must-do activities which cannot be done readily without taking ‘business’ time …therefore money lost to pay for regular bills and expenses.

All the items I’ve outlined are much more critical for lesser-educated folks, the many “service” workers. Because, of course, racism is alive in our current perception of our fellow humans. A wholly different issue.

Therefore we MUST reexamine all aspects of Capitalism as it is and rebuild it as needed, so our economic system benefits ALL HUMANS. Lacking that, our future will not be bright. As it is, much damage has been done, now. A path forward is now our need.


WOMEN
Their Time Has Come
(The Education Of Virtually Everyone On The Planet)
– January 5, 2020 –

We Homo sapiens, from our earliest days, made an understandable but fatal error – for which we now are paying heavily.

Because males were larger, stronger physically and therefore, presumably, brighter-brained, the assumption has forever been that the male is generally a superior gender: better able to protect, decide and manage all factors relating to the safe livelihood of females and their offspring. Females would be given what are seen as fewer critical responsibilities: care of offspring, management of family needs – feeding, making decisions not directly related to the world outside of home and family matters.

Thus, to this day, that is how male/female ‘family’ matters are customarily handled. There are exceptions. An example is the choice of our friends Charles and Sharlene (not their actual names) who decided to assign to Sharlene as the family breadwinner – gifted and successful at providing all-important income – and Charles is manager of home and care of their children, which he prefers and is successful in that role. The outcome: a happy and satisfied family, and children raised to be bright and – as all of us hope – well-adjusted, unconstrained by the usual conventions of gender roles.

To Sharlene falls primary responsibility for the “exterior” world of business, politics and global matters – economics, the environment, matters impacting humanity which shift continually and are critical to our future. We are now in the process of damaging the world we live in, the world we require for our survival.

Female Ascension
Females need to assume greater management and control of all matters related to economics, legal aspects, and particularly politics. Women by their gender — and by nature – are optimally equipped for caring and nurturing of children, given that they create children in their bodies and nurture them to adulthood. Humanity needs that quality to reverse the momentum of climate change worldwide, currently most brutally in Australia.

Males need to assume greater responsibility for home and child care – as does our friend Charles – so that children have the benefit of close-hand love, care and management as they grow toward adulthood, witnessing their mothers being active in the world, a role model to all girls.

Human Evolution Spun Backward
We Homo sapiens must now act to find ways to spin the constructs of male and female qualities differently. Our ceaseless wars and gun violence commonplace everywhere, including the too-frequent brutality of one to another – these behaviors are so ubiquitous that it is easy to move on to other matters. Given the nature of humans to follow their most familiar patterns of behavior, it is too easy to dismiss these concerns. We are desensitized. We hardly recognize the tragedies around us. But we must. Somehow we must.

The primary duty of males is the protection of women. Their bodies are sacred, as they create life.

 


The women of the United States House of Representatives

 
Save Mother Earth From Our Sorry Momentum

November 24, 2019

Men aren’t equipped to heal this suffering earth. Men have created it. The climate crisis is advancing steadily. Paradise, California, was 90% destroyed last year. Testosterone poisoning, some folks call it; a male tendency to manage everything in its power, regardless of the consequences. The history of humanity is a history of male supra-management: national wars, domestic violence, huge, wealthy and ponderous businesses and government-style corporations — boasting all manner of political behaviors (impeachment soon, perhaps; my mouth to God’s ear). Finally, low-level service workers make such meager wages that they hardly make enough to feed their kids and keep a car running.

This is the history of men’s — women’s? not so much — poorly conceived and ill-designed money-driven corporations, and smaller ones as well. Rampant racism and discrimination on all fronts. Horrific treatment of people fleeing from their country’s leaders because the citizens are the wrong race, religion, or have poor education or pitiful economic resources. Or — like the Hong Kong citizens — are hungry to retain their democracy, their freedom of choice, rather than falling under the heel of a government with a pretense of democracy.

Women — my friend Brynn reminds me — are the natural nurturers and protectors of children. YOUR time is now, ladies. The United States House of Representatives is about to settle the impeachment process in the United States, which will affect our immediate future. Can the USA remain a democracy? Or will we be managed by the fumbling of an ex-TV host lacking any interest in actual democracy and who has no compassionate bone in his body.

Mother Earth — an audio series I’ll record and air on Ardis Radio –will become a  music/talk program now in development.  Mother Earth will continue to address this topic. No subject is larger. We want our granddaughters — their picture is below — to live well and long to become wonderful elderly people, playful and happy to be a resident of this beautiful, spectacular planet.

Please subscribe to this website. See the left column on this page, Subscribe2 and follow the instruction. When I record — or write — something new, your email will be notified.

Thanks for visitng, and…tell a woman, for goodness sakes.
Bill Ardis / Bill@ArdisRadio.net

 

 

Girl Power!

 

Hello, Ladies! Welcome To The House!

We’ve messed with the world long enough. We Americans were doing semi-well during the Obama years – except that some folks were still treating other people badly — y’know, racial differences (you’re the wrong damn color!) as though you’re a different species. And domestic violence goes on as ever — it’s terrible; and gay and transgender folks…well, lotsa folks just can’t conceive it (no pun intended). And the climate, well, if you saw pictures of Bermuda flattened….

It’s time we turn a cautious eye to think about how to save ourselves … from ourselves. And to save the planet, while we’re at it.

That’s why I’m creating a “radio” program called Women’s Work to air on this website. My friend Brynn – she and Mr. Husband-Pants (his name withheld by request) have two children, a girl and a boy – anyhow, Brynn advised me awhile back that women are the best and primary protectors of children.  When she said that, a bell went off in my head. OF COURSE! Women give birth and raise those little suckers from zero to 9 months, and onward. Therefore, we need women to do the heavy lifting in world cultures, going forward.

This is urgent. We men — testosterone-fueled, by gender — have made a mess, everywhere. This requires women to take the wheel and begin to repair the damage we’ve done for, oh, the last few centuries.

Incidentally, Women’s Work is going to rely chiefly on music created by women — jazz and otherwise — with an actual man now and then — about which more in a moment.

I’m not asking for much here. We’ve just got to manage the United States, with its soooo many different cultures, its economy, its corporations large and small, by creating new systems so that wealth is distributed and everyone has ENOUGH. Fairness. Equality. Giving a damn if other people are okay as we are. And education, and every sort of business enterprise , the same deal. Men? Time to stand down, give women the wheel. The thing is…Humanity on this planet is toast if we don’t.

No, I’m not running for office. I’m just a humble deejay. Listen, now, when the first program is ready (jeez, I just got the idea three nights ago! Gimme a break!)  Send me an email if you want me to ping you when Women’s Work, Audio Version is ready — or just subscribe to this website, when something new is added, you’ll know.  Be a few days, maybe weeks. Email me at Bill@ArdisRadio.net, if you want to say hidy.  My granddaughters are pumped!

 

We’re waaaay excited!!

President Blunt

On Election Night, November 8, 2016, most Americans had an very anxious evening.  They tried to sleep, most of them arose later with a bad taste in their mouths — and readjusted their vision to examine this alien from planet TV-land’s The Apprentice. We later learned that Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin — clearly a chum of our profane, female-abusive  leader — attacked our voting apparatus cleverly, allowing the President’s fans to knock Hillary Clinton  into the political graveyard. It was a Stephen King story sprung into real life: the horror.

Now we’re living with the consequences. Our blunt President is a racist, a shrewd manipulator of his rabid, often racist base — white folks and wealthy  people who realized One Of Us Is Now In Control. Insult to injury — rather, nasty to catastrophe — President Blunt is a straightforward liar in a nation which celebrates honesty as virtue. He has failed the litmus test of leadership of a democratic republic by looking away when our innocent citizens are killed in foreign countries — such as Otto Warmbier and Jamal Khashoggi. In both cases, Blunt behaved as though nothing awful had occurred.

We are forced now to endure Blunt’s stunningly inhumane behavior until the next Presidential election — a painfully long year-plus, arriving November 3, 2020.

To quote Tiny Tim, God bless us every one.

———————————————————

A Meditation on Skin
Bill Ardis

Our skin is the natural clothing we’ve worn since we sprang* from our mother’s womb. Skin is the body-bag of our lives which grows, becomes larger and stronger over time – with luck – and begins to deteriorate until we die.

We care for our somewhat elastic skin-bag as best we can, learning as the years pass, how critical it is to our health and longevity. We peep through its eyeholes, blow its nose as needed (let us not get a ‘cold’ or ‘flu’, which makes us miserable, though a doctor may speed our recovery). At last we are well, and we promise to take better care; and with luck and knowledge, we become healthy again.

Our mouth-skin is critical to our lives: what we feed it and liquify it, with most important edibles and liquidables (not a real word, yet); try to protect it from disease and elements which may damage our long-term health.

Appearance
Socially, our skin is critical. The face is what others notice quickly, routinely, and glance away…we make judgments about what our skin-face presents. Do we look “good” and “healthy” to other people? Sad? Vibrant? Warm and alert; or distant, uncaring. Quick judgment by other people is continual and inevitable. We rather automatically compare ourselves to our family, cohorts, friends, and those whose favor we seek for a variety of reasons. And we compare ourselves with images in magazines, newspapers, television, movies – human images are visible everywhere in our cultures.

Our skin offers a variety of characteristics: race, “healthy appearance”, (subjective, as are many qualities) skin color, hair, wrinkles or lack thereof, healthy and well-cared-for nails on fingers and toes, and stomach and abdomen (tight? sagging? Attractive? Not?). And how about that that peculiar little navel?

Skin on Psyche
Our interior self – call it a “psyche” or perhaps “soul” – is reactive and affected by our skin as we interact with the exterior (to us) world at every waking moment. Do people smile winningly at us when we pass them with a nod or smile? Are we affected by how others react to viewing our skin-surface? Is their response warm and smiling? Do they avoid eye contact? Do the not like my skin-self? Or is the problem theirs? They may not feel they should interact cheerfully with others, even though they are strangers to you and the random passing stranger.

We protect our psyche with our skin. In fact, our primary notion is to protect ourselves in every way, so we are not damaged physical or otherwise. We learn very early in life to react to others in ways that make us comfortable, if possible. Do we react well to approaching and interacting with ‘new’ people – or do we approach tentatively, not certain if that is a wise choice.

Who are the “others”? What are their intentions? As we grow to adulthood, those questions are instinctively paramount.

You and Your Skin
Who are you in the world? Why are you here? And what is your intention?

*technically no springing was involved with your birth

The State of Humanity Is — Questionable
Writer: Bill Ardis

Having studied humanity for 15+ years, I’ve concluded that we Homo sapiens are not what science would suggest. We are differently enabled. And the earth itself is being destabilized by climate change and our poor housekeeping. 

What’s Your Name?
We have no species name for ourselves other than good old Homo Sapiens Erectus. We stand upright and appear to be similar to the simians — apes — who’ve been presented as our forefathers from millions of years back. Science would have us believe that we are simply the result of millions of years of evolution. We were monkeys; then we got smarter; and ta-da, here we are, bristling with wordy intelligence and technology and the internet and hefty books and articles and visuals and lectures and such, patting ourselves on the back: Look here! We are superior to those hairy monkeys. We imitate them at the zoo and chuckle knowingly.  And, well, yes, we do kill each other routinely with our wars and gun violence and hate crimes and a fear of people who look and talk and act differently than we do… and then there is our home-made domestic violence brew – damn women smarty-pants. They’re like a whole ‘nother species, too. They can’t even understand us men, half the time. Something’s wrong with them, right?

Good News, Bad News
The good news is that we’re still superior! We’re human beings, so much advanced from the apes. We’ve evolved. We’re proud to be the A-number-one species on earth!

Bad news? We are ignorant in the extreme. Successful animals are species which live millions of years. They’re lower animals on the scale of intelligenceinsects and such. They live – as a species – a very very long time because they are well-socialized with one another. They do not hurt and kill their peers, as we do, and seemingly cherish one another. (They can’t even talk, for God’s sakes.)

Yeah, But…
Yeah, but, it’s getting clearer that we are damaging the earth in ways that may be beyond repair. And we really do need Earth; we can’t jump off to another planet if Earth is no longer hospitable to us.

Here We Are
So, we’re sort of stuck. Don’t seem to be able to fix ourselves to be better, smarter beings. And we are watching in horror as the new inhabitants of the D.C. Oval Office are deconstructing all the work we’ve done for the past 50-plus years to make humanity better humans. How the hell did this happen? Go figure.

Thanks for, uh, listening. I show up on Facebook now and then. And give a speech occasionally.  See you around the campus.

! Amazing  Granddaughters !

Welcome! Gene Clifford Writes Again

To celebrate my birthday — today, April 20th! — I’m taking the day off to rest my finger bones, and “old” friend Gene Clifford – much younger than I (wink, wink!) — offered to weigh in with a memorable suggestion he wrote about his Rochester, New York’s high school reunion’s basketball game with their traditional adversary.

Ballin’ With Rochester High Schools:  Aquinas vs. McQuaid
Writer: Gene Clifford

  1. Many of you Rochesterians will remember that, on the occasion of our 25th AQ reunion, we participated in a “replay” of the original 1959 Aquinas-McQuaid basketball game between our schools. Unfortunately, our 50th reunion passed without another replay of the game and, as our 60th reunion approaches, the idea has been suggested that we again schedule a replay of that game.  Of course, as 60 years have passed, the first issue that must be dealt with is: “Will walkers be allowed on the court?”  The answer is “Yes, as long as its wheels are rubber and provided that it will be illegal and be called a charging foul if two or more players try to combine their walkers in a “flying wedge” formation in a drive to the basket.”

  2. The offense of “traveling” will be re-defined to include any movement on the court involving a speed in excess of what we would all recognize as a “stroll”.

  3. The offense of “double dribbling” will likewise be re-defined to include a player drooling from both sides of his mouth.

  4. Each player on a team will be required to wear a jersey but instead of his jersey bearing an identifying number, it will bear his blood type.

  5. Each player planning on playing in the game will have to present a doctor’s certificate that his projected life expectancy is no less than two and a half hours, and shall provide his own sworn statement that he has executed a will, power of attorney, and health care proxy before he is allowed on the court. If his will includes a bequest in favor of Aquinas, that player is guaranteed a position on the starting team.

  6. Also, the referees must also be priests. In that way, if there’s a particularly flagrant foul, the referee will be able to not only call the foul but administer last rites to the fouled player, as well.

  7. Finally, since Aquinas is now a coed school, we should be able to have coed cheerleaders. That being the case, I have taken the liberty of sending an email to Betty White and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, requesting that they attend the game to provide cheerleading and any legal disputes that arise.

My friend Gene composed a sweet verbal lullaby to jazz and the musicians who make it sing. It goes like this . . .

THE ROCHESTER CONNECTION
Writer: Gene  Clifford

 About ten years ago, Joyce and I enjoyed a short—”this winter’s too long”—vacation in New Orleans.  We had been there before but had such a good time we wanted to return and enjoy more of the wonderful things that city has to offer.  We did just that, including a visit to Café du Monde—a New Orleans café renowned for its chicory coffee and beignets.

We were sitting at one of the tables outside, enjoying the warmth of the sun—which had not yet made an appearance in Rochester that spring—when a street musician came up to our table and asked if we had any requests.  I immediately responded, “How about “’Round Midnight”, a Thelonious Monk composition which has always been a favorite of mine.  He responded very enthusiastically and immediately began playing it on his saxophone.  His talent was obvious and reminded us of the fact that the street musicians in New Orleans are not only plentiful but frequently very talented, as well.

After finishing “’Round Midnight”, he came back to our table to schmooze a bit and—I’m sure he hoped—to receive a tip for his trouble.  He asked us where we were from and, of course, we replied “Rochester, N.Y.”.  When we did so, a big smile came to his face and he said “ROCHESTER!  Rochester is why I do what I do!”  He went on to explain that, when he was a teenager growing up in New Orleans, every night as he lay in bed he would tune his radio to “clear channel 1180-WHAM”.  He would then proceed to listen to a jazz DJ named Bill Ardis, who had a jazz program called “Ardis Against the Night”—a show that I listened to but, I confess, not as faithfully as our street-musician friend. The program turned him on to music—specifically to jazz–and he decided THAT was what he wanted to do with his life.  So, that is what he IS doing with his life—playing jazz in the place where he grew up, which just happens to be a hotbed of jazz and the birthplace of jazz. And why does he do that? Because of a DJ in Rochester, N.Y., a city which NOW has one of the best jazz festivals in the world but which in Bill Ardis’ time was better known as the home of the Eastman School of Music and classically-oriented music.

So, the next time you’re wondering whether your life has really had any meaning and whether you’ve had an effect on anyone, just remember this story and be assured that there certainly is someone out there—who you may never have met or communicated with—who’s a different person than he or she would have been without your influence.  And if you’re still not convinced, take a trip down to New Orleans and look for a street musician playing saxophone at the Cafe du Monde.