Posted by: docdenbow | September 13, 2013

Put On My Blue Suede Shoes

I aspire to be Marc Cohn. Not Marc Cohn himself, but someone like him. Well, not exactly like him. I’m not making much sense here, but go with the flow. Marc Cohn portrays a character here who has the wherewithal to fly to Memphis to visit some of landmark monuments and cities that relate by their very existence the birth of the blues and where rock n roll was born kicking and screaming into a world not really ready. Oh yeah, and get a bit depressed on the way but I don’t want that bit.

I’d love to be able to do something like that. Go to Austin, Texas to see where Stevie Ray Vaughan played. Ride Route 66 on a Harley Davidson. Make a tour of the southern states to see where the Allman Brothers came from. Go to Jacksonville to see at first hand where Lynyrd Skynyrd formed and grew into a great band until tragedy struck. You get the idea?

For me I know deep down that it will never happen.

There are not too many people in the UK who would get the chance to do that unless they were sponsored by a TV show. Just looked at that last sentence and wondered whether that assertion is really true? I’ve just sipped at my coffee and decided that it isn’t. A trip like that requires two things in equal measure. Time and money. Everyone can create the time. That wouldn’t be a problem for any of us. The real problem would be the money. Let’s say for the sake of argument that a trip like that would cost £10,000 ($16,000) which is not exactly “A Drop In The Bucket” as David Lee Roth (backed by the great Jason Becker and Co.) sang. For me and a lot of people like me raising that kind of cash is nothing but a pipedream.. Yet for a large percentage of the UK population coming up with that kind of money for what is essentially a holiday (vacation) would be relatively straightforward if the statistics about the relative wealth of the UK population are to be believed.

Yeah right…….

Ok, let’s take a man living in what is oddly termed “Middle England.” Let’s assume he’s married and has a couple of kids and his spouse is happy for him to make this pilgrimage to the place of the birth of the blues because he just loves American Music. So just play the video and read on……

How does our family man find his £10,000? Well Mr and Mrs Middle England have a car apiece. Perhaps they could sell one. Foregoing the annual family holiday would also raise extra money. Ah, but without the second car Mrs Middle England can’t get to work to earn the cash to help pay the bills. A bank loan is out of the question as they are mortgaged to the hilt and are in a position of negative equity and have maxed out the credit cards. He hasn’t had a pay rise in years and the kids are growing so fast their clothes and shoes are forever being replaced. Then there’s the food bills. They don’t get time to cook properly so are living on processed supermarket food which is frankly a damned sight more expensive that it needs to be and forever rots in its’ polythene packaging. With so little fun in their kids life how can they sacrifice the week in Minehead Butlins anyway? The kids get so excited and love every moment.

Mr Middle England’s prospects of going on the trip are looking increasingly bleak. He is not going to make it is he? He and his wife look at all of the wasters around and voraciously consume The Daily Fail and all of this leads them to have an impotent hostility and rage to those around them. David Cameron spouts on about “Broken Britain” and Nigel Farage blames the French and Germans. Milliband says nothing and Nick Clegg stands shrugging like a diffident public schoolboy. The promise and ambition of his youth have blown away like leaves in the wind. They wonder if it really is their fault or has society betrayed them and millions like them by making promises that just could be kept? Mr and Mrs Middle England were brought up to be aspirational. Get “good jobs” get on in life. Buy a house and settle down and have a family. Sadly for them it just hasn’t happened and their efforts to provide a solid future for themselves and their family have been left floundering in a cess pit of uncertainty.

On the bright side there is happiness and a certain joie de vivre from those who never had any aspirations. If you can’t beat beat ‘em, eh?

Ciao For Now,



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