Skip to main content

Stuck in Folsom Prison

I admit that the movie Walk the Line has sparked my interest in Johnny Cash's music lately. I've seen the movie twice now. My father is a Cash fan, so I grew up hearing his music quite a bit. As a child, I refused to listen to the music or let myself enjoy it. I think my refusal to accept my parents' music was a pretty typical act of adolescent defiance.

I'm a little older now, and I play guitar (not very well). When I first become interested in a particular type of music, it's typically the guitar playing that grabs me at first. I went through this process with Blues, Jimi Hendrix, and, now, Johnny Cash. The appreciation for the music beyond just the guitar playing always comes later. I was mainly drawn to Johnny Cash's music by the Rockabilly-style guitar playing of Luther Perkins. Its simple alternating bass line, punctuated with short solos drive the rhythm and mood of the songs perfectly. I've more or less figured out how to play "Folsom Prison Blues" on the guitar, and have moved on to others.

I think I like "Folsom Prison Blues" because you can hear the anguish in Cash's voice as he sings. The song evokes images of a lonely man sitting in a prison cell, lamenting his fate, tortured by the sound of the train going by, which only reminds him of the freedom that he no longer has. I can think of no better combination for this song than Johnny Cash's voice, and Perkins' guitar playing.


Popular posts from this blog

Unmasking My Mask Problem

I like to think of myself as a caring person, and attempt to behave compassionately towards others. Sometimes I fall short in that effort, but failing is what humans do, and successful humans learn from failure. I'd like to discuss what I believe is one of my more recent failures, and what I've come to learn about what's behind it. When the masking guidance and mandates first dropped, it short-circuited me. I reacted in disbelief, anger, and refusal to enter places that required masks. Masking was a simple act that was both scientifically and morally justified. I wondered if I really was a decent person, or if this reflexive pushback was just uncovering undiagnosed sociopathic tendencies. I started to wonder if my outward behaviors of positivity and kindness were just facades that I'd constructed around a dark psyche. Given the rhetoric surrounding mask-wearing, which can — as far as I understand — be reduced to “you're a monster if you don't do this,” it was ha


At the end of 2019, I began casually practicing mindfulness meditation. Just over a year later, it's become a nearly essential part of my routine; it provides me an off-ramp to ease back into my personal life after an eight-hour (often longer) workday. Some folks have expressed interest in hearing more about this routine, so I thought it would be helpful to chronicle my experiences: the good, the bad, and the frustrating. Buddhism has been an interest of mine for several years now, and I have a particular affinity for the simplicity of Zen Buddhism. It strips away a lot of the religious/spiritual elements more common in forms of Buddhism found in Tibet, for example. I sometimes use the term Zen meditation , when it is probably more accurate to refer to it as mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation focuses on being aware and present for each passing moment. Contrary to popular belief, it's not about emptying the mind or teleporting to some sort of astral plane. It's


The criminals who invaded the capital on January 6th, 2021 are not patriots. There is nothing noble or heroic about violently storming the capitol building and disrupting a legal proceeding that is outlined in the constitution of the United States . Those who took part in — or even endorsed — such actions are seditious goons with an axe to grind because the election results didn't favor them. The events yesterday were a culmination of unhinged ramblings and lies from the occupant of the White House, and years of disinformation emanating from the dark recesses of the web. Finally, there is simply no room for whataboutism here. The events of the summer do not hold a candle to the actual sedition that we witnessed yesterday. The demonstrations — and yes, violence — from this summer were to protest hundreds of years of oppression and marginalization of Black people. To equate those protests to yesterday's domestic terrorism is fallacious and ignorant.