Signup for a folk alley account

Smooth Mouth & Other Conditions of Old Cows

May 11, 2006

There's an interesting condition in cattle of a certain age called, "smooth mouth". When cows get to be "past their prime", their teeth have chewed all that they can handle and become worn down and smooth, thus making it increasingly difficult to masticate grasses or grains properly, to chew their cud well, or to glean proper nutrition from their feed. At this point, they become redundant for the breeding and production program, retired, and if they're lucky, get "put out to pasture".

I was considering this, and how many human animals are deemed redundant in their dotage when it comes to usefulness in their particular areas of expertice in the eyes of current society. Many times these individuals' vast knowledge and experience is looked upon as outdated or old fashioned and unnessesary for the bold new way of things. It's not fair, and it's not right, and most times is unwarranted, but often the way of the world as we know it. I can think of more than several dozen professions, just off the top of my head, which, if allowed to maintain their wise old crows, would flourish in ways unimagined. Thoughtful societies revere their elders for their wisdom and vast experiencial knowledge, give them well deserved Mentor status, and are richer for it.

When I consider the careers of musicians and song writers, however, no matter the condition of their pearly chompers, time and long history only seems to sweeten their gift, in that their perception of life and what it all means becomes more acute. Or, could it be that they simply have lived long enough, if they're observant, to have the mind to ask all of the right questions? As Poets, they are the heart and conscience of the people. Although their hands and voices may be a little stiff as casualty to aging, their creative expression and delivery grow richer and more finely tuned as the years go by. There is no danger of being 'put out to pasture' for these gifted wonders, however, how are we to hear of these jewels? Where can we go to learn from them? Certainly not from the commercial mass media - that venue is paved like a grotesque Luge track, a well worn groove tuned to the monster of commerce.

Too often, when a song writer has passed on, we suddenly "discover" his/her work. That's the way it's been done since time immemorial, and I don't like it. At that point we are left to clamber to find everything, ANYthing we can which may have been recorded or put to paper. Sometimes, because of the artist's limited pocketbookablilties, there just isn't much available. One can only hope that they had made enough friends along the way for their work to be remembered acurately.

I recall viewing a program on television some years ago, about individuals who were adept in certain arts and who were tops at their craft. These jewels were recognized as "National Treasures". We were given a peek into the daily practices and expression of these Masters. This recognition is similar to our "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the Acadamy Awards, given to actors who have had a lifetime of doing their craft, and doing it well. About the only thing like this that we have in place for our artists is word-of-mouth popularity on the grass roots level, it seems. For this, I am grateful to Folk Alley for listing news of happenings with little known, as well as well known artists in the "Folk News" listings on the web page. Plus, if an artist is amenable to share, "Open Mic" is the place to hear much talent.

Often enough though, when a song writer dies, we are left to hear personal memories by those who were closest to him, or those who wish they had been; bijou, discovered too late. Is there no other way for these gifted artists to be heard while they are living, and to be appreciated by society at large? They have so much to give. I don't want to miss any of it!

Posted by JoLynn Braswell at May 11, 2006 4:48 AM

Support Folk Alley During Our Spring Fund Drive!


Recent Topics



April 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30               

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

July 2010

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

August 2009

July 2009

June 2009

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

December 2008

November 2008

October 2008

September 2008

August 2008

July 2008

June 2008

May 2008

April 2008

March 2008

February 2008

January 2008

December 2007

November 2007

October 2007

September 2007

August 2007

July 2007

June 2007

May 2007

April 2007

March 2007

February 2007

January 2007

December 2006

November 2006

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005

January 2005

December 2004

November 2004

October 2004

September 2004

August 2004

July 2004

June 2004

May 2004

April 2004

March 2004

February 2004

January 2004

December 2003

November 2003

October 2003

September 2003

August 2003