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2004-09-03 - 11:29 a.m.


A train carrying Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Buddy Guy, the Band, Delaney & Bonnie, Ian & Sylvia, and the Flying Burrito Brothers careens across Canada in the summer of 1970. Aside from its scheduled performance stops, the Festival Express stops unexpectedly only once: when the train runs out of liquor. A hat goes around from band member to band member, amounting to $800. Concert promoters go to the nearest liquor store, loading up as much alcohol as $800 dollars can buy. The performers are happy, and the train starts a rollin’ again.

Though the performances woven throughout Festival Express were powerful (and I admit I teared up a little watching Janis Joplin perform) the movie’s most insightful moments were the jams that took place on the train. It was wonderful to be a fly on the wall as the spiritual process of improvisation took place. I felt a flutter in my heart as I watched the performers commune with one another through the change of a note or an inflection of the voice. It was amazing to view a slice of time where music was a force for change, where it meant something, where it raised consciousness. If you ever felt like you were born at the wrong time, here’s a chance to spend a few hours in the era that you missed.


Cheney called Kerry unfit for office. Like Cheney should talk, he of the constant health problems, succumbing to both moral and physical sickness. The current administration is like a cancer that has ravaged our nation for the past four years, threatening to breed more sickness and more hate for another term if enough dummies vote for them. The current administration should look to its own record for the definition of the phrase “unfit for office.” Luckily, Kerry’s done it for them:

Let me tell you what I think makes someone unfit for duty. Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation. Doing nothing while this nation loses millions of jobs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting 45 million Americans go without health care makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting the Saudi royal family control our energy costs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Handing out billions of government contracts to Halliburton while you're still on their payroll makes you unfit. That's the record of George Bush and Dick Cheney. And it's not going to change.


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