Ask Old Jules: Folk Music, Roots of the Civil War, Cowardly atheists/theists, Why does the unexpected happen?


Old Jules, what happened to folk music?

My personal view is that it bulged in popularity among the young people who were the driving force in defining popularity with the Kingston Trio release of Tom Dooley, 1957 or ’58. It stayed fairly popular until the early ’70s and fell from grace in favor of the next wave of Stones and acid rock [after beatniks vanished in favor of hippies]. When Bob Dylan came out with “Everybody Must Get Stoned” and introduced “Folk Rock” it was the beginning of the end of the folk boom. I’ve heard it’s making a come-back on public radio stations.

I spent the day at the Kerrville Folk Festival a few years ago, which used to be attended by all the big names including just about anyone who was anyone. Sad to say it’s been replaced by something called ‘new folk’ which is the rough equivalent of what’s happened to country music. As we shuddered with revulsion on the way to the parking lot the volunteers asked if we wanted our tickets stamped so’s we could get back in.

“I’d pay $100 never to have come here at all,” was my response.

Old Jules, would you agree that the roots of the American Civil War lay in the westward expansion of the nation from 1820-1860?

I wouldn’t agree. The roots of the Civil War lay in the fact the US Constitution made no mention that, once joined, states couldn’t withdraw. It did state that whatever powers weren’t given specifically to the federal government belonged to the states.

The southern states believed they had the implied Constitutional right to withdraw. It was a Constitutional crisis for Lincoln to deal with. Probably the southern states believed he’d deal with in a Constitutional way. They underestimated the degree to which he was insulated from his oath of office and influenced by northern industrialists sufficiently to ignore the Constitution.

Old Jules, who would you like to see and talk to right now?

Albert Einstein, hoping he could clear a few things up for me.

Jim Bridger, just to ask him a few questions that have troubled me.

A guy known as ‘Old Jules’, hardscrabble settler in the Nebraska panhandle in the 1860s through 1890s because I used to be him.

Old Jules, who is the bigger coward, atheists or theists, to believe in GOD?

Atheists and theists who are preoccupied with prolonging their lives by worrying about second-hand smoke, air-bags, red dye, the Mayan calendar, and eternal life don’t appear to possess much courage, moral or spiritual. Some occasionally demonstrate physical courage.

Old Jules, why does the unexpected happen in life so much?

Plotting mainly. Think of yourself as a product of characterization. It’s a necessary ingredient, but it’s worthless, even in a single frame cartoon, without dialogue, plot, and suspense. Characters come and go but plots rely on the unexpected for momentum and energy.

5 responses to “Ask Old Jules: Folk Music, Roots of the Civil War, Cowardly atheists/theists, Why does the unexpected happen?

  1. I like his mention of Old Jules (Sandoz).

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