So it is with much amusement that Talkers watch the City of Charlotte attempt to "sanction" protests with a "lottery" to fill up the designated time slots and locations for speeches, parades, etc., for when the Democrat National Convention comes to town in September. It sounds like so much "Tidy Town" nonsense from a city that attempts to over-orchestrate nearly every facet of urban life, but Talkers know that something like this is often done in places where controversial national and international summits are held.
It also doesn't appear to work all the time, either. Charlotte's lottery took place Monday, and there weren't even enough protest applicants to fill the schedule. That's not surprising because Tidy Town wants them kept several blocks away from the people at whom they want to shout. It's called a free speech zone, which is to suggest folks aren't allowed to practice free speech anywhere but there.
That should be taken as a sign that when the real, professional protesters come to town, they will have no interest nor intention to adhere to the official protest schedule, and will probably do what they want, when they want, uptown crowd be damned.
Civil disobedience is just that ... disobedient. And sometimes it's not so civil, either. Get ready for the big time, Tidy Town. Talkers are looking forward to this show.
Among the many amazing attributes of the Lake Norman community, the collection of musical talent has always been a favorite among Talkers. Local performers, from the middle school girl who just released her first CD to the senior citizens who still dazzle us with their skills, the region is blessed with blues, rock and roll, country and classical choices nearly every night.
The area's imaginative and musically gifted individuals provide plenty of entertainment, and, simultaneously, give Talkers a first-hand view of the rough-and-tumble, roller coaster world those striving for careers in music commonly endure.
Many musicians, locally and globally, understand the obstacles to advancement in the competitive industry and, to stay grounded, adopt names suited to their quest.
Dire Straits, for example, acknowledged the difficult path ahead and, nevertheless, bucked the odds.
Led Zeppelin, taunted by colleagues about their meager chances to rise to stardom, embraced the challenge and emerged victorious.
Toxic Spouse, however, turned out to be more of a premonition.
Sadly, Talkers learned just recently that the Davidson-based group of close to middle age musicians, with one of the most intriguing names around, had disbanded. The name, ironically, stemmed from the band members' awareness that constant practices and gigs could strain relationships with their significant others.
Talkers don't know for sure what caused the band's ... um ... breakup, but — musicians being who and what they are — there's every reason to believe folks talented, witty, realistic and stubborn enough to perform as Toxic Spouse will be back.
Keep an eye out for new groups like Doghouse, Silent Treatment and The Flying Rolling Pin at bars and nightclubs near you.