Merle Haggard R.I.P

Does anyone remember the mythic “Last Chance” breakfast place in McLeod Ganj, on Bhagsu Road? In the 70’s Raju the crackerjack guitarist from Sikkim and I would jam there on Saturday mornings, with Elli, Dave and other musician friends. Besides my ususal Dylan, I would sometimes sing Merle Haggard’s flippant anthem to conservative America “Okie From Muskogie”, in as nasal a twang as I could manage, to the groans of the hippies drinking tea and eating bhaley with Amul butter:

We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee;
We don’t take no trips on LSD
We don’t burn no draft cards down on Main Street;
We like livin’ right, and bein’ free…

Merle died yesterday. A great musician and songwriter and yes, he smoked dope with Willie and got wasted with Johnny Cash. He was a real “outlaw” having actually done a stretch at San Quentin. He played at my small town, Monteagle, some years ago. That night I lifted a glass of ‘shine in his honor. I’ll do that again tonight. Goodbye Merle, RIP.

… We still wave Old Glory down at the courthouse,
And white lightnin’s still the biggest thrill of all.


25 Replies to “Merle Haggard R.I.P”

  1. I remember the place, was situated right where the Hotel Tibet is built on. At the time, it was a ramshackle wooden joint but the food, chai and mood was the talk of town. Sam the Norwegian trained watchmaker use to frequent if often and gets his stash (or sells it. I wasn’t sure). Cheers to those good old carefree days.

  2. Makes me want to say something corny, like, only the good die young. Ofcourse ole Merle didnt die young like Stevie Ray Vaughan did, who, at the time, was one of my favorite guitarists. They’re falling thick and fast now.

    Was sad to hear the legendary BB King passed away last year, and David Bowie just a few months back. Amy Winehouse has been dead now for five years!! Wow, has it really been that long? Where did the time go? Makes you think, how much time have I wasted listening to Nickleback. 🙂

  3. “His Holiness has reaffirmed to live till 113 years of age.” What a relief. I was worried there when all hell broke loose, what-with oracles throwing rice in peoples faces and the loss of our most cherished, party-less democracy, bemoaned most acutely by Samdhong Rinpoche. Seems Dharamsala was rather annoyed that Lobsang Sangay won, and threw a fit. But now, all’s well that ended well, with prayers galore. Still, not sure if we are done with the fluctuation of His Holiness’ longevity; the karma of it seemingly linked to politics. Let us all comprehend the math of it: 113, normal; 108 or less, rice in face!

  4. I think the sikyong got brought down to reality as dharamsala sees it – in all its psychedelic rendition. Whether it meshes with reality as the rest of the world sees it is a question you can not put an oracle. But would that simple detail stop dharamsala from trying, I wouldn’t bet on it.

  5. There be a rich mine of ironic here. And, the mother load was Penpa Tsering, refusing any kind of conversation with his fellow Sikyong opponent Lukar Jam, on the trumped up charge that Lukar Jam is hurting His Holiness. Yet, in the end, it was Penpa Tsering (along with Lobsang Sangay – the twin pillars of Umay Lam) who truly ended up hurting His Holiness – so much, that, Kundun’s lifespan was briefly cut short; while also triggering in our State Oracle, a most demonic and full-blown epileptic seizure not seen since the heyday of Guru Renpoche.

  6. How come we don’t have any power against China. But we have so much power on our own people….what a crap…lol. That HH can decide how long he lives..that the oracles can see everything, except China invading Tibet. hahahaha

  7. The Oracle could never claim, “I think, therefore I am”, since his head is constantly occupied with other entities. It would be an interesting philosophical chestnut to gnaw on were it not for the fact that its bullshit. But, just because something is a bullshit, don’t mean it’s useless. It might have be unseeingly for His Holiness to personally and publicly berate the Sikyong and the Speaker for playing regionalism politics in the general elections. However, the oracles could do it quite easily. They can make an example of the two, in front of the public, while sparing Kundun the spotlight. And, that’s precisely what they did.

    To be fair, the oracles should also have thrown rice (and anything else they could get their hands on) at the loutish Umey lame public on social media. I felt their behavior sunk way lower than these two candidates.

    For the sin of ineptitude in these elections, the election commission seemed to have escaped karma. But no one can escape their karma! Who can say when karma will ripen and bear fruit? May be, one day, quite out of the blue, the chief commish loses a testicle while riding a bike – then he’ll rue.

  8. Thanks Jamyang la as usual for opening our eyes to things outside ourselves. I want to add that Merle Haggard was more sympathetic to the liberal views in real life and asserted that this particular song was just a song, a reflection of some peoples’ life and not a reflection of his own views on life.
    I also want to ask Tibetans who are American citizens to get registered to vote in US elections. If you want to add power to your voice this is the golden opportunity.
    Bernie Sanders may not be great for the ultra rich but he may be good for most people in the world.
    Whoever you vote for do get registered. Now.

  9. It’s really gratifying seeing on social media Tibetans avidly supporting Senator Bernie Sanders.

    We might have our differences: rangzen vs umaylam, progressives vs conservatives, etc. But, leaving all that aside, and backing an authentic honest politician like Bernie makes me feel good that many Tibetans crave honesty in politics.

    In the event that Bernie loses, we should seriously contemplate bribing President Hillary. Seems it works, if the leaked emails are any indication.

    Under the fig-leaf of corporate media spin hides stark naked corruption. Money in American politics is the reality (especially if Bernie don’t win), and in many ways, made legal and binding by those in power. For our sake, it might be prudent to look into exploiting it.

    Ofourse, the word is that Dharamsala is chock full of hard-nosed pragmatists who always tread the well trodden, ground reality. In which case, I suppose, they must have already entertained (and indeed, lobbied for) such a quip pro quo arrangement with American politicians?

  10. Bernie Sanders is the first choice. If not then am equally comfortable with Donald Trump. These two are authentic and speak like real human beings and not like a robot.

  11. SonamT
    Trump is becoming scarier and scarier after he got the nomination. He speaks his mind often but he lies at a frequency competitive with Hillary Clinton. They are both drunk on “American exceptionalism.” If Hillary gets elected hold your sons closer because you never know when we will be at war with some more countries. And God forbid if Donald Trump gets elected hold everyone closer. Being a loose canon you don’t know what his threshold will be, specially if you don’t have white Christian pedigree.

  12. @Duhgood: I just read somewhere on news. It will be same like a controlled border entry with many restriction. Chinese even control the movement and activities of Tibetan exiles.

  13. Can you believe Chinese scholar(PLA) even blamed the current president of Taiwan for simply being “single lady” ༼མོ་ཧྲེང་༽with spouse or kid and as such she is not suitable to be the president. The article was abruptly withdrawn from the official publications as it was seen as a misogynist by many mainland Chinese women.

  14. Someone mentioned Trump. May I?

    Hillary is having few god-awful days with Trump now beating her in the polls. Earlier today, the State Dept. report slams her over the E-mail scandal.

    Now, tonight, on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel asked Trump if he would be willing to debate Sen. Sanders since Hillary reneged. And, Trump said? YES!!

    Almost immediately, Bernie tweeted, “Game on. I look forward to debating Donald Trump in California before the June 7 primary.”

    Haha. The US Presidential race has taken a turn for the surreal. The corporatocracy must be losing their collective shit – they have lost control.

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