I was sad to hear that Kenny Rogers died at age 81, even though I’ve never been a fan of Country music. The Gambler was an engaging story of doing what you can, while you can. The best that we can hope for is to die in our sleep.
A few years ago I would have posted a story of his death on Facebook, in the rather strange hope of informing somebody of what they hadn’t yet learned. Here’s the way that virtual conversation might have played out:
ME: “Hey, did you hear that Kenny Rogers died?”
FB: “Oh, you mean that guy who sang songs that we heard on the radio nearly 40 years ago, before MTV came along changed everything about music?”
ME: “I guess so, yeah”
FB: “No, some of us didn’t know that. Oh, well.”
And now that Facebook is out of my life, I can’t even do that stupid little thing anymore. I still have my account, and I post things to Instagram, which Facebook owns anyway. So I haven’t completely closed that book, but I just don’t read from it anymore. And I don’t miss it, either.
So who will read this little post of mine, since all the social media accounts I would have posted it to are now out of my life? I don’t know, nor does it even matter. I say what I say in this little space and if nobody ever sees it, well, it felt good to say it, anyway.
I went online looking for a picture of Donald Trump with Kenny Rogers, intending to call it “The Gambler and the Bungler.” But when I found the clip above, I realized that Kenny Rogers and the way he saw the world are the reason why we got Trump in the White House. Not the only reason, but a small part of it.
In 2016, Trump spoke to the fears that Rogers claimed everyone has. He exploited those fears, and rode them all the way to where he is now. And for supporting Trump in this process, I can’t truly mourn the passing of Kenny Rogers.
The Gambler may have finally broken even, but the Bungler is still at the table, blustering his way through a situation that none of us deserve, especially those of us who could see through his bullshit.