Recently, I played a gig in a place we shall call Farmburg. Because there are farms there, though no castles (that I know of).
As you may know, my bass drum features prominently a stencil of our thirty-third president, an image that fits nicely with this band name
. Plus, it's pretty and not something stupid like my initials or some crap. (Man, that's crap when people do that.)
The thing is, I play in other bands, too—other bands whose names do not have such a seeming connection to "Give 'em Hell Harry." When I play with these other bands, it's not uncommon for somone to approach and inquire about the bass-drum stencil. (Standard question: "Is that FDR?"). These exchanges inevitably lead to a sort-of awkward conversation, wherein I explain the other band I play with, and their name, and that, no, it's not (at least not directly) a reference to the president, but you know, it's cool and junk, you know? Okay, great.
At the recent gig in Farmburg, however, the exchange was somewhat different:Dude:
Is that Harry Truman?Me:
Hmph. Better be careful with that. People 'round here don't much like Democrats.Me:
Oh. Well, he did drop the bomb. On Japan. Twice.Dude:
Oh, was that him? Well, shoot. Musta been one of them good Democrats.Me:
] Heh. Musta been...
Why did I do that?! I seemingly endorsed the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, just to placate this guy. I hate it when I do that—say something to smooth over the ripples, even when it's something I don't fully agree with. And yet it's something I do fairly often, even when there are other readily available arguments at-hand (e.g., "well, he did desegregate the military").
No convictions, this one…