Deep Purple on a grey day

It’s a gloomy, grey day but the temperature is expected to reach into the 60s. I don’t know how to behave when the weather is like this. Should I celebrate the warmth? Mope because it’s murky?

One thing I’ll say is it’s good “reading weather” so I read a little this morning from Barack Obama’s book A Promised Land, including the chapter where he visited Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president after and before Vladimir Putin. At their dinner, Medvedev revealed his appreciation for the hard rock band Deep Purple.

Most everyone’s familiar with the song “Smoke on the Water.” The riff is instantly recognizable. My conservative high school band used to play it at pep rallies so even erstwhile Catholic girls such as myself know it. But I never knew the lyrics until today.

We were at the best place around

But some stupid with a flare gun

Burned the place to the ground

Smoke on the water

A fire in the sky

-Deep Purple

The song is about a fire that happened at a casino where Frank Zappa was performing. During the concert, a fan shot a flare gun and it caught the wooden roof on fire. The flames quickly spread throughout the venue. Everyone, including the members of Deep Purple, were forced out of the building. The band was moved across the lake where they watched the casino burn, hence the lyrics “smoke on the water, a fire in the sky.”

I find the lyrics to “Smoke on the Water” chilling and relevant today as Russian forces continue to invade Ukraine.

And I wonder: How many fires has Medvedev observed…or started? Now the former president and prime minister serves Russia as the deputy chairman of security council. I’m not sure the Purple fan is the original firestarter, but I doubt he’s put many out.

Medvedev has been referred to as “Putin’s puppet” by Reuters and “the Robin to Putin’s Batman” in The Guardian. In Obama’s book, the former U.S. President said Medvedev seemed like a man who didn’t say what he meant.

With that, I’ll just say what I mean: I think Medvedev is disgusting. Ditto for Putin.

With the news updating news every minute with information about cease-fires, evacuations, humanitarian corridors, convoys, train stations filling up with refugees, attacks on nuclear plants and broadcast towers, I remain consistent in my message which comes from a song I learned at the same school that introduced me to Deep Purple:

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

Thanks for reading. -Connie

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