The cool thing about not having socialized health care or universal health insurance isn’t the huge amounts of money we’re saving in taxes; it isn’t having an abundance of affordable health care providers, or the mind boggling selection of quality, brand name prescription drugs (enough, in fact, to make you think you have adult ADD). No, the really awesome thing about the current health care “anti-crisis” – at least here in Austin – is all of the cool benefit concerts produced to help pay for the medical costs of folks unlucky enough to be unhealthy or unrich or uneither. It’s true that not all benefit concerts have the star power and panache of say, a Live Aid or a Farm Aid, but there are still plenty of aids for your benefit buck – yet another happy coincidence of Shrub Sr.’s diabolically compassionate “thousand points of light” budget gut policy – an idea spawned from a hopelessly naive notion that people, like Christ himself, are fundamentally compassionate. Ol’ 41 was at least partly correct. A lot of people are compassionate and it’s a good thing they’re around to clean up the mess of nitwitted right wing policies like school vouchers, privatized social security, and abstinence focused sex ed. Yes, America needs an abundance of dumb, broke crackers, otherwise dishonest, scheming rich white dudes would never get elected. Hell to that dang ol' chief and whatnot. So let’s just go ahead and enjoy these unintended spoils while we can before the flood of compassion dries up into a dusty little pit of conservatism, shall we? This Sunday at Scholz, a whole chorus of compassionate souls will be singing in a benefit concert for local musician Chris Gage, who is recovering from a recent back surgery. Gage is a veteran guitarist/pianist who has performed with a mind-boggling array of musicians - people like Roy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, and the Greencards to name a few. He’s also a father of two, a respected producer and engineer, and a loving husband to chanteuse/Blue Bell babe Christine Albert – exactly the kind of model citizen you wouldn’t want to let slip through the cracks of failed social policy. Come on, spending your tax savings on a couple of beers on a Sunday afternoon isn’t such a bad way to weave a safety net, especially when you’ll be entertained by talented folks like Eliza Gilkyson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Stop the Truck, Abi Tapia, Sarah Hickman, Bruce Robison, and Slaid Cleaves.
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