Getting caught in Wednesday’s early-afternoon downtown downpour was bad enough.
Even worse than that unnerving climate change:
Getting caught up in the deluge of depressing news, including ...
The S.C. Senate has gotten tangled up anew in abortion.
S.C. Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, he of the Ruger 9 mm handgun giveaway a year and two days ago in Greenville during his failed U.S. Senate primary challenge against Lindsey Graham, wants to ban all abortions, except when the mother’s life is endangered, after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Now he’s miffed at fellow pro-life senators, including Larry Grooms of District 37 (parts of Berkeley and Charleston counties).
While they’re with Bright on the post-20th-week abortion prohibition, they want to exempt not just cases where the mother’s life is in peril, but cases of severe fetal abnormalities and victims of rape and/or incest, including minors, from that ban.
You don’t have to be an abortion fan to think state lawmakers have better things to do with the clock running out on this session.
Nor do you have to buy the canard that you can’t logically be both against abortion and for the death penalty. After all, unborn babies, or if you prefer, fetuses, haven’t committed capital crimes.
Yet the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion more than four decades ago.
And when you call it murder, you call the many women who have had abortions murderers.
So pro-lifers should focus on the powers of positive persuasion, not the demonizing criminializing of a lawful medical procedure that has long been widely regarded as a woman’s right to choose.
And the General Assembly, now that the criminal domestic violence deal is finally done, should focus on road funding, the bond bill and ethics reform.
Other headline downers:
Harsh feelings, hardened by conflicting racial perspectives, persist about not just the Charleston County School District’s de facto ouster of Superintendent Nancy McGinley last year, but the allegedly improper search for her replacement.
Another ongoing controversy tainted by racial divisions is the argument over how the authorities should proceed in the murder case against white North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager, who was caught on a bystander’s cellphone video shooting Walter Scott, a 50-year-old black man, to death on April 4 when he ran from a traffic stop.
As of this writing, whoever shot Berkeley County sheriff’s Lt. Will Rogers in the head last week was still at large while that lawman was still in critical condition at Medical University Hospital.
Less consequential, but still unpleasant developments:
As reported in Wednesday’s Post and Courier, Summerville’s gotten so crowded that it’s getting an extra ZIP code.
As reported in the Hilton Head Island Packet, a golden retriever there died last week after being left in a hot car for more than four hours.
Last week’s scary sight of large alligators on the loose by a Taco Bell in Mount Pleasant (mere walking distance from Stately Wooten Manor) and in a Goose Creek subdivision reconfirmed that nature remains poised to strike back at our grabby species.
Rather than wallow further down into the bad-news ditch, however, rise to reap music’s soothing magic.
At the repeated risk of being the oldest folks at a rock concert, my wife, her sister and I enjoyed Beck’s rousing Tuesday night performance at North Charleston’s splendid Performing Arts Center.
No, not Jeff Beck, James Beck or Glenn Beck.
Not even former Folly Beach Mayor Richard Beck, though the local dentist, who has written compelling letters to the editor and intriguingly pitched the American Party in a guest column three months ago, is a talented singer who long ago was my band mate in the Malibus.
No, this particular Beck was just Beck, aka Beck Hansen.
His repertoire ranges across rock, rap, folk, country, soul and even some electronic-sounding stuff.
Beck and his impressive band played more than two dozen songs over nearly two hours.
But the number that stopped the show for me came more than halfway through when, alone with an acoustic guitar, Beck took a touching turn on a vintage tune that begins:
“I was ridin’ Number Nine,
Headin’ south from Caroline.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow ...”
Written by Hank Williams, who died at age 29 on the first day of 1953 en route to a concert in Charleston (W.Va., not S.C.), and Jimmie Davis, the Democratic governor of Louisiana from 1944-48 and 1960-64, it’s the haunting lament of a prisoner who, well, heard that lonesome whistle blow from his cell.
So now hear this:
If you have lasted past 29, are not in jail and/or can still hear and maybe even make music, things could be worse.
And if you listen well, you won’t let negative news imprison your positive outlook.
Frank Wooten is assistant editor of The Post and Courier. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.