The Bonfires of Saint John

On Saint John’s Eve, near the cusp of the June solstice, Ken West celebrated his birthday by performing a set of his own songs on the piano in the sanctuary of the Haven church in Charlottesville, VA.

“A Yamaha. A real piano.” West said. “I’m not talking about an electronic thing.”

The lyrics to West’s “Blue Rose,” an ode to Mother Earth, are currently in storage, but West said he has worked on some of the material he brought with him to Nashville in the late 1990s.

The day also included a trip to the local Chipotle, where West said the crew gifted him with a free burrito.

“They all know me over there,” West said.

West also used the day to ruminate on his own take on a new presidential plan to put solar panels on top of the border wall that has been so much a part of the flamboyant POTUS’ reality-TV agenda.

Just hours before sundown, CNN reports highlighted the assertion, assumedly from the White House, that a solar border wall would “pay for itself.” Since Trump’s previous claims that Mexico would pay for the wall have been roundly rebuffed, the idea that costs could be recouped through the collection of solar energy provides a convenient fig leaf for the jingoistic plan to wall off the entire country from its southern neighbor, at significant expense, in an era of slackening immigration across the U.S./Mexican border.

“It could work.” West said, asking us to imagine steel frames 50 feet high, crowned with solar panels, and “barbed wire on the Mexican side.”

However, West is not a fan of the president’s plan per se, suggesting the solar panel wall would need key changes to be viable. In fact, West voiced much more admiration for another infrastructure project on the other side of the world: China’s revival of a “Silk Road” concept that is being talked about on National Public Radio. In some ways, China’s new trade initiative, buttressed by blockchain and cryptocurrency technology applications, paves the way for the Middle Kingdom to emerge as a new and much more competent superpower nation utilizing practical, fiscally responsible trade and military policy.

Noting the enormous debt that America owes to China, West suggested it would behoove U.S. citizens to research emerging Chinese policy. West also reiterated his descriptions of current Chinese military projects: the creation of massive man-made islands to serve as stationary battleships, and a series of “hovercraft” ships he said represent a new and modern naval fleet.

Returning to policy regarding North Korea, which West typically refers to as “going back to square one,” West mentioned two points. First, he said, he has abandoned his recommendation of “dropping 20-dollar bills and rice balls” over the impoverished country, admitting that military leaders would just confiscate any such windfalls. Secondly, West noted the absence of any recent long-range missile tests or other provocations.

“All is well.” West said. “I am the bearer of good news.”

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