The trivia question for this week is, What famous country/folk/rocker wrote a song about revolution considered one of the top protest songs of the 2000s?
Hi, it’s me, the bleeding heart, the angry young man growing old but no less angry, watching dreams disappear along with friends and lovers. It’s me, remembering places and people that seem as fresh in my mind as if they were standing before me today. Some left me only recently, some so many years ago that I have to squint through the fog of time to call them back. I have scars left by lovers and friends but maybe none cut as deep as the scars left by lost hope.
I think I know why we are given only a certain amount of years to walk the earth. It’s because the pain of living would drive us insane if we had to endure more than one short lifetime here. Someone asked me recently when the pain of personal loss, the death of a loved one, would get better, and I answered this way. I said sometimes you will drift on relatively calm waters, your emotions rising and falling with some predictable current, and then whoosh, a tidal wave of pain takes your body and slams it against a seabed of hurt. It knocks the breath out of you and tumbles you around until you don’t know which way to go or how to escape, and you’re sure you’re going to die. In fact, you almost welcome that possibility. But then slowly a small light breaks through the swirling tides and gradually the air returns to your body, and you learn how to float again.
Some people set themselves up for a different kind of hurt, and I am one of them. We are the ones who never learned to color inside the lines, never learned or even tried to fit inside the pigeonhole or the cubicle, and never learned the art of keeping our mouths shut when we see injustice, hunger, war, prejudice, bigotry, and hate in all its ugly forms. We were the radicals and the prisoners of the 1960’s. We marched in Selma and sang at Woodstock. And please don’t call us liberals. I surpassed that label many years ago. In fact, I think I was born a radical headed straight for outrage.
We are the young and old who recently felt a movement taking place. We believed that one man had an idea that would ignite a flame of change. But the worst president this country will ever know (at least I hope there will be no one worse), and also the worst human being I have ever watched strut around a stage (if I dare use the term human being) was elected. Since then, as many of you know, I have tried to crawl into my virtual cave and create a monastery out of my small place by the sea. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked because there is a little voice of conscience inside my head that keeps screaming “You can’t let this morally bankrupt clown win and you have to keep fighting with every ounce of strength you can muster, even if it’s only with words on Facebook, in blogs, and face to face with those you meet.”
The idea of community has been suggested, and it is an idea I not only agree with but am very familiar with. It can work not only in the form of organizing but by providing the support we all need to survive the hurt of caring too much, and it will help keep us from losing hope again.
In the podcast, there will be more on the revolution, the answer to the trivia question, and as always some rock and roll news and history. I hope you will join me on the shores of Rambling Harbor.