Secret Pop

Feb 23, 2004

Slow down. You move too fast.

I was listening to a roundtable discussion on NPR the other day. The topic was gay marriage and all this hubbub in San Francisco. And something very important was said, though I came in too late to hear who was who, so I can't give proper credit. One of the gentlemen pointed out that, once a civil rights movement gets going, you can't just tell it to stop. You can't just tell people to take it down a notch when the momentum of their recognition of injustice takes root. I think, historically, this has obviously been true. And, were we to have balked at every plaintiff who sought a fair shake in recent history, we would never have been relieved of such craggy beasts as segregation or absence of the suffrage. People are getting all cranky about these gay couples receiving marriage licenses in San Francisco, but one day, those same people will look to us like the jerks in Alabama who wanted to cream a group of black kids for going to school. Arianna Huffington was one of the panelists. I recognized her voice. And she said a lot that rang true with me. It almost created a sense of nostalgia. Having been so attuned to what was going on during the stupid gubernatorial recall last year, here in California. But even before that, I had really grown to appreciate her voice and her ideas. And I always hung on to the irony of how much I hated her when she was a fiery conservative, decrying my boy Bill. It's odd. I think I have become so anxious about the coming election that I have almost gone into stasis. I can't bear the fear that things will get worse, so I try not to think about it every day. But whenever I do think about it, I find that the impassioned convictions are still there. Thriving. It's a wonder to be so afraid. I was not afraid in 2000, and look what happened. Even now, I ask myself how I can worry that our country will re-elect a guy who probably put Hooked on Phonics on his Christmas list. He nearly always speaks in sentence fragments. And to me, that smacks of something other than folksiness.

Speaking of Hooked on Phonics, I saw an infomercial for it the other day, and the woman doing the selling was saying that, for just "spare change," you could improve your child's happiness and potential for success. That's right. For "less than two dollars a day -- spare change! -- you can make a difference in your child's future today!" Two dollars a day. Yeah, that's spare change TODAY. But if I spend it, I don't just have two more dollars of spare change the next day lying around. I carry that two dollars of spare change around all month. And I only use it if I have to feed a parking meter. What kind of spare change machine does she think I am? Well, whatever kind, I'm not that.

Some commercial was playing that Willie Nelson song, but it was being sung by someone else with a more Django Reinhart approach. Now I've got it stuck in my head. All of me, why not take all of me...Can't you see that I'm no good without you... If you want to do it right, repeat both verses before the big finish.

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