Sunday, July 27, 2008

Apolitical Blues

"Well my telephone was ringing and they told me it was Chairman Mao.
You can tell him anything 'Cause I don't wanna talk to him now.
I don't care if it's John Wayne.
I just don't wanna talk to him now."

Does anyone vote for anyone anymore or do we project our hopes, fears, desires and angers on to those seeking office, forming alliances of convenience on issues rather than principles and then exacting our vengeance on these same candidates when our interests diverge? I'm asking because (and maybe it's just me?) I've heard and read huge amounts about how old one of the men running for President is, and how old is too old (kinda like Ike and Tina's 'River Deep, Mountain High' (or as Phil, himself might say, 'My Aim is True'), except as Donovan once sang, 'First, There is a Mountain' and how black the other candidate is (do pundits assume none of us have access to televisions or any means of seeing photographs, is that why they tell us this stuff?). I'm unclear as to how either of these observable facts can be considered a disqualifier.

Not that long ago, a woman was a candidate for the Presidency--admittedly she had other baggage and lots of it, but again, so what? I was raised to believe 'in America anyone can grow up to be President'. I missed the asterisk: 'you must be a white male and neither too young nor too old. Void where taxed or prohibited by law. Package is sold by weight and not by volume. Some settling of contents may have occurred in shipment.' And yet, when you get down to it, what does any of this 'other stuff' mean when it comes to your hopes and dreams for yourself, your community and your family?

I have no illusions that, by myself, I can save the world. I have trouble saving to buy a soda--but, humor aside (yeah, that was an attempted joke; usually a misdemeanor here in Connecticut)--the best I can do, the best any of us can do, is save the piece of the world where we and our loved ones stand. And if enough of us are doing that, those pieces knit together forming a whole greater than the sum of its parts and we raise up one another and cannot only reach for, but grasp, the stars, because we are standing on one another's shoulders.

How about this election (to include the 435 Congressional seats up for grabs) we concede, with a tip of the hat to Faux Sports and the MLB All-Star Game, 'this time it matters' and spend half as much time looking at candidates as we do when we buy a car? Does that sound fair enough? I'm willing to agree I owe you that much time, even if I don't know you, Fellow Traveler on Spaceship Earth (Bucky, you were so smart-why didn't we vote for you?) And yeah, I gave you the link for the whole text so you'd have something to read when you sit up wide awake in a cold sweat later this summer and into the fall, trying to figure out for whom to vote.

We need all the good ideas we can get, my friend. We are taking on water at an alarming rate and instead of navigators and visionaries we keep hiring second raters and retreads who do little more than rearrange the deck chairs. We are all we have-grab an oar and put your back into it. It's a long way to shore and we dare not let our arms tire in this dark and stormy sea.
-bill kenny

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