Thursday, July 10, 2008

D. H. Lawrence to the White Courtesy Phone

I had 'Blinded by Science' from Foreigner stuck in my head this morning on one of those tape loops we all have that are part of the soundtrack of our lives. "I'm worried about the world that we live in," sang Lou Gramm in 1979--three decades ago, is that a typo?-nope. Back then our concerns about ice had something to do with mixed drinks. Funny how hindsight has made those days seem so Golden when you can remember the malaise of the American Spirit of which President Jimmy Carter spoke?

You're humoring me now, and I know it. Most of us don't even remember President Carter, much less his speech, but history has a way of repeating itself (not that we ever seem to learn from it). The more things change the more they remain the same: record high energy prices, severe energy shortages, and a recession. That was then and now. You might seem them as twin eras (or errors) except one is missing a "Mission Accomplished" banner, but to compensate, we had fifty-two US citizens held hostage in the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran for 444 days. Those were days.

We tend to see things as two minutes before dawn, because it's always darkest before dawn but somewhere we've forgotten what Francis Scott Key told us can happen by the dawn's early light. I don't know about you, but I'm grateful there was NO Chumbawamba back then since the Star Spangled Banner is hard enough to sing as it is. Thank goodness we can skip the dancing.

So instead of using this midsummer night's (and day's) dream to begin to sort through all the platforms and positions of those who are seeking our votes this November, with an eye on evaluating our own feelings on what are the 'important issues of our time', we veg out 'because it's summer vacation (what are we in third grade? Again?) and leave it to the Talking Heads of TV to set our agenda for us. How many sports cliches can you stand? How many do you think we're going to hear? It's a horse race, a spirited contest, for the whole shooting match, for all the marbles...AND THE LIST GOES ON FOREVER. Except.

It's a lot more fundamental and important--too important to leave to smarmy people who not only have a hair stylist, but a hair styling consultant to explain to us like we really were in third grade, when, point in fact, two hundred and thirty-two years ago, this week, WE explained it to ourselves and to the world (DOH! stupid history!) "...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed — whenever any...Government becomes destructive... it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..."

What a pity NONE of that fits into a fifteen second sound byte on Hannity and Colmes, or Keith Olbermann or Anderson Cooper. What were the Founders thinking? That one revolution wouldn't be enough?
-bill kenny

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