Saturday, January 20, 2018

In the Ghetto

Here's where I ruin that Elvis Presley song everyone likes.

Mac Davis wrote it back in 1969, and Elvis made it huge, and a ton of people have covered it. I did a punk rock cover of it with my band back in the day. Everyone has heard this song.

And we're still talking about generational poverty in a barbaric way at the highest levels of politics and governance.

People don't you understand, this child needs a helping hand?

When I hear songs like this I wonder what conservatives think if they think anything at all about words.

In a world where words are mattering less and less, maybe songs are mattering less, too. Perhaps they've always dismissed songs like this like they dismiss giant portions of their supposedly favorite book.

The message of this song is that nothing will change unless we do something. I don't want to get too preachy here, but if they weren't going to listen to the republican Elvis Presley, trying to talk sense or write parable-esque songs now isn't going to work.

Ugh, but I don't feel like giving up just yet. I was in Vegas on October 1. The worse shooting in history, and we've done nothing. It isn't apathy. . . people care, but what's with the inaction? Lethargy? Phlegmatism?

Take a look at you and me, are we too blind to see?

And the saddest thing about this song is that the cycle continues.

I do want to ask: what are the characters' races in your mind's eye when you hear this song?

What is it with conservatives standing behind books no one ever reads in their entirety?

No one has EVER read Atlas Shrugged from cover to cover. NO ONE! I read the Bible cover because someone forced me to, but not even priests or pastors do that. There is a mysterious power in quoting books and saying you stand by books no one else has read.

It isn't just conservatives. I read Ulysses only because I didn't want people wielding its power against me. I never took a class in which is was assigned and I've read it TWICE! Once as a young writer living abroad and again in college. Snobby pseudo-intellectuals like to use it as a kind of litmus test to see if you're in their club.

But I'm not reading Atlas Shrugged. I got maybe 100 pages in and put it down. I read The Fountainhead when I thought I wanted to be an architect, and that was enough Ayn Rand. I liked that one. Ayn Rand is all about replacing god with the dollar. It's incredible to me that no one holds Christian conservatives to task on this.

If there's someone out there quoting books in your life, either dismiss them altogether or read their book and crush them. You'll more than likely lose a friend/family member in the process, but who cares? We're all headed the same direction.

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