Dixie Darr

Just Like Billy Pilgrim

In music on August 17, 2017 at 5:56 am

My mother used to complain about my dad playing a radio station with big band music. It confused her, she said. She’d forget where and when she was. She liked country music, especially Lefty Frizzell, and I still have a few of her 78 records, so she wasn’t exactly up-to-date, either.

My own musical tastes formed in the 60s and haven’t changed much since 1975. After that, I just didn’t have the interest in keeping up no matter how hip I wanted to prove I was. Predictably, I prefer the Beatles to anyone else, followed closely by Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder. When I ask Alexa the Echo Dot to play music for me, it’s usually 60s soft rock, although my current favorite song is Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell.”

Where music is concerned I think we’re all a little unstuck in time, just like Kurt Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim. I’m reminded of the old Rod McKuen poem that starts “I put a seashell to my ear and it all comes back.” Play Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay” and it transports me to 1969 when I still wear bell bottom jeans and walk to the Mayan theater on Broadway to watch Easy Rider and The Wild Bunch. Not at the same time. That would be WAY too intense.

Of course, I think our music was (is!) the best music ever. My nieces, who came of age in the 80s, think Michael Jackson reigns. Don’t we all prefer the music of our youth?

I was delighted to learn that Beatles music has made a comeback (although it never went away) in the children’s TV show, Beat Bugs. I know a five-year-old who loves what he calls “Beat Bugs songs.” Kid has good taste.

When I’m in a nursing home with all the other old hippies, we’ll sing along to “Hey Jude” and “Still Crazy After All These Years” and “Isn’t She Lovely.”

The hard rockers will have to live in a different wing.

Both Sides Now

In Learning, Resistance, Prejudice on August 16, 2017 at 5:55 am

So it’s come to this, an American president defending Nazis, calling them fine people. We tried to warn you. It was obvious this man was unhinged, undisciplined, unfit, but you refused to listen. “He speaks his mind and says what he thinks,” you said. Now you know what he thinks. Now we all know.

If you still support him, we know what you think, too.

He thinks both sides are equally at fault for the violence in Charlottesville. One side came with torches in the night, shields and weapons and Nazi slogans in the day. The other side said, No. They are not equal. White supremacy is evil. Nazis are evil. The KKK is evil. You can’t side with them and pretend to be Christian, or a good person, or an American. This is over. Whose side are you on?

You thought he would shake things up, and he has certainly done that. His ignorance and recklessness will destroy us as a country if we let him continue; he has already destroyed our reputation and leadership role with the rest of the world.

What we need now is a show of true patriotism and courage from both sides of congress. We need you to admit that this can’t go on. We need you to Stand up for your country and take him down.

We need both sides to work together.

Both Sides.


The History Train

In Learning, Prejudice, Resistance on August 15, 2017 at 7:31 am

We’ve had a busy few days since Charlottesville, and the fallout continues. Some have called it a breaking point when America can no longer deny what our racist, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic, ignorant, lying so-called president has wrought. I sure hope they’re right. It would be nice to think we have finally turned the corner on this dark period.
Meanwhile, this happened:
Forty-eight hours after the violence Trump finally said “racism is evil” and denounced neo-Nazis and the KKK in a statement considered weak and cowardly in the mainstream media and celebrated by white supremacists.
Three CEOs have resigned from the White House manufacturing council in protest of Trump’s response to the Charlottesville violence.
TIKI Brand, the company responsible for creating tiki torches, issued a statement separating themselves from the neo-Nazis who used their products at the rally.
The mayor of Lexington KY announced plans to remove two confederate statues from the courthouse.
Officials in several states, including Florida and Maryland have also called for the removal of confederate statues.
Protesters in Durham NC didn’t wait for official action. Chanting “No KKK no fascist USA,” they pulled down a statue of a confederate soldier.
Social media sites are working to identify participants in the Charlottesville rally. So far, one man lost his job, another was disowned by his family, and a third may be expelled from college.
Those who beat up Deandre Harris have been identified and police are searching and will arrest them.
The man who drove his car into a crowd killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others is in jail without bond.
Go Daddy canceled the domain name for a white supremacist website. When they registered the site with Google, that company also canceled it.
Texas A&M canceled a white supremacist rally scheduled for 9/11.
And so it continues.
In 1971, Paul Simon wrote Peace Like a River, containing these words, “Misinformation followed us like a plague” and “You can’t outrun the history train” that seem curiously prophetic today.
I know I’d like some peace like a river, even if only for a day or two.