Sunday, January 04, 2009

A Generational Anthem for Change

o The poet will read the poem of the day to millions of blank stares.

o The preacher (I'm hoping he'll reveal how--just the day before-- he was struck down on the Road to Damascus, the scales fell from his eyes, and he regrets that nasty bigoted stuff he said about gay marriage) will preach while millions put their fingers in their ears and intone: "Lalalalalalalalal....I'm not listening....lalalalalalalalal....I can't hear you".

o The President-elect will oath and promise to preserve and protect, getting the multitude all teary-eyed and lump-in-the-throat-ish.

And as we all prepare to listen to the inaugural address, we'll need a musical interlude to set the tone for the new President's program.
Though I heard a little piece of it sampled in some otherwise forgettable hip-hop a while back, It's likely many Obamaniacs have never listened to the greatest protest song of the 60s,

Compared to What.

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It is--to our enduring shame--still up-to-the-minute. It had been in Les McCann's repertoire for six years. But the 1969 Montreux version with Eddie Harris, was released as a single and became a generational anthem for change.

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Of the biblical allotment of three score and ten I have lived only three of them more than a bicycle ride from one of the Great Lakes. I grew up ten blocks from Lake Erie in the (once Irish/Italian ghetto, now newly-hip) "Near West Side" of Cleveland. I can still cycle to the Milwaukee lakefront in an hour and a half; but, a round-trip has always been more than I would (noror ever did) attempt. -0- I'm a "...somewhat combative pacifist and fairly cooperative anarchist," after the example of Grace Paley (1922-2007). -0- I'm always cheerful when I pay my taxes (having refused--when necessary--to pay that portion of them dedicated to war). -0- And I always, always vote.