The Times are a-changing...back!
I just came back from a tour of the wondrous A-Changin' Times (ACT) weblog
which set fire to my cerebrum, particularly within cortical islands awash in music...one of my first and enduring loves. And I was wondering if this could be the end of our pride and glory.
When one compares, for example, the songs from the golden age of music...when Hendrix, Quicksilver, CSNY, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Buffalo Springfield, and more than a few others were doing the job our Media is supposed to do...with the songs of today's commercial radio, one has to wonder...where the nuts? In both senses actually. It is, in a way, nutty to speak truth to power. One might get a spanking, locked up, ostracized. It may impact the bottom line.
And yet people, musicians and artists stood up anyway. The Beatles, like the Dixie Chicks after them, had their music burned, stamped upon...immortalized. And yet even the brave Dixie Chicks would never write such lyrics as the following:
What About Me?
You poisoned my sweet water,
you cut down my green trees,
the food you fed my children
was the cause of their disease.
My world is slowly falling down,
and the air's not good to breath,
and those of us who care enough
we have to do something...
Oooooooooooooo! what you gonna do about me?
Oooooooooooooo! what you gonna do about me?
Your newspapers, they just put you on,
they never tell you the whole story.
They just put your young ideas down.
I was wondering...
could this be the end of their pride and glory?
I work in your factories, I study in your schools,
I fill your penitenturies and your military too,
and I feel the future trembling
as the word is passed around...
If you stand up for what you do believe,
be prepared to be shot down.
I feel like a stranger in the land where I was born,
and I live like an outlaw and I'm always on the run.
I'm always getting busted, and I got to take a stand,
I feel the revolution must be mighty close at hand...
I smoke marijuana, but I can't get behind your wars,
and most of what I do believe is against most of your laws.
I'm a fugitive from injustice, but I'm going to be free,
cause your rules and regulations...
they don't do a thing for me.
I feel like a stranger, in the land where I was born,
and I live just like an outlaw, and I'm always on the run.
And though you may be stronger now, my time will come around.
You keep adding to my numbers as you shoot my people down...
It's as if the REFRAIN were meant as a cautionary punctuum...(So I like to make up words! You can figure the meaning) serving to put an end to music as revolution.
But it never really ended. It has simply left the airwaves, and has wound up in places like MP3, which I heard will be shutting its doors in early December.
This, I suspect, is a product of a confluence of forces. The Music Mafia, who wants a piece of every song released...and the Political watchdogs who can't stand the freedom of expression going on over there.
How stupid can you get?
Is intellectual property lost on these guys? Do they not realize they are turning away a thousand Elvises? Killing a thousand geese with golden eggs?
Apparently all their stock is in Clay Aiken and Britney. Harmless kids with nothing to say.
Flashes in the proverbial pan.
It was not ever so...
During the late '60s and early '70s, we had some hip stations here in Charlotte that would play Quicksilver, Lennon's "Working Class Hero", CSN's "Ohio", "Chicago" and "Cathedral" as well as a host of other songs that challenged the status quo.
But these went by the wayside...at least until recently, when Dave -- one of the better DJs from the golden years -- returned...bringing his music with him. Now at least some of the old iconoclastic anthems can be heard again.
But MP3 is still going away...and who will take up their mantle?
Must we concede to a Bob Roberts future? I don't think so. But I am the eternal optimist. When I powwow with my nephew and his friends, I see a mirror of the same idealism of the historically hip, and realize that many of us in the historically hip category...are still, in the main, hip. We just need to be reminded at times. These are such times.
Together we make quite a constituency. One mustn't let down our guard, since it is their lives we are protecting and providing for.
We have seen the Internet Revolution gobbled up and discarded by moneyed interests. Many excellent sites and services have been removed from the table simply because people chose money over their webchild.
The powers that be want us to get all our information from TV and Radio and Print, and they are making sure there are less and less of these...looked at from the top.
They want us to have to go through gatekeepers and jump through hoops if we dare to want our word published.
The Clinton Administration opened up more freedoms than we can imagine...and now they are in danger of being taken away. Imagine going back to a time where nearly all your news and music is canned and stamped for approval. Dark Ages II.
Don't be surprised if this scenerio comes down the pike: The Internet is brought to its knees by an attack by terrorists. Will we be certain who those terrorists are? If one follows the money, one might see that the short-term beneficiaries are the Big Media and Bush Inc. And together they can say anything they want.
I hope this never comes to pass. We could not sustain such an attack on our now most important freedoms.
Long live freedom!
Bring back the music...