Monday, January 31, 2005

Music in my Head

All I hear, in the background of my thoughts these days, is Marvin Gaye: "Mother, Mother, there's too many of you crying. Brother, brother, brother There's far too many of you dying. . . Oh, what's going on, What's going on?" You know the song, or you should. I know that the context is not the same, but between the natural and personal disasters of late, and the daily death toll from Iraq, I’m just, well, not even sure what I’m supposed to think and feel anymore. Even my sustained employment has been made uncertain in the last couple of weeks, the implied contract of a full paycheck in return for my promise to show up when I'm supposed to has been voided. What’s Going On?
I want to believe, with the faith of a sixth-grader who says the pledge of allegiance proudly, that we are paving the way for self-determination and democracy, despite the Iraqis’ own efforts to blow each other and us back into a state of ignorance. Increasingly, I just want our young people to stop dying. And I sure as hell want to stop teaching our children to torture those that are powerless into whatever it is we want them to do. Talk about sending mixed messages. Which one do you think will be remembered, longer? I used to make TV repair calls to a clientele that included a fairly large contingent of Holocaust survivors here in town. I can never forget seeing the tattoos on their forearms, with the smallest inkling of recognition of what that might represent. What scars are we creating for Iraq? "You see, war is not the answer, For only love can conquer hate . . . Don't punish me with brutality. . ."
I know, you’re just supposed to keep on keepin’ on, and that’s what I do. Keep the faith. Hang in there. I’m proud of , support, and thank God every day for those who place themselves in harm’s way for me. I’m for freedom. I can’t help but think, though, that people who don’t want to be free, or can’t see it for what it is, don’t deserve it until they do. That’s the difference between Brezhnev and Gorbachov. "Oh, you know we've got to find a way To bring some understanding here today. . ."
I’m just saying.