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Freaky Friday: “Party at Ground Zero”

Posted by purplemary54 on December 21, 2012

I thought I’d indulge in a little early 80s nuclear hysteria to celebrate today’s supposed apocalypse.  I remember being freaked out over Reagan’s stupid open-mic joke about bombing the U.S.S.R. (it made the national news and took about 10 years off my life).  Nuclear war was a real fear during the 1980s (I suppose it still is, but we’ve got so many other nightmares vying for our attention these days that it’s hard to pay nukes much mind).  I was relieved when we started signing non-proliferation treaties with the Soviets, but I’ve always known that wouldn’t be enough.

Fear is really the greatest enemy.  Terrorism is effective because it creates fear; the only way to stop terrorism is to stop being afraid.  Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that.  To stop being afraid, we need to stop being ignorant and prejudiced, because that’s where fear is rooted.  NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre made a statement today that blamed everything except guns for gun violence, and called for armed security in every school in the nation; he had to pause a couple of times to wait for the protesters to be escorted out.  (There was also another shooting incident just a couple hours before the press conference.)  People like that think they’ve got the solution, but they’re the problem.  You don’t stop violence and fear by creating an environment where violence and fear thrive unchecked.  The “War on Terror” is the stupidest thing ever.  You can’t go to war against an idea, an emotion.  You can only end these things by trying to understand, by offering help, by talking about everything that usually gets swept under the rug.  Ignorance and prejudice disappear when faced with education and knowledge.  Fear can’t take root in a place that is open and tolerant.

Fear also has trouble with singing and dancing.

Fishbone is legendary here in SoCal, largely because they mixed all the cultural and musical influences of this particularly strange neck of the woods.  Their diverse, eclectic brand of punk/ska/rock/rap/soul refused to be defined.  They made you think while they made you dance.  Their eclecticism certainly hurt their commercial prospects; it’s hard to market something you can’t pigeonhole.  I think “Party at Ground Zero” was their only hit single.  It’s gleeful and raucous and impossible to resist.  Go ahead, I dare you to try.

See you tomorrow, at the start of a new era where fear is a four-letter word.

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