With all the fear and anger roiling around the world right now, this seems like a logical question to ask. Why can’t we be friends? Why do humans have to revert to their lizard brains all the time? Why do we constantly behave as though we are competing with everyone else? Why do we fear those who don’t look like us, or pray like us, or do anything else like us? This isn’t rhetorical. I really want to know.
Maybe I don’t understand because I’m not especially competitive. I don’t care who wins or has the most toys, as long as everyone feels like they got treated fairly and has enough of the necessities. That’s really all I want out of the world, and I don’t think it’s that much to ask.
It’s almost Thanksgiving. I thankful for a roof over my head, decent food, education, good health, my family and friends, my pets, electricity, and indoor plumbing. Nobody is shooting at me or trying to blow me up. I’ve got it pretty good. And my wish to Santa this year is that everybody else in the whole wide world gets the same things. I won’t get it, but I’m gonna keep wishing for it, anyway. And I’ll do whatever small things I can to make my wish come true.
I’ve made all these statements and asked all these questions before. And like a four-year-old, I’ll keep asking until I get a satisfactory answer.
(Special Note: I did spellcheck, like I always do, and the program suggested I replace “pray” with “prey.” Now I think that’s kind of odd. Why would I want to exchange a word that means to ask with a word that means to hunt or be hunted? And just why would the program think that’s what I meant? *sigh* More questions without answers.)
A Facebook meme got me thinking about this song again. It’s one of the most scathing pieces of music I’ve ever heard. And anyone who thinks it’s an excellent idea to turn around and kill every single member of ISIS because of what they’ve done should give it a careful listen.
Bob Dylan wrote this about Vietnam in the 60s, but it still applies. I get the desire to retaliate, but I’m trying to resist it. Violence begets violence. If we continue fighting the “war” on terror with the same violence we’ve fought every other war, we will only create more violence from the terrorists. You can’t wage war on an idea; you only wage war on people. If you kill one, ten more pop up in his place. The only way to stop this insanity is to find better ways to fight. Fight poverty and hunger. Fight a lack of education. Fight intolerance and fear. Fight religious zealotry. Fight back with courage and love and books and art.
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Take a minute to look around.
Okay, I’m gonna be honest with y’all here. At a family birthday celebration today (my uncle’s father-in-law is 90 . . . Happy Birthday, John Ross!!!), I had a little too much wine. So I am officially not good for anything right now. And if you knew how much effort it took me to type three sentences correctly, then you’d know just how much I had.
I love low riders. For the unaware, low riders are cars that have been modified so that they ride low on the tires, virtually scraping the asphalt. Hydraulics are used to lower the cars, but the system also can make the car “jump” (which is awesome). Low riders are usually pretty tricked out, too, featuring custom paint and interiors. They are, in a word, hot.
I’ve always thought it was a product of growing up in SoCal. Los Angeles was the birthplace of the low rider, where the Mexican boys liked to lower their cars and cruise the streets. I was surprised when I did a little research to find out that low riding had been around since the 1940s (that would make it contemporary with the zoot suit). The hydraulics and other stuff didn’t really come around until the 1960s, though.
War, a multicultural SoCal band originating in Long Beach, played a form of funk and rock that was as natural to the streets of L.A. as the low rider. They were originally a backup band for Eric Burdon (formerly of the Animals), and had a hit with “Spill the Wine.” They went on after Burdon left the group in the middle of a tour. They were pretty successful in the early 70s, but soon tailed off. “Low Rider” is the quintessential cruising song, just the right rhythm for slinking along Hollywood or Santa Monica or PCH, tapping your fingers on the steering wheel.
Freedom and fun. No obligations, or none that are demanding your attention. Looking cool, feeling cool, in your ride. That’s what this song represents.