Wednesday, March 14, 2007

If You Don't Know Who Bessie Smith Is...

[Posted by reader_iam]

I pretty much don't care about your cultural pontifications. I also don't think much of your progressive (or music"al") credentials. I could identify, with regard to the former, historical figures about whom you should know a great deal, at least from the late 19th century and onward. But why bother?

You wanna think you're so cutting edge, just 'cause you're so "right now"? Have at it--yes, have at it. But the peril is as it always has been: those whose "noes" grind only in nots inevitably never come near to acknowledging that they view the here(hear)-and-now lives of real people as little more than notations on their personal politico-lyrico scales. How dulcet the tones! How shallow the score.

As for the rapier wit? The oh-so-knowing and self-satisfied irony?


Quite apart from which "party" is in power, there is absolutely nothing stopping each and every one us from feeding children, empowering adults, building communities and nurturing artists. Nothing. NOTHING!

(Except for our own weakness, disingenuousness, and dishonesty.)

Look around you. Is there any chance that you have time and resources, allocated differently, to take responsibility on a personal level for improving the lives of real people in your community?

Don't say you "shouldn't have to," because that should be "taken care of." That's exactly what I'm objecting to. Why should it be "taken care of" by anyone other than YOU? Why?

Why should you not have to connect and relate personally? Help, personally? Embrace real people, bring them into your circle? Why shouldn't you?

Why don't you?