This blog will feature mostly writing; musings, rants, maybe some photography that I feel complements the topic of the day. I profess no particular expertise or wisdom other than that acquired during my rather normal American life, if there is such a thing. I like to tell my new friends that I’m southern, with the benefits of a “nawthen” education. Not yet old, even if the server gave me a seniors’ discount at lunch the other day, but I recognize that I’m definitely no longer young either. Well, physically anyway. I still think I can do everything I did at 20.
Most of what follows will be social and political in nature. I’m influenced by music, science, tech, and nature. I’m the product of a strongly patriotic (and paranoid) age, one in which the principles of the Constitution were revered as much as the document itself, and more so than it’s authors, the *deep voice* Founding Fathers. It was equality*, and it was freedom of… and freedom from… that were held up as the American Way in the cold war with the USSR. It was also a time of great racial and generational unrest. Even to my formative mind, I could see that we were telling the Russki’s and everybody else that all men deserved freedom and equality, and we were telling our black neighbors here at home (as American as I by definition, but somehow 2nd class in practice) that they didn’t deserve such things. We told 18 year old men that they were old enough to be called up against their will, fight and die, yet told them as kids they weren’t old enough to buy a beer until they were 21. We said we were about peace and democracy yet fought wars of aggression and assassinated another nation’s democratically elected leader. Now Think about that for a Second.
I believe that individual people are almost always good, even if they aggregate into rednecks. The line from the movie (I can’t remember which one)** was something like “a person is reasonable, people are an angry mob.” Living in the Deep South for as long I have, I’ve seen it, firsthand, many times. Not saying that all people are good, they’re definitely not. Some are just too mean for society.
I also believe that we individually and collectively have an obligation to make things better. All things. Not just for our kids, for all kids. Terry Kath (Chicago) sang “We can make it happen” and he was right. I’ve also seen that firsthand.
So I grew up being shaped by those things; the conflicting story, the hypocrisy of our society, the duality of individuals who, at the fish fry in the evening could be hateful to those that they were good Samaritans to in the morning, and the feeling of responsibility to help change things and make them better. They’re ingrained in my psyche, a big red button that gets pushed and sets off the air raid sirens.*** They spark my interest, my sense of injustice, and make commentary necessary.
For me anyway.
* White men only, people of color and women not included.
** It was a good movie, apologies to them for not remembering the title. I’ll find it and give it special treatment down the road.
*** My kids have never heard the sirens, never had to ‘duck and cover’. I’ll write about that too.