CURRENTS

We've been Thinking

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angel

I've been in deep thought lately, along with my little dog Angel. We've been thinking how nice it would be to have our country back.

We know it wasn't perfect. Racism and sexism and ageism and violence were always big problems here in America, but our system held the promise of always getting better.

Angel and I just figured things would keep getting better and better.

We miss the music. We really didn't take that song seriously, the one that went "the day the music died" ...we thought it was about Roy Orbison. And we miss the art. It was awfully nice to see children painting pictures and getting serious about it and going to art school, with some of them becoming pretty fine artists.

We miss hearing Duke Ellington on the radio. Once in awhile we'd even hear Thelonious Monk. Little Angel never took to his music that much because of the dissonance, but she loved the music of Miles Davis.

Now, we only hear Miles when I play an album of his on the stereo or in the van. We get misty over Miles, missing him so.

And we want our Joni Mitchell back, the Joni that didn't have all those producers with their (poorly sequenced) synthesizers and their post-modern ideas about how she should sound. She was doing perfectly fine without those men. They obviously had all told her that she needed them to make her music, and she believed them, we suppose. Last time we saw her, she was smoking like a stack, and she had real deep wrinkles around her mouth, from sucking on those cigarettes - we guess - and real deep sad wrinkles under her tired eyes. She looked so tired. She looked so unhappy.

We hope it was just a bad day for her.

We know that many of our personal friends are suffering terribly from the balkanization of America. We try to talk about it to them but "mum's the word" as they used to say. It doesn't help to complain, we guess, but the quiet is deafening. Isn't anyone angry, like we are?

Frankly, we've worried that maybe it's just US that are feeling this way. Maybe things are just fine, and we're just suffering from a case of bad attitude.

It doesn't seem to bother anyone else that 120 men and women, on average, suicide each and every monthnew window because of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) caused by their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. They seem equally unbothered by the fact that our government doesn't seriously believe that there's a problem, or that the Veteran's Administration doesn't often take medical claims of PTSD seriously enough to warrant psychotherapy and other appropriate treatment.

And we can't figure out why people aren't hopping mad that our president was a party to the outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA operative. After all, isn't that a treasonous offense? At the very least, Angel would've spent the rest of her life in doggie jail for that. I would have gotten the chair for sure.

Over the last few decades most countries have abolished the death penalty - as a deterrent, it's useless. Amnesty International reports:

  • 64 countries that still maintain the death penalty in both law and practice
  • 90 countries have abolished it completely.
  • 11 retain it, but only for crimes committed in exceptional circumstances (such as crimes committed in time of war)
  • 32 countries maintain laws permitting the use of the death penalty for ordinary crimes, but have allowed the death penalty to fall into disuse for at least 10 years

We love the idea of America. And music and art in our schools again.

We love the idea of PEACE. We love the Dream.

We'll sleep well, then.