24 February 2010

Happy By Nature And Made Happy By Nature

The ink is black, the page is white
Together we learn to read and write

When I was growing up on my family's farm in the 1970's we listened to the radio alot. When I heard Three Dog Night sing the lyrics of Black and White, I thought it meant that black people and white people need each other to learn. When I heard Ricky Nelson singing "It's alright now, I've learned my lesson well: you can't please everyone so you've go to please yourself," that made sense to me. Your opinion of yourself should matter more than anyone else's. Sly and the Family Stone sang of how silly it was that "there is a yellow one that won't accept the black one that won't accept the red one that won't accept the white one." How silly is racism? As silly as so on and so on and scooby dooby dooby. Pure silliness. What makes us the kind of people that we are? Why are some people conservative and others liberal, some frugal and others generous, some trustworthy and others suspicious? I am liberal more than conservative, generous more than frugal and trustworthy more than suspicious. I'm happy to say that I inherited my views on race from Three Dog Night, Sly and the Family Stone, and a children's book about Abe Lincoln that my mom gave me on my eighth birthday. My politics are rooted in the overthrow of the British Empire by the American Revolution and Ricky Nelson, who would rather drive a truck if memories were all he had to sing about. When I was a kid I dreamed that a train drove by at night in the field across from my house, which is funny becauseI grew up in the sticks and there was no train . In my dream I would be in my room, and it would be night, and I would be considering crawling out the window, climbing down from the roof, and chasing that train across the field until I caught it going somewhere else. Like "Proud Mary" I always wanted to leave a good job in the city working for the man and hitch a ride on the riverboat Queen, washing dishes to get by. I always wished there was a river like the Mississippi nearby and I could just hop a steamboat or raft and head down the river to somewhere else. When I got a little older I read ON THE ROAD and after that I did find my car replaced the river and the train and I found a place to go. I'd get out of work as early as I could and drive three hours to see DJ and George and Eric. There was no place else I'd rather be and I was always three days late trying to make it back home. There is no common thread here other than the power of the forces that make us who we are. Whether it's running barefoot or listening to music or meeting your best friends, the forces are out there, and together we learn what life is.

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