I do a lot of my writing to Dave Matthews Band. That and Bach (The Well-Tempered Clavier ROCKS!). I don’t know why and I don’t even know if I hear the music anymore. I’ve never written about this because it’s never been germane. But there’s a song on the new album—fabulous album if you're into this kind of thing—that haunts me and relates directly to what I say pretty much anytime anyone lets me stand up before an audience:
1. We have to PAY ATTENTION to what we are doing to the earth BECAUSE:
2. If we fuck it up, we’re going to have SHITTY food.
3. And having SHITTY food is: No. FUN!
There are other reasons for not fucking up the earth, of course, but right now I’m taking a Dr. Seuss approach: There's fun to be done, and fun is good.
So, I’m working, clicking away on the keyboard and not listening to this song, "Dive In," which opens with a guy on the side of the road holding a sign “Will Work For Food.” The narrator, stuck in his car at a red light sees the guy with the sign, tries to look busy. (Why? You know exactly why.)
Next scene, the guy’s watching TV, a bear, big old scary polar bear looking sad because all his pals are drowning because all the ice is melting.
But I kind of fade out of the lyrics and into the easy upbeat groove of the happy song….
"Wake up sleepy head, I think the sun's a little brighter today, la la la…summer’s here to stay…la la…smile and watch the icicles melt…la la la...."
My pal DL told me I needed to pay attention to the words. "Mike, pay attention."
How long did it take me to connect the guy in the car (me), ignoring someone who’s hungry, to that same guy (me) watching TEEvee and not paying attention to the drowning bears.
I’m just saying. It’s a good song. There’s no single answer. Everyone answers it their own way. But one thing’s certain, there’s no non-answer. You can’t not answer. You can try to look busy till the light turns green (but here, nothing nothing is something).
No, but seriously, smile! Everything will be all right if you just hope for it enough, and of course, as we know, the qualified people will take care of everything. (Health care, for example.)
What’s so brilliant about the song is that the tune is completely out of line with message of the song.
[i used to have the song embedded here, but it started playing automatically when people using chrome browser came to this site.]
Smile and watch the icicles melt...
Summer’s here to stay
And that sweet summer breeze will blow forever.
On the other hand, I've never been able to forget George Carlin; his words ring in my head: "The Earth is gonna shake us off like a bad case of fleas."