Friday, January 18, 2013

Rufus Wainwright "Going To A Town"

(I started writing this post a long while back, but didn't finish it.  Then the election ended and it didn't make sense to post it in the quietude of the post-election season.  But with the inauguration a few days away, and folks thinking about being happy/sad about who is our President, I thought I'd complete the thought and post it) 

When we started playing this song in 2007, I wondered if we'd get any flack for it.

I ended up having an interesting and enlightening conversation with a listener, that has really colored my views of other people's views.

First, I'll point out that he was not an angry caller. He was extremely polite, holding back on any anger or frustration he felt (though it was there). And he wanted to let me know that he was, politically, on the left.

That being said, he didn't like the anti-American sentiment of the song.

"Anti-American sentiment?" I asked.

"Well, he keeps saying 'I'm so tired of you, America.'"

"What does he mean by that?"

"Well . . ."

By asking him, I'd thrown him off a little bit. I continued:

"I don't really know the lyrics. What leads up to that line?"

He didn't know.

The rest of our conversation was pleasant, brief, non-confrontational. But in short, neither of us could really say what the song is about, what Rufus was getting at, or if it were truly an anti-American song.

Here's the larger point. Larger than just music, it extends to whole belief systems.

People tend to hear the repeated chorus and then make a determination about the meaning of the song, without often without ever getting into the details of the verses.

I've just run across so many folks who, out of hand, reject The Tea Party, the Occupy Movement, Presidential candidates, environmental science, and a million other things. And their rejection is based solely on the one-sentence tag placed on these things. Or worse, they perceive that the idea is aligned with the political side they are "against," and not with the side they are "for."

And I'm not talking about stupid people. I'm talking about otherwise intelligent folks who won't entertain the notion that someone on the other side has a salient point, simply because they are on the other side. Or simply because they have heard they are on the other side.

It's discouraging when you think about it. That to make your point, you're not just having to make your point, you're having to get people to consider that they shouldn't just disagree with you because of the uniform you wear.

The political process becomes exhausting.

Rufus, I hear you. I'm tired too.

Hear the song on Youtube.

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