Everybody look what’s goin’ down

It isn’t often I get a song stuck in my head. When I do it’s usually something dumb like the dwarves song from Snow White [Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go…] Today I have been humming dark fragments of something from the sixties as I go about my chores.

[There’s battle lines being drawn

Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong]

As I dump coffee grounds into plastic container for composting–a little trick I learned from reading liberal blogs–I think about the nice response I got from Senator Dodd’s office today–a nice thank you email with another ‘donate’ button to help him oppose FISA. Has the anti-FISA noise become just another revenue generating machine?

[Paranoia strikes deep

Into your life it will creep]

I take the container to the front door and dump the coffee grounds into the cucumber bed beside the fence. Is someone tapping my phone right now? What about all the phone calls I have gotten from friends in the middle east. Was someone listening? What might they look like? Would they be in a white panel truck?–no, that’s the movies, they would be in a gray office with optical cables running in and out. There would be some kid with pimples munching a donut and scratching as he listened to some guy in a faraway land telling me he wasn’t married yet and was I married yet?

[There’s something happening here

what it is ain’t exactly clear]

Am I doing something worth wiretapping or is my life on the wrong track? I am reminded of a pastor who was able to get a copy of the FBI record on him from back in the 60’s and was terribly disappointed to find they only had two pages. Is this blog worth surveilling?

[It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound

everybody look what’s going down]

This week Barack Obama had time to make a comment about a singer who substituted the lyrics of the “black national anthem” for the star spangled banner at the opening of a mayor’s state of the city address. But he didn’t have time to explain his changed vote on FISA, leaving three of his staff members to give on online explanation to the blogosphere instead.

When Obama’s surrogates unleashed a vicious misogynist attack machine against Hillary Clinton, Obama didn’t take any time to explain that he really thought women were important, and he wasn’t really sexist and he wanted their votes. But this week, in the wake of controversial remarks by Wesley Clark about McCains’ military service, he had plenty of time to reassure veterans: “No one should ever devalue that service, especially for the sake of a political campaign, and that goes for supporters on both sides,” Mr. Obama said. “We must always express our profound gratitude for the service of our men and women in uniform. Period. Full-stop.” Too bad Obama didn’t think it was important to make a comment like that about demeaning comments against women after one of his surrogates played rapper Jay-Z’s “99 problems” at a campaign event. Or make a statement saying the safety of all women was important after making that “typical white woman” comment where he dismissed his grandmother’s right not to be physically threatened at a bus stop because of the color of her skin.

[It starts when you’re always afraid

You step out of line, the man come and take you away]

I think of the woman in front of me at an Obama rally who screamed “Yes we can” during his speech.

Obama’s official constituent email statement about FISA says, “While I recognize that this compromise is imperfect, I will support this legislation…

Yes we can…compromise our freedoms. Yes we can…accept laws that are imperfect–and disastrous. Yes we can…enact the Bush agenda.

Oh, the song….it’s Buffalo Springfield’s “For what it’s worth” written by Stephen Stills.

[What a field day for the heat

a thousand people in the street

Singing songs and carrying signs

Mostly say, hurray for our side]

[Stop, children, what’s that sound, everybody look what’s goin down]

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3 Responses to “Everybody look what’s goin’ down”

  1. Deirdre Says:

    I found your blog through the results of a standing Google Alert I have for “Stephen Stills”, and I just want to tell you I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I hope you get paid for writing, if not here then elsewhere — you’re very good.
    Here’s to a brighter future!

    Deirdre (in San Diego, CA)

  2. Nijma Says:

    That’s truly amazing Dierdre, I didn’t think anyone would read it since I didn’t put tags on it. I was mostly thinking out loud. Thanks for the encouragement though, too many people are snarky on the internet these days.

    No I don’t get paid to write, I wish I knew how to do THAT.

    I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but it would let me do it, said I had to be a member of something called “Yahoo 360” first. But anyhow, you have inspired me to write |this post|.

  3. Verified Says:

    I found this at a late date when I too found the lyrics of that old song running through my mind and it is even more succinct now as when it was first written and then when you wrote such a well thought out piece.

    I wish for a day that such songs will only be found by those researching why the world finally found peacefull solutions to its problems and not be able to understand the why of its lyrics.


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