For What It’s Worth

Finally got to Georgia around lunchtime, and had a nice day with my in-laws. We brought the relentless cold with us it seems, but here it’s at least warm enough for rain. My husband and I enjoyed going out to dinner with the kids after a week apart. His father is on the mend, it seems, but broken ribs, and everything else, take a lot longer to heal at 96, so Bill may be here longer than planned.

The trip down this weekend kept us away from any of the March For Our Lives events on Saturday, but I was with the kids in spirit. Earlier today I heard Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth. That song seems relevant now, in a way that it has not been for decades. I’ve found a lot of parallels between the student protests of the 1960’s – although they were primarily on college campuses – and it was interesting to realize how much their detractors sound like ours. We really have become our parents. The causes are different, but the rigid adherence to life the way we’ve built it, and the reluctance to accept the idea of change, is very much the same. It’s important to note that Stephen Still’s 1966 musical observation that “Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong” is also true – and if that is where all of these demonstrations wind up (including this year’s science march which I am, again, attending), then the cause is largely lost. Although it’s far too early to see how the March for Our Lives movement will all play out, the simple fact is that the future does belong to this generation of students – ultimately they will be voting, fighting the system, and working within it, to build the world that they want. We, perhaps, ended up with the one we deserved. I’m hopeful that they will find a better balance. But it is an almost certainty that in 50 years, the tide will likely be turning away from them also with help a generation yet to be born, and perhaps they will find themselves equally resistant to change.

But now I have an ear worm, which I must share:

“There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side

It’s s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, now, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down”

— Stephen Stills,  “For What It’s Worth”

 

Photo of the US Capitol taken April, 2015.

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