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Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Stars are Going Out and the Stripes are Getting Bent
Today's bloggerThere is a reason I am supposed to blog on Mondays. Now it’s Thursday and I am depressed.

I already have a sense of impending doom. And I don’t mean in the next five to ten years when our environment finally bites back and the world as we know it descends into a chaotic pit of hell. When Manhattan has slipped into the ocean, the coral reefs are all dead, and the heartland resembles the Sahara. That sucks too. But I am specifically dreading this May 24, exactly 28 days from now, when An Inconvenient Truth opens in select theaters. Oh, sure, I will learn a lot. But I know I will also be melting into my seat in the dark theater, uncontrollable tears sliding down my cheeks, my chin, into the creases on my neck under my ears. I will want to crawl under that theater seat at the end and get into the fetal position, my cheek pressed against the cold concrete floor, and my hair sticking to the old soft drinks. If I stay there, perhaps reality won’t be so real. At some point, perhaps after a good stiff drink, my anguish will inevitably turn to fury. And I will eventually ride that roller coaster back down into frustration and disillusionment. Oh yes, I have a sense of impending doom.

(For the love of god, people, can’t you make her blog on Mondays?)

How are we idealists to survive it? How can we bear this knowledge and yet carry on? Is there any possibility of light or laughter in this doomed and bitter world?

Last night my husband and I went to see Ani DiFranco at Variety. She’s been off the road for a while resting her carpal tunnel and at first the absence showed. But damn, did she ever get warmed up. If you don’t know Ani, do yourself a favor and go get one of her nearly 20 studio albums. Oh, start with….Living in Clip (hmm, if you’re really mad at someone, go straight to Dilate). There are another handful of ‘Official Bootlegs’ (oxymoron?). And if you have the chance to go see this tiny, explosive woman, don’t miss it. She packs more poetry and power and politics and pain into a set than you can possibly imagine. The title of my blog is taken from her song Decree. Here are a few more of the lyrics:

and cancer, the great teacher
has been opening schools
downstream from every factory
still, everywhere fools are
squinting into microscopes
researching cells
trying to figure out a way
that we can all live in hell

well, step back, look up
you'll see i'm dimming the sun
but you won't, will you?
oh, that's a good little one

'cause daddy knows best
yes, this is the news
in 90 second segments officially produced
and aired again and again and again
by the little black and white pawns
of the network yes men
while the stars are going out
and the stripes are getting bent

You can’t imagine the way her voice drips alternately with honey when she sings about the America we all love and with poison when she sings about the forces that are trying to ruin our country, our beautiful, radical community of equals.

And yet…as my husband said as we were leaving last night…she’s giggly. Giggly? GIGGLY! Just like all of us, she often wants to get under the theater seat, but she somehow taps into joy and an unswerving patriotism that compels her to keep singing. I guess it’s optimism. Maybe it’s FIRE. In another amazing song called Fuel, she sings,

am i headed for the same brick wall
is there anything i can do about
anything at all?
except go back to that corner in manhattan
and dig deeper, dig deeper this time
down beneath the impossible pain of our history
beneath unknown bones
beneath the bedrock of the mystery
beneath the sewage systems and the path train
beneath the cobblestones and the water mains
beneath the traffic of friendships and street deals
beneath the screeching of kamikaze cab wheels
beneath everything i can think of to think about
beneath it all, beneath all get out
beneath the good and the kind and the stupid and the cruel
there's a fire just waiting for fuel

there's a fire just waiting for fuel

I hope after the movie I can find my fire and use the difficult emotions for my fuel.

I will go back to that corner in Manhattan (or Sandy Springs) and dig deeper, dig deeper this time.
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posted by Emily at 4/27/2006 11:06:00 AM


Blogger Kate said...

I saw Ani DiFranco at the Beacon Theater in NYC a couple of years ago, and was totally blown away. Love her.

Hey, let's do a YDAtl outing to see An Inconvenient Truth when it comes out. We can go as a big group and then get drinks afterward (boring non-alcoholic drinks for me...rats). We should probably get tickets as early as possible, particularly if we need a bunch of them.

4/27/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Shelby said...

Maybe we can even rally enough interest to reserve a big block in advance; I think the Dedicated Dems or maybe GfD did that recently at Landmark.

And hey, maybe we can kick it over to Carly's committee and follow it up with a their first Panel Discussion -- get a couple of experts to come have a cocktail with us and address a couple of the issues in it, tell us what we can do about it?

Call me ambitious.

4/27/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Anonymous erin said...

Totally not political, but..I completely forgot about that concert. I've seen Ani twice, and she's amazing... as a person, an activist, a musician, and just a force of nature. There's just something so hot about an assertive woman with an electric-acoustic and a penchant for brutal honesty.

5/01/2006 07:47:00 PM  

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