Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The End of the Innocence

Had to go away (sans computer) for a few days to take care of some family business (and drive the U-Haul truck...), and then get caught back up on work.

Many thoughts that could have been blogged while I was away. I'll try to get to them.

While I was in Orange County, CA, this weekend I must have heard some Muzak playing Don Henley's song "The End of the Innocence." And as songs often do, that one started bouncing around in my head. And it struck me that this ballad of disillusionment in the late 1980s seems downright naive, given the ensuing 17 years. And that's a sad thing.
But "happily ever after" fails
And we've been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers dwell on small details
Since daddy had to fly
Given the levels of corporate and government corruption we've seen over the last decade or so, it almost makes one long for the somewhat-less-jaded 80s, if not Henley's lamented bygone innocent age.

Though as another 80s musician (Dan Fogelberg, 1981) put it:
Storybook endings never appear
They're just someone's way of leading us here
Waiting for wisdom to open the cage
We forged in the fires of the innocent age
Which finally leads me to the Dixie Chicks. I had never paid much attention to them, until they started getting all kinds of grief a couple of years ago after rather bluntly criticizing the U.S. president on the eve of the U.S. invading Iraq:
"Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas."
Frankly, I wasn't terribly impressed with the comment itself, but neither was I offended by it. Everyone is entitled both to have and to express their opinions. Now they're coming out with a new CD, featuring the song Not Ready to Make Nice that comments on their experience:

I made my bed and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets and I don'’t mind sayin’
It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

Wow. So now I'm at least impressed with both the content and the expression of the message, and I'm glad that they're standing up for their right to speak out. And I'm supporting them in substance: I just pre-ordered my first Dixie Chicks CD. And apparently I'm not the only one. The CD pre-sales on Amazon.com have been high enough to place it in the top few CDs sold in recent days/weeks.

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