Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall in America

On the road again... but without Jack Kerouac, or Willie Nelson, or Charles Kuralt or William Least Heat Moon.

We'll be staging our own mini-March on Washington late this week, squeezed in between the massive Mall rallies of early and late October. And if I happen to spot any Right Wing Activist Supremos, I'll be sure to spit on the sidewalk for luck--theirs, and may it be all bad.

But I prevaricate. We're really going to that muggy swampland city to attend the interment of my wife's father in Arlington National Cemetery, where a myriad fallen American soldiers lie among the headstones, row on row, marking our nation's great propensity for war. More happily, we'll also get to catch up with family and a few friends, and to sightsee the region. Besides, what else is there to do in D.C.--watch Congress acquire cash and argue through another day? (Oh, where are the filibusters of yesteryear, when Jimmy Stewart showed us what a real Senator would do?) Maybe we could catch a Redsk... oops, better not use that word, offensive to many. Hmmm... maybe we'll just paddle down the Potomac to Mt. Vernon and pretend it's all been a bad dream, and our Democracy is just beginning, with a whole Continent to explore from sea to shining sea, and a second chance at building a Land of the Free with Liberty and Justice for all...

Not likely. Our playing-for-change President has proved himself no Franklin Roosevelt, not even a George Washington, but more a, God save us, Calvin Coolidge, supposedly smart but tragically aloof, positioning himself above the fray, away from the fraying public trust, the frayed retirement savings, and the restive, frazzled citizenry--and I don't mean the shameless Supremos' "citizens" of the world (of global corporate greed, that is), but the people (yes), afraid of senseless wars and a scarily diminished future.(The amazing deja-vu-all-over-again editorial cartoons are both copyright 1994 by the great Pat Oliphant.)

Anyway, we're headed East for several days, and to fill those absent hours I'll be posting a small piece on some Jazz books for kids.

(And coming soon, when I find time to focus, a too-long-delayed tribute to a couple of tenor stalwarts, Bill Perkins and Richie Kamuca.)

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