Friday, August 1, 2008

Don't Wanna Get Political (Pt. 1): Babies

Before You Were Born - Toad the Wet Sprocket (mp3)
Sunflowers - Everclear (mp3)

Yesterday at work, I was in one of the more heavily trafficked areas of my building getting hot water for tea, when a rarely-crossed co-worker said howdy and started a conversation on scooters. This man -- we'll call him Oliver -- isn't exactly someone you'd predict was fascinated by scooters, both because of his age and general build. But the conversation was polite and pleasant enough.

The few minutes of scooter banter drifted inevitably into talk of gas prices, about which he eventually said, "I don't want to get all political, but..."

Just as the phrase "I'm not a racist, but..." guarantees that someone is about to make a racist statement, the phrase "I don't want to get all political, but..." means that the person knows you might not agree with his political opinions or leanings, so he wants you to think he's not about to say something intended to step on your toes when, in fact, he's about to say something that is utterly and completely intended to step on your fucking toes.

So he says, "I don't want to get all political, but... blah blah blah Democrats are ultimately to blame for high gas prices." Something about their refusal to regulate the oil futures market and keeping us from drilling for our country's precious bodily fluids. Geez, dunno why you added that caveat. That opinion's not remotely political.

Likewise, I don't wanna get all political, but... rabid Pro-Lifers always seem to drive me a little nuts. They're rearing their activist heads here in Chattanooga. Although I don't despise their cause, necessarily, I do loathe their particular brand of hypocrisy. But enough about them. I want to share a story from my past...

In college, I was a member of a group called Save Our Sunflowers. We fought for the rights of sunflower seeds to become what they were intended by God to become: fuckin' SUNFLOWERS, that's what! Unfortunately, thanks largely to baseball players and rednecks, an outrageous majority of these seeds are roasted, salted and eaten. Most of the 31 billion tons produced worldwide go into stomachs rather than the ground.

These precious seeds are never given the chance to cuddle up under some fertile soil or feel the moisture of rain as it seeps into the ground around them. They never get the opportunity to push their little stem out of the ground, to grow and blossom into a kickass sunflower.

So our group formed to make a change. We lobbied the school's student government and picketed outside the snack rooms and finally convinced a lot of folks to boycott sunflower seeds. To celebrate our small victory, SOS took 2,000 seeds out to this plot of land the school had set aside for a new parking lot, and we planted those wonderful little nuggets of God's creation.

When we came back three months later to see how these seeds were faring, it seems most of them never made it. Only a hundred or so ever even made it out of the ground, and all of those died shortly after. Many of us were frustrated.

We fought our asses off and risked our pride so these seeds could be placed where God intended, but apparently these seeds didn't want to live. Not badly enough to, y'know, fight for it. Not badly enough to succeed. We gave them a chance, but once we put those seeds in the ground, we have no responsibility to them whatsoever. It shouldn't be our responsibility to make sure they get sufficient water, or to see if the soil in which we planted them was remotely fertile. Besides, once they're in the ground, we don't really care about them anymore. That's someone else's problem. Those last two sentences are practically in SOS's mission statement.

And if you go asking me for money to help treat the soil they're in or to purchase some sun lamps or water for them, I'll tell you to kiss my red butt, 'cuz the government already takes enough of my cash. Our only goal was to give them a chance at life, and we did that. What they did with that chance is their problem, not ours. And, frankly, it seems they mostly just fucked it up.

Sucks for them, I say.

"Before You Were Born" is from Toad's third album, Fear, and is the single greatest song about abortion ever recorded. If that's what it's really about. "Sunflowers" is from Everclear's second album, So Much for the Afterglow. Both albums are available on iTunes or at Amazon.com's mp3 site.

1 comment:

Algerine said...

Hola,

I came across your site a few days ago. I liked some of the bands you were posting and thought I'd give you a try. After that post, you are now on my permanent list. Totally spot on!

And I still like your music choices.