Thursday, April 09, 2009
Young Natalie Merchant and the Poor at Easter
I dug a 25 year old cassette tape out of the center console of my 13 year old truck today while driving to drop a check off at my dentist. (Not quite as painful as a procedure, but a little bit cringe creating even so.) The music was fresh once more, 10,000 Maniacs "In My Tribe". My gawd, Natalie Merchant, you sound young! Through the magic of recorded media it is a young you; I guess I've lately listened only to recent renditions of your older lyricism. Of course you were young then, about twenty years old twenty five years ago. You're younger than I am so let's not reverse the math to see where we are now, but you are singing idealized lyrics, the promise of youth. Did we change the world, bend it to our better vision? Are you (are we) doing it now, with the election of Barack Obama, the popularizing of Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert and, possibly, the election of Al Franken? Along with the rise of the third world from poverty and preventable diseases? Will there be poor always, pathetically struggling? It's a good Easter question, and I'm not the only one who is asking. (See also Matthew 26:11, Deuteronomy 15:11, Mark 14:7, etc.) For now I'll listen to my youth, and to Natalie Merchant's, and to the other 10,000-plus maniacs I have known.