Saturday, September 27, 2008

Politics


Valerie and I decided to stay home and watch the debates last night. Man, what a good excuse to get drunk! It’s funny how perceptions differ among folks. Your candidate always seems to come out ahead. I started thinking about my political experiences through the years.

I remember Nixon being sick during his debate with Kennedy. He refused makeup. Everyone watching on TV thought his sweating made him look untrustworthy. I read the radio audience thought he won the debate.

My first memory of TV was Ike’s bald head filling our little screen. I like to think it was the famous “Military Industrial Complex” speech. You could almost forgive him for Iran and backing the French in Viet Nam.

The next thing I remember on TV was John John saluting six white horses pulling his dad’s flag draped coffin down Connecticut Avenue.

I grew up hating Johnson for Viet Nam even though his “Great Society” agenda did so much for civil rights. I still appreciate Lady Bird’s flowers along the highway.

Nixon was always a crook. My mom was a lefty from way back. My dad voted for Nixon. He would later admit he’d made a mistake.

Dominic was still living in Laclede Town in 1972. St. Louis University was our playground. It was only 2 blocks away. There was a big McGovern rally. Dom and I helped clean up the mess. For helping they let us into a rock concert they were throwing later that night. I can’t remember if we were on stage or in the front row. (Dominic help me out here). It was Taj Mahal, Genya Revan, and It’s A Beautiful Day.

By the 1976 elections they changed the voting age and I was able to. I was convinced the youth of America would change the world. It seemed so obvious that the old farts just couldn’t get along. I was very idealistic and hadn’t yet been exposed to the Young Republicans.

I voted for Eugene McCarthy. He was the first Libertarian candidate, I believe. The Libertarians hadn’t drifted to the right yet. Our band played at a fund raiser for him. It was our first show as Earwacks. It was at the “Peanut Pool”. Any Laclede Town kid will know where this was. Our drummer and Dominic’s brother Ben got his famous silver tooth here as a child. He broke his tooth at the diving board.

Carter won that year. Tracey and I went down to the riverfront to see him. They played West Side Story. I found out that was his favorite music. He won me over immediately. Jimmy kept saying, “I wantcha all to hep me now, hep me now!” He had that great Georgia drawl.

Needless to say when I voted for him the next time around he lost. My vote had become the kiss of death. I didn’t vote for a winner until Clinton. I was almost proud of that fact. I had become so cynical about the American voting public by then.

I can’t even begin to go into all the damage Reagan did that we still suffer through.

Bush was former director of the C.I.A. which made him a criminal in my mind.

I wasn’t exactly happy with Clinton but by then I realized you had to pick the lesser of 2 evils. I’ll never forget Uncle Bill saying, “My president plays the sax!”

My cynicism is greater than ever. Don’t forget to check out my political blog. I will try to keep politics out of this one in the future.

Pic by Matt Oshea of Patrick and me the middle of University City. I owned U. City back then. I’m pointing at Wuxtry Records. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

2 comments:

dominic said...

you were right about the line-up of the show. Benet, you and I were on campus at SLU at the gymnasium pool (?). we saw Catelina Johnson putting up flyers for the show and volunteered to assist placing chairs in rows. and yeah- we ended up in the front row-

Genya Ravan And Baby were loud and i thought the music sucked but she was kinda hot to me so it was okay. Taj came out with a percussionist and a National and did a set from "The Natchul Blues"- an album we had at home. Fuckin' rocked! Then IABD came out and all i remember was "White Bird" and that instrumental song that was a hit that was the theme to "The Now Explosion" TV show. David Laflame was sweating all over the place. fitting for a gymnasium.

Doggie said...

Genya Ravan was pretty. I remember she had that same shag haircut Jane Fonda had in Klute. Taj Was great and the others were just okay. Hey, we were 14 in '72!