The candidates have not yet formally been nominated and I am already fatigued by the quadrennial excercise in slapstick that is the presidential election.
Ihe source of this indifference is not the coverage and pontificating pundits parsing a never-ending election cycle.
It’s the vacuum left by honest, intelligent discourse that has been filled by – at best – a din of white noise and – at worst – very ugly and ignorant rancor.
The older I get, the more people like Noam Chomsky and Bill Hicks make sense to me.
I’ve been considering writing in Willie Nelson this November and – damn it – I still might if for no other reason than so that I might honestly tell people that I wrote in Willie Nelson for president.
(and how cool would it be to have the Red Headed Stranger in office?)
Let’s spare ourselves the coming months of nonsense and pick a name out of a hat.
We could take the hundreds of millions of dollars – or more – that will be spent carpet bombing us with soundbites and, instead, make a giant hat into which interested citizens would put their name.
Your name is chosen, you serve a year as the leader of the free world.
Hold the drawing at halftime of the Super Bowl.
The construction of the giant hat would put innumerable people to work.
It would be a lottery where the winner would get a good-paying gig and nice package of retirement perks.
It would all be over in ten minutes, we all get on with life and it’s only slightly less silly than a mostly uninformed electorate using color-codes to choose their candidate.
(which is how Garanimals wanted us kids of the ’70s to dress)
As I don’t have luxury of a giant hat and a pool of applicants, I entered “random” into google, scanned the results for a first name, then for a last name and got Andrew Burt.
Under my proposed system, our next president might be one of several physicians from California, a marshall from Utah, a science fiction writer, or some fellow arrested for a DUI.
Sadly, with the self-serving, petty, visionless group of squabbling suits who serve our country, I’m beginning to doubt that it matters which Andrew Burt actually leads them.
Here are four somewhat random songs that caused my ears to prick up…
Bruce Springsteen – Dancing In The Dark (12-inch “Blaster Mix”)
So perhaps the protagonist of Dancing In The Dark is suffering some existential angst, but it’s also an anthemic call to action. Or that’s how the song was imprinted onto my DNA as a sixteen-year old kid when it arrived with the first weeks of summer in 1984.
I was surprised to realize that I have a copy of Arthur Baker’s 12-mix of the song. I suppose the song mortified Springsteen purists, but I heard it a lot that summer.
(I kind of dug it)
Hearing it for the first time in who knows, I still kind of dig it.
John Stewart (with Stevie Nicks) – Gold
from Bombs Away Dream Babies (1982)
Stewart, the man who wrote Daydream Believer, was joined by Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks on the timeless-sounding Gold. It’s a pretty perfect pop song.
I always pictured this song taking place on some dusty, desolate stretch of road in Arizona, so if Paloma and I ever open up a bait shop in the Southwest, I’d insist this song be on the jukebox.
Sparks and Jane Wiedlin – Cool Places
from In Outer Space (1983)
My buddy Streuss introduced us to Sparks in high school, but the duo has had little commercial success in the States aside from their collaboration with Go-Gos guitarist Jane Weidlin.
Cool Places is typically quirky Sparks and the song actually became a minor hit during the summer of ’83 when it seemed like they appeared on Solid Gold every other week to perform it.
Lick The Tins – Can’t Help Falling In Love
from Some Kind Of Wonderful soundtrack (1987)
Director John Hughes made music an intrinsic part of the fabric of his films. For the close of Some Kind Of Wonderful, he opted to have the two social misfits walk off together to the energetic, playful take on Elvis’ Can’t Help Falling In Love by the Celtic rock band Lick The Tins.