Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Devil You Know

(This has nothing to do with the "Profit From the Rapture" book contest in the previous entry* - but read this anyway, then scroll down and enter the contest)

I don’t listen to the radio much anymore so finding new music artists that I like has to be somewhat serendipitous. My best talent scout has gone off to college and I no longer get to suffer through her music in the car or in my house in order to find the few gems in “contemporary” music (I’m usually late to the party. By the time I asked to copy Allie’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” CD, she told me no one listens to that anymore).
I do listen to Bob and Tom in the morning to provide a little comedy stimulus and that’s where I first heard Todd Snider (who has been around a while).
They found a store with a sign that said their beer was coldest.
So they sent in Brad 'cause he looked the oldest.
He got a case of beer and a candy bar, walked over to where all the registers are
laid his fake I.D. on the counter top.
The clerk looked, and turned to look back up and stopped.
He said "Son, I ain't gonna call the cops, but I'm gonna have to keep this card"
the guys both took it pretty hard.
Not that I ever tried to buy beer when I was underage, but I, um, had a, uh, friend who did. Todd even had a song that connected to the accountant/mathematician side of my brain.
They say 92 percent of everything you learned in school was just bullshit you'll never need
84 percent of everything you got you bought to satisfy your greed
Because 90 percent of the world's population links possessions to success
Even though 80 percent of the wealthiest 1 percent of the population
Drinks to an alarming excess
Though there is somewhat of a kinship between Todd and my inner flower child,
Tree huggin’, love makin’, pro choicin', gay weddin’, widespread diggin’ hippies like me.
Skin color-blinded, conspiracy-minded, protesters of corporate greed,
We who have nothing and most likely will ‘till we all wind up locked up in jails
By conservative Christian, right wing Republican, straight, white, American males
I am a child of the 60s and Todd is much younger
My old man says the Woodstock generation
Found a way to make this nation
Open up its eyes and take a look around
And he says my generation
Ain't good for nothing
and has had quite a different lifestyle from mine.
I came in off a dead end street
Walked in slow and took a back row seat
I knew I had nothing new to say
So many people looking so burned out
I couldn't help feeling bad about just having to be there anyway

A friend of a friend from work came in
I never have known what to make of him
He'd always seemed to be so insincere to me
You know I've always been afraid of a 12 step crowd
They laugh too much and talk too loud
Like they all know where everyone should be
So when we went to his concert last night at a small theater in Covington, KY, we wondered what kind of crowd to expect. I told Karen it would probably be young, unemployed, recovering alcoholic, drug addicted, lazyass hippies.
We walked in off a Covington street, anticipating unwashed losers we’d meet, I knew we would feel so out of place. But so many people looked just like us, recovering hippies who were fifty-plus, with gray in their hair, age on their face.
Then when a friend of my in-laws came in, it made me laugh, made my head spin, this just would not seem to be where such old folks would be. I’d really picture them in the symphony crowd, where the music’s instrumental and not too loud, where blue-hairs go, not young dudes like me.
Seriously, friends of my wife's parents? at a Todd Snider concert? That was just wrong. More young people came in later. It ended up being a broad range of ages and, on the surface, not what I expected. I really wanted to ask some people if they were unemployed, recovering alcoholic drug addicts but Karen stopped me. Probably they were just former tree huggin’, peace lovin’, pot smokin’, barefootin’ folk-singin’ hippies like me.

*Mr. Snider does have a song for the Rapture

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