Tuesday, September 6, 2016
that's all right
Do things get better, in the world? Or do they get worse?
Were things better, "back in the day," when President Reagan and the Democrats could get along, and help each other?
On the page before the Table of Contents in Larry Sabato's The Kennedy Half-Century, there's a quotation printed:
There is no present or future, only the past, happening over and over again, now.
-- Eugene O'Neill, Irish American playwright
Now, that sounds good, if what we mean by "good" is, "Well if it's bleak and melancholy that means it's deep"...notwithstanding O'Neill is pretty much known, or assumed, to have suffered some kind of undiagnosed or untreated depression ...
I guess in that quote Eugene O'Neill isn't saying things get better, or worse, he's staying it's same stuff over and over...
In the documentary Greenwich Village: Music That Defined A Generation, Richie Havens discusses folk music and he says, "Listening to these songs written in the 1800s and early 1900s, I came to the conclusion, that the world hasn't changed very much. Wow! It's true! Even in song, they sing the same problems that we're singing now!"
What he was listening to was the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music, which was where 1960s musicians, from Harry Chapin to the Grateful Dead, learned songs, starting out.
I insist humanity does make progress -- things do get better. (Now we have Smart Phones!) -- just kidding...
Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
-- John F. Kennedy
JFK smoking in black tie
Richie Havens playing at Woodstock