CSNY’s Deja Vu Live: America Was Afraid

Listening to the CD soundtrack from the film, it’s easy to hear the conflict in the audience.  Some people walked out from halls along that tour, all the more unfortunate because suddenly CSNY was playing material they normally didn’t get around to. “What Are Their Names” done a capella with a very engaged audience singing behind them, Graham Nash’s “Military Madness” reworked for the tour (his Songs for Beginners remains, I think, one of the most underrated of albums, especially first albums), and a surfeit of Neil Young songs from Living With War, because by God this was going to be a political tour, and Young, who was filming the proceedings for Shakey Productions, saw to it. 

Unlike some people who hated the overt politics of the show, I find it brave.  Moreover, that’s what was lacking throughout the Bush kakistocracy: musicians and music sufficient to stand up to an illegal government running an illegal war.  It came late, and from what I hear, C, S, and N are glad it’s over because the crowds were, well, on the sketchy side some nights.  That’s understandable.  Still, I think that what they did took major balls and so I bought the CD today simply because I support the idea of protest, even if now it seems like the protest has won (I don’t ever quite believe that, mind).   I hope that spirit outlives us all, for the times when again it’ll become necessary. 

All the same, I hate what Fox News is doing to the idea of “loyal opposition.”  Loyalty has nothing to do with it in their case.  Is anyone walking up to them and assuring them, as happened to me on the campus of Bowling Green State University, that they are “dead fucking men/women”?  No. Instead, Bill O’Really? still sends his video goon squads after people he defines as enemies of his personal, entirely fictive state.  He played and continues to play on America’s most basic and underexamined fears, because they reflect his own and he presumes you and I share them; when he can, he cultivates fear like an Indiana farmer in the fields.  All that matters to these people is the size of their ratings.  Olbermann reports tonight that Rupert Murdoch has now lost approximately half his real worth; if it’s true that he’s transform FNC into a liberal network if it made more money, maybe this will be a test of that idea.  However that might look, we all know it’d be tawdry.  Naked liberal women reading the news? 

I think a lot of Deja Vu Live.  OK.  So the voices have aged.  So have I.  So Stephen Stills blows a couple of harmonic high spots.  So what?  It’s still fine music played by its creators.  I wish we could’ve seen Bush impeached, though.  I dream about it, not out of hatred but a straight-up desire for justice.  I want to wake up in the morning and know that Bush and Cheney and their little cabal are already awake in prison, maybe doing chores or in Bush’s case getting out of chores (he’s so like Beetle Bailey in that respect), but in any case still there, deprived of rights and voice at long fucking last. 

And they won’t be leaving.  That’s my dream.  Whether I’ll live to see it, well, I doubt that.  But I can still dream.


About johnwylam1957

I'm a poet and teacher now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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