We went with the Strasburgs to the Swiss Chalet. Remember that SNL skit with Garrett Morris, SEND US YOUR FONDUE FORKS!? Well, at the Swiss Chalet they’re still using them, and to be honest I haven’t eaten that much in a year, I mean can you say no to chocolate fondue?
And at first we covered Wyatt’s story. How Greta is torturing him, how he’s involved in this Odyssey Project, where he and his buddies are competing to build a mobile vehicle in eight minutes that will fit in two suitcases. Wyatt is nine. Don said he looked bored, so we asked him questions. Funny with little kids, you alternately tease them and ask them sincere questions. Does he have a girlfriend? What books is he reading?
And Don and I talked the obligatory music business, it’s so different talking to a promoter as opposed to a label person, it’s all about whether you can sell tickets or not.
And then we talked about revolution.
Last night Don was with a seventy year old who spoke of music’s leading role in the youthquake of the sixties. The question is, can it happen again?
First is the threshold question, do you want a revolution?
I do. I’m willing to sacrifice, I want change, the end of income inequality, opportunity for all. But I know many don’t agree with me. On both the left and the right. Unlike in my formative years, wealth is no longer inherited, it’s made. And people worked really damn hard to make it, and they have contempt for those who did not. This is a gigantic problem. Along with the fact that no one involved in the 2008 Wall Street crash went to jail. They jailed the bankers in Iceland and the country rebounded. Here, the aftermath of the crash lingers on.
And then there are the people who like things the way they are. I’m confounded. I remember when skiing was a middle class sport. But a lift ticket at Vail this week is $209, and I got on the lift with a class of youngsters all decked out in Bogner and Moncler, and as Jenny said about Wyatt, they outgrow this stuff in a year. But most people have never flown private, they’ve got no idea how the rich really live.
So I ask you once again, do you want a revolution?
You could lose out. What comes first, your job or what’s right?
But assuming you want a revolution, what is the trigger?
Don said it would be like Kent State, some trigger-happy person shooting David Hogg and some other anti-gun protesters.
I’m not sure that would do it, horrible, of course, but would there be a national uproar?
I thought it would be when they got rid of abortion, but it’s nearly impossible to get an abortion in certain states today and there’s been no conflagration, so I don’t think that will be it. Which begs the question, can anything trigger a revolution in America?
Don talked about the environment. But we’ve had hurricanes and fires, and still there’s been no revolution.
And in the sixties, everybody under twenty five was a Democrat, and that’s no longer true.
And all males were afraid of getting their ass shot off in Vietnam, there is no draft today.
Then again we had leaders.
We’ve got no leaders today.
We’ve got brands, that’s the goal of seemingly all youngsters, to capitalize on their “talent” and fame to make money. As for saying no, I never hear that word, no one leaves money on the table.
Then I thought of the Arab Spring, how an overeducated fruit vendor reached his limit, was willing to sacrifice. Is that how it’s gonna happen here?
And then we get back to leaders. You literally put a target on your back, Abraham, Martin and John were shot. Are you willing to risk death?
And if you raise your head above, believe me you get feedback, hate mail, you become an instant pariah. I know, I experience it every day, I’m gonna get it in response to this diatribe. People don’t want you to speak your truth, especially if it’s not theirs. Everybody wants you to stay in your own lane, but this is not how history works.
Martin Luther King was a preacher, but he became a civil rights leader. And fifty years later despite his lionization, there’s still hatred, states that won’t make his birthday a holiday.
Everybody’s trying to pull you down into the hole they’re in.
That’s a paraphrase of a line in Bob Dylan’s “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding).” Dylan got so frustrated, watch “Don’t Look Back,” that he removed himself from the dialogue.
Then again, the leaders of the sixties revolution were middle class, educated. Whereas today the middle class is shrinking, and everybody’s worried about economics, whether they can eat and have a roof over their head. You could have a minimum wage job and make it back then, now you can’t.
And there are a lot of issues. Shouldn’t health care be a right? The newspapers are debating whether outsiders should get into Harvard. Those in the upper class who’ve sent their kids to private schools don’t want this. So is it class warfare or ideological warfare or…
And Don said the revolution won’t come from pop music.
And I agree. And I also don’t know if the revolution can come from music at all, it’s not the sixties with the advent of the Beatles and the addiction to radio. But even more it’s values, doing what is right is less important than doing what will fatten your wallet.
And I can’t say that we came to any conclusions. Turns out we all want change, we’re all up for revolution, but we could not figure out what the hot button issue would be and who would trigger it.
And maybe we’re too far gone. Have you been reading about that book “How Democracies Die”? We’re on the road to destruction, first and foremost the leader minimizes the media, labels it untrustworthy and demands faith in himself, only he knows what’s right. And no matter what Trump does my inbox fills up with people who says he’s right and I just don’t get it. They employ expletives, they use racial and scatological epithets. They want to shut me down.
But the issue is bigger than Trump.
It’s bigger than immigration.
Or as Rodney King once said, “Can’t we just get along?”
It appears not.
Is change a-comin’?
You tell me.