Lately I have been in a Billy Joel sort of mood. Specifically, the Summer, Highland Falls Billy, or the I’ve Loved These Days melancholy boozer-crooner vibe. God knows Mr. Joel has had a long and tortured career singing sentimental songs.
Whatever. Here’s to rehab, Billy — God bless.
Which is exactly the point. The first line of Summer reflects the mood: “they say that these are not the best of times, but they’re the only times I’ve ever known” as if to say – no shit. Who cares?
The music contradicts the mood of the lyrics, with a piano that rushes like a stream in which the rocks are words to move around. Here’s another great line: “we are always what our situation hands us… It’s either sadness or euphoria…so we’ll argue and we’ll compromise and realize that nothing’s ever changed.” The music is upbeat and fresh, like a spring day. The words are a sort of pleasantly dark muse about the futility of it all, it being life and love and politics and all the rest of the crap we force ourselves to care about.
That’s where I come in. I am not sure I give a damn. There’s no point to trying when the result is already decided; there’s no point in fighting if the struggle always ends in a stalemate. Give me a good loss over a tie any day, but when even the right to fail is taken away, well — what’s the point? Case in point: Republicans. I try to get mad at the greed and the corruption, the total and complete fantasy they sell — that trickle down crap and big business baloney — just as I try to care that they cling to the PR story about the House on a Hill and the Wisdom of the Founding Fathers. Here’s the truth:
-Reagan put us where we are today, with runaway deficits and a fractured nation. The house on the hill was foreclosed on.
-Jefferson didn’t get rid of his slaves because he liked having ’em. Most of the FFs were rich, pampered letches with too much time on their hands.
-The only kind of American dream your house could possibly be at the center of is the sweaty nightmare kind you’ve been having since its value tanked.
-We’ve done more bad things to other people around the world than probably anyone. In fact we treat poor people like ugly stray dogs.
Accept it. You’ll feel better, and it will make watching our current crop of losers in Washington screw up more entertaining. I see how they’re primed to drive down our credit rating, wreck the world markets and basically make us to look like the Stupid Clown of the World, and guess what?
Billy sang it best: I don’t know why I even care.