Went to see Arlo Guthrie last night. Now, I'm a fan of Arlo's. I know, all you leftits out there are probably surprised, but I'm a big fan of music from that era in general - including a lot of the war protest music and drug songs. See, stereotypes don't fit.
Arlo's show was great.
He was clearly avoiding Bashing the President, I don't know if it was because he was aware that he was smack in the middle of a "Red State" or not - but he was on a college campus so he would've been safer.
At any rate, he told this story about how he had gone over to China in the mid '80's and these Chinese kids started singing "This Land is Your Land" (for those of you who don't know, his father Woody Guthrie wrote that song). And later on Arlo was wondering why kids in China would sing that song... you know, "From California to the New York Island" -- what does that have to do with China? And he got to thinking about it and eventually had the revelation that you didn't have to go the short way.
Very astute -- Classic Arlo. Did I ever mention I'm also a big Alan Watts fan? You Lefties might be pretty surprised by that, too. It would be classic Alan, too. And I imagine Arlo's a big Alan Watts fan, too.
Then he went on to say something about people who think they're right and just do things their way regardless.... and mumbled something about the President. The closest he came to a direct verbal slur.
He followed that up by talking about how little you have to do to make a positive impact in the world (using the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors as a vehicle) and said sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do and just see what happens.
And I sez to myself, "Arlo?" (funny, me callin' myslef 'Arlo')
"Arlo, just what do you think the President is doing?"
Let's see, we've had elections in Afghanistan and Iraq, there's rumblings in Saudi Arabia about loosening the reins and moving toward a freeer society. The Lebanese have gained the kahunas to tell the Syrians to get out, Israel's getting serious about pulling out of Gaza and the Palestineans and Israelis are actually talking constructively (ok a lot of that has to do with Arafat's demise, but... )
You think maybe, just maybe Bush is on to something about Freedom/Democracy in the Middle East? Could it be? Could it be that the idea of self-determination and freedom as a possibility in the minds of the populations of middle-eastern countries might just scare the dictators into reform? I say the more the population starts to believe it is a possibility, the faster governments will change under pressure -- or just simply get toppled in revolts.
Remember Reagan the terrible war monger who didn't have a brain of his own and was simply a puppet whose strings were being pulled by other powerful evil people (sound familiar? That's what the Left likes to say about Bush, too).
Cold war is over folks. When Reagan died, the same press that insulted and villified him was all full of praise and admiration.
Sometimes, you just have to wait and see if history proves you right.