Henry Rollins: The Column! The Failings of Music Writers
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Saturday KCRW broadcast.]
A few nights ago, we took the tour bus into the massive parking lot of a Walmart in South Dakota to get some provisions. Whenever I go into a Walmart, I always call it "committing Walmart," but it's one place we can fit the bus easily and so, now and then, we run the gauntlet.
It was around 0230 hrs. and we were at the register. An elderly woman was bagging our goods. She good-naturedly joked with us as she rang us up. I watched her face as she spoke. I saw how tired she was, yet still so polite and friendly. It occurred to me that, after a certain age, the work smock with the name tag is an insult; I wondered if there was a humiliating factor when she put it on at the start of her shift. I also wondered why she was working at her age and at this hour. I hope it's because she wants to and not because she has to.
As I walked out of the place, I thought about how damn tough Americans are. How, no matter what, more often than not, Americans rise to the occasion and hammer away.
Just my opinion, but I don't think a woman her age should have to be that tough. What if the Constitution had an amendment addressing dignity, or perhaps a line inserted into the Preamble after the part about promoting the general welfare, addressing the defense of the elderly -- that might be cool.
It's not as if this woman was being tortured, but if this is the most technologically advanced nation in the world, the country that gave the world jazz, you would hope that we would take good care of those who have been around the track so many times.
It is autumn in America. Things are winding up as they also wind down. Finally, we are seeing some trees showing color, and the air is starting to cool. Halloween candy is on display in stores, and the nights are more crisp.
This is the America that I have to remind myself about amidst the political noise. I think it's important to pay attention on a lot of levels, but it can't be the only thing on my mind.
That being said, the ramp-up to the November election has been extremely enjoyable in all its vitriolic flailing. Well, one side is flailing; the other, in my opinion, is merely stating its case. Personally, I would rather let the music play.