Sunday, August 29, 2004

Till Things Are Brighter 

We have to admit that in years past we have dwelled neither much nor often on the concept of synchronicity -- we could never figure out how to a) harness it, or b) bill for it -- but damn! Here's one that'd give Doc Jung himself the shiverin' willies. We had just come across the following item . . .
[T]his Tuesday the GOP and the American Gas Association, a network of 154 utility multinationals, are shamelessly trying to appropriate the singer-songwriter's legacy by hosting an exclusive "celebration" of Cash for the Republican delegation from Tennessee inside the elite corridors of Sotheby's auction house.

In response, an ad-hoc group of activists have created a website to honor Cash's memory (www.defendjohnnycash.org) and to express what is safe to say would be Cash's outrage over the Bush Administration's malign neglect of the poor in this country. Do you think Cash would be supporting the President's economic policies? How about the Iraq war? If you think the answer is "no," then come join other Johnny Cash defenders at 4:00pm (dressed in black if you'd like) on Tuesday, August 31st, at Sotheby's at 1334 York Avenue in Manhattan.

As the call to action reads: "Bring your black clothing, pompadour, guitars (real or cardboard), hair grease, singing voice, megaphones, jail-stripes, skeleton costumes, signs, art, posters, CD players, boom-boxes, musical instruments, Johnny posters and records, and, of course, your favorite political Cash lyrics as big as you can print 'em!"

Click here for more info, click here for a bio of Cash's life and click here to read some of the song lyrics that made Cash a legend.
. . . when who should pop out of our speakers but the Man in Black himself, singing a duet with Elvis Costello? A duet which, we hasten to add, could hardly be improved upon, should some enterprising DJ with a mobile sound system wish to regale our friends from the oil & gas industries as they emerged from Sotheby's onto the streets of New York:
Watch the people pass the beggar
On the street as he cries
"Pencils for a nickel"
Still they pass him by
See the rich man with all his money
Ah, but still he complains
Smell the flowing of all the whiskey
Lord, we oughta be ashamed

We oughta be ashamed
We use and abuse such a wonderful name
And the beauty all around us
From California to Maine
Oh, we think how he's mistreated
We oughta be ashamed
And think how we mistreat him
Lord, we oughta be ashamed
(That's "We Oughta Be Ashamed," a bonus cut from the Rhino release of Almost Blue, newly expanded and remastered from the previous Rykodisc newly-expanded-and-remastered version; which means we've bought the same goddam album what, four times now? Just for the pride of owning a hitherto-unreleased live cut of "Motel Matches" from 1981, in which Elvis tries and fails to suppress a belch?

On the other hand, Christ, it sure beats listening to North.)

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