Mitchell’s Lyrical Enigma? ~ Sunday Songs Series

For week #35 of our Sunday Songs Series, we find Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell presenting us with a lyrical enigma. What, exactly, is her Sunny Sunday story-line all about? To be sure, when her word count is a scant 100 playing out in 2 minutes and 36 seconds, clues are few and far between.

When interviewed way back in 1994 by Tracey Macleod on BBC2 TV’s The Late Show, Mitchell did shed a bit of light…

“It’s not autobiographical. Actually it’s kind of a composite portrait. I have a friend who I paint with, who had a roommate who did this. It’s just the story of a woman waiting for some little change to give a new direction… it’s a kind of a mysterious little song. It’s also the shortest song I ever wrote.”

As is true with most noteworthy lyrics / poetry, one’s imagination does tend to roam freely. In my own case, this resulted in some scenarios that might account for someone taking potshots at a streetlight.

Might Mitchell’s pistol-packing protagonist be a…

a. militant, dark skies seeking stargazer / environmentalist battling light pollution?
b. stressed-out worker tormented by unresolved anger management issues?
c. 2nd Amendment domestic terrorist totally entrenched within America’s gun sick society?
d. misguided hero worshiper of Bonnie (Parker) and Clyde (Barrow)?

Oh btw… the comment section awaits those who’d like to express their own theories.

For those who’d like to see where our next Sunday Songs Series adventure will take us, stop back here seven days from now…

 

 

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Gun Sick America’s Nearly 200-Year-Old Unsolved Problem

On this 20th anniversary of the Columbine massacre, my thoughts go back two decades further… to that January 29, 1979 Monday when a not-so-sweet, sixteen-year-old girl [1] wielded the Christmas gift she had received from dear ol’ dad (a semi-automatic .22-caliber rifle), [2] trained its cross-hairs on San Diego’s Grover Cleveland Elementary School (located right across the street from her family’s home) and [3] fired off 30 rounds of ammunition.

By siege’s end, amongst the dead were Principal Burton Wragg and custodian Mike Schar… amongst the wounded were eight children and a policeman.

During this stand-off… no less… a San Diego Tribune reporter interviewed the shooter over the phone…  asked her why she was doing it?

Her flippant response…

“I just did it for the fun of it. I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day. I have to go now. I shot a pig, I think, and I want to shoot more. I’m having too much fun.”

Oh, btw… this shooter… sentenced 25 years to life… is up for parole this year.

Stunningly, even I can cite a gun incident… one that, c1971, went down within my own small, rural hometown High School. While our principal never made the details public, according to the student grapevine, one of our classmates had brandished a shotgun to hold nearly 30 students hostage for an entire afternoon. Fortunately, no shots were fired.

My web-search results report the deadly incidents go back… WAY. WAY BACK! Indeed, America’s gun-sick society has been the breeding ground for school shooters ever since the first known incident on November 12, 1840!

And be advised… Wikipedia freely acknowledges their lengthy list is far from complete!

That this carnage has been going down for nearly TWO FREAKIN’ CENTURIES… with no end in sight… makes American legislators’ negligence all the more egregious, shocking, appalling, horrendous, frightful, atrocious, abominable, abhorrent, outrageous; monstrous, unspeakable, unforgivable and shameful.

Forgive me for dumping practically the entire Thesaurus entry into this blog, but choosing only one of these words would not even begin to cover my sentiments when it comes down to a nearly 200 year long maiming and killing spree. Come to think about it… the 13 words I did use do not adequately do the job, either.

My God… nearly 200 years!

 

 

 

BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 1

 

Five Decembers ago on the 14th… I first learned of the Newtown, Connecticut, Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. My heart immediately sank. I could only imagine the ghastly horrors experienced by the traumatized student body and staff… how they were forced to endure watching a mentally disturbed individual so callously and casually blow away 20 young children and 6 educators.

My thoughts then turned to the grieving survivors…of how the families and friends of these victims would be undergoing a mourning process, made even more unbearable because of the close proximity of Christmas… a holiday that is all about families and friends.

In the days to follow, with the crime scene tape still fluttering in death’s icy wind, I naively thought…

Newtown has got to be the very tragedy that’s sure to trigger an open, honest discussion about gun control… one, which will break down that wildly partisan, stone-hearted, stone-headed Republican stonewall. What Republican would not FIRST see this as America’s wake-up call and NEXT be as publicly and visibly moved… perhaps even to the point of fighting back their own tears… the same way President Barack Obama had had to do.

Death is tough enough to accept but that gets compounded a zillionfold when we consider how 20 of the victims were innocent school kids… children who had not yet lived long enough to have seen more than 6 or 7 lit candles on their birthday cakes… how they’d been denied all the good things life has to offer… growing up, discovering their innate talents, joining our workaday world, falling in love, marrying and watching their own kids growing up.

This Christmas morn, I dusted off my family photo album to leaf through its old-school, black construction paper pages… to fondly reminisce over two Christmases past… the very years when I, too, had been age 6 and 7. Yep, there was my all-caught-up-in-the-holiday-spirit, younger self… my ear to ear grins, eyes wide with wonderment. Yeah… those had been the cherished Christmas mornings that, within my memory, have lasted all my life. I could feel my present day face recreating those same smiles… but not for long.

My thoughts now turn to this morning… to Newtown’s surviving, still mourning parents… of how their own photo albums have wound up with missing of photos, empty black pages… and will continue to do so.

December 14, 2017 came and went without so much as even one whisper of the Sandy Hook massacre by the new, so-called prez. To these survivors he would not even be deadpanning or Tweeting one of his patent pending, insincere, robotic, braindead, “You are in our thoughts and prayers.”

Far worse… well… let’s now quote Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son, Dylan, died at Sandy Hook Elementary School. From her Facebook post, which went viral… she justifiably lambastes Donald Trump…

 

“Not only did he ignore the five-year remembrance completely ― not even a single tweet ― he slapped us all in the face by having none other than NRA President Wayne LaPierre at his White House Christmas party that night. The appalling lack of humanity and decency has not gone unnoticed. While they ignorantly partied and remained uninformed on an issue that kills thousands of Americans every year, I was crying myself to sleep. While they got the chance to kiss their children goodnight, I kissed the urn holding my beautiful boy’s ashes.”

 

To be sure, the alleged prez has no need to fight off tears… for he has none to fight. True, his handler, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would likely spin this with her snotty, smarmy and sycophantic, Geeze what the hell is the big deal? What do ya want… blood? After all, this shooting incident did occur five long years ago.

To any such bullcrap, I’d counter…

 

“Oh yeah? Then how come I saw my eyes welling up this morning?”

 

During this new DC regime’s first year, we’ve seen even more massacres… to name two… Las Vegas and Texas… the latter one involving a church… A CHURCH FOR CHRIST’S SAKE! Yet, even mass murder’s blood stained, stained glass locales have yet to trigger that sorely needed, open, honest discussion about gun control… have failed to prod the infantile minded powers-that-be to take even the first baby steps towards keeping guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people… to cure American society of its gun sickness.

I realize my tough talk may’ve bummed some folks out this holiday morn. But… long sigh… any momentary depression I may’ve caused you would pale in comparison to the lifetime of grief and sorrow which the Sandy Hook massacre survivors will be forced to endure. If there are any doubters amongst my readers, just scroll up to re-read Nicole Hockley’s eloquently stated, spot-on words.

We must never forget there are countless survivors of countless other mass shootings, too. And what about those shootings that fly under the media radar because of what? Too few deaths? As if what? One person dying isn’t enough to warrant coverage? Folks, the day society becomes jaded to the point where every such death does not move us… well… long sigh… that is the death of said, sad society.

Getting back to the music… I fully and freely admit that my featured Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas Song #1, Christmas In Heaven, is not the feel good music that will paint smiles on the faces of decent folks… but until indecent, NRA propped up politicians are cured of their sociopathy, corruption, avarice, lust for power and gun sickness… we really don’t have much to smile about… now do we?

 

Read related article HERE