You remember Jesus Jones? They were a one-hit wonder back when I was in college who hit with a song called “Right Here, Right Now”. It was written in the wake of Ronald Reagan’s greatest successes, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and with it, the prominence of what it symbolized, Soviet Communism.
The lyrics of that song go something like:
Bob Dylan didn’t have this to sing about
You know it feels good to be alive
I saw the decade end, when it seemed
The world could change at the blink of an eye
And if anything
Then there’s your sign of the times
One striking stanza:
The wind of change
Blows straight into the face of time
Like a stormwind that will ring the freedom bell
For peace of mind
Let your balalaika sing
What my guitar wants to say
By contrast, the other night, walking through Capitol Hill here in Denver, I passed by a car with a bumper sticker which read simply, “FUCK BUSH”.
These days we have the opportunity to irradicate organized Islamic terrorism from the earth. We have liberated 50 million Muslims and brought representative government to the region where civilization began. We clearly are at a point in history that will be judged by our progeny as definitive in the survival of that civilization.
Yet, what’s the message from pop-culture these days? It’s Green Day’s American Idiot and the Dixie Chicks telling foreign audiences they’re embarrased to share the president’s home state. A filmmaker has made himself wealthy beyond many of our imaginations on the misery and pain of his fellow countrymen (some of whom, it seems, he even manipulated to further his agenda). I’m not expecting blind obedience or mindlessly jingoistic offerings. And I’m not trying to take some sort of moralistic stance about how we need to support the current efforts.
But where did the optimism go? Why is it so hard for people who have (some legitimate) problems with some of the things we do these days to see anything positive about America and specifically her efforts to liberate societies that otherwise would be active supporters of terrorism? Why must disagreeing with the current administration translate so fluidly into believing that we’re on some sort of handbasket ride to hell? Is there truly no noble opposition left? Or have we just lost all sense of proportion in our national dialog?
Before the flames start, I’ll be the first to admit that the same thing exists on the other side. But what’s so wrong with simply saying, “Hey, nobody’s perfect. But America’s pretty damn good.”?
I’m reminded of one of my favorite lines from a movie. It was Steve Martin, to Marilu Henner in LA Story. He says “Do you have any idea how unattractive hate is?”
Does pop-culture (and the rest of the Left, for that matter) these days realize what a turn-off their pessimism is? Am I the only one who thinks we’re in pretty good shape these days? How about a little love?
These two songs both allude to sleep, in that “The children of tomorrow dream away,” and we’re “watching the world wake up from history.” Too bad so many see it all as a nightmare. Pity them.