LITTLE BROWN MUSHROOM BLOG

Tired.

Posted in Flotsam by George Slade on March 16, 2010

Hey, Les.

I heard a new song on the radio this morning. It had special resonance for me; I was just about to sit down and apply for last week’s unemployment compensation. The song by Rufus Wainwright is called “Going to a Town”; the lyrics go like this:

I’m going to a town that has already been burnt down
I’m going to a place that has already been disgraced
I’m gonna see some folks who have already been let down
I’m so tired of America

I’m gonna make it up for all of The Sunday Times
I’m gonna make it up for all of the nursery rhymes
They never really seem to want to tell the truth
I’m so tired of you, America

Making my own way home, ain’t gonna be alone
I’ve got a life to lead, America
I’ve got a life to lead

Tell me, do you really think you go to hell for having loved?
Tell me, enough of thinking everything that you’ve done is good
I really need to know, after soaking the body of Jesus Christ in blood
I’m so tired of America

I really need to know
I may just never see you again, or might as well
You took advantage of a world that loved you well
I’m going to a town that has already been burnt down
I’m so tired of you, America

Making my own way home, ain’t gonna be alone
I’ve got a life to lead, America
I’ve got a life to lead
I got a soul to feed
I got a dream to heed
And that’s all I need

Making my own way home, ain’t gonna be alone
I’m going to a town
That has already been burnt down.

I have to say, by word and wan voice Rufus nailed me this morning. My applications were online, for three different positions at Wells Fargo banks; I was imagining myself a teller, a personal banker, and even an agricultural controversial claims analyst. Anything to get me out of the cave, you know. But so bloodless—no meeting with an interviewer, no soul to the exchange, which felt like filling out a marketing survey.

Am I tired of America? Yes and no. I’ve been riding the wave of economic stimulus and unemployment assistance through the duration of the jobless recovery, so I’m grateful to the America that supports its displaced members. But I’m pissed to be one of the members of a society that gives rise to arrogant megalomaniacs like Madoff and Petters, pissed to have been found guilty of my own ambitions, pissed to have been found wanting in the midst of entrepreneurial capitalism run amok. Tired of feeling at war with my world, tired of my country using war as a means of public relations. Tired of feeling alone (sorry, Rufus, that arrow missed its mark).

You?

Yrs,

7 Responses

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  1. Christian said, on March 16, 2010 at 11:41 am

    A friend recently introduced me to this amazing, moving song. For those of you who haven’t heard or experienced it:

    • osagegelder said, on March 16, 2010 at 5:46 pm

      Christian, that just blues me away. But I can’t comprehend why the French aren’t hooting in supportive derision.

      Thanks for sending this, it really put a capper on my day. Now, on to the Irish whiskey so I can be good and ready for St. Patty’s.

      OG

      • Christian said, on March 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm

        I think the French are still pissed about the whole “Freedom Fries” thing. I bet they taste better dipped in whiskey.

  2. Lester B. said, on March 16, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Dear Sage,

    Been thinking about your post all day. Angry and sad and not sure what to say. So I’ll talk about something else. The other day I heard a radio show about the Dutch poet Frank Starik and his ‘Lonely Funerals.’ It is a beautiful little piece of radio and gave me some sort of solace (in the same sort of way sad songs do):

    http://www.soundprint.org/radio/display_show/ID/808/

    Sincerely,

    Les

  3. Pete said, on March 16, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Hopefully, the world knows were bigger than Madoff and Bush and the rest of the disasters.
    Imagine if all the world knew about us was Kenny G? It’s time to evangelize the positive again..

    Bikinis, Bourbon, Miles Davis, The Williams Sisters, Cormac Mccarthy, The Art Institute of Chicago, 7 foot bongs (we invented them dammit), The Internet, The porn on the Internet, New Mexican Green Chili’s and Mattel Hot Wheels.

  4. hellomynameisart said, on March 17, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Sometimes I’m jealous of music. How can visual art make something this biting and personal? I think its the combination of the heart of the performer and the content and connection where in static art, the image is forced to be alone and quiet….Even if you don’t understand english, this song and emotion of his voice says it all.

  5. douglas said, on March 24, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    when Clinton was president, I told my siblings it was a shame they didn’t have a chance to grow up under a Raygun or a Bush, when revolt among the youth was my mainstay. They really lost out, I figure.

    bowie’s “I’m afraid of americans”
    ginsberg has a great poem “america”
    but my fave is a “revolutionary letter” by diane diprima that reads something like, “if the power of the word is anything, America….”


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