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for March 5, 2002


A Kinder, Gentler Machine Gun Hand
by Lorraine Doran

It feels like itís been a long time since the world was a such a mess, since things like military budgets were much on our minds and none of our friends could get jobs. Six months ago I was listening to a lot of Radiohead and debating whether The Strokes were anything more than regurgitated Television. (Theyíre not.) Times like these change the way I listen to music. Times like these lead music executives to believe with all their cold hearts that an all-star massacre of "Whatís Going On" is a good idea. But I digress.

The soundtrack to the war is dissatisfying. The issues we try to make academic despite our emotions about them are too complex for either raised fist patriotism or peace and love anthems. So I packed up my parents and a couple of close friends and went to the Garden to see Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

In three and a half hours, they reminded us of the continuing relevance of swords-into-plowshares sentiment ("Feed the People"). They reminded us of the short-sightedness of reacting to what we do not understand with violence and fear ("For What itís Worth"). They reminded us that, when it comes down to it, we are a bunch of innovative bad asses who will do what it takes to survive ("Letís Roll"). "Rockiní In the Free World" went on forever, as it should. It was inspiring and healing, even if many of the people screaming along with the chorus missed the rest of the words, and with them, the point.

I could not help but wonder how well we could feed the people on what we paid for tickets, on the strawberries floating in seven dollar cups of champagne. And I got really depressed when Graham Nash said that they were writing new songs so that we would have something to listen to in 20 years. But my mother was somehow able to talk her way past the guards on the floor to bring concert shirts for me and my friends and, despite the telltale reek of the place, I did not see anyone get busted.

Peace and love, people.

©2002 Lorraine Doran

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.

 







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