Posts Tagged ‘Ry Cooder’

Yesterday, I watched a man painfully talk about his son being shot down in the massacre at the Borderline dance club in Thousand Oaks, California. It was painful to witness the form of pure and primal grief he was expressing with his cries and his heaven-sent moans.

It was a moment that most of us hope with all our souls we would never have to share on a national platform.

He wasn’t alone. 12 died, mostly young people along with a 29-year police veteran who quickly responded to the shooting. All of their families were forced to go through that same gut wrenching agony and sense of loss.

It was the deadliest shooting in–wait for it– 12 days. 

It had been only 12 days since the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that killed 11.

I am hoping the death total from this latest shooting stands as the most for the rest of our lives. But this America so I am not confident in saying that it will even last another 12 days. I may not be exact in this figure but I believe it is reported that there have been 307 mass shootings here in the 314 days of this calendar year.

American exceptionalism, my ass.

Then I wake up this morning to see the tweet from the NRA where they tell doctors to “stay in their lane” and stop talking about gun control.

Yeah, the doctors who are often wrist deep in the blood and gore of gunshot wounds should shut their yaps and do their jobs

Patch’em up or sign the death certificates.

Perhaps they should thank the NRA for job security they provide in the form of the multitude of victims coming their way?

American exceptionalism, my ass.

I can’t offer any answers. I am just angry and tired of the carnage. And especially tired of those who say more guns are the answer and that grade school teachers and rabbis and bartenders and dishwashers and cabbies and every other person in this goddamn country should be packing sidearms.

I just know we can do better. When I think of American exceptionalism I am saying that we have that ability to rise up and do better.

That is, if we want to. And maybe we won’t have the desire and will to do something truly tangible until this scourge touches every family, every school, every church, and every public place.

Until we all experience the sheer and awful agony of that father yesterday.

Maybe then we will be better, will do what is right and necessary. Then we might be able to see ourselves as exceptional.

Until then, I say American exceptionalism, my ass.

Here’s the title song from the 1993 album Across the Borderline from Willie Nelson. I chose it because it’s a beautiful song but mainly because it contains Borderline to honor those folks who died in that club. The song was written by Ry Cooder and has a message and tone that is so pertinent for these times. The phrase broken promised land just jumps out at me.

Give a listen. Maybe tomorrow we can get back to art…


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