Drive Me To The Occupation

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’
– Bob Dylan (The Times They Are A-Changin’)

 

Back when I was a teenager, I remember being eager to reach the legal age at which I could take the examination for a learner’s driving license. It wasn’t that I really thought I’d be driving, but I wanted the license just the same. It signified some rite of passage to me, I guess. License to go and be free.

A friend was kind enough to give me his copy of the ‘Driver Handbook’ published by the ‘Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ (read: road hogs) to help me study for the required exam. One of the first things I remember reading were the words “In the state of Florida, driving is a PRIVILEGE.” The words sort of jumped right off the page and blind-sided me (almost as unnerving as the way in which Florida Highway Troopers (read: stormtroopers) would suddenly appear, riding your rear bumper, their blue lights a blazing). Before even delineating how one attains this privilege, the handbook launched into a list of how said privileges could be taken away. Words like ‘suspended’, ‘revoked’ & ‘incarceration’ seemed menacing … purposely so.

I’m sure you will agree that teenagers quickly catch on to what the word privilege means, especially because they are always being threatened with having theirs taken away. It does seem fairly sadistic to teach children the value of ‘liberty’ by robbing it of them every now and then. It’s even more perverse when the exercise has less to do with education and more to do simply with authoritarian ‘control’.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Another Radio Accident – Neil Rogers (1942-2010)

Neil Rogers (R) and the “Bird” (L)

One of the opening scenes of the movie “The Boat That Rocked” is a little British boy, in 1966, going to bed listening to a little muffled portable transistor radio tucked under his pillow, enthralled to the sounds of devilish delights in the form of Rock and Roll. The scene took me way back to my youth. I could relate to a point, for somewhere … somewhere way across the pond, I too went to bed with a little transistor radio tucked under my pillow listening to the same rhythmic art of the muses that breathed life into me. However, as Judd Jugmonger might say, I didn’t know no nothin’ ’bout no devil.

Now, Anita Bryant, a former Oklahoma beauty queen and fundamentalist gay rights basher would most likely say that the devil eventually made his way to South Florida some years later and raised his ugly head in the form of Jim Morrison’s member…. which of course she never really saw, nor did anyone else for that matter. She, a spokeswoman for the Florida Citrus Commission and yelper of “breakfast without orange juice is like a day without sunshine” nevertheless, spearheaded a smear campaign and decency rally against the Lizard King. Six warrants on obscenity charges were issued for Jim Morrison. Despite a lack of evidence, a jury eventually convicted Morrison of only two misdemeanors of indecent exposure and open profanity. It was a crock; there was never any cock.

Continue reading