Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Wisdom of Robyn

Susan and I are big fans of the veteran English psychedelic pop singer-songwriter, Robyn Hitchcock, currently resident in Nashville.  Since 1972 Hitchcock has kept us hugely entertained with his wonderful, frequently whimsical and surreal songs, and he never really drops the ball with album after album of  consistently good material.  Live, between songs he tells the strangest, tripped out stories that seem to be improvised on the spot, and they are usually hilarious.  The odd sense of humour he employs in his songwriting and stage banter is clearly displayed in his Twitter feed, with random 'nonsense' pronouncements such as:
"Music is really good fun, and some musicians even play golf.  Our cat is going to sneeze.  It's not long 'til Easter.  I like mint chocolate."
"If we were more evolved we would sorvkng dfhi cgui wotdb until we zoefmu forever."
Delightful and silly, but of late Hitchcock has felt compelled to join the billions of right-thinking individuals around the world with a stream of powerful statements about and against Donald Trump and his insane 'executive orders.'  He has just about nailed it with the following quotes, with which I will conclude this brief post.
"Either we will eventually become extinct and be replaced by cats with articulated thumbs, who have evolved the way apes slowly evolved into us, or we will become empathic and mildly telepathic.  People like Donald Trump won't happen because biologically no human will be born with that lack of empathy."
This next one is an open letter to Trump, published on certain music blogs the day after the inauguration.  It is, in my opinion, very powerful, beautifully measured, and absolutely right on:
"Yesterday the whole thinking, feeling world gave the thumbs down to Donald Trump and everything he stands for. 
What does he stand for - or stand against, more importantly?
He's against every single gain we've made as a species in the last sixty years: in racial equality, in gender parity, in sexual tolerance, in environmental awareness, and in welfare, just to start the list.  Less than a day into his presidency, he has begun to nullify and marginalize all that so many have fought for in these areas since the Civil Rights movement.
But you can't marginalize the melting ice caps, Donald, and you can't nullify people's feelings when they get sick and starve.  You can't steal a woman's body from her, or steamroller someone's sexuality.  No matter hard you legislate.
Your supporters are mostly either so wealthy that they feel immune to life and death, or so misinformed that they think losing their health care will somehow help them.  Or they just can't face a female president, for reasons of their own.  We don't understand them, and they don't understand us, frankly.  You're presiding over the United States now - a nation with a greater divide than the Rockies ever were. 
You're not alone.  Your greedy, vainglorious, vindictive nature finds its echo in Britain, Russia and other lands.  But you will never find the admiration you lack, or the respect you crave, by alienating every empathic soul on earth.  And right now you're doing just that; you may relish it, but it's not making you happy, is it?
Yesterday my old friends marched in London, my partner marched in Washington DC, and my Nashville friends and I marched here in Tennessee.  I'm proud of them all, and proud to be among them.  There was no violence - just a bunch of us across the social dial celebrating what we believe in, and celebrating each other.
You must believe in something - other than the lustre of your own gold, and hurting those who disagree with you - or am I missing the point, Donald?"