Out of the Woodstock Nation Closet, and into the 'Fired Up'
“Y’all fired up? Ready ta go? … Fired up?”
Call and response does energize a crowd. Obama wasn’t the first to deploy it, only the first to deploy it with such momentous success. In the unknown future of our constitutional republic, call n’ response is as here to stay as rock n’ roll. Crowds still matter, even in the cyberspace age. Acting together physically is still how the homo sapiens do it, and any ruling class of the species still takes heed.
The method of call and response and of group chanting or singing may be powerful, even dignified, as in “We Shall Overcome.” Or may be lame, even embarrassing, as in “Whadya want?”… “When d’ya want it?” and the like. People participating in call and response or in sing-along reveal things about their character: Faith? Anxiousness? Selfishness? Opportunism?
What did you experience in the character of the last throng you got next to? Mine would have sneered back at Obama’s call “Fired up?” with the response “Hell, yeah!!” And yet there was gloom. Not always competing well against the gloom were joy, faith, or any of the quite rational exuberance or lightness of being with a just cause.
C’mon! The issues may be solemn, but that’s not what we’re entitled to be. For your consideration, for your next throng — a little lightness for your jumbotron!
This was supposed to speak for itself. I told any who learned of it that they were to keep my secret, please; it’s “the teaching, not the teacher” and all that; and in times like these, any known individuals identified with it would make it possibly the less universal and certainly the less valuable. All were agreed until breakdowns within my contracted one-man cartoon shop kept delaying the “May 28th” release date until last Friday’s humble YouTube debut. Cost over-runs, uncontrollable delays, mega-budget or shoestring -- “that’s showbiz,” I guess.
No time for “word of mouth” now, they’re telling me. Be done with anonymity and take a less dignified route, lest this thing go un-noticed! (*sigh*)
The “Fired Up Fifer” in the cartoon is a little crazed, definitely a little disturbed out of his premises, just as we are. Our sing-alongs ought to reveal our joy that, out on the streets and malls, we’ve found one another — willing. The song is one you’ve known before, in a manner of speaking. So, all together now, on the chorus:
They promised guns and butter. They promised endless fun
Expand that social contract -- Provide for everyone
Which brings me to the chore of unmasking myself … and the bewildering discovery that certain of my dearest friends took one look at this cartoon and got in my face (a very approachable doofus, I), dismayed that I've gone over to the dark side! I'm generally a lover of political arguments, so with luck they keep 'em coming ... especially if it keeps our friendships alive. And I’m obliged to tell them why I oppose government providing for everyone!
“Don’t suffer fools,” you say? (A different friend told me he no longer cared to keep his own leftie friends.) Well — whoa, a short minute -- where do we cross the line? Where do we cross from the duty to be involved in how to “keep our women and children” best … and over to the entitlement not to be disturbed?