I've been meaning to add a little postscript to the most recent Weekend Listomania, in which I waxed all Proustian about my first concert experience, but I've been conflicted about it because I didn't want to make a perhaps gratuitous political point.
Obviously, it's no secret that my co-bloggers and I are on the Left, but -- and I can't speak for KC or NYMary -- I for one have mostly tried to resist going all outraged and shrill here because (a) the name of the blog is PowerPop, not PissedOffLefty, and (b) I respect the feelings of one of our regular commenters, a guy who I consider to be that rarest of rare birds, i.e., a humane, principled conservative.
That said, I'm going to get on the soapbox here -- briefly.
In the story on Friday, I mentioned that I attended the concert in question in the company of my pal Richie Brenner. Richie was a big (really big) dumb (but incredibly sweet) jock who basically decided to be my bodyguard starting in 10th grade. Kept my dork self from a world of hurt, in other words. Anyway, after high school he barely managed to get accepted to some jerkwater forrestry school, but after he graduated in 1969, there was no chance he was going to be able to get into another college and a masters program, and thus continue to avoid the draft. Bottom line: Uncle Sam snapped him up immediately, he was summarily shipped off to Vietnam and within next to no time he was toast. Blown to bits at the age of 21.
Here's his entry at the Vietnam War Memorial, which, while I attend the anti-Iraq demo on the 15th, I really need to take the time to finally visit.
So what am I trying to say here, really? Simple -- that my friend Richie was, essentially, sent to his death for no more pressing reason than lousy grades.
And that if I ever hear another rightwing asshole attempt to justify that immoral, useless fucking war, and by extension Richie's death -- as our mongrel idiot never-served president attempted to do in a speech to the VFW last week -- I swear to god, I'm gonna take a hostage.