Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Hiatus

As the year draws to a close, I've been struggling with a terrible cold that has left me practically unable to speak and barely able to function. I finally broke down and went to see the doctor, hoping to get something to wipe out this crud. Fortunately, I've been able to communicate using text messages and emails.

One person with whom I've recently been in communication lives far away in England. She's someone who I had practically given up hope of speaking with again because our friendship had fallen apart along with our old punk band the Bags but I am hoping that the expression "time heals all wounds" will hold true and my old friend Patricia and I can pick up where we left off so many years ago.

Maybe it's the season or perhaps it's just the timing of this reconnection, coming as it does during the year of my 50th birthday, but it feels good to be back in touch with one of my dearest friends and someone who was once such an important part of my life. Patricia and I have lots of catching up to do and she has already sent me photos of her gorgeous daughter. It's also a remarkable coincidence that we are trading emails while I am writing about the early days of the LA punk scene and the Bags on my Violence Girl autoblogography. Patricia remembers details that I've forgotten, like why we kicked Geza X and Joe Nanini out of The Bags.

I'll be taking a break to recuperate and enjoy the holidays with my family but will be back with more episodes in the True Life Adventures of Violence Girl in 2009. Thank you all for continuing to read my blogs, your comments and words of support really keep me going. Here's hoping that 2009 will be a much better year and that time really can heal all wounds.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Panic In Detroit - Thumbs Down

In the bad old days of Imperial Rome, the fate of political prisoners and gladiators was sometimes decided by a quick poll of the citizens gathered to witness the bloody spectacles at the Coliseum. If the audience cheered loudly enough to spare the prisoner, the Emperor would raise the "thumbs up" sign, thus saving the person's life and allowing them to fight again another day. If the audience voiced their disapproval and the Emperor gave a thumbs down, well, then the lions had fresh meat.

Today, Ford, GM and Chrysler similarly find themselves exhausted, depleted and at the mercy of the people as they await a thumbs up or down in our own political Coliseum. The Big Three, who are responsible for so much damage to our country and our planet, who killed the electric car, who conspired to destroy and derail clean and cheap public transportation, who have lobbied against every effort to reduce harmful vehicle emissions and fought the mandatory implementation of safety features such as airbags and safety belts, who continued to pump out gas-guzzling Hummers and SUV's in gleeful partnership with Big Oil, who sold us exploding gas tanks on Ford Pintos in the '70's and rollover death traps in the 80's, who have fought every meaningful attempt to bring fuel efficient, clean vehicles to the marketplace are pleading for their lives.

This citizen's voice joins the chorus calling for a thumbs down resounding through the halls of Congress. Or throw them a $34 billion lifeline and see how much things will really change; corporate greed doesn't die until the corporation itself dies. It's not about individual players, it's about nameless, faceless greed that rolls on steel belted wheels in the name of shareholder value and profit. Save the planet. Let the Big Three die.

"Why don't cha take the day off and try to repair
A billion others don't seem to care
Better ideas are stuck in the mud
The motor's running on Tucker's blood
Don't let them tell you the future's electric
Cuz gasoline's not measured in metric
Thirty thousand wheels a spinnin'
And oil company faces are grinnin'
And now my hands are turning red
And I found out my baby is dead"

The Big Three Killed My Baby - The White Stripes