What’s Going On

When the world starts getting crazy, or perhaps it’s more accurate to say when I start feeling like I just can’t handle this crazy world (’cause it’s not like this level of shit isn’t happening all the time), I turn to music.

As I’ve been watching events unfold this week, I just kept thinking to myself, what’s going on? I mean, what the fuck is going on? How is this 2014? How is this the US in 2014? And this song kept starting up in my head. Is it the Vietnam War or is it Ferguson, MO? Does it matter? And how sad is it that a song written over 40 years ago is still so relevant, so needed?

I hesitated to write this though because I felt like, who really needs me commenting about this. My one small voice doesn’t count for much. But my online friends were writing about looking for good things in trying times and doing what we can to make things more positive, and about acknowledging our privilege and in doing so, maybe at the very least helping to amplify the stark differences in our worlds.

Music is always there for me to express what I can’t manage to say on my own. It brings people together and finds common ground. I can’t stand the divisiveness that’s so present today. I’m confounded by the amount of hate I see. It’s belittling and stupid for me to say, hey everyone, chill out and listen to this song.

At the same time, because music does this to me, because it has the power to change me, to educate and inspire, I am going to say, hey everyone, here’s a song I’ve been listening to lately. I’ve been crying and trying to understand how the world can be so unfair. I’ve been unable to go to sleep watching Twitter for the word on the streets. I’m listening to these lyrics, I’m listening to your voices, and I’m trying to put a little love out there to chip away at all the hate.

Father, father
We don’t need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what’s going on
What’s going on
Ya, what’s going on
Ah, what’s going on

Thanks, Marvin.


  1. My kids (and I) are aghast that this is (still) happening and this song connects today to the past in a way that only music can. Thanks.


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