Tuning Fork or Pitch Fork?

29 Jan

As inspired, a bit, by the present trend on Facebook for us to list the albums that most influenced us in High School, but to avoid the limitation of what could best be termed as my “coming out of the musical wilderness,” I bring to you Tuning Fork or Pitch Fork.  A sometimes series about how certain songs have affected me in one way or another.  This next song comes originally from my high school years, but came to exert a lot more influence in my life in college and beyond.  

This song started as a running joke between myself and one of my closest friends in high school about water skiing.  It became an anthem for getting out of bed in the two early winter mornings of bus catching.  To say I attended high school in a town with a strong cannabis heritage is probably the nice way to put that I had a lot of classmates who fashioned themselves rastafarian inasmuch as it allowed them to not bathe and to smoke a lot of the good ganja.  Mon.

It was also the era of In Living Color, and the Jamaican family with many jobs.  We watched that show and laughed.  Mon.

And then I started studying Africana Studies in college.  And began to learn about reggae as resistance.  Its storied roots and successes in several colonial uprisings in Africa and the West Indies.  Let us not forget that it wasn’t just John and Yoko preaching about One Love, Bob was doing it too.  And let us not ever forget that religion, particularly Christianity, was one preached to peoples of color, brought here to this hemisphere to be enslaved by their white, Christian owners.  And now we see the light and won’t give up the fight.

Yesterday the United States issued its strongest anti-refugee and anti-Muslim message that it has ever done.  I know the history of my country.  I will stand on the correct side of history.  And it will not be the side that allows fear and anti-religious sentiment take control of how we behave.  Nor will I allow all that glitters to be seen as gold.  More a shade of orange that’s quite unbecoming.

Tonight I go to see the Wailers perform in my new home town.  With as much joking as I make about what is bound to accompany such a show, I also hope it reminds us that we do have the choice, daily, to make our lives heaven or hell right here in this lifetime.  Don’t let them control you.  See the light.  And stand up for your rights.


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