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Nice Car

June 23, 2007 pm30 8:37 pm

I am happy I gave that graduation speech. I am happy about two messages – the big obvious one about doing good, and the brief but needed one – to oppose the current war. The kids who applauded when they heard “Today our country is involved in an unjust war…” may have been applauding a political message, outside of class, for the first time in their lives (I really don’t know, just guessing). But maybe it was a little step in their maturing into politically aware adults.

I’ve got a: Nice car and troubles of my own…

Anyhow, credit in three directions:

  • First to the seniors for asking me, especially since they didn’t know what I’d say.
  • Then to math teacher / blogger Zenoferox of Halfway There, whose Memorial Day post inspired a previous draft (which focused on the Draft. Did you know that our students are registered as 1-H with Selective Service?). In the end I cut out all references to the draft (I was my father’s deferment; my cousin whose been in Vancouver for 40 years; today’s economic draft), but he set some of the tone, and just set an example of saying something that needed to be said.

(story beneath the fold —>)

Once upon a time, before my graduated seniors were born, I worked for a few months with Dave’s mother. She was smart, and liked politics, and one of her sons, she told me, played anti-intervention music and was appearing at the Knitting Factory and would I like to come. And I did.

Dave played a guitar, sort of a 60’s throwback, but mostly original songs (or old melodies with new lyrics). Satirical. And then he disappeared and came back in a suit and sunglasses, and he was George Shrub from the CIA (Committee to Intervene Anywhere). Oh, the 80’s. I remember “You can call me Ollie (Ollie), I’ll call you Bill…” to the tune of a Paul Simon song (can you guess the song? do you know who Ollie or Bill are/were?)

Anyway, that night one of the songs had a refrain that stuck in my head. And it provided a little catch for my talk. I hadn’t thought about Lippman for 20 years or so, but I googled him, found him playing the same stuff, e-mailed him, and, you got to like celebrities who answer their own e-mails — “how do you know me?” “when did you see me?” — and found the right lyrics to this thing that had been stuck in my head for two decades:

Cause I’ve got a:
Nice car and troubles of my own
And I just ain’t got the time
Somebody else’ll do it, I won’t think about it
Maybe it’ll go away

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. ms. v permalink
    June 24, 2007 pm30 9:40 pm 9:40 pm

    You can call me Al…

    Oliver North… but I don’t know Bill. I remember at the time being really pissed off that all my (PBS) television shows were canceled in favor of “the men in the green suits…” aka the Iran-Contra hearings.

    My mom protested – by herself! – when Oliver North was invited to speak at a nearby library (or university? I don’t remember, this was maybe 8 years ago now).

  2. June 25, 2007 am30 10:26 am 10:26 am

    By herself? Wow.

    Bill died, avoiding what likely would have been very embarassing testimony.

    But I’ll give someone else a chance to jump in here.

    And those favorite tv shows? Would they have been Nova? Mystery? or more like Sesame Street and Electric Company?

    (disconnected trivia – the little bridge from the beginning of Sesame Street – at least once upon a time – that bridge is in the NY Botanical Garden, here in the Bronx)

  3. August 30, 2007 pm31 2:53 pm 2:53 pm

    Bill Casey, Director of the CIA

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