Wednesday, September 30, 2020

I Am Woman, but Baby, Don't Get Hooked

I was saddened to hear about the death of Helen Reddy, even though I never owned an album of hers.  I loved the iconic song, "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar."  I feel like I spent much of my childhood in the 70's with that song in the background. I feel like I should have more to say about her, about her music, about the fact that she died on the same day we had the worst presidential debate ever--but I don't.

I did not watch the debates.  I rarely do.  By the time the debates come in the life of the political cycle, I already know how I will vote, so there's not much motivation for me to stay up late watching dreary policy discussions done in short bits of time.

Of course, we didn't get that experience last night--it sounds like last night's debate was even worse than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be bad.  If I wanted to hear people shouting over each other and ignoring the ways we're socialized to be civil to each other--well, I really can't imagine wanting that.

And even if I did, it's hard for me to stay up that late.  Instead of watching TV, I went for an evening swim because it's South Florida, and it's still summer down here, and I was hot.  I watched the moon rise, which was amazing.  As always, I thought, why don't I watch the moon rise more often?  Why don't I swim more often?

As I was finishing up getting ready for work, I heard that Mac Davis died yesterday too--another staple of the AM radio days of my childhood.  He's being remembered for writing songs for Elvis, including "A Little Less Conversation," one of my favorites.  But I was surprised to realize that I can still sing the refrain of "Baby, Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me" all these years since I last heard that song.

I wish I had a clever way to conclude this post, something that would link icons of 70's AM radio to last night's elderly men who want one more chance to lead.  I wish I had a stinging and original observation about women and roaring and presidential debates  and gender and the gendered ways we treat each other.

I am nostalgic for campaign seasons that made me feel hopeful.  I am missing the songs of my youth which sang about issues I couldn't comprehend.  I am feeling the need to read some William Blake or maybe some Mary Shelley and to spend the day thinking about innocence and experience and the way forward.

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