The view from my window. That store in the middle is Linda Thai - they have great food.
It’s a beautiful, autumn day in Hollywood. I’m sitting in my underwear at my open French doors which overlook my bustling community and writing this sentence. Well, I was. Now I’m writing this sentence.
Suddenly, I begin a new paragraph and with it, a faint sense of dread seeps in, because I realize I’m writing about writing, and there’s only so long that that is cute. It could quickly descend into obnoxiousness.
So I choose to focus on your face. Your sweet, shining face reading this blog entry. I can feel your eyes gaze on these words, and my heart grows warm. A little too warm. This is uncomfortable, actually.
I think I might be having a heart attack.
Which reminds me of that age-old question: What music would you like to be listening to when you’re experiencing myocardial infarction (or, as they call it on the East Coast, Hellmann’s)?
It’s a tricky question because you want something that will keep your spirits up as you endure the occlusion of your coronary artery following the rupture of a vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque, but you don’t want anything too loud and jarring when an unstable collection of lipids and macrophages ruptures the wall of your artery. Plus, it should be catchy. Anything that meanders like, say, late Scott Walker or Laura Nyro is going to annoy your nurses every time. Nurses hate Laura Nyro when they’re working. Also they don’t like it when you call them “mommy”.
“My pain scale is a 5, Mommy,” is all you have to say and they’ll shoot you a look so cold you’d think you were in the E.R. for hypothermia. It doesn’t matter that you’re trying to make things more cozy and homey. Ask them “Why are you hurting me with that needle, Mommy?” and forget about it. No good pills for you. (This is different if the nurse is male, however, in which case they not only think it’s cute that you call them “mommy” but will often scribble their personal home phone number on your electrocardiogram.)
The results come back and you learn that it wasn’t a heart attack at all, rather, your heart just broke a little bit. It broke a little bit because California, the state you’re so proud of (normally) and which has for so long been on the cutting edge of liberty (normally) has decided to pass Proposition 8, which basically lets me know how the majority of voters think about my sexuality (abnormally).
The pain is compounded when you learn that the success of this measure was due in no small part to the Mormons and the African-American community. But I guess that’s to be expected, since neither group really knows or understands what it’s like to be an oppressed minority, right?
The new home of California politics: Salt Lake Temple, Utah
But this is a music blog, not the Huffington Post, so I’m going to separate myself from this issue which is HURTING ME SO VERY, VERY DEEPLY and concentrate on the music I’ve been listening to since Election Day, 2008.
Each selection appeals to me because it reminds me of people who have lived through harder times than myself. People who bore the brunt of tremendous injustice and still managed to create music ripe with dignity, intelligence, and unvanquished spirit. When I hear the selections below, I regain a sense of will and courage that must see me through until I am no longer an object of HATE simply because of who I choose to LOVE.
Nina Simone Pirate Jenny
Paul Robeson Ol' Man River
(with alternate lyrics by Paul Robeson)
Ludwig Van Beethoven Symphony No. 3
conducted by Herbert Von Karajan
conducted by Herbert Von Karajan