Tunesday: Buffalo Springfield – “For What It’s Worth”

It’s Tuesday so that means at ilisteniwatch.com, it’s Tunesday! Every Tuesday, we will share a song with you that we love and hope you will too.

Last week’s on-air shootings hit pretty close to home, happening just a few miles from the town I was spending the day attending medical check-ups. As my nurse took my vitals that morning, she mentioned she had seen it happen live. She was still shaken up, and as her voice trembled she said “You just can’t go anywhere these days.” Later, my dental hygienist would tell me the shooter was dead and that he deserved to die. “Now it’s over.”

This morning a local bank was robbed and our local news station posted updates on Facebook. I reached out and touched the hot stove by reading the comments. Racism and both sides of the gun debate were already in full force, and we only had a few lines of copy with vague details. But speculation is a wildfire.

Its exhausting how little our society allows itself to simply mourn. Tragedies happen, and we do not stand in shock. We do not stand in terror. We do not stand in sadness. We run from those emotions and jump to solve and explain the problem. Sometimes dreadful things happen, and politicizing them is not a healthy way to mourn.

Maybe the Victorians had it right – covering their mirrors and shuttering up their house and stopping everything to attend the dead for days. They wore black and observed macabre superstitions. At the very least, in my opinion, they were closer to “right” than we are, even if they went a little too far. Even in our personal lives, we lose someone to even natural circumstances, and we hurry up to get arrangements in order and rush to get back to normal.

And I guess somewhat serendipitously as I watched that bank robbery unfold, Buffalo Springfield came on Spotify. It’s a song I have heard a million times, but this morning the lyrics were finally clear.

There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side

Damn. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I don’t think that collectively we will change any time soon. But that won’t stop me from stopping. It won’t stop me from listening. From watching.

Read more from Amanda here and on Twitter: @aaahmanda.