April 13, 2010

Diana's "Message Song."


By Wendy McHale

Coming up on the anti-climatic "Back to School" rush to buy Pencils and PC's for our children, it is difficult to ignore how the media business has written off our next generation. At this closing-ceremony weekend of summer, it bears raising how the media disrespects each of our mothers' labor day(s).

You think that I don't feel love
What I feel for you is real love
In other's eyes I see reflected
A hurt, scorned, rejected

Love Child, Diana Ross and her Supremes "message song" seems more relevant to 2009-era American culture than it was in 1969. For all that the media is "covering" the state of our cities and rural structural poverty, they keep it to an all-time minimum, lest challenge ratings, readership and viewership. They're covering it alright; covering it up. Back then, even if you couldn't see or read the news, you could hear it on the radio stations, since back then virtually every radio station were required to broadcast it.


Love child
Never meant to be
Love Child
Born in poverty
Love Child
Never meant to be
Love Child
Take a look at me

Most of what impact the depression is being covered is being focused on the "The Privileged Class", with particular emphasis on the white collar criminals. There's not that much though to report though, as compared to the 1970s. Other than Bernie Made-off's with the loot spectacle, fewer than 2 dozen financial scoundrels have been sent to prison. This is startling considering that almost 1,700 financial hotshots were sent off to be "Guests of the State" in the 1970s and 80's.

Started my life
In a old, cold, run-down tenement slum (tenement slum)
My father left he never even married mama
I shared the guilt my mama knew
So afraid that others knew I had no name

"The Pushed Class", once considered in the middle, is now taking it in the neck and choking from the policies Bush once pushed. Yes, too many spent their imaginary home equity with abandon on frivolous stuff that permeated our culture countrywide, largely due to Countrywide.


This love we're contemplatin'
Is worth the pain of waitin'
We'll only end up hatin'
The child we may be creatin'

The result is that the media is covering them even less than Bernie and his cronies. What still-employed person with any disposal income; an ever shrinking group of spenders very much of interest to the few advertisers in the market wants to watch news and programming that mirrors the chokehold the economy has them in.

Love Child
Never meant to be
Love Child
(Scorned by) Society
Love Child
Always second best
Love Child
(Different from) Different from the rest

Even if radio stations were broadcasting reality news now, "The Pushed Class" would have a hard time hearing it. It would only distract them from their new roles as Flea Market-like Entrepreneurial weekend warriors trying to lure anyone walking or driving by their lawn sale, sandwiched between the two houses on their block now empty due to foreclosures to stop and buy their toasters, microwaves or TV's for 10 cents on the dollar.


(Hold on hold on just a little bit longer) Mmmmm baby
(Hold on hold on just a little bit longer) Mmmmm baby

And then there is "The Poverty Class:; those who receive almost no "news coverage"; except of course whey they are stars on cop arrest shows; the ulimate reality show. Once upon a time the 60's generation wanted to help them lift themselves up and create a more perfect Great Society. Now the 60's generation stands for the same people who are either retired, are trying to, or are finding them in involuntarily "retired" from jobs gone Bye Bye to nowhere.

I started school
And a worn, torn dress that somebody threw out
(Somebody threw out)
I knew the way it felt to always live in doubt
To be without the simple things
So afraid my friends would see the guilt in me

Back then we saw our national war being fought and lost on TV everynight. Now we have - not one - but two wars and no one is watching them. That's because no one is covering it. For all the 1st Amendment freedom that the press enjoys, our country's founders never considered that the freedom of the press would be used as perversely as it is now. It gives the media the freedom to intentionally ignore any news which might take away from their earnings due to decreased media usage. Is it less than ironic thathate-speech programmed media found on Fox News and MSNBC generates the highest ratings.


Don't think that I don't need ya
Don't think I don't want to please ya
But no child of mine will be bearing
The name of shame I've been wearing

The Berry Gordy character, played by Jamie Foxx in the film, Dream Girls, frowned on what he called "Message Songs. It begs the question how Ross's Love Child ever got pressed on to hot vinyl and into 45 RPM-sized record sleeves. No doubt that Dream Girl's Gordy-esque Curtis Taylor, Jr. saw that the population was ready, willing and able to buy songs with a message. This generated an era of messages that gave meaning to the work that The Supremes, The Temptations and others recorded.

Love Child
Love Child
Never quite as good
Afraid, ashamed

Employed or not, many parents are now in a 24/7 ulcer-creating job state of worry and/or search for an increasingly decreased number of jobs. We can no longer afford to love our children. Certainly there's no time to. Those employed parents who hold down 2 to 3 hamburger flipper-wage-paying jobs find themselves raising children who feel never quite as good, afraid, ashamed and misunderstood.

But I'll always love you
Always love you

Michael Jackson's burial this week is a heartbreaking example of the death of bubblegum. Yet it's all the media wants us to chew on.


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