Friday, May 04, 2007

We're Finally on our Own

It happened 37 years ago today. National guradsmen opened fire on protesting students on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio and by the time the smoke had cleared, four students were dead.

I would say something platitudinous about how that sort of thing won't happen again, but then again:

Virginia Tech + what happened in MacArthur Park this week x what happened elsewhere in LA yesterday, with Iraq as X xY= Sure, it could happen again.

But one thing probably won't happen again: we won't get a song like "Ohio."

In the aftermath, Neil Young and the other members of C,S,N&Y came out of the woods with song in hand, and what a song. In my mind, the angriest pop song ever recorded, and with pretty good reason: The Summer of Love haze had lifted from everyone's eyes by that time, the decade had turned, and there was the US, still locked into a stupid war a world away. And now the "Tin soldiers" are here, doing Nixon's bidding on campus, when "We're finally" supposed to be "on our own."

This litle nugget from YouTube does a pretty good job with the scattershot-chronology of the lyric to "Ohio," but it's the famous image the filmmaker weds to the line "What if you knew her and/Found her dead on the ground" that gets me. I bet you can't watch it and not get pissed off. At least a little.


At 9:47 AM, Blogger Stuart Shea said...

Amen on your post. Horrifying time, great record.


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