Most evenings, my parents and I will sit down in our musky family room and entertain ourselves with a viewing of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. My dad will kick back in his blue leather man-seat with a gin martini (straight up, 2 olives) and my mom will, usually quite perky at that time of day, join me on the couch for some unwarranted footsies. Together, in our unavoidable quirkiness, we will watch. More importantly, we will enjoy each others company- making this 30 minute long period of our days a frequent, yet special, occasion.
This evening was no different than most. It was a half hour of laughs, healthy political discussion, and suggestive (or uncomfortable, it varies) glances between my parents during sexually related segments. Sometimes, I’ll put on a face expressing faux shock and/or confusion regarding Jon’s crude rhetoric during these exchanges; I only want to avoid journeying down an unrelated tangent. An unrelated tangent about vaginas.
We wrapped up our evening viewing party, and my father said the word ‘burger’.
It was on. Alone, I skipped away from home for a short, sweet ride to the burger spot down the road. Really, what seemed like a ‘food run’ to the naked eye was actually a ‘music run’ for me. This particular trip was short and sweet, so I commenced with a foolproof playlist on the ol’ Pod and bumped the Volvo all the way to dinner.
One band that bumped particularly hard this evening was The Avett Brothers, a Carolina-based rock/folk trio, whose infallible melodies and authentic voice have been melting me at the slow, yet gradual pace of a candle ever since I first discovered them for myself two years ago. Could I tell you my favorite song by this band? Sure. Just name the situation first. Because I have about 12 favorite Avett Bros. songs, one for each emotion I allow for myself to feel.
The song that transformed what I formerly designated as a ‘food run’ and then ‘music run’ in to a ‘musical brain food run’ is called “And it Spread”. It’s a dynamic, yet simple tune about loss and love, with slight drug references. However, if these references are ignored, we’re left with a love song; a damn inspiring love song, that you can listen to at the bottom of this post.
In the last few lines, he sings, “You took my hand/and held it up/and shot my arm/full of love.. And it spread/into the world”.
As I pulled out of the burger joint parking lot, I thought about the kind of person that takes all the love they have ever received, earned, or felt, and shares that love with those around them no matter what. The kind of person with see-good x-ray vision, bringing the best out of everyone, from the nasty cashier at the gas station to the hostile pastor on television. ‘What a wonderful person. Who wouldn’t like to know a full time peace-instiller?’ I thought to myself.
Then, I thought about Michele Bachmann. ‘Stop thinking about Michele Bachmann’, I snapped at myself. But alas, the woman stimulates my thought process. So I went there.
I admit that she is not responsible for nearly half of our nation’s disregard for anything but themselves. She is not to be blamed for widespread ignorance (I could never allow somebody of her caliber that much credit), just like one drop of oil in the ocean will not single-handedly end an innocent seal’s day at the beach, or a single cigarette flicked on to the pavement will not take on and intoxicate my county’s water supply using blunt force. But she spreads very deranged, smoggy misinformation, and she spreads it with vigor. Frankly, Bachmann likes a pinch of hatred on her toxic Texas toast.
Even more terrifying: People listen and repeat, as if they were taking advice from a shampoo bottle. It takes a dim person to be drawn to this hate pollution. Unfortunately, the world is full of dim people.
The hostility is baked in bulk on the radio, on the ‘internets’, and on the television, and the dimwits come to snack (we all know snacks are for sharing). Thus is the reproduction, spread, and consumption of bitter rhetoric, and the end of something beautiful and natural: harmony.
As the brothers implied so eloquently, we all need a shot of love. Do yourself and those around you some justice: Be kind. If you feel you cannot meet this request, at least listen to the music.
Still not feeling the love? Go grab a burger, trust me.