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The Karaoke Played On

My mother has an opera-quality voice. No training. Two of my siblings can sing. I can’t. At all.

I positioned the karaoke machine near the television set and plugged the auxiliary cables into the back of the TV for a wider word screen. I rarely watch television, except when “researching” the inadequacies of “mainstream” mediocrity for an article. Every now and then, when I read something important on the Internet, I turn on the tube to see if anyone is addressing the issue. Usually, the answer is either an “Update” sentence beneath the blathering blahblah blahers or a no.

So, largely, the TV monitor will be an accessory for the karaoke machine that is my scream therapy. “Sing, sing a song. Sing out loud. Sing out strong.”

During the ‘90s, I was fascinated by a documentary about the Titanic. The personal stories were compelling. My favorite, because I’m a romantic, was that of Isidor and Ida Straus. They were offered a place on one of the lifeboats. Isidor refused, not wanting to take the seat where a woman or child could sit. Ida made the decision to stay with him. Survivors reported that the husband and wife sat on deckchairs. As the “unsinkable” ship sank, the band played on.

In the wake of 9/11, I became addicted to cable news. I’d enter the house after going to the grocery and turn on CNN before I put the perishables in the refrigerator. Aaron Brown spoke calmly, methodically.

Prior to the October 7, 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, I sent emails and made phone calls to Congressmen and women to voice my opposition to war, and I participated in antiwar marches in the run up to “Shock and Awe” in Iraq.

I’ve learned some lessons.

I still make a few calls and sign the occasional petition, knowing that this accomplishes little or nothing. I’m not sure why I do this.

Our planet is a whirring fan. And the shit is hitting the blades.

The man elected to polish our image and wipe away the Bush tarnish is just as corrosive as his predecessor.

Operation Enduring Freedom is Enduring Operation, the longest war in our history. War criminal Gen. Stanley McChrystal punched the we- are-winning propaganda with a little negativity and the war criminal/Nobel Peace Prize recipient sacked him in favor of war criminal Gen. David Petraeus. In other words, Obama continues to whip up a huge recipe that used to be called Death by George Bush but is, now, written on the menu as Death by Barack Obama. Pass the imperialist condiments, please. Rumor has it that Petraeus will change the current rules of engagement that are aimed at preventing civilian casualties, because these rules hinder troop efforts. In other words, McChrystal was too easy on the civilians. We’re REALLY going to see some winning of hearts and minds, now. Petraeus style.

The wholly caustic, earth-sliming catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is slamming tar balls onto the beaches of Mississippi and Florida. I’m sure Barack Obama is just as concerned about Trent Lott’s beach house as George Bush was in the aftermath of Katrina.

With no end in sight, BP’s Enduring Operation will make its way up the eastern seaboard.

The big Oil cabal is as devastating to our ecosystems as the Bankster cabal is to our economy. War is another partner in crime.

As the oil, the oil wars, and the recession/depression continue ravaging Earth, Peace of the Action will be confronting and challenging our pro-war government. So much is at stake. Like the Titanic, our ship of state is hitting a metaphorical iceberg. The lifeboats are reserved for the power elite. I’m asking myself if we’re past the point of salvaging something with which to start over. If we’re going to sink, I’ll karaoke like there’s no tomorrow. Cause there may not be.

MISSY BEATTIE is not karaoke-ing for the next two weeks. She’ll be at Peace of the Action in DC, July 4 to July 17. Contact: missybeat@aol.com

WORDS THAT STICK

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Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

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