The Prodigy's Blog "Random Thoughts from Rambling Harbor: Jackson, Clinton, Springsteen, Not Necessarily in That Order"

April 25, 2016

Today's blog comes from one of my dad's mentors, Dan Sanders:

I came of age in the borough of Richmond, New York, better known as Staten Island. I spent my first two years of so-called higher learning at NYU on the Washington Square campus when I saw a few great shows on Broadway and Bob Dylan in the Village. Yes, I love New York. I really do. When I heard Donald Trump had won the New York primary I was incensed and outraged, not necessarily in that order, and for a moment or two I fell out of love. Then I realized the choice Republicans had was to vote for one of two evils, and the Democrats, whether it is Hillary or Bernie, will clean house in the presidential election anyway. Right on, New York!


Ok, this is not, I repeat NOT!, a put-down of Hillary. Unless Bernie wins and is hiding something, she will be the first woman president. I think she’ll do at least a good job, and in politics sometimes good is the best we can hope for. To me, she keeps sounding more and more like Bernie. I have one fear. Remembering every woman on earth wanting to look like “Jackie O,” I hope women won’t try to look like Hillary. Women, please don’t go for that short, blonde, whatever-you-call-it hairdo she has and avoid the clothes (God, do I hate tweed). I was reminded of the song “Jackie Onassis” by Human Sexual Response, and if you don't remember it or don't get the reference, find it on YouTube.


The U.S. Department of the Treasury's decision to remove Andrew Jackson from the front of the $20 bill and replace him with abolitionist Harriet Tubman is an excellent move. Andrew Jackson was a slave owner and the man who forced the relocation of the Cherokee. On that Trail of Tears, 2,000-6,000 of the 16,543 Cherokee died. I remember how happy I was when the Susan B. Anthony dollar was minted. Susan B. Anthony was a suffragist, abolitionist, author, and speaker who was the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1892 to 1900. Literally many different shapes of that coin were tried, but all were opposed by the vending machine industry, a powerful lobby affecting coin legislation (maybe we should do away with lobbyists?), but my point here is that as happy as I was about Susan B. Anthony on a coin, I am doing happy dances all around the place about the removal of Jackson from the front of the $20 bill. Unfortunately, Jackson will still be on the back of the bill, and at first that outraged and incensed me, not necessarily in that order, but then I realized it was symbolic. As farmers might say, put him on the lower twenty where he kept most of his slaves.


In a musical finale, I applaud “The Boss,” Bruce Springsteen, for cancelling his Greensboro, North Carolina, show in protest of the bathroom law, which is considered discriminatory against transgender people. In my life, I have yet to figure out what makes a true man or a true woman—in fact what makes a true human being?—but the one conclusion I have come to is that as long as no one is getting hurt, all people have a right to try and figure out who they are as a soul who walks this earth. Who am I to decide they’re wrong?


There are more random thoughts and some rock and roll news and history on the shores of Rambling Harbor. I hope you’ll join me there.