Thursday, March 30, 2006


When I was 13 years old, I would play my new Chicago V record (that's an old fashioned version of a CD, kids) over and over. It didn't take long for the impact of the lyrics to "Dialogue" Part I and Part II to sink in. Written as a back-and-forth conversation between two people--one worried and one clueless--the song reflects outlooks and attitudes prevalent in the late Vietnam War era.

Fast forward 34 years. I think I overheard a similar conversation at McDonald's just the other day...

Part I

Are you optimistic 'bout the way things are going?

No, I never ever think of it at all.

Don't you ever worry
When you see what's going down?

No, I try to mind my business,
That is, no business at all.

When it's time to function as a feeling human being
Will your Bachelor of Arts help you get by?

I hope to study further, a few more years or so;
I also hope to keep a steady high.

Will you try to change things
Use the power that you have,
The power of a million new ideas?

What is this power you speak of
And this need for things to change?
I always thought that everything was fine.

Don't you feel repression just closing in around?

No, the campus here is very, very free.

Don't it make you angry the way war is dragging on?

Well, I hope the President knows what he's into,
I don't know. I just don't know.

Don't you ever see the starvation in the city where you live--
All the needless hunger,
All the needless pain?

I haven't been there lately, the country is so fine
But my neighbors don't seem hungry 'cause
They haven't got the time.

Thank you for the talk, you know
You really eased my mind.
I was troubled by the shape of things to come.

Well, if you had my outlook
Your feelings would be numb,
You'd always think that everything was fine.

Part II

We can make it happen
We can change the world now
We can save the children
We can make it better
We can make it happen
We can save the children
We can make it happen

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