Monday, February 16, 2009
I recall as a child that my favorite pass-time at recess was swinging on the swings. Now the swing set was large and probably had twenty feet worth of chain but only the truly determined could get it to full heighth. Now there were always a few nuts who chose to get it up to speed and jump off and see how far they could fly. I was not one of these nuts as a gravel playground was not conducive to a smooth landing even though it was easier to mark the distance that way.
No, instead I took this opportunity to hold a singing contest. Imagine if you will American Idol at thirty-five miles per hour, back and forth, done by second grade kids. The entertainment value was unmeasureable and I was the only judge. More of a Randy than a Simon.
We sang popular songs of the day such as C. W. McCall's haunting tune "Convoy" which was an anti-authority song against "The Man" who was holding us back and keeping us down. Bonus points were awarded for the obligitory CB squawk.
Another popular number was Kenny Roger's "The Gambler" as all second grade kids can identify with a world-weary drunken gambler who is down on his luck. Additional points were awarded for those who could achieve the correct lilt of a rough voiced ne'er-do-well turned pro.
The true test of the contestents was Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall, part two" as by second grade, we had learned all we needed to learn and, "we don't need no thought control".
Looking back on it now, I realize that it was not so much about the singing or working out the pent-up energy of being an eight year old on a swing set. It was about trying to suss out who shared my world view of our mutual oppression, and who would have my back when the revolution came.
Perhaps we should have sang this: