Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Joe the Strummer

I must confess that I have an unfair advantage over many of my fellow citizens come election day in that my designated polling place happens to be in the lobby of my apartment building. No distance to travel, no consulting a map, no mixups: just roll out of bed and pull the lever in my boxers.

Despite my cushy voting existence, today, things didn't exactly go as planned. I ended up spending an hour on a line that stretched a full city block just to get back into my lobby. The line was easily more than twice as long as 2004 - and this is New York City! Where our votes count little! And yet, there was this interminable line of people exuding a palpable excitement, if a bit dampened with a touch of groginess.

On an unrelated note, my mind kept inserting various Clash tracks into my cerebral disc player while I was waiting to vote, and I haven't been able to get the buggers out all day. Then I got to thinking that Joe Strummer would probably be smiling broadly at today's events - it's his kind of election. And that's when it dawned on me: Joe Strummer has chosen me as his vessel to communicate to the people from beyond the grave on this most joyous of days. Joe in his own words:

Midnight to six man
For the first time from Jamaica
Dillinger and Leroy Smart
Delroy Wilson, your cool operator

Ken Boothe for UK pop reggae
With backing bands sound systems
And if they've got anything to say
There's many black ears here to listen

But it was Four Tops all night with encores from stage right
Charging from the bass knives to the treble
But onstage they ain't got no roots rock rebel
Onstage they ain't got no...roots rock rebel

Dress back jump back this is a bluebeat attack
'Cos it won't get you anywhere
Fooling with your guns
The British Army is waiting out there
An' it weighs fifteen hundred tons

White youth, black youth
Better find another solution
Why not phone up Robin Hood
And ask him for some wealth distribution

Punk rockers in the UK
They won't notice anyway
They're all too busy fighting
For a good place under the lighting

The new groups are not concerned
With what there is to be learned
They got Burton suits, ha you think it's funny
Turning rebellion into money

All over people changing their votes
Along with their overcoats
If Adolf Hitler flew in today
They'd send a limousine anyway

I'm the all night drug-prowling wolf
Who looks so sick in the sun
I'm the white man in the Palais
Just lookin' for fun

I'm only looking for fun

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