We’re Overdue for a New Beginning

The whole world’s broke and it ain’t worth fixing
It’s time to start all over, make a new beginning
There’s too much pain, too much suffering
Let’s resolve to start all over make a new beginning
New Beginning/Tracy Chapman

In my haste to leave the house this morning to do some errands I could no longer put off, I forgot all about the Occupy Wall Street protest. Coming back from Vancouver Public Library, I found myself smack in the middle of it. When I get home, the first thing I do is attack my cassette collection (I’m an old fashioned girl) and look up Tracy Chapman. I know she wrote something about scrapping our world and starting over again because we can do better. I did find the song I was looking for (New Beginning) but in the process, I was reminded that many of her other songs also deal with social change and that her words, no matter what the topic, are really powerful.

The life I’ve always wanted
I guess I’ll never have
I’ll be working for someone else
Until I’m in my grave
Mountains o’ Things/Tracy Chapman

I’ve known for quite awhile now that there is something intrinsically wrong with our world, but have felt powerless to do anything about it. Standing in the midst of the crowd spilling out from the grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the chant of “We are the 99 percent” reminds me again that I always seem to be struggling. Just when I think I’m inching ahead in the financial game, I lose my job. Just when I think things are balancing out, taxes, the cost of food or my rent  goes up. Just when my faith in the powers that be are (somewhat) restored, another politician does something that’s not particularly in our best interest.

Government and big business hold the purse strings
When I worked I worked in the factories
I’m at the mercy of the world
Subcity/Tracy Chapman

There are other things about our world that bug me such as manufacturers who knowingly use harmful chemicals and substances. Why can’t they just make the product using the right ingredients? Why do we need to demand that organic practices be offered as an alternative? Why aren’t our governments doing more to make better use of all of the planet’s resources?

While they’re standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time, in the unemployment lines
Sitting around, waiting for a promotion

Don’t you know, they’re talkin’ ’bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Revolution/Tracy Chapman

The feeling that I get from watching the news is that politicians and others in power are surprised at how fast the occupy movement is spreading. They shouldn’t be. We’ve been trying to tell them for a long time now that something isn’t right but they haven’t been listening.  Standing in the midst of the huge protest crowd, I feel as though I am waking up from a hundred-year sleep.


5 comments on “We’re Overdue for a New Beginning

  1. I really liked this post. Using Tracy Chapman’s quotes–I’ve never heard of her but now am interested in hearing her music!–was a good inclusion, and quite correct. I went to the OWS protest in NYC, partially to see what the fuss was about, partially because I’d been out of a job and frustrated with the economy and job market. Although I was kind of skeptical in the sense that I’m not really sure what can be immediately done to resolve people’s anger, I 100% believe that Americans (not sure how Canadians do it) should learn that they CAN protest!

    • I enjoy Tracy’s music; just forgot about her for awhile.

      I was a kid in the 60s when the news was filled with all different kinds of riots and protests and a teen in the early 70s when the marches and protests were mostly centered around the Vietnam War. But for some reason I have never been a part of one. I think that’s what I meant by waking up – maybe protesting is just a place a start.

  2. This is really well written, Heather. I wish I was in Vancouver to join in the rallies. By chance I ended up at the Occupy support rally here and it was basically a bunch of hippies on the beach talking about Chem Trails and GMO’s in the air. I miss being at a place where political activism isn’t clouded by an entire group’s convoluted agenda. It’s like no one actually knew why they were assembling.

  3. It is little doubt that this is the best singer in the planeta! What makes a singer isn’t their vibe, it’s their voice! I don’t like when people judge singers on things that just aren’t that vital. Remember, they are entertainers, not congressmen! Let them do their stuff and enjoy the artistry!

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