Friday, July 14, 2023

#195 / Who's Driving That Taxi?

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got 'til it's gone?
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

Joni Mitchell, "Big Yellow Taxi"

A heartwarming article appeared in the June 12, 2023. edition of The New York Times. The article was titled, "Returning to the Stage, As Golden as Ever." The article reviewed the appearance of Joni Mitchell at the Gorge Amphitheater, which is located in Washington state. If you click that "Big Yellow Taxi" link, which you can find above, you'll be whisked to that stage at the Gorge Amphitheater, and will be able to watch Mitchell sing one of her most famous songs.

The review published in The Times noted that Mitchell suffered a near-fatal brain aneurysm in 2015, and that her appearance at the Gorge Amphitheater, on Saturday, June 10th, was her first ticketed live performance in more than 20 years. As I said, it was a heartwarming article. The article brought some more good news, too; namely, that Mitchell will be appearing at Newport, for a "Joni Jam," on July 28th - just a couple of weeks from now. 
Joni Mitchell is properly revered among all those who love music, and friends and I not infrequently cite to the words that she sings in "Big Yellow Taxi." If you want the complete lyrics, click that link I just gave you. The most telling of those lyrics, I think, are contained in the refrain I have placed at the top of this blog posting.
As I read about Joni's appearance at the Gorge Amphitheater, it struck me that we who love "Big Yellow Taxi," and who bemoan "the way it always seems to go," should be changing our notion of who's driving the taxi. In other words, the last line of the refrain conveniently places the fault on an unspecified "they." It's "they," not "we" who paved over paradise and put up a parking lot. At least, that's the way the song tells the story.

As I said in a blog posting on the Fourth of July, replaying a 2020 speech by Joe Biden, we need to accept our own responsibility for what happens in our world.

Don't it always seem to go......
Well, yes, it does! And just in case you haven't noticed, what's been going on, by way of paving paradise, can't go on much longer. Fires, floods, droughts, heat waves and mass extinctions make that pretty clear. Many call this "climate change." I prefer to denominate it "global warming," because the warming of the planet, thanks to human activity, is what is causing the problems. 

So, just WHO is it who has "paved paradise, and put up a parking lot?" 

WE have done it, folks. Let's be honest about that, in language that Joe Biden might use. "It's called Responsibility."

Click that link. Read that earlier blog posting, if you are not clear on the concept!

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