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Patricia Skinner Sulpizio: We’re still living the same old song

Democratic Voices

Posted: August 2, 2010 9:07 p.m.
Updated: August 3, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

I love R&B music. I took a lot of heat for it. My friends were into rock ’n’ roll.

My son, Nick, had some making up to do. He bought me a CD from Starbucks. I know, it’s the thought that counts, but Willie Nelson’s not my cup of tea. I traded it for one called Philly Soul, happy I could share the love and knowing my husband would like it, too.

Lou grew up with the soul music culture called the Philadelphia Sound. From opposite coasts, we were two white kids who loved a music genre different from our peers.

It doesn’t matter if my old LPs are baking in my attic or chillin’ with somebody who picked them up at the Goodwill somewhere. To me, those songs are still hot.

I listened and felt goose bumps. It’s a tragedy that “Wake Up Everybody,” a 1975 hit by Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes is an anthem for 2010.

“Wake up everybody no more sleeping in bed.
No more backward thinking, time for thinking ahead.
The world has changed so very much
from what it used to be.
There’s so much hatred, war and poverty.”

Iraq, Afghanistan, Wikileaks, Vietnam, the Pentagon Papers — it’s dejà vu all over again. 

“Wake up all the teachers, time to teach a new way.
Maybe then they’ll listen to what ya have to say.
Cause they’re the ones who’s coming up and the world is in their hands.
When you teach the children, teach ’em the very best you can.”

Are we teaching California’s children the best we can by increasing University of California fees 32 percent, plus layoffs, furloughs, fewer class offerings and seven CSU fee increases in eight years?
 
“The world won’t get no better if we just let it be.
We gotta change it yeah, just you and me.
Wake up all the doctors make the old people well.
They’re the ones who suffer and who catch all the hell.
But they don’t have so very long before their Judgment Day,
So won’tcha make them happy before they pass away?”

Drug industry lobbyists influenced 2005-2006 laws that banned the federal government from negotiating Medicare drug prices and prevented cost reductions through foreign imports of prescription drugs.

“Wake up all the builders time to build a new land.
I know we can do it if we all lend a hand.
The only thing we have to do is put it in our minds
Surely things will work out. They do it every time.”

“Dependence on fossil fuels and the condition of the electrical grid is a national military, economic and climate-security threat.” — 2010 report from Military Advisory Board panel of retired two-, three- and four-star generals from all military branches.

“Why don’t somebody help the babies?”

The African AIDS epidemic has produced 14 million orphans.

“You business men, stop cheatin’!”

BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg apologized for calling Gulf residents affected by the massive oil spill “small people,” while yacht-racing CEO Tony Hayward was replaced by Robert Dudley, calling for a “scaleback” of cleanup efforts. 

“It don’t matter what race creed or color, everybody;
We need each other.”

The right wing is largely silent as President Barack Obama is depicted as Hitler, a monkey or a witch doctor. Fox News airs a manipulated video and calls Shirley Sherrod a racist.

“The world won’t get no better if we just let it be.
We need a little help.
We gotta change the world to what it used to be.
Can’t do it alone.
Get up! Wake up! Come on!
No more backward thinking. Time for thinking ahead.
I’m talking about the dope pushers, stop pushing that dope!
Well, dope users! Stop using the dope!”

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Capt. Paul Becker: “We’re having an issue with black-tar heroin, Vicodin, OxyContin. We’re seeing some overdoses in the Santa Clarita Valley.” (July 24, The Signal)

“You preachers, start preaching what you teach!
Teach the truth. Wake up!
They’re all liars, politicians. Stop lying!”

The two speakers of the House from 1996-2007 resigned in disgrace. While having an affair, Newt Gingrich pushed impeachment of President Bill Clinton. For lying and improperly using tax-exempt funds — the only time in House history a speaker was reprimanded — Gingrich was fined $300,000, the most ever.

Ethics scandals and criminal behavior of Republican representatives Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, Randy Cunningham, etc. and questions about his knowledge of Mark Foley’s transgressions prompted Speaker Dennis Hastert’s resignation.

“How long? How long?”

Thirty-five years later, we’re living the same old song. 

Patricia Skinner Sulpizio is a Valencia resident and delegate to the California Democratic Party. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. “Democratic Voices” appears Tuesdays in The Signal and rotates among several SCV Democrats.

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