May 29, 2017 – Memorial Day weekend is a good one. It comes after a long dry spell without holidays, right at the start of summer, but before the weather is hot. I’ve spent this holiday, with my one day added, cleaning my yard, cutting down a small tree that had died, and generally cleaning. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do today. I said to myself I was going to relax yesterday, but I didn’t. I cleaned the refrigerator, and believe me I really don’t like cleaning the fridge. It was out of control too, but I’ve found the best thing I can do for a budget (and I’m on one of those right now) is have an organized food selection to make food for myself. That means today is my day to do things for myself. Now what to do?
I have a confession. I’ve been quite upset by all of the deaths, the rock stars, Chris Cornell, even Greg Allman, not that I was particularly an Allman Brothers fan, but I recognize the talent, and it scares me that we are going to lose more, some I feel so personally connected to. It scares me for my dad, but then again, almost everything scares me about that. Then there’s the event that has hit me the hardest – the bombing in Manchester. Not to belabor the point, but I really felt like that was extremist judgment, a view that Ariana Grande’s tour, Dangerous Woman, named after comments made by an imprisoned female Saudi activist was inappropriate under Sharia law, for which her fans, mostly young women with Western tendencies, appearance and views, should pay the price in that judgment. And those young women were young indeed, as young as eight years. I’ve read articles supporting my thought; Rolling Stone agreed with me, a very well-written, well-reasoned article if anyone is interested. I did searches on the countries that follow Sharia law and the impact of those developments on the rights of women. There are many, too many countries if you ask me, following it. The most obvious outward effect is the outfit the women are forced to wear, but even more serious, that law deprives girls and young women of the right to education, the right to live as they would choose. They can’t even go outside without a male chaperone. And that law, in my humble opinion, and that of a female writer for Rolling Stone, is the root cause of the deaths of so many women in Manchester. What to do? Something that gets that nagging thought out of my head, or perhaps, in some way, contribute to a solution, if there is one.
In the meantime, I suppose it’s acceptable to grieve, just a bit. Last week, a few of you posted videos of Taylor Momsen singing, with her band The Pretty Reckless, the Soundgarden song, Like a Stone, her, their, tribute to Chris Cornell. Certainly, Taylor’s grief was visible there. The Pretty Reckless played in Dallas this weekend, again at a festival. That feed showed up in my YouTube suggestions this morning. She did the Chris Cornell song tribute again, this time not falling apart at the end. So we do heal, if we go on.
Likewise, Lana del Rey played a festival in the U.K. That too came up in my YouTube suggestion feed. Lana talks to the crowd between each song. She seems visibly nervous. I wondered if she was nervous for her heavily female audience or if she was just nervous because she gets nervous.
Either way, my girlies were there this weekend. Mind you, it always, and I mean always, makes me happy to see a new show by any of these women. But somehow, this weekend, with this shadow of grief I still have, listening to their voices, watching their shows, very different of course, but not so different because they both make music in their own way for themselves, really helped. It’s an example that we go on. Perhaps it’s even an example of the meaning of this weekend.
It’s Memorial Day. It’s the day we honor those who lost their lives protecting our freedoms. And in this day and time, those freedoms may just come down to the girlies. It is my wish that every girlie, every woman, every female human in every country, could have the great fun of rocking out, be it to Lana, to Taylor Momsen … to Ariana Grande. So I say a thanks to all the veterans who have served this great country, and especially those soldiers who paid the ultimate price. I give extra thanks to live in this country those veterans protected, a country that allows women the ability to be human beings, to own property, to have a business (a small sick one, but still one), to go where we want, dress how we want, rock how we want, live how we want, travel how we want, even drive a race car if we want, and be who we want. But I give an additional tribute to the female concert goers seeing a female-based concert, females who lost their lives not knowing they were, in some way, soldiers of the modern era. And I give an extra special thanks to the females out there that I follow for getting me through by example. I’ll be there again, a female in a sea of females watching a girlie concert (or so I hope if Lana ever has a show I actually hear about and can afford to go to). Let’s hope we’re always safe. And for that, because I really don’t know the solution to the absolute craziness of the world …
I hope for a better world. I hope for a world where Memorial Day is only a memory.
Cover photo: Taylor Momsen (from her Twitter account) posting from last show of tour in Dallas on 5/28/2017.
Rolling Stone article, referenced: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/why-it-matters-that-the-manchester-attack-targeted-girls-w483855