While eating some Zeek’s pizza and reading the local paper’s coverage of the Terry Shiavo dilemma today, I suddenly realized what the lyrics playing on the radio were saying:
No life’s worth more than any other
No sister worth less than any brother
…somebody please send us a prayer!
It’s crazy, crazy
We’re breathing in the same air
It’s crazy, crazy, crazy
Don’t tell me that you don’t care….
Well, no life’s worth more than any other, unless you’re on a feeding tube, apparently. Then your life’s just not worth saving. In this era of America’s Next Top Model and The Swan, who can bear the thought of another human being living in anything less than peak condition?
I wonder if the next reality televison series will feature some chipper show host who travels around the country putting disabled people and people with terminal conditions out of their misery. Call it, “The Terminator” or “Extreme Makeover: Death Edition.”
And, since this is an ARTS blog and not a politics blog, let’s get back to the music! Time for another round of Steve Taylor’s song “Lifeboat”, from On the Fritz:
TEACHER: Good morning, class!
CLASS: Good morning, Mrs. Aryan.
TEACHER: Today we’re going to play a game!CLASS: Yeah!
TEACHER: This game is called Lifeboat. All together…
TEACHER: Good! Lifeboat is a lesson in values clarification. Can you say values clarification?
TEACHER: Values clarification is where your little minds decide which lives are worth living and which lives are worth…ahem… not living. Now here’s how we play. A big ship just sank. There are five people on the lifeboat. But the lifeboat is only made for two. I’ll list the five people on the chalkboard, and you, class, will decide which three will be thrown overboard. Are we ready?
CLASS: Yes, Mrs. Aryan.TEACHER: Good! First, there’s an old, old crippled grandfather. Second, there’s a mentally handicapped person in a wheelchair.
ALISON: What’s mentally handicapped?
TEACHER: It means they can never be a productive members of society. Third, there’s an overweight woman on welfare, with a sniffling, whimpering baby.
MAX: Is the baby on welfare, too?
TEACHER: Let’s not push Mrs. Aryan…
SYDNEY: Who else is in the boat?
TEACHER: A young, white doctor with blue eyes and perfect teeth, and Joan Collins. Now, class, take five minutes to make your decision. … Times up! Well class?CLASS: Throw over grandpa ’cause he’s getting pretty old, Throw out the baby or we’ll all be catching it’s cold, Throw over fatty and we’ll see if she can float, Throw out the retard, and they won’t be rockin’ the boat
TEACHER: Very good! That was fun, wasn’t it?
CLASS: Yes, Mrs. Aryan.
TEACHER: For our next lesson, we’re going to do an experiment!
TEACHER: We’re going to test the law of gravity, just like Galileo, by dropping two objects out the window–one heavy and one light– to see which one hits the sidewalk first. Now what shall we use for the lighter object? I’m thinking of something small and square…
CLASS: An eraser?
TEACHER: Good! And what shall we use for the heavy object? I’m thinking of something round and bouncy… Tommy, I haven’t given you permission to leave your sea…class, the bell has not rung. What are you… oohh! Class…put me down! Put me down this instant! Ooohhh! Ooohhh!
CLASS: Throw over teacher and we’ll see if she can bounce, We’ve learned our lesson–teacher says perfection’s what counts, She’s getting old and gray and wears an ugly coat, Throw over teacher and we’ll play another game of lifeboat
Throw over grandpa ’cause he’s getting pretty old
Throw out the baby, or we’ll all be catching it’s cold
Throw over fatty and we’ll see if she can float
Throw out the retard, and they won’t be rockin’ the boat, Yeah!
Yes, I’m feeling grim. And sad.
“Be anxious for nothing,” he says, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”