The power of music

Sunday, December 3, 2017

There seems to be a never ending parade of film stars, politicians, media personalities and other notable names being corralled into the pen with the other alleged sexual miscreants of the age. Some of the men many of us assumed were "nice guys" have now had their names tarnished by new accusations. The issue's important, but it's quite difficult to focus any eire on what seems to be an ever-expanding, scatter-shot group of individuals. Frankly, it reminded me of the lyrics to Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire." As we read or listen, we recognize only parts of the whole. We've never heard of others (I'm willing to bet most of us would have to look up the song's references to Toscanini and Pasternak) but we know the tune oh-so-well. So it made me wonder if a verse could be written to the tune of the nonlinear and somewhat non sequitur song, using only the names of the notable accused.

I found it most certainly is. Mind you many cases have yet to be proven but, for your reading rhythmic reading pleasure, the following does indeed fit the tempo and rhyme scheme of the song.

Kevin Spacey, Nick Carter, Charlie Rose, Brett Ratner

Matt Zimmerman, Steven Seagal, former judge Roy Moore

Dustin Hoffman, Richard Dreyfuss, Chris Savino, John Conyers

Harvey Weinstein, Robert Weinstein, and Jeffrey Tambor

Ben Affleck, Cosby, Matt Lauer, Lockhart Steele

Weiner, and Lasseter plus Garrison Keeler

Stephen Bittel, Franken, doc accused by Raisman.

Louis C.K., George Takei, what else do I have to say?

They didn't start the pattern

It was always out there but some people don't care

They didn't start the pattern

No, they they shouldn't try it, and it's time to right it.

It's sad there is such a long list of accusations at all and that's only the ones that rhymed and had the right number of syllables. It's sad the list keeps getting longer. It's sad the faces and names we all thought of as essential Americana were never the wholesome figureheads we would have preferred them to be. The names may be new but the overall issue is wearing thin in my mind. People in positions of power shouldn't use their seat to advance on their subordinates in inappropriate ways. That's pretty straightforward. But crying foul, taking the issue public, going to court and potentially bringing the guilty party to justice serves as a reminder to any would-be higher-ups that they could easily be branded with the mark of their misdeeds for the rest of their careers. Their very names would be shackled to their crimes, just like a catchy lyric is shackled to its melody.

And the power that song carries may give future targets the resolve to squelch inappropriate behavior in the moment when the perpetrator is simply a person and not a celebrity with the advantage of popularity and influence.