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Citizen Voices

I recently returned from three days at the Coachella Music Festival in Indio. Three days in the desert; music, musing and dancing in a herd of thousands. Body and mind are worn – as I write this, I feel like I’ve been sucking on Chinese toys all weekend. Still, live music for three days and nights straight invites the mind to wander down many a path. Some thoughts...

Thousands from around the state, the country and the world attended the festival. Most youthful, most liberal – but surprisingly few showing their political colors. A few Obama jerseys were spotted, never caught sight of any Hillary shwag - but as always, festival icons Leonard Peltier and Che Guevara were in full effect.  Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters sent a blood spattered dirigible pig floating over the crowd emblazoned with a sword wielding Uncle Sam Death Head, “Don’t Be Led To Slaughter” scrawled alongside. The pig’s underbelly was stamped with a disconcertingly hopeful message: a  ballot check marked next to Obama’s name. Not exactly the sort of endorsement that warms a politician’s heart – but still, a shout out from Roger Waters is a shout out from Roger Waters. Prince said he was so sick of debates – he couldn’t stand it anymore.  Hillary and Obama as the bickering parents in “This is What It Sounds Like When the Doves Cry”…

Gave a jump start to some Mexican kids in their twenties from Calexico – all studying to be lawyers. They shared their beer and we did the Spanglish thing for a while. We drank to Mexico and the U.S., neighbors and friends – they raised their beers, but were hesitant to really believe the friend part.  They wished it was so, but I had to agree that most of our national gestures appear to be those of a perturbed neighbor rather than a friend…

Chuck from Escondido, CA
April 30, 2008 at 10:53 PM
I'm game.

Alma from San Diego
May 01, 2008 at 12:00 AM
Considering I've been labeled "nice" as a moniker of disdain, and considering I RARELY see your name after any of my posts, Dear Chris, you can consider me an incurable humbug even though I'm not last because you're calling us out in public. But otherwise, I'll need to email you about my plans because I'm cameraless, and on deadline for a 20 page paper on welfare reform due next week....plenty of time to fail. Otherwise, I'm game too. All the best, The "Nice"-est Humbug (PS-- did you really just start being nice for CV?)

Juan Ruiz from Los Angeles
May 01, 2008 at 07:46 AM
Agree on the de-politicization of Coachella this year, I feel the its political mindset has shifted to more eco-conscious, less of a debate. Water's new song about Beirut and the pig were both quite revealing and entertaining. I'll leave my remarks with this photo i took.

Green Forest and a Stream from Encinitas
May 01, 2008 at 10:48 PM
as a reader, this was my favorite post. if you want to attract people to this blog, you have to keep it interesting. more stories about the marine dilemma-less vanilla. In 9th grade, my english teacher had us due a "saturation" report. learn about something totally unfamilar and then write about it. blow away self-pereceived notions of normality.

Trina from Carlsbad
May 02, 2008 at 06:25 PM
Hey Chris, I'm a fan of yours too. I don't always agree with you, but you crack me up and make me think weekly. Any more often than that and my head might explode (since I'm a Republican you know). While you were sucking on Chinese toys I was busting my butt trying to pay for my outrageous mortgage and survive the housing crunch Alma was talking about. Give me a few minutes to pay some more bills and get liposuction and then I'll post a video blog. Let the mixing up of things begin.

Candace Suerstedt
May 02, 2008 at 07:36 PM
Gee Chris, I don't know… As someone who is old enough to be your mother… what else were they serving out there in Indio…honesty, truth, confrontation… are you sure that this is where you want to go.? Okay, I'm in…it was getting pretty boring anyway and I'm not adverse to a scuffle.

Ryan from New Jersey
May 14, 2008 at 05:02 PM
interesting as always, Mr. McConnell. why aren't the kids showing their politcal colors? do they care? do they feel like they can't have any effect either way? maybe they're just too comfortable. our culture seems to have created an ideal where everyone is happy with their life and their things - cars, phones, TV, food - why should they activate for change? maybe the rising gas prices will rile people up. i live in Jersey, don't have a car and ride the train and walk to work - i hope gas goes to $10 a gallon and forces people to do something different. (of course then we'll just be making Bush and his oil compadres even richer.) Obama better win...

Leng Caloh
May 15, 2008 at 07:59 PM
Hey Chris, belated thanks for mixing things up a bit... And thanks to your suggestion, we're seeing a bunch of video this week, how cool is that! ;)

May 20, 2008 at 02:26 PM
Don't wait for the election- show your politcal colors! Bracelets Take a moment to visit our website, Please help to jump-start our company by ordering an assortment of the bands of your choice. They will be terrific for you and great little gifts for your friends and family who can support and endorse your candidate.

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