May 8, 2012

You gotta fight for your right to let the wild rumpus start!

It's been a sad few days.

First, we lost Adam Yauch, aka MCA of the Beastie Boys. Those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s heaved a collective sigh, and shook our fists towards the sky in a silent "F-you" to the cancer which killed him.

Then, we lost Maurice Sendak, the beloved author and illustrator of (among others) one of my favorite children's stories, Where the Wild Things Are. Those of us who grew up at any point since its publication in the 60s heaved a collective sigh, and shook our fists towards the sky at the loss of a literary icon.

They were so different, these two.  

One was famous for raunchy, biting rhymes that opened up the hip-hop world to suburban white kids like me. He helped dirty up the music world and Suburbia.

The other? He's famous for his creepy, ugly beasts who terrified but ultimately became beloved to generations of children.  He dirtied up the world of children's literature.

Both of them did these things in magnificent, flamboyant ways. 

Ok, maybe they're not so different then?

Both were Jewish boys from New York. Both broke boundaries in their collective fields.

Both were activists, in their own ways.

Both used words to change the world, reshape it in a slightly better image.

And both died within the last seven days.

And the world will mourn.

It seems almost blasphemous, then, that while we're mourning, a state within our country is voting to change the world for the worse. North Carolina, my neighbor to the north, home to a lot of people I love, is most likely voting to restrict civil rights. They're going a step beyond defining marriage as between a man and a woman; they're actually removing rights for same-sex couples.

It's heartbreaking, to me. 

It's infuriating, to me.

And I have to think, it would be to them. Sendak was gay, a fact he had to hide through much of his life. Yauch was an outspoken activist, fighting for civil rights around the world.

Can we not honor these men by supporting one another? By voting FOR rights, instead of against them?

Maybe not today, but I'll continue to fight. We all need to fight for our rights. 

So now? Please? Let the wild rumpus start!

3 comments:

VeryMerry said...

Excellent bit of writing and right on the money. We gotta fight...for our right...to ruuuuuumpus!

Janet Reid said...

I've always amused myself (secretly) by thinking about people who die at the same time all approaching the gates of St. Peter together. Can't you just see Adam Yauch and Maurice Sendak together? What an amazing song that would make!

Leah said...

Thanks to both of you - and I couldn't agree more. They'd write something incredible together!!

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