SEGUE OF THE DAY (10/3/12)

Presidential Debate/John Mellencamp

John Mellencamp “Pink Houses” (Live, 1987)

John Mellencamp “Pink Houses” (Live, 2001)

I work for a living, albeit mostly at home, which allows for a certain freedom regarding the nightly soundtrack.

Tonight I decided to listen to the debate between Obama and Romney while I typed.

As usual with these things, however they are experienced, I could feel the nation’s collective IQ dipping by the minute as the words alternately gushed (I think that was the Challenger Pod) and murmured (I think that was the Incumbent Pod).

Then it ended and the truest exemplars of the national Dead Brain Cell Count–the mass media–took over–dedicated, as always, to the proposition of maintaining their own champion DBCC status at all costs.

I’m a sucker for punishment so, as usual, I took a short break and went in and surfed the usual suspect channels (cable, public and broadcast in about equal measure) seeking signs of intelligent life.

Shockingly, none appeared.

Nor did anyone who could explain the concept of “Wolf Blitzer,” a continuing cosmic quest of mine stymied yet once more.

So, as usual, I shut the darn box off and put on some music.

I didn’t feel like casting about and needed to get back to work anyhow, so I just went with what was in the CD player, which turned out to be John Mellencamp’s Words and Music collection, which I fell asleep to last night (not because it makes me feel sleepy, incidentally, but just because I was plain exhausted).

First track happens to be “Walk Tall,” which is an undistinguished cut from some time after Mellencamp’s eighties’ prime.

And almost the first words out of his mouth were, “people believe what they want to believe when it makes no sense at all.”

I mean, it didn’t explain Wolf Blitzer or anything, but, in context, that line actually sounded quite profound, an effect it certainly never had on me before.

That’s a rock and roll world view for you–making sense of things even on an off day.

Or maybe I just knew “Pink Houses” was coming up next and–pushing through my vague dueling memories of its past abuse by the campaigns of those moral stalwarts John Edwards and John McCain–I would soon be healing.

Ah, election years. Nothing like ‘em.

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