On the news tonight they broke the story that Al and Tipper Gore are headed for the big D. I say big deal; who cares? A friend of mine on Facebook does:
Newsflash – Al and Tipper Gore are splitting up! I never saw the attraction, really. Mr. Environment married to Ms. Anal, labeling CD’s with bad lyrics; Mr. Real-World and Ms. Clueless. Just sharing my thoughts, for what it’s worth! Sad to see a 40-year marriage break up though; or, should I say, sad to see people spend 40 years together if it wasn’t meant to be? Discuss amongst yourselves….
In forty years lots of things change it may have been right for them until recently or until ten years ago or perhaps there was a drastic shift in one of them that caused the parting. Maybe, like so many couples say, they stayed together for the kids. You say the words “until death do us part” but do you ever actually consider all the things that can take place during that time frame that will change both of you? Probably not; I said those words 16 years and three days ago and I never in a million years would have thought we would be who we are today. Thankfully we actually like each other more, so far. Also nothing says it has to be a messy ugly thing when a marriage ends some people are actually sane enough to part friends before they harm each other or do hurtful things that can never be forgiven.
Who is to say what attracts people to each other? How do you decide what one person you are going to spend the rest of your life with out of the millions available? Looks? Intelligence? Athleticism? Similar point of view? Similar causes? Is she the yin to your yang? Does he just make you laugh? Does her smile melt your heart? Does he cook your favorite dish to perfection? How many parts of each trait makes the perfect mate? Forty years is nothing to sneeze at; particularly when you look around and see how many of your friends are divorced or in loveless marriages because it’s more convenient and less costly than divorce.
As for Al Gore being some supreme catch for Tipper to hold onto, I’m not so impressed. Mr. Reality laid claim to helping the internet along because he was among the very few on the planet who realized it would be important. Good thing or else none of you would be reading this right now. Lord knows people like Gates and Jobs wouldn’t have come this far without someone patting them on the back. As for his jumping on the green band wagon I don’t think a movie 20 years after he claims to have become interested makes him any more important than anyone in the thirty years before An Inconvenient Truth came along who put it in writing and started creating the technology we can employ today should we have enough cash on hand to afford it.
Did he cover his roof with solar panels? Sure did; in December 2007, over a year AFTER the moviecame out. Over a decade after he helped put together the Kyoto Protocol and 15 years after the publication of his book Earth Balance. Reality? Reality is that it’s easy to point out a problem and even give voice to obvious and seemingly simple solutions but it is infinitely more difficult to implement those solutions. Reality is inconvenient and not very cost effective.
As for Tipper’s warning labels on albums, many times my kids have come home singing something I didn’t know, granted they are older and I am not one to be hung up on language but when they were younger I certainly wouldn’t have wanted them listening to things like Nickelback who revel in defiling and demeaning women to the point of being the most base of sexual objects. If your nine year old came home singing ‘And I love your lack of self-respect, while you passed out on the deck, I love my hands around your neck’ (Figured You Out, Nickelback, The Long Road 2003) would you grab him up in a great big hug and tell him how precious he is? Would you ask him to explain what those phrases meant in the context of the song? What if he actually knew? How would you feel about that? Better yet when he doesn’t know are you going to explain them to him? I do.
A label is helpful; it provides useful information to parents just as labels on food, ratings for movies and parental advisories prior to the airing of television programs. I don’t think records should be censored but labeling for content does not constrain freedom of speech and does not usurp the artist’s right to express themselves it merely allows parents who like to make choices for their children to make informed choices. If you don’t want little Cindy Lou who is no more than two to run around singing, “I don’t want anyone else, when I think about you I touch myself” (I Touch Myself, The Divinyls, diVINYLS 1992) , you might appreciate that warning label. Would you take 7 year old Jeffrey to see an X rated movie? Probably not because it’s not appropriate, unless of course you also allow him to listen to music about how much cuter the surgically enhanced girl looks with something in her mouth and said child can explain to you just exactly what that something is and why. Seven years old eh?
I also don’t see how this makes Tipper clueless, she was clued in enough to know there were some deep tracks out there that parents wouldn’t want their kids having access to as well as the fact that many radio stations play edited versions which are not on the CD’s you buy in certain stores.
SO… as you can see I’ve discussed it amongst myselves and myselves have seen fit to share our thoughts and invite others to share theirs as my friend shared hers for which I am grateful as they have provoked thought and that is always good.