You Want Collective Guilt?

Gravity Is Nothing to Me

Swandive
Ani Difranco

I’m cradling the softest, warmest part of you in my hands 
Feels like a little baby bird 
Fallen from the nest
I think that your body is something I understand
I think that I’m happy
I think that I’m blessed

But I’ve had a lack of inhibition
I’ve had a loss of perspective
I’ve had a little bit to drink 
And it’s making me think 
That I can jump ship and swim 
That the ocean will hold me
That there’s got to be more
Than this boat I’m in

They can call me crazy if I fail
All the chance that I need is one-in-a-million, 
And they can call me brilliant if I succeed
Gravity is nothing to me
I’m moving at the speed of sound
I’m just gonna to get my feet wet until I drown

I teeter between tired 
And really, really tired 
I’m wiped and I’m wired
But I guess that’s just as well
Cuz I’ve built my own empire 
Out of car tires and chicken wire 
And now I’m queen of my own compost heap 
And I’m getting used to the smell

I’ve had a lack of information
I’ve had a little revelation 
I’m climbing up on the railing 
Trying not to look down
I’m going to do my best swan dive 
In the shark-infested waters
I’m gonna pull out my tailfin 
And start splashing around

Because I don’t care if they eat me alive
I’ve got better things to do than survive

I’ve got the memory of your warm skin in my hands
And I’ve got a vision of blue sky and dry land

I’m cradling the hardest, heaviest part of me in my hands 
The ship is pitching and heaving
Our limbs are bobbing and weaving 
I think this is something I understand
I just need a couple vaccinations
For my far-away vacation
I’m going to go ahead and go boldly 
Cuz a little bird told me 
That jumping is easy
That falling is fun 
Right up until you hit the sidewalk
Shivering and stunned

They can call me crazy if I fail 
All the chance that I need is one-in-a-million
And they can call me brilliant if I succeed
Gravity is nothing to me 
I’m moving at the speed of sound
I’m just gonna get my feet wet until I drown

Underclass?  Why don’t you people use the word untermenschen because you know that is exactly what you mean?  And Mr Littlejohn, why don’t you tell us exactly what you do that is so essential to the survival of humanity? The existence of untermenschen doesn’t make you an ubermensch. And this is going to sound a little petty but who the fuck are you to call someone a ‘ghastly-looking woman’?  I suggest you purchase a mirror  but I can promise you that you won’t like what you see staring back at you.  

By the way, I know a war veteran who’d really, really like to meet you. He inhabits a ‘scruffy council garret’. I’d like to see you telling this 92 year old gentleman who fought in North Africa and Sicily and has lived in council accommodation since the ’50s just how ‘worthless’ you think he is. Go on, I dare you.  (Posted to the Daily Mail but will never be published on their site.)  He utterly despises Mr Littlejohn mainly because of the disparaging comments he made about the servicemen and woman taken hostage by the Iranians in 2007: ‘The international image of Britain as Churchillian bulldog has for ever been replaced by this bunch of hapless stooges grinning and waving for the cameras like [game show] contestants . . . I don’t blame the unfortunate human ingredients in this pawn cocktail. They were only obeying orders — which, ludicrously, amount to ‘surrender first and apologise later’.  When did he ever serve his country?  Nobby says he could have found a use for him during the war – cleaning up the Sergeants’ Mess. In short, he thinks Mr. Littlejohn is (to use his favourite epithet) ‘scum’. And I can’t help but agree. ‘Scum’ is an apt description of someone who acquired a criminal record for brawling outside a nightclub and then has the audacity to lecture those who dwell in ‘scruffy council garrets’ on morality. It is, quite simply, criminal.

And could someone please, please tell me why it is that members of the so-called ‘underclass’ are expected to be permanent ambassadors for their class and yet members of the elite are not.  Examples of the behaviour of the latter include this charming gentleman who shot his wife and daughter before setting his home alight and shooting himself  (I hope to God the two women were dead before the flames reached them because that’s a seriously nasty way to die*) and this lady who, while inebriated and driving, killed two innocent bystanders. Then, of course, there is Scott Peterson, respectable and middle class, who murdered his wife and unborn child and has been sentenced to death in the US. Why should guilt by association be confined to the ‘underclass’?  And nary a word of condemnation from the crusading journalists of The Sun and the Daily Mail. They seem to expect a higher standard of behaviour from those they deem inferior than they do from those they deem superior and that, to me, seems ever so slightly illogical.

When Nobby leaves the planet, I’m leaving too.

*See what I just did there?

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2 Responses to “You Want Collective Guilt?”

  1. CalumCarr Says:

    Louise

    A fine, fine post. of course, “they” see the underclass as being at the root of so many of society’s ills, as having chosen the role and being happy there. This vision suits their particular form of blindness.

    Excellent, Louise. Thanks.

    Like

  2. loft965 Says:

    I love ani.

    Like

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