A column about history, culture, policy, and things in between.
In 1866 Fyodor Dostoevsky published his immortal work Crime and Punishment, his penetrating study of crime, murder, and evil as portrayed through the timeless character of Raskolnikov.
The great novel has been in my thoughts as I have considered the death of Trayvon Martin. It is an enormous story, with tout le monde focused upon it, and wagging tongues on both sides of the political aisle shamelessly engaged in their newest sport - tragedy trafficking. And like bread at the Roman circus, the breathlessly complicit media hurl the loaves of hopelessly excessive coverage; little more than grist for its ever churning mills.
Life has milestones; events that make us stop and wonder, "Where has the time gone"? September Eleventh, graduations, anniversaries, dates on a calendar that mark freedom from cancer or addiction. Time seems elastic, expanding or contracting with events, and our assimilation of them. This piece asks the question, "where have the last fifty years gone", prompted by the fact that this month of April marks the 50th Anniversary of the world's greatest rock 'n roll band.
1965 - the eye of my memory can still see my oldest sister grooving on the pier of that ramshackle cottage my parents rented on Okauchee Lake. I see her movement to the singular opening of Satisfaction; notes that cut through the pop charts like a chain saw through soft pine. The sound was pure Keith Richards, and the clever, provocative lyrics were pure Mick Jagger. Carved on rock 'n roll's Mt. Rushmore, Satisfaction was their first number one single; its message the very tap root of that genre's seminal pull.