No More Billy Joel

Only the young die good—forgive me Billy Joel—but I need to explain you—the good die young, and the old are necessarily not so good—I think I have that right, so what you’re saying Billy is you long for the days before antibiotics and dentistry, when the average lifespan for humans was 30—I think I have that right—you want everyone to die before 30, imagining goodness resides among teenagers—Billy, even the Romans didn’t believe this, in fact they thought the young were generally a waste of time and put them in front of the army so they’d get slaughtered before the smart people, that’s why they called it the infantry—Billy, I know, I know, your song was going nowhere when you sang, “only the dolts die young” and “good” is easy to spoon feed to pop swilling kiddies because its a power word from advertising like “fresh” “organic” and “new” and lord knows once you hit ‘em with “good” they’re not going to think about the proposition which is heinous, that the Dalai Lama can’t be good if he dies old, and I’ve just read that His Holiness is not doing so well and isn’t it interesting he’s in failing health just as President Jimmy Carter is also faring poorly and by jinkies I’d say they are good old men, and so was Nelson Mandela and so was Maya Angelou a good old woman and what about Jane Goodall and don’t forget Dorothy Day, who died old and good and Billy I’m afraid you’re full of it, which shouldn’t be worth a pip of attention but I hate your song and admire people for their decencies no matter their age and Billy, its OK if you have the mind of an 11 year old, it’s really OK, but when I hear your song in the airport, and all the bedraggled unthinking wanderers are soaking it up, I just have to say you’re full of shit.

Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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