Wednesday, July 6, 2022

And the Band Played On

The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band plays during the 2022 Highland Park Fourth of July parade.  At first, the musicians didn't hear the gunfire, and kept playing while terrified paradegoers ran past.  Watch the video below. 

A funny thing happened during the recent mass shooting (I won't say most recent, because by tomorrow there will be another one), which took place at the Highland Park, Illinois Fourth of July parade.

It's "funny," not in the sense of "ha-ha," but in the sense of being odd and interesting and telling in a metaphorical way.

The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band was playing on a parade "float" of sorts (really a flatbed truck like you'd use to carry a disabled car). 

Local journalist Lynn Sweet (somewhat famous for disliking Barack Obama and always giving him a hard time) was at the parade, filming the band when the shooting started.

Here is a brief snippet of footage:

To me, this video is a metaphor for American life.  

People are constantly being gunned down, in ever more outrageous ways, and meanwhile, other people just go about their business as if nothing is happening.

To be fair, the band couldn't hear the gunshots over the sound of their instruments.  

And the Band Played On is the title of a nonfiction book about the early days of the AIDS Crisis in the United States.  

The premise of the book is that incompetence and lack of interest among politicians and the Centers for Disease Control, dovetailed with infighting among gay activists, to create a perfect storm where the disease could surge unchecked, killing tens of thousands of people. 

The title references the band aboard the RMS Titanic, which kept playing as the ship went down.

That's what our ship is doing.  Going down.  

This is Robert Crimo, III.  Multi-colored hair, check.  Tattoos on neck and face, check.  No job, no school, no prospects of any kind, check.  Owner of multiple guns, including AR-15 variant, check.  Lee Harvey Oswald newspaper story, preserved from 1963, and taped to the wall in a plastic sleeve?  Check.  His uncle told the newspapers "there were no signs of trouble" with this kid.   

Words of Wisdom

"I think at some point this nation needs to have a conversation about these weekly events involving the murder of dozens of people with legally obtained guns."

- Nancy Rotering, Mayor of Highland Park, Illinois, July 5, 2022

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