Half A World Away

Half A World Away: REM’s Out Of Time Turns 25

This could be the saddest dusk
I’ve ever seen
Turn to a miracle
High alive
My mind is racing
As it always will
My hand is tired, my heart aches
I’m half a world away here
My head sworn
To go it alone
And hold it along
Haul it along
And hold it
Go it alone
Hold it along and hold, hold

Half A World Away - REM Out Of Time

For anyone expecting a nostalgic post about Out of Time turning 25 years old, I apologize. It’s just a tangent today. Two things from the first stanza of REM’s Half A World Away jumped out at me this morning:

My mind is racing
As it always will

and

My hand is tired, my heart aches
I’m half a world away here

You might think it odd, but they jump to mind because I read about the Hamilton cast’s “mistreatment” of Mike Pence and Twitter’s trending topic “white lives matter”. Both topics touch on the growing division between Americans specifically and humans in general. The Hamilton cast devoting time after their performance to voice concerns to Mike Pence doesn’t scare me. The President-elect’s demand that they apologize for harassing him does. Here’s the transcript:

Thank you so much for joining us tonight. You know, we had a guest in the audience this evening. And Vice President-elect Pence, I see you’re walking out but I hope you will hear us just a few more moments. There’s nothing to boo here ladies and gentlemen. There’s nothing to boo here, we’re all here sharing a story of love.

We have a message for you, sir. We hope that you will hear us out. And I encourage everybody to pull out your phones and tweet and post because this message needs to be spread far and wide, OK?

Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you and we truly thank you for joining us here at Hamilton: An American Musical, we really do. We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us — our planet, our children, our parents — or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us.

Again, we truly thank you for sharing this show. This wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men [and] women of different colors, creeds, and orientations.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but that seems conversational and respectful. What I can’t fathom is why can’t that be our society’s approach to the building political angst – conversational and respectful. I’ve read or heard about far too many protests where the climate turned from peaceful to riotous seemingly in a heartbeat. While here in Portland, the local news broadcast a protest held indoors. Someone was speaking from the bottom of a staircase when another individual ran down the stairs and cannon-balled into his back. The nearby crowd immediately rushed to the speaker’s aid and a melee ensued. Another report detailed a 14 year old shooting a 21 year old on the Morrison Bridge. I had to head to work, so I missed all the details behind that story other than the 21 year old was expected to make a full recovery.

I’m not going to dive back into the “white lives matter” issue because I spoke my piece this past July. These events sicken and sadden me. My mind is racing, As it always will; My hand is tired, my heart aches, I’m half a world away here.

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