What the World Needs Now
August 29, 2009 10:43 AM   Subscribe

Somehow I'm less saddened by this today than I have ever been in the past.
posted by alms at 10:46 AM on August 29, 2009

"To be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it."
posted by Toekneesan at 10:57 AM on August 29, 2009

We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know God's plan for us.

What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and love, and joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we can know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of other human beings.

This is how Ted Kennedy lived. This is his legacy. He once said of his brother Bobby that he need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, and I imagine he would say the same about himself. The greatest expectations were placed upon Ted Kennedy's shoulders because of who he was, but he surpassed them all because of who he became. We do not weep for him today because of the prestige attached to his name or his office. We weep because we loved this kind and tender hero who persevered through pain and tragedy - not for the sake of ambition or vanity; not for wealth or power; but only for the people and the country he loved.

In the days after September 11th, Teddy made it a point to personally call each one of the 177 families of this state who lost a loved one in the attack. But he didn't stop there. He kept calling and checking up on them. He fought through red tape to get them assistance and grief counseling. He invited them sailing, played with their children, and would write each family a letter whenever the anniversary of that terrible day came along.
posted by crayz at 11:09 AM on August 29, 2009

I remember this being quite a big hit on AM radio when I was a kid. 1971 or thereabouts. Sad but true.
posted by philip-random at 11:58 AM on August 29, 2009

Okay, I'm sure it's an easily mockable trait, but I really miss the sort of naïve songs of optimism which were more common 35-40 years ago. I can't imagine anything better to be feeding into the world than the sentiment that Love is a worldview worth striving for, that kindness and joy are worthy traits that should be fostered, and that, perhaps, we could all be taught the same song to sing in perfect harmony. (And fuck you, Coca-Cola, for the commercial layer you put upon that song.)

Yes, I wear the moniker "hippie" proudly, not because I am pleased with how the entire era sort of imploded in the 1969-1973 era, but because a lot of the beliefs I see contained within the philosophy are ones I see lacking in the world today. When cynicism, weariness, and resignation have won the battle for our minds over peace, wonderment, and brotherhood, the loss is much greater than simply not having songs about Love being what we need on the radio any longer.


*puts on the It's A Beautiful Day album in an effort to console himself*
posted by hippybear at 12:07 PM on August 29, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'll bet that Mr. Bungle heard this. They covered the song in a similar fashion.
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 12:12 PM on August 29, 2009

My link was broken. It made me less heartened than before I played it. Please forward the corrected link? Thank you.
posted by humannaire at 12:26 PM on August 29, 2009

I remember this being quite a big hit on AM radio when I was a kid. 1971 or thereabouts. Sad but true.

Me, too. I have clear memories of driving into Boston with my father and hearing it on the car radio repeatedly. I was about 7, so that would have been sometime in early 1971, thus jibing with the Wikipedia info.
posted by briank at 1:48 PM on August 29, 2009

Probably the only hit record to include the lines:

Get the gun! Get the gun!
Stay away from the gun,
Hold him! Hold him!
We don't want another Oswald . . .

posted by Herodios at 2:14 PM on August 29, 2009

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