Why I Still Love John Denver
by David Todd McCarty | Monday, December 28, 2015
Why I Still Love John Denver:
And Don’t Give A Shit If You Do Or Not
There is nothing worse than abandoning something you love because it falls out of favor, isn’t the latest thing, or just isn’t considered cool anymore. I’m not talking about shit going out of style. We all look back and groan at hairstyles, clothing options and music tastes. I’m talking about not running with the herd. I’m talking about standing up when it’s easier to go along.
It’s hard to say no when everyone else says yes. It takes a lot more strength to be a person of integrity than to go with the flow. But ultimately, I’ve found, you get a lot more respect. It doesn’t even matter if you’re right or not. Having the strength of your convictions, or even just pride in your own weird preferences, makes for a stronger person. It’s better to be wrong sometimes, than risk never having an original thought.
Most people are sheep. It’s not always their fault. Stupid people don’t always have the mental fortitude to buck the system and I’ve got news for you—they’re happier people for it. It’s no fun bucking the system. It’s much easier to hide out with the herd.
But if you’re like me, you’d rather sit on the outside and be eaten by wolves than huddle with the masses.
I like John Denver and I always have. He was a big part of my early music expereince. My parents were Republican squares from Oklahoma in the Sixties and Seventies. We listened to Sonny and Cher, The Carpenters, and Seals and Croft. The most radical we ever got in our music tastes, was Johnny Cash.
John Denver was at one time, the biggest star in the world, but fell out of favor when it was not longer cool to like a guy who wasn’t shooting heroin and playing his guitar with his teeth. But he wrote some beautiful music that has stood the test of the time, in my opinion, even if he’s not being written about in Rolling Stone anymore. Someday people might look back on him as someone who sold millions of records and entertained the world. But maybe not. It doesn’t really matter. I like him and will continue to enjoy his music. If I stand alone, I’m fine with that.
Recently people felt compelled to copy and paste a status concerning Mark Zuckerberg’s billions. It was so clearly a hoax that I was shocked by how many people went ahead and reposted it. I don’t care if you said, “Well, it can’t hurt.”
Yes. It can.
“The bravest people are the ones who don’t mind looking like cowards.” ― T.H. White
The herd mentality has been the cause of our worst historical madness. Nazis come to mind. McCarthyism. Salem Witch Trials. Today it’s the internet.
When people cease to think for themselves, because someone told you they saw it on Good Morning America, your culture is in danger of collapsing.
I don’t buy the conspiracy theories that corporations are in cahoot to bring about the fall of America with the help of some multi-national conglomerate and the United Nations. But I do think that’s the natural course of events should we cease to govern ourselves and let companies do it for us.
The crack in a dyke precedes the flood. It’s the Roman Empire. History tends to repeat itself.
The internet is an amazing tool. A wealth of information is at our fingertips. It’s time to start thinking for ourselves. Do a little research. Don’t pass on information you suspect to be dubious. Don’t pass on information you don’t know to be true. It’s not harmless.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.”