Pop culture fascinates me (even if I can’t stand auto-tune and often think green screens should be burned). Every once in a while a nugget from it explodes with meaning in ways that I would have never guessed.
Such a moment occurred last week, as I was walking through downtown Canton. I sat down at a coffee shop, enjoying a green tea and reading a book (I am clearly a party animal), when four young people started singing along with a song.
It was one I knew, the one I’ve embedded here. And it reminded me of battles and lost lives and found friends and transformations.
I’ll leave the interpretations up to you, but in addition to the very specific marginalized group that adopted the song in the early aughts I always think of friends who died in the first, scary moments of killer diseases ravaging a very specific population, and the ways that that community fought back, to take care of itself and to confront the ugliness that others often directed at it with grace, anger, wit, and beauty.
Somehow, in one of those perfect pop moments, Train captured the essence of what it meant to grow up different, so different that others were so threatened by you that they denied you your own dignity. The cosmic quality of the lyrics remind me of those Heavy Metal stories that had a schooner sailing the stars, with no inconvenient spacesuits needed (illustrations borrowed by dozens of other series including Final Fantasy and ), and probably bringing back those drops of Jupiter.
Why not sail the stars and get a chance to dance along the light of day and fall for a shooting star and feel the light of the milky way?