The late Vic Chesnutt -- Flirted With You All My Life
On Christmas Day, Vic Chesnutt took his own life at the too-young age of 45 with an overdose of prescription pills. Vic carved out a small but not insignificant career as a folk musician, despite being a paraplegic, the result of a single car crash at 18. I thought of Vic as I looked at this week's roster of bobbleheads. Vic's music was darkly funny, and odd, and poetic, and it never let you forget that life for his was all about pain.
Mr. Chesnutt tackled death and mortality head-on in his lyrics, as in "It Is What It Is," from his new album "At the Cut":
"I don't worship anything, not gods that don't exist/I love my ancestors, but not ritually/I don't need stone altars to hedge my bet against the looming blackness/that is what it is."
In recent interviews he contemplated the challenges he faced as a wheelchair-bound paraplegic with inadequate health insurance and mounting medical bills.
"I'm not too eloquent talking about these things," Mr. Chesnutt told the Los Angeles Times this month. "I was making payments, but I can't anymore and I really have no idea what I'm going to do. It seems absurd they can charge this much. When I think about all this, it gets me so furious. I could die tomorrow because of other operations I need that I can't afford."
This needless death shouldn't have happened. And had our government representatives and leaders had the courage, foresight and fortitude to truly do what was right for all Americans--universal health care--it might not have happened. I wish that I could share the story with the bobbleheads and their enablers in the media to keep them from diverting the discussion to things that don't matter and for concerns that should come above the health of American citizens.
Robert Gibbs has the trifecta of ABC/CBS/NBC happening, presumably to talk about health care, but Janet Napolitano of Homeland Security is also a late booking to the shows. I'm guessing she'll be talking about the latest "terrorist" attempt. You can bet that the Republicans will be laying on thick the fear-mongering, with Mitch McConnell on This Week, Peter King on Face the Nation and Newt Gingrich on Meet the Press. Would that we could confront these guys with Vic Chesnutt's sad legacy and make them understand how their games affect people's very lives.
ABC's "This Week" - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; White House press secretary Robert Gibbs; Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
CBS' "Face the Nation" - Gibbs; Reps. James Clyburn, D-S.C., and Peter King, R-N.Y.
NBC's "Meet the Press" - Gibbs; New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.; Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass.
CNN's "State of the Union" - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; Andrew Card, former Bush White House chief of staff; John Podesta, former Clinton White House chief of staff and head of the Center for American Progress; Govs. Mitch Daniels, R-Ind., and Ed Rendell, D-Pa.; George Evans, mayor of Selma, Ala.
CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" - Russian President Dmity Medvedev, Malcolm Gladwell.
CNN's "Amanpour" - Amira Hass, Ha'aretz "Occupied Lands" correspondent, and former diplomat Aaron David Miller,discuss peace prospects in the Middle East. Al Qaeda in Europe: Christiane looks beyond the Middle East, to al Qaeda's growing influence in Europe.
"Fox News Sunday" - Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich.; Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Arlen Specter, D-Pa., Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Jim DeMint, R-S.C.
So what's catching your eye this morning?