John Fogerty reportedly wrote “Bad Moon Rising” after watching The Devil and Daniel Webster. Inspired by a scene in the film involving a hurricane, Fogerty claims the song is about “the apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us.” It was performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969. I was in basic infantry training at Fort Ord, California, at the time. On Saturday nights we would go to Stillwell Hall. A large country club-like building sitting on the beach, it served beer to troops–legally. We couldn’t vote. We couldn’t buy alcoholic beverages off post. But we could go to war. We could defend the hard-won liberties of America. And some of us did. Of those who went, many came home. All who came home were changed, forever changed.
Irritated I am this morning. Well, I am not irritated–it’s just how I feel. There’s a difference. Irritated isn’t the real me.
Funny. That last, short paragraph was rolling around in my head as I headed to J. Christofer’s to grab a bit to eat and write. I’m behind again. I’m sorta over my head in odd jobs that I’ve got going on this week. There’s other things stessin’ me out, too. But I needed to get away to write something this morning. So I sat down to a cup of dark roast coffee and opened my MacBook Air and began a new post with the title, which I most often do not do. I wrote “Bad Mood” then “Rising” seemed to naturally flow from it. It reminded me of a song from the 60s. With internet access at the cafe, I went to Wikipedia. Ah, Credence. . . Memories came like high tide washing over me. I could see myself at Stillwell Hall wearing Army green and newly earned strips, drinking a beer, drinking too many beers. The band played “Bad Moon Rising” and played on and on and the crowd joined in when they sang “We gotta get outta this place, If it’s the last thing we do. . .”
A waitress–sorry, to be politically correct these days I should say “server”–dropped off a nice plate of food and asked how I liked my Mac, saying she was deciding between the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air. It was a short, friendly conversation. Irritation slipped away making room for feelings of usefulness. I enjoy kind conversation. I like friendly people, willing to talk, willing to be. . . real.
Kind conversation isn’t random. Real people, with real problems, are so often kind despite their feelings [even me, I suppose, when I push away the cloud that gathers over me]. But that isn’t what is portrayed on the television, on “reality” shows, on evening television shows. For in the world of the media, people are combative, accusatory, adversarial. People are crazy, they say, they show us. The American Media and Hollywood misses the pulse of the real America. Too many crime shows, making us suspicious and scared, are dictating our view of people. Too many shows teach that casual sexual relations, both heterosexual and homosexual, are appropriate and expected of us. Too many shows press us to believe in murdering the unborn if they are inconvenient. America’s current president believes that, too, and accuses his opponents of being–what? wrong, evil, non-progressive?–for not supporting such measures.
It seems to me we stand upon the edge of an abyss. Like the half glass of water we see as have empty or half full, we sense America as either half gone mad, being evil and heinous, or half just real people doing the best they can, being as kind as they are able. I suppose it’s our choice.
Back to Credence, the refrain in the chorus, “there’s a bad moon on the rise,” is commonly misheard as “there’s a bathroom on the right”. Fogerty has parodied the mishearing in live performances of the song.
It’s all in how we hear it, see it. Perspective.
Lord give us Your perspective of those to whom You send us. AMEN.