What are we doing here? And what are we doing to Her? - Dramarama What Are We Gonna Do
I was 17 when I first heard that song. Ben and I were cruising along in my Dad's GMC pick-up. Probably just a couple of months before Ben saw a mysterious dog and put the truck on it's side.
Ben popped a cassette in the tape player and the song came on. I remember liking it right away. It was different, strange, unlike anything on the pop-filled airwaves of Fairbanks circa 1991-92.
The song washed over me like a warm, yet untouched but rather comfortable blanket. It caressed me, made me feel welcome. I daresay that was my first introduction to the music that was churning years ago in the lower forty-eight states and slowly made its way up to us in Alaska. It's as if the ice and snow slowed the progression of music and culture to us. Perhaps it did, literally.
What was most poignant about the song to me is, we were approaching Earth Day. Those of you who know the song, bear with me for a moment. For the rest of you, the opening verse is "It's April 21st and everybody knows today is Earth Day, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday to whoever being born And now I'm trying hard to think of something, Meaningful and worthy, kind of earthy. To make everybody ask themselves just, What are we doing here? And what are we doing to her? "
Ben had decided to use this song as a background to an Earth Day video he was compiling. I ventured with him on one of his shoots, to the Fort wainwright landfill. He stood amongst the trash and rolled a few minutes of footage on my parents large video camera. This was 1992 so the camera sat on his shoulder and took full-sized VHS tapes. Yeah, I know, it was a long time ago.
Aside from that, that song really stuck with me. Here, 20 years later I hear the song and it evokes within me the same feelings of, "what are we doing here?" And I still have the same answer. I don't know.
I want to know, though. I want to know what it is I am doing here. Is it to raise my kids properly? To be a good husband? To be a good person? To be a good whatever the hell it is I am supposed to be? I don't know.
Strange feelings on this Monday morning. The smoke that has hovered above Sheridan has finally lifted, blown out across the Wyoming plains only to dissipate into nothingness and I can see the mountains in an almost Jimmy Cliff I can See Clearly Now Sort of Way. But, Jimmy, I can't see this clearly. And I want to.
But I guess that is what we all seem to be searching for. The Nirvana, the peace, the Dark Side of the Moon. The lunatics are indeed on the grass today. The grass in my mind. And I Still Haven't Found What I am Looking For. And I don't know.
I don't know.