This place matters

This place matters

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

High Hopes

The song Ghost of Tom Joad combines my two favorite things - books and Bruce. I mentioned the epic guitar breakdown starting around 5:20... what's epic about this isn't just that it's amazing, and it isn't just that Tom Morello is actually quite talented when not he's not screaming into the mic.*

What's epic is that it musically recreates a worker riot - the roiling of the crowd at 5:15, then the police sirens a few seconds later. The noise of the people rises against the sound of the sirens until around 6:30 - gunshots. Then chaos until around 7:00, and then we pick up where the breakdown began, with the voice of the people, right where they left off, not silenced. 
And that is The Grapes of Wrath summarized, really - the voice of the people must be heard and cannot be silenced by violence or oppression. As the book itself asks:
How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can't scare him – he has known a fear beyond every other.
*This sentence brought to you by the cranky old lady who wonders why kids these days want to listen to all that loud noise.