Monday, April 29, 2013

It's Too Late

There are some songs which are just too evocative, like an Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole, you tumble into another world, another time,  doors are unlocked and open to memories in closets which have been closed and forgotten. Carole King wrote a lot of great music, she recorded her first hit in 1960 and then went on to write over 118 top ten records in a career that lasted 50 years and recorded an album in her own voice, the 1971 recording, Tapestry which stayed in the top ten for over 6 years! This was not cynical pop methodism, this was passion and a singular genius. She had a knack for melodies that transcended the formulas...that's part of what made her so unique. I just have to listen to the 1965 Beatle's recording of Chains to make me appreciate her genius.
 It's a traditional pop song, it does the changes, but then there's something else. The phrasing, the placement of the emphasis of the words go beyond poetry. King created music that was emotionally powerful because she understood that there was something beyond poetry, uniting the words to the chords and beat, creating an emotional language that was able to evoke universal feelings in who ever listened to it. On one hand, I would dismiss her big hit, It's Too Late, from her 1971 recording Tapestry as pure pop fluff, but it became the soundtrack of the early 70's and the artistry of what she did still works. I can't help but hear this and relive the time, the emotions of that part of my life.
That's why it's the all too perfect soundtrack for the lame regretful backwards statement by Sandra Day O'Connor who  provided the fifth vote to install George W. Bush as president, is now having second thoughts about that decision:
Looking back, O’Connor said, she isn’t sure the high court should have taken [Bush v. Gore].
“It took the case and decided it at a time when it was still a big election issue,” O’Connor said during a talk Friday with the Tribune editorial board. “Maybe the court should have said, ‘We’re not going to take it, goodbye.’”
The case, she said, “stirred up the public” and “gave the court a less-than-perfect reputation.”
“Obviously the court did reach a decision and thought it had to reach a decision,” she said. “It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn’t done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day.“
If nothing else, Bush v. Gore demonstrates how justices who are determined to reach a certain result are capable of bending both the law and their own prior jurisprudence in order to achieve it. In Bush, the five conservative justices held, in the words of Harvard’s Larry Tribe, that “equal protection of the laws required
giving no protection of the laws to the thousands of still uncounted ballots.”
The Court’s decision to hand the presidency to Bush stunned many legal observers, some of whom were O’Connor’s fellow justices. Retired Justice John Paul Stevens once recounted a story where he ran into fellow Justice Stephen Breyer at a party while a relatively early phase of the case was pending before the Court. According to Stevens, “
we agreed that the application was frivolous.”
Indeed, Bush’s own lawyers were skeptical of the legal theory that ultimately made up the basis of the Court’s decision in Bush. As Ben Ginsberg, a top lawyer on Bush’s presidential campaign, explained in 2006, “just like really with the Voting Rights Act,
Republicans have some fundamental philosophical difficulties with the whole notion of Equal Protection.”
And, yet, O’Connor and four of her fellow Republicans joined together to embrace a particularly aggressive reading of Equal Protection — at least so long as it could put George W. Bush in the White House.

Oh, yeah, Cause it's too late baby, just too late...Cause we really just tried to make it...Something inside just died and I just think that I just can't take it....It's too late, baby! Baby, just too late.....

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