Op-Ed: Parodies of popular song reveal the 'American State of Mind'
Americans being faced with troubled times are beginning to withdraw into their communities. The love and loyalty to the hometown is reflected in parodies of the popular music video "Empire State of Mind."
There is no doubt that America is at a crossroads.The political parties are more polarized than ever. The people are suffering in a recession and the numbers of jobless, underemployed, and soon-to-be unemployed are inaccurately reported. Communities are toiling under the heavy burden of high gas and energy prices, and taxes are almost unbearable. Banks are getting bailouts but are not lending money, and these same banks have foreclosed on a record number of houses. America's credit rating is tanking along with the credit rating of its citizens. Yes, there is much bad news right now in America.
Naturally when there is recession and fear people turn inward. They begin battening down the hatches and change gears into survival mode. This focus is being pulled now towards the community and people are finding new appreciation for the towns, cities, and villages they inhabit. People find themselves in solidarity with others who just a few short months ago were strangers in a sea of federal and national politics and individual goals and concerns.
Jay-z and Alicia Keys teamed up to pay homage to a city that has become the American icon, New York. Their song, "Empire State of Mind," highlights the good and the not-so-good elements of the famous city. The song has inspired parodies across the United States with minor local artists taking their hand at a remix. The Alan Cox show made its own version with a tip of the hat to Parma, OH. Parma is a sublet of Cleveland, OH.
If you go on YouTube you can type nearly any major city in with the words "State of Mind" following and you will find a remix. The closest city to me is Youngstown and even though it has been named the murder capitol of the United States at various times, it is still home and this song accurately represents it.
These are just artistic renderings but as they say, "Art imitates life." The reality of the American state of mind is this, we are ready to begin growing our communities to their once thriving state. People are weary of the national debate that is doing nothing for their neighbors that lost their home or who are surviving off of scraps. The people are refocusing on the community and are looking for ways to promote it. Some are beginning to write hometown newspapers from a citizens point of view and they are banding together
to bring the attention of the nation's representatives back to where it belongs, their constituents.
Localism is not just a buzz word for the backdoor to the Fairness Doctrine, it is the growing trend in America.