I HAVE A DREAM

Everyone knows those words. It often evokes some emotion or thought, reminiscence or reverie. And you can apply it to many subjects.

There are, of course, two kinds of dreams.

One is what Martin Luther King Jr. was speaking of in late August of 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. It remains one of the most eloquent and moving speeches of all time. His dream was the equality of all people in America that was promised in our Declaration of Independence. He wisely called that a “promissory note,” because it was not true at the birth of our nation, and the document was signed by founding fathers who owned slaves.

“It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note,” he said. “America has given the Negro people a bad check.” But “we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt,” he preached. More than half a century later, that check is still on hold.

Think everything is fair and equal now? Some do. The Supreme Court said as much when they struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, in June 2013. Nine bad boy states, all in the South except Arizona and Alaska, plus scores of counties and municipalities in other states (even Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, tsk tsk), were on the list as serial discriminators. Cold hard facts put them there. Literally hours after the Supremes let them out of detention, they began to put those discriminatory laws back on the books. Before, those bad boys had to clear any changes through Washington. Now, not even blatantly discriminatory gerrymandering can be halted.

AUSTIN RED?

Did you know that Austin, nominally a part of Texas, one of the most liberal, cool, swingin’ cities in America, has five out of six  members of Congress repping them who are very conservative Republicans? (The one exception, Lloyd Doggett, has been serving for 21 years.) That’s one way to keep Austin weird. That’s gerrymandering, baby – draw those districts so you get the minorities and the libs broken up and fed to the cons in the boonies.

Here’s another here and now about the state of race relations in Amerika: two days ago a benign news release went out that the President’s daughter Malia had chosen her college, Harvard, and was taking a gap year first. Standard fare. But even Fox “News” – Fox! – had to remove their comments section underneath the story because it immediately filled up with hundreds of  responses that were so racist and vile that even Fox couldn’t let them stand.

Dream? A vision still waiting, a nightmare we haven’t yet fully awakened from.

The other kind of dream is “successions of images, ideas, emotions and sensations that occur usually involuntarily in the mind during sleep.” That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout. That’s the dreamlike state I’m in now as I write this column in the wee hours of Monday-Tuesday. Or is it just the Jameson Irish coffee?

But I had to. My horoscope, gleaned from the very pages of this here newspaper, predicted “Tonight: you express your ideas as if you are in a dreamlike state.” That sounds like an order to me. Most of you are probably muttering, that just sounds like a typical, incoherent Charles Andrews column.

I don’t believe in astrology or horoscopes, though I don’t count anything out entirely – life is strange and ever shifting, and we didn’t used to believe in x-rays, rockets, the Internet, television, or time travel. (Oops – getting ahead of myself there. You did not just read that. You have no memory of reading those words. And I can’t be held responsible for inadvertently revealing stuff while in a dream state.)

DO YOU SEE BERNIE?

I don’t give much credence to the prognostications of astrologers in general, but SMDP’s syndicated seer Jacqueline Bigar does have impressive credentials. Among them, having correctly predicted the outcome of every Presidential race for 40 years. I imagine she waits until there are two set candidates, upping her odds considerably, but I am going to ask her to predict now. We will need some prep time to get our visas for New Zealand if she sees the tarot trump card.

In my dream I see the Land Use Voter Empowerment (LUVE) initiative getting enough signatures to get on the ballot! O frabjous day! We can all relax now.

Oh wait, a voice is whispering in my ear, I think it’s God or maybe some City Council member not yet elected, warning that you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. You know that avalanche of opposition on social media, the columns and letters from next, forward, backward, streets, sidewalks, various individuals not identified as spokespersons for developers and even former kings, presidents and mayors, opposing even the democratic process of petition to place an initiative on the ballot that, if voted in, would not stop anything but merely put it up for a vote of the people? Wait until it’s officially on the ballot. Then the money dam bursts and the fun begins. That’s what the voice told me.

I see the winners, through a mist, of the City Council election in November. What? No Latinas? And… it appears, no men whose names start with “T.” That’s pretty strange, but dreamlike states are… like that. And what’s that? A seated Councilmember seems to be wearing broad horizontal black and white stripes. Tsk. Not fashionable.

I see something new – Santa Monica University! Well, hooray! It’s huge. It’s everywhere. Takes up half the city. Lots of tall buildings. Seems we finally got our airport back, in my dream state, but no park. It’s all SMU. Oh wait, there was one small landing strip preserved, off in a corner, exclusively for the use of Bob Taylor and Harrison Ford. That’s fair.

I see lots more parks in Santa Monica, yay! But wait – none are on ground level.

I see the light rail joyously received by all, because it’s now the only way out of town.

I see Bill Bauer cowriting columns with his radio buddy Kevin McKeown. They agree on everything.

I see Phil Brock, post Rec and Parks, no platform from which to speak, distraught and wasting away to nothing.

I see it’s time for me to stop now.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” – Yogi Berra

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 30 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at therealmrmusic@gmail.com.