Sometimes, when it seems as if everything is too complicated to understand, or as one of my favorite baristas likes to say, "too many moving parts," it's best to go back to the basics. We see this all the time in music. So many musicians tire of the pace the amplification of sound, the artificial inauthenticity of it all and go back to the blues. Deep roots. So it is with this fickle economy of ours right now. In fact thee is much to compare with today's malaise and the big one of the 1930s.
Another little chunk of knowledge to remember is to see what some of the finest minds, at least who you consider to be the finest minds, have to say on the matter. I reached back for Woody Guthrie today because a little quote trapped in my brain would not leave me alone. Seems as if Woody had a lot to say about Wall Street. No doubt in my mind where he's be were he alive and well today. In fact Woody not only wrote songs with Wall St. in mind, he also drew some cartoons and said a fair amount on the subject. There is a wonderful little collection of his wit and wisdom called Woody Sez. Long out of print, it continues to amaze because Woody's words are so timely. Try on this little gem:
"What Wall Street is a lookin fer is a humen being to put out in front--to front for em--the reason for this is cause you caint hardly find none on Wall St. I mean no humens. When youre mind gits to where it rangs like a cash register ever time you think , why you wood make a good hand on Wall St., but you woodent make a good enything else."
Now don't have a cow, Woody knew how to spell, but he often wrote his newspaper columns with the kind of colorful spelling that reflected just how his people, the dust bowl migrants from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas..., spoke. That left no doubt he was not only for the people but of the people.
Woody's writings and ramblings are full of these rather eerie predictions about things that have been repeated. We all know what happens to those who ignore history, and it continues to keep happening doesn't it. Woody was fond of saying, "Let me be known as the man who told you something you already know." Fair enough. Trouble is, so many of us don't even know our own history.
If Woody were here today, and in many ways he's occupying a city near you in spirit, he'd be able to reduce his message in no uncertain terms. Six words that say it all would surely come out of his hard'travelin' little mouth: "Take it easy, but take it."