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The Chris Chandler Show

  • Innocence


    Some say we lost our innocence, that we left Eden's palace,

    when a young president's skull and brain fragments were blown into a pink mist in Dallas.

    --Or when that mist gathered into a nimbus of blown blood and mud in the rice paddies and jungles of Vietnam...

    --Or else when it descended in Washington DC. as a dense fog, gray as Nixon's jowls, in decades of scandals...

    ...Up to that point, the only threat to our innocence had been watching Annette Funicello sprout breasts on national television.

    Although our prepubescent minds were filled with lust, we really had nothing to fear,

    because Annette Funicello's breasts were not that threatening,

    they were more like breast-ca-teers.

    But still we wait,

    for the return of Valium yellow sunshine to burn a hole in this fog and return our world into a pastel paradise.

    But it does not come.

    And as we wait,

    a sudden storm, man-made and malevolent, burst forth from the Oklahoma prairie, heaving dust skyward, occluding the sun, and CNN reports once again that this is our loss of innocence  (but I ask you:)

    How many times

    can our innocence be lost,

    I mean, is a prostitute who suffers total amnesia

    now declared a virgin?

    How can we be innocent when we plowed our fertile prairies into furrows and planted

    rows and rows and rows and rows of dead Indians,

    then watered them with the sweat of African slaves,

    and asked the good lord above for the ground to be fruitful and multiply by performing a ritualistic, salesman's tap dance.

    And the good lord responded and the ground was indeed fruitful and it did indeed multiply and sprung forth office parks, strip malls and subdivisions.

    Well it seems to me:

    that the proto-typical American

    is Mary Kay accessorized with a Gatlin gun.

    Did we innocently steal this land?


    like when I was a kid and I wanted a skateboard,

    but my mama would not let me have one.  

    So I took one anyway,

    and she made me return it, giving me a lecture on mine and yours and theirs.  

    I grappled with this concept until one day my mama said,

    "Be careful with your little sister."

    I thought, "Ah, she's my little sister."  

    So I took her up the street and traded her to Kenny Jones for a skateboard.  I thought my mama would be proud of me but instead she did to me what the Indians did to the settlers-- she scalped me-- or as we say in the south, "She snatched me bald headed."

    Now maybe I understand those old westerns.

    Is this the way we innocently stole this land?

    Like a child steals,

    or like a dog will eat from the bowl of another,

    because they are still connected to the oneness - to the holy oneness of everything.  

    That is beautiful, but it is a strangely Zen concept for a property owning nation.

    Is this the way we killed tens of thousands of "guilty" Iraqi civilians?   Because a bomb does kill innocently.  

    Even a so called "smart bomb" cannot not distinguish innocence from guilt.  A truly smart bomb would be one that could blow the guilty to bits and would leave one whose character leans to the decent alone-- It'd might even buy a decent person a round of drinks.  One whose guilty of let's say-- a little too much vanity-- it'd leave them clad in clothes off the rack from JC Penny.

    A sort of smart-ass bomb-- one more Groucho Marx than John Wayne.

    These are some of fogs and mysteries of our recent history,

    and our history is indeed a mystery.

    It is a mystery that requires a great detective.  And the best detectives are not Angela Landsbury, teaming up with Dick Van Dyke, Andy Griffith and whatever down on their luck, hasn't worked in twenty years, looking for any role they can get, I don't know, The Partridge Family Murder Mystery Series - where they travel around the country in a psychedelic mini van solving impossible, implausible crimes in the last five minutes, the guilty are locked up so we can innocently consume whatever products are advertised after the miraculous denouement.

    It is time, my friends, for us to stop declaring our selves innocent and say,

    "I did not see Nicole Brown Simpson or Ron Goldman fall, I was watching Matlock at the time, but still I am the murderer."

    "I safely escort errant insects from my home, but still I have blood on my hands."

    Or: do we continue to declare ourselves innocent and proclaiming, "You're God Damned right I'm innocent-- and I will kill anyone who doubts it-- and I will enter heaven, even if I have to reach it by scaling the mountain of corpses beneath me?"


    Chandler, Rockstroh/Trad