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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Homage to Janis Joplin

Were Janis Joplin alive she would be 69 today.  As an impressionable teen, Janis was my hero.  When I was about fourteen I found the train wreck of her life as mesmerizing as I found Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.  Janis' album, Pearl, yes album, was a prized possession.  I read her biography many times with a mixture of wonder and horror.  The girl had to scratch and fight for every single moment of freedom to be who she became.  I realize she cut her own life short with her own behavior as related to a drug habit.  In that time she was exercising what so many others famous and otherwise were practicing, freedom to be herself.  In that time America was truly the land of the free.
In the belief that she had the right to find her own path apart from the plans her family may have had for her, as so many have done though out the history of the world, she made some major mistakes.  But she also made so many people happy with the talent she shared with the world.  Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of desperation and determination, Janis achieved fame.  Not entirely as a result of her untimely death, though that certainly propelled her record sales to an all time high.  Janis had a period previous to her death where she discovered that a clear head combined with talent and shrewdness on the business end.  She was engaged to be married and all indications were that her hard work and grit were beginning to pay the bills.  Her death was tragic.  Yet in that tragedy many, myself included, were given an immeasurable gift. 
I was among the youth fighting for independence to follow my own dreams.  Writer, poet, singer, these were the dreams of my youth. Those dreams did not fit the mold for my military father and  my mother who deferred all things to my father.  My parents were the "salt of the earth" and I loved them very much,  but what teen with any hint of rebellion does not think their parents are wrong on so many levels?  In my fathers house a girl could become a nurse, secretary or housewife.  I suspect in that day in many fathers houses these were the dreams for the daughters.  I wanted to be the next Janis Joplin, notwithstanding any of her bad habits and fancied myself just as smart and talented as Janis was when she was a fourteen year old rebel.  Ha!  I was not a very good one, I lived vicariously through Janis, and did not have the fortitude or guts to pull a Janis in my own life.
The yearning for freedom and liberty to be me was never quenched over the years as I became the daughter that was acceptable in my fathers home, it morphed from personal want to want for my country.  Janis herself faded into the mere dreams of youth but her music still holds a place in my life today.  My Ipod has a few of her goodies on my playlist. 
Me and Bobby McGehee means more to me than the story of love and setting one free.
Reflecting on freedom as I am wont to do when it comes to my beloved country, I believe we've come to the end of the road unless we practice some of the determination for freedom Janis and those in her time were unafraid to practice.  This one line sums it all up for me.
"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose, freedom don't mean nothing honey if it ain't free."

Happy Birthday Janis,
Donna Dawson

About DD for Liberty

We render unto Caesar, but we write Caesar's laws.
We should write and uphold laws that go no further than protecting your God given right to life, liberty and property, the pursuit of happiness.
I am a wife and mother that wants the best for her family. The best as I see it is for Government to get out of the way.
God is our protector and has equipped us with all the faculties and means necessary for a productive and free life and I need no man to tell my family what is best for them.
I am a Patriot and Libertarian.
I am a fan of the greatest Peacemaker Jesus.
Taxation is theft.
If you seek security over liberty you deserve neither.
My favorite quote:

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!”~Samuel Adams


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