By David Ficarri
-Diversions with Dave-
Climb aboard my friends, let’s take a little trip.
With Jim, Huck and Tom down the mighty Mississip.
To meet a genius of a man, smart as a whip.
Who knew a thing or two about censorship.
His name was Samuel Clemens better known as Mark Twain.
If you understood the man,
or had half a brain.
Then you wouldn’t burn his books, there’d be no need to explain.
Now, watch your step, this ride’s called the Cancel Culture Train.
Well, long before Twain, the voices they’d silence.
If it wasn’t burning books, they’d get you with violence.
It’s the power of control, to rule with compliance.
And they’ll burn you at the stake if you don’t like their “science.”
But before I go further please don’t get me wrong.
The wicked should be on the ash heaps, right where they belong.
Society keeps moving forward, you can’t come along.
That isn’t what has me singing this song.
I just find it odd who gets to decide.
Which ones that can stay, and who gets tossed aside.
This ideological chasm is a thousand miles wide.
And those of us in the middle get
dragged along for the ride.
Truth be told, I despise the term cancel culture.
But how else would you describe as they circle like vultures?
Waiting to pounce if even you’re thoughts are impure.
Brand you with that Scarlet Letter as if that’s a cure.
You just can’t sanitize life with gobs of Purell.
And sentence the others to Dante’s circles of hell.
Keep them riding around like a Kennywood carousel.
Or feel like they’re being watched just like Rockwell.
No, we’re all very human, we make our mistakes.
So let’s all just relax and pump on the breaks.
This isn’t some Shirley Jackson Lottery sweepstakes.
No, it’s faces on syrup and on Land O’Lakes.
There’s folks on all sides yelling they’re offended.
Turning in Facebook accounts to get others suspended.
Are you really upset with what Eminem did?
On an album that dropped before you were a kid.
No doubt some things should be left in the past.
If you really knew history, then you’d truly be aghast.
Your heroes and companies you’d drop really fast.
But, we’ve all got our sins, no stones should be cast.
Ahhh, there goes that Jesus guy stirring up trouble.
And his pal Socrates bursting thought bubbles.
And Galileo saw the world long before Hubble.
There’re not all just answers to your daily double.
No, they all got canceled in their own time.
Just when their lives were into their prime.
Upsetting the status quo was their only crime.
If history doesn’t repeat it surely does rhyme.
There was Malcolm and Bobby, Martin and Jack.
getting killed over politics or for just being black.
But they all put this country on the right tracks.
We’ve made too much progress, we’re not going back.
But each generation has its own circumstances.
Hopefully, we learn from the past as we make our advances.
But lately, it seems we’re just taking chances.
Instead of the root, we’re hacking at branches.
The Redskins and Indians names are no more.
But the Chiefs and Braves are still in box scores.
What stays and what goes it’s like nobody’s sure.
We just sit around waiting for the next uproar.
Then like Pavlov’s dogs we come chargin’ out of our pen.
We pounce on social media, we’re outraged again.
Write an essay rebuttal and angrily hit send.
Argue with strangers as our BP increases by a factor of ten.
Now, I’m not here to preach from atop my high horse.
Just like you, I’ve got opinions of course.
But I don’t want to hide my comments in Morse.
Or speak like Yoda summoning The Force.
Just to appease some lords of hypocrisy.
Or some fact-checkers working for a bureaucracy.
Who think they’re saving this whole democracy.
But if they knew their history, they wouldn’t have to ask me.
They’ve been banning books since paper met pen.
And silencing voices be it women or men.
It’s as if George Orwell knew way on back when.
That Big Brother would be coming back again.
Censorship doesn’t work just ask all those that tried it.
It’s a clever little tool to keep us divided.
We didn’t start this fire but we’ll sure fight it.
Because a house cannot stand when it’s divided.
Male or female, brown white or black.
Please take a deep breath and a quick step back.
Before you hit send or before you attack.
Don’t let your emotional train jump right off the track.
Now, I realize that’s easier said than done.
Don’t let another’s rain interfere with your sun.
Leave the past where it belongs, what’s done has been done.
No one gets out of here alive so why not have a little fun.
So, welcome back to where it all started.
I hope all your anger and outrage you’ve discarded.
I’m sure your synapses are feeling bombarded.
But it’s like common sense has recently departed.
So, if you’re into rock, rap or country.
Take a cue from the Beatles and just “Let It Be”.
Open up that mind and how quickly you’ll see.
This is the home of the brave and land of the free.
This censorship train is so out of control.
Instead of bubble wrapping all our kids in school.
Why don’t we use our history as a learning tool.
And take Twain’s advice, never argue with a fool.