I’m listening to my friend Janis Elko’s song “Las Vegas” (sent to me after she read the last blog entry). It’s so beautiful. I’m listening for about the fifth time now. I met Janis in 2002 when she came to Orient for one of my weekend songwriting workshops. Actually, we’d met once before outside of the Bottom Line. She’s a wonderful artist and person. She’s from the New York area but has lived in Germany for the last number of years. (Check out her site: www.janiselko.com).
I’ve gotten new music from other workshop friends too, lately. Lucas Mire and Jay Morgans. Got an email from the extraordinary Joshua Bley, also. He says he’s been invited to record with Rickee Lee Jones. I’ve made so many talented friends doing these workshops.
The local ones too, attended by the sweet teenage boys of Mattituck. I’ll never forget the sight of them, gathered around my table, guitars in their arms, waiting to play the new songs they’d write every week. They really touched me. They were the first inkling I had that I was no longer a teenager myself. (Living life as a musician in New York, you can kind of avoid that realization.) When I see them around now, it’s a joyous reunion. They are mine somehow. Young men now, they’re home for a visit. Back from school. A few live in Nashville. Creating music together makes for a lasting bond.
Speaking of the beautiful, innocence of the young, It’s very disheartening to see that in the whole Elliot Spitzer debacle there is little mention of the way young women are exploited, damaged, destroyed by prostitution. Why should anyone be able to rent out the body of another person for any price? The argument that the young woman believes it is her choice, and so is empowered, is ridiculous. She is misguided. She’s fooling herself. She’s been damaged by sexual abuse. She believes she has limited choices. She doesn’t have the foresight to understand her body is connected to her soul.
We as a society should be the ones to protect her. Why do we do such a poor job of protecting the bodies and souls of our young women? Spitzer’s hypocrisy is stunning, but I’d have had some respect for him if he’d apologized to the young women he’s caused irreparable harm. They aren’t much older than his privileged and protected teenage daughters.