This past week I found myself listening to music sung by Edith Pilaf and other Parisian chanteuses. At first I just thought it was accidental, just enjoying some music of the past. However, as the week went on and still I was listening, singing along, and humming tunes while working, I began to think that something else must be going on.
After pondering the possible reasons, I realized that it was my way of channeling my disbelief and inability to deal with the reality of post- election America. The 1930s cabaret music of Paris and Berlin connected me to a time when an evil force suppressed the happy and gay life of enlightened cities throughout Europe.
Today’s headlines have me feeling like we are living in a society occupied by a foreign force. Our wonderful country based on welcoming arms to all, celebrating our diversity, accepting of all religions to be free to worship, now seems like Paris during the Nazi occupation. As our President-elect surrounds himself with a cabinet consisting of right-wing fanatics, fellow billionaires, racists, and the likes of Rudy Giuliani, how can rational Americans begin to process such a reality?
Perhaps that is why I especially keep singing the tune, “La Vie en Rose” over and over in my head. The words translate as “life tinted pink.” While thinking about getting though our harsh new reality, one might have to block out all the negative news and view the daily insanity through the lens of rose tinted glasses. Another tune comes to mind while writing this, the lyrics from a song in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, “Rose tint my world and keep me safe from the trouble and pain.”
Unfortunately, the main character had to rely on drugs and lust to see life tinted pink, perhaps not the best choice for the rest of us living in the new Trump America. However, we still need to keep ourselves safe from the trouble ahead.
So how do we see la vie en rose and live life constructively here in Wilton Manors as the nation around us turns drastically to a harsh reality? We must stay involved and committed to keeping our city the wonderful welcoming place for all. We cannot allow ourselves to fall into the abyss that will divide us. We are a city that works together, building a community for all. Those who think otherwise are just not capable to view neighbors without putting labels on them. Thankfully, such people are very much in the minority here in Wilton Manors, and we must work hard to keep it that way. Many amongst us might be influenced by the national tone of hatred, racism and division. We must be vigilant and keep that sweeping negativity outside our city’s borders.
Wilton Manors has just reelected our Mayor and two incumbents to the City Commission. We have a strong city government that is ready to work for all residents. We must support their efforts, efforts that will bring about a new Wilton Drive, redevelopment of the Andrews Avenue and Oakland Park corridors, magnificent parks and recreational facilities, a much used municipal library, and so much more. All this is not just for LGBT residents, not just for seniors, not just for those with children, but for ALL residents to use and enjoy.
Now more than ever, we must continue being an optimistic city full of hope and wonder. As we are faced with harsh realities never thought possible here in the United States of America, we must reject the hate, reject the insanity, and come together to rose tint our world here in this city we love.
La vie en rose, seeing life through rose tinted glasses, will only make life just better here…