The Pilgrimage Of Douglas High School

The students at Douglas High School are on a pilgrimage.

It has gained a lot of momentum.

And as our country begins to see the younger generations start to assert their voices, many in Washington D.C. are having a hard time letting those new leaders “take a turn” at deciding what their country should be like.

Sen. Marco Rubio’s rather stunning lack of true leadership during the CNN town hall meeting in Florida on February 21st showed not only the glaring disconnect between lawmakers and their constituents; it showed the two-faced nature of many politicians and their loyalties.

This two-faced characteristic is sometimes linked to the Roman god named Janus, who is shown with two faces. Overtly, many like Rubio seem loyal to those whom they supposedly represent. This is what they show publicly. In reality, it seems like Rubio and company are really loyal to those who fund them. This is what they display through their actions, or lack of action.

In the English language, there are words that can have multiple meanings denotatively and connotatively. Sometimes those meanings can be in complete contradiction to each other. These specific words are called “contronyms” or “Janus words.”

R.E.M. ‘s song “Pilgrimage” plays with one of those Janus words: “clip.”

They called the clip, a two-headed cow

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“Clip” can mean to attach something to another object like using a paper clip or clipping two things together. It can also mean to cut something off like with fingernail clips.

In “Pilgrimage” that “two-headed cow” could be the divide between the very two elements that separate those young activists from Douglas High School and the politicians like Rubio who aim to keep the status quo. And one of those heads is literally calling out the other one for its hypocrisy, its “hate,” and its “broken lips.”

The word “pilgrimage” itself suggests a spiritual quest, mostly one that is a physical journey to some holy place for fulfillment of the soul. And starting with a trip to Tallahassee and the Washington D.C. and culminating with various pilgrimages outside of schools to show support of gun control laws, what is happening is the beginning of spiritual quest for the soul of this country being led by those taking their “turn.”

Most of the politicians who stand in the way of these young leaders and their pilgrimage use a pharisaical façade of holiness and religious piety. They use double-speak explain their actions in terms of freedom to have arms. They literally are “speaking in tongues.” That outward and vain show of religious expression is covering up an empty morality, one that makes the world “take a turn for the worse” and allows us to “keep our hate.”

There definitely is momentum. These young people are taking their “fortune.”

And making sure that the political status quo “will not last.”

 

“Pilgrimage”

Take a turn, take a turn
Take a fortune, take a fortune

Keep your hate, clipped and distant
Keep your luck with pilgrimage
Rest assured this will not last
Take a turn for the worst
Keep your hate, clipped and distant
Keep your luck, a two-headed cow

The pilgrimage has gained momentum
Take a turn, take a turn
Take a fortune, take a fortune

Speaking in tongues, it’s worth a broken lip
Keep your hate, clipped and distant
Keep your luck with pilgrimage
Rest assured this will not last
Take a turn for the worse
Keep your hate, clipped and distant
Keep your luck, a two-headed cow

The pilgrimage has gained momentum
Take a turn, take a turn
Take a fortune, take a fortune
Pilgrimage, pilgrimage

Speaking in tongues, it’s worth a broken lip
Keep your hate, clipped and distant
Keep your luck
Rest assured this will not last
Take a turn for the worse
Keep your hate, clipped and distant
Keep your luck, two-headed

The pilgrimage has gained momentum
Take a turn, take a turn
Take a fortune, take a fortune
Pilgrimage, pilgrimage

The pilgrimage has gained momentum
Take a turn, take a turn
Take a fortune, take a fortune
Take a turn, take a turn
Take a fortune, take a fortune

 

 

2 thoughts on “The Pilgrimage Of Douglas High School

  1. “Pilgrimage” has always reached me in a special way. This observation expands on that and has me listening with new urgency. Thanks for this essay.

    Like

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