From my son Nicholas Brown who is traveling with and writing for Rock The Vote Tuesday, October 14th, 2008:
Young voters registered yesterday - 13,569
Miles traveled today - 378
8:04 p.m. CDT - Between Minneapolis and Omaha
This is far too beautiful a country to let it all go to hell. Even on an overcast day, tearing through the swampland in southern Minnesota, you can't help but stare at a dilapidated barn on the side of the road or a long prairie vista. Photography can't capture the wonder of traveling through the open vistas of America. Photographs taken behind the bug-encrusted, front windshield of the bus can't even come close.
We are in the American heartland now, but it is a rapidly changing heartland. Apple pie, family farmsteads, and rows of corn are competing with sushi, wind farms, and cornrows. And speaking of newer hairstyles: we are dashing towards Omaha for a concert with Murs tomorrow.
To those who haven't spent much time in, and I use the term lovingly, the fly-over states, it may seem that 'Rock' is as out-of-place in Omaha as a cruise ship. Not so. My family is from Omaha and my cousin still lives here, happily drumming away in a metal band. The youth in the Midwest scream for music and politics as much as anywhere. Nor is that necessarily a recent development. Speaking of 1930's Kansas City, another midwestern hub, biographer David McCullough writes:
"Forty dance halls and more than a hundred nightclubs were in operation offering... some of the best blues and jazz to be heard anywhere in America... This, too, was heartland America, no less than the old-fashioned, country-town peace and quiet..."
Not that we are here to engage in anything so reckless or debauched as blues or jazz. I merely point out that New York and LA, the traditional homes of Rock, ought not to be allowed exclusive claim to the unrest that spawns music and political activism.
No, this is far too beautiful a country to let it all go to hell and young Midwesterners realize that as well as anyone.