Randy Newman…

…might not be an artist you’re familiar with unless you remember the song “Short People” from the 70’s, but you’ve probably heard a lot of his music in movie soundtracks. He combines a piano style derived from early jazz, gospel, and classical music combined with an ironic, character-driven populist approach to lyrics. Listening to Newman it’s evident he loves humanity, but doesn’t close his eyes to our dark side either.

Recently on Prairie Home Companion, Newman, in the context of a song, spoke of how fear has permeated our lives. He referred to FDR’s statement that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” and that now it’s patriotic to be afraid. We are supposed to be afraid, and what are we supposed to be afraid of? Terror, another word for fear.

Are fearful people less likely to raise a ruckus about the government listening in on their phone calls, or suspending their rights of Habeus Corpus, or sending their kids to war?

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