Who Am I? (Other Than Cranky)

by Norman Horowitz

The buildings reach up to the sky
The traffic thunders on the busy street
Pavement slips beneath my feet
I walk alone and wonder, who am I?

I close my eyes then I can fly
And I escape from all this worldly strife
Restricted by routine of life
But still I can’t discover, who am I?

I long to wake up in the morning
And find everything has changed
And all the people that I meet don’t wear a frown

But every day is just the same
I’m chasing rainbows in the rain
All the dreams that I believe in let me down

Maybe I’m reaching far too high
For I have something else entirely free
With love of someone close to me
Unfettered by the world that hurries by
Um, to question such good fortune, who am I?

It was more than half a lifetime ago when Petula Clark recorded the song “Who Am I?

Glenn Gould, the Canadian pianist, wrote that the song was a “document of despair which catalogues the symptoms of disenchantment and ennui.” It was said that it embodied the social consciousness of the 1960s, specifically the search for the meaning of life.

I thought about “social consciousness” the other night when the Republicans were threatening to risk so much in shutting down the government in order to defund “Planned Parenthood.” It was a genuine “Good grief!” moment for me.  


After all, Planned Parenthood maintains health centers around the country that offer health care and information that are needed by many. They provide a wide range of services, including:

anemia testing; cholesterol screening; diabetes screening; physical exams, including for employment and sports; flu vaccines; help with quitting smoking; high blood pressure screening; tetanus vaccines; thyroid screening; as well as sexual and reproductive health services.

Apparently, the Republicans were smart or devious enough to trade the “we will allow funding for Planned Parenthood” of a few hundred million dollars if the Democrats and the President will cut $30+ billion from the federal budget.

I had hoped that our President would have drawn a line in the sand and let the Republicans shut down the government, but alas he did not. He could have pointed out that a single F-22 costs our country more than the cost of Planned Parenthood.

As an executive, I believed in the “industrial notion” of “speak softly and carry a big stick.” I wish that the President would have made World War Three out of the Planned Parenthood issue by “getting angry,” taking the issue to the American public, and throwing Congressman Boehner and the Republicans  under the proverbial political bus. It was a rare political opportunity missed and billions of dollars for needed budget items ceded to the “reduce taxes and expenses at all costs” Republicans.

It’s appalling that the Republicans would even threaten men and women in our country by not funding Planned Parenthood, that they’re willing to eliminate all of the good things done by Planned Parenthood in order to…well, you can fill in the blank.

But every day is just the same
I’m chasing rainbows in the rain
All the dreams that I believe in let me down…