Elle Severe Presents

An Open Letter to Tracy Chapman

In Life, Musings, Random, Rants on August 8, 2012 by WhiteBread

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, mammals and reptiles, Curiosity findings, I hate to be the one to have to tell you this, but I must.  The dream is dead.

The “Fast Car” dream is over.

If you don’t know about the vision that I’m referring to, then let me take you all the way back to 1988.  A folksy little songwriter, named Tracy Chapman, or as I affectionately refer to her, T-Chap, wrote a little ditty describing the plight of a young woman desperately seeking an escape from her struggles of poverty.  She satiates her internal desires by imagining and planning a life far better than her own.  An escape is planned and an attainable dream is created.  With just a little bit of money, a lot of hard work, and a few risks taken, the protagonist can leave her home and embark on a life far better than her current one.  It’s a song of hope, of new beginnings, and of starting over as someone completely new.

And it’s complete bullshit.

Look, the current economy sucks.  I get it.  After graduating this year, I was consistently reminded how tough the job market was and just how lucky I was to have a job.  Over the last five years of this economic downturn, I have witnessed many people struggle to find jobs, accrue overwhelming amounts of debt and work menial jobs just to survive paycheck to paycheck.  This is the reality for which I was prepared.  However, rather than fill my head with this sad reality, I shoved my iPod headphones deeper into my ears –to block out all of the loud sobs, moans and complaints – and blasted T-Chap’s “Fast Car” on repeat 4800 times.  I clung to the dream created for me by Tracy that if I worked hard and took a bit of risk, I too could run away from the people “at a convenience store” and create a better life for myself.

This changed however, upon my last trip home to Jersey.  Upon my return home while driving, driving, in my car, sped so fast I felt like I was drunk and  eye-yee-eye had a feeling that Tracy’s hopes were no longer feasible.  This trip was unexpectedly expensive and that the “Fast Car” dream was dead.  In my mind, this casualty was arguably the worst to come out of the current economic crisis since Allen Iverson filed for bankruptcy back in February.  (Allen, in this case we are “talkin’ bout practice”.  Practice of fiscal responsibility).   Hopes dashed, all I could shout was “Tracy Chapman, how could you have failed to consider inflation when you wrote your fucking song 23 years ago?!?!”

However, instead of letting my rage get the best of me and cause me to do something stupid like try and drink a gallon of milk in one sitting, I decided to redirect my anger and use this blog as a means of reaching out to the one person who caused me to betray my own reality.  This is an open letter to Tracy Chapman.

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2 Responses to “An Open Letter to Tracy Chapman”

  1. Aurelie M. says:

    that’s bitter but I hope you find your way back to a better life. Sure the Economy doesn’t help nowadays, but Tracy’s lyrics/songs helped me so much through the years that I couldn’t even stop listening to her music, I keep on hoping that’s indeed possible to have a better life, no matter what

  2. St. Taint says:

    I was just listening to that song last night!! I cannot stop laughing! You are too funny.

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