COMMENTS: Taking the Places To Us

CBS and ABC both chose the lively arts for their closing feature. From England, ABC's David Wright brought us The Zimmers, a pop group named for the brand name of the senior citizen's walker. The singing band has a music video hit on YouTube. It is their cover version of Who's My Generation and was made for a BBC documentary on the plight of the elderly: as Wright put it "the anthem of one generation is borrowed by their parents' generation and released as a video using the technology of their grandkids' generation." See a Zimmer chant: "People try to put us down…"

CBS brought us Zach Houston, the retail poet. He sits outside a supermarket in Berkeley Cal with a manual typewriter and composes commissioned verses for shoppers: they assign him a topic; he activates his muse; one day he earned $150. John Blackstone was inspired to quote William Wordsworth on the work of the poet: "In common things that round us lie/Some random truths he can impart/The harvest of a quiet eye."

Here is Houston's response to the commission "love and motorcycles."

We are two wheels,
Between us a machine
That keeps the concrete
From touching our feet,
Taking the places to us
On a machine made of
Two pieces of each

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