“Penny for ‘em,” Danni smiled.
Rufus went on the offensive.
“I have to stay focused, on myself, on my music,” he said, “it’s the only way I’ll live up to my potential.”
“Potential?” Danni asked, smiling wider.
“Yes,” Rufus was adamant, “music changes the world, didn’t you know that? Every time we sing, strike a chord, share a lyric, we change the world a little for the better.”
She actually barked out a laugh at this.
“Don’t laugh!” Rufus fired back. “It’s true!”
“Oh, sure it is,” Danni scoffed, “peace, love and understanding, right? You, Bob Dylan, Kurt Cobain… Lady GaGa; you’ve all just changed the world so, so much!”
“What’s wrong with singing about peace?” Rufus was shocked.
“What’s wrong with it?” Danni asked.
“Yeah,” he nodded, “of course! Surely you can’t…”
“I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it,” Danni’s mouth set into a hard, determined line, “your country has led the world into a series of pointless wars, aimed at controlling the world’s oil supply and denying alternative view-points from their own rightful democratic process. Your government has funded murderers across the globe. Your government has held people prisoner for no reason other than the fact that they do not support your government’s point of view.”
“Danni!” Rufus tried to interrupt, well aware that her voice was rising.
“Tens of thousands of innocent people, kids included, have died innocent, needless deaths because of your country’s war-mongering and arrogance. And all of this has happened while so, so many singers have been singing about peace. The old farts who run government now, were the same people who were at Woodstock and Glastonbury. It’s the freakin’ hippies who are so content to take us to war right now. So don’t tell me singing for peace makes a blind bit of difference.”
“It does!” Rufus countered. “It does.”
“Nope. I grew up with hippies, and I’ll tell you until I’m dead and buried, that their actions didn’t match their words.”
Danni stared at him.
“But we can change the world,” Rufus said eventually, “it’s not out of our control. We can.”
“Maybe,” she said, “but I’ll tell you something. Until you change yourself, you ain’t changing anything. Some day, someone is going to need you, Rufus. And if you’re not there for them, then all your songs, and tunes, and words, and well-meaning, hippy-dippy-ness won’t matter at all.”
“This is a real world, Rufus, like it or not. You can’t just close your eyes and ignore it. You can’t turn a blind eye.”