Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Funnies & Arts


As always, click to enlarge...

Twenty-six years after the release of "Born in the USA," Glenn (Mr. Cool) Beck has discovered that the Bruce Springsteen epic is not the patriotic anthem he had supposed it to be for over half of his life. A stunned Beck has awakened to the cold reality that BUSA criticizes the treatment of young men used as cannon fodder and then cast aside when they return home from war. After revealing that "This Land Is Your Land" is also unpatriotic, a dazed and disillusioned Beck robotically recites the lyrics to BUSA, then shakes his head sorrowfully over the solace they must bring to Cuba and the "Soviet bloc."

All of which begs the following questions:
  • Mr. Beck, is it untrue that some young men from dead end towns enlisted in the Army and went to Vietnam?
  • Mr. Beck, is it also untrue that some young men chose the military as an alternative to jail?
  • Mr. Beck, is it untrue that many of them lost buddies in battle, and that said buddies often had Vietnamese girlfriends?
  • Mr. Beck, is it untrue that these men returned home to a country that largely turned its back on them?
  • Mr. Beck, is it unpatriotic of Mr. Springsteen to point out these realities and lament them? Put another way, is it wrong to say that we can do better by the young people we ask to die for us? If so, why?
  • Mr. Beck, why is it unpatriotic of Mr. Springsteen to point out national flaws, but o.k. for you and the teabaggers to do the same?

Texas Board of Education Blues: I read this and didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I love Texas. The music is sensational. All of the people are like no one you'll ever meet in your life, and that's true in a positive sense for many of them. I have lifelong friends there. I identify with it more than any place I've lived. But if my kids were in Texas schools, I'd feel obligated to go over every assigned reading with them and point out the errors: "That's wrong. That's wrong. That's misleading. That's sort of right but incomplete. The correct term is 'capitalism,' not 'the free enterprise system.' And God is a matter of faith, not of fact, but don't tell anyone at school that I said so."

Board member David Bradley, who apparently derives his expertise in the Constitution from his work selling insurance and real estate, rides tall in the saddle and bravely asserts that
I reject the notion by the left of a constitutional separation of church and state. I have $1,000 for the charity of your choice if you can find it in the Constitution.
Well, no one has ever said that words "separation of church and state" are in the Constitution. But the establishment clause of the First Amendment states plainly that "Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion." Thomas Jefferson, a reasonably intelligent if not especially religious man, wrote that establishment clause created "a wall of separation between church and State." James Madison also referred to the "total separation between church and state." In 1947, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black used Jefferson's words to argue that the
establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government can set up a church.
In other words, the plain wording of the establishment clause and over 200 years of commentary, scholarship, and court opinions say that the Constitution means exactly what David Bradley says it does not: That there is a wall of separation between church and state.

Meanwhile, board member Don McLeroy insists that textbooks include vote tallies for 1960s civil rights legislation, smugly claiming that "Republicans need a little credit for that. I think it’s going to surprise some students." Now, it's true that many Republicans voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act. It's also true that no southern Republican supported either bill, and that the '64 bill was weakened to attract Republican support. As for the Voting Rights Act, President Lyndon Johnson introduced it within a week after the first Selma march, when few non-southern politicians of any stripe cared to be identified with fire hoses and police dogs loosed on peaceful marchers.

Moreover, inclusion of the vote tallies without interpretation implies that the Republican party of today is the same as it was 45 years ago, when it actually had room for social moderates and even out-and-out liberals. The vote for civil rights legislation legislation fell largely along ideological lines, with liberals and moderates of either party supporting it and conservatives of either party opposing it. Today's conservatives would deride the Republicans who voted for the civil rights bills as RINOs. You think that will make it into the textbooks?...

When you think the night has seen your mind...

Peter Tibbles on Patsy Cline...

Long abandoned...

Danny Westneat discovers that health insurance premiums are skyrocketing more and faster than the MSM has reported. And that's in shadow of health care reform. What do you think would happen if the Republicans were ever to get their way and allow insurance companies to sell from the most poorly regulated states?...

Starbucks, which side are you on?...




Concerned that his bitter critique had been co-opted, Springsteen often performs a slashing, deconstructed acoustic arrangement that stressed the anger of the lyrics:

7 comments:

Roy said...

Glenn Beck and the Texas Board of Education are all clueless dimbulbs, but there's an important difference. Glenn Beck's just a worthless, ignorant clown, but while the TBE might be made up of worthless ignoramuses, their activities influence more than just Texas schools; Texas is the largest textbook market in the US, and the industry adjusts its content according to Texas' standards. So while somebody in Massachussetts or New York may not care that Texas kids stay in the stone age, they, too, will get those textbooks that say that an invented Bronze Age boogeyman created the universe, with the earth at its center, in six days 6,000 years ago. Oh yeah, and that Tom Paine, Ben Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, and Tom Jefferson were all members in good standing of the Southern Baptist Convention. Heaven help us!

What a great article on Patsy Cline! Yeah, I've broken my own heart on her songs more than a few times. I think it's interesting that the songs we think of as so her - like "I Fall to Pieces", "Crazy", and "Walking After Midnight" - she didn't like. A lot of musicians are like that; there are endless stories in the business of artists who wanted a particular song to be the B-side of a song they liked better, only to be convinced by the A&R guy that the position should be reversed, and he (the A&R guy) was right! Heh, heh! Just goes to show that we're not the best judges of the worth of our own work, I guess.

I love Bruce's acoustic version of "Born In the USA"; that boy been listenin' to some Leadbelly, I do believe!

K. said...

I've seen Bruce perform the acoustic version a few times. He went back to the electric version on the last tour, I think for the first time since '91 or '92.

Re the Texas Board, I've gotten to wear the evolution stuff doesn't concern me so much any more. The courts have consistently ruled that teaching Creationism or ID is the same as teaching a particular religious view. Plus, biology teachers have generally rebelled against teaching anything other Darwin's theory.

If the religious right wingnuts want to home-school their kids on Creationism, let them. Those poor children are raised with so much garbage anyway that it will take a Herculean effort on their part to rise above it.

K. said...

BTW, I appreciate that drilling down on the votes for and against 45-year old legislation is a bit arcane. But, damn it, things are rarely what they seem to be and they're always more complicated.

Maybe that's the difference between us and them: This reality doesn't bother us, whereas it almost always challenges their assumptions, so they flee from it. Read the commentary to liberal internet articles, and the conservative response is almost always ad hominem. It's like they stick their collective fingers in their collective ears and say "na-na-na-na-na>"

Editilla~New Orleans Ladder said...

That Springsteen made me cry.

K. said...

He's in a class by himself, isn't he? They don't call him The Boss for nothing.

Barry and Barbara Knister said...

I would like to share with you my scientific explanation for the thinking of Glenn, Mitch, Karl, Rush, Roger and so many others. It is based on assumptions I've made, deriving from the body style of all those named. That style is known as endomorphism, the carrying over into adulthood of physical attributes of infancy. Chief among these is a blubbery body, and a face that suggests--in repose or freeze-framed--works of sculpture composed of suet. Remember, this is all science. Now, in such people, especially in males, it is not a wild surmise to see them, all through their developmental years, watching football and basketball games, always from the sidelines,and experiencing deep feelings of envy. It is consistent with this profile of growing-up that such people arrive at adulthood with a powerful wish to beat someone up. Still lacking either the coordination or physical courage to do so, they become politicians or media "personalities," perfectly positioned to give release to years of endomorphic angst.
On a lighter note, you might enjoy visiting http://drinksbeforedinner.com

K. said...

I dunno...Beck says that science is a liberal plot to...to...well, it's a liberal plot.