Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

As I approach the gates of heaven;
St. Peter I will tell;
One more soldier reporting sir;
I've served my time in hell.
Mark Anthony Gresswell.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Old Time Rock and Roll and Politically Correct Speech

President Obama caught some flak recently for inviting a pop singer to the White House who had either written or sang a song sympathetic to a cop killer. Elites in this country have always scorned the music or movie industry for peddling lyrics that are not in tune with mainstream thinking. Call it a form of censorship but it is a strain in the American experience that will never go away. I recall sometime in 1969 or 70, Spiro Agnew gave a speech that ripped into Easy Rider for its promotion of illicit drug use. That seems rather comical today in that its major protagonist, Jack Nicholson, spends most of his public time sitting with his long time friend Lou Adler courtside at Lakers' games looking a lot more weather beaten than Agnew ever did.

You can fast forward this narrative to Tipper Gore in the late 80's testifying before Congress on the dangers of rap music and then Bill Clinton tearing into Sister Souljah for her lyrics. My daughters, when they were teenagers, had all sorts of racist songs on their Ipods. The infamous "N" word was thrown around like pennies in an arcade. That most of these songs were sung by black performers seemed to make it all acceptable. I have very little knowledge of any of these songs because, thanks to Apple and Itunes, my universe of music begins circa 1900 with Scott Joplin and ends with Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love around 1985. About a week ago, I was listening to my collection of Rolling Stones music and when Brown Sugar was played, it got me to thinking. Even though I have listened to this song at least 500 times, I never did understand the lyrics. As with most songs of the era, that does not matter. You simply interpose your own fantasies into the beat and then enjoy the ride. So I Googled the lyrics and here they are:

Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields,
Sold in a market down in new orleans.
Scarred old slaver know he's doin alright.
Hear him whip the women just around midnight.
Ah brown sugar how come you taste so good
(a-ha) brown sugar, just like a young girl should

Drums beating, cold english blood runs hot,
Lady of the house wondrin where it's gonna stop.
House boy knows that he's doin alright.
You should a heard him just around midnight.
Ah brown sugar how come you taste so good
(a-ha) brown sugar, just like a black girl should

I bet your mama was a tent show queen, and all her boy
Friends were sweet sixteen.
Im no schoolboy but I know what I like,
You should have heard me just around midnight.

Ah brown sugar how come you taste so good
(a-ha) brown sugar, just like a young girl should.

I said yeah, I said yeah, I said yeah, I said
Oh just like a, just like a black girl should.

I said yeah, I said yeah, I said yeah, I said
Oh just like, just like a black girl should.
What we have here is a song about a slave trader bringing in a shipment of black women to New Orleans, literally whipping them into shape and then raping them at night in a whorehouse. And this is all supposed to be "just like a black girl should." If that is not enough, fasten your seat belt and check this out:

Gotta love Jagger. It amazes me that this song never was controversial. I guess the Stones could get away with it. Imagine Pat Boone or Loretta Lynn singing this ode. I doubt they would have pulled it off. Looking back at it, I have to congratulate myself. I always thought the self appointed morality police were full of themselves. Their warnings of moral decay were all hot air used to pump up their own political careers. Like the French say, plus ca la change, plus ca la meme chose. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Irony is the source of humor. It is also provides a lense through which events can be judged in proper perspective. I was reading the Wall Street Journal yesterday (yes, the print version) and could not help but be amazed at this picture and caption.

We have the following:
1. "Accounting for Evil."
2. "28,060 deaths."
3. "helping murder nearly 30,000.00 people."
To which add:
4. "a 5 year sentence" and
5. "He was freed, pending an appeal."
There were more pictures of him in a wheelchair leaving the courthouse which only adds to the spectacle.

I wonder how many people showed up at his "camp" (another grotesque literary misnomer) crippled, maimed, or sick and were shot on sight and then discarded like yesterday's garbage. In any event, if you are going to account for evil, account for evil.