Saturday, August 28, 2010

The World Turned Upside Down

A British military band supposedly played a song called "The World Turned Upside Down" when Lord Cornwallis surrendered to the Americans at Yorktown in 1781. Would have been an apt number today when Glenn Beck appropriated the site, anniversary, & memory of Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech to host a rally of thousands of white conservatives. I'm sorry, but I'm fairly certain where those people would have stood 47 years ago, & it wouldn't have been in front of the Lincoln Memorial listening to Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Marian Anderson, John Lewis, A.  Philip Randolph, Walter Reuther,  Roy Wilkins,  Whitney Young, & Dr. King.

A commentator on CNN called it "historical cognitive dissonance," the feeling I get watching that docudrama style TV series where the South won the Civil War.

The phrase "traditional values" holds small appeal for me. There are "traditions" & there are "values." I have sadly let go of  some "traditions" I loved  because our best American (&/or Judeo-Christian) values no longer supported them.  Traditions change as culture changes.

Usiing wedge issues, fear, slogans, sideshows, & a supply of quiet money,  the super-rich in America have always  raised up crowds, sometimes mobs & armies, minions of ordinary Americans to do their bidding. It's one of the strange contradictions of our society. It has to be fought. We have ask, Whose side is the Tea Party on? Even the rank & file Tea Partiers don't seem to know. They haven't yet produced their Antichrist.  But it's getting  curiouser & curiouser every day.


Whenever I hear Glenn Beck rally the Faithful, I can't help but think of this famous musical scene.
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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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