Thursday, September 24, 2009

You'd expect more from a supergroup

I was ironing today, something I do once a month whether we need ironed clothes or not.

(Actually, at least twice a year I get to skip my monthly ironing day, because my priceless mother-in-law is visiting and does it for me - way better than I do it, too, ironing not just the things that have been crumpled like tissue paper but even the children's clothes, which is something I'll only do at Christmas and Easter.)

Anyway, I had my "epic win" playlist going on the old iPod, and "Wildest Dreams" came on. Asia... ah, Asia. Asia was the band that introduced me to (putative) hard rock, back in 1982. (Yes, I know it's prog.) My taste in music in my first two years of high school was heavily influenced by the fact that I was living, breathing, eating and drinking musical theater; then I moved to a much smaller school with a great drama teacher but a very small pool of performers. (We tried, in my junior year, to put on Stop the World, I Want To Get Off, but had to cancel the whole endeavor because the only guy to try out for the male lead was also instrumental to the football team's prospects, and his priorities were more with the team than the ensemble. A lucky thing, too, because I was cast in the female lead role, and I was NEVER going to get the difference between a German and a Russian accent, much less be able to do those AND British AND whatever-all other accents that part required. It's rather a silly show anyway...)

So, with only musical theater in my head, I tended to go for the bubble-gum pop in my radio listening. (Radio: that thing in the car that sometimes plays songs, often plays commercials, and too often plays happy talk.) But then a guy stuck his Walkman headphones over my ears and cranked up some Asia, and suddenly a new dawn... um, dawned: hard rock could be melodic! Who knew?

Back to my ironing. I'm singing along to "Wildest Dreams," and we (John Wetton and I) got to the part about "They recommended euthanasia for nonconformists anywhere." Now, this afternoon was not the first time this line had bugged me, but for some reason it bugged me especially today; recall that this was the Reagan era, and that the chorus of "Wildest Dreams" says, "They fight (they fight) for king (for king) and country," and the only king they might've been referring to was Reagan, the clown-king of "progressive" fantasy. And what struck me was this:

Who created reeducation camps? Who undertakes "diversity" and "sensitivity" training? Who spearheaded hate-speech rules on campuses and elsewhere? Who goes immediately, in these times, to accusations of racism when policy disagreements occur?

Hint: it ain't Reagan's side, no matter how far from Reagan the American Right might've come.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The monsters are the monsters

One of my favorite blogs, NeoNeoCon, was discussing how one's political viewpoint can be changed (that's the story behind the first "neo" of NeoNeoCon's handle; she was raised on the Left and subscribed to that point of view until 9/11, whereupon the already-extant long slow erosion of her confidence in progressivism pretty much turned into a landslide). One of the commenters, who it appears was born a conservative and remains one today, said this:

I’m not a “changer”. However, an incident in 8th grade (1982) revealed to me that I viewed things differently than my teachers and couldn’t knuckle under like the other kids:

We were assigned to read “Monsters are Due on Maple Street.” (What I now know is some high-grade Rod Serling red-baiting agitprop.)

In it the aliens (the monsters) coerced, manipulated and used psychological warfare to turn ‘average racist gun-owning psycho Americans’ to turn on their neighbors so that the aliens could walk in without a beam fired.

In the class, the (now I know) sever lefty, feninist teacher sneered “Now who were the real monsters?” And all the little sheep dutifully said “the racist average gun-owning Americans were the real monsters!”

I raised my hand and stated: “No way, the monsters manipulated them. There were monsters. The monsters are the monsters!” Then the wrath of the class and teacher fell upon me. The teacher claimed I was juvenile and couldn’t understand the ‘nuance’ of the story. The class devolved into a shouting match with me yelling “The monsters are the monsters!”

It was ugly. It was a true learning experience. I got into fist-fights with the little bastards for a week after that; was constantly ridiculed, even by the teacher, and got a low grade in that class, but I stuck to it.

If you just keep your moral bearings and remember “the monsters are the monsters.”, liberal bullshit falls apart instantly.

Just don’t forget: The monsters are the monsters.

I've reproduced his or her comment (I'm pretty sure "his," but one wouldn't want to assume) in its entirety. Let's do remember. Because, remember how after every terrorist attack of any scale, we hear apologists tell us, sometimes in so many words, that the terrorists were driven to their action by our actions? In essence, that we are the monsters?

Please note that I am, and all should be, very cognizant of the difference between the story's scenario - monsters acting specifically to produce a crazed reaction from humans - and what we are repeatedly accused of: we are ourselves, products of many centuries of a particular sheaf of cultures and cultural practices. The simple fact of our difference from the terrorists, or perhaps the fact that we dare to act different from the terrorists in accordance with our differences from them, is said to be our sin.

No. The monsters are the monsters.