Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rock of Ages

Schoolhouse Rock was a defining cultural moment for a generation: Thousands of kids that schools had failed to reach were suddenly aware of nouns, times tables and American history.

So it's not surprising to see it used to describe modern situations, as in "I'm Just A (Stimulus) Bill". Ruth Anne at The Maternal Optimist links to one of the second revival's songs, Tyrannosaurus Debt. (The first and best run was from '73-'79, and the series was revived in the '80s, briefly, to get some computer stuff in there, and then again in the '90s for a money series. None caught fire like the original.)

On a related note, Blossom Dearie, who sang "Figure Eight" and "Adjectives" died last week at the age of 82.

Lileks reminisces on Reagan, whom the left is trying to blame all our current ills on, so they can--well, you know, take all the money and run the show. That's the goal, right?

Reagan was worse than stupid – he was conspicuously indifferent to our futures. It was generally accepted that he either wanted a nuclear war or was too dim to understand the consequences. It went without saying that he didn’t read Schell’s “Fate of the Earth.” It went without saying that he didn’t read anything at all.

Remember kids, Republicans are either stupid or evil: Ike (Stupid), Nixon (Evil), Ford (Stupid), Reagan (Stupid), GHW Bush (Evil), GW Bush (Stupid). This narrative hasn't changed in my father's lifetime, much less my own. And it probably goes back to the 19th century, though not so one-sidedly as it has in the past 80 years.

Finally, Clarendon at the New Pamplheteers (h/t Instapundit) writes a little bit about the history of the Boston Tea Party and what those who would co-opt those historical giants should know about how that event came about.

We live in intersting times.


  1. We happened upon some documentary about Reagan a few months ago. They played some clips of his speeches. No wonder people were so crazy about him. The optimism and the eloquent words about freedom... hard to believe we're where we are now. How does the same country elect Reagan (overwhelmingly) and then Obama, within the same approximate generation? That's what worries me. I'm afraid we have changed in some fundamental way. I just read your latest post and I hope it's true. That freedom is in our character and we will eventually default to wanting our freedoms back.

  2. Well, Reagan, in retrospect, stood alone. GHWB was a "compassionate conservative" like his son. That very label cedes the argument: Conservatives are not compassionate.

    When he spoke of a "kinder, gentler nation", he implied that Reagan was neither, completely abandoning the notion that compassion and kindness are never qualities of the state.

    But that's the case: Your neighbors will help you--not forever, and not if you don't honestly try to help yourself--but the state will give you just enough "help" to make you a slave.

    That's the sleight-of-hand: If tax dollars were understood as a hostile act, rather than benevolence, we'd have the more honest argument of "The President is funding schools? Why does he hate children so?"

    Government money--quite apart from regulation--going into an area destroys it. It destroyed railroads and airplanes, it destroyed poor families, and it'll continue destroying.

    But until people see it that way, small government-types will be easy to attack as "selfish" or "uncaring".


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