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Our old friend America dropping by reminded me of a question. You know that hillbilly song that came out - I think - around the time of the Gulf War with the refrain - "I'm proud to be an American"? Well, I've always thought about this particular line:

"I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free."

Especially for the folks that revere this song, in what way, precisely, are they "free"? They're free to drop out of high school to go to work. They're free to live in a trailer park. They're free to work at a coal mine. They're free to chain smoke cigarettes until they get lung cancer. They're free to drink beer and play quarters every Friday for 50 years until they die. They're free to drive a 1974 Pinto. They're free to eat canned ravioli every other night for dinner and McDonalds and Coke (supersized) for lunch every day. They're free to rot their teeth out by the time they're 45. They're free to have sex with their cousin in the ultra wide next door.

In what way, exactly, are they "free"? Confused

© MBM

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That song is for delude people that are proud of being deluded.

This is where America was and where it is headed again. We have blown it over the last 60 years.

16 Tons Lyrics
Tennesee Ernie Ford

Some people say a man is made outta' mud
A poor man's made outta' muscle and blood
Muscle and blood and skin and bones
A mind that's a-weak and a back that's strong

You load sixteen tons, what do ya get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number 9 coal
And the store boss said "Well, a-bless my soul"

You load sixteen tons, what do ya get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter, don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin', it was drizzlin' rain
Fightin' and trouble are my middle name
I was raised in the canebrake by an ol' mama lion
Cain't no-a high-toned woman make me walk the line

You load sixteen tons, what do ya get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter, don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

If you see me comin', better step aside
A lotta men didn't, a lotta men died
One fist of iron, the other of steel
If the right one don't getcha, then the left one will

You load sixteen tons, what do ya get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter, don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store.

We are free to owe our sould to the company store.

umbra
The song is by Lee Greenwood, lovely Southern Baptist man. Surely, there are plenty of "freedoms" to be thankful for in this country. That we can even have these conversations on a public forum is something great. No one is completely free to do anything they want, anytime they want, but we have enough flexibility in this country to at least be a bit grateful. sck
quote:
Our old friend America dropping by reminded me of a question. You know that hillbilly song that came out - I think - around the time of the Gulf War with the refrain - "I'm proud to be an American"? Well, I've always thought about this particular line:


You have to ask what we/they/us/you/I think freedom really is? From OUR prospective we live under the illusion of freedom.

This song represents my new found definition of freedom and the definition that is used by White men:

"You are only as free as your ability to MAINTIAN and PROTECT your freedom. If you can't do this then you are not truley free."

Which is why they are big on the "right to bare arms".

That is why 9/11 was such a jolt to their system. They KNEW they couldn't be touched.

But they KNOW they have the power (militarily) to make things right in the world....and they ARE working on it.
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1 - I don't think it's a "hillbilly" song.

2 - MBM's initial post is basically just an opportunity for him to trot out these Southern stereotypes and mock these people in a "what do these backwards yokels who listen to this kind of music have to be happy about?" kind of way. And I think that's crap. I said already that none of us are completely, 100% free. But certainly Southerners are under no more delusions than their northern counterparts, who are free to suck in all the smog from their gas-guzzling SUVs, free to spend five grand on a shoebox apartment, free to eat overpriced French food made by a pair of Mexicans in the back kitchen, etc.

The question was in what way are they free, and my answer is in the same damn way that the rest of us are "free."
quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:

2 - MBM's initial post is basically just an opportunity for him to trot out these Southern stereotypes and mock these people in a "what do these backwards yokels who listen to this kind of music have to be happy about?" kind of way. And I think that's crap. I said already that none of us are completely, 100% free. But certainly Southerners are under no more delusions than their northern counterparts, who are free to suck in all the smog from their gas-guzzling SUVs, free to spend five grand on a shoebox apartment, free to eat overpriced French food made by a pair of Mexicans in the back kitchen, etc.

The question was in what way are they free, and my answer is in the same damn way that the rest of us are "free."


Frenchy - I'm really sorry the point of the thread was lost on you.

It has NOTHING to do with "southerners" or any other stereotype that you may be sensitive to. It has EVERYTHING to do with the fact that here in America we are sold a bill of goods by our government and by the wealthy. To make a very long story short, we are told that we are "free", but in what way are we so? This is particularly the case for people who are poor and working class - who, basically, all they can do is struggle to put food on the table and pay the cable bill. My post had nothing to do with maligning the poor and working class folks' experience in any way. It had EVERYTHING to do with attacking the system of economic and social exploitation that capitalism and our peculiar brand of democracy bring.

I have never, and would never, attack people in the way that you suggest! sck

This country was founded on words like "We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights - among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". This when the ONLY full-fledged citizens in this nation were wealthy white men. It is the extrapolation of this extraordinary hypocrisy that was at the root of my post. We can sing all day long about how free we are, but that's about all we can do.

Sorry that point wasn't communicated better! sck
Don't give me that Babe-in-the-Woods routine! Trailer parks? Sex with family members? Folks who revere "hillbilly" songs? Those things scream Southerners.

In any event, I did read what you said and I responded to it directly in both my original post and my last post.

quote:
No one is completely free to do anything they want, anytime they want, but we have enough flexibility in this country to at least be a bit grateful.


quote:
The question was in what way are they free, and my answer is in the same damn way that the rest of us are "free."


I'm not going to address the insults.
quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:
It's a country song that resonates with people who are patriotic.
Frenchy, there are country music fans and musicians, no doubt, who are Anti-War. There are, I'm sure, plenty of patriotic people whom the song doesn't resonate with both because of the genre and the way the song is written. The themes in it resonate with certain people.

I'm sure there are plenty of Black people who are "patriotic" who just can't get with the way the song is communicated. They could remix it, put in their preferred musical genres and the words just won't resonate.

Those things are ALL due to the American MYTHS that resonate with those country music lovin' folk.

Also, our friend AMERICA stopped by and had more than just stereotypes to impart. Yet, for some reason the Frenchy Patrol failed to do anything but make Post Traffic Stops that indicate a certain type of profiling indicative of an inconsistent policy of outrage.

It's not that hard to be consistent Frenchy. If you're going to work the "Stereotype Patrol" and bemoan the way people are depicted then let's see a bit more consistency.

So, when MBM is stereotyping. Cool. Point it out. However, when someone else is referencing stereotypes, etc. in discussions with MBM et al then let's see you arrest those stereotypers with equal vigor. I'd appreciate it.

Either that or say exactly what it is that's driving your issues. It's clearly ain't all about the "stereotypes."
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
Frenchy, there are country music fans and musicians, no doubt, who are Anti-War. There are, I'm sure, plenty of patriotic people whom the song doesn't resonate with both because of the genre and the way the song is written. The themes in it resonate with certain people.

I'm sure there are plenty of Black people who are "patriotic" who just can't get with the way the song is communicated. They could remix it, put in their preferred musical genres and the words just won't resonate.

Those things are ALL due to the American MYTHS that resonate with those country music lovin' folk.


Nmaginate, what are you talking about? I did not say that everyone who likes country music likes this song and I did not say that every patriot likes this song. Clearly, whether or not someone likes a particular piece of music is dependent on a lot of different variables. You asked me for the genre of the song and who it would resonate with.

quote:
Also, our friend AMERICA stopped by and had more than just stereotypes to impart. Yet, for some reason the Frenchy Patrol failed to do anything but make Post Traffic Stops that indicate a certain type of profiling indicative of an inconsistent policy of outrage.


I don't respond to obvious trolls. I think it's a huge waste of time. Furthermore, I'm not running any one-woman smackdown patrol.

quote:
It's not that hard to be consistent Frenchy. If you're going to work the "Stereotype Patrol" and bemoan the way people are depicted then let's see a bit more consistency.


I contribute where and when I please. I'm satisfied with my participation in this community.

quote:
So, when MBM is stereotyping. Cool. Point it out. However, when someone else is referencing stereotypes, etc. in discussions with MBM et al then let's see you arrest those stereotypers with equal vigor. I'd appreciate it.


I appreciate that that's what you'd appreciate. Cool However, I'm not MBM's or anyone else's shadow. I'm not in every thread that you guys are in. I'm not affected by or offended by everything that you guys are, either. I respond when I am moved to do so.

quote:
Either that or say exactly what it is that's driving your issues. It's clearly ain't all about the "stereotypes."

It actually is. There's an elitism behind it that disturbs me and IMO clouds the issue.
quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:

quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
As usual Frenchy - you see things the way your biases command you to see them, and then refuse to read anything further.


That is completely untrue. hit sad


You characterized my comments incorrectly. I explain them. And then you reflexively reiterate your initial comment. Confused sad

First, why would I lie about my perspective?

Second, why are you apparently immune to clarification?

Furthermore, you keep coming back to this "southerner" thing. Do you think the only people who do the things listed in the initial post are in the south? Really? Confused

Again, it seems that you have a sensitivity to being from the south and anything that even remotely can be fit into the 'maligning southerners' box stimulates that insecurity.

Sorry - didn't go there. nono

Also - read the initial post again. I think you'll see that it has everything to do with the extraordinarily narrow band within which poor and working class folks have "freedom". The behaviors listed may make you uncomfortable, but they are incidental to the primary point of the post.
quote:
I'm not MBM's or anyone else's shadow. I'm not in every thread that you guys are in. I'm not affected by or offended by everything that you guys are, either...
And that's exactly what I'm talking about. You don't get all spazzy over all stereotypes and other such things in threads where you are present, trolls or not.

So what makes it worth your time to point out "stereotypes" to MBM or the select group of those you do while not doing it to others?

Now, our friend AMERICA was the impetus for this thread. Indeed, MBM tailored his post, even stereotypically, in his honor to some extent, it would seem. But since you feel it's a waste of time to respond to trolls? Why are you responding in such a way to this thread which is, at least in part, a response to said troll?

quote:
I respond when I am moved to do so.
Yes, that's the crux of it. What moved you here? What offended you here? Why were you offended by something that was more or less a response to a troll? I mean, I hesistate to think that you have some affection for trolls but you do seem to have this thing for wanting to call the dogs off of trolls and other people who use plenty of stereotypes, etc. when they register their views.

quote:
It actually is. There's an elitism behind it that disturbs me and IMO clouds the issue.
HUH?? Elitism, present or not, indicates more than just the "stereotype."

So, yes... It's about the Elitism you perceive which goes above and beyond the stereotype. "Hillybillies" and "rednecks" use the same stereotypes in jokes, etc. - i.e. in non-elitist ways. So it's not all about the stereotype - if "elitism" is the very thing that's driving your issues here.

I don't know why it would take this many posts and so many questions for that to come out. How come you couldn't say that upfront?

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