Tangled Bank needs submissions! » « More details on the Thursday debate America This is my favorite Roy Zimmerman song (so far). It just portrays perfectly the contradictory, weird mess of a country we live in. Share this:PrintEmailShare on TumblrTweet Tangled Bank needs submissions! » « More details on the Thursday debate
Wow, that was wonderful. And a great example of real American patriotism. Not allegiance to some leader or party or flag or piece of land, but just cautious optimism in the enlightenment principles the US was founded in.
Thanks for continuing to link to Roy. If his wisdom is spread far and wide, “it just might work”.
Not exactly Paul Simon’s America…but just as wonderful.
As an aside…here is Yes doing Simon’s song…great guitar!
Johnny Vector says
Well if we’re suggesting other YouTube gems, how about Steve Connell’s “I am an American“.
Yeah, he talks about god some, but in a metaphorical way. Which normally doesn’t get a pass with me, but he’s a poet, fercryinoutloud, so metaphor is his job.
“Keep working and it just might work.”
Reminds me of the quote from Ben Franklin when he was asked at the close of the Constitutional Convention just what sort of government they had given us. His answer was “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Karen R says
Right on! Good luck with that… =)
OT, Harvard is doing a “Moral Sense Test, a Web-based study into the nature of human moral judgment. How do human beings decide what is right and wrong? To answer this question, we have designed a series of moral dilemmas to probe the psychological mechanisms underlying our moral judgments. By presenting these dilemmas on the Web, we hope to gain insight into the similarities and differences between the moral judgments of people of different ages, from different cultures, with different educational backgrounds and religious beliefs, involved in different occupations and exposed to very different circumstances.”
I think we should all join in :-)
Lemme get OT like Tom Cruise.
I saw this article earlier:
and was wondering if someone with a science/statistics background call tell me if 12 people is really the ideal sample pool from which to be drawing and publishing conclusions.
Karen R says
It’s only been recently that I’ve truly become worried about the future of our country – I guess I had somehow thought that we were something of an inevitability. I thought our government seemed pretty well designed (especially for a bunch of old dead men) but never gave the alternatives a lot of thought.
Since 2000, I’ve become more and more awestruck by the gift the Founders left us – and more and more disgusted at our refusal to see it. History is right there, kicking us in the groin, and we keep laughing it off. Rome of the Caesars is just around the corner – and we do nothing. No lines at the bread store, and even at $3 a gallon, gas is cheap – now that the writer’s strike is over, we’re fat, dumb, and content.
I’m a patriot in the kind of way that I don’t see a lot of anymore – the school system did right by me. I firmly believe in life, liberty, and our right to pursue happiness however we might find it. I’m just young enough to believe that we stand a chance of bringing that kind of vision back to the United States.
I was at the taping of that particular viddy (be envious!). It was wonderful–a great collection of people for Roy’s audience. But, as with any large enough gathering of people, there were representatives from everywhere on the political spectrum, of every ideological stripe (it’s just that some were in larger or smaller concentrations than you might see in other large gatherings); although I cannot recall anyone not being moved by this song, there were a few other songs where the reaction was… mixed. I remember practically falling out of my seat in hysterical laughter at “Dick Cheney” (at a new verse not on the CD version–look for it on youtube!), and seeing an older couple behind us sitting with arms crossed and dour looks on their faces.
Oy…Roy Zimmerman. He uses here two words that should be banned from all cultural artifacts from now on: “America” and “Jesus”. Please. Please, no more “America”, “American”, or jokes about Jesus (“Jesus is Magic”, “Jesus Camp”), etc. I’m so sick of these words.
And generally, I’m sick of the whole “America is special” mind virus. Who cares about this. It’s so boring. Almost as boring as when non-U.S. denizens have lots of fun denigrating the U.S. or its leadership for sport. Yeah, that’s loads of fun, real interesting.
I am a natural born U.S. citizen, btw. I like living in the U.S., mostly, but I also see tons of problems here just like there are tons of problems pretty much wherever homo sapiens hunkers down for awhile. But all this other nationalism stuff–even benign nationalism–is a major bore and torture by repetition. Nations are so 20th century.
And I dislike Roy Zimmerman’s shirt and tie costume. (but I wish him success and I think he’d probably be a decent guy to have pancakes with).
The bit where Roy was quoting from the founding documents reminded me of an incident from High School: I was approached one day by a friend, who said he was trying to gather signatures for on a petition for one of his classes, and would I care to sign?
What was the petition about?
He read it. I recognized it as being the preamble of the Declaration of Independence (“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal … etc etc &hellip [I]t is [the people’s] right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”). I asked him why he was circulating such a petition.
He confessed that it was an experiment to test two claims: First, that surprisingly few people (High School students in this case) would recognize the text; and second, that the text was actually making some very radical claims — calling for a revolt — and few people would sign up to it. (As far as I can now recall, I signed the petition, but that’s neither here nor there.)
He later told me the results. I don’t recall the exact numbers anymore, but the two claims were supported: Astonishingly few people recognized the text, and a significant majority of the students asked didn’t sign.
The petition/experiment probably wasn’t that well designed (I cannot recall much of anything in the way of details now), but I do recall hearing of broadly similar tests reaching essentially the same conclusions (I have no evidence at hand, this is simply recollection): Surprisingly few people recognize the fundamental/founding papers of the USA, and(/or?) disagree with them.
Ian B Gibson says
‘America’ – Fry and Laurie style!
Olaf Davis says
blf @ #12:
That reminds me of the survey, a link to which I sadly do not have, in which some large (>50%) fraction of Americans answered “yes” or “probably yes” when asked whether the following was part of the US Constitution: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs”.
Johnny Vector says
Damn that Roy Zimmerman! I wrote more or less the same song as we were invading Iraq, only his is two orders of magnitude better.
Also, when is he gonna tour the Right Coast?
America is special. Sure, it is folly to imagine ourselves the eternal social, political, and economic center of the world; we desperately need to stop acting like we think this is Team America, World Police. I fully concede – advocate, even – that we, as the people of the United States of America, are not special and unique in the sense that many of the neo-conservatives seem to believe.
But when you take a step back, read some history, and realize just how radical was the gift that the Founding Fathers gave to us… how can you not appreciate that as a legacy worthy of celebration? How does that not inspire you to stand up for America by fighting to keep our freedoms alive, and trying to restore those which have been trampled over, or more quietly swept under the carpet, in recent years?
The establishment of our Constitution served as the basis for constitutions in many representative governments to come, including those in Australia, Canada, Norway, and Japan. Even still it offers our citizens some protections not explicitly granted in other nations (even if our current administration has a horrible record of respecting them; but imagine how far Bush et al. might have gone if not for that “goddamned piece of paper” restraining them). How is that in any sense “boring”?
“America” doesn’t just mean our government, or even our people. It’s the name of a revolutionary and influential idea, a product of some of the finest Enlightenment thinking which has proved its merit and its benefit to humanity even while under continual assault by bad leaders and legislators.
I had the good fortune of seeing Roy last weekend. What a pleasure. He was very funny and the crowd loved him. He also seems like a heckuva nice guy.
If you get the chance, please go see and support him. If he’s not immediately planning on being around in your neighborhood,contact a local venue and set up a gig for him.
I have and continue and will forward this site! Once again, to so many of my argument(ors), who seemingly still do not ‘have a clue’ about The original intentions behind forming our more perfect ‘union’ and the opportunities this affords.
Do you like something, then voice your opinion?
Do you moderately agree but have arguments with, then voice your opinion?
You agree, then voice your opinion?
Take the risk, voice your opinion!
One voice amongst the thousands (preferably millions) may just tip the scale!
VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE, let your voice be heard!
It’s extremely shallow of me, but there is something about Roy’s combination of wit and hot-high-school-English-teacher good looks that makes me wish he batted for my team.
Why are all the sexy lefty musicians straight?
Fernando Magyar says
Re 16, Thanks Mark, while I myself am quick to criticize what stinks in Denmark and in my own backyard, You are quite right that this country is unique among all nations due to the extraordinary forsight of it’s founders. We need to elevate free speech and criticism of the fascists who are usurping our rights daily and sinking us ever deeper into the quagmire in which we now find ourselves.
This is not a time to slink away from conflict in silence.
Support those like Roy Zimmerman who have the courage to stand up tall and speak out. Yes, he is a true patriot and I’m sorry cm, while I might even agree that “nations are so 20th century” the principles on which this nation were founded are still very much worth fighting for, and I for one would hope they transcend all geopolitical boundaries.
Because if you do not agree then you may as well join the chain gangs who are building the wall on our border to the south.
But when you take a step back, read some history, and realize just how radical was the gift that the Founding Fathers gave to us… how can you not appreciate that as a legacy worthy of celebration?
I don’t think they gave it to us, the nation. I think they gave it to us, the *species*.
Which means it’s quite possible that somewhere there’s a nation – or even several – that right now is living up to those ideals *better* than we in the US are.
That, if true, is something we should be ashamed of. And even more importantly, something we should *fix*.
If our nation’s dedication to the ideals of freedom and democracy (and let’s not get them out of order or Hated-Minority-Of-The-Week is screwed) is going to make us great, we need to *keep* that dedication and not throw it to the winds every time some lunatics blow up a building. Even a really big building.
If we want to *stay* the exemplars of freedom, we need to act like it, and not try to sit on our history and call ourselves by names we don’t deserve anymore. “Land of the warrantless wiretapping and home of the color-coded terror alerts” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, y’know?
That’s what I’m loyal to – not a flag, not a patch of land, not even the 300 million people who live here, but the principles that our nation and government need to be held to, by as much pressure as necessary. When right, to be kept right, when wrong, to be set right.
Fernando Magyar says
And while we are expressing our opinions I’d like to congratulate another American patriot who tells it like it is.
I am Human, I’m American, and I’m an Addict…
Posted by Nate Hagens on February 4, 2008 – 8:55am
Tags: addiction, consumption, demand, dopamine, evolution, exponential growth, habituation, IPAT, learning (list all tags)
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Ok, yes, 1770-1790 was an interesting period in political experiment for the world and it happened on the east coast of what is now the U.S. Ok. Good. But it is 2008. Quite a few countries have freedoms and rights now. The U.S. might have been one of the first out of the gate, but a lot has happened since then, and many countries are similarly free and well-governed. Should Greeks constantly be talking about how Greece is special because they invented democracy? Should England constantly talk about how it is special because it birthed the Magna Carta? Should Italians because Romans developed really good infrastructural support?
And even beyond that, what says the U.S. Constitution and the events of 1770-1790 were the best way to go? Maybe there are better constitutions possible, better systems of government, better guarantors of freedom and civil rights. We just don’t know. But we carry on as if the landed gentry of 1776 and 1787 were supernatural in their understanding of political science. I know they were exceptional men and there was some important work done there, but I am just advocating some proportionality.
Each country has variations in laws. We might (on paper) guarantee some rights other countries don’t. But they have ones we don’t guarantee. Who is to say which rights are the right ones to guarantee? Who is to say which system has got it right? Perhaps New Zealand has the best system of laws and rights on the Earth.
Is “France” such an idea? Is “England”, is “Spain”? Is “Iceland”? I just find this lionization of the U.S. (and particularly by invoking the holy word, “America”) just too much, too poetic, too histrionic, disproportionate, etc.
My desire to see the rights of the citizens of the U.S. protected does not need inspiration by history. I simply need the wish to have humans–wherever they stand on the Earth–treated well, to live and die decently.
Don’t worry about making “us” (the U.S.) great; worry about making the world great. Don’t be ashamed the U.S. isn’t living up to basic principles of decency; be concerned the world isn’t.
There is an element of ‘we had the Magna Carta, so we’re cool’ in British culture, although it’s expressed with all the fervour and flag-waving you’d expect from a people who think we’ve been so damn cool for so damn long it’s perfectly obvious to everyone anyway and it’s a bit rude to make a fuss.
This has its downsides. When the state seems perfectly happy to throw away increasingly large chunks of its citizens’ rights (I could be carted off at the whim of a foreign power with no legal recourse whatsoever, thanks to recent changes), the lack of a clear sense of what made them important in the first place is not helpful when protecting those rights.
Aujourd’hui tout le monde est americain.
Why does Zimmerman hate America?
Dammit! “TOUS” and that first line was supposed to be struck out.
“America” certainly *is* one of Roy Zimmerman’s best songs (thanks for linking to it).
I also think his “F**king for Chastity” song, which is on his “Security” album, is pretty damn funny. :) Maybe some day he’ll put *that* one up on YouTube…
truth machine says
When right, to be kept right, when wrong, to be set right.
When has anyone ever heard someone who said (or put on their bumper) “Our country right or wrong.” follow it with the above statement, as was done by the originator of the phrase? This omission is a form of propaganda, akin to the omission of the “political” stanzas of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land”.
truth machine says
But we carry on as if the landed gentry of 1776 and 1787 were supernatural in their understanding of political science.
No we don’t.
I am just advocating some proportionality.
No you aren’t, you’re flailing at a strawman.
Vegan Atheist says
Well sung, Mr. Zimmerman!
There were a lot of terrific juxtapositions, but I particularly liked the line about the Rockwell painting in the Indian casino. I’m still trying to figure out why. :-)
Oh, yeah, you’re right, truth machine, thanks for explaining.
truth machine says
No problem, just pointing out the obvious to someone intellectually challenged.
Patrick Pricken says
A dream of freedom shared by everyone around the world…
You know, I think he’s right. In Germany, there is a lot of ragging about the US, its society, its leaders, its policies, … and part of that may be because the US is the one superpower right now, and part of it is simply the society, the leaders, the policies, …
But part of it is also what the US could have been, maybe should have been, the big promise your founding fathers made.
Brain Hertz says
Fantastic. As a transplanted Brit who has concerns about the direction this country has taken of late, things like this make me feel optimistic again.
Apart from one thing… why doesn’t Roy have his own TV show yet…?
Brendon Brewer says
Haha, a scholarly discussion of the socioeconomic implications of Janet Jackson’s boob. Still, not as funny as “Ted Haggard is Completely Heterosexual” in my opinion.
@ #27 Sili you were right the first time. “tout” – le monde is singular
(sorry for nitpicking)
I remember America.
Thank you, tintin,
I appreciate it. Damn this lingering depression – lossa time to learn stuff, no cognitive facilities to do so.