Sunday, March 15, 2015

Up Yours Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics once sang a song called "The King and Queen of America". I like the music a lot, but I hate the lyrics. They are insulting. They are also either blatantly false or retardedly stupid... I'm not sure which. Anyways, I thought I would take some time today to extend the finger to the Irish tramp and to point out the lie behind her song.

As I noted, the song I want to talk about is called "The King and Queen of America." This was written as an attack on Ronald Reagan, but let me start with the stupidity in the title itself. We ain't got no king or queen you Irish hag. Americans, unlike Irish trash, don't naturally view people as superior because the accident of their birth. We believe in achievement. We also believe that the public should have input into who represents us. That's why we have Representatives and why the President is elected... not born. Not sure if you know that, but I thought I'd point it out. Perhaps you can look it up, if you're ever not drunk... or fingering a Leprechaun.

Anyway, the offending lyric reads thusly:

The king and queen of America,
Yea it's the king of nothing
And the queen of rage
With a pile of confusion
Upon a glittering stage.

You know we never did anything
To make ourselves feel proud

You know we never did anything
So let's play it loud.

Really? You actually think Americans "did nothing to make ourselves proud"? Well, let me run a few of our achievements by you and see if you think the world would have been better off without us doing said things:

● We won WWII and stopped Nazism, saving the Jews and millions of Europeans.
● We rebuilt Europe when it was rubble.
● We won the Cold War and stopped Russia.
● Invented the telephone, the airplane, the internet, GPS, the light bulb, the skyscraper, the personal computer, the cell phone, etc.
● Discovered the Polio vaccine.
● Only country to land on the moon.
● Invented the artificial hip, the heart/lung machine, the artificial heart, defibrillator, MRI machines.
● Invented football, baseball, basketball.
● Hollywood.
● Rock and Roll, blues, jazz, country.
● Dominates list of world's best colleges - 8 of top 10, 43 of top 100.
● Olympic Medals 2681 (Ireland 28).
● American farmers feed to the world (Irish, see Potato Famine).
● Invented the airbag, the child safety seat.
● Invented the pill, the communications satellite, the laser, virtual reality.

And so on. In fact, if I was going to list all the world changing inventions, discoveries, or historical actions we took, this post would be several hundred pages long. We are the reason famine and most diseases are a thing of the past. We are the reason people live longer and healthier than ever. We are the reason poverty is vanishing around the globe. We are the people who entertain the world. We educate the world. Our scientific research drives the world's science. Our foreign policy and military have protected the freedoms of billions of people. Without us, the world would be a dark, nasty, dangerous place.

Now, just for fun, let's list Ireland's greatest hits, seeing as how Annie is Irish:

● Waged terror war against British civilians.
● Flirted with Nazis.
● Invented the tattoo machine.
● Invented the Kelvin scale.

So who exactly has never done anything to make themselves feel proud?


ScottDS said...

Slow news day? :-)

If I may be so bold, leave these articles to BH—they seem to excel at digging up old pieces of pop culture, just so they can point a finger and say "Told ya so!!" It wouldn't be the first time.

And I'm sure her title was just a metaphor. (There were no actual "star wars" either.) :-D

Having said all that, "USA! USA! USA!"

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, There's no reason to leave this to BH. My reasoning is simple. (1) This song keeps bothering me and (2) with the White House occupied by a person and party who generally share Lennox's view of America, I think it's more than fair (and important) to point out just how amazing and important this country has been.

That's the real point here, not to debunk a stupid song by a drunken Irish slut (I'll leave those slapfests to BH), but to debunk the idea that the US is just another country or has failed to hold a truly vital role in making the world a better place. Without us, this would be a shitty world populated by poor people dying under the twin heels of communism and Nazism as they starve to death and die of ancient diseases.

It's time people remember that. Too many people, left and right, are down on this country and they need to be reminded of what this country is, was and always will be.

Critch said...

About all the Irish has given the world is refugees. I'm of Irish descent, but let's be honest, the Republic of Ireland was almost in Germany's pocket in the 1930s, Hell they even wore German helmets and carried Mausers. Annie Lenox is a good example of foreign artists who come over here for our money but then criticize us...

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, In my experience, I've only ever run into two types of immigrants who come here and then badmouth us -- Muslim Fundamentalists and those who get rich as artists. Pretty every other immigrant I've ever met is happy to be here and sees the best of America. But these people see nothing but evil.

Kit said...

Here is a bit of tonic for that song. James Brown's anthem to Reagan's America, "Living in America".

Kit said...

Andrew, Critch,

"Foreign artists who come over here for our money but then criticize us..."

There was Irving Berlin who saw his home burned down by cossacks as a young boy, soon thereafter immigrating to America and later writing the song "God Bless America".

Kit said...

Here is Berlin singing "God Bless America", by the way.

He apparently got the title from his mother, who would say it often in their home because, according to her, if it had not been for America they would have had not other place to go.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, "Living in America" is a great song!

As for Irving Berlin, remember that he got here before the age of cynicism set in, which I date as starting in the 1950s.

Robert L. Hedd said...

Andrew.....As we all know, it's not just foreign artists that don't understand America's unique place in world history. We have plenty of America haters right here in the good ole USA.

I would however take exception to my previous comment...actually a clarification. I believe most of these haters will say they love America. What they hate are those racist, war-mongering Republicans. Lennox's song was more about anti-Reagan than anti-America. For her and her ilk, Repubs represent all that is wrong in the world, and for every negative action ever done by this country. They just want America to be a socialist paradise and finally represent her true ideals. Just get rid of those hateful Republicans and then America will be a great country.

Like you however, I think if you look a little harder then we find that many, if not most of the great inventions and cultural norms are a result of our conservative (read true 'liberal' traditions) such as a country where anyone can try and reach their dreams without a government stifling, if not in fact, suppressing initiative.

I remember a conversation with an old neighbor 25 or more years ago. He said if he stayed in his home country, the UK, he probably would have ended up a butcher just like his father and grandfather before him. Here in America he could become, and pursue his passion....chemistry. He was a chemist with a major pharmaceutical firm.

That to me is what makes this country great. Opportunity.


ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Noted and e-mail replied to.

And lest we forget, "Living in America" was Apollo Creed's theme song in Rocky IV. :-)

Tennessee Jed said...

I probably come down pretty close to Bob on this. I think entertainers tend to try and trot out their liberal bonafides (Natalie Mains) in order to be "accepted" by the pop culture power structure. And, for many the old saw about "if you work on a tuna boat long enough, sooner or later you start to smell like tuna" holds some truth.

I must admit Annie Lennox has talent, something Michael Moore could never say. In the end, I have always struggled with the "put your money where your mouth is" dictum. I'd like to think people could have their political differences and still be civil with each other, and friends. The rise of cable and the internet did 2 things. 1) it permitted people to become more vitriolic in their discourse, and 2) It broke the stranglehold of the left on the media including politics and culture. It put pressure on entertainers to be more vocal. Personally, I draw the line with celebrities who cross some imaginary line of getting in my face and being jerks. Great examples: Reese Witherspoon o.k., Alec Baldwin, not o.k. Grateful Dead, o.k.; Neil Young, not o.k.

AndrewPrice said...

Bob, There are definitely many America-haters in this country. A great many elected Democrats should be counted amongst their ranks. And you are right, they do claim they love America... they just hate everything about its people.

One point of disagreement I would have is that the Europeans I've met don't seem to distinguish between Democrats and Republicans for the most part -- they view both as insanely far-right, which shows both their bias and their lack of knowledge/understanding about our country. It also shows they lack the ability to distinguish between anything that isn't super blatant.

The classical liberal tradition is ENTIRELY what allowed the American dream. The idea of individual freedom and having the right to set your own course rather than doing as you're told is the very thing that has given Americans the power to set their own course and build and invent and create!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Yes it was! :D

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Lennox does have talent and I like most of her work. This song just pisses me off because it is insulting and it is false/ignorant. And I thought I would use this song to make a point that apparently escapes a great many leftists, foreigners, and cynical people: America has made the world so much better!

On Hollywood liberalism, there is no doubt they spew liberal bullship. But I've been wondering lately if the problem with Hollywood isn't that they are liberal, but is instead that they are condescending about the rest of us and that liberalism just fits that attitude ideologically? I say this because few of them are bright enough to understand politics and most of the "artist" types I've met seem primarily motivated by their disdain for the people who live where they originally came from in fly-over country.

That might explain why they all slip into this anti-Americanism so easily too.

Koshcat said...

Fear is the path to the darkside...fear leads to anger...anger leads to hate...hate leads to suffering.


Critch said...

Natalie Maines???, Oh yeah, wonder what ever happened to her that girl group? Most young people have no clue who Annie Lennox is....Isn't it amazing how many immigrants come over and really realty believe in what we're supposed to be about and prove it by succeeding.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, That's deep... for a puppet! :D

Yoda: Let the force flow through you!
Luke: Is the dark side stronger?
Yoda: Duh. Do you think I live in this swamp because it's good for my lungs?

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, I have had so many awesome conversations with immigrants that I can't even count them all. I love listening to how much they love this country and what their plans are to achieve their version of the American dream!

Kit said...

Andrew, Koshcat,

Here is a good parody of what might be the dumbest line in the Star Wars saga: "From a certain point of view." (Might be mildly NSFW)

BevfromNYC said...

Dear Lord, I leave for one weekend and you start goin' off on the Irish! ;D I agree with your point, but the Irish did get rid of all their snakes and gave us great tenors, depressing poetry and literature, and the dirge! Oh, and soda bread, corned beef and cabbage, and mighty fine whiskey. That's something, right?

Tennessee Jed said...

Jamison's Gold Label, and Connemara to name two, Bev

Rustbelt said...

Andrew, to build on your 'cynicism in the 50's' comment, I found a comment from someone who saw all that firsthand in the post-war period and agrees with you completely:

"The winds of change blew through the dream factories of make-believe, tore at its crinoline tatters.... The hedonists, the homosexuals, the hemophiliac bleeding hearts, the God-haters, the quick-buck artists who substituted shock for talent, all cried: "Shake 'em! Rattle 'em! God is dead. Long live pleasure! Nudity? Yea! Wife-swapping? Yea! Liberate the world from prudery. Emancipate our films from morality!".... Kill for thrill – shock! Shock! To hell with the good in man, Dredge up his evil – shock! Shock!"
-Frank Capra, in his 1971 autobiography

And to add on the discussion of how foreign artists don't "get" America and what we've given to the world, (artists included), Capra wrote the following in his diary while attending the 1952 International Film Festival in India (itself dominated by political speeches by Russian and Chinese commies):

"They all think some super-government or super-collection of individuals dictates all American pictures. Free enterprise is mystery to them. Somebody must control, either visible or invisible ... Even intellectuals have no great understanding of liberty and freedom ... Democracy only a theory to them. They have no idea of service to others, of service to the poor. The poor are despised, in a sense."

Besides Capra, I saw an interview with Dick Van Dyke where he added his own twist. He saw the same thing happening in the 50's and even penned a column in a newspaper in the early 60's about how he believed Hollywood was making filthy, nasty movies. Interestingly, Van Dyke said that Walt Disney read the column, considered Van Dyke to be a man after his own heart, and met with him. Not long after, Disney cast Van Dyke as Bert in "Mary Poppins."

Rustbelt said...

Nice video, Kit!

Interestingly, I was reading "The Secret History of Star Wars" by Michael Kaminsky. He noted that Lucas' combining of the Darth Vader and Father Skywalker characters did damage Obi-Wan's words in the first movie. He either became a liar or just didn't know how to tell Luke the truth. (Guiness' dramatic pause often allows people to believe the latter.)
That being said, the character change also had the effect of making Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen's exhcnage- "Luke's just not a farmer, Owen. He's got too much of his father in him." "That's I'm afraid of."- much more dramatic, weighty, and ominous.

(twitches eyebrow) Fascinating...

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, Those are fantastic additions to the discussion! The Capra stuff is especially enlightening.

As an aside, I've written about the age of cynicism starting in the 1950s once before. A rather interesting discussion ensued. LINK

As I say above, I suspect the problem in Hollywood today isn't liberalism, but cynicism. The whole country has become darkly cynical, but Hollywood in particular has done so with a venom. And that seems to be causing their worst behavior as well as leading them to embrace liberalism, which is intensely cynical today.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Yep. We went to war with Ireland! :D

And tomorrow, we'll be friends again... after they agree to install Commentarama as their unquestioned leader.

AndrewPrice said...

Nice link, Kit! That line always bothered me.

Rustbelt said...

Andrew, I've not only read your articles on cynicism and 'They Came to Cordura;' I've referenced them in some of my discussions with family and friends. Granted, some of them still don't understand, but I've had it with cynical attitudes. I don't know when it happened, but I think it started after I turned 30 and twenty-something hipster humor began rubbing me the wrong way.
This brings me back to a discussion I had with Kit a while ago concerning Youtube critics. At the time, I said that I had stopped paying attention to them because the ones in question seemed to have gotten angrier. Now that I think about it, it's the cynical attitudes that annoyed me. I won't get into specifics- Kit and I are honoring a truce to agree to disagree. (Feel free to watch those guys if they make you laugh; we all need to be happy in life or we won't make it through.) I've just started watching reviewers who are I think are both funny and slightly more neutral in their observations.

You know, I also recall an interview I read last year with Michael J. Nelson of MST3K/Rifftrax. (Sorry, I can't find the link.) When considering Sharknado for a Rifftrax Live event, Nelson said he was skeptical when viewing it. Long story short, he said that it's easier to use genuine, sincere films for riffing events. If Sharknado had turned out to be just a cynical take on shark movies, he said, then he wasn't interested in riffing the film. But he found it to be genuine and lovably silly, so they did it.

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, I'm glad you've found them useful! :D Those are some of my favorite discussions!

I have to say in all honesty that my life has improved greatly since I finally came to understand how cynicism permeates everything and I decided not to play that game anymore. It's amazing how much better life can be when you stop trying to find the ugly side of life and instead accept the good things around us at face value... or even seek them out. It's like being a different person. People respond to you differently too.

It's also eye opening just how far so many people have fallen down that rabbit hole now that I can see it. It's sad really. So many people are just incapable of seeing how angry, paranoid and unhappy they are, and how they always automatically assume the worst and then respond accordingly without ever stopping to ask if they are right. It's stunningly self-destructive.

In terms of when I realized, I'm not actually sure. Like you, I just started to realize one day maybe a decade ago that a lot of the things I used to find to be funny really were just cruel or smug. Then, little by little, it all slowly came into focus what the problem was. Then a few years ago, it suddenly struck me that the number one problem facing us... the issue behind the collapse of Hollywood, corporate loyalty, our political system and discourse, and even the happiness of the public... was ALL the result of this cynicism problem.

Isn't it interesting that Mike draws a similar distinction?

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, Rustbelt, to give an example that happened the other day that still makes me shake my head....

I was sitting with a group of people as we watched an elderly couple walk by on a nearby sidewalk. They had to be well into their 90s if they were a day old, and they moved slower than turtles. What struck me immediately was how wonderful it was that they are still together and going for walks with each other. It's one of those moments in life were you just see all the human virtues rolled up in one moment -- two people still in love (they were holding hands) and still out taking walks despite extreme old age. It just warmed your heart to see them.

Without missing a beat, this a-hole next to me said something nasty about their age and the speed at which they were walking, and then made a comment about them having sex.

Think about how sick this guy had to be in the soul to feel a need to ridicule that couple. Pathetic.

Rustbelt said...

Andrew, that guy is definitely sick- the type of person who can't find the good in anything. And those really are moments that we need to treasure and find inspiration from. Hopefully, we'll both see something good one day without a jerk to ruin it for us.

I also remembered another interesting example on the cynicism discussion that also involves the MST3K guys. It revolves around the film "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians." Truth be said, the guys have actaully riffed it three times. In addition to MST, both Rifftrax and Cinematic Titanic (Joel's group) have re-riffed the film.

The Rifftrax Live version was really a celebration of the film's badness, but in a loving way. You could tell the guys were enjoying the film in all its lack of glory. In fact, in another interview, Mike said it's really a requirement to learn to like bad movies in order to make fun of them in a way that works. Mike added that he's actually become fond of 'Birdemic'; despite its ineptness, it's an honest, non-cynical attempt at a film. (Though, in the same interview, Kevin Murphy declared that he hates "Manos" with the fiery passion of a thousand flaming suns. Understandable.)

The CT version was the total opposite, however. Straight out of the gate, it was all political jokes- pro-Obama, anti-Bush, unrelated references just for the hell of it, and several anti-Christian slams. All in all, a very cynical take on the political climate of 2008. (The episode was released in December, 2008.) It made me think about the differences in MST between the Joel and Mike years. Joel's shows were politically touchy-er, while Mike's seemed to focus more on the films themselves. I've always felt that Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu were further left of the other writers (and the shift was easy to feel after they left MST). Hey, Conniff wrote for 'Air America.'
Honestly, I only lasted for 30 minutes before turning the episode off. It just wasn't funny. I would rather have watched the movie unriffed. The political quips not only felt like second rate comics getting steam off their chest for the heck of it, (it seems they wanted to get as many anti-Bush jokes in as they could in the time they had left), but it made the episode feel more dated than the MST episode- and that first aired in 1992!
But what really shocked me was how mean-spirited this show was. Especially after how Joel wrote on CT's website that SCCTM impressed him with the detail of the sets (given the budget), and how the actors seemed to be trying. They did what they could with what they had. But most of the "jokes" just came off as angry. I was really disappointed. But then again, Joel ended his post on the film by saying, "I'm really glad I've added some cynicism to a holiday with too many layers of frosting." Uh, paraphrase Sir Lawrence Olivier, it's not cynicism you want to add. "Try humor. It's funnier."

LSP said...

Annie so-called "Lennox," which probably isn't even her real name, is just a dwarf person who crawled out of the council estate and into the big time. Sting is like that but even worse. And so is Azealia "Illuminati" Banks.

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, That stinks. I always thought Joel was a nicer guy than that, but who really knows?

AndrewPrice said...

LSP, There does seem to be a huge attitude difference between those who worker their way out of poverty and those who luck their way out by becoming artists. The artists don't seem to have the respect the others do for hard work and determination.

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