Quote of the Day:
The video ain’t much, but it’s a new release so I was happy to find this tune at all. Haggard’s still got it friends. I’ve been wondering when a musician would capture a sense of the times like so many did back in the 60’s and even further back in the 30’s. It took an old-timer. This one nails it, no matter who you blame. They have been playing “Oil Tanker Train” on XM lately too. You will see the You Tube link to the right of this video. It’s damn good too.
TB isn’t a huge Merle Haggard fan, but I like him, always have. I saw him play one time in Starkville, Mississippi. He walked slowly onto the stage and looking at him back in ’90 I never thought he’d make it two more decades. Anyway, he said “good evenin”, sat down on a stool and played a dozen songs straight through without pausing. Then he said “good night” and walked off. It was awesome. Not many entertainers could do it that way.
My favorite Haggard story really has little to do with him. Sweet, a pioneer citizen of the TBU who is in the “import/export” game for several years had dealings with a group of Russian merchant mariners. They got friendly and began to exchange favors (easy Smily, not those kind). The Russians would bring Sweet “premium” cigars and Russian vodka and Sweet would drive them to Wal-Mart to load up on blue jeans and other cheap crap to take home and sell at a huge markup. One day Sweet was groovin’ to some Haggard and the Russians were quickly intrigued, soon after hooked. “Sweet,” they said, “who is this Mer-lee Ha-gard? Can we take his music back with us?” He showed them where to buy his CD’s at the Wal-mart and they loaded up. Some punk Russian teenager in Gdansk is probably at this moment crooning “Okie From Muskogee” and has no idea the reason can be traced back to Sweet and good ol’ Pascagoula.
Which brings me to the subject of Revolution. One of the features of blogging that’s particularly intriguing to me is seeing the search phrases people use to find our little universe. There are three that show up almost daily: Rooster Jones, Pascagoula sports, and the Russian prediction of an American civil war in 2010. Those looking for scoop on Pascagoula sports probably find something of interest. I think the “dam lies” thread has 400 comments or so, many with good info. But those interested in the purportedly approaching war are surely disappointed. Here’s the old post they get, and while I still think its mildly humorous, it ain’t one of my best. But it is the most often read. Looking at it again, I just couldn’t connect the Igor scholar and the Igor from Frankenstein artfully–that’s the big flaw–but I digress.
I wonder, is it foreigners or American tea partiers finding the post most often nowadays. It started off as Russians, but I think its of more American interest now. All this nonsense about secession and nullification, socialism and tyranny, and in a year when some 95% of Americans received a tax cut, no less. (see Politifact). In spite of so much blathering from the tea partiers that get on television, I actually agree with what I am charitably assuming is the chief point of the ordinary citizens who identify with them: that the government spends too much money. I DO wonder where these angry people were from 2000-2008. I DO wonder why they assume electing Republicans will address that issue. I DO wonder how many of them would be willing to discuss cutting military spending to achieve fiscal health, because if they aren’t they need to shut the hell up. I DO wonder why those who endorse this primary goal are willfully blind to the heavy racist undertone of the loosely formed group’s messaging even when most of them are undoubtedly repelled by it. But as many problems as I have with them, I think they serve an important purpose. If they channel their energy intelligently, they could even end the two party system that forces us all to take a side and then ignore all the bs our side stands for so we can support the one or two issues we find most important.
If a truly economically conservative and intellectually honest party could gain traction I think it would necessarily lead to a truly liberal, intellectually honest counterbalance. If these new movements could get just 10% of seats in Congress, they could change the focus of many debates. They would even in all likelihood find themselves allies on certain issues, such as supporting financial regulation and opposing government mandated payments to private insurance companies. It sounds outlandish, but something similar is going on in Great Britain right now where an ultra-liberal third party is surging in the polls and an ultra-conservative fourth party has been steadily gaining for several years.
Of course, it could go the other way too. The Palin/Bachman crowd could lead us over the cliff. Then I guess Igor will get the last laugh.