Sunday, August 19, 2012

"Return With Us Now to Those Thrilling Days o' Yesteryear," Or, the Sunday Re-Run

I'm taking a lil different approach today, to wit: instead of choosing an entire post from our back pages I'm gonna post some excerpts.  Coz there WAS a time when my daily post covered a lot o' ground... oftentimes two or three or four topics.  First, from 09/21/2006:
Time for a lil culture commentary in the form of “commercials I hate.” The last ad I ranted about was that supremely irritating “Head On” ad, with its obnoxious, thrice-repeated female voice over. But…it’s only irritating. This ad from Ford, however, hits me where I live and goes beyond irritating into the realm of cultural impact. Have you seen it?

I’m not the only one that’s upset. The Family Scholars Blog (dead link) has this to say:
‘Course the whole thing is “good divorce” fantasy. Mom and dad split up but still take the kids to the beach and the farmer’s stand. The only note from the child’s point of view is the telling (and surprisingly accurate) look of apprehension on the son’s face right before they drop off dad. I wonder, is Ford trying to reach divorced moms with this ad? Perhaps. But I think the viewers even more susceptible to it might be moms who imagine themselves unhappily married and fantasize that a “good divorce” will make it all better. And Ford understands!
Well, that and the “mainstreaming” of divorce. It’s acceptable these days…Hell, it might even be better than staying married, ya know? That woman driving doesn’t look all that unhappy, and Dad? Well, he’s just grateful Mom “invited him this weekend.” So, damn the impact on the kids. Damn the impact on either Mom or Dad, whichever one didn’t want the divorce, and I submit that most divorces involve one party that is less than thrilled at the thought of the emotional and/or financial devastation divorce brings.

I understand reality. I understand 50% of American marriages end in divorce. I understand “when love goes missing,” and I know not every marriage can be saved. I don’t understand why a frickin’ car company would use an all-too-common modern-day tragedy to flog their products. I can’t imagine the focus group that nodded appreciatively when shown this ad, and I can’t imagine any executive with just the normal amount of common sense approving the ad for broadcast. If this ad, with its “sensitive” depiction of a divorced couple, tips just one family into divorce court then Ford has done the country a major disservice.

“See you next week, Dad.” Damn.
And there's this from 06/17/2006:
Natalie Maines, quoted in The Telegraph (UK) (another dead link):
"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."
You’re free to express yourself as you please, Darling Natalie, and I, in turn, am free to not buy your frickin’ music. Ever. 
Insulting the President of the United States before an audience on foreign soil is, in my eyes, relatively small potatoes compared to questioning the very concept of patriotism. By making that statement above, Natalie Dear revealed a shocking lack of understanding of one of the most basic American moral values, to wit: personal responsibility to, and respect for, the nation. In a time of war, patriotism may also be defined as the personal obligation to support and defend the country. In other words, patriotism is the deep-seated feeling that what we have…our traditions, our history, our values, our laws, our society…is not only worth defending, it’s something we must defend. And Natalie apparently doesn’t believe that is true.
I suppose our collective memory as a nation is short, because the Chicks new album was number one on the Billboard charts the week after its release. On the other hand, I have read that dates on the Chicks’ current tour are being cancelled due to poor ticket sales, one of those cancelled dates was supposedly in Houston. The fact concerts are being cancelled due to poor sales is good news. 
The three Dixie Chicks are still popular, highly visible entertainers. And, like it or not, entertainers are powerful role models in our culture. Entertainers achieve power through sales. Less sales, less power. Poor sales, little or no power. Recording contract cancellations follow, as do interview opportunities, appearances on late night talk shows, and other publicity, thereby denying these people a platform for spreading their views. Patriotism has been under assault for a while; the three Chicks are just part of a small, albeit very vocal group of folks assailing patriotism. I don’t care to support people who denigrate the core values of our country, and I damned sure don’t believe the Chicks’ values in this one specific but important area are worthy of respect or emulation. In this regard the Chicks are not suitable role models, period.
It’s a personal thing for me. I will not ever, ever spend my money to directly or indirectly support views I hold to be reprehensible. And that goes for Neil Young, too.
The Wiki has a pretty good recap of the whole Dixie Chicks brouhaha just in case yer memory needs refreshing.

Back in the day when I first started blogging I posted a "Pic of the Day" which was usually found at the bottom of the day's post.  That was if I posted a photo at all... my posts for the first year or so are strangely devoid of photos.  But then again: we were learning, weren't we?  Here's one of those photos of the day, from 07/26/2007:

Today’s Pic: For the Children! This is perhaps my absolute favorite pic of SN3 and I. I may have posted this before, but whatever…everyone goes into re-runs occasionally.
Key West, FL. March, 1998. And my our (? - The Second Mrs. Pennington took the pic) 52nd digital photo…ever.
Dang... aren't they (BOTH!) just the cutest lil buggers?  This might be the 52nd time I've posted this photo, too.


  1. Good stuff Buck!

    While not normally a fan of re-runs, there are books I will read again and again and movies I will watch over and over.

    Your stuff falls into the "Oh yeah, I'll read that again" category. Also as a history buff, this stuff is excellent personal history.

    Great pic by the way. (Don't think I didn't notice the hat! Heh.)

    1. Thank ya, Sir. I have a number of squidly hats... SN2 keeps me well-supplied with squid-swag.

      (Secret message to SN1: Hat. HAT. The old one is unwearable.)

  2. Une photo, vieille photo De ma jeunesse19 August, 2012 13:18

    So anyway, that kid is out of high school now? Will he be there to push your wheel chair and get your viagra prescriptions? Will he know what Single Malt is?

    1. Nope, not out o' high school... just 15 years of age. As fer pushing the wheelchair around, I have two other sons who are qualified to do that, and they DO know what single-malts are. ;-)

      As for Darcy and Joyce... a lil too cute fer me. I gave it a chance (about a minute and three-quarters), though.

  3. The interesting thing about the Dixie Chicks is that their career never recovered from the Bush-bashing they indulged in. And the interview quoted above didn't help them either. They have basically disappeared from the music landscape.

    Which is a shame because they were quite good; fun to listen to. But they torpedoed themselves and have no one to blame but themselves. Not that they will cuz that would mean being - gasp - personally responsible.

    1. Ya gotta know yer audience, and if there's ONE salient thang about country music people, it's the fact they're pretty patriotic. Bad mistake and misread on the part o' the Chicks.

  4. I feel the same way when someone makes a statement or such that I'm in total disagreement with - especially if I think they hurt or are trying to persuade others.

    I love the pic of you and SN3.

    1. Thanks, Lou. That pic is one of my faves, not to be redundant or anythang. And I echo your sentiment on statements.

  5. LOL, I guess that pic of you and SN3 is filed under the heading of "When we were young." (relatively, lol) Funny, how it's all a matter of perspective. As an 11 tr-old I took a B&W picture of my parents with my Cub Scout Brownie in the drive-way leaning against our '55 Ford I found it years later after she died. She had labeled it on the back "When we were young" yet of course they were "oldsters" in their early 40s to me..

  6. filed under the heading of "When we were young." (relatively, lol)

    "Relatively" is right, as I was one or two days removed from my 53rd birthday when that pic was taken. But... as Dylan sang: "I was so much older then; I'm younger than that now."


Just be polite... that's all I ask.