This summer’s family wedding season has drawn to a close for me. The last stop found me in Duluth, Minnesota (not Duluth, Georgia; there would be no runaway brides at this ceremony) from where hails my maternal lineage. These are a hearty breed of Norwegian and Ojibwa stock. Lutheran. Hard working. Honest. Humble. And very, very liberal. Now, I’m not about talking your sanctimonious, excruciating Northeast liberals here, but rather genuine progressives with big, if bleeding, hearts.
One of my uncles is a Vietnam Vet and a genuine ex-hippie. My two other uncles share his progressive enthusiasms. For example, one asked me teasingly how I enjoyed Fahrenheit 9/11.
Fortunately, all three play guitars and sing quite well. So with a fire roaring (it was in the mid-60s this June weekend, with a steady breeze rolling in from Lake Superior), we gathered around to listen to some old-time protest songs.
Now, given my right-wing bona fides, the reader might be surprised to learn I have always had a sneaker for protest songs. Maybe it’s the inner anti-government crank in me. Or maybe it was growing up listening to Irish rebel songs (dad’s side) like Come Out Ye Black & Tans and Kevin Barry. Whatever the case, I’m a sucker for a ditty that artfully tells The Man where to stick it.
All the ghosts were there that evening. John Prine. Woody Guthrie. Pete Seeger. Gordon Lightfoot. Of course, you can’t sit around a fire and complain about the establishment without Bob Dylan, himself a loyal son of Minnesota, making an appearance.
My uncle Jesse picked up a six string and belted out The Times They Are A-Changin’. It’s one of Dylan’s angriest, most threatening songs:p> em>Come gather ‘round people br> Wherever you roam br> And admit that the waters br> Around you have grown br> And accept it that soon br> You’ll be drenched to the bone. br> If your time to you br> Is worth savin’
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?