Merle Haggard, back in the day!

FRIDAY, JULY 19, 2019

Gene Brabender gets the assist:
Way back when, it was Merle Haggard who managed to corner the eternal "love it or leave it" market.

He'd already scored with Okie From Muskogee, a song which captured white working-class disdain for coastal elites. Then, along came The Fightin' Side of Me.

At the time,
the advice was offered to pot-smokin' hippies, not to four women of color:
I hear people talkin' bad
About the way we have to live here in this country
Harpin' on the wars we fight
An' gripin' about the way things oughta be.
I don't mind 'em switchin' sides,
And standin' up for things they believe in.
But when they're runnin' down my country, man,
They're walkin' on the fightin' side of me.

Yeah, walkin' on the fightin' side of me.
Runnin' down the way of life
Our fightin' men have fought and died to keep.
If you don't love it, leave it!
Let this song that I'm singin' be a warnin'.

When you're runnin' down our country, man,
You're walkin' on the fightin' side of me.
Anthropologically speaking, the late Jim Bouton captured this part of the human mind in his iconic book, Ball Four.

Out in the bullpen, Bouton got in a pointless debate with Gene Brabender, a big raw-boned right-hander.

Finally, Brabender had had enough. As quoted by Bouton, he flawlessly expressed one key part of the human condition:

"Where I come from, we just talk for a little while. After that we start to hit."

So said the late Gene Brabender. So pretty much say we all.

18 comments:

  1. Merle Haggard was a racist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
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      Delete
  2. So, in this analogy, Trump is Merle Haggard, man of the people, simple America-lovin’ patriot, the four freshman Dem women of color are, um, coastal elites (though only one is from any coastal area), and their, let’s see, calls for Medicare for All, or maybe criticism of AIPAC or the president are like the hippies protesting the Vietnam War, which was equivalent to runnin’ down “my” country, which means they should leave America? Or perhaps the Squad represent MLK and the civil rights protesters demanding justice, which was just another liberal attack on Merle and the heartland?

    Or...?

    Is this supposed to be a defense of the idea that dissent (that Merle Haggard/Trump
    doesn’t like) should get you deported? Or is this some attempt to get us to understand Haggard’s/Trump’s sentiments, which are ultimately undemocratic, and therefore unacceptable?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. 3:07
      Hey, look at you, speculating on how to interpret what Bob wrote! A remarkable achievement!

      For me, this short essay by Bob just emphasizes the deep disconnect between “The Okie from Muskogee” which exists as a stereotype (written by a supposed Oakie!), and in the real world. Merle would have been a Trump supporter, it would seem.

      But he was redeemable, as 3:41 pointed out. Not sure I understand their dig at Bob, I suppose another interpretation, but thanks for the history.

      Does anyone think Trump loyalists are? I mean, redeemable? Do you think someone like DinC, a supposed non-Oakie, could change his mind?

      Here’s as I might express this view, which I came to reluctantly:

      “First, fuck the white working class. Fuck Trump voters. Fuck their votes. Fuck their beliefs. Fuck everything about them. Democrats and the left attempting to appeal to Trump supporters, as if better angels exist in their cesspool, is like a wounded gazelle attempting to reason with hyenas. They're gonna eat you; you just look like an idiot for thinking you could convince them otherwise.”

      LINK

      Hell, I wouldn’t have put it that way, but in its context, it rings true to me. Of course, the real Trump supporters hide in the shadows, but sometimes they’re right out in the open! Looking at you, MSM and virtually every single fucking Republican in Congress.

      Leroy

      Delete
    3. Shoot, didn’t post a permalink to the esteemable rude gent.

      LINK

      Leroy

      Delete
    4. "Does anyone think Trump loyalists are ... redeemable? Do you think someone ... could change his mind?"

      One Democrat is already changing Trump voter's minds: Andrew Yang. Trump supporters love him.

      The issue is economic anxiety brought on, courtesy of both parties, by the corporate coup d'etat of the last 40 years. Economic anxiety is what leads to blaming immigrants and tribalism etc. He may not win but his policies are the future. The old politics, the late 20th century game of wedge issues pushed to the forefront while both parties let the corporate state run rampant are coming to an end, one way or another.

      Delete
    5. Yang has already proved the rude pundit wrong. His post is stupid.

      Seriously, do you people not read history? That post by the rude pundit is so idiotic, so unenlightened and brutish. Those Trump supporters are just looking for someone on which they can place their anxieties and Trump and Hannity are masters at directing it towards Democrats and Democrats like him or her fall for it every time - blaming the supporters instead of the ones manipulating them which makes the problem infinitely worse.

      Life hack: Anytime you say to yourself or someone else says "Fuck everything about them." about a group of 10's of millions of people, you have gone off the reservation and need to rethink everything.

      Delete
    6. I don’t necessarily disagree with what you wrote there, Heath. I guess the question is whether Yang is really a Democrat – but I’ve already addressed that issue. And it would be nice if you could provide a link or two to back up your assertion that Trump voters are all over this guy.

      Few in the sickeningly crowded field of Presidential candidates running for President as Democrats, I think, really give a fuck about the way things have become in terms of helping the lumpen. Most of what I see is opportunism with a good shake of solipsism.

      “Seriously, do you people not read history?”

      Not sure what “you people” is meant to imply, but since you asked, I do. But I think the vast majority in this country do not, and what they know is in diluted form, and often wrong.

      And since you mention the “10’s of millions” of people who suffer from economic anxiety, I think you’re way of the mark. Let’s shoot for 100’s of millions, but you’re not talking about Trump voters, as rude pundit did. If you parse carefully (actually, it’s pretty obvious), he’s talking about Democrats winning over Trump voters, to actually vote for them instead of the mango mussolini. And he says fuck that.

      So?

      And WTF is a “life hack?” Is that when you bust out a David Brooks?

      Leroy

      Delete
    7. I just read the rude pundit thing again and he seems to be talking about winning over non Trump voters, swing voters. That is something else Yang is doing. Winning over libertarians, progressives, non voters, apathetic voters, independents and disaffected Republicans and Trump voters. There's a small chance he will win. If he does, it will change world history.

      It's a long shot. The Establishment is very entrenched and powerful and controls the information. People are routinely deeply misinformed as this site points out

      But I think I was a little too hard on the rude pundit. Sorry about that.

      Delete
    8. Truly, are you idiots going to vote for someone other than this guy?

      https://images.app.goo.gl/UBn2jokhZ57yBM4V6

      Delete
  3. "..not to four women of color"

    I see you now lapsed into 100% zombie 'mindset', dear Bob.

    Sad, but it was destined to happen, sooner or later....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Merle Haggard, born and bred in California, was an opportunist. After spending his youth committing robberies, he started a career in country music using songs written by others.

    Initially his take on hippies was actually how he thought his dead father might view them, but after getting audience approval, he adopted it as his own stance - at least until later in life when he said "I had different views in the '70s. As a human being, I've learned. I have more culture now. I was dumb as a rock when I wrote 'Okie From Muskogee.'

    Later he protested the Iraq war and defended the Dixie Chicks' criticism of Bush and the Iraq war "It was like a verbal witch-hunt and lynching."

    Merle never did get in fight with a hippie, and after The Fightin' Side of Me, he wrote a song in support of interracial relationships, Irma Jackson. Unfortunately his audience was largely conservative and his record company advised him not to release that song, so Haggard did not.

    Irma Jackson
    I'd love to shout my feelin's from a mountain high
    Tell the world I love her and I will till I die
    There's no way the world will understand that love is colour blind
    That's why Irma Jackson can't be mine

    I remember when no one cared about us bein' friends
    We were only children and it really didn't matter then
    But we grew up too quickly in a world that draws a line
    Where they say Irma Jackson can't be mine

    If my lovin' Irma Jackson is a sin
    Then I don't understand this crazy world we're livin' in
    There's a muddy wall between us standin' high
    But I'll love Irma Jackson till Idie

    She tells me she's decided that she'll go away
    And I guess it's right but she alone should have the final say
    But in spite of her decision forcin' us to say goodbye
    I'll still love Irma Jackson till I die

    If my lovin' Irma Jackson is a sin
    Then I don't understand this crazy world we're livin' in
    It's a muddy wall between us standin' high
    But I'll love Irma Jackson till Idie

    As usual Somerby is adverse to historical context.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Little know fact: Haggard invented Orange Julius.

      Delete
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