DBT, Palin Politics and “Six Feet Under”

September 8, 2008

Drive By Truckers

Drive By Truckers

This post is going to be a bit scatter-shot, but there are three unrelated topics I’d like to write a little about.

First of all, if you scroll back about ten posts or so, you’ll see a blog in which I encourage anyone reading to check out a few musicians that I feel are making the best modern popular music. I was very excited to find out a few days ago that two of the bands mentioned in that article are now on tour together–The Drive By Truckers and The Hold Steady. It’s actually very suprising for me to hear this, because I would never have imagined these two bands would ever headline together. They both write excellent lyrics, play music that just sounds incredible, are raved about for their live shows and each band released a contender for album of the year this year—DBT with Brighter Than Creation’s Dark back at the beginning of the year, The Hold Steady with Stay Positive about a month or two ago. But stylistically they don’t have a lot in common–DBT makes a mixture of hard southern rock, folk and alt.country, Hold Steady is a mash up of classic rock and eighties post punk–think early Springsteen (The Wild,The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle era) meets late Clash and The Replacements. I’ve been able to see DBT once but never Hold Steady and I could not be more excited. They’re hitting several small to mid venues across the country, and tickets are priced around 20 bucks which is almost unheard of these days, so don’t miss out.

Okay, next up I want to briefly weigh in on the whole Sarah Palin debacle. I know that by this point every journalist, pundit, talk show host, blogger and citizen on the street has voiced a loud opinion but I had to just vent a few points. See, what’s obvious is that McCain was running out of gas campagining with nothing but his POW and military experience to rant about, the fumes were almost out on his supposed “Maverick” reputation (that Rolling Stone cover was almost a decade ago and his “radical Republican politics” were now just “status quo Republican politics). So what did he do? Well, McCain is well known to be an avid fan of playing craps, so he threw the dice and picked a VP candidate that he had met only once. People have been arguing relentlessly whether or not she was qualified to be VP or (in the case of something happening to 72 year old McCain) even President herself–does a term as mayor in a small town followed by the beginning of a Governor term in a sparsely populated rich state match up or surpass Obama’s experience as a Community Organizer, lawyer and senator? I’m not going to debate that at this point, I’m just going to point out a few issues she’s taken that in my opinion prove her “unfit to run” status much better than any lack of experience could. Even if she’d been Governor for 2 terms and senator for 3 I’d feel that her position on these issues are much more damning:

1) The Banned Books case: Palin once tried to user her leadership postion to get dozens of books banned and removed from public libraries in Alaska–that’s right, not school libraries, but public libraries. Palin didn’t feel adults had the right to choose what they should or should not read. Though several magazines and online sites have argued over what all was on that list (and the librarian that was aghast when Palin contacted her about the legalites of such a move has refused to comment), most lists have included classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, Shakespeare’s Twelve Night, modern novels by Stephen King and Dean Koontz and children’s books like How to Eat Fried Worms and Hey God! It’s Me, Margaret. OKAY, I LEFT THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH AS ORIGINALLY POSTED SO THAT I WOULDN’T BE BACKPEDALING HERE: IT IS INNACURATE; MY LATEST RESEARCH INTO THIS ISSUE REVEALTED THAT NO LIST OF ANY BOOKS SUPPOSEDLY BANNED BY PALIN IS ACCURATE; ON RECORD SHE NEVER BANNED ANY BOOKS FROM ANY PUBLIC LIBRARIES DURING HER TENURE AS MAYOR. SHE DID CONTACT THE LOCAL LIBRARIAN AND ASKED HER HOW ONE WOULD “THEORETICALLY” GO ABOUT REMOVING CERTAIN “OBJECTIONABLE” MATERIALS FROM PUBLIC LIBRARIES. THE LIRBRARIAN WAS AGHAST AND STATED THAT ALL BOOKS IN ALASKA’S PUBLIC LIBRARIES WERE TYPICAL, ACCEPTABLE AND CREDIBLE LIBRARY FARE. THE SPECIFIC BOOKS PALIN “THEORETICALLY” WANTED REMOVED ARE UNKNOWN. THANKS.

2)Palin opposes stem cell research. She also is a staunch abortion foe, and has stated that a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose even in cases of incest and rape. When she was recently inundated with questions about her seventeen year old daughter’s pregnancy she has stated that Bristol, her daughter, has made her decision to have the child and to marry the father. Okay, as Jon Stewart tried to hammer home on a recent episode of The Today Show Bristol and her family have been able to make the decision that Palin would deny other women to make for themselves if she had her way. She would take the decision away from the individual and the family and place it in the hands of the government; the government would deny single working women in much worse economic shape than the Palin family the right to make their own decision concerning such a difficult matter.

3) Alaska makes most of it’s money in gas and oil–would a Palin run White House really be concerned with alternative fuels? Also, Palin has stated before that she feels humans have no impact on global warming, so environmental laws would in no safe hands with her and McCain.

4)She’s willing to run with McCain, a man who has voted against equal pay for an equal day’s work for women–Obama voted for it, and Obama has consistently worked for policies that help working class women much more than Palin. What’s better for American women–a female vice president or economic policies that have women’s best interests at heart? If you think the latter, you have to vote Obama.

5)Palin voted for the bridge to nowhere, then said she didn’t.

Okay, I could go on for pages but you get my drift.

Last of all I wanted to briefly discuss the TV show Six Feet Under. I’m going to write a longer piece, “An Appreciation of Six Feet Under,” which you can find at:

https://dmhamby2.wordpress.com/an-appreciation-of-six-feet-under/

I tend to watch most TV shows by DVD from either netflix or the library, and when I moved to a new town I noticed my local library had every disc of Six Feet Under. Now, 4 months later I’ve seen every episode and feel the need to write a piece discussing the show. Although I’ve had several other favorite shows over the years that I like more, I feel that maybe the best in quality and importance very well may be Six Feet Under. Sure, in many ways shows like The Simpsons or Buffy the Vampire Slayer are higher on my personal list for being enjoyable, intelligent and re-watchable, but for sheer acting skills, direction, depth of subject matter and pure emotional investment, Six Feet Under does what no other show has done. You’ll be able to read why I say this soon.

Well, those are my three topics for the day–hopefully my next article will be more contained.

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