Thursday, April 8, 2010

Plus Ca Change

I think it was the recent Fox News nostalgia tour that started me thinking again about the parallels between 1970 and 2010. In some ways, one is a mirror image of the other. Both years feature a vocal minority protesting a President of the opposite party, but the parties are reversed.

But dig a little deeper, and things haven't changed much at all. There is still a large block of people (Guardians if you're into personality tests) who value the status quo per se and fear anything different with the energy of a thousand suns. A lot of them live in the South. And many of them are gullible, inclined to believe a stranger talking hate over their own friends and neighbors. Sound familiar?

My dad is a Republican, but he values smart over stupid too much to love the status quo. When I was little, this was one of our favorite "songs." It's really a speech recited over music, but it got played on the radio. And yes, Charlie Daniels was once counterculture. The song is long, so I summarized the setup to get you to the funny stuff sooner.

Try substituting teabagger for redneck and Obama for McGovern, and it's like time stood still.


[long-haired young man driving from WV to CA gets a flat tire on his Chevy near a redneck bar in Mississippi]

I stuffed my hair up under my hat and told the bartender that I had a flat, and would he be kind enough to give me change for a one?

There was one thing I was sure proud to see: there wasn't a soul in the place except for him and me. He just looked disgusted and pointed toward the telephone.

I called up the station down the road a ways. He said he wasn't very busy today, and he could have somone out there in just about 10 minutes or so,

He said," Now, you just stay right where yer at!" and I didn't bother to tell the darn fool that I sure as hell didn't have anyplace else to go.

So I ordered up a beer and sat down at the bar when some guy walked in and said, "Who owns this car with the peace sign, the mag wheels and the four on the floor?"

He looked at me and I damn near died, and I decided that I'd just wait outside, so I laid a dollar on the bar and headed for the door.

Just when I wthought I'd get outta there with my skin, these 3 big dudes come strollin' in with one old drunk chick and some fella with green teeth.

Now the last thing I wanted was to get into a fight in Jackson Mississippi on a Saturday night, especially when there was three of them and only one of me.

I was almost to the door when the biggest one said, "You tip your hat to this lady, son!" And when I did, all that hair fell out from underneath.

They all started laughin' and I felt kinda sick, and I knew I better think of something pretty quick, so I just reached out and kicked old green teeth right in the knee

Now he let out a yell that'd curl yer hair, but before he could move I grabbed me a chair and said, "Now watch him, folks, 'cause he's a fairly dangerous man!"

"You may not know it but this man is a spy. He's a undercover agent for the FBI, and he's been sent down here to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan!"

He was still bent over holdin on to his knee, but everybody else was looking and listening to me, and I laid it on thicker and heavier as I went.

"He's a friend of them long-haired, hippy-type, pinko fags! I betcha he's even got a commie flag tacked up on the wall inside of his garage."

"He's a snake in the grass, I tell ya guys. He may look dumb but that's just a disguise. He's a mastermind in the ways of espionage!"

"Would you believe this man has gone as far as tearing Wallace stickers off the bumpers of cars. And he voted for George McGovern for President."

They started lookin real suspicious at him. He jumped up and said, "Now just wait a minute Jim! You know he's lying; I been living here all of my life!"

"I'm a faithful follower of Brother John Birch, and I belong to the Antioch Baptist Church, and I ain't even got a garage. You can call home and ask my wife!"

Then he started saying somethin bout the way I was dressed, but I didn't wait around to hear the rest. I was too busy moving and hoping I didn't run outta luck.

When I hit the door I was making tracks, and they were just taking my car down off the jacks, so I threw the man a twenty and jumped in and fired that mother up.

Mario Andretti woulda sure been proud of the way I was movin when I passed that crowd coming out the door and headed toward me at a trot.

Now I guess I should have gone ahead and run, but somehow I just couldn't resist the fun of chasing them all just once around the parking lot.

I had them all out there steppin' and fetchin' like their heads was on fire and their asses was catchin'
then I figgered I had better go ahead and split before the cops got there.

When I hit the road I was really wheelin' had gravel flyin' and rubber squealin' and I didn't slow down till I was almost to Arkansas.

I think I'm gonna reroute my trip. I wonder if anybody'd think I'd flipped if I went to L.A. via Omaha?

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