Fiddling While Rome Burns

6 Mar

As one of those rare beasts…a Social as well as a Fiscal Conservative, I tend to depart from some of my fellow conservatives on the wisdom of engaging in the “culture wars” as more and more people apparently wake up to the perception that as a nation and a culture, we’re circling the bowl of history’s toilet.  But that said, there are some battles in this “war” that are being waged not out of any offense to righteousness, but by one or more parties struggling to maintain a grip on relevancy and to somehow justify their otherwise purposeless existence.  Such is the current OUTRAGE!!!! expressed by the NAACP toward entertainer and Michigan Icon, Kid Rock.

I grew up in the Flint area at a time when hope was fading almost as quickly as meaningful long-term job prospects for many of the people who lived there with me.  The late 1970’s were devastating to the community, as tanking domestic auto sales, fueled by higher oil prices and inherent lack of quality compared to the foreign product flooding our markets, put thousands out of work, and took away jobs that would never return.  School districts shrank to half their previous size, almost overnight.  Things looked bad, and little pride could be found in local sports teams (with the exception of the 1984 Detroit Tigers) or entertainment outlets (although Bob Seger continued to record new material in the 1980s, and maintain a hard-core following in the state, who could but laugh when after the Release of Bruce Springsteen’s Born In USA, some had accused Seger of imitating Springsteen).  Businesses that had been a part of the community for as long as a century winked out of existence in a matter of days.  Bleak wouldn’t even begin to cover it, and never knowing anything else, I and my peers never had any reason to believe that things were different elsewhere.  Malaise was certainly on the menu, but there was also a stubborn pride taken it local achievements, which is why bands like Grand Funk, and Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band were looked upon like family, because they were us.  They had lived among us and had transcended the blue-collar grind and bust cycles that had dealt so many body blows to the state.

Flash forward twenty years, and a skinny long-haired blond kid going by the moniker of Kid Rock exploded onto the music scene with a brash, in-your-face style that embodied the mean streets that his work celebrated.  He honored his musical predecessors, while giving a new sound, and a new face to people who stubbornly refused to throw in the towel, and quit.  As his career unfolded, his sound matured, incorporating country and southern rock into his act.  Southern rock may seem to be a curious choice in a far north state, but as the auto plants grew in the early days of the auto industry, southerners migrated north to where these jobs were, and settled in Detroit, the Detroit suburbs, Flint, and it’s suburbs.  These roots run deep, and it wasn’t unusual to hear bands like Foghat, 38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd and others on the radio when I was a kid.  It was as natural as breathing.

Despite his success, Kid Rock never left the state, chosing instead to retain ties with both Michigan and Detroit.  His fans haven’t forgotten him for that, and when I look at him now, I can see that he and I aren’t that different.  His songs about growing up reflect my experiences, and his musical influences are something we both have in common.  So when I see an aging organization chosing to find offense where it can only exist if one chooses it, and using that as a reason to “boycott” someone who has continued to stay with the people he grew up with, I get pissed.  When it demonstrates a split in ideas within that larger group, that pits outsiders against the locals, the flexing of the perceived right to not be offended blinds me with a RCOB moment, and yet that is exactly what has happened, according to the Detroit News.

Kid Rock is set to be recognized by the Detroit NAACP with their Great Expectations Award, for his support of the city of Detroit.  However, his use of the Confederate flag in his shows has so incensed members of the Detroit progressive community, and members of the NAACP elsewhere in the country, that they have decided to boycott the annual fundraiser where the award is to be given.  To his credit, the interim director of the NAACP has issued a statement supporting the decision to give the award to Kid Rock.

“Kid Rock … has consistently lifted up the Great Expectations of many persons … concerning the future of the city,” Donnell R. White, interim executive director of the Detroit Branch NAACP, said in a statement.

I understand the power of symbols.  I also understand that symbols don’t always mean the same things to the same people.  Like it or not, the symbol in question is a part of our nation’s history, and while I cannot support the peculiar institution that was one of the root causes of the conflict, I also cannot deny the spirit of the people who fought under that banner.  Not everyone who wore the grey fought to preserve slavery.  Some fought for their homes, their land, their communities, and their right to chose for themselves what they would and would not be able to do.  Not everyone who wore blue fought to end slavery.  Some fought for a paycheck and to preserve the Union.  It was a conflict that pitted family members against each other, and it marked the line between losing, and being defeated. 

If there was an offense to be had, it should rest with the locals.  Apparently not all of them chose to be offended.  It should have ended there. 

I have no illusions about this award.  I don’t look to this entertainer or ANY entertainer to ride in and cause so much change in the things that are done that things turn around for the people who are there.   That would require those people themselves to be the bigger catalyst.  But I never discount the power of a symbol.  Kid Rock, like that flag, is a symbol to many people of the difference between losing and being defeated, and that some people, regardless of circumstance, never, ever, admit defeat.

I listen to this, and I know exactly what he’s talking about.

I actually know where this was filmed.  I didn’t live too far from there.

49 Responses to “Fiddling While Rome Burns”

  1. roamingfirehydrant March 6, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    **wobbles between poats, falls over

  2. clintbird March 6, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    @ 7:59 beasn on the last poat:

    I lurves beasn. She da killaaaaaaaaaaah!

  3. roamingfirehydrant March 6, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    I should go do laundry and the supper dishes, but I don’ wanna.

    **leaves fingernail marks on bar floor

  4. LC Aggie Sith March 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    Beasn has it right. I still would vote Beasn for Prez.

    If the NAACP is going to grasp at straws about racial undertones regarding the Confederate flag, perhaps they should look at their name, and strive to drop the racial epithet from their title.

  5. beasn March 6, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    Don’t get me started on the NEA. From orbit.

    “Schools need to teach about orgasms.”

    “Oral sex, masturbation, and orgasms need to be taught in education,” Diane Schneider told the audience at a panel on combating homophobia and transphobia. Schneider, representing the National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers union in the US, advocated for more “inclusive” sex education in US schools, with curricula based on liberal hetero and homosexual expression. She claimed that the idea of sex education remains an oxymoron if it is abstinence-based, or if students are still able to opt-out.

    Comprehensive sex education is “the only way to combat heterosexism and gender conformity,” Schneider proclaimed, “and we must make these issues a part of every middle and high-school student’s agenda.” “Gender identity expression and sexual orientation are a spectrum,” she explained, and said that those opposed to homosexuality “are stuck in a binary box that religion and family create.”

    More on Ms. Schneider –

    Stupid bitch must have slept through biology.

  6. beasn March 6, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    Git me outta da moderation.

    (I’m too lazy.)

  7. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere March 6, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Dinner tonight is angel hair pasta with a marinara, accented with Johnsonville mild Italian sausages, grilled to perfection, sliced, and added to the sauce, with fresh hot garlic bread.

  8. beasn March 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Sounds good BiW. The family had bacon and eggs and I had London broil, a tater, MiL slaw, and a thick slice of fresh baked bread.

  9. roamingfirehydrant March 6, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    Beasn for President!!!

    I made BBQ pork, Dutch potatoes, and green beans. There were no leftovers.

  10. LC Aggie Sith March 6, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    We had burgers. I am not in the cooking mood, what with all the crap happening around here.

  11. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere March 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    Bacon and eggs sounds like a winnah.

  12. beasn March 6, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    Roamy, is your heart rate nearer normal and are you used to your meds yet?

  13. MCPO Airdale March 6, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    I have nothing cogent to add to this thread. But, I am in my jammies.

  14. Dick March 6, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    Beasn, I’m looking at the old poat and love it when a chick talks dirty. Do it again for me babe.

  15. Dick March 6, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    Chief, Stinky said hello, and he leaves on the third, even though his first day is officially on the fourth.

  16. LC Aggie Sith March 6, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    But, I am in my jammies.

    Me too 😉

  17. Dick March 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    I made Instapundit tonight.

  18. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere March 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    I’m not. Yet. But I will be.

  19. MCPO Airdale March 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    Tomorrow will be my last full 18 holes in Florida for this year. Weather could not have been better and I’ve been privileged to play with some fine folks!

  20. LC Aggie Sith March 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    I made Instapundit tonight.

    Got a linkie?

    I’m not. Yet. But I will be.

    Instapundit, or jammies?

  21. LC Aggie Sith March 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    Hm…having trouble staying awake, and have a long day tomorrow. I’ll be offline most of Monday, but should be back Tuesday. Y’all have a good one!

  22. Dick March 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    Shower time and a damper replacement in the morning.
    I’m living the dream!

  23. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere March 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    I’m glad it was a good trip, Chief.

  24. MCPO Airdale March 6, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    BiW – Thanks. I enjoyed. Now, I’m ready for the comforts of my own home.

  25. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere March 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    There is nothing like sleeping in your own bed after an absence from it.

  26. xbradtc March 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    Dick’s alter ego:

  27. LC Aggie Sith March 7, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    Dick’s alter ego

    Thanks, Brad *smooooch*

    I’m off to my folks for a quick visit today. A close friend of the family passed away, and my sis and I are driving down to pay our respects.

  28. roamingfirehydrant March 7, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    My condolences, Aggie.

  29. Car in March 7, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    FUCK those fuckers, who probably couldn’t give a legitimate answer to what the civil war was about, and what the flag that so offends them actually represents.


    Stupid people bug me.

  30. Car in March 7, 2011 at 8:40 am #

    From previous thread:

    Wouldn’t hurt my opinion if we glass slicked every country over there having at least one resident named Mohammed.

    Ut oh. In that case England’s in big trouble.

    I’ve got a poat (from yesterday) about that sorta. multiculturalism bullshit. Good videos swiped from other places.

  31. Car in March 7, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    This is my favorite Kid Rock song:

    Ha ha haa. I love that song.

  32. Car in March 7, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    I also loved that he was in Joe Dirt. Plays a dirtbag. That guy has a sense of humor.

  33. Car in March 7, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    I’ve been practically MIA since last thursday. I’m just gonna sit online constantly all day to make up for it.


  34. Car in March 7, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Aaaalllll .. by myself …

  35. roamingfirehydrant March 7, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    Hi Carin. Mini-me’s school dismisses early today for “teacher in-service”. Next week is spring break. Yeah, lots of work to do.

  36. roamingfirehydrant March 7, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    That was kind of a non sequitor, wasn’t it.

  37. PattyAnn March 7, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    When you get tired of that one, you can use this one, Carin.

  38. Car in March 7, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Ha ha ha …

    Maybe this one too, since I’ve got one or two more of you here:

    **teases hair

  39. Car in March 7, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Oops. Well, Chief is golfing right?

  40. PattyAnn March 7, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    Armed Geek from the last thread:
    “‘Like the Border Patrol agents who was shoot beanbags at the AK-47 wielding illegals?’

    You mean the AK-47 that they obviously bought at a gunshow, taking advantage of a “loophole” in the background check laws ?”

    AG, if they bought them at a gunshow in the US, then they obviously took them illegally across the border into Mexico, then back across the border into the US, illegally again. Nothing a secure border wouldn’t fix.

  41. Car in March 7, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    My kids had no school monday and half days tues and Thurs. They’ve got this friday off.

    We’re going skiing – one last trip.

  42. Dick March 7, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Totally safe for work, but rather… odd.

  43. PattyAnn March 7, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    I think we left Dick Dangling.

  44. GMLand March 7, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Good morning all!!

  45. Jazz March 7, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    Good morning!

    Greta hands some douche, worthless, entitlement-minded Wisconsin senator her ass on Friday night.

  46. PattyAnn March 7, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    That was a good one, Jazz.

  47. clintbird March 7, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    New poat!

  48. PattyAnn March 7, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    For Beasn

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