A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Speaking of the Blues. . .

. . ."Going Back to New Orleans: The Deacon John Film" happened to be on television the other night as I was flipping through the channels. It's a film about the city's contributions to the music world, which are undeniably considerable. Without the Big Easy, rock n' roll might never have happened, at least as we think of it today.

While my fellow conservatives have no trouble finding fault with the once-great city as it struggles to rise again -- with good reason in many cases, I hasten to add -- we shouldn't lose sight of its unique contributions to American culture at large. There are things about the city that deserve preservation, and it would be a shame to see them left to languish in the obscurity of a ghost town because its present-day leaders fall far short of leadership.

The film, though I didn't see it all the way from beginning to end, painted an endearing portrait of a city in terrible need of good news and better PR. I can recommend it to anyone with an interest in music, and most particularly those who enjoy exploring the roots of rock n' roll and the blues.

One song that has worked its way into my heart is a big band style number written (if I recall correctly) by Dave Bartholomew and performed by the film's namesake, Deacon John, simply titled "Someday". If you have to time to sit and watch a full-length film on your computer for the sake of hearing a single song, click the link above.

As I said, I didn't get to see the film start-to-finish, so if it turns out that it contains some objectionable material, it was something I didn't see. What I saw was an exposition on some wonderful music that deserves to be honored, and if you don't find yourself at least a little enchanted by it, you ain't got no soul.

When Pinkos get the Blues. . .

. . .it's usually the consequence of having faced up to reality. Apparently, Pete Seeger had such a confrontation recently, and has (to the astonishment of many) owned up to some of the moral relativism of his past. Ronald Radosh, the conservative, one-time banjo student and protégé of Seeger's, shares the story of the birth of "The Big Joe Blues". Apparently, Pete isn't as big a fan of Uncle Joe Stalin as he once was.

Alberto Gonzales may have his problems. . .

. . .but George Will sounds a little like Joe Conason with an impacted bowel in his most recent column for Newsweek. Apparently, Will took great offense on behalf of Gonzales's father as a result of these words, spoken during his parting speech as he left the White House:
"Even my worst days as attorney general have been better than my father's best days."

Will's response to this supposed rhetorical kick to the family jewels:
Well. His father married and had eight children—nine wonderful days, days even better, one would have thought, than any of the days his son spent floundering at the Justice Department. Furthermore, Gonzales's father had the fulfillment of a lifetime spent providing for his family. But what is any of that, Gonzales implies, compared with the satisfaction of occupying, however unsatisfactorily, a high office? This implicit disparagement of his father's life of responsibility and self-sufficiency turns conservatism inside out. It is going to take conservatism a while to recuperate from becoming associated with such people.

I wonder if Will stopped for a moment to think Gonzales might have been talking about his father's best day at work. Is it really impossible to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, at least on this point? Is it out of the realm of possibility that he innocuously neglected to append the words, "on the job" to his statement?
Despite Will's dyspeptic defense of him, I can imagine that Gonzales's father is proud that his son managed to achieve his way into the White House rather than spend South Texas summers as a construction worker in order to provide for his family. It seems entirely fair to conclude that Gonzales was simply acknowledging it and expressing his appreciation for the fact that he was able to do so; for his own sake, as well as his father's.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Great One. . .

. . .weighs in this morning on Larry Craig's arrest, plea and subsequent resignation from the Senate. Well, to an extent. Mark Levin's overall point is that, in context, whatever Craig did or didn't do in that bathroom stall, or at any time in his life prior to the incident, it is of nearly zero importance in comparison to the actual culture of corruption that pervades Big Government.

I can't say I disagree with him one bit. While it's hard to defend the senator for what his actions seem to suggest, as far as anyone can tell none of his actions were actually criminal. Yet, he was arrested and charged anyway on the basis that his actions showed criminal intent -- something that occurs regularly in law enforcement. Shoplifters are frequently apprehended prior to actually leaving the store with stolen goods because they've been witnessed concealing items, which a reasonable person can interpret as intent to commit a crime. Fair enough.

But, if media and police accounts of what happened in that restroom are accurate, it's still difficult to see where a crime has been committed. It might be the case that Craig was trying to solicit the officer for sex in that bathroom. Then again, it might be the case that he was simply trying to solicit the officer to have sex somewhere else and was merely trying to establish contact so that arrangements could be made. Also, however unlikely, it could be true that Craig does have a "wide stance" and was indeed trying to pick up a piece of paper from the floor. Still, you don't have to believe that in order to think officer acted too hastily in this case.

Whatever took place in that restroom, in this conservative's mind, there's a bit of the aforementioned Big Government at work here. That's not to say that government doesn't have a role in preventing lewd and lascivious conduct, particularly in places like public restrooms. In this case, however, it seems that the standard used by the officer in making the arrest could potentially lead to a person being detained over a simple misunderstanding. While it may be sleazy for someone to proposition strangers for sex in public restrooms, unless it can be demonstrated that the person intended to engage in sexual activity right there on the spot, or in some other place where the public might be exposed to the sleaze, it's difficult to see where any crime is committed when a foot is tapped and a hand is waved beneath a stall. What is creepy isn't necessarily criminal.

As a conservative, it's difficult to oppose the notion of "thought crimes" and, at the same time, support Senator Craig's arrest, even though I think he's probably guilty of trying to have anonymous sex in a public men's room stall. That's because, in a world where a sitting President can have his very own interpretation of the word "is", surely a foot tap and a hand wave can have different meanings from one person to the next -- even if they are gay and creepy.

free website counters