Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Q: Why are some Alaskans protesting against Steve Earle?

A: Because they fear him.

They call him un-American, but what's more American than standing up for what you believe in, and using music to voice concerns and encourage others to think about what's happening in the world?
Steve Earle knows more about what it means to be an American than a few self-righteous clowns writing letters and buying ads protesting his appearance at the Southeast Alaska State Fair on July 30. Said clowns are making fools of themselves, as unprecedented demand for tickets to his show testify to his popularity. Steve will rock that place, despite his detractors, and show those folks what an unstoppable force he is.
Steve has seen American life from up on top and from the very bottom. See a biography here. He is an outspoken opponent of the death penalty, the war in Iraq, false patriotism and corporate greed. One of his biggest heroes is Woody Guthrie, so his values are obviously diametrically opposed to those in power, as he stands up for hard-working freedom lovers everywhere. His perseverance is exemplary to all who have struggled with addiction, broken families, poverty and the justice system.
So why are some folks boycotting him? Fear. Folks on the right don't like it when people ask difficult questions of them. They get scared that the truth may expose their lies and hypocrisy. They are frightened by the prospect of a change in the status quo, which serves those in power who use fear and faux patriotism to keep the masses obsequious. They prefer that we put one of those yellow ribbon magnets on our SUV's, quietly go about our day to-day business, and shut the fuck up. Let our leaders decide who to kill, who to jail and how to spend our money. They believe that governance is of the few, by the few and for the few.
Steve will tell you that he doesn't believe this. Steve will tell you to take a good look around, think about what's important to you and your neighbors, band together and change your world. He will tell you that it's going to take every one of us to start a revolution to change the direction of this country. Steve will tell you that the revolution
I hope Mr. Earle won't mind if i reprint the lyrics to my favorite track off his latest album:

Rich Man’s War
Jimmy joined the army ‘cause he had no place to go
There ain’t nobody hirin’ ‘round here since all the jobs went down to Mexico
Reckoned that he’d learn himself a trade maybe see the world
Move to the city someday and marry a black haired girl
Somebody somewhere had another plan
Now he’s got a rifle in his hand
Rollin’ into Baghdad wonderin’ how he got this far
Just another poor boy off to fight a rich man’s war

Bobby had an eagle and a flag tattooed on his arm
Red white and blue to the bone when he landed in Kandahar
Left behind a pretty young wife and a baby girl
A stack of overdue bills and went off to save the world
Been a year now and he’s still there
Chasin’ ghosts in the thin dry air
Meanwhile back at home the finance company took his car
Just another poor boy off to fight a rich man’s war

When will we ever learn
When will we ever see
We stand up and take our turn
And keep tellin’ ourselves we’re free

Ali was the second son of a second son
Grew up in Gaza throwing bottles and rocks when the tanks would come
Ain’t nothin’ else to do around here just a game children play
Somethin’ ‘bout livin’ in fear all your life makes you hard that way

He answered when he got the call
Wrapped himself in death and praised Allah
A fat man in a new Mercedes drove him to the door
Just another poor boy off to fight a rich man’s war
Do not fear the Steve. Listen to him.

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