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Steve Earle takin' heat for new song

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Bobert 23 Jul 02 - 01:39 PM
Clinton Hammond 23 Jul 02 - 01:47 PM
Midchuck 23 Jul 02 - 01:56 PM
Clinton Hammond 23 Jul 02 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 02 - 02:24 PM
SharonA 23 Jul 02 - 02:45 PM
Big Mick 23 Jul 02 - 02:47 PM
Mooh 23 Jul 02 - 03:17 PM
Mooh 23 Jul 02 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 02 - 03:40 PM
Wesley S 23 Jul 02 - 03:45 PM
Big Mick 23 Jul 02 - 04:10 PM
SlickerBill 23 Jul 02 - 04:14 PM
Big Mick 23 Jul 02 - 04:33 PM
Bullfrog Jones 23 Jul 02 - 04:47 PM
Kim C 23 Jul 02 - 05:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 02 - 05:14 PM
Big Mick 23 Jul 02 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,Very Poor Lazarus 23 Jul 02 - 05:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jul 02 - 06:25 PM
SlickerBill 23 Jul 02 - 08:17 PM
khandu 23 Jul 02 - 08:40 PM
Bobert 23 Jul 02 - 08:48 PM
BH 23 Jul 02 - 08:49 PM
Mooh 23 Jul 02 - 10:09 PM
GUEST,frogmore 23 Jul 02 - 11:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Jul 02 - 04:09 AM
Mark Cohen 24 Jul 02 - 06:19 AM
Steve Latimer 24 Jul 02 - 07:27 AM
Whistle Stop 24 Jul 02 - 08:19 AM
Little Hawk 24 Jul 02 - 09:21 AM
Mooh 24 Jul 02 - 12:38 PM
Clinton Hammond 24 Jul 02 - 01:11 PM
Lonesome EJ 24 Jul 02 - 01:55 PM
InOBU 24 Jul 02 - 02:31 PM
Kim C 24 Jul 02 - 05:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Jul 02 - 07:02 PM
Coyote Breath 24 Jul 02 - 10:05 PM
michaelr 25 Jul 02 - 12:18 AM
Whistle Stop 25 Jul 02 - 08:17 AM
Kim C 25 Jul 02 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,McGrath of Harlow 25 Jul 02 - 10:10 AM
Kim C 25 Jul 02 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,McGrath of Harlow 25 Jul 02 - 11:16 AM
Lonesome EJ 25 Jul 02 - 12:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jul 02 - 12:34 PM
Lonesome EJ 25 Jul 02 - 12:55 PM
Whistle Stop 25 Jul 02 - 01:05 PM
Bullfrog Jones 25 Jul 02 - 01:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jul 02 - 01:28 PM
Kim C 25 Jul 02 - 03:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jul 02 - 03:50 PM
Kim C 26 Jul 02 - 10:36 AM
SharonA 26 Jul 02 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,tra 26 Jul 02 - 11:37 AM
Kim C 26 Jul 02 - 12:39 PM
SlickerBill 26 Jul 02 - 12:57 PM
PeteBoom 26 Jul 02 - 02:18 PM
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Subject: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 01:39 PM

Now, we all know that the ol' bobert ain't into the "bluey thingie" so I'll impose on someone who it to take care of that but my ol' buddy Steve Earle has written a sond entitled "John Walker's Blues" which is getting him a lot of unfavorable attention in Nashville.

Yep, according to an article in this morning's Washington Post by Richard Harrington entitle "Earle's Lindh Song Hits Sour Note in Nashville" bad boy Steve has gotten lawyer/morning radio show host Steve Gill of WTN-FM all upset for writing a song in the first person speaking as if Steve were Lindh himself. Gill says the song is going to be "offensive to a lot of Christains around the country."

The article goes on to point out that Bruce Springsteem has a song coming out on an soon to be released CD entitled "The Rising" which is written from the perspective of a suicide bomber.

My own feeling is that artist have not only a right but obligation to explore differing perspectives and, well, Steve will be Steve wheather it be writing form the perpsctive of a moonshiner, murderer, drug runner or a Taliban. That is what artist do.

I hope someone will come along and provide a link so other Catfolk will be able to read this article and decide for themselves which side of the fence they find themselves on.

Bobert

bluey added by a
joe clone


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 01:47 PM

"offensive to a lot of Christains around the country."

In my book, that phrase lands solidly in the "Who Gives A Shit" category...

It's like trying to make teenagers depressed, offending christians...

"artist have not only a right but obligation to explore differing perspectives"

I'm with you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Midchuck
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 01:56 PM

It's like trying to make teenagers depressed, offending christians...

Great line! (I've done both, many times...)

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 01:59 PM

It's kinda stolen from The Simpsons, Midchuck...

"This music sure seems to be reaching the teens" says Lisa.

"Baaah... Making teenagers depressed is like shooting fish in a barrel" repiles Bart.

LOL!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: GUEST,McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 02:24 PM

Anybody who doesn't recognise why it's important to try to understand the people who disagree with you you must be a bit crazy.

John Lindh came out of White Christian America. That's something Americans need to make sense of. He's unlikely to be the last.

I still can't see what he is supposed to have done that was a crime. The bizarre plea-bargaining system that enabled him to escape a legal lynching and the prosecution to escape having to produce a legal case has meant there's been no trial of the evidence.

But whatever, it must be frightening to think what might happen if there are lots more like him coming out of the same background that produced him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: SharonA
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 02:45 PM

Okay, I read the article... and, yeah, I like Steve Earle more all the time. I can see where Christian fundamentalists would miss the message behind the lyric "...just like Jesus" (at least, the message I'm getting, which is that one kind of fanaticism isn't all that different from another...).


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 02:47 PM

Cmon, Kevin. With all respect to you (I have a great deal of respect for your views), that is a gratuitous statement of the first order. John Walker Lindh never came out of white Christian America. He came out of multi-cultural, middle class, multi religious tradition, multi colored, mult valued, and endlessly diverse, America. His parents were "do your own thing" refugees from the 60's, living in an area that has many others of the same type of beliefs or lack thereof. NOTICE:I am not rendering any judgements in that statement, as some of it applies to me, some doesn't. It is simply a statement That is something that those of you who don't live here, but constantly tell us what is wrong with us need to deal with. Ours is a country where "do your own thing" is a mantra (sometimes said differently, but essentially the same message)embraced by all segments from the beginning.

Good for Steve Earle. That is our job. As bards of this era, we must take on the controversies that lead to jingoism and xenophobia. If anything is missing during these times, it is the questioning voice of those that hear with different ears and see with different eyes, expressed through the voices of our bards. The prospect of where this so called "war on terrorism" could lead without the voices of reasoned dissent are truly frightening. I am struggling now with a song which questions the whole concept of a "war on terrorism". I am a warrior. I have made my bones. I understand completely about how to fight an enemy. But I don't understand how we can be at war with a concept. And who decides what is terrorism and what is a fight against a legitimate oppressor. If taking up arms against a concept that "threatens the stability of, indeed the existence of, our way of life", then why can't I take up arms against the corporate thieves of Worldcom, Enron, Nortel, et al, who have reduced folks whole working lives to naught, while they run off not just unscathed but profitting? Is this not terrorism of the first order?

I say again. Hooray and God bless Steve Earle for being a brave bard. I hope that I can take his example and build on it for the issues that I hold dear. It is our time, my friends. We must start raising our "voices of struggle" in order that we can cause others to think and not be a herd.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Mooh
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 03:17 PM

And radio show hosts might be worse than teenagers and Christians in the easily offended catagory. I get pretty irratated by radio "personalities" who use their illinformed, uneducated, inexperienced backgrounds to burden us with their self-righteous, indignant observations and opinions. They do this as if they are the voice of the people.

Now, in this particular example


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Mooh
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 03:26 PM

Whoops...I was about to say...

In this example, the radio guy misreads Earle altogether, doesn't understand some basic literary techniques, and exposes himself as naive. I suspect he is offended personally, but chooses to temper his expression of it by hiding behind his interest group of choice. Amateur psychology on my part, sure, but so what. At least I'm not abusing the airwaves with it.

God bless Steve Earle.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: GUEST,McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 03:40 PM

Where does gratuitous come from? No intended slur on America in what I said.

He's a young white man, from a Christian family, raised in America. That's what I meant by saying that he comes from white Christian America.

I wasn't implying he came from some particular and strange sort of America, because so far as I know he didn't. He seems to be from an ordinary American family. That's the point. I think it's Steve Earle's point too.

It's not about him being American, rather than English or Irish or whatver, it's about him not coming from the sort of background that gets stereotyped as deviant and so forth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Wesley S
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 03:45 PM

This Steve Gill sounds like a real putz. "Steve Earle's faltering career" ??


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 04:10 PM

Ordinary American family I will buy. White, Christian, I won't. I am not sure what that is. Good enough, my friend. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Regards,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: SlickerBill
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 04:14 PM

Listen, I'm a Christian, but I'm not offended by Steve Earle; I think the guy's great, and I think what's been said above about artists speaking out, and giving us another point of view is right on the money. that's their/our job. Just one little request. When you accuse all Christians of being dinks, don't you think that's just a bit hypocritical? I mean, if a Christian was to get on here and submit such a blanket statement about, say, Moslems, people here would go nuts, right? And rightly so. And yet I get the feeling here that all Christians are stereotyped as narrow minded, blow hard bigots. Yes, I know many Christians who fit this description, but it would be wrong to say all Christians are the same. Such a statement is, in itself, bigotry, and those who make such statements seem to me to be as bigotted and arrogant as those they are criticizing. sb


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 04:33 PM

Well said, SlickerBill. One of the things that I have always hated is the generalizing and categorizing we do. We all understand that there is a need to categorize certain things, when we use that to ascribe a motive or personality, it just doesn't work for me. It goes back to my time in the service when the ability to get us to dehumanize the enemy so it was easier to kill them. If "they" are just japs, dinks, krauts, micks, niggers, etc, then it is easier to find them of less value.

I am a Christian, though certainly not what some would call a traditional Christian. The beliefs of the people I am descended from weigh heavily in my spirituality, including some that clearly come from the old pagan orders. I guess what I am saying is that the assumptions made by attaching that kind label implies that which ain't necessarily so.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 04:47 PM

Gill suggests Earle is "pushing the edge of the envelope to attract attention". Sorry, who's trying to attract attention here? Long may Steve push the envelope.
BJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Kim C
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 05:12 PM

I live in Nashville and while I don't personally know Steve Gill, he is a pretty good radio host, and like Steve Earle, is not afraid to say what he thinks. It just happens that this time, the two Steves disagree.

I am not a big fan of Steve Earle but I do appreciate that he is not afraid to speak his mind, even if I don't necessarily agree. (I did sell him a futon once, and he's a pretty nice fellow. Very laid-back.)

We do that sort of thing in America, after all. Speaking up always carries the risk of annoying someone.

And songwriters tell stories. How is this one different from any other story told about a real person in a time of conflict? Writers have been doing that for centuries.

Ian Tyson took a lot of heat, too, for his song about Claude Dallas, who killed two federal agents when he was supposedly caught poaching. Dallas claimed self-defense, but he was the only witness left alive, and nobody bought it.

And what about all the songs about people like Jesse James and Billy the Kid?

Do they glorify murderers, or just tell a story? Telling the story doesn't necessarily glorify anyone or anything.

Mister, who is politically very conservative, surprised me the other night. He said of Lindh, he's just a disillusioned kid who got on the wrong path. And I can't totally disagree with that. (I think he said that, remembering perhaps some times when he was a disillusioned kid going down the wrong path himself.)However, it's my understanding that it's sort of Against the Law for an American citizen to join a foreign army and take arms against the US.

Maybe Lindh didn't know that. Maybe he did. Who knows. People write songs about current issues, and that's just the way it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 05:14 PM

Who on this threadsaid anything about al Chruistian being dinks? And what's a dink anyway?

I'd call myself a Catholic Christian. Whether I'm a dink or not all depends on what that means.

What it come sdown to is "We have met the enemy. And he is us", as Pogo said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 05:19 PM

Yeah......sorry, Kevin. That wasn't directed at you and amounted to thread drift. Your explanation was very clear, and your intent became clear as well. My comment wasn't about the Christian aspect of your post, but rather that somehow Lindh was the product of some uniquely American trait. The fact is that Americans, as a whole, don't have a bunch of traits in common. As, I suspect, is the same no matter where you were born. Notice I said traits, and not customs.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: GUEST,Very Poor Lazarus
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 05:46 PM

Pardon the thread drift, but McGrath of Harlow asks, "what's a dink anyway?"

Dink was the name of an old African American woman in Mississippi whose song was "collected" and copywritten by the Lomaxes. She remained in poverty and saw no money while the Lomaxes earned a pretty penny from the all folk scare recordings.

It's the song that goes "If I had wings like Noah's dove, I'd fly up the river, to the one I love. Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well."


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 06:25 PM

It was SlickerBill's use of dinks that I was puzzled about, Big Mick, not yours.

(This kind of discussion is where the merit of people signing their posts really comes clear, because it means we can put what people say in context, and have a better chance of understanding what they mean. Where they are coming from, as they say.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: SlickerBill
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 08:17 PM

McGrath. The idiom "dink" where I come from is synonomous with, say " asshole". I wasn't aware that in some parts of the world the term "dink' might actually be a racial epithet. (My apologies if that offended anyone who might be referred to as that by some racist asshole!)My point was that in the entries prior to mine (and others at this site from time to time) I have noticed a tendency to stereotype Christians as intolerant jerks.

Is there a link somewhere to a site where we can check out the Earle lyric in question? sb


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: khandu
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 08:40 PM

I am a Christian, but I am not offended by Steve Earle. In fact, I am rarely offended by opinions expressed by artists of any sort. It does grieve me to see the overall blanket view of Christians to be such a negative one, a view that even I have held.

But who to blame for the negativity? It is a by-product of being self-righteous, self-promoting, money-grubbing, finger-pointing bastards who parade as Christians.

In Mississippi, we have a state representative that, IMHO, fails to represent the citizens of Mississippi. Rather, he represents only himself, even as he calls himself a "representative of the people of Mississippi".

That is how I see many "Representatives of Christ"; using the name as a means of self-glorification.

From what I have understood of the character of Christ, He would not be offended at all at Earle. In fact, the ones with whom He did find offense, were the "Representatives of God" (the Pharisees) during his walk on earth. He called them "sons of serpents".

Amen.

khandu


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 08:48 PM

joe clone: Thanks for the assist with the bluey thing. Yeah, it's on my top 100 things I'd like to learn to do before I go off to that big juke joint in the sky...

Yeah, Ive been a Steve Earle fan for a long, long time. Thru his druggy years and thru his recovery. He has, more than anyone I know other than perhaps Springsteen, placed himself in others shoes and wrote from their perspective. Being a songwriter myself, I appreciate just how many layers of one's own agendas and biases must be shed to get to that level of consientousness from which to write.

In "Old 29" he wrote of being a running back on a west Texas football team. Now for those folks who haven't seen Steve, he ain't no running back nor could he have ever been one. Two plays and call for body bag. Then in "Devil's Right Hand" and one other song he is a killer. Then a pot grower who learned a "thing from Charlie, don't ya know". Yeah, this ain't nothin' new to Steve...

Remember when he broke into the country music scene? Yeah, it was Steve and I think Dwight Yokum as the up and comers. Difference was that Steve had something to say and Nashville don't like folks that have something to say unless it's waving the flag, mom and apple pie...

Yaeh, go Steve Earle. Do it your way and then when ya grow old you won't have all those demons keepin' ya company...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: BH
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 08:49 PM

Kim C makes a very valid point----is it a "news" song ala those she speaks of or is it a political diatribe. I have not yet heard it so will hold back being judgemental.

Woody Guthrie gave us "Round and Round Hitler's Grave" among many other songs relating to WW 2. All pro Allies. Not news songs like, say Jesse James or Billy the Kid. His Sacco & Vanzetti material was "news" and at the same time "political"

Steve Earle is certainly an intelligent and gifted writer with many causes. Mostly worthy--in my subjective opinion . As to the subject of this song--I might have chosen a different subject for news---and if it is for a political point---sympathies here do not abound. Philosophy 101 ---you make your bed (mat) and lie in it.

I doubt it will be a seller---but, as noted somewhere ( perhaps here) in NYC it is doing well. Most things do---and I am from the area. Bless that fact.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Mooh
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 10:09 PM

Wasn't it Oliver H. Perry whom said "We have met the enemy..." and was quoted by Pogo? Just wondering.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: GUEST,frogmore
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 11:59 PM

What he hell are artists for if not to get folks talkin', thinkin', disagreein', stirred-up, blah, blah. And I have no time to talk to people who honestly think that whatever the "news" told them is the Truth about anything. Dig a little deeper or go pay some attention to your own life instead. I recall being "prejudged" in Berkeley in 1970 by an African American intellectual who immediately despised me because my VW bus had a South Carolina license plate! I'd grown up knowing, fishing with, working with, and hanging out with about 100 times as many of his race as he had in Berkely. It took me about two weeks to become his friend - and we both learned a lot. I know plenty of spaced-out kids John Walker's age. They do a lot of goofy stuff they'll likely regret later. Like lots of us did. I don't know what made Walker get involved with the Taliban maniacs. And I'm too busy to dwell on it. I want to know how "W" thinks he can stop this foolishness. Steve Earle is a damn good writer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 04:09 AM

Quite plausibly, Mooh - but I've never heard of Oliver H Perry, and I have heard of Pogo.

That often happens to quotes, they get attached to the first well known character to say them - "I wish I'd said that" said Oscar Wilde. "You will, Oscar, you will."

Unfair maybe, but a quote with a face gets more depth and conveys more meaning. A bit like posts on the Mudcat needing a name attached to it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 06:19 AM

Actually, Admiral Perry said, "We have met the enemy, and he is ours." Walt Kelly paraphrased it, quite brilliantly, as was his wont.

When I wrote These Hands, which is told from the point of view of a child abuser, I was often criticized for making the narrator "too sympathetic". In fact, the whole point of the song is that sometimes the distance between "him" and "the rest of us" can be very, very small.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 07:27 AM

From another Modern Bard:

With God On Our Side
Bob Dylan
Copyright © 1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music

Oh my name it is nothin'
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I's taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that land that I live in
Has God on its side.

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side.

Oh the Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I's made to memorize
With guns in their hands
And God on their side.

Oh the First World War, boys
It closed out its fate
The reason for fighting
I never got straight
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side.

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.

I've learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war starts
It's them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we're forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God's on your side.

In a many dark hour
I've been thinkin' about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can't think for you
You'll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

So now as I'm leavin'
I'm weary as Hell
The confusion I'm feelin'
Ain't no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God's on our side
He'll stop the next war.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 08:19 AM

I've been a big admirer of Steve Earle since he first came to prominence in 1986 or so. He is, in my opinion, one of the greatest songwriters alive today. One of the things that makes him such a great songwriter is that he presents the characters in his songs as real people -- not stereotypes, not cartoon figures or political poster children.

I think this is because he actually sees them as real people, and his gift as an artist is to allow us to see them as real people, too. In doing so, we are challenged to examine our own prejudices and assumptions, which helps us to develop a more intelligent and nuanced view of the world. We NEED to develop a more intelligent and nuanced view of the world if we hope to survive and move beyond the craziness that we all are facing in these times. So I am grateful to artists like Steve Earle and so many others (Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Dave Carter all come to mind in this context) who have helped us realize that we should not be content with simple answers and comfortable assumptions. This is important, and the artists who help us to understand this are important.

In my view, John Walker Lindh is a grownup, and should be held accountable for his actions. When I was his age, I was serving in my country's military, and I certainly knew that I could expect to be held accountable for my actions. I have no problem with the penalty that is being imposed on him for knowingly taking up arms in support of a repressive foreign power, even if that power was not actively at war with the US at the time that he joined them. But I also think that I will be a better person, and will have a better idea of how to contribute positively and constructively to the world that I live in, if I recognize that we are talking about a human being here, and not some sort of cardboard cutout "American Taliban" media creation. I haven't heard Steve Earle's song yet (I will buy his CD when it hits the stores, as I always do), but based on his past work I have no doubt that it will be thought-provoking and enlightening. I can ask for no more than that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 09:21 AM

It sounds like a well thought out song to me...good for Steve Earle, having the guts to record it at this time.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Mooh
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 12:38 PM

M of H...Good point!

Mark...Thanks! I knew I knew it from somewhere besides Pogo. Strikes me that Pogo's never been matched.

Cool, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 01:11 PM

1963???

Modern???

That's funny!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 01:55 PM

Nashville wouldn't know a creative thought if it jumped up and bit them on the ass. Since the late 60s, Nashville has been a pop hit factory and little else. Steve doesn't play by their hat-band rules, and that's just one of the reasons why I think he's great. His idea of a good country song isn't tin pan alley with a steel guitar, its the kind of thing that Woody and Hank wrote...solid music that says something. Rave on, Brother!


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: InOBU
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 02:31 PM

Let's not forget that the Dylan song quoted above, he plagerized from the great bard Dominic Behan, brother of Brendan, who was offended by the "borrowing " of his wee song, and sued Dylan... and won... from the for what it is worth files of ... Larry Otway... Cheers
PS John Walker actualy may have come out of the Bush family on Bush's Walker side, so add that to the for what it is worth files as well...


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Kim C
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 05:44 PM

Leej, you are sure right about Nashville. :-) Even Chet Atkins said so. But he used to pretty much own Nashville, and could say whatever he wanted to, because nobody, I mean NOBODY, would touch Chet. It's true, he was part of the Establishment at a time when the Establishment was different. He didn't make much bones about the fact he didn't care for what the Establishment had become.

My favorite song of Steve Earle's is Nothing But a Child. It's on the Copperhead Road album (that's another of my favorite songs), and has also been recorded by Robin and Linda Williams as a Christmas song, even though Steve says he didn't write it as such. It's about the Wise Men and their journey to find this precious gift, which turns out to be, well, nothing but a child.

They chased a brand new star
Ever toward the west
Across the mountains far
And when they came to rest
They could scarce believe their eyes
They'd come so many miles
This miracle they prized
Was nothing but a child
Nothing but a child can wash those tears away
And guide a weary world into the light of day Nothing but a child can help erase those miles
So once again we all can be children for awhile

I have a hard time singing that one 'cause it gets me all choked up. And I don't even have any kids.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 07:02 PM

"I have no problem with the penalty that is being imposed on him for knowingly taking up arms in support of a repressive foreign power" - so if some young American goes to live in Israel, and joins the Israel Defence Force and comes back to America he can expect to be banged up for life? I rather doubt it.

Afghanistan was not at war with the USA when the lad went out there and joined up. There hadn't been any September 11. The Taliban regime was being actively supported by a country with which the US is pretty friendly with, Pakistan, and being actively opposed by a country the USA feels hostile to, Iran.

The fact that the Taliban was a remarkably unpleasant regime, in some ways even worse than that in Saudi Arabia, is neither here nor there.

There's going to come a time when this whole thing will be one of those bits of history people are very embarrassed about. And they'll say "It's easy using hindsight - but at the time people couldn't be expected stand back and see it that way." Steve Earle's song is maybe going to be a bit of evidence that some people could.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 10:05 PM

Yay bobert! you are absolutely right about the job of artists.

and very much yay! to Steve Earle who ALWAYS pushes the envelope.

And a "dink" isn't anything at all about "Dink's Song" or anything racist...sheesh! it's an upper-mid-Westism and doesn't mean a--hole but sorta means, "dummy" but not in a mean way. Like "don't act like a dink ferchrissakes".

Also it was what we at Shorewood High School called the silly caps (like public school boys wear across the pond only red in color) which we freshmen were required to wear during our first year.

Hey Kim C have you ever done the line dance to Copperhead Road? it's a doozy and will leave you breathless!

CB


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: michaelr
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 12:18 AM

Good point, McGrath, about JWL going to Afghanistan WAY before 9-11. After all, I haven't seen anything conecting him with al-Qaeda, so twenty years certainly does seem harsh. And some people here are clamoring it's not harsh enough! They want him taken to the prison yard and shot summarily...

Regards,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 08:17 AM

We'll have to agree to disagree on that one, McGrath. The Taliban were/are a nasty bunch, and we were not on friendly terms with them prior to September 11th (nor were we on particularly good terms with Pakistan, by the way). Lindh knew what he was doing, knew what the Taliban were, and went to some trouble to join them under arms while retaining his American citizenship. The Taliban and al Qaeda made no secret of their hostility to the US prior to September 11th, nor did they make any secret of their willingness and intention to use terrorist methods in furtherance of their aims. Lindh claims not to have wanted to continue fighting for the Taliban once hostilities were initiated between them and the US, but to have been too afraid to leave. I suppose we can give him the benefit of the doubt on that, but it isn't exactly a profile in courage or integrity.

All of his actions were taken of his own free will, and now he has pleaded guilty of his own free will. Either he's telling the truth about his guilt, or he's once again dispensing with courage and personal integrity (and agreeing to betray his former comrades in arms) to get himself a better deal. While I'm grateful to Steve Earle for reminding us of his humanity, I'm not losing any sleeep over this guy.

And yes, I think American citizens who join the Israeli military should also be held accountable for their actions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Kim C
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 09:52 AM

I didn't know there was a line dance to Copperhead Road! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: GUEST,McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 10:10 AM

(Once again I've had to come in cookieless, because the only server that opened was http://207.103.108.101/, and thta doesm't allow cookies)

But what was he supposed to have done that was actually against the law? Being foolish or misguided or even wicked isn't in itself grounds for imprisoning people in a civilised country. Even less relevant is whether people think they are admirable people, or lose any sleep over what happpens to them.

Retaining American citzienship while belonging to a foreign army? Like Americans in the Spanish Civil War? Or in the Israel Armed Forces? There must be young Americans serving in foreign armies of one sort or another all over the world.

The Taliban were very nasty, but so are lots of regimes that governments in the West have cosied up to and contiue to cosy up to, and it's hardly unusual for some of these to go in for what can reasonably be described as terrorism.

The US government might have said things about the Taliban, but in practical term there wasn't anything like the hostility in, expressed in sanctions and so forth, that they have against Cuba or Iran or Iran.

The point is, at the time he went out and joined up there was no fighting whatsoever between Americans and the Taliban. And there had never been - if anything the reverse, going back to the war against the Rusian occupation of Afghanistan, when the people who led the Taliban receved all kinds of backing from America. And even when it came to the liberation of Afghanistan by American backed forces (including people who had fought with the Russians a few years earlier), American ground troops were not involved in any numbers. It was a civil war, and he was on the losing side.

He entered a guilty plea, and so avoided a death sentence. What does that prove? Because of the way the courts work in the USA and America this had the resault of ensuring that there was no trial, and the evidence was never brought into the open.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Kim C
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 10:47 AM

Apparently the is isn't actually against the law, per se, to join a foreign army, although US citizens are discouraged from doing so. However, if you serve as an officer in a foreign army, you may be asked to give up your citizenship. It gets a little gray if said army is hostile to the US.

Read here


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: GUEST,McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 11:16 AM

From that link: "In Wiborg v. U.S., 163 U.S. 632 (1985), the Supreme Court endorsed a lower court ruling that it was not a crime under U.S. law for an individual to go abroad for the purpose of enlisting in a foreign army."

So what is he actually supposed to have done that meant he faced a potential death sentence, and settled for a life in prison?

Courtw are supposed to be about justice - finding out if someone has actually broken a law, and terming what punishment is appropriate if it is proved that they have.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 12:14 PM

It's a thorny question, for sure. The service of a US Citizen in a foreign army is a great tradition, from the Lincoln Brigade that fought Franco's fascists to the American pilots who flew in World War 1 before US entry. Both of these groups had the advantage of choosing the side tacitly endorsed by the US. An argument could be made that America straddled the fence on the Spanish Civil War, but Franco's alliance w/ Hitler made popular heroes of the Lincoln Brigaders.

The Taliban represents another situation. Afghanistan was long known in this country as a safehaven for Al Quaeda and other Islamic Terrorist groups. Our governments were in a state of mutual, though undeclared, hostility when Lindh joined up. When that hostility became an open one, Lindh continued to fight for the Taliban and against the United States Army. Whatever his motivations, that made him the enemy at that point. There is really no correlation to my other examples. The question of what punishment should have been levelled is an open one, however. If Lindh was in effect "held prisoner" by the Taliban, then no punishment should have been given.

My views on Lindh's guilt or innocence are not the real question in this thread though. The question involves Steve Earle's portrayal of the event and whether Earle is within his rights to speak for Lindh, and whether he has a right to say things (as Lindh) that may anger the public. I think he does have all of those rights.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 12:34 PM

But none of that has any relevance to the question of whether Lindh broke any laws that merited being put on trial for his life.

"Please sir, the United States airforce has just started bombing this country - would it be all right I resigned from the Taliban".

As for Steve Earle's rights in this issue, unlike a lot of countries, you in the United Staes have a constitutional right of free speech. Anyone who suggests that Steve Earle doesn't have the right to make a song like this and sing it is, I'd suggest, attempting to subvert the constitution of the United States.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 12:55 PM

McG, I don't think the question is a free speech under law question. It's more of a social stigma question, where Earle is likely to encounter anger and possibly boycott from the public, and specifically from the Country-Western fan base and recording establishment. Since Steve's fan base is more of a cross-over group from rock and folk, I don't think he really loses any sleep over it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 01:05 PM

I certainly agree about Steve Earle, as I expressed in my first posting to this thread.

I'm not an expert on the Constitutional questions, nor in fact am I an expert on the relationship of the Taliban to the US government pre-9/11, or any of the other questions being bandied about here (most of us probably aren't experts on these questions, if the truth be told). But if a grown man (despite how he's been characterized, Lindh is not a child) chooses to carry arms for a foreign government, and chooses (for whatever reason) to continue to participate in their military activities even after hostilities have been declared and shots are being fired between them and the armed forces of his own country, he's got some things to answer for. His guilty plea was his answer, and it was entered voluntarily.

He has made a lot of completely unsubstantiated claims throughout this process, through his attorneys, in order to make him appear to be a more sympathetic character. It's not uncommon for accused criminals to do that. He has claimed that his motivations were religious rather than political, that he wanted to leave but had no choice but to continue fighting for Taliban, that he never actually fired a shot, etc. But if he truly felt he had the better argument, he should have raised these defenses in open court, on the record. The proceedings were being scrutinized closely, and I believe he would have gotten a fair trial. Others may feel differently.

No, being foolish, misguided, and even wicked is not against the law. And you're right, in a legal context it doesn't matter whether I lose sleep over the guy or not. I was speaking about both legal and moral issues. Legally, he got what he deserved, in my opinion. Morally, I find him fairly repugnant, notwithstanding all the "he was just a misguided kid" rationales that have been offered. That's my own opinion, and others are free to disagree. Fair enough?


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Bullfrog Jones
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 01:28 PM

Coyote & Kim -- The Bullfrogs did a version of Copperhead Road on our first c.d.(In fact we're listed on the Unofficial Steve Earle Website)and we still sometimes use it as a set opener. A couple of years ago we played at The Kent Country Music Festival (careful how you say that!) and we were horrified to discover that we'd been placed in the line-dancing hall, thinking that we'd go down like a lead balloon. Imagine our surprise when we kicked off with Copperhead Road and the whole place hit the floor and did the most amazing dance to it. The nice thing was that they stayed there and made up dances to our original songs too. We'd always been a bit snobbish about line-dancers, but the sight of a hundred or so people dancing in perfect syncopation to a song you wrote is strangely moving!
@@
(~~)


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 01:28 PM

People plead guilty for all kinds of reasons, and it saves a lot of trouble when they do. But it doesn't mean that they are in fact guilty.

I predict that in time a lot of decent people in the USA will be ashamed of this. We'll see.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Kim C
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 03:39 PM

From the link I posted above:

"Although a person's enlistment in the armed forces of a foreign country may not constitute a violation of U.S. law, it could subject him or her to Section 349(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(3)] which provides for loss of U.S. nationality if an American voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship enters or serves in foreign armed forces engaged in hostilities against the United States or serves in the armed forces of any foreign country as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer."


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 03:50 PM

So why didn't wasn't that what happened, if that was what he did?


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Kim C
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 10:36 AM

That's a good question McGrath, and I don't know enough to give a right answer. It looks to me like the protocol for serving in a foreign army is extremely vague, and no one has been very forthcoming about what it was exactly that Lindh did.

Twenty years does seem a long time - but chances are he won't serve all of it.

Mister allowed that Lindh's story is probably the most intriguing thing so far to arise from this conflict. I can't say as I disagree with him. And That is probably why Steve Earle wrote the song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: SharonA
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 10:46 AM

I haven't been following the Lindh case, but had he ever stated the intention to relinquish his US citizenship?


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: GUEST,tra
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 11:37 AM

"Is there a link somewhere to a site where we can check out the Earle lyric in question? sb"

Just an American boy Raised on MTV And I've seen all them kids in the soda pop ads None of them look like me. So I started looking around For a light out of the dim. And the first thing I heard That made sense was the word Muhammad peace be upon him.

Chorus: Ash hadu alla Ilaaha illallah, there is no God but God.

If my daddy could see me now Chains around my feet He don't understand sometimes a man Has got to fight for what he believes. And I believe God is great All praise to him And if I should die I'll rise up in the sky Just like Jesus peace be upon him.

Chorus: Ash-hadu alla ilaaha illallah, there is no God but God.

We came to fight the jihad Our hearts were pure and strong. And when death filled the air We all offered up prayers Prepared for our martyrdom. But Allah has some other plan Some secret not revealed Now they're dragging me back With my head in a sack To the land of the infidels.

Chorus: Ash-hadu alla ilaaha illallah, there is no God but God.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: Kim C
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 12:39 PM

Well, all right then. I don't see anything wrong with it. Looks like the Folk Process at Work to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: SlickerBill
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 12:57 PM

Thanks "Tra". Great lyrics. With all those asking "Why?" over the last year, this looks like one artist's attempt at a possible answer. To the Sept. perps, we are morally bankrupt and a corrupting influence on the world. This kind of a song has to be written and heard. sb


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Subject: RE: BS: Steve Earle takin' heat for new song
From: PeteBoom
Date: 26 Jul 02 - 02:18 PM

Wonderful thread. Well done, all!

Mick - your first post summed up my own concerns over the "war on terror". The great irony is that in this land where 'free speech' is praised as being all important, somebody like Earle comes along and sets it on its ear. Well Done, Steve!

BTW - a BIT of thread creep - the quote from O. H. Perry was from his dispatch telling of the victory at the Battle of Lake Erie (10 September, 1813 ... or was it '14.. ah well). He started with the "We have met... and they are ours" and proceeded to list the vessels captured... and then said "Please send some soldiers to help guard the prisoners as they are more numerous than ourselves."

Cheers -

Pete


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