micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links

Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.

Please send him email at micahth@chartermi.net.

Holmquist's full archives are listed here.

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Sites Holmquist trys, and often fails, to go no more than a couple of days without visiting (some of which Holmquist regularly swipes links from without attribution)

Aljazeera.Net English
AlterNet (War on Iraq)
Alternative Press Review
Always Low Prices -- Always
Another Irani online
antiwar.com (blog)
Asia Times Online
Axis of Logic
Baghdad Burning (riverbend)
BBC News
blogdex.net ("track this weblog")
The Christian Science Monitor (Daily Update)
Common Dreams
Daily Rotten
Democracy Now
The Drudge Report
Eat the Press (Harry Shearer, The Huffington Post)
Empire Notes (Rahul Mahajan)
frontpagemag.com (HorowitzWatch)
Guardian Unlimited
The Independent
Information Clearing House
Informed Comment (Juan Cole)
Iranians for Peace

Iraq Dispatches (Dahr Jamail)
Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation
Iraq Occupation and Resistance Report (Psychoanalysts for Peace and Justice)
Mr. Show and Other Comedy
The Narco News Bulletin (blog)
The New York Times
Occupation Watch
Political Theory Daily Review
Press Action
Project Syndicate
Raed in the Middle (Raed Jarrar)
The Simpsons Archive
Simpsons Collector Sector
Technorati ("search for mth.blogspot.com")
United States Central Command
U.S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq
War Report (Project on Defense Alternatives)
The Washington Post
Wildfire (Jo Wilding)
wood s lot
www.mnftiu.cc (David Rees)

Blogs that for one reason or another Holmquist would like to read on at least something of a regular basis (always in development)

Thivai Abhor
As'ad AbuKhalil
Ken Adrian
Christopher Allbritton
Douglas Anders
Mark W. Anderson
Aziz Ansari
Atomic Archive
James Benjamin
Elton Beard
Charlie Bertsch
alister black
Blame India Watch
Blog Left: Critical Interventions Warblog / war blog
Igor Boog
Martin Butler
Chris Campbell
James M. Capozzola
Avedon Carol
Elaine Cassel
cats blog
Jeff Chang
Margaret Cho
Citizens Of Upright Moral Character
Louis CK
Les Dabney
Natalie Davis
Scoobie Davis
The Day Job
Jodi Dean
Dominic Duval
Steve Earle
Daniel Ellsberg
Tom Engelhardt
Lisa English
Barbara Flaska
Brian Flemming
Joe Foster
Yoshie Furuhashi
Al Giordano
Rob Goodspeed
Grand Puba
Guardian Unlimited Weblog
Pete Guither
The Hairy Eyeball
Ray Hanania
Mark Hand
Hector Rottweiller Jr's Web Log Jim Henley Arvin Hill Hit & Run (Reason) Hugo Clark Humphrey Indri The Iraqi Agora Dru Oja Jay Jeff Lynne d Johnson Dallas Jones Julia Kane Blues Benjamin Kepple Ken Layne Phil Leggiere Brian Linse Adam Magazine Majority Report Radio Marc Maron Josh Marshall Jeralyn Merritt J.R. Mooneyham Michael Scott Moore Bob Morris Bob Mould Mr. Show and Tell Muslims For Nader/Camejo David Neiwert NewPages Weblog Aimee Nezhukumatathil Sean O'Brien Patton Oswalt The Panda's Thumb Randy Paul Rodger A. Payne Ian Penman politx Neal Pollack Greg Proops Pro-War.com Pure Polemics Seyed Razavi Rayne Simon Reynolds richardpryor.com Clay Richards Mike Rogers Yuval Rubinstein
Steven Rubio
Saragon Noah Shachtman Court Schuett The Simpsons Archive Amardeep Singh Sam Smith Soundbitten Jack Sparks Ian Spiers Morgan Spurlock Stand Down: The Left-Right Blog Opposing an Invasion of Iraq Aaron Stark Morgaine Swann Tapped (The American Prospect) tex Matthew Tobey Annie Tomlin Tom Tomorrow The University Without Condition Jesse Walker Warblogger Watch Diane Warth The Watchful Babbler The Weblog we have brains Matt Welch
Alex Whalen
Jon Wiener
Lizz Winstead
James Wolcott
Wooster Collective
Mickey Z

Monday, March 03, 2003
Please help me forget!

The bellicose Toby Keith song “Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American)” looks like a masterpiece when compared to Darryl Worley’s “Have You Forgotten?” (Click here for the song in Real Audio and here for it in Windows Media.) The song by Keith, who like Worley is on the Dreamworks Nashville record label, at least was interesting in that it was purely about revenge and made it clear that the singer’s patriotic credentials stem from his father’s military service, not his own. “Have You Forgotten?” is pure idiocy as the lyrics make clear:

I hear people saying we don't need this war
I say there’s some things worth fighting for
What about our freedom and this piece of ground?
We didn't get to keep' em by backing down
They say we don't realize the mess we're getting in
Before you start preaching let me ask you this my friend
This clearly is a call for war in Iraq but I am completely confused on how taking over another country protects freedom in the United States. It is also unclear how not attacking a country that is not a threat to the U.S. is an example of “backing down.” I do give Worley points for still be friends with the infidels of the “war on terror,” however, which I guess includes me because of I don’t favor escalating the current war with Iraq. I don’t even want to touch the matter of how land was “acquired” in the U.S.
Have you forgotten how it felt that day
To see your homeland under fire
and her people blown away?
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside
Going through a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry' bout Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?
My answer to all of three questions in this chorus is no. I would like to ask, who exactly is saying not to worry about bin Laden? And what does Iraq have to do with bin Laden? Justifying escalating the current war with Iraq on the basis of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks makes about as much sense as saying the Vietnam War was just because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. I mean the Japanese and Vietnamese are both Asian.
They took all the footage off my T.V.
Said it's too disturbing for you and me
It'll just breed anger that's what the experts say
If it was up to me I'd show it every day
Some say this country's just out looking for a fight
After 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right
I disagree with the part about showing the footage of September 11, 2001 every day because I really don’t see what the point of doing so would be –the U.S. is already using that day’s events for a war without end, so how much more anger is needed?- but I agree completely with the last two lines, although I don’t think the U.S. “looking for a fight” is a good thing.

After a repeat of the chorus the song goes on:

I've been there with the soldiers
Who've gone away to war
And you can bet that they remember
Just what they're fighting for
Funny the song never explains why the U.S. is about to take over Iraq but just assumes that it is known.

Next up is a variation on the chorus that says nothing:

Have you forgotten all the people killed?
Some went down like heroes in that Pennsylvania field
Have you forgotten about our Pentagon?
All the loved ones that we lost
And those lest to carry on
Don't you tell me not to worry about Bin Laden
Have you forgotten?
Mix in some horribly generic pop country background music and you have a song that apparently is a hit on country radio. The song is a celebration of understanding the world solely through what Team Bush and the less intellectual of Bush’s unpaid propagandists say.

Maybe the lesson is that as bad as the music on country radio is, it is bound to be worse in a couple of months. How depressing.

UPDATE:The question of when ""Have You Forgotten?" was written has arisen. "Worley, who co-wrote the song with Wynn Varble, was inspired to pen the tune after returning from a recent USO tour entertaining troops in Afghanistan," writes Chrissie Dickinson in the March 3 edition of The Chicago Tribune.

"I said to Wynn, `I really feel like we need to write a song together that will honor our troops in some way and lift them up," Worley recalls. "That's really what this is about. And at the same time, I felt we could also send out a message. It's real easy to forget about the kind of thing that happened to us on 9/11. We just wrote the song from the heart, and expressed the way we feel about things."
I guess it is form of "honor" to place the troops in the category of being an archetype that only exists to the extent that it knows better than the ostensible audience of the song, but it seems rather shallow to me.

I found this part of Dickinson's article hilarious:

Worley disagrees with the charge that his single endorses war with Iraq.

"That's not what the song is about," he says. "The song is posing a question: Have you forgotten what happened to our country on 9/11? That's pretty much the size of it. People are going to tear it to shreds and try to find a lot of things. It's kind of like reading the Bible -- everybody's got their own interpretation. We know what we meant by the song. We weren't trying to be politically correct. We're trying to put a message out there that in our hearts we felt needed to be said. Even with the people who stand up against the war, and this song for that matter, at least we know we've got them thinking about it."

Yeah right. The first verse of this song is based on the idea that there are some people who are opposed to "this war" but they are wrong because some wars in the past were good wars -if one war in the past was "worth fighting," it apparently follows that all wars are "worth fighting" in Worley's mind- and that the opponents of "this war" would see the error of their ways if they just remember one thing, which the chorus explains to be the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The idea that there are people in the U.S. who have forgotten the events of a little less than 18 months ago is priceless because it probably does reveal something about much of the hawkish mentality. My guess is that those who think President George W. Bush makes perfect sense when he justifies conquering Iraq on the basis of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks see the events of the day that I have said "for the foreseeable future will be signified by the phrases 'September 11,' 'September the 11th,' 'nine-eleven' and '911'” as being so significant as to actually have created a world where everything has changed. They can't imagine not favoring war with just about anybody that Bush says is an enemy in his "war on terror" in light of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and, according to my theory, thus assume that anybody who opposes escalating the current war with Iraq must not remember that day.

Worley can't even stay in his ecumenical mode for very long, however, hence the "Even with the people who stand up against the war..." bit. He clearly has taken a side and Worley isn't sharing space in the barricade with opponents of escalating the current war.

"Have You Forgotten?" has a dynamic that it shares with Merle Haggard's "The Fightin' Side of Me" and Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)." All three songs on the surface talk to those who disagree with the speaker in each song and yet have become celebrations for those who do agree with the speaker. This isn't unique to right-wing country songs, as most pop and country songs that have sing-along appeal have it because the audience identifies with the speaker, but it does suggest that the point to these very political songs is not convince or change minds but rather to create a common bond based on a few shared stands and a belief that too many people don't see things the way they ought to, which is to say the way the song does. 11:25 a.m. 03/04/03.