Somewhere, over the rainbow, a blog is born. A blog for Kansas. A blog for America. A blog by a reporter with a difficult-to-pronounce last name. But most importantly, a blog that is AMERICA'S ONLY PLACE dedicated to the vital intersection of politics and Sunflowers. The Heartland gods nod in wise approval.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Skynyrd -- a reader rebuttal

Got several letters on my Skynyrd commentary. Liked this one from Erich Dietrich of New York University via Ohio-Minnesota-Wisconsin, establishing his flyover bona fides. Here are his thoughts on "Sweet Home Alabama":

When you say that the song Sweet Home Alabama "speaks to values they [the overwhelmingly white, Republican audience members] take seriously," I think you really need to look into the meaning of the song. Which values are you talking about? The song's lyrics say:

In Birmingham they love the governor
Now we all did what we could do

The song was released in 1974 when (former segregationist) George Wallace was governor. ... Of course, by 1971, Wallace renounced segregation, but by that time he had blocked the schoolhouse door to lots of black Americans seeking educational opportunity.

And when one sings along with:

Now Watergate does not bother me
Does your conscience bother you?

I have to wonder, what "values" are they taking seriously?

Response: Fair points, Erich. Since that note, he and I have gone back-and-forth about context vs. subtext and the perils of discourse analysis vs. the need to understand the deeper meaning of things. I'm interested in what other people have to think -- all in the context of my need to maintain my day job rather than sit on e-mail all day.