Thursday, October 12, 2006

Weekend Assignment #133: Heroes of Free Speech

Weekend Assignment #133: Share with us a person or persons who you think is a model for free speech in the United States. It can be one of the Founding Fathers, another historical personage, or someone who is living right now. Yes, this is slightly more work than the usual Weekend Assignment, but, you know. Free speech is worth it. For those of you in the UK or Canada, you can nominate someone who represent free speech in your own country, or pick someone from the US.

Extra Credit: A favorite controversial book (it doesn't have to be from an American).

Well folks, my knowledge of history is limited.  But as I pondered this assignment, I realized that folks singers down through the ages are perfect models of free speech.  Woody Guthrie; Bob Dylan; Joan Baez; Pete Seeger; Loudon Wainwright III; Iris Dement (of course); and scores of others.  I choose though, as an example, John Prine... who still goes on saying what he thinks, the heck with everybody.  Even though his ideas often don't jive with mine, he's the perfect picture of free speech. 


Here's a sample of his work, the lyrics of one of his older songs:

Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore
© John Prine

While digesting Reader's Digest
In the back of a dirty book store,
A plastic flag, with gum on the back,
Fell out on the floor.
Well, I picked it up and I ran outside
Slapped it on my window shield,
And if I could see old Betsy Ross
I'd tell her how good I feel.

But your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.
They're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for,
And your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.

Well, I went to the bank this morning
And the cashier he said to me,
"If you join the Christmas club
We'll give you ten of them flags for free."
Well,I didn't mess around a bit
I took him up on what he said.
And I stuck them stickers all over my car
And one on my wife's forehead.

Repeat Chorus:

Well, I got my window shield so filled
With flags I couldn't see.
So, I ran the car upsidea curb
And right into a tree.
By the time they got a doctor down
I was already dead.
And I'll never understand why the man
Standing in the Pearly Gates said...

"But your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.
We're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for,
And your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more."

Folk singers.  You gotta love 'em.

Oh yeah, as for the extra credit question, my answer is.....

The Bible.

If you want to join in on the weekend assignment, be sure to leave a link to your entry at By The Way.



krobbie67 said...

For some reason Bloglines has stopped telling me when you update.

I've never been much into folk singers but earlier this year I picked up an autobiography of Bob Dylan and it really opened my eyes. I actually bought some of his stuff off of iTunes. It's pretty cool stuff when you know a bit of why and what went into it.

:-) ---Robbie

marainey1 said...

Folk singers tell the stories in song...Some of our history is recorded forever in their words.  I think you know more than you think you do in that respect.  Have a great day !  I'm off to work .  'On Ya' - ma

magran42 said...

Your thought prcess amases me.  I was thinking I didn't know any contriversal books and I read one every day.  Thanks for opening my eyes.

whitedove3622 said...

Mo you always say things I wish I had thought of. LOL. THE BIBLE of course. I love it....

schoolgal040 said...

Great entry! I still love him and his music very much.


lifesabench6 said...

That was an interesting song!  I know a few folk songs, but not many, but I agree- they have expressed their views through the years, and are able to because of our liberties!  Good entry.  I also picked the Bible as my favorite book of course!  Have a great weekend.  Carolyn

toonguykc said...

I always thought it was Joan BIAZ.  I need to google more often.  My alpha cat is partially named after her.  I'm ashmed, but -- hell, she doesn't care.


jspiker said...

Being a Vietnam Vet....John Prines "Sam Stone" is one of the most moving songs ever written. He says what he means and means what he says.
It's what folk music is all about....

monponsett said...

I bet Prine sings about important stuff... but I only know him for "Illegal Smile."

"Oh you may see me tonight, with an illegal smile... it don't cost very much, but it lasts a long while."