That esteemed cultural pundit and corporate shill, #23 Michael Jordan, summed it up for all who follow “Republicans buy tennis shoes too.” Now hold still, I am not going into a Lib-bashing rant here .… not at all. The issue here is NOT ideologies or whether athletes, entertainers, artists, and roguishly handsome Internet Legends are entitled to voice opinions outside their expertise … but rather the impact to their “reputations” when they choose to trumpet those opinions.
Bruce Springsteen is leading a busload of liberal rock stars in a pre-Election Bush Bashing Tour. I suspect it will require more charter buses than a Richmond County Raiders away game to accommodate all the Bush-haters among Bruce’s peers. There’s a ton of’em.
If they expand to include large nosed divas, Bush hating (and bush flaunting) aging sex queens, stand up comics, and 94% of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People … they will need every Greyhound Bus in California and half of New Mexico.
Any poll you see these days says “our country” is evenly divided on the issue of “We Like Bush” vs “Anybody BUT Bush, Even Kerry”. So Bruce and his Bush Bashing Balladeers are pretty much telling all of us non-Bush Haters that they don’t want us buying their CDs, concert tickets, or movie tickets. Sticking a thumb in the eye of half the nation is an interesting marketing concept … but if one has a burning passion then burn baby, burn.
I had to deal with this issue in my itsy bitsy teeny weenie celebrity world. I realized that as a cyber smart-ass I could not effectively disguise my own partisanship too long so I too chose to come out of the socio-political closet … at a cost. I lost a handful of subscribers and got a few “%^&$# BobLee” e-mails. My book continues to sell OK and I play to pretty full rooms on the BLS ALIVE Tour.
If I had The Dixie Chicks open for me singing their version of the National Anthem … and the E-Street Band was my back-up “maybe” I could draw a few more curious sorts to my show at Carolina Country Club in Charlotte next Wednesday. But, like Bruce and Babs, I chose the path of partisanship.
In my talk on “Preserving America’s Cracker Barrel” I note that friends, neighbors, and co-workers USED to be able to debate differing views on politics, sports, and the weather. Politics is now off that list by order of the Fire Marshall as waaaaay too combustible. Sports is next to go as the “Al Bundys” stalk their prey more voraciously with each passing day.
I can only slightly identify with divas, sex queens, and “rockers” but I can identify with other “columnists”. I studied a few with more exposure (so far) than I have … Rick Reilly of SI and Skip Bayless for two. Rick will lay some heavy-duty Lib/Dem talking points on his readers in a heartbeat. He is not above directly insulting “folks like me” with his jibes. So I said to myself “BobLee you got to take up your keyboard and do your part for what you believe in too” … so I do now and then.
I am still not sure how hitting a guitar riff, holding a high note, and doing an on-screen up skirt qualifies one as an expert on global economics, nucular (!) disarmament, or automotive reengineering … but hey. Writing something marginally amusing once a fortnight has certainly earned me a PhD in Why Radical Islamic Fundamentalists Don’t Put Peanuts In Their Coca Colas.
I don’t get down and dirty. Mamma Swagger was a Yellow Dawg Democrat and I am not going to call Mamma bad names (the horrid Aunts From Hell, yes, but not Mamma). She being dead, it’s a moot point, but I’m quirky that way.
When Bruce and Babs and their ilk go running around warning their disciples about “folk like me” I realize THAT is the issue. I’m not a folk “like them”. One amasses the guiding principles of ones life based on ongoing life experiences. That’s how I did it anyway. Swagger, Springsteen and Streisand have traveled different roads for sure. What’s right for me and my family, obviously doesn’t suit others’ situations
Unlike the run-of-the-mill “celebrity partisan” I choose a less caustic approach towards “them”. Oh for sure I will stick the needle in now and then but only to irritate, never to dismember (well there was that one time with Fruitcake Freddie). Regular readers to this site have a pretty solid composite of who/what I am … that I am “what I am” only completes the canvas. If I walk a walk inconsistent with the negative stereotype trumpeted for “us” then maybe I open just a few minds to other possibilities. Therein lies my motives for wearing my politics on my sleeve. Not to run anyone off … but rather to open minds to some tangent points whereby we discover our similarities rather than our differences.
(DAMN … was that last paragraph freakin’ PROFOUND or what!)
Partisan bias is in every media form just like garlic is in every Italian meal … you know its going to be there from the get-go … just a matter of “how over powering is it”. Can double brushing and gargling Sani-Flush straight from the can clear the taste out of your mouth? I avoid Rather, Jennings, and CNN for the same reasons liberals avoid Rush, FoxNews, and my local amigo Mr. Jerry Agar. Who wants to be insulted by people who have never met you plus, after a while, the insults become a dull hummmmm.
I equate it to Tar Heels saying “Moo U” and “Cow College” and giggling like those lines aren’t older than The Old Well. Calling UNCers “Tar Holes” and “faggots” is only slightly more original since “faggot” was coined during Warren G Harding’s administration. Homophobia seems to bring out more originality than does disdain for the agrarian life style.
#23 avoided being demonstrative in his politics for the aforementioned “Repubs buy tennis shoes too” factor. Michael is still welcome at the doorstep of Mr. D.E. Smith, so I doubt he has a Rush Is Right license plate on his Lamborghini. But I don’t know because #23 prefers I don’t know. Ergo, I will buy a pair of Air Jordans before I buy Babs’ or Bruce’s newest CD. I’ll stick to Charlie Daniels and Toby Keith and stay with my Converses … unless you tell me that Chuck Taylor hisownself was “one of them”.
I avoid discussing politics with anyone who does not have that “RIR” license plate in full view. After many years of totally useless debating, my batting average as a political evangelist is below the dreaded “Mendoza Line”. I now buy lottery tickets … much better odds!
Semi-related … on one of the cyber asylums this week, a young 18 y/o “fuzzy cheek” asked the board “Whats with this BobLee Swagger guy?” … it got scary … I rate slightly above Lawrence Welk among the Young & Know It All set. My “positives” go way up in the “35 to The Grave” age demographics.
Now see … not a single insult to those of you in the “We hate Bush so much we’ll even vote for Kerry” camp. Kumbaya to all ya’ll.
What IS The Mendoza Line?
I know it’s a tough one but the All Pros will nail it.
The Philip Rivers mess is a real shame … combo of a hard line organization and an agent who totally missed the “closing signals”. Time for Dad to step in and do what needs to be done … I bet he will. Gloat starved Heels will turn this into another Carlos Boozer cause celeb.
- Thor Heyerdahl was skipper of the grass and bamboo raft, Kon-Tiki.
- Karch Kiraly IS the only human Volleyball player not named “Gabrielle” that anyone can name … also the only human anything named “Karch”.
- Tenzing Norgay was Ed Hillary’s Sherpa guide on Everest. It’s a little known fact that “Hillary” Clinton named Chelsea’s pet goldfish “Norgay” in honor of her abiding love for the Nepalese people.
As you read this Thurs AM, BLS has the Nat Green Kiwanians in the palm of his hand and tickling their funny bones.
Questions or Comments