R.L. Burnside, "Chain Of Fools"

>> Friday, August 17, 2012

Of course it hasn't died down yet, all the Republican fauxtrage about Joe Biden's "chains" comment. Everything that could probably be said about it, with clips, was covered by Jon Stewart the other evening.

To me, the best thing about this whole business is that aside from Biden backpedaling a little, the Obama Administration went ahead and decided not to back down. And they shouldn't. Biden said he needed to offer some context, but the only context that needs to be proffered at this point is, "fuck the GOP". Gods know I've wished for civility in the past, but there's a point where even a man of (I hope) goodwill gets tired of being called an atheist commie libertard Satanist like it's a bad thing, gets tired of seeing the President of the United States getting kicked around, gets tired of the Republicans smug yakking about ending the "politics of division" when what they mean by it is, "suck it up, whiners".

As near as I can tell, the Republican party is on the verge of nominating for President and Vice-President a mind-numbingly rich white dude who doesn't believe in anything and a very rich white dude who believes in cutting taxes on rich people while poor people try to get some insurance company to accept their medical coupons in lieu of cash before they starve to death in a gutter. So, you know, I'll give them this: they don't want black people in chains, they want everybody in chains, wage slaves stuck towards the bottom of the pecking order. The con is that they're hoping enough (mostly white) fools will think there's still enough economic mobility left behind the tattered curtains of the social contract to think they, too can eventually wear the boot and never have to lick another one.

Yeah, well. Good luck with that.

There is absolutely nothing not to love about an R.L. Burnside record. Fucking hell, how do you not adore that sound. I think it's possible whenever he recorded a harmonica, there was a deep-fat frier somewhere in the effects chain. (I'm guessing right before the signal hit the compressor.) And that wicked slide, man. Plus that voice, which always sounds like he's singing from a railway station located (for unknowable reasons) in a graveyard that's in the middle of a swamp.

When I decided it would be cheeky to make a "Chain Of Fools" reference re: the Biden line (and how could you resist), well, of course I thought of Aretha. How can you not think of Aretha? It's her song, obviously. Well, Don Covay's, in the nearly meaningless sense that he's the guy who wrote the song. But Aretha owns it, everybody else is just visiting. Except for R.L. Burnside. Legitimate squatter's rights, going on there: what they call The Doctrine Of Adverse Possession; you can follow the rail line through the swamp, into the graveyard until you reach the station and you can see if you can wrest it from him, and if you don't burn yourself on a few quarts of hot fat reaching by him, you can see if you can get it back.

Like I was saying earlier about other things, good luck with that.


timb111 Friday, August 17, 2012 at 3:12:00 PM EDT  

I guess I don't understand Americans. I read the link to the article and watched the Jon Stewart episode. What exactly is so distasteful about Biden's remark?

Eric Friday, August 17, 2012 at 3:50:00 PM EDT  

Personally, I don't think Biden's remark was all that distasteful. I infer from the Republicans' fauxtrage that they want to take amiss that slaves wore chains and American slaves were black, therefore the comment was racist (it wasn't) and/or is accusing the Republicans of being racist (frankly, if a shoe fits...).

So, I dunno. Wish I could be more helpful. Then again, the essence of fauxtrage is making a huge deal of how insulted one is by something that a rational person would take little or no offense over.

Eric Friday, August 17, 2012 at 3:54:00 PM EDT  

Another line that might answer your question, Timb111, from Brother Steve over at StoryBones:

"The whole 'wounded puppy' routine from the right is old. They roll this out every time someone on the Left lands a good punch."

Exactly that.

timb111 Sunday, August 19, 2012 at 8:54:00 PM EDT  

shackles (ˈʃækəlz)
plural noun

1.) two metal rings joined by a chain which are fastened around someone's wrists or ankles in order to prevent them from moving or escaping ⇒ "They rattled their shackles frantically." ⇒ "He unbolted the shackles on Billy's hands."

2.) restrictions to freedom ⇒ "unfettered from the shackles of a job"

chain (tʃeɪn)

1.) a flexible length of metal links, used for confining, connecting, pulling, etc, or in jewellery
2.) usually plural anything that confines, fetters, or restrains ⇒ "the chains of poverty".

I agree. Fauxtrage.

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