These are historic days here in the U.S. of A., what with our two major parties locked in a fierce tussle over the future of our country. Keeping my personal opinions off the table so as not to polarize my brothers and sisters in pop culture, it does occur to me that although it would appear our government is broken, what we are really seeing is a horribly extreme example of the effectiveness of the checks and balances that are built into the system. Problem is, in an age of instant mass communication, this system of checks and balances seems like a fossil from a quaint bygone age. There is a tug of war playing out in front of our very eyes. Ultimately, either one side is going to prevail, or as it seems increasingly likely, the rope is just going to snap. Or, as Howard Fineman observed last night on Hardball, "What's going on here, as I see it, is a kind of slow motion secession."
At least there is one thing that both Dems and Republicans seem to agree on: our debt is too damn big. I think Bob Dorough said it best when he described the national debt as "a fiscal misadventure with trillion dollar dentures."
Dim The Pilot Lights Department:
The pilot episode of Gilligan's Island, titled "Marooned", was filmed in November 1963. On November 22, the day of the John F. Kennedy assassination, the crew continued to work after hearing the shocking news. The departure of the Minnow was filmed on November 26, and all the flags in that sequence can be seen flying at half-staff.
Revolting History Deptartment:
If it is true as some are saying, and revolution is in the air, then this is the perfect time to view an excerpt from Give Me Liberty:A Revised History of the American Revolution, an Underground Comix effort which is credited to "Gilbert Shelton and Ted Richards with Gary Hallgren and Willy Murphy," fine patriots all. This comic was first published in the American Bicentennial year 1976, supporting my long-held theory that a lot of comics from the 20th century are 100 times better than the crap that passes for comics today.*
Looks Like I've Got A Theme Going Here Department:
I'll leave you today with XTC's 1978 chart-bottomer "Statue of Liberty," a song which was banned by the BBC for seemingly portraying that American treasure as an object of lust. Andy Partridge discusses the song here.