Thursday, March 23, 2006

Must I Paint You A Picture?

I love me some Billy Bragg and always have since the 80s. There's an interesting interview with him on the Onion's AV Club. Couple of interesting things about it.

Says Billy: "I think the politics that we had in the 1980s in America and in the UK were a lot more ideological than they are now. Reaganomics and the essence of what Margaret Thatcher was trying to do was a lot more aimed at pushing back at what had been achieved in the 1960s." Wow. I remember the 80s, too, and I think this is most poisonous political climate in my memory. Not only are there many in the U.S. interested in undoing the Sixties, they want to undo the New Deal. And they're doing it. That is much more frightening.

However, one thing he said that I completely agree with:

"One thing that's always impressed me about America is your ability to do things when you set your mind to it, even if it is something fucked-up like invading Iraq. You know, you guys logistically are right up there. None of us have got that capacity for moving shit from A to B. It's very powerful. And I would like America per se really to get back in touch with what you Americans refer to as "barn-raising." You know what I'm talking about? When someone in a community wants to build a barn or a house, everybody in the community gets together and spends an entire weekend to help the person to raise the A-frame of their house or their barn. That ability to go out and help people.

"You know, if everyone in the Middle East who met an American met one who had come to help them, rather than an American armed to the teeth who had come to police them, I think we could begin to move away from the situation we've found ourselves in. There's a great film to be made, or maybe a book to be written, called Go Home, Yankee, And Take Me With You. So many people out there look to the United States as a place of great opportunity. And I think that maybe your manifest destiny is to help people rather than to hinder people. I would like to see the American people live up to that."

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