Tuesday, May 25, 2021


The hat tip goes to my Facebook friend Joe Dumas, who mentioned Don Henley on Facebook.

Whenever anyone mentions Don Henley on Facebook, I immediately find and post a link to this video:

Only this time, when I went looking for it, there was something in the sidebar.

Something that requires a lengthy prefatory note.

My first real, true political enemies were (not yet then "Second Lady") Tipper Gore and (then US Senator) John Danforth.

Gore drummed up the Parents Music Resource Center to agitate for ... well, something to do with protecting the chilllllllllllldren from eeeeeeeeeevil rock music. What came of it, after some Senate hearings which I actually watched even though I was only 18 or so, was "voluntary" warning labels on music.

Danforth chaired those hearings, and just flat out lied to me when I asked him what had come of them. Nothing, he said. It was just a chance for people to talk about (if I recall his words correctly) "an issue of concern." What had actually happened was a sweetheart deal under which an excise tax got levied on blank cassette tapes (which the record industry hated because they could be used to make copies of albums) in return for the industry doing the "voluntary label" thing.

My next real, true, all-out political enemy -- the one who really turned me into an activist -- was a Missouri state representative by the name of Jean Dixon.

Dixon launched an all-out campaign against Southwest Missouri State University's production of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart because it featured eeeeeeeeeeevil homosekshual topics (the AIDS epidemic). I wasn't a libertarian at that time and so hadn't concluded that there shouldn't be tax-funded universities putting on tax-funded plays. It was a free speech and gay rights issue for me, and I threw my heart into it, helping organize rallies, etc.

In amongst all that, her son came out as gay (he later decided he wasn't gay after all and became a "conservative" politician himself), explaining why she had such a hangup about it all. She got beat in the next GOP primary, moved away, and became a UPS driver.

So, anyway, THE BEST THING EVER: CNN's old show Crossfire. Michael Kinsley and Mojo Nixon on the "left," Pat Buchanan and Jean Dixon on the right, discussing the topic that Gore and Danforth got me fired up about before Dixon poured a different kind of gas on the fire. I can't believe I never saw this before.

No comments: