John McCutcheon and the problem of evenhandedness

John McCutcheon is an interesting phenomenon who occupies that area you’d call “pro-people”.   Politically or should I say apolitically, anyone can support many of his observations.

There’s a lot of truth in “When I Grow Up”, which ends with this verse:

When I grow up…
I wanna be an old fart
The kinda guy who hangs around hardware stores
Who always calls a waitress by her name
And knows all the latest scores
I wanna be eccentric
They’ll say my ideas are a little bit skewed
To the pompous I’ll be rude
And to the powerful a pain the butt
When I grow up

… and his view on blaming the horrors of war on God are also mine:

You see the plane in the distance
You see the flame in the sky
See the young ones running for cover
See the old ones wondering why
They tell us that the world is a dangerous place
We live in a terrible time
But in Hiroshima, New York or in Baghdad
It’s the innocent who die for the crime


Not in my name
Not in my name
Not in my name
Not in my name

We stray and we stumble in seeking the truth
And wonder why it’s so hard to find
But an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth
Leaves the whole world toothless and blind

Through the ages I have watched all your holy wars
Your jihads, your Crusades
I have been used as inspiration, I’ve been used as an excuse
For the murder and the misery you’ve made
I thought I made it clear in the Bible
In the Torah and in the Koran
What is it in my teaching about loving your enemies
That you people don’t understand?

In Christmas in the Trenches, which JD ran this evening:

… McCutcheon concludes:

But the ones who called the shots won’t be among the dead and lame and on each end of the rifle we’re the same.

Similar happened at Gallipoli between the Turks and the Anzacs and I’d say between many warring armies.   Fraternization was a major problem for army discipline.    There’s this area where there are two sides to a question.    In WW1, there was no good reason, other than the plans of the PTB, to even be at war, it had been planned, the plebs of both sides were going to the muddy trenches to die.

There are so many people who are largely apolitical, they see something like this between the troops, they listen to John McCutcheon who says what he does, nothing more, nothing less and we can all agree.   Look at OoL and its fight for the Little Man over Them, the uncaring PTB.    It seems we’re all on the same side.

This, for example, rings true:

I saw him on TV last night
In a suit of somber blue
He said it was time for all Americans
To do what we must do
Take out your x-ray glasses
And your decoder rings
We need ordinary people
To keep an eye on things


I wanna be in Ashcroft’s Army
I wanna be a spy
I wanna watch my neighbor’s doings
Kiss your rights goodbye
In this legal devolution
A perfect chance for retribution
Let’s just can the Constitution
I wanna be a spy

Where it gets a bit hazy is that he castigates Ashcroft, one of Bush’s cabinet – all right and proper to do, no issue there – but you somehow never get to see the other side, do you, from John McCutcheon?   His eyes are not on the atrocities of Clinton or Obama and Holder in Fast and Furious, in the Obamacare mess, each of which condemned people to destruction.    On each end of the rifle we’re the same and to extend that logic, so are the dead Mexicans at Obama’s hands.   And what of the drones?

The closest he gets:

… is this about Lance Armstrong:

The hypocrisy is that publications like the Daily Kos remain silent on atrocities like Fast and Furious.   They’re not right-wing atrocities, see, they can’t be mentioned.   There’s a favoured set of atrocities which are acceptable to decry and then there are others which we’ll just quietly forget to mention, don’t you agree?   Yes, that would be best.

They’ll devote pages to John McCutcheon lyrics against their favoured targets but then go silent on the non-favoured.

John McCutcheon is therefore being misused.

And we get a black man being attacked for disagreeing at a pro-Obamacare rally and the monster liberal media play up some guy armed to the teeth who went along to protest against the rally.    The camera never shows his face and hands though, they couldn’t.   He was black himself.

And going back to WW1, the political group which took a malleable, rather naive people and made political capital out of the very sentiment McCutcheon expresses:

A bayonet is a weapon with a worker at each end

… were the union bosses who were communist and communist meant, not breaking free of the PTB in the least but rather more State oppression as it took over the running of the nation … in order to prevent what?

But the people continue to be fooled.   This has always been the trouble.

Yes, we agree with McCutcheon’s sentiments but they need to be even-handed.    His song on Ashcroft would mean so much more if he also included Holder and Clinton.    But he doesn’t, the Daily Kos doesn’t, the silence is criminal.

Similarly, Spitting Image over here was brilliant during Thatcher’s time.    So, for all apolitical people in the centre, it was going to be great when they finally got onto Blair and Brown and cabinet and roasted them mercilessly.   Out of a sense of fairness, New Labour was a perfect target for Spitting Image.   Go to it, Spitting Image!

But what’s this?   With the Blair government about to be elected in a landslide, there’s no more need for satire, no?    The fire in the belly has died?

And HIGNFY, castigators of all the pompous and Themist.   Where are the denunciations of the leftist politicians by Hislop and Merton?    Somehow, it just never seems to happen, does it?

Where do they wade into the bankers?

What has Britain come to when TV shows like Have I Got News For You or Mock The Week are considered risqué and provocative? And how could it be that none of the commercial TV channels or radio stations have any worthwhile satire on them? We are in the midst of serious hardships caused by the greedy money men. Where is the backlash from the comedy crowd, where are the jokes that would make the money men hang their heads in shame?

I’ve personally never liked Have I Got News For You and I can’t stand Mock The Week. The people on them might just as well come out as hardened left-wingers and get it done with. It’s amazing that the viewers cannot distinguish humour from left-wing propaganda. I suspect that many viewers have been simply brainwashed by political correctness to such an extent that they can no longer distinguish good comedy from bad.

Don’t get me wrong, much of the early HIGNFY was quite funny:

However, to be taken seriously, a bard or pundit needs to tackle all shenanigans from all sides, with neither fear nor favour, as well as having a strong sense of the Common Man.    There are very few who do not select their targets but fire in all directions at any humbug from anyone.

One Response to “John McCutcheon and the problem of evenhandedness”

  1. Twilight December 25, 2013 at 21:48 Permalink

    For once I do not disagree with a single word of this excellent post, James.

    Warm wishes, love and peace, for the rest of Christmas and for the season in general.

Leave a Reply

Please copy the string qNCZC1 to the field below: