Now we're "Fair and Balanced"
Every so often someone makes a claim to the English language that is so egregious, and at the same time, hits my funny bone just right, that I am forced to rename the site for a while. The first instance, of course, came when RadioShack decided that it owned the term "Shack" and went after an early web-based community, the Smut Shack. That one seems to have stuck permanently.
This site was only the Twisted Barbie KlezmerShack for a while, and ya'll can guess what prompted that alteration. Now, Fox News is going after Al Franken, whose new book, "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right" allegedly might confuse folks who know Fox's news slogan, "Fair and Balanced."
Now, here's where I lose it in so many ways. And it's too bad this has nothing directly to do with Jewish music, or klezmer, other than that without freedom of expression, and without a diversity of opinion, and without respect for that diversity, this site, like others, gets repressed or ignored.
First, let me state the obvious. "Fair and Balanced" is not copyrightable. It's a common phrase. Second, let me state the equally obvious. Fox News' sensationalist, vitritolic hate-mongering is a parody of "Fair and Balanced." It is "Fair and Balanced" for those who believe that the substitution for full-time hate speech, the elevation of the likes of Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh from the gutter to positions of credibility, and the end of civility in civil life--the presumption that if you lose an election, then you can just dig and dig and when you find nothing, impeach a president anyway, or recall a governor of California--that you can pour your money into full-time vitriol and obscene abuse of the democratic process and the respect that such a process requires for democracy to survive--yeah, if that's your idea of democracy, or of "fair and balanced" then Fox News is probably doing the right thing. Those of us who are literate might have other views. I certainly do.
I don't actually find Al Franken funny, although I do like the titles of his books. But if objecting to this suit is one way of encouraging people to ask what the far right has done to the American political process, and how that might not be a good thing, then I'm all for it, and for now, we're going to be the "Fair and Balanced KlezmerShack.
And I intend to be (in my own mind, continue to be) the"fair and balanced Klezmershack." I won't give you one point of extreme view and claim that it runs the gamut. I'm not Fox News (this statement here just in case you didn't notice the static, and non-"parody-patriotic" tenor of this site). I'll continue to post and to link to as much information and opinion about good music of interest to site visitors as I can. When I hate something, I'll say so. (More often, I just bite my tongue--the goal here is to promote the good, not to waste time on the bad). And I'll also link to people who say otherwise. Music, like democracy, sounds best and gets most interesting when more and more people with interesting ideas get heard.
And for goodness sake, buy a copy of Franken's book and send a copy of your sales slip to Fox News, thanking them for letting you know about it. And while I have your attention, if you're an American citizen, better take a look at the so-called Victory Act, with its echoes of 1984, that our so-called Fair and Balanced Attorney General, he who doesn't seem to have much respect for the Constitution, is trying to PATRIOTically foist on Congress now. Sheesh. And I thought keeping track of who plays with whom and who wouldn't be caught on the same stage--or carefully defining just what, exactly, Jewish music (or klezmer) is--was tough.