Saturday, December 15, 2012

Toby Keith and Willie Nelson - Beer For My Horses

(Image source)
A lot of people have trouble with the concept of evil.  Whether the evil is conscious (like the Gulag)  or whether it's unconscious (like Old Yeller), evil exists.  It walks among us.

It walked into a school in Connecticut yesterday.

A lot of people have trouble wrapping their brains around this idea.  That makes them paralyzed in a way that prior generations weren't.  You didn't have school shootings like this in the 1960s.  There's a good reason for that - there would almost certainly be a lot of guns in the cars in the school parking lot.  Evil may walk in on us, but with the right tools and attitude, it won't go home that night fully staffed.

Country Music gets a bad reputation with Right Thinking People® because it plainly speaks uncomfortable truths.  Toby Keith perhaps more than any other country artist has a bad reputation with Right Thinking People® because he keeps speaking uncomfortable truths, again and again.  Peter Jennings banned him from ABC because Keith refused to speak the expected Pretty Lies.

And so, to previous generations and their view of evil.  They thought that it was real, and that they might encounter it.  They thought that if they did, they would need to confront it, not run from it.  They did confront it, facing down two races of Supermen in World War II and then the Soviet Bear afterwards.  They knew how to deal with the evil that walked into that school yesterday.

This song shows that some of us still remember.

Beer For My Horses (Songwriters: James Stroud, Toby Keith)
Well a man come on the 6 o'clock news
Said somebody's been shot, somebody's been abused
Somebody blew up a building
Somebody stole a car
Somebody got away
Somebody didn't get too far yeah
They didn't get too far

Grandpappy told my pappy, back in my day, son
A man had to answer for the wicked that he done
Take all the rope in Texas
Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys
Hang them high in the street for all the people to see that

Justice is the one thing you should always find
You got to saddle up your boys
You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we'll sing a victory tune
We'll all meet back at the local saloon
We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces
Singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds
We've got too much corruption, too much crime in the streets
It's time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground
Send 'em all to their maker and he'll settle 'em down
You can bet he'll set 'em down 'cause
Older generations believed that you confronted evil - especially the two legged kind - to protect the weak.  The shooter seems to have been very ill, but that doesn't change the evil nature of what he did, not the justice in an "Old Yeller" solution once he had started shooting.  I hope that society remembers what our elders knew.


Tacitus2 said...

I don't know. Seems like even people who should know better do stupid things. I recall reading about TSA agents and Secret Service protection staff leaving pistols in the stalls of the bathroom. You would have to have a level of professionalism and training that was a little higher than most, but not all, janitors could handle.

Maybe we could realistically install Tasers next to the defibrillators in public places. When removed the biggest fricken siren on earth goes off as well.

I could certainly Tase somebody who had just shot a kindergardener...then beat him to death with a broken off table leg.


RabidAlien said...

I agree with the original post, but not necessarily with Tacitus' comment. Respectfully speaking, putting a Taser next to the defib kits is still asking that the gov (or whatever school/business you're in) to maintain it in good working order, and to make sure that its even still there. I don't trust even my church to be that on top of things. When it comes down to it, the safety of myself and my family is in our hands. I prefer to keep it there.

Rev. Paul said...

As a student of history, it appears that we may be getting close to that stage in societal evolution where "frontier justice" starts to occur more frequently.

We've seen it recently in Texas (father going after the guy who molested his daughter) and a few other instances such as convenience store clerks who shoot robbers.

Anchorage has been moaning about having to lay off police officers, recently, and I'm sure other cities are having the same budget woes. People can only be pushed so far, and they will - eventually - start to push back.

Robert Fowler said...

At the age of 11, I took by new 410 shotgun and a box of shells to school for show and tell. The gun stayed in its case at the back of the room all day. In the fall of 72, when I started my senior year, it was common to find shotguns in cars and trucks. And yet we didn't have school shootings.