The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

James Wolcott: Nothing Honors the Dead like an Old-Fashioned Hoedown

Nothing Honors the Dead like an Old-Fashioned Hoedown
Posted by James Wolcott

When one thinks of the great showmen and impresarios who have brought to world so much culture and entertainment, certain names step to the fore.

Diaghilev. P.T. Barnum. Billy Rose. Mike Todd. Sol Hurok. Ed Sullivan.

Now add another name to that illustrious roster.

Secretary of Defense and future host of the Grand Ol' Opry, Donald Rumsfeld.


WASHINGTON - The Pentagon will hold a massive march and country music concert to mark the fourth anniversary of 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an unusual announcement tucked into an Iraq war briefing yesterday.

"'This year the Department of Defense will initiate an America Supports You Freedom Walk,' Rumsfeld said, adding that the march would remind people of 'the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation.'

"The march will start at the Pentagon, where nearly 200 people died on 9/11, and end at the National Mall with a show by country star Clint Black."

Rumsfeld was disappointed that famed documentarian Leni Riefensthahl will be unable to film the event for posterity because, well, she's dead. But he's pleased as punch ("you bet!") that he'll be able to duet with Clint Black as they perform Rumsfeld's original honkytonk composition "It Takes Big Feet to Fill Big Boots (and I'm in the High Teens, Baby)."

Steve Gilliard said this showbiz/military exploitation of 9/11 will provoke a "shitstorm" of indignation and it will and it should.

But it also strikes as incredibly...pathetic. Lame. Desperate. Even the name--America Supports You Freedom Walk--sounds tonedeaf and klutzy, like a bad charity fundraising walkathon through the park.

Also, Rumsfeld says this year's event will "initiate" the America Supports You Mill Around on the Mall commemorative.

Does that mean this madman intends it to be an annual travesty of the tragedy of 9/11? Whose crackpot idea was this, his, Karen Hughes'? Will Bush himself be in attendance, pumped after his five weeks of brush-clearing in Crawford, Texas?

If nothing else, this is a delicious gift to Maureen Dowd, providing MoDo (who returned to her Times op-ed spot today) with column after column of sumptuous copy.


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