It’s Past Time Rap Received Other Genres’ Artistic Privilege

In something that probably should have been written 20 years ago, Theodore Kupfer at National Review comes out in favor of rap as a valid cultural experience. The fact that it was written in 2017 is the saddest part.

But it does make some valid points (that most of the country understood decades ago):

The first track on Straight Outta Compton is a clue that the critique might be wrong. The song begins with the sobering reminder that, “When somethin’ happens in South Central Los Angeles, nothin’ happens. It’s just another n**** dead,” letting that last word echo before the music kicks in. In other words, N.W.A., which became infamous among conservatives for glorifying violence, began its first album by noting how pervasive such violence is in their hometown, and how little anyone seems to do about it.

As anyone paying attention has understood since the genre became popular in the 1980s, hip-hop is largely a reflection of the diseases infesting the broken communities where it was created, not a celebration of them.

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Turns Out My Children Are Not the Same

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Having one child was fun – new adventures and discoveries around every corner. It had its challenges, of course. But having more than one is…completely different.

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And it turns out you can’t treat them the same when they’re four years apart. Who knew?!

I know it seems obvious, but it’s not. Especially once both children are capable of carrying on a conversation, it’s very easy to unconsciously retreat to standard methods of communication and interaction. When you no longer have to rely on baby-talk or simple sign language techniques that work on toddlers, it’s a huge relief. You can speak like an adult again. And you can! But you still have to speak to the kids in ways they can understand, and that’s not the same for all of them.

I can have long, deep conversations with my daughter, now 7, and I love doing so. But if it’s a topic she’s not interested in, something that wasn’t her idea to talk about, she’ll stop paying attention after too long.

For my son, the problem is similar, but different. You can’t go on too long with him either, but not because he loses interest, but because he’s 3, and he just can’t process and remember that much information all at once.

Yesterday he asked me if he could bring a new toy outside to show his cousin and nearly melted down when it looked like we might say no. So I told him he could bring it outside, show her, then had to bring it right back in. I said it at least three different times and ways to make sure he understood. He agreed, walked outside to the trampoline where his cousin was jumping, showed her the toy, started to turn back toward the house…then got up on the trampoline with the toy. So close… When he came in for the night, though, he did remember to bring the toy in without reminding.

Sometimes I forget that they’re so far apart and so different. They require different amounts and types of information, affection, discipline, and care. When they’re together it’s even harder to interact with them in their own uniquely demanding ways lest one feel slighted. They should be treated equally but differently.

It’s an impossible balancing act, really. But it’s literally my one job for now.

“America’s Team” is Teetering on the Precipice of a Fascist Fiefdom

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In the excellent Liberal Fascism, Jonah Goldberg reminds us of an early fascist enterprise under the Franklin Roosevelt administration, the Blue Eagle program. Craftsmen, unions, stores, and manufacturers were expected to post this symbol of compliance with the American “war on the Depression” as a unifying brand for the nation. As with every effort to “unify” the nation from the top down, it came with an ominous tone and the threat of force.

[National Recovery Administration head, Hugh] Johnson’s favorite means of promoting compliance with the Blue Eagle were military parades and Nuremberg-style rallies. On September 12, 1933, Johnson harangued an audience of ten thousand at Madison Square garden, vowing that 85 percent of America’s workers were already under the authority of the Blue Eagle. The following day New York City was nearly shut down by a Blue Eagle parade in honor of “The President’s NRA Day.” All Blue Eagle-compliant stores were ordered shut at 1:00 p.m., and the governor declared a half-day holiday for everyone else as well. Under the direction of a U.S. Army major general, the Blue Eagle parade marched from Washington Square up Fifth Avenue to the New York Public Library, where it passed a reviewing stand upon which stood Johnson, the governors from the tristate area, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

If the Blue Eagle program were alive today, Jerry Jones and Roger Gooddell would be the grand marshals in its first parade. Indeed, the Philadelphia Eagles were actually named after the program.

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Pence’s Brief, Expensive Virtue Signaling Trip to an NFL Game

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Today Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Indianapolis, where he served as governor for four years, to watch the Colts game against the San Francisco 49ers. When the national anthem started, some of the visiting players, former teammates of Colin Kaepernick, took a knee with their hands over their hearts.

Pence, being a fragile snowflake governed primarily by patriotic correctness, immediately left the game and tweeted in horror at the silent, peaceful, unobtrusive expression of political speech by a dozen or so black Americans.

I’m not sure when kneeling evolved from a passive display of supplication to an offensive, un-American outrage, but it seems to have been at exactly the moment when black people started doing it.

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