Friday, July 6, 2007

Brainwash your kids through the power of song!

I’m sure you’ve heard of Prussian Blue, the Olsen Twins of white-power music. Just look at those little cuties – Lynx and Lamb Gaede. They celebrated their 15th birthday a week ago.

They’ve reaped tons of free publicity over the years. In fact, they have captured the fancies of Hollywood scriptwriters, magazine journalists and anti-racist watchdog groups much more than they’ve been attracting America’s youthful Caucasian hordes.

Hey, it’s a free country. Lynx and Lamb have a right to do their thing. I wanna know only this: Can they sing?

Well, I found a tune of theirs – “The Stranger” – streaming on the Web. Check it out.

Yeah, it sucks. Painfully.

I think I’ve demonstrated my integrity on this blog. If Prussian Blue rocked, I would tell you so. But I’m sorry, not only are Lynx and Lamb extremely weak as vocal stylists, they’ve got some weird kind of accents or just peculiar diction that makes half the lyrics unintelligible.

Fortunately, in this case, “The Stranger” is adapted from a Rudyard Kipling poem. It goes like this:

The Stranger within my gate,
He may be true or kind,
But he does not talk my talk —
I cannot feel his mind. ...

The men of my own stock,
They may do ill or well,
But they tell the lies I am wonted to,
They are used to the lies I tell.


You know what these girls need? A new producer. I’d put them together with R. Kelly. (I’ll even supply the soda pop.)

White racialists aren’t the only ones out to manipulate children’s minds through the power of music. Multicultis are too.

Click here to hear “Celebrate the Difference” by Terri Hendrix, a Texas-based singer-songwriter who’s down with the Dixie Chicks.

It’s a cute song, and Ms. Hendrix (pictured below) has lots of talent, and goodness knows I appreciate her message. BUT... does it rub anybody else a little funny for a song on a children’s album (her 2005 CD “Celebrate the Difference”) to have such a politically indoctrinary intent?

I might be crawling out on a limb here, but I would prefer kiddie songs, when they do carry a message, to promote more general values of, you know, sharing, telling the truth, being kind to others, etc., and leave out any mention of “the color of the skin.”

Some might say, “Well, anti-racism should be one of those childhood value-lessons like sharing and telling the truth.” Umm... I don’t know. I really don’t know about that.

What do you guys think? Help me clarify my thinking here...

21 comments:

S.O.L. said...

David, I don't know the song that you mention but when I was a kid my favorite book was a children's book called "Brown is Beautiful." It had a profound effect on me, this book about how the color of a person's skin wasn't as important as what's inside them. So maybe my parents had the most to do with how I turned out in the end but there are maybe three books I remember growing up and that was one of them. I think talking about big issues in a good way can really impact a child. I would say the less preachy, the more effective but still how can hurt.

As for the little Nazi chicks, well, I'm never down with singing about hate. And I've heard them too and I can't imagine the best producer making them sound better.

The only brainwashing that's been done is to those poor, cute kids. Someone had to raise them to think the way they do and that's just tragic. I feel sorry for them.

Anonymous said...

Here is the German approach to diversity education for children, circa 1845:http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:s4IgH2OBH5IJ:www.fln.vcu.edu/struwwel/bubeng.html+story+of+the+inky+boys&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

Anonymous said...

Re: "I would prefer kiddie songs, when they do carry a message, to promote more general values of, you know, sharing, telling the truth, being kind to others, etc., and leave out any mention of “the color of the skin."

Then you probably wouldn't be down with Black and White. I remember singing this in elementary school back in the day.

Re: "Some might say, 'Well, anti-racism should be one of those childhood value-lessons like sharing and telling the truth.'"

In response to the rash of racist theme parties on college campuses sociologist Joe Feagin thinks that white kids should be taught classes like Racism 101 and Respect 101. And anybody remember Jane Elliott's Blue-eyed brown-eyed experiment?

I think kids should be learning this stuff in the home. But, then again, when you have parents teaching their children stuff like this , learning anti-racism/social justice in the classroom can't be a bad thing after all.

Random InterGhost said...

[In response to the rash of racist theme parties on college campuses sociologist Joe Feagin thinks that white kids should be taught classes like Racism 101 and Respect 101]

There will always be people itching to break taboos, and I'd say that it's no coincidence that these events happened on college campuses, the most frenziedly PC places in America. I mean, fuck, who wants to turn out like the preening sour-faced puritans that make up so much of modern American academia?

Undercover Black Man said...

Anon wrote: "Then you probably wouldn't be down with Black and White. I remember singing this in elementary school back in the day."

I dug "Black and White" as a Three Dog Night pop song. I don't like the idea of it as a kiddie song that kids are forced to sing in school. Shit, are schoolkids being forced to sing "Ebony and Ivory" as well?

Race in itself is an adult concept. Besides, some kids will always be bullies and seek to torment the misfits (the gay kid, the fat kid, the foreign kid, the learning-disabled kid, the brainy kid, the ethnic-minority kid)...

Better to teach songs or otherwise transmit the value to children that bullying is wrong, and not get into any PC happyspeak.

A song stuck in my head my whole life, which I was taught in (I believe) elementary school, is "Drill Ye Tarriers, Drill." Only a few years ago did I discover that this tune comes straight out of the socialist songbook! I don't like that sneaky political indoctrination shit in song. Let the kids learn pluralism and tolerance from family and church.

Whip out the music when it's time to teach them about interjections. ("Innn-ter-jections! Show excitement! Or emotion! They're generally set apart from a sentence by an exclamation point. Or by a comma when the feeling's not as strong."

susie said...

Lynx and Lamb are truly terrible. I don't think any amount of training or production is going to help and since the emphasis seems to be more on how they look I see nights on the pole with possibly a little dip into the white supremacist porn pool in their future.

When it comes to kiddie songs I'm a huge fan of Free to Be You and Me:
http://www.amazon.com/Free-1972-Television-Cast/dp/B000002VDL/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/103-3375749-0297415?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1183834002&sr=1-2
From the early 70s era that also gave us School House Rock (I'm a Bill) because I don't recall it being so much on the nose about how you're supposed to think about other people but more how to be right with yourself.

And it has Rosie Grier singing "It's Alright to Cry," which is just a freaking awesome song.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Yeah, Suze, I figure one or both of the Gaede Twins are due to rebel against their Nazi upbringing in about three or four years.

I have only the vaguest memories of "Free to Be..." But you're right: let's teach the kids how to be right with themselves. Forget hitting them with these grown-up abstractions about skin color. Hell, even in slavery days white and black kids played together with little regard to skin color.

Mike said...

Anti-racism, diversity and multi-culturalism are the fundamental public religions of the West. Naturally they are going to be presented at an early age.

Isn't it appropriate to begin teaching the catechism of anti-racism while they are in grade school (and away from their controlling racist parents) when the indoctrination is so easy?

The Germans are very up front about the primacy of State control and indoctrination of children.

Just last year they took a 15 year old girl away from her parents and put her in a mental institution for months to deprogram her and reverse the effects of home schooling.

As the German social workers know (and we follow the European lead in all thing socialist and educational), the State has a greater claim on the children's minds (as future citizens) than the parents.

Ever wonder why your kids are taught in groups nowadays? Read Paolo Freire. What do you think they teach in Ed School, anyway? Patty-cake?

professor said...

If you never teach a child to base their opinions of another child on the color of that child's skin, you never have to teach "anti-racism" to that child. When confronted with racism, simply teach your child that it is as wrong as lying, stealing, or talking to strangers.

Children learn what we teach them, and the key in killing racism is leading by example - especially when it's your children that are doing the observing!

Undercover Black Man said...

Professor wrote: "If you never teach a child to base their opinions of another child on the color of that child's skin, you never have to teach 'anti-racism' to that child."

Here's the thing, Professor. Little kids don't base their opinions of other children on skin color. Little kids are famous for being unaware of racial and ethnic difference... another kid's just another kid. The bullshit starts to kick in around junior high...

So then, doesn't a song like "Celebrate the Difference" actually serve to make kids conscious of racial distinctions... while it's trying to convince them that those distinctions are to be celebrated?

Whether this will innoculate them against adolescent-onset in-group/out-group territory marking... I don't know, but I'm dubious.

Another thing about Ms. Hendrix's song. It doesn't make sense on a deeper level. Take her animal metaphors. You know... look at the giraffe's long neck, smell that skunk, check out that swimming crocodile... how cool that they're all so different!

Well, when it comes to real-life animals, that's not the most important lesson to impart to a kid. The important lessons are like, "That crocodile will EAT YOU if it gets a chance, so watch out!" "Those bees will STING YOU, so leave 'em alone." Get my point?

Real-life (when it comes to animals) isn't about simple-mindedly celebrating the difference, but being ever-conscious of the differences, for the sake of your own personal safety.

Carolyn said...

UCBM - I have been in a trance reading your blog all afternoon. I found you through TAN. I'm well acquainted with PB - you can check that out here, if you dare. Your blog is fascinating! I don't think I've read such in-depth, intelligent and polite discourse anywhere else on the interweb. Awesome!

Undercover Black Man said...

Welcome, Carolyn. And thanks. TAN is one of my earliest blog idols... dude is hilarious.

I checked you in your various outposts. (Nice freestylin' on YouTube.) I hope I can hold your interest for a while...

L7 said...

If you live it, you shouldn't have to make a point of teaching it.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Yep.

Lefty said...

Damn!!! The Gaede Twins SUCK!!!

I thought it was just me, so I played it for a friend & he immediately said that they were horrible. You can tell that the twins have their voices totally re-mastered & enhanced. Even with all that electronic help, you can easily tell that the twins are flat & off key. The only reason that they're getting publicity is because they remind people of the Olsen Twins, with one big difference -- The Gade Twins have NO TALENT!!! (If it wasn't for their father producing their music, they would never be singing.)

As for teaching anti-racism, it would be best not to mention skin color or nationality and just teach "brotherly love", compassion for others, and to treat everyone in the same manner.
Multi-culturalism & diversity should be taught when studdents enter the 5th grade.

Anonymous said...

I'm not crazy about the "Celebrate the Differences" song, but that may be because I don't like much music that's created and marketed to children. Which makes sense, since I am not a child, just childish.

I do like what she's getting at, though. I hear people say things like, "I'm very tolerant. My mother always taught me to be tolerant of others." And I think, Tolerant? The best you can do is put up with other people? Can't you learn something from them instead, or at least be interested in them?

It got to the point where I was getting fundraising requests from that Teach Tolerance charity, and my immediate reaction was, "Tolerance! I HATE tolerance!"

Anonymous said...

I'm not crazy about the "Celebrate the Differences" song, but that may be because I don't like much music that's marketed to children. Which makes sense, because I am not a child, just childish.

I do like what she's getting at, though. I hear people say things like, "I'm very tolerant. My mother always taught me to be tolerant of others." And I think, Tolerant? The best you can do is put up with other people instead of trying to learn from them or at least finding out more about them?

It got to the point where I was getting fundraising letters from that Teach Tolerance organization, and my first reaction was always, "Tolerance?! I HATE tolerance!"

Brooklynite said...

I see three big problems with the song.

First, like UBM says, it's directed at too young an audience. If you're young enough to be singing about how giraffes have long necks, you're too young for the concept of racial difference.

Second, the species/races analogy has obvious flaws. There's an implicit suggestion in the song that "the color of skin" is as big a difference as the difference between an elephant and a skunk, and that's just wrongheaded, particularly for kids today, who are much more likely to be (or know kids who are) multiracial, or transracially adopted, than previous generations. Why suggest that race is about bright-line biological distinctions?

Third, there's nothing to "celebrate" about differences in skin tone. Celebrating cultural differences? Sure. I can even get behind the idea of celebrating differences in kids' hair. But celebrating the difference in "the color of skin?" Um, why? How? And again, why?

Ultimately, I think the song takes the wrong approach to the question of racial discrimination. My four-year-old has been learning about the civil rights movement at school, and she's just about got her head wrapped around the basic ideas. But we've presented racism to her as something bizarre and aberrant and alien, and in a weird way this song does the opposite.

brooklynite said...

(Following up to myself.)

I just gave the song another listen and realized that it says "there's more to meet the eye than the color of the skin," not that the color differences themselves are anything to celebrate. So scratch some of what I wrote.

But that line just makes the song even more incoherent than I'd realized. If the message is "we're all different and that's great," why draw attention to a particular, loaded difference just to say you should ignore it? Doesn't make any sense.

Undercover Black Man said...

Welcome, Brooklynite.

Yeah, it's like, "Pay no attention to how dark that African chick is... except to celebrate the difference... but once you're done celebrating, it's best to just ignore it... because, after all, there's more to meet the eye than the color of the skin... Wow, she sure is dark, though... and that's great! She's different, and that's great, and whenever you come across somebody with a different skin color than yours, by all means, point that out... in order to celebrate it! Not that skin color means anything... uhhh... Now go outside and play."

Brooklynite said...

Yup. If your friend has dark skin, you should celebrate the difference --- just like you would if she had big floppy ears or lived in a swamp and ate rodents.