One of the singers from the 60s was a guy named James Darren. I first remember him from his role as a teen idol on The Donna Reed Show. He was more than a musician though as he enjoyed a varied career on television and in films. His biggest hit on the pop charts was a 1961 song called Goodbye Cruel World.
Like many songs of that era, this one was certainly silly. Still, it became a top ten hit, reaching number three on the Billboard Top 100 and was also popular in the UK.
This song came to mind today as I began reading a couple news stories. I hadn’t meant to spend another day talking about the ridiculous battle flag debate. It seems too silly to be a news story. But there it was on The New York Times webpage … Protests of Confederate Symbols Spread Nationwide. Really?
Not to be outdone, The Washington Post webpage ran this headline … Here’s what the debate over the Confederate flag and states’ rights really means.
And the pièce de résistance also came from the Post … What the Confederate flag really means to America today, according to a race historian.
Of course, having a “race historian” authoritatively declare for all time and all people what the flag really means should be adequate to silence debate, right?
When the Post writer queries this “race historian” about whether it’s possible “to embrace the flag without explicitly or implicitly promoting racism,” the response is no. He explained that displaying the flag signifies “you are a stakeholder in the Confederate history of the South, and therefore the defense of slavery and racial prejudice.”
That may be the “race historian’s” opinion but I disagree. As to the broad brush with which this “race historian” paints, slavery and racial prejudice are abhorrent to me – no ifs, ands or buts! Furthermore, there are flags and symbols I find offensive. Do you suppose for one minute my personal feelings could ever result in the removal of icons I find offensive? I won’t hold my breath.
[When Winston Churchill famously observed that History is written by the victors, I can’t help but wonder if he was thinking of the Civil War.]
As I thought about the flag issue that seems to be ramping up rather than going away, the connection to James Darren’s hit song was inevitable, and the following light verse is the result. It’s a sing-along poem.