Crosby, Bing

Crosby, Bing: A twentieth-century American singer and actor.

For about a decade, the United States was enamored with three male singers. (Of course, you could argue this point, and your three would probably be as good as the three I’m going to present.)

But for the sake of discussion, let me say that this trio of crooners was:

Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Bing Crosby

They were very different men, and not just by having individual names, but by lifestyle. It was intriguing that for the first time in our history, Mr. Cole, a black man was included in the upper echelon of the singing triumvirate.

Bing Crosby was fascinating because he was known for comedies and light, romantic romps—and his famous baritone voice was relished by young and old alike. Matter of fact, to this day it is nearly impossible to envision a cozy seat by the fireplace at Christmas without hearing old Bing intone, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”

Then out come the books:

  • Accusations that he was cruel, vindictive and even abusive to his children.
  • A womanizer.
  • And assertions that he may have had more in mind than snow when he sought a “White Christmas.”

You see, this syndrome was not invented by our 24-hour news cycle.

Throughout our history, we have loved to create heroes and extol the talent in a person so that we could turn around and expose dirty details to bring the elevated champion down a notch or two.

For instance, people insist that George Washington, the father of our country—the man who suffered at Valley Forge—who persevered to win us our freedom?

Tee-hee-hee: he had wooden teeth.

Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, who held our nation together through the Civil War?

Tee-tee-hee: he might just have slept in a bed with another man.

We are incorrigible children in search of information to feed our gossip frenzy.

It’s fine if it is truthful.

But if it is not, we are still willing to consider it, to tickle our fancy.

I don’t know whether there is a celebrity or a notable who has not suffered under this microscope of mangling.

But for me, I still hear a gentle man, smoking a pipe, singing “White Christmas,” cutting up with awfully silly jokes, with Bob Hope, while they’re On the Road to somewhere or another.

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Antebellum

dictionary with letter A

Antebellum: Occurring before the American Civil War.

The root word of culture is cult.

Isn’t it amazing that even though we abhor cults for their short-sighted, selfish and often abusive treatment of their members and the world around them, we accept the elongated version of this condition as being a symbol of race, nationality, creed or honor.

I hate culture.

I despise anything that tries to separate us into smaller and smaller units so we can hide behind our forts and peer at one another in horror and disbelief.

Never was this any more evident than in the years just prior to the Civil War. We became convinced that a country which had united itself around principles could still be divided by opinions. It allowed for the pernicious concept of slavery to continue under the guise of maintaining allegiance to a lifestyle which had already proven to be fiscally irresponsible and morally reprehensible.

I have to admit that I become nauseous when portions of that thinking and relics from that era–when men were oppressing other men over a bale of cotton–rise up with a bit of whimsy and patriotism to symbolize a deep-rooted respect for what can only be determined to be our national holocaust.

Yes, somewhere along the line, every bit of “culture” has to be measured against ethics, humanity and spirituality, and if it’s found to be lacking, it needs to be abandoned for the common good.

The minute you think something good transpired in the Old South and you unfurl the Stars and Bars, you are also welcoming into the equation a tribute to the industry and ideals that subjugated a race of people.

Certainly there’s plenty wrong with the North, East and West of our nation that needs to be scrutinized. Those living west of the Mississippi are truly the descendants of a lineage which lied to and cheated the American Indian. The prejudice against Italians, Irish, Russians and all immigrants into the country through Ellis Island in New York is also shocking.

But honestly, I don’t see anyone tributing George Armstrong Custer, and those who are so short-sighted that they rejected every nationality that came to our borders are considered, in the history books, to be numbskulls.

Yet for some reason we allow our South to regale its Confederate heroes.

My only statement is that I will not participate in anything that’s antebellum.

Because quite candidly, I am anti-bellum.

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