Note: with the Citybeat article coming out on Wednesday, I’m going to do my best not to steal my own thunder and avoid recycling material. That said, spending an evening in the midst of 20,000 freedom loving patriots filled me with more than enough material for a thousand posts. I’ll try to keep it to one.
The Hannity Freedom Concert lived up to the (self-created) hype: the Minutemen were in the house, minorities (for the most part) were not, and Lee Greenwood further cemented his position as the working patriot’s Liberace. Hannity mercifully kept his mouth shut most of the time, passing the mic to shills like Oliver North, GW Bush impersonators and GOP presidential hopeful Fred Thompson so that they could do the heavy lifting of actively supporting GW’s foreign policy and bashing liberals as Islamofascist appeasers. Michael W. Smith was there. Tell me, when was the last time you thought about that guy?
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance–or $41 to $81, depending on just how close to the freedom you want to sit.
The Guardian Angels were on hand, though I can’t fathom why. Between the Chula Vista police and Coors Amphitheater staff you could go more than ten seconds without seeing a professional security person. Also, from the looks of these guys, the only thing that really needed guarding around there was the hot dog stand.
How does one really go about reviewing a concert like this? Decked out like a cross between a latter day Elvis Presley and Glen Campbell circa “Rhinestone Cowboy,” Lee Greenwood (sorry, no photos: a condition of my press pass) played 11 songs, ten of which were about the military, with the eleventh being a FUCKING BETTE MIDLER cover. Yep, that’s right: “The Wind Beneath My Wings.” This man has an awfully raging boner for the US military for a guy that’s never been in uniform. Here are some lyrics from his set opener, “The Great Defenders”:
Hot spots brewing in a foreign land,
We count on you bein’ there
24 hours around the clock,
Protectin’ us everywhere
The more I get around this world,
The more I realize
That the greatest force found anywhere
is right before my eyes.
(Go) Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines (Hooah!)
You’re the greatest show of strength
This world has ever seen,
Coast Guard, National Guard,
Along with the Reserves,
We salute our Nations best
Standing ready Proud to Serve
Hot spots brewin’ in a foreign land, eh? Lee Greenwood seems to misunderstand the conventional definition of “defense” (i.e. it would difficult to argue in court that I was “defending” my home by going into my neighbor’s house and kicking his ass with a bat), which might matter if most of his audience actually gave a rat’s ass about technicalities like whether foreign wars of occupation are a good idea. I get the impression most of these people would literally need a Marine shoving a bayonet up their cornhole in order to question their unwavering support for the armed forces.
My two interactions with the Minutemen were both pretty awesome. The first will be covered in the Citybeat article. The second occurred when one of them was showing me video that they shot of migrants crossing the border in eastern San Diego county. Noting the presence of a coyote guiding the group, I asked him if he thought that maybe they should focus their efforts on identifying these individuals, who traffic in human misery and make large amounts of money off the backs of migrants, instead of the migrants themselves, the overwhelming majority of whom are currently doing nefarious things like paying taxes and washing the dishes in your favorite restaurant. No answer. Then I asked whether they ran into problems with the coyotes, who I noted were some pretty bad dudes. “Oh, we’re pretty heavily armed,” he responds.
Did this guy really just admit to me that the Minutemen are engaging in armed patrols of the border?
Fred Thompson’s tour van looks pretty nice. The slogan appears to be “Vote for Law and Order in the White House.” Glad to see that the former Senator is classing things up by using the name of the television show as his campaign slogan. Even Arnold had the good sense to stay away from buttons saying “Terminate the Deficit.” Fred Thompson spoke for approximately three minutes, most of which was given over to reciting the poem “The Soldier,” which goes through the usual platitudes about how freedom of speech and the freedom to burn the flag all flow from the barrel of the GI’s M-16. It’s comforting to know that Fred Thompson believes that our civil rights aren’t guaranteed by the Constitution so much as the 4th Armored Division. That’s cool, since he’s essentially making the same argument as Mao Zedong, who famously opined that “all power flows from the barrel of a gun.” I hope he gets the chance to elucidate this position further at the Republican National Convention. San Diego native Shepard Fairey could probably come up with a sweet poster for him. Maybe something like this?