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Friday, March 28, 2014

What Is (and What Isn’t) In Sarah Palin’s Amazing America

It has been announced that former (quitter) governor of Alaska, vice presidential nominee, and political commentator, Sarah Palin, has a new upcoming television program on the Sportsman Channel called Amazing America with Sarah Palin.  The show will feature an “anthology of stories” focusing on “the original and inspiring people, places, and pastimes connected to America's outdoors lifestyle.” 

The theme song for the show has been released as part of early promotion for the program, but I’m a little disappointed in the way this “amazing America” is portrayed.

Now, granted the Outdoorsman Channel’s specific focus and the fact, of course, that one can’t explore every aspect of this sprawling multicultural, multivalent nation in a brief two minutes and fifty-five seconds, the depiction of “America” contained in this song (by the band Madison Rising - and its accompanying video) is still limited – very limited - even considering the time constraints.

Featured in the video are things like fishing, and guns, and pick-up trucks, and guns, and dogs, and horses, and guns, and rodeos, and guns and race cars and guns.  Seriously there are 8 separate depictions of guns (of various types) in this short video – more than any other subject (excepting shots of the band in the recording studio.).  The next most common subject in the video is racecars – with three clips in the video.  Guns, guns, and more guns are – apparently – what make America Amazing. 

But what is more problematic to me is what is not represented. This “Amazing America” apparently has nothing of Art. Nothing of Science. Nothing of scholasticism.  Nothing of music. And nothing of religion.  Most of this is attributable to the fact that the show is the creation of the Sportsman Channel.  But even considering the Outdoorsman Channel’s narrow focus, this last absence is striking.  Sarah Palin has made a name for herself by continually striking two chords – American Pride and God.  But there is very little of God in this song and video.  There is the one line of the lyrics, “nature provides and God gives the rights,” but what that means is not really clear.

And to make things even murkier is the fact that shown in the shots of the band in the recording studio are banners with the Yin-Yang -  symbol of Taoism - and the Om symbol representing the sacred syllable in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.   Is this the Christian nation that Palin has been so vocal in promoting? 

So…to sum up: America is Amazing because, 1- Guns and 2 –Outdoor activities (mostly involving guns).  The show premieres April 3 at 8 PM on the Sportsman Channel. 

Amazing America – by Madison Rising

We believe in the American way
and we built this country called the USA
and we fly our flags ‘cause we’re proud and free;
we’re Americans.

Red, white, and blue is our way of life,
and we never back down from a challenge or a fight,
nature provides and God gives the rights;
we’re Americans.

We make up America,
this amazing America.

We fish the waters and we hunt the lands,
and we forge the steel with our own two hands
with what we’ve got we do the best we can;
we’re Americans.

From the snowy paths to the desert sun,
the dogs, and the horses, and the trucks, and the guns,
mothers, and daughters, and fathers, and sons;
we’re Americans.

We make up America,
this amazing America oh yeah,
home of the brave in America
we’re an amazing America.

We might be a little crazy, get a little nuts,
but you can’t have the glory if you aint got the guts,
I stand for pride, and faith, and trust
as American.

We like the wildest things that you’ve ever seen
we make ‘em bigger, and faster, and louder, and mean,
tell me, who wouldn’t want to be
an American?

We make up America,
this amazing American, Oh yeah,
Home of the brave in America;
we’re an amazing America.

(I transcribed the lyrics from the video.  Any mistakes are mine.)

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