May 02, 2014

A new state song

Readers of Goat Rope may recall that El Cabrero has launched an unofficial campaign to change the state motto of WV from "Mountaineers are always free" to "You can't make this **** up." I haven't gotten it on the state seal yet, but I'm told these things take time.

Earlier this week, whilst on a daylong road trip, an idea for another state song came to mind. Our main one is one I like, "The West Virginia Hills." Recently, "Take Me Home, Country Roads" as popularized by John Denver, gained semi-official status as well. Aside from the fact that the scenery it describes in the first verse applies mainly to Virginia, I'm not too crazy about that one.

My more serious nominee for at least semi-official song status seems particularly fitting when you consider our recent and more distant past, with things like chemical spills, mine disasters, industrial accidents, exploitation, and poverty. It's Bruce Springsteen's Badlands. Here's the chorus:

Badlands, you gotta live it everyday
Let the broken hearts stand
As the price you've gotta pay
We'll keep pushin' till it's understood
and these badlands start treating us good

I'm still pushing--and so are plenty of my friends and comrades. We haven't quite got there yet.

SPEAKING OF BADLANDS, here's an interesting essay on some and the economy that made them that way.

BAD ECONOMICS. Here's one from Krugman on how we took the wrong path.


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