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"Indefinite detention": A Song In Search of a Barbershop Quartet or Two

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Bipartisanship is supposed to be superior to partisanship, an embrace of political peace that brings justice, truth and good judgment in its wake.  It would appear that things do not work that way in reality, though, at least not in the American government.  Bipartisanship has two faces in the U.S.  One is the benevolent face of the seven Senators--Republicans, Democrats and Independent--who had the courage (and the lack of bribe pressure) to stand against NDAA 2012.  The other is the face of the vast majority of Republicans and Democrats, who took their wages and served their masters well.

I hope you enjoy reading the song below in spite of perhaps feeling that it is inappropriate to enjoy anything at all under the circumstances.  For an idea of the tune I had in mind, please see the linked version of the song, which has guitar chords inserted awkwardly in parentheses throughout.  Imagine the singers as two immaculately-dressed barbershop quartets signifying the views of bought-and-paid-for Republicans and bought-and-paid-for Democrats respectively.  Each chorus seeks to exploit what is most decent, humane and endearing about conservatives and liberals respectfully, so you can imagine these choruses being sung cluelessly to the salt-of-the-earth liberal and conservative constituents of each party (you will notice I did not pick the most persuasive possible arguments).  During the choruses, the appropriate quartet (Democrat or Republican) sings in unison.  For the verses, individuals from each quartet sing a line of each verse.  Whether they are Democratic individuals or Republican individuals is signified by "D" or "R" at the beginning of each line.  The two choruses are listed here:

Indefinite Detention: A Love Song to America's New Tradition 

CHORUS 1 (venal and soulless Republican wing of the political class lying to its religious, conservative, patriotic constituents):

Indefinite detention will keep our nation free

Indefinite detention is a boon to liberty

It's a Sacred Practice that our Founding Fathers love

They cry for it from Heaven now, joined by God above!

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CHORUS 2 (venal and soulless Democrat wing of the political class lying to its hip, liberal, fun-loving constituents):

Indefinite detention, it's groovy and it's cool

Indefinite detention transgresses all the rules

Think some more about it with a few hits from the bong

Then, my man, you'll see the fascists were right all along!

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For the full song, please visit a blog-of-convenience that I set up specifically to allow the reader to take in the song without having to click "next page" 500,000 times.  The song is linked here.  Also, just to save you having to scroll through the pages to find it again, it's linked in the title and first paragraph of this article.

The solicitation

I understand that the song may be underwhelming as a set of lyrics on a page.  I comfort myself with the fact that written transcripts do not do justice to Bob Marley's lyrics either.  For instance, when reading the song above, you probably had trouble figuring out the appropriate rhythm (made clearer in the guitar chord version).  You might also have failed to appreciate the moment of return to each of the two choruses, a return that should become gradually more enthusiastic as the familiarity and bounciness of each chorus gives an increasingly welcome respite from the attentional drag of the seemingly endless verses.   It's also good to insert a wake-yourself-up "Hey!" after each verse to get a more positive flavor of the song-as-it-might-be-sung.

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Ian Hansen is a social psychology professor specializing in cultural and political psychology and a part time activist on behalf of the good things in life.

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I have Alan at to thank for h... by Ian Hansen on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012 at 4:22:08 PM