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

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It would be best, I suppose, if I could find a way to make the song into a video myself, but I sing well only within a narrow range, cannot play an instrument, and besides would make an unconvincing barbership quartet, let alone two of them.   Given the urgency of the issue the song addresses, however, I would like to see the lyrics above not only performed but made into an online video--and one much better than the kind of online video I myself am currently capable of making [5] .

I am therefore soliciting videos that capture my vision of how best to perform these lyrics.  I sketched that vision roughly above, and I would also ask for a montage of appropriately biting images to illustrate the content of the lyrics.  The lyrics should appear in captions, so people can sing along as if singing "My Way" in a karaoke room.

I know on some level that "Indefinite Detention" will not become the "This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land" for the Occupy generation, but if even two or three people could be bribed into singing it, I would feel less touchable by the hand of death.  I will continue to fantasize about it being sung in unison with marching band accompaniment (and perhaps some baton-twirlers on stilts) as Occupy marchers raise detailed political awareness everywhere they bellow it, but I will try to maintain equanimity if that imagined universe opens up only for some other existentially remote version of myself and not the one my experiencing consciousness inhabits.

In a later piece for OpEdNews I will recognize (and link to) all contributions to this competition that meet a certain minimum standard, and I will also give a prize for the best one.  Specifically, I will donate $500 to the favorite charity of anyone who makes the best video within the parameters of my vision [and keep in mind OpEdNews as a recipient of your generosity].  I will select a panel of aesthetically-astute judges, perhaps consisting entirely of myself, to decide who receives this honor.  If your favorite charity is yourself, please make sure you are the CEO of a 501(c)(3), because I'm not writing any checks that are not tax-deductible.   The deadline for submission is November 1, as I'd like to circulate the video in time to shake up the elections a little, but I may extend that deadline if the submissions are too paltry.  I also welcome supplementary donation pledges from others to sweeten the incentive.

In the event that my vision of how the song should be sung and made into video is an obstacle to the song's full potential (a distinct possibility), I will give another $500 to one person who is able to revise the tune and make a video that exceeds the wildest dreams of my vision.  Ideally the rebellious video should make me realize that my vision was actually a plodding soulless consequence of too many years allowing grad school and professordom to stunt my once promising artistic talent.

For either prize to be awarded, there must be a minimum of five half-decent entries into that prize's competition--or I must be astoundingly impressed with one of the few entries that I receive.  In the depressing event that only two or three half-hearted "give me your money and go to hell" entries trickle in, I'd rather use my two $500 checks to apply for dual citizenship in some country still ruled by its people.  To be sure that I am not pretending to have received fewer entries than I really have, you can post your entry as a link in the comments if you are willing to put the product of your work online.

Send entries to hainansen at hotmail dot com, or invite me to a dropbox folder with the video saved as a file there.



[1] And, ideally, the original pages corresponding to the indefinite detention sections of that bill should be publicly burned, along with the deed to Guantanamo, a territory which should be promptly returned to Cuba after the remaining detainees there are given a fair trial in Federal Court or released to countries that will respect their human rights.  Though Cuba is still not a model of human rights observance (understatement), it is hard to imagine them making worse use of that piece of land than we have.

[2] Also, some good news (?) for legal immigrants: mandated military detention does not apply to "lawful resident aliens" on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States."  That's a lot of ifs ands and buts tacked onto your good news, lawful resident aliens.  Just be glad you're not undocumented.

[3] Truth be told, our official (elected) and actual (financial-corporate-administered) governments have often behaved monstrously ever since their respective inceptions, but recently they have become particularly unaccountable in their monstrousness.  The system "worked" once upon a time to impeach Nixon.  Would it still work today?

[4] In truth, the Republican agenda is much worse, because the Republicans are, on average, considerably more corrupt, brutal and incompetent at sane governance than Democrats.  Romney has expressed his strong support for the NDAA as well, and probably would deploy it even more enthusiastically against all kinds of inappropriate but politically convenient victims.  A leaked memo from his campaign also reveals that Romney wishes to bring back enhanced interrogations, presumably because he feels that the torture detainees still suffer under extraordinary rendition, or even just under Appendix M of the Army Field Manual, is not sufficiently inhuman.

[5] For an example of my limited talent in this regard, see my two-minute video on the surprising views that Kiefer Sutherland has about torture and Guantanamo.  Mr. Sutherland is both one of the executive producers of 24--a five season advertisement for the moral defensibility of torture--and also the star of the show: Jack Bauer, America's favorite torturer.  The shocker: Kiefer Sutherland is strongly opposed to torture.  He is not so opposed that he's launched a nationwide campaign to stop torture or scratched his signature prominently all over petitions to close Guantanamo, but at least he's opposed enough to admit to Charlie Rose that torture is a clumsy and error-prone tool for seeking information and that the detainees at GTMO have the right under the Constitution to be tried or freed.  In any case, this myth-busting video might have more hits if it had been made by someone who actually knows how to make videos.

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