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Here’s the email that first appeared in the Dan and Sarah accounts. We anticipated direct responses denouncing Dan Adler as an idiot, but the arrogance required to include him in OTHERS’ discussion of his idiocy was a priceless display of The Insufferables’ arrogance!


From: "Britton VanHorn"

To: billy-bragg@things.org; bdadler@yahoo.com; lomax_sarah@hotmail.com

Subject: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha...hey!!!

Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 13:23:27


Recently came across the following on Amazon.com and laughed a good portion of my ass off. But then I remembered how mainstream this guy seems, and it wasn't so funny anymore. Still, approach his words in the right way and it's satire worthy of Swift (or Mojo Nixon?). He's so genuinely concerned about what exposure to Billy might do the children!


(PASTES DAN’S BRAGG REVIEWS)


WOW!!! For the record, I took the link to this guy's personal website (http://www.geocities.com/bdadler ). He describes himself as "fiscally conservative but socially liberal" (i.e. he looks forward to a day when people of all races, creeds, genders, and sexual orientations are free to stay the hell off his lawn). In the USA, this pretty much makes an unironic reading of Phil Ochs' "Love Me, I'm a Liberal" your national anthem. To be fair, though, his closest friend (featured in the website) is big on PETA, Amnesty International, and Billy (she calls him "a poet"). So, he can't be all bad, can he? Before you answer, his favorite aritsts, in order, are Yes, Rush, Foreigner (Does he like foreigners, too?), and "Sarah McLaughlin" (sic).

The next letter was a follow-up from another member of the mailing list. Pretty dry, except for the fact that the author uses FOOTNOTES in email. He probably also feels very strongly about which way to cut a sandwich when he’s not checking the stove exactly 10 times before he leaves the house.


Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 15:50:05 -0500 (EST)

From: Luther Gaylord

To: billy-bragg@things.org; bdadler@yahoo.com; lomax_sarah@hotmail.com

Subject: Re: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha...hey!!!


On Sat, 19 Feb 2000, Britton VanHorn wrote:

> http://www.geocities.com/bdadler

> His favorite artists, in order, are Yes,

> Rush, Foreigner, and "Sarah McLaughlin".


Since our critic is deathly afraid of socialism, it makes perfect sense that he would dig Rush. Geddy Lee and Neil Peart[1] were both huge admirers of Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism.[2] When 2112 was released in 1976, they proudly advertised that it had been inspired by Rand's novel ANTHEM. Rush

also released a song entitled "Anthem" on FLY BY NIGHT. But the most obvious and disgusting example of their politics is "The Trees"[3] Canada should be ashamed. Luther (who was a huge Rush fan at age 14 -- until his young, impressionable mind was exposed to the dangerous music of Billy Bragg)


[1] http://www.self-gov.org/celebs.html

[2] http://www.aynrand.org/objectivism/index.html

[3] http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/Stage/1485/HEMISPHE.HTM#8

Dan responded in the defensive, slightly whiny persona that we designed for him.


From: Dan Adler

To: Britton VanHorn; billy-bragg@things.org

Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2000 10:04 AM

Subject: Re: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha...hey!!!


Dear Sirs


Thanks for including me in your mailings and demonstrating definitively that pseudo-intellectuals are the most pompous people in the world. I can't believe how smug, how shockingly self-righteous you are to include me in your missives that mock me. Anyone is welcome to e-mail me directly and write that they

disagree with me, but your tactic of having a conversation about me that I can overhear reeks of individuals who are trying to get even for the teasing they received at the hands of popular kids in high school.


You both consider me your intellectual inferior simply because I disagree with you and you feel compelled to let me know that. Perhaps you were blind carbon copying some cool people, they'll be impressed by your cruelty, and society will stop stuffing you into the locker of alienation.


Additionally, you do me a huge disservice by insinuating that I am a right-wing extremist ("Does he like foreigners, too?") when there's no evidence of that presented. I realize that it's the role of the left to find a fascist under every stone, but it appears that you're on a witch hunt. I don't need to make the historical analogy for you.

The original author responded, subtly acknowledging feelings of guilt by being chatty in a cold, politician style.


From: "Britton VanHorn"

To: "Dan Adler"

CC: billy-bragg@things.org

Subject: Re: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha...hey!!!

Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2000 10:50:14


I've set my font to "smug" ;)


You're probably right...out of fairness, I should have CC'd you my original e-mail. For not doing that, I apologize. I will not apologize, however, for the "foreginers" crack, which was an obvious play on the name of your #3 band. If it wasn't a funny joke, fine. But it was an obvious joke, nonetheless. You're tough

enough to take it.


Also, continuing on the "obvious" theme, you may note that what I found most interesting about your reviews was your SUSPICION that Bragg might be a socialist. Might be? That aspect of his music has usually been right out front, for all (most) to see. Furthermore, if there's ever any "danger" of my children

getting into Rush, whose members are avowed devotees Ayn Rand's objectivism, I hope I'm secure enough to discuss the ideas without banishing the music itself. I hope.


Anyway, I'm not going to quibble with your counter-attack. You give "smug" as good as you get it. And, as my origninal message noted, I've never deluded myself into thinking my beliefs are shared by the majority of my fellow citizens. What that means, however, it that we in the minority of opinion tend to have a broader exposure to ideas, if only due to the fact that the majority's ideas are so damned ubiquitous. They're always with us, whereas ideas like those on the bragg list usually have to be sought out. We are constantly made aware that there are other ways to view the world, and merely ask that you do the same from time to time.


Although I doubt I need to say this, don't let this ruin your day. Upstate NY is too beautiful this time of year. Maybe that's where my hostility comes from. I miss Ithaca!!!


Have a nice day (and I truly mean that...be assured that I've had far harsher disagreements with family and friends and it doesn't change how we feel about each other).


--Britton in Baltimore, USA


P.S. If you would like to have the list digests with any reference to this discussion forwarded to you, I'd be happy to do so. Just let me know.