Heit starts the show by saying, “I’m not singing anymore,” only to begin belting a tune moments later. And so begins this episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory with Heit & Cheri. The decision whether to “sing” along with the farce that is patriotism and public opinion can be difficult at times–especially when you want to sing, but just not to the tune of another drummer. This episode is full of examples of singing to the tune of the oppressors, and contrasts of singing to one’s own tune.

Topics covered include, an example of attempted authoritarian rule via attempts to emasculate and shame a defendant on Judge Joe Brown, the Secret Service prostitution scandal, analysis of patriotic songs The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the Star Spangled Banner, and a discussion on bullying and Phoenix’s Q-High–a high school just for LGBT students.

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Segment 1

  • Lots of feedback on the video “Trayvon Martin Case New Witness (John) Not New, Plus MORE Evidence Implicating Zimmerman!” We’ll share these comments and voicemails with you sometime soon.
  • Heit flips through a notebook on his desk and finds part of a novel he wrote back in 2007. He shared excerpts from the novel.
  • Social analysis of an episode of Judge Joe Brown, in which he berates and insults the defendant in the case.
  • The judge looked at the way the defendant was dressed and how he spoke and made some negative assumptions about him. The judge told him he spoke like a “hoodrat” and called him a fool.
  • The judge refused to let the defendant explain his side and constantly interrupted every time the man tried to speak.
  • Although this is court entertainment, we see these same types of prejudgements occur in real court rooms all the time. In such circumstances, the judge is not an impartial party making decisions on the basis of the facts in the case.
  • During the discussion, the judge advocates use of physically assaulting someone in order to get them to leave your home. He reiterates that he would have done exactly this if he found himself in this situation.
  • The audience was eating up the show, clapping and co-signing the judge’s barbarism.
  • Fed up, the defendant makes reference to the judge’s robe as a “dress.” Of course, this was after taking multiple insults from the judge.
  • The judge insinuates that the defendant’s jewelry is feminine. The defendant responds by pointing out the judge’s ring, which the judge dismisses because it’s an indicator that he’s married–as if that makes his jewelry less jewelryish because it is his wedding ring.
  • The judge accuses the guy of not fighting fair, yet he himself uses tactics to try to put the defendant in his place by suggesting that he’s not a man.
  • The judge says that there are a lot of men who are desperate for a man to give them “man training.” What is man training?
  • The judge suggests that he knows the defendant’s type of person and that he’s seen thousands of them. He goes on to ask what makes the defendant any different than those thug idiots. Really?!?
  • This paints the picture of the judge, not as an impartial party, but as a bulldog who is there to shame defendants into the desired behavior.
  • He talked about the defendant’s mother and all the women in the family, saying they “ain’t seen a man in four generations.”
  • Authority makes the rules in all situations, and they can make and modify the rules as they go along.
  • The judge says that the defendant can’t even control himself, meaning that he cannot even act according to the expected rules of conduct and give the respect that he feels entitled to as a judge.
  • As much as authority wants to control you, they prefer it if you control and police yourself–discipline yourself.
  • Discussion about prostitution. Why is it considered illegal to sell services that people are obviously willing to pay for?
  • What is the difference between selling sexual services in exchange for money and sleeping with someone on the condition of being taken out for a nice date?
  • You can get paid for using your mind, and doing other work, why not for sex?
  • Axiom Amnesia asserts that sex workers are really health care service providers–they help people to engage in normal and healthy acts.
  • Discussion about the Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia. Agents and military members are accused of soliciting prostitutes they met at a strip joint. The ladies spent the night and an altercation ensued related to payment for services.
  • Heit tells a story about how a self-professed pimp wanted to fight him at a club.
  • Do they send “bedwarmers” to Obama’s room too?
  • The moral implications are uncalled for. Who the Secret Service members stick their penises in is not the business of the public at large. And if they’re married, it’s a family matter.
  • Discussion about the standards these cultures set. There is something wrong with the standard if most of the people are falling short. Why should there be a standard at all?
  • Cheri has been practicing “shaking toxins from her womb,” as taught by a video on YouTube.
  • The United States, as stated by Obama, must be on their best behavior when in other countries. Perhaps that’s what they said to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Japan, and countless other nations before sending in the bombs.
  • When you put something to song, people barely pay attention to the words.
  • Heit teaches Cheri how to come up with a melody off the top of her head.
  • An analysis of lyrics of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. The song discusses slaughtering in the name of the Lord. Check out the lyrics from the first verse:
  • Battle Hymn Of The Republic (Verses 1 and 5 of 6)

    Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
    He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
    He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
    His truth is marching on.
    (Chorus)
    Glory, glory, hallelujah!
    Glory, glory, hallelujah!
    Glory, glory, hallelujah!
    His truth is marching on.

    […]

    In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
    With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
    As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
    While God is marching on.

  • Heit sings a few lines from The Star Spangled Banner aka The National Anthem.
  • The song is actually about the War of 1812and the killing of the natives.
  • The third verse of The Star Spangled Banner is particularly teling:
  • Star Spangled Banner (Verse 3 of 4)

    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
    A home and a country should leave us no more!
    Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

  • The previous verse speaks of the hireling and the slave. What is a hireling? Just about everyone in the country is a hireling–someone hired to do work.
  • The song explains, from the oppressors perspective, that even the hireling and the slave cannot find refuge from them. Each time you sing the national anthem, you are singing words of your own oppression.
  • The line referencing the “foul footsteps” and how the blood of the enemy washed their own foulness speaks volumes about how putrid a state they viewed them as being in.
  • Both of these songs are the words of the oppressors, and people sing them and become emotional, not even listening to the words they’re singing.

Segment 2

  • In Phoenix, Arizona they have a new high school (Q-High), and it’s exclusively for LGBT students who were bullied out of their schools.
  • Does having a segregated school actually solve the problems that led to the bullying and kids feeling pushed out of school?
  • The classroom size is smaller, since there are only 14 students of the 25 capacity.
  • If the behavior that is unacceptable is on the part of the bullies, then why not focus on modifying the culture that makes it impossible for the students to stay in school?
  • There needs to be more tolerance for different lifestyles.
  • How will the students who are in these segregated schools manage when they eventually have to join with the mainstream? This immediate fix may cause more long term problems for the students.

For Further Reading:

Battle Hymn Of The Republic Lyrics
Star Spangled Banner Lyrics

Audio Credits:

“Thug Gets Bold With Judge Joe Brown!” – Judge Joe Brown via YouTube
“President Obama addresses the Secret Service prostitution scandal- April 16,2012” – NBC
“Battle Hymn Of The Republic” – Odetta
“Star Spangled Banner” – Rachel Barlow via YouTube
“America” – Tracy Chapman

Sources:

NBC: Prostitute’s $50 fee for two agents triggered Secret Service scandal
Q High, gay and lesbian high school, opens in Phoenix