Brought To You By The John Birch Society
What, you thought bat-shit crazy right-wingers were something new?
In 1965 cuddly, avuncular actor Walter Brennan recorded a screed to warn about how commies and beatniks are plotting to take over America through LBJ’s War on Poverty. That record was called HE’S YOUR UNCLE, NOT YOUR DAD and it was put out by KEY RECORDS, the show-biz wing of the whack-o JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY. Here is how it is described on the back cover:
“Hilarious, yet completely factual, this record album finds Walter Brennan throwing a million-candlepower floodlight on the evils of imported and duty-free collectivism in our nation. Then, it brings into vivid focus the brave moves we must make if we are to preserve the dream of our founding fathers to save our constitutional Republic from the man-made nightmare it is becoming.”
So about this nightmare… exactly how will the commies destroy the United States? According to Brennan and his writer, they will accomplish this nefarious nightmare plot through (are you sitting down?)… Area Codes and Zip Codes! Yup. Area Codes and Zip Codes are a commie plot devised in WATTS by Adam Clayton Powell! (Then he praises PATRIOTIC NEGRO AMERICANS – he even names two! – so it’s ok. No bigot he.) Brennan then launches an attack on free-spending “DO-GOODERS.” I never got that about conservatives. To them, doing good is bad? Yes. Because then, as now conservatives hate poor people. They are spongers. They are loafers. They are welfare cheats. For a while there, I thought I was listening to a Mitt Romney speech from last year, not a political Neanderthal from 1965.
Here, in an LP undoubtedly owned by the disgruntled fathers of today’s idiot conservatives, you will discover the seeds of the Tea Party and their ilk. A few years later Brennan refused to support Richard Nixon for president, claiming he was a “do-gooder” liberal. Nixon! Nobody escapes Brennan’s angry conservative stereotyping and vituperation. So we get Welfare queens with 16 illegitimate children. African “head-hunters” populating UN delegations. Farm worker unions are all controlled by Castro. Of course, Castro was installed by our own State Department, according to the delusions presented here. No mention of Batista, the corrupt dictator who raped and pillaged the island of Cuba. No. Instead we hear about the Free Cubans whom Castro overthrew. Brennan knew Batista was good because… his corrupt regime repaid American foreign aide with 20% interest. All this man cares about is money. At times Brennan’s harangue sounds more like a psychotic rightwing accounting lesson than a man talking about “The Greatest Country In The World.”
Naturally, since this is a product of the John Birch Society, international communist plots abound, abetted by what Brennan calls lazy student beatnik agitators. It is funny today, but overall this exercise in political rage and hate makes Archie Bunker sound like St. Francis of Assisi.
Listen as Brennan reveals that the LBJ administration is, according to “sworn affidavits,” filled with IDENTIFIED COMMUNIST AGENTS. How does Brennan know? Sources include “ACCORDING TO THE GRAPEVINE.” It’s a riot! And what would a right wing paranoia festival be without a rant against France? I’ll refrain from quoting that. It has to be heard. And get this… THIS WAS SOLD AS A COMEDY ALBUM. You know, like Woody Woodbury, Lenny Bruce or Bill Cosby… So how are the jokes? Although the carefully chosen audience guffaws with wild abandon, most all of the alleged zinger just made me cringe. Witticisms like, “What did Italy ever give us? The mafia.” Yikes. He even tells a Jewish joke but, being essentially a coward as all conservatives are, he changes them to “Dutchmen.” I guess the writer knew better than to screw with Jews.
And what, I ask you, would a zany rightwing screed be without the homey but totally bullshit little stories that Paul Harvey once specialized in? This record does not omit them. For just two examples Brennan makes the utterly false claim that George Washington, as a result of his sacrifice to the nation, died broke. Old George was the wealthiest man of his time and on his death left an estate worth $19 million dollars in today’s money. We should all be so broke. He also tells the nonsensical story that Martha Washington had to melt down her silver tea service so the new nation could make coins. While there is no evidence whatsoever that she did this, what if she did? For a woman married to the richest man in America to give up her teacups hardly qualifies as a sacrifice. Now, had she give up all their slaves, THAT would have been a sacrifice for it would indeed have broken them financially.
MONEY IS ALL THAT MATTERS
This fixation on money and riches is typical of the Goldwater right-wingers. As Brennan sums up his philosophy, he actually says that Life is just a chase to get money to come in. How bloody sad! We all know that Life is so much more than that. But the creators of this thing dwell on money. This is all Brennan carps about: all the money being “wasted” on “do good” efforts. We get dollars and cents from but him nary a trace of compassion for the “loafers, spongers, welfare cheats, students” which all poor people must be. Stripping money out of government programs is justified, according to Brennan, because The Founding Fathers didn’t want a free ride. Tell that to their slave labor… In the world of this record, stealing money from the poor is designed to HELP them. But it is clear that what we have here is greed, pure and simple. They crave the money in exactly the same way today’s conservatives DROOL when they think of the $2.7 Trillion surplus in social security. And yes, Brennan says that social security is a way to steal your money. All the now-standard conservative bullshit memes are here. This record is the acorn from which a rotted oak tree grew.
What sour, negative, scared people conservatives were in 1965. It still goes. This LP is a classic! No wonder vinyl copies go for upwards of $80!
Anyone who wants a CD of this with cover art based on the original LP, let me know. I have it at a special low price SO YOU WILL SAVE MONEY, THUS ALLOWING YOU TO GET A DAMN HAIRCUT YOU BEATNIK AGITATOR!
This CD is a MUST for your next party!