We were out driving the other day when “Stand” by Sly and the Family Stone came on the radio (okay, on the Sirius channel we were listening to). As I bounced in my seat and sang along, the lyrics suddenly struck me. I mean, I know the lyrics, but their application to today’s cultural and political madness struck me. After we got home, I looked up the song. It was written in 1969 by Sly Stone, was the title track on the album “Stand”, and performed at Woodstock.
Here are the lyrics:
Stand Stand In the end you'll still be you One that's done all the things you set out to do Stand There's a cross for you to bear Things to go through if you're going anywhere Stand For the things you know are right It’s the truth that the truth makes them so uptight Stand All the things you want are real You have you to complete and there is no deal Stand, stand, stand Stand, stand, stand Stand You've been sitting much too long There's a permanent crease in your right and wrong Stand There's a midget standing tall And the giant beside him about to fall You might also like Stand They will try to make you crawl And they know what you're saying makes sense and all Stand Don't you know that you are free Well at least in your mind if you want to be Everybody Stand, stand, stand Lyrics by Sly Stone
When I read the lyrics there are several lines that really stand out for me.
For the things you know are right…It’s the truth that the truth makes them so uptight.
Think about it – men competing in women’s sports is a travesty, yet the screaming cultural harpies and their go-along-get-along minions want us to believe that there’s nothing wrong with this idea. Even though it is destroying women’s sports. When the truth is used against the harpy’s screams, they scream louder… the truth makes them uptight.
Another line: You’ve been sitting much too long… There’s a permanent crease in your right and wrong.
I love the idea of a crease in your right and wrong. The cultural harpies have folded over wrong into right and are busy trying to convince the rest of us, who’ve been sitting too long, that the only right and wrong is what they tell us is right and wrong. Yes, we need to stand up and iron out that crease. Remember what’s right and wrong.
The last verse is really the kicker. We would all do well to remember these words and take them into our daily lives, especially when we are confronted with the cultural harpies: They will try to make you crawl… And they know what you’re saying makes sense and all… Stand… Don’t you know that you are free… Well at least in your mind if you want to be.
Cancel culture is real. Anyone denying it is either keeping their head in the sand, or actually perpetuating it. Anytime you wish that someone would lose their job over political, religious, or culture-based opinions, you are participating in cancel culture. Our system is predicated on freedom of speech, which means freedom of thought. That freedom means that you will hear things and be exposed to opinions that you whole-heartedly agree with and with opinions that may make your skin crawl. The proper response to feeling your skin crawl is for you to distance yourself from the source of those opinions – it is not your place to censor those opinions. That thought (censoring) should make your skin crawl.
Now, I know that some people are going to come back to me with “but… but… book banning, banning drag shows… all the banning… they’re doing that!” Okay, let’s unpack that purely knee-jerk, tit-for-tat response. First off, there are no banned books. There have been challenges by parents who don’t want their elementary-aged children reading about how to give a blow job (yes, go look it up… those books are out there, and they’re being read to elementary age kids). Do you want your kids reading that kind of material? At age six? Secondly, in almost every case, the challenged book has been moved out of the elementary school library and into the high school library. This is called “age-appropriate” sorting. It is not banning.
Thirdly, even if every school library pulled a book, it is still available in the public library (if your library doesn’t have it, ask them to order it. If they don’t have the budget for it, get them to borrow it through inter-library loan). The library can tell you if they have a copy, and they can tell you which libraries in their system have copies… it’s really that easy. If you’re going to argue that kids in your neighborhood have no way to get to the library, then organize a library van service if it bothers you that much. Follow in Dolly Parton’s footsteps and start buying and donating copies of all your favorite books, or books you think should be read by young kids and donate those to your local elementary school. You can also set up Little Free Libraries in your neighborhood for exactly that purpose (assuming you don’t have a large homeless population who will take the books to sell them to used book dealers for cash… as happened in my old neighborhood in Philly. I watched a guy do just that.)
Banning drag shows… why do you feel the need to expose five and six-year old children to drag queens? Why? Why are you supporting parents encouraging their children to put dollar bills in the g-strings of grown men? Why? And, yes, I’m including “drag queen story hour” crap in this statement. Why do young children need to know about drag queens? It’s a lifestyle of adults. Drag queens are grown-ass men wearing outrageous women’s clothing (which if a woman wore that, it would be assumed she was a hooker), and pretending to be outrageous women. As I saw pointed out somewhere else, one could make the argument that drag is the male equivalent of a white person in blackface. That works for me. Women are being erased.
Stand up for what you believe in. Speak the truth at all times, that’s what will make the powers-that-be uptight. They will try to make you crawl because they know what you’re saying makes sense. You will get yelled at. You may get threatened. But, in the end, you will be free… at least in your mind, if you want to be. And that’s the most important thing of all.
Stop sitting down and hoping for the best. Get rid of that crease between your right and wrong. Challenge the cultural harpies.