serious 'merka haters

High School Principal Defies Lee Greenwood, And No One Defies Lee Greenwood

There are only about a million different montages like thisWe all know that Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The USA” is the official song of Real America and 9/11 and fuckin’ shit up in general. There we were after the day that changed everything, singing Lee Greenwood in unison, sobbing, everywhere around the country, everyday, to honor George Bush and his impending wars on the deserts and the mountains east, fighter jets flying overhead, all to beat the drum for tactical response murder. It was America’s Song, the true one, and hell, we should have left Francis Scott Key where we found him. What is not to get, principal from Brooklyn who thought that this song might “offend other cultures” and therefore replaced it with Canuckian terrorstain Justin Bieber’s “Baby” at her high school graduation ceremony? Quick, Rep. Michael Grimm, send that woman a harshly worded letter before you lose reelection!

So here is the Greatest Song Ever Written By a Living Thing, with appropriate 9/11-y YouTube art:

And here is the song that this high school principal and the Nazis and Osama/Obama love more:

AND SHE CHOOSES WHAAAAA?

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) criticized a Brooklyn school principal Monday for her decision to replace the song “God Bless the USA” with Justin Bieber’s hit single “Baby” in her school’s graduation ceremony.

Greta Hawkins, school principal at Public School No. 90, said that the patriotic Lee Greenwood song could “offend other cultures.” According to the New York Post, five classes spent several months practicing the ceremonial song before it was switched at last week’s rehearsal.

“I have just one question for this principal: ‘Who exactly are we offending?’” Grimm said in a Monday statement blasting Hawkins’ song choice. “The only thing offensive about any of this is the anti-American message being ingrained in our youth. We all should be proud to be American and we should never ever apologize for it!”

GRRR. Anyone else feeling bomby now? Let’s throw this lady in Gitmo and bomb Greece with Lee Greenwood blasting from space, baby, baby, baby.

[HuffPo]

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About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined Wonkette.com in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell

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165 comments

      1. Abernathy

        Also, conveniently, a description of Justin Bieber, except he, sadly, has more than one shitty song.

        1. MittBorg

          Srsly, I listened to about 5 seconds of each shitty song. The second one's better for HS kids, I think, since all they think about is sex and humping anyway.

      1. PhilippePetain

        Dude, Bush appointed him to a six year term on the National Council of the Arts. Ever get the feeling that there was just soooo much more shitty shit that Bush did that we will never even hear about?

        I mean what would a National council of the Arts meeting with LEE FUCKING GREENWOOD and some various people with arts degrees and shit even sound like? Jesus fucking christ; Bush was amazing.

    1. glamourdammerung

      One of them Republican patriots that "had other priorities" that did not involve going to Vietnam.

    2. jjdaddyo

      He's someone who if'n he had ever come to my High School in Brooklyn's graduation we would have kicked his Wrangler-clad ass up and down Flatbush Avenue for being a Cracker without a license.
      And I went to a nerd HS. I'd hate to think what they'd do to him at a TOUGH high school.

  1. BaldarTFlagass

    Fuck. The graduation song for my class was "Long Time" by Boston. Sucked. We dopers all wanted "Working Man" by Rush. But either of them are better than both of these.

        1. Lascauxcaveman

          I don't remember if my class had a graduation song, at the time, Eric Clapton's "Slowhand" was on the charts and the theme at the Senior Party was definitely "Cocaine."

      1. snickersnack

        I wanted Celebration but got Freebird instead. One was released before most of us were born, the other when we were in Kindergarten.

    1. SexySmurf

      My graduation song was "Graduation (Friends Forever)" by Vitamin C (remember her? Me neither). I think, by law, they had to play it. I never thought anyone could come up with a worse song but somehow Public School No. 90 came up with two.

      1. MadBrahms

        Ugh, that song, the only vitamin that makes you more prone to illness. Worse, it was the graduation song of an era – I swear, the graduating classes of the early 'aughts had nowhere to run from it.I never thought I'd say "I would preferred Bieber", but I would have preferred Bieber.

    2. Terry

      The graduation song for my class was "This is It" by Kenny Loggins, sadly enough. Our guest speaker, a State elected official, thought that it was a bad choice. He patiently explained to us that high school graduation is NOT it, that we'd be having lots of experiences post-graduation and the vast majority of those experiences would be much better than high school. The class president, who I believe was the main proponent of the song, seemed rather embarrassed up on stage. Our speaker then gave the speech he'd been planning. Pretty awesome overall.

    3. SoBeach

      The entire class voted for Baba O'Riley (the Who's "Teenage Wasteland"). Could there possibly be a more appropriate high school graduation song?

      The administration didn't approve, and somehow when they counted the votes we got REO Speedwagon's "Time For Me To Fly".

      1. Terry

        Perhaps the administration was celebrating that it was time for you all to fly on out of there.

      2. prommie

        Least it wasn't that "heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend who, heard it from another that you've been messing around" song that will now be with me allllll fucking day.

      3. MosesInvests

        Yeesh, I'm so old I remember when REO Speedwagon's big hit was "Ridin' the Storm Out"-i.e., before they completely sucked.

      1. BaldarTFlagass

        Half? Goodness, seems statistically disproportionate. Was it something in the water, or some kind of X-files secret government experiment gone awry?

        1. elviouslyqueer

          Nah, just South Louisiana in the early 80s. Our graduating class made Glee look like Friday Night Lights.

    4. anniegetyerfun

      You know, I wasn't even drunk at graduation, and I have no memory of what our "song" was. I remember the one from middle school (True Colors by Cindy Lauper, sung by a completely tone-deaf Smurf), but high school? No.

    5. James Michael Curley

      All you complaining about your graduation song were lucky. When I graduated we all had to bring two rocks to bang together. Some of the wise asses insisted on using sedimentary rocks which broke up and ruined the harmony. One guy used one of those fancy geodes but he could only find one so he banked it up against the side of his head. The sound was amazing and there was a scout from the Hard Rock Cafe in the audience.

      1. nonbeliever7

        I don't know why but that was the funniest thing I read in a few days. Thank you JMC and GIN…

    6. Negropolis

      Mine was "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah". Yeah. Really. Actually, take the words out, and it was kind of inspiring in a pretentious, pomped-up kinda way.

  2. UnholyMoses

    Lee Greenwood has been classified as a Weapon of Mass Suckage.

    Thus, he's banned anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line … except for parts of Pennsyltucky … and pretty much all of West Virginia, where Lee Greenwood's song is used as a wedding march.

    1. GunToting[Redacted]

      I had the misfortune of seeing Mr. Greenwood perform this at Redskins stadium on the first home game after 9/11. Many weepy drunk Hogs in the stand that day.

    1. Giveusabob

      I'm being an adolescent snot all over again because you posted this song!!! And I was in my twenties when I first heard it!

      1. Baconzgood

        I know Knight you Giveusabob "Cool".

        They are a shitty band. But they are soooooo shitty they are good.

      1. Baconzgood

        Yes they have. 7-8 year old boys. But I let them watch Alf whenever they want so they don't shank me comming out of the bathroom.

        1. MittBorg

          Oh, god, they're complete fucking hellions at that age. Or at least I thought so when the little one kicked the older one's testicles up to around where his earrings would be if he wore any.

          It gets worse. Then they grow up and move away and you miss them like hell.

          PS: Keep the sharp things locked up.

          1. Baconzgood

            I tell people that I'm not so much a father, more of the guy in the boxing ring with the bow tie that sais "break it up".

  3. not that Radio

    Maybe these graduating seniors have a lot of babies, in which case the new song is more appropriate? Did you ever think of that?

  4. BlueStateLibel

    I could only listen to five seconds of each song before I went into a sugary, sappy diabetic coma, so no comment.

        1. James Michael Curley

          I had one at home this morning but I left it there. Something happened to the one I had yesterday. It dried up before I woke up this morning.

  5. evan7257

    The Fox Nation version of this report (titled, "Does this principal hate America?") has a picture of the principal. For 1000 Ameros: is it a grainy, close up picture of a black woman?
    Yes. Yes it is.

    1. AbandonHope

      You just… you just can't make this shit up. I'm out of snark. We all laugh about the "does X hate America" joke enough that it's always sobering to remember that it's a real thing.

    2. vtxmcrider

      Well, maybe she just hasn't yet had the opportunity to be proud of her country. Did you ever think of that? Huh?

  6. BaldarTFlagass

    That Justin chick has a real sweet voice. Are they doing something with chemicals or hormones to keep his nuts from dropping?

  7. notanncoulter

    Needs.
    Moar.
    Jingo Reinhardt.

    …and, of course, reel'merkins.
    Can someone ax the Snowbilly Grifter what she thinks about this? PURTY PLEEEZE?!
    I would LOVE to hear what she thinks about this.

    1. MittBorg

      Then you'd better ask her, because by god if I have to hear that screechy fingernails-on-chalkboard voice one more time, I'm'a chew right through her carotid.

  8. SexySmurf

    Greta Hawkins probably also thinks it should be illegal for Koby Teeth to put his boot in people's asses.

  9. freakishlywrong

    ♫Leeeeet Theeeeeeeeee Eaaaaaagle Sooooaarrr♪♪

    I could put that in every post.

    1. MadBrahms

      I think you should append it (complete with musical notes) to the end of every post about the Drone Wars.

    1. MittBorg

      The slowed down versions are a significant improvement over the original, though still in the churchy-castrati range of music that I prefer to avoid. At least I'm not reeling from the earworm, though, so thanks, mavenmaven.

  10. Mahousu

    At our graduation they played In A Gadda Da Vida. Though maybe I shouldn't use the past tense there – I left during the drum solo, and so far as I know, it's still going on.

  11. BaldarTFlagass

    I can't believe anyone would say anything bad about Lee Greenwood's American version of the Horst Wessel Song. Unpatriots!!!

  12. ChernobylSoup

    There's a lot riding on graduation song choice. They picked Bon Jovi's "Never Say Goodbye" my year. Here it is, 23 years later, and everyone's still just standing around the football field in their gowns.

  13. SoBeach

    My kids ended every class play singing that song for years.

    "I'm proud to be an American / Where at least I know I'm free"

    A always wondered what he meant by that. Was it "they shipped my job to India, but at least I know I'm free."

    or

    "I had to file for bankruptcy after a three day hospital stay, but at least I know I'm free."

    or

    "I can be strip searched after a parking ticket, but at least I know I'm free."

    Works with almost anything. Try it. It's fun.

    1. Callyson

      My doctor was required by law to give me a trans vaginal probe, but at least I know I'm free…

      My gay friends can't get married for life, but Kim K can get married for three months, but at least I know I'm free…

      My tax dollars went to bail out the Wall Street bastards who destroyed the economy and want to fight regulations to prevent them from doing so again, but at least I know I'm free…

      1. anniegetyerfun

        Hey, you're free to be unfairly incarcerated, and you had better thank your lucky stars, bub.

    2. Terry

      That's EXACTLY what he meant by that.

      I think for Greenwood's fans, the examples might be more along these lines:

      My meth lab blew up and destroyed my trailer, but at least I know I'm free.

      Every single thing I own came from WalMart, but at least I know I'm free.

      I'm addicted to Oxy, but at least I know I'm free.

    3. BoroPrimorac

      My factory got asset stripped by vulture capitalists and I no longer have a job, but at least I know I'm free.

  14. BaldarTFlagass

    They should have split the difference and used Ted Nugent's "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang." Hell, they probably could have got him to come perform it for $35 and one underage virgin sacrifice.

  15. Goonemeritus

    Considering the dystopian hell hole we are sending our young-ins out into any song not written by Tom Waits is just inappropriate.

    1. HoytClagwell

      i dunno; I can make a case for Leonard Cohen's "Democracy Is Coming to the U.S.A.", but I'm kind of an optimist.

      1. sewollef

        Foolish man….

        Of course it should be Air's, 'Highschool Lover'. Most appropriate.

        But then, I guess Chet Baker's version of 'Someone To Watch Over Me' seems highly appropriate for 2012 society too.

    2. scvirginia

      You would disapprove, then, of Richard Thompson's 'The End of the Rainbow'? I think that would spank ass as a graduation song. Possibly why I'm not a high school principal…

  16. SayItWithWookies

    Greta Hawkins, school principal at Public School No. 90, said that the patriotic Lee Greenwood song could “offend other cultures.”

    If we define a "culture" as something that would find Lee Greenwood's morsel of jingoistic tripe banal and horrifying, then other cultures are already offended just by the comparison to them. So go ahead and play it — other cultures are more likely just sadly resigned.

    1. YasserArraFeck

      Greta Hawkins, school principal at Public School No. 90, said that the patriotic Lee Greenwood song could “offend other cultures anyone with a functional cerebral cortex.”

      fixed

  17. Mumbletypeg

    Let the kids keep the Greenwood song, but just use "air quotes" while they sing it to their adoring audience. *lifts hands, scrawls quotation marks in air at select lines*:

    I'm proud to be an "American"
    Where at least I know I'm "free"

    It's staying patriotic on one level, while bypassing the comprehension of the idiotic on another level.

  18. dijetlo

    But what does this have to do with the impending Asian Milf crisis? Honestly, people, let's try to keep our eye on the ball here.

  19. Sassomatic

    And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free subject to cavity search for any reason at any time and indefinite detention without trial!

  20. Chick-Fil-Atheist™

    My American pride does not resound from a cathedalish, weepy, Roland DX-7-manifest piece of 1980's redneck pop art. This bullshit is right up there with people who list the title of our national anthem as "Our National Anthem".

    Fuck, fuck fuck fuck. I can't stand "patent patriotism".

        1. YasserArraFeck

          But wait!! Buy Amercia(TM) within the next two minutes, and we'll send you another Amercia(TM) Free!!! Just pay separate shipping* and handling!!

          *surface freight from China

  21. BoatOfVelociraptors

    My graduation song was a mantra: "Fuck these robes, they don't breathe and in this building with inadequate ventilation, I'm sweating just so I can hear my name and get a diploma holder, the actual diploma comes in the mail in a few weeks".

    Over and over and over. Song? Couldn't hear it.

    1. MadBrahms

      The bridge is "Jesus fuck, who wears cologne to their graduation? If someone lights a match this whole stage is going to go up. Great, there's goes my asthma."

  22. Chichikovovich

    That I'm proud to be an American,
    where at least I know I'm free.

    This isn't strictly true. The Koch brothers have to pay a nominal fee for an American.

  23. Terry

    Overlooking the fact that it's a crap song in general, the thing I really dislike about that song is the part "…where at least I know I'm free". Basically, he's saying that his life sucks and will always suck but at least he knows he's free. You know what, my life is AWESOME. My grandparents came through Ellis Island with what they could carry. Because of their hard work and a social system that doesn't trap people into the strata into which they were born, I've got degrees and a job that's safe and is fulfilling to me.

    So Lee Greenwood can suck it. America gave my family much more than the feeling that we're free.

    Here's a better song for when you're feeling patriotic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRUjr8EVgBg

    Sing it, Ray.

  24. JustPixelz

    "Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) criticized a Brooklyn school principal …"

    At last, a Federal role in local education. The aptly named Mr. Grimm can be head of the Ministry of Ministry so all our yutes get their government mandated dose of God + America.

  25. ratcityrebel

    9/11 occurred during my senior year and one of the most vivid memories is getting a special address delivered by the principal over the PA system on 9/12. After he had finished speaking, there was the sound of awkward mechanical fumbling as he put a tape player up to the microphone and tortured us all with "God Bless the USA." It was very, very hard for me to suppress my laughter, but this was in the reddest-of-red suburbs of Houston so I kept it together.

    Anyway, if we had a graduation song I don't remember it. Unofficially it was probably "Hot in Herre" by Nelly.

  26. Jus_Wonderin

    I can't wait until my new CD releases. It contains such timeless hits as "We are Americans, we fuck your shit up". And you will not be able to get this one out of your head "My country's cock is bigger than your country's cock". Sort of an earworm, if you will.

    1. sewollef

      Think I have both those songs. It was a bad day, I was drunk.

      Didn't Jimmy Buffet write them?

  27. BarackMyWorld

    I just know there has got to be to this story.

    My theory is the students or a student committee had a poll and Bieber won a plurality between multiple equally bad choices. There's no way an adult human picked that song themselves.

  28. Allmighty_Manos

    The fact the kids will be forced to listen to one of these two songs pretty well sums up the general suckiness of high school.

  29. GunToting[Redacted]

    I've had this discussion with many friends, including some real conservative ones, and they agree with me… I fucking HATE the concept of being "proud" to be an American. Pride goes with something you earn. I'm proud to be a 2-time Ironman finisher. Some people are proud to have graduated from college. Being born within the boundaries of the US of A is hitting the geographical lottery. I'm damn GLAD I'm an American, but not proud. If I were a naturalized citizen, and worked to pass the exam, then I can understand the pride. Does this mean that Lee Greenwood is a former illegal?

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      Thank you. Being proud to be an American is like being proud of being white and the asswipes who make the most noise about "I'm proud to be an American" are the ones who are best described by Samuel Johnson's dictum that "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." There's also the fact that if you look at the kind of people who shout about how proud they are to be Americans (Lee Greenwood, Bill O'Reilly, Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity et al) and compare them to the people who have made America great (Neil Armstrong, Martin Luther King, Jonas Salk, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Jerry Siegel, Joe Schuster, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison et al) you see that the former have none of the qualities of creativity, intelligence, curiosity, integrity, vision, discipline and perseverance that made the latter great.

  30. Exhausted66

    Where at least I know I'm free… to pick whatever fucking song I want to play at a meaningless graduation ceremony.

  31. Ruhe

    I remember watching Greenwood come out to sing that song at one of the World Series games that fall. He was this sort of ill-looking, wisp of a man with an ugly neck-beard and he was swaddled in this preposterously large leather jacket, sort of bomber-style, with a gaudy flag and eagle motif on it. Is that America?

    1. GeorgiaBurning

      Greenwood needs a better agent. His song used to come on about every six minutes at the Bellagio "dancing waters" in Vegas. At a nickel a play he should be rich, or least get comp'ed with buffet tickets

    2. GunToting[Redacted]

      Same ensemble he wore when I saw him at the Redskins game after 9/11. I guess he's like Einstein in that way… He has a closed full of the same outfit so he can focus on his art, rather than picking clothes.

  32. scvirginia

    I could see maybe being upset if she'd played 'I'm so bored with the USA' or sumpin', but Justin Bieber?

    The real mistake was making those 5 classes spend several months listening to the LG song. Sure they're young, but they'll never get those months back…

  33. owhatever

    Me. It offends me. I wanted Ike and Tina Turner.

    Luckily, the smaltzy tune so inspired Mitt Romney's family that all five of his military-age sons rushed to the nearest recruiting depot and signed up to be Army grunts so they could "proudly stand up and defend her to the end."

  34. sewollef

    Michael Grimm…. is in my district, which just so happens to be the same district where many Yemenis and Palestinians live too [awesome restaurants, Michelin-rated, btw].

    He's a former-FBI agent who according to an exposé a couple of months ago, was involved in some rather dubious dealings while still an agent. Plus, he's an asshole. But, duh…

  35. anniegetyerfun

    What, is there a ban on that Toby Keith song about bombing that one village and killing the fuck out of the brown people? Because Americans loved that jingoistic piece of fucknozzling fuckitude a few years back.

  36. Antispandex

    What I Remember About Graduation, by Antispandex
    1.) It was WAY to long
    2.) The girl next to me had really pretty hair, but I was going out with someone else so I couldn't hit on her
    3.) They gave me my diploma
    4.) They threatened us into returning our cap and gown (one last threat for old time sake)
    5.) I literally RAN off campus
    6.) Weed
    7.) Partying with my girlfriend because we really and truely couldn't drum up enough interest to have a graduation party

  37. GeorgiaBurning

    How about "Youngstown"? Oops, Springsteen's from Jersey, so that's worse than Bieber

  38. elgin_pelican

    You can hear his soul-sucking bleat as you drive into Branson from about 12 miles out. "Yep, sounds like the place…let's pull over and put our sheets on."

  39. timbo71351

    I'm a patriotic person. But "God Bless the U.S.A." makes me want to have anal sex on an American flag with a 13-year-old Thai she-male.

  40. Wile E. Quixote

    I hate Lee Greenwood and consider playing "I'm Proud to be an American" sufficient reason to stand your ground and start firing until the song stops playing. Here are two incredibly stupid lyrics from the song.

    And I’m proud to be an American,
    where at least I know I’m free.
    And I wont forget the men who died,
    who gave that right to me.

    Well that's real touching Lee, but actually it's not the troops who gave you these rights. According to the men who wrote the Constitution and Declaration of Independence you have certain rights and the purpose of the government is to protect those rights. If you're going to thank anyone then you want to thank the writers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and enlightenment philosophers such as John Locke. Thanking the troops is nice and all, but the military did not give you those rights, they only serve to protect them.

    And I gladly stand up,
    next to you and defend her still today.
    ‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
    God bless the USA.

    Really, you gladly stand up to defend her? Well that's nice. Too bad then that you were a draft-dodging pogue back in the 1960s. Oh, and your country schtick, Lee, what a fucking load of shit. You grew up in the Sacramento area and moved to Vegas in your early 20s. You're not Johnny Cash, you're not Patsy Cline and you're not Loretta Lynn, you're an opportunistic scumbag who hopped on to the phony conservative patriotism gravy train. Lee Greenwood, his shitty song and the phony, bullshit, cut and run as soon as you're asked to make a sacrifice "patriotism" of the conservatives who love this piece of shit is a huge part of what's wrong with this country.

  41. MiniMencken

    Not really a great song, but I fail to see how it could "offend other cultures." Anybody?

  42. Tundra Grifter

    American might be free, but if you want to play that song in public you're going to have to pay either BMI or ASCAP.

  43. Opportunisticly_Joe

    When I was in high school, the go-to graduation song was Good Riddance by Green Day.

    Thus proving that failing to actually look up the lyrics and read for comprehension isn't actually limited just to Republican politicians.

    On the other hand, given how many high school seniors quote Robert Frost and think it's a clever statement about non-conformity rather than its intended ironic opposite, perhaps a bit of comprehension fail is wholly appropriate for the occasion.

  44. Negropolis

    Well this is pretty fucked up. I mean "Baby" truly is horrible and offensive to all of the human senses.

  45. ttommyunger

    No fucking way I'm clicking on any of that shit. I would, however, pay good money to watch Lee Greenwood and Ted Nugent in a Slap-Off.

  46. MoeDeLawn

    I had forgotten that chant, especially including "Bed, Bath, and Beyond." Priceless.

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