Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why Every President Sucked...

I recently received an email from Eric Olsen, a marketing writer and consultant. He seems like a brilliant chap. One of those guys that's good at everything... he appears to be very successful in life and in career. The reason he contacted me... is because he's also a musician and historian at heart. He's taken his musical talents, mixed them with some wit and cynicism... and he's put together a compilation of songs with the theme that every President has not met expectations.

His website: WhyEveryPresidentSucked.com has the intent of ridding our society of the search for the perfect president. It won't happen.

There is a lot of truth to what he's saying... but there are also some things I might argue...
For example, in his song about Lincoln Eric states through his lyric...

"the sad thing is
for the cost of the war
you could have bought and freed
every slave you’re fighting for..."

But Lincoln didn't want to free the slaves. He wanted to preserve the union. Buying all the slaves from the Southern plantations would not have done anything to mend the divide between North and South. The south was fighting for preservation of their culture. Preservation of their economy, their way of life. The slave owners would not have allowed anyone to buy their freedom in mass numbers like that.

Overall the idea is brilliant... This can undoubtedly be used in the classroom. Choose an era or a president and show the song and the lyric in class. Discuss. Find the faults, find the truths, find the reasons why the President "sucked". I know the kids will love this. Have them make their own songs... Send them to Eric, I'm sure he'd love to hear them.

Each president has a short summary of the imperfect event or happenings that work as the theme for the song, as well as the lyrics for better understanding.

Below is his 'Why JFK Sucked' song... with lyrics.

"The CIA sent 1,500 Cubans to Cochinos Bay
Exiles armed and ready to revenge of Fidel

And to mimic a natural uprising
Defeating Castro’s communizing ways

And the deal was that the U.S. had their backs
If things would go awry
Awry they went, but no one came

Where was JFK
Who promised he would save the day

the bay of pigs
it was a big
disaster for America
rather than an uprising
everything came down
Where was JFK
Who promised he would save the day

And to save the little pretty face he had left
he had to pay Castro $53 million to get the prisoner’s back
Where was JFK
Who promised he would save the day"

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Eric Olsen said...

Thanks so much for the post, Professor Katz! Honored to be a part of your site. I completely agree with you on Lincoln...that's actually the point of the whole song. Hence my closing verse of "What were you fighting for? What were you fighting for? I will preserve the union at all costs you said, and that's exactly what you did."

Ben Jones said...

Speaking of Lincoln, the new Robert Redford film "The Conspirator," looks awesome! There's more information on the film about Lincoln's assassination here http://www.theamericanfilmcompany.com/films/detail/the-conspirator

Pebbles Flintstones said...

Nobody's perfect anyways....Being a President you should really be smart and great, there is always fault and mistakes and all we can do is to learn from the mistakes of recent history.

Animal Costume said...

Who never dreamed of being a President? But it takes a lot of hard work to be a good one because being one has lots of great responsibilities

James Fowler said...

Loved the song lyrics. Lincoln is often considered America's best-loved President because we forget he was so hated, at the time by some, that they killed him. Your blog is great. Enjoyed the article!

MrGiftProfessor said...

Great song, and such a good way to maintaining kids interest in a topic that so many kids dread. I think this would be great in the classroom to analyze and breakdown the lyrics of each song. Really creative stuff!

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