By Sharon Eberson / Monday, Oct. 13
When did "Kumbaya" become a punchline for peaceniks?
This is the subject of a fascinating read by Michael Ross at TheRoot.com. In a column titled "Oh, Lord, Kumbaya: How an innocent campfire song got warped by the cynicism of our times," Ross traces the ruination of the peace-loving folk song to . . . Bill O'Reilly (and others).
In November 2004, on the day that the William J. Clinton Presidential Library opened in Little Rock, Ark., Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly interviewed Geraldo Rivera. "It was a wonderful day, Bill, and I think we should put aside these issues of what was in, what was left out," Rivera said. "The fact of the matter is you had President Carter, first President Bush, the current president, all of the first ladies ..."
Now did you sing 'Kumbaya'?" O'Reilly asked.
In the summer of 2004, Townhall columnist and radio talk show host Doug Giles made some comments about radical Islam. "They want us exterminated. ... That said, what do we, Christians in particular, do when faced with an implacable radical enemy? Just sit around, sing 'Kum Ba Yah' and hope these bad guys will leave us alone?"
I'm not feeling very friendly toward the song right now, either -- because I know it will be stuck in my head for days.
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I love "six degrees of separation" exercises, even if they don't include Kevin Bacon. You may have noticed one in a Good Bad & Beautiful column when Monica Haynes was away. If GB&B isn't in Monica's voice, it's not much fun, so I couldn't resist adding this:
Barbra Steisand will be a Kennedy Center honoree when the D.C. performing arts center's gala salutes the 2008 winners Dec. 7. Which reminded me: President Bush and first lady Laura Bush will host the honorees at the White House before the gala, setting up some interesting possibilities if Ms. Streisand brings along her husband, actor James Brolin. Brolin, who portrayed Ronald Reagan in a controversial TV movie, is the father of Josh Brolin, who stars in "W," an Oliver Stone film about the honorees' host, President Bush, due in theaters Friday.
And then there was the recent marriage of Scarlett Johanssen to Ryan Reynolds, which leads me to "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," which I was just reading about today.
Taylor Kitsch (Riggins on "Friday Night Lights") will be Gambit in the movie, starring Hugh Jackman reprising his Wolverine role, and Kitsch was telling MTV's Splash Page how much he enjoyed working with Jackman. The story also noted that producer Lauren Shuler Donner would like to see a spinoff film about Deadpool, Reynolds' character in the film. If Wolverine would make an appearance in a Deadpool movie, and Reynolds would invite Johanssen on board, then Jackman would be reunited with his co-star from Woody Allen's "Scoop."
This is how my mind works. Strange, I know. Or not so strange, since Johanssen has been cast recently in genre films such as "The Spirit" (due at Christmas) and "Amazon" (2010).
It's all silly speculation, of course. Which leads to more silly speculation, such as:
If you could cast Scarlett Johanssen as a member of the X-Men, who might you choose? Bad girl Emma Frost/White Queen? Jean Grey/Cyclops progeny Rachel Summers? None of the above?
Let me know by adding a comment below.