August 9, 2012
Limbaugh’s setting a new record for most dumb things said in a single month. Between his claim that The Dark Knight Rises is some sort of slam against Romney and the claim that liberals are somehow trying to make football illegal, he’s wandered into literary territory.
As a writer, I take particular offense to this. Just watch and see if your head doesn’t shoot blood from every pore.
Rush claims that people don’t understand the story of Robin Hood. He fought the government, he says. Most people, according to Limbaugh, think that Robin Hood just stole from the rich to give it to Maid Marian. It’s a lie, Limbaugh cries! He was stealing from the government! That makes him a Tea Party activist. Robin Hood, Limbaugh proudly claims, was anti-taxes.
I see about fifty things wrong with Limbaugh’s analysis, the key one being that he’s still somehow on the air and people are listening to him.
His analysis of Robin Hood as a Tea Party activist, however, is deeply flawed. Let me just say that what we consider the mythology of Robin Hood is actually a composite of various ballads and stories. There is no “definitive” story, but there are various early stories that have laid the path for the modern, popular incarnation. Here’s what can be pieced together.
Sources differ on whether Robin Hood was a commoner or a member of the aristocracy, though the modern portrayal shows him as a man who’s been wronged by Prince John and seeks to reclaim his family’s honor and land. It wasn’t until the 16th century that Robin Hood was given a definitive setting: the 1190’s, when King Richard I fought in the Crusades. There are various references to Robin stealing from the rich and giving to the poor in the original stories, but the general idea was there.
In fact, in popular culture, he stole from a group of aristocrats who made themselves rich by overtaxing the common people. In a way, Limbaugh is right in that Robin Hood was anti-tax, but he’s massively wrong to claim he’s a Tea Partier. The Tea Party, for all its claims that it’s standing up for the little people and the common man, is a branch of Koch Industries. The Tea Party may believe it’s helping the middle class, but the result of their actions are to give MORE power and money to the wealthy. It’s a fact, if we look at an America ruled by the Tea Party, that the results are not good for anyone except rich white Christian fundamentalist men.
Say goodbye to healthcare, police, firefighters, voting rights, education, social security in all its forms, and say hello to surveillance, limited marriage, and corporations that will rule over us like Prince John and his ilk who answer to no one and enforce the laws they see fit. Be sure you buy a gun, because law enforcement and gun regulations are a thing of the past.
The Three Rs by ~poasterchild on deviantART
Tea Partier? Please. Robin Hood would have marched with Occupy. The rich abused and took money from the poor. Robin Hood fought to get that money back and depose those who stepped on the backs of others to get their power. If we’re going strictly by the popular, modern incarnation, as I’m sure Limbaugh is doing since I’m certain he’s not looking up manuscripts stating “Robyn hode in scherewode stod,” he’s obviously never actually seen a Robin Hood movie or TV show.
This is typical of many Right Wing analogies. They lack either context or they deliberately remove one part of the analogy to make sense. Or, like Steve King recently did, they completely lie about what they’re talking about. This is what got me back when Glenn Beck was still on Fox. He kept using movie metaphors like comparing the Tea Party to the heroes in everything from Terminator to It’s a Wonderful Life. He, like Limbaugh, has no clue how to analyze literature or films and misses the important context clues.
If Limbaugh were my student and gave me this kind of analysis, I wouldn’t fail him because I disagreed with his political views. I would flunk him because he seemingly got his plot synopsis from a third-rate SparkNotes knock-off and looked at the story with all the clarity of a particularly nearsighted bat.
Let’s wash away the grating sound of literature dying by watching really bad drivers.