Friday, 10 July 2015

#40 - "Rush Revere and the First Patriots" by Rush Limbaugh

Rushin around.


By HotBot

(book selected by Peartree)

Editor's note: Little known fact, it only took Limbaugh 30 minutes of make-up each morning for his portrayal of 'Pearl' in the movie Blade. 

When the guys assigned me this book, they asked whether Rush Limbaugh’s reputation had made it across the Atlantic and/or Pacific to me (there was some confusion as to which was the most appropriate ocean).  I said that I’d heard of him, mainly in connection with sexism and bigotry, and definitely as a conservative.  To give some context, here are some of radio host Limbaugh’s heavy-hitters:
  • Cold air “proves the ice isn’t melting.”
  • People “can’t go fishing anymore because of Obama.”
  • President Obama… wants to mandate circumcision.
  • Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society
  • I have talent on loan from… God
  • A feminazi is a woman to whom the most important thing in life is seeing to it that as many abortions as possible are performed.
  • It’s sort of like hazing, a fraternity prank.  Sort of like that kind of fun.  (Re abuse of Iraqi prisoners are Abu Ghraib).
  • They’re going out of their way now to establish evolution as a mechanism for creation, which, of course, you can’t do.
  • There’s going to be a retard summit at the White House
  •  You know how to stop abortion?  Require that each one occur with a gun.
  • How many of you guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that 'no' means 'yes' - if you know how to spot it?

Rush mid-rush.
And then there’s this, which made it across all kinds of oceans:
“college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. ” and then “So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal: If we are going to pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I'll tell you what it is — we want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.
Oh but it doesn’t stop!
“The study's leaders claim to have bona fide research — I say "bonified" probably here — bonified research that says the average size of a penis is roughly 10% smaller than it was 50 years ago...  I think it's feminism. If it's tied to the last 50 years... it has to be the feminazis, the chickification and everything else. Give 'em time and they'll blame Bush.”
I’ve gotta say, this guy’s Wikiquotes page is gold.

With all of the above in mind, I started reading Rush Revere with something akin to fear.  Was it going to be an exercise in carefully (or not-so-carefully) disguised anti-whomever statements?  Were there going to be rants about the role of women, or the characteristics of different races, or what-have-you?  I’m happy to tell you that no, this book was not an exercise in the conservative indoctrination of children.  On the contrary, it was written at an appropriate level and in a style which will definitely appeal to kids.  There are awkward jokes (and fart jokes—sigh), the characters are—barring Rush—relatable children, and the various sections of society are covered.  Moreover, it’s really informative about the history around the American Revolution.  I’m definitely taking it all with a grain of salt, as there’s definitely a strong anti-monarchist pro-republican agenda, but all the same, I feel like I’ve learned something.  There’s even a quiz at the end of the book where you can test your knowledge!  Also, Star Wars references:
“Well, I’m not familiar with a star war,” said Benjamin [Franklin], “but if the thirteen colonies continue to rebel and resist, it is just a matter of time before the empire strikes back!”
That isn’t to say that there aren’t parts of the book which made me pause.  Firstly, there are illustrations throughout, starring a sullen Rush Limbaugh in the role of time-traveller and all-round nice guy, Rush Revere:
Rush Revere and his horse, Liberty.  (It's cos it's about Freedom.  The only way the message could be less subtle if the horse was called Murica.)
The story-line itself is fine.  Though I must say, I particularly enjoyed how characters came to understand the whole 'our weird history teacher has a time-travelling horse' situation:
"It’s a time portal, isn’t it?” I must’ve looked surprised because she said, “I knew it! And don’t look so surprised. It’s obvious with all the colonial costumes and the movie you showed us about the Pilgrims in Holland and the talking horse who knows about American history.”
Oh, and did I mention that the horse sings?  To the tune of 'Call Me Maybe', no less.

As to Rush’s big hitters:

Republicanism, conservatism

  •  You've gotta love how Limbaugh portrayed the King of England:  "I will have my way!” He pouted. “I will. I will! The colonists are rabble-rousers and common criminals. They are dumb, silly dressed fools who are still subject to my laws and my word. I shall not have them forget that I rule the New World. I am the King! The land and the people of the thirteen colonies are still mine. Mine, I tell you! The colonists will do anything I say and buy anything we sell them! Except for fine fashion, it appears!”
  • I'm just gonna leave this here: "William knew that the best way for each of the Pilgrim families to prosper in their new way of life was for each family to have a plot of land where they could build a home and work for themselves. Instead of putting all of their goods into a communal chest, William Bradford encouraged the Pilgrims to be on the same team, yet work hard to take care of their own families. He knew they would try their hardest if they knew they could keep the rewards of their hard work and labor. It’s a lesson I’ve always tried to teach my own students. What if they all studied really hard for a test but no matter how hard they worked they would all get the same B grade as everyone else? Why would they ever try for an A?"

Sex and gender

  •  All of the important characters who we see in each scene are guys--usually Rush, Cam, or Tommy (who Rush is... very... fond of).  There are also two girls, one called Freedom (no, I'm not kidding), and another, Elizabeth, who is a spoilt brat and the butt of many jokes.  The guys on the other hand are all very reasonable and sensible human beings.  Bratty girl goes from besotted with one character to another, and Freedom is used only as a communication device.  There are no female characters in this book which any young girl reading the book would be able to relate to or emulate--not the case for guys.  The heroes are definitely all men.


  •  Limbaugh doesn't believe in using politically correct terms like 'Native Americans'.  No no, instead you've got sentences like "In a few minutes we were all dressed like Indians.".  I feel like 'traditional Indian dress' would have stuck out in colonial USA.  Then again, maybe not:

It's important to be beautiful, like Liberty.
  • One of the kids under Rush's care is African-American, and at one point he's nearly punished as a runaway slave.  However, Rush steps in, and in the end several of the Patriots recognise the kid's contributions as equal to their own.  Ie political correctness aside, this issue was handled fairly reasonably.


  • Sorry, atheists:
    “Only when we are free can we be all that God wants us to be. Only when we are free can we do all that God wants us to do. Remember this, my friend, freedom is from God. And when we fight for freedom we always fight on the side of God.”
  • "I believe the only way America can prosper is to remember the religious freedoms that our forefathers fought for. Only then can the smiles of heaven bless this sacred land.”
Rush sheds light on the matter.  The light of Liberty.
I find this whole situation very confusing.  On the one hand, Limbaugh in real life comes of as a misogynist, climate-denying, racist jerk--but that's not how he portrays himself in the book.  Other than the 'subtle' references to the difficulties of managing a small business (though noting that they form the backbone of America's economy) and expected references to the amazeballsness of Republicanism (which in and of itself, isn't offensive), there's really not an offensive amount of agenda, and issues are handled in a fairly balanced way.

Overall, I don't know how to feel about this book.  As I said, children would enjoy it, and it approaches history in a fun way.  On the other hand, Rush Limbaugh is full of shit, and so without a comprehensive fact-check of the stories in the book, I just don't know what to believe.  So I guess at the end of the day, it's maybe not the book that's the Piece of Shit™.
Ah, the sweet taste of Liberty.
I'll leave you with a quote:
There’s nothing worse than overcooked potatoes or carrots or especially asparagus! Seriously, limp and soggy asparagus is almost as bad as a limp and soggy handshake.” Confused, I questioned, “a soggy handshake?” Liberty clarified: “You don’t want one, trust me. It begins by soaking in the bathtub or playing in a pool for too long and then your hand looks old and wrinkly! Shaking a soggy hand feels like you’re holding a slimy, shriveled piece of seaweed. And you’re not going to impress anyone with seaweed. Why are we even talking about this?”
Good question, Liberty.  Good question.

1 comment:

  1. Found you because of your Reddit post (front page!). Stayed up until 2AM reading your blog, trying so hard not to laugh and wake people up. WOW, you guys are amazing. I think this was my favorite review of all.