Saturday, March 19, 2022


The apartment mate had never been exposed to 'The Camptown Races'. She knew the refrain -- doo da, doo da -- but not the song. So I exposed her to it. Now it's an earworm. She's furious. Doo da, doo da. My dear, it's classic Americana. Part of your heritage too.
I showed her Al Jolson as E. P. Christie with his Ethiopean Serenaders. All of them in the blackest of blackface. Doo da doo da.

When I was in highschool in the Netherlands we were taught that song in music class. It is not suprising that I remember my high school years with some pain. Doo da. Doo. Da.

Our music teacher was a completely sadistic s.o.b., as were many of my classmates. And overseas Americans were universally considered scum, personally responsible for Richard Milhouse Nixon, Vietnam, and the extermination of the Indians.
At least we were at that time and in that place.
Doo da. Doo da.

In many ways I'm glad that society has changed. I'm sure that various ethnicities, religions, and sexual preferences are too. But I'm happy that the cringe factor has lessened considerably.

And of course I can now cringe in multiple languages. Whenever I hear someone being a horrid embarassment in one of my languages I tend to discreetly fade into the woodwork. Who me? No, I don't speak Dutch / American English / Yiddish / Indonesian / Cantonese. Those folks? They just landed from Outer Space. Yep. Outer Space. Don't know who they are, and I can't understand what the heck they're saying either!
Oh is that a door? I'll just quietly slip out now .....

No, we Netherlanders do not wear clogs or tulips, and just because you've seen Baywatch or the Dukes Of Hazard you mustn't assume that all of us Americans are like that. I do not have red Speedo swimming trunks or a trailer trash vehicle decorated with the rebel flag.

About that earworm? Must. Resist. Urge. To. Whisper. Doo. Da. Doo. Da. Melodically. At. The. Door. Of. Her. Room. When. She's. Asleep. I am not a sadistic music teacher.

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