Common Sense

September 9, 2009

Fort Awesome

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the death Thomas Paine.

Paine was a fellow Philadelphia blogger and general rabble rowser, whose Common Sense was one of the most widely read works in American history. Dude made it clear how stupid it was for a king living on an island across the ocean to be ruling a continent while providing little or no benefit to the colony. His incendiary writings were basically the sole reason that Colonists got the whole ‘American Revolution’ idea into their tough little heads.

If he were alive today he’d be fired up over this asinine debate over universal healthcare for American citizens. On hearing about it for the first time, I imagine our conversation would go something like this:

I’d tell him about the President’s bill proposing greater competition and a government sponsored option to help curb the cost of getting sick for Americans, and he’d ask me what was wrong with the way we’re doing things; I’d tell him how our current profit-driven system is making healthcare providers and drug companies rich while the cost to Americans keeps skyrocketing. Then, rather assuredly, he’d say that we’re still probably light years ahead of other free countries on the whole healthcare thing. I’d shake my head in my smarmy way and tell him no, we’re actually trailing almost all industrialized nations in this respect. Then he’d gasp and spit out his coffee and say, “That makes no sense. No common sense.” I’d agree, then in disgust, he’d excuse himself and return to his coffin or his time-travel spaceship or whatever.

Harvey's A le Coq Stout

On a different note, Thomas Paine was originally from Lewes, England. The Harvey’s brewery nearby has been around since Paine’s time, so there’s a chance that Paine actually drank their beer. Harvey’s is celebrating the anniversary of Paine’s death with the release of A. le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout, a brew aged 14 months. It’s supposed to be available here in the Colonies this month. I can’t find anything online about this year’s release, so just look fer it.

I heard this is a favorite tune of Paine’s:

The Dutch Rhythm Steel & show Band - front

MP3: The Dutch Rhythm Steel & Show Band- Feelin’ Alright

This cover is from The The Dutch Rhythm Steel (inhale), & Show Band’s 1975 LP Soul Steel & Show. They also do a great funky cover of Neil Young‘s Down by the River. Get it at FunkMySoul blog. Free.


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