State Senator Josh Brecheen (pictured above and to the left) is a right-wing tea bagger politician from Southeastern Oklahoma. Last year, the Durant Daily Democrat gave him a column where he could spout-off misinformed views on evils of evolution and public art and defend the owners of cruel puppy mills.
Well, Mr. Brecheen is back at it again. This time he’s tackling the subject of the Wall Street protests, and in a particular, how they remind him of the 1960’s American Gypsy counter-culture that destroyed the great work of liberal Republican president Dwight Eisenhower.
Wait a second. The “American Gypsy” counter culture of the 1960s? You didn’t hear about that one when you watched that VH1 pop culture documentary on the 1960s. Josh “I probably masturbate to pictures of Rick Perry in cowboy boots” Brecheen explains what the American Gypsy culture is, but before doing so, he has to spend 250 words writing a bigoted stereotypical history of the Eastern European Gypsy culture.
To live for momentary pleasure, it is the creed of the Gypsy. The Gypsy of legend and song survives in present day Bulgaria. In the ghetto of Bulgaria, the Gypsy is feared and notoriously active as a band of thieves and robbers, provoked by poverty and shortsightedness. Because of their cultural conduct, the Gypsy is feared and shunned in Eastern Europe.
Their values are the counterculture and have produced dire consequences both economically and socially. The Gypsy historically lives for the moment and this way of thinking has held them in extreme poverty for generations. No long term plans just living the day to its fullest fulfilling every desire. Lifestyles of commitment, hard work and diligence are replaced by the philosophy that luck and chance are the means of prosperity and this has left them wanting.
The institution of marriage is one of the most telling characteristics of their social creed. For centuries, Gypsy marriage has not been taken seriously. The marriage ceremony itself consists ONLY of a party-like celebration of barbiturates and dancing. It’s also acceptable to change one’s mind about a chosen spouse later on. As a result, 90 percent of the children in Bulgarian orphanages come from Gypsy partners.
Listen, we really don’t have a strong Gypsy culture in Oklahoma, so outside of what I’ve learned from watching Snatch, commercials for My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, and how Marisa interacts with her boyfriend, I’m not the best source on Gypsies and don’t want to be seen as a defender of their culture. But…I do know one thing. They can’t be nearly as bad as Brecheen made them out to be.
That’s why I decided to read the always reliable Wikipedia entry about Gypsies. Is their culture a bit weird and very different from ours? Yeah. Do they have some bad apples that do stupid things? Yeah. Does that make them all evil hedonistic villains from “song and dance?” No it doesn’t.
Basically, Breechan spent 250 words of newspaper space regurgitating ancient Western stereotypes about a quirky culture so he could build a flimsy argument about how bad our society has become. Classy. Here’s that flimsy argument:
The Gypsy philosophy is not unique. For as long as society has endured a strong moral code, cherishing the institution of marriage and the value of hard work has ensured the prosperity of many generations.
There have always been the “takers” and their philosophy has had profound negative impacts wherever it has taken root.
A little more than 40 years ago, America embraced a similar culture.
Making up only eight percent of the world’s population, by 1965 the U.S. was producing almost half of the world’s goods (truly manufacturing goods). This was the peak of America’s industrial strength. Work ethic, structure, military style discipline, reputation, honor, and moral adherence were highly prized American values.
With President Eisenhower and the return of WWII GI’s as parents, it was a time of dissatisfaction, however, with all the discipline and time proven traditional values. In the 1960’s, the Vietnam War was absolutely part of this dissatisfaction, but there was more.
I like how Brecheen believes that clichéd Leave it to Beaver values like “structure,” “military discipline” and “moral adherence” are the main reason for our country’s superpower status in the 1950s and 1960s. If you ask me, America’s dominance probably had more to do with vast and abundant natural resources, democracy, capitalism and the fact that the rest of the world was recovering from the most deadly and destructive war in human history.
That being said, I’m sure those glorious Eisenhower years were pretty great…if you were a middle-class, heterosexual caucasian male. If you were a minority or a woman or poor, the 1950’s probably weren’t the best decade. Hell, it really wasn’t even that great of a decade if you were a rich white man. Labor unions ensured that the working class received appropriate wages and were treated fairly, and the Federal tax rate on all income over $400,000 (about $3-million in today’s dollars) was an astronomical 92%. To make things worse, the government would then use that money to fund massive government projects like the Interstate Highway System, nuclear weapons and expanding social security benefits. They money wasn’t used to help other rich people or bail out banks and hedge funds.
Anyway, according to Brecheen the Eisenhower utopia was destroyed by the 1960’s counter-culture on the east and west coasts of United States. You know, the people who protested an atrocious war, wore flowers in their hair, and stood up for equal rights for all Americans. You know, the American Gypsy.
It was the young west/east generation of the 60’s who was convinced that the structure of traditional values were too restrictive and lacking lasting promise…
Aspects of these years included the Summer of Love in San Francisco where young people hitchhiked from around the U. S. to participate in this dazed experiment.
The experiment was marketed as not only free love (in a time of war), free sex and freedom from rules, but also free living. Money and hard work were replaced with the theory of something for nothing. Communal living where hippies fled the “concrete jungle” of cities and returned to nature marked this philosophy. They shared their money and even their welfare checks (others money). They tripped together (LSD, Acid, Marijuana, Heroine) they lived together, they slept together and shared resources. Institutions of marriage were discarded and multiple partners became the “in thing.”
It was an era of idolizing free thinking individuals who were also living very destructive private lives. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin found themselves destroyed in the midst of this vicious experiment.
By 1970, around the time of the trial of Charles Manson (west coast communal leader), the movement was seen for what it was– ultimately destructive. Its popularity soon faded yet the philosophy left its mark and impacts our society even today. We see this philosophy in another form with the Occupy Wall Street movement, which I discussed last week.
Hopefully, though, our country learned from the destructive outcomes of past movements and this newest one will be short lived.
I can’t hold it in anymore. What. A. Stupid. Idiot. Everything this guy writes is stupid and offensive, but associating Charles Manson to the counter-culture movement of the 1960’s took the cake. That would be like me associating Jared Loughner — the guy who shot up Gabrielle Gifford’s meet n’ greet — to the Tea Party movement. The only difference is I wouldn’t do that because I’m not a stupid hillbilly idiot like Josh Brecheen.
Seriously, the people of southeastern Oklahoma should be ashamed for making this guy their representative. And the Durant Daily Democrat should be even more ashamed for giving this guy the print space and exposure to spew his uneducated ignorant opinions. The only newspaper column Josh Brecheen should be writing is how to land a hot blonde wife.
Anyway, to read the article in its entirety, visit the Durant Daily Democrat. To prank call the Senator by pretending to be a rogue band of Gypsy Charles Manson worshippers, call his office at (405) 521-5586. Be sure to record it, too.