'Bought & Paid': Have Strat, Will Agitate

Nothing is free. You pay a price for everything. Anything of value is worth working for.

These are the values my father tried to beat into my thick skull…with varying degrees of success. Once, still in high school, I approached him on a Saturday night and in my nicest tone, asked for some spending money to go to a concert with my buds. As he pulled a twenty from his wallet he gave me a wry smile. “I’m not sure I’m doing you any favors handing you this.”

It was years later that those words settled upon me with their full import. What was my motivation to work if I had somebody who would hand it to me for free? By my not planning ahead…and earning the money myself, even before I needed it…I was retarding my independence, my self-respect, and my development as a man.

When I became a man, I put away childish things.

And childish notions. Our nation, under the direction of a Leftist administration and abetted by a ‘progressive’ media, is awash in entitlement philosophy. More and more Americans are looking for their ‘benefits’. More and more feel entitled to what others earn. More and more seem happy to sit in the wagon and complain to those who aren’t pulling it fast enough.

For some time now I’ve made a decent living in front of a camera; delivering lines others wrote, hitting my marks without bumping into the furniture or drooling on my shoes. It’s not rocket science, but still, it’s not that easy, either. (The drooling part, not the rest.) Many of us in Hollywood feel that since they pay us so well to do something so relatively easy, that we owe it to ourselves, and to the world, to ‘give back’. Many of us, with that artificial sense of self-importance that comes with being in the movies or on television, feel we are poised and even obligated to ‘weigh in’ on important issues of national or geo-political nature.

When really most Americans would just prefer we ‘shut up and sing’. (Or dance or act or whatever it is we do.)

Yet we blather on. And many of us expose our idiocy (not naming names) — and some of us perhaps even intellectually raise the debate (again, no names… ahem).

And forgive me if I reduce the seemingly mind-boggling chasm between our disparate philosophies to this simple point: The Left wants the government to exercise and disseminate compassion towards our fellow man…and the Right wants the individual to do it.

And my Lefty friends say, “Da-da-daa-da-da-da-da…but… What if they don’t?!”

“But, my friends,” I answer back – “It’s been quite proven that they do.”

“But…but…but… what if it’s not enough?” they sputter.

“People get by. It’s an amazing proclivity of human beings…they get creative. They conserve. They think. They use their brains…when they have to,” I say.

“That’s cruel! That’s heartless! Intolerant! Bush-lied! Cheney, Halliburton! Racist!” they froth.

Da-da-daa-da-da-da-da-and give a man a fish he eats for a day but teach a man to fish and he feeds himself and his family for a lifetime and invites you over for a barbecue and you drink beer and eat healthy food and laugh with friends and family and thank God you’re in America and then you pick up your guitars and flip on the amps and now you’re rockin’-in-the-USA!

Which brings me to the songs I’m writing with Lisle Engle ( – war songs meant to stiffen our resolve and boost the morale of American patriots who are sick and tired of those who would trash our heritage and devolve our great nation into a weak, whimpering, wasteland of failed Eurotrash/socialist notions.

And to you, Mr. Obama – hey I’d love to be tolerant of your point of view, but I got to say FTS! And throw a penalty flag on the last two years for intentionally roughing the country – One Term for you, bucko! Adios!

Here’s our song — born from the disgust Lisle and I both felt with the thug-tactics of the recent public-employees-union shenanigans in Wisconsin. And the rest of you Lefties, don’t worry – there’ll be plenty more rancor a-comin’ in upcoming songs. We’re equal-opportunity offenders!



Lyrics: “BOUGHT & PAID” (by Lisle Engle and Gary Graham)

We got a deficit high, printing dollars like a pouring rain

We got a leader who lies when says that he’s got the change

They keep them organized, pulling dues from their take-home pay

They called a general strike and the legislators ran away

Working the system like a 3-Card Monty

Filling the streets with signs of socialist rage

Haven’t you heard about the class-war coming

Bussing the outrage in…you know they’re

Bought and Paid

It’s their stock and trade…

You know it’s union made… yeah they’re

Bought and Paid

It’s the American Dream – we can all have a piece of the pie

You build your expertise – Go get yours, baby, I’ll get mine

Now you’re trying to say…that you don’t have enough to get by

If you can’t find a way, you’re going to take it from the other guy

Distortions and lies … Working the angles

The taxpayer dies … Grabbing my ankles

Rigging the system … It’s pissing me off

Feels like a fisting … Turn your head and cough!

Engle & Graham 2011 All Rights Reserved