Elvis Against Fascism (and Happy Birthday!)

Time constraints prevent a longer post, but I do think at least a brief piece in celebration of the life of the man from Tupelo is in order on the anniversary of his birth.

Glenn Reynolds (the Instapundit), discusses one of Elvis’ underappreciated legacies in the 2002 piece, “The King of Anti-Fascism.”

The 25th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death has passed, and news reports have stressed his continuing influence on music, culture, and race relations. But those reports have missed Elvis’s greatest achievement: as a cultural immune response to totalitarianism.

Elvis fighting totalitarianism? Yes, really.

Fascinating piece.  Do read it all.

In honor of both Elvis’ birthday and his help in saving the world from tyranny, here is “The Wonder of You,” originally performed by Ray Peterson of “Tell Laura I Love Her” fame.  It’s not one of Presley’s more subtle works, going instead for a majestic approach made fun of by a lot of people.  However, Elvis could work miracles with this sort of thing when the material was good and suited to it, and both are the case with “The Wonder of You.”  I think it makes a fitting soundtrack to Professor Reynolds’ essay and the “bonding-and-catharsis” it describes.

When no one else can understand me,
When everything I do is wrong,
You give me hope and consolation,
You give me strength to carry on.

And, really, if you can’t be a little bit cheesy on someone’s birthday, when can you be?

Happy birthday, Elvis!

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One Response to Elvis Against Fascism (and Happy Birthday!)

  1. jenn says:

    I figured maybe you’d also be interested in checking out my site which is celebrating Elvis’ birthday by dedicating a whole week to him. We feature some collectors of all things Elvis and interview them as well. Check it: http://www.collectorsquest.com/featured-week/Elvis.html

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