Burn Baby Burn: New York Principal Bans Beiber Song After Banning “God Bless The USA”

There is doubling down and doubling dumb. You will have to decide. Brooklyn principal Greta Hawkins caused a national uproar after banning Lee Greenwood’s patriotic “God Bless the USA” — including criticism on this blog about the lack of a standard given the fact that the school allowed other songs like Justin Bieber’s song “Baby” with lyrics about nailing a girl. Rather than reversing her decision to ban the first song, Hawkins responded by banning Bieber’s song as well. The kids, who have been practicing both songs for months, will now have to come up with some other choices for their end-of-the-year celebration.

Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said Hawkins informed the public that Hawkins now believes that “Baby” is also inappropriate for 5-year-olds. Bloomberg stressed “The principal has decided she’s not going to sing that song. It’s the principal’s decision, and we support the principals.” Really, you support principals no matter how absurd their decisions? I thought we were operating on the “best interest of the children” standard. I can actually understand the Beiber decision, though it should have been made sooner than just before the ceremony. There, however, remains the bar on the first song. It is not one of my favorites but to say that it is inappropriate or insensitive is, in my opinion, absurd.

What is most striking is the total lack of responsibility shown by Bloomberg and the school head, who seemed to go out of their way to stress that they will not second guess a principal. That may resonate with the principals, but it is hardly in the best interests of the school. Indeed, Hawkins’ greatest critics have been teachers and parents at the school.

Source: NY Post

54 thoughts on “Burn Baby Burn: New York Principal Bans Beiber Song After Banning “God Bless The USA””

  1. @Junctionshamus: OK, but what I was saying is still what I meant. Here, the principal is the “authority” who does what she wants and justifies it as being in the biotc, so Professor T’s surprise/alarm leads me to the same calm, patient explanation… as in,

    Professor Turley, it’s all just in the best interests of the children, see?

    [Ego — needing an excuse — has just been replaced by a bit of language stuff, which is the perfect excuse]

  2. I mentioned earlier, in answer to a discussion on young american men’s thoughts that some felt that Sweden had invented porno, that the first erotic art exhibition was in 1968 at Lund’s Könsthall, and arranged by the American couple Phyllis and Eberhard Kronhausen. An exhibition which I had seen then.

    Further, let me add this excerpt from the self-bio from their blog with a connection to the breakthrough of erotic material in the USA. Reading further in the bio is recommended. Note their promo of new book: “Staying Sane in a Crazy World”, a work which may have some value to the readers. (Haven’t read it, and can not say if this is by use of erotic material, psychotherapy with buddhistic base or other sources in uncertain.)


    “Another large breakthrough against censorship and for the recognition of fine erotic art, were our first exhibitions of erotic fine art in several, large public, Scandinavian museums, from ca. 1968-1970, and in a private Museum
    of Erotic Art, in San Francisco, from 1971 to 1973.

    We also arranged for the importation by Grove Press of the first frankly erotic Swedish film of indisputable artistic merit, “I am Curious Yellow.”
    This, in turn, prepared the way—for better or for worse, depending on one’s point of view—for the public showing of other, frankly erotic, as well as outright pornographic films (as, e.g., “Deep Throat” and “The Devil in Miss Jones,” to mention just two of the best known
    of these frankly pornographic movies).



    Considering how it has developed in extending the permitted limits of our minds, our rights to use them as we wish, and the obvious impact on our society (watch any talk show on TV, etc.) then felt that providing this link to this group of civil rights defenders and simply citizens of this America, was worth doing.

    For those who can, remember your youth and those bygone days.
    For some, don’t read this comment. Adult material. Pun intended.

  3. junctionshamus, Thanks for hospitality. We go to Colorado every year. Once upon a time it was Crested Butte but since son moved to Boulder we go there instead. My nephew is a software engineer in Boulder, also. Some other family is coming from Chicago so we will have a good sized group and, hopefully, do a lot of hiking. Hope to go to my favorite coffee shop and eat at the Kitchen.

  4. BTW – Reporting to jury commissioner @ 0815. Orientation and question series over at 0850. Potty break at 0851. Excused at 085130. Trial assignment involved case with attorney-client, judge was former attorney-client.

  5. @Malisha – It wasn’t a “misunderstanding in “Cool Hand Luke,” it was “failure to communicate.” Apparently this princi”pal” knew for several months what the children would be singing, and chose to make her petty tyrant change at the last minute. So, it’s not a case of “BIOTC,” but “ITBIoHE” (In The Best Interest of Her Ego).

    If you look at a lot of classically stupid decisions of teachers, administrators and boards of education, it’s usually about overreach of their authority. When the authority is wrong, then the process or rule issued by them is wrong. Wrong in this case meaning a lack of common sense, racism, poor communication and ecclesiastical intervention.

  6. Just came into this thread late. I see that Professor Turley says:

    “I thought we were operating on the “best interest of the children” standard.”

    Well, see, here we have what the guy in “Cool Hand Luke” would have called a “misunderstanding.” But let me just deal with the “best interests of the children standard” (biotc) by example, since it is unconstitutionally vague to try to define it.

    It basically means that whatever the authority (in this case, the principal) decides is really BEST, and since that is WITHIN THE AUTHORITY’S DISCRETION, that decision cannot be disturbed and there is no error and there is no harm, even if there might have been some error, and all because it is in the biotc.

    Thus, Professor, when something is declared by the authority to be biotc, all arguments against it are actually wrong because those arguments are CONTRARY to it, and anything CONTRARY to the biotc cannot be IN the biotc.

    Since you cannot both oppose and support the biotc, when you oppose it, you lose, but here’s the kicker: You also lose your credibility.

    But it has to be that way, even if you may feel that it shouldn’t, because it is BEST.

  7. Off topic but fun – Report as a juror candidate this a.m. @ 0815. Starting a pool as to how long I’m there before this criminal defense investigator is tossed… BTW – No civil trials on the docket.

  8. It was Phyllis and Eberhard Kronhausen, whose erotic art collecton was on display at the Lund Könsthall in Spring 1968.. Rang there and got the facts from the pedagogical intendent.

    I lived in NYC in summer ’59, then some weeks on Seattla, and then LA until March ’60 to then report for induction as a ROTC grad. The traveling was due to a management trainee program with WU Telegraph.

    Just to show how dumb I was in my youth, here’s a short story wrote to a AZ friend yesterday about my Tijuana experiences,. Not the usual.

    “Let me say that my first trip to Tijuana shows how nutty I’ve been all my life—except where my old age has now laid a restraining hand.

    I went there, alone, at age 24, on a bus from LA to buy some benzedrine tablets for a girlfriend in Seattle, Washington. She had revealed her addiction to bennies and barbituates when we first met. She was coping barely.

    Bought a 1000 tabs, broke them down into separate waxpaper bags (crackle-crackle) at the pharmacy, and smuggled them back over the border, to then send to her in a packet.

    The guy at the border asked what I hac been doing there.
    Dressed in tweed coat, shirt and tie, Joe College says he was there to do research for a paper, and lifted up my loose leaf binder. “And I’m going back to LA, if I can make it with the bus waiting there.” “Clear”, said his gesture.

    Now how stupid can you be. Was not in love with her, never had been, just so naive and under-developed personally. Stuff which might have been accepted from a 13 year old, would have gotten me some pen time and a record. Kiss that life goodbye. How’s that for smarts?

    The other 3 or 4 times were more traditional, trying to liven up a boring life, with beer and mariachi music. Girls were never a problem in terms of accessibility in LA.


    As for Miller and Nin, he is the most energetic man I’ve ever read, and he worked accdg to his books as a night manager for WU in NYC (?), which made us buddies.

    Anais Nin! Would have loved to meet her, Miller too.
    Their ewareness of sex and it’s role in the human beats a lot of studies in comprehension of humans, if not scientific value.

    As for comparisons between cities, that has it’s difficulties. Sweden for all its rep is vanilla ice cream compared to NYC, Paris, and LA. Tried them all.

    The prime thing common for all in this time was the P-pill. It opened the sluices, and take the image as you like. Womens’ sexuality could flow like never before.
    They could have FUN, without the procreational effect.

    You’ve heard of commodity markets vs brand markets.

    Well, we guys had to compete often on a commodity market. Such meat markets still exist today.

  9. JS,
    Miller and Nin, sexologists perhaps, but great writers definitely. Check out the movie “Henry and June” sometime if you haven’t seen it. It is about them and maybe one of the sexiest movies you’ll ever see, but not at all pornography.

  10. ID707,
    Masters & Johnson perhaps. BTW, Sweden had nothing sexually on NYC in the 60’s & 70’s. Good memories, but I cherish the here and now more. Back then though I thought I knew it all. It was a fun time but when I figured out how little I really knew, sometimes I’m embarassed by my excesses back then. Ah youth.

  11. JC,

    Or about as far from what’s called civilization that it feels comfortable. Far from Arches?

    Nice to make your acquaintance.

    You know the first thing I did in Sweden, this is true.
    Go tó the museum at Lund University to see the porno collection of a well-known American couple/sexologists (names?).

    The next thing was to go the the meeting place to pick up something and follow her to her little one room student apartment. The apartment was better than she was.
    But what the hell, when the pickings are slim (it was after exam time and all had gone home.) then you take what you can get. She did too. So it was even steven.

    Oh, I hate people who go traveling to places, Hear that SwM. I know you will read this. All women do. Ho Ho.

    And don’t tell me you know Norma Jean Olsson from that area, ie western CO. Stupid question, Oh you live in NYC. Wonder if you know my friend there?

    But in case you do, can say LA’s gain was CO’s loss.


  12. junctionshamus, I will be in Boulder in two weeks for ten days. yeah!!!

    1. @SwM – Hope the fires up in Fort Collins and Larimer County are contained by then. Enjoy yourself, and if you have time, the Celestial Seasonings Tea factory is not too far away. Unfortunately, I’m still about 240 miles from Boulder, otherwise I’d make your personal acquaintance.

      @Idealist – Sorry, we have unfinished business. I’m in Grand Junction, Colorado, about, yup, you guessed in, 240 miles from Boulder, 250 from Denver. Directly on I-70, about 20 miles from the CO/UT border, or as I like to say, about 2230 miles from Ocean City, MD on US 50.

      1. JS,

        I spent two nights in Grand Junction, first in 73 & again in 75. Nice town then, I assume the same about now. First time I had driven through the Rockies and didn’t realize how far I’d have to drive back. I was staying in a motel on the Big Thompson River, whose deck was cantilevered over the river. Absolute beauty and tranquility to sit out there and sip my Tequila. Loved that place so much I hardly toured Denver or Boulder. I heard it was wiped out some years after when the Big Thompson flooded.

  13. idealist, Maybe in some circles……. but it certainly isn’t the norm .lol I have to run to an anniversary celebration for a friend. See you later.

  14. SwM,

    Yes, I knew it was. That’s why I said not in Sweden.

    When I was in Denmark in 1967, I decided that Danish women were cows and the men were pigs. Still the same I guess.
    No wonder the offspring are so funny.

    But it was my first encounter with men offering their girlfriend’s services when they saw the girl was interested. They said: Got an errand to do. See you (two) in a couple of hours. Toodle ooo!!!

    If she is frank, they take you by the hand, knowing you are new to this, and leads you to the bedroom. Never mind bedding afterwards.

    Do they do that in America?

    1. I saw “Caligula” in 1984 in Copenhagen. English with Danish subtitles. Mrs. Wall v1.0 was 3rd-gen Danish-American (fair-skinned blue eyed, strawberry blonde), and people thought she was being a snot when she spoke to them in English.

      @Idealist – Every American lad of pubescent age in the 1970s knew (or mistakenly believed in their hearts) that deep in their hearts, or more likely, a foot south of that, that the Swedes must have invented porn

  15. SwM,
    Not in Sweden. They would take away your baby for that. You would not get it back from the police or the child protection bureau.

    Here the carriage stays out, but the baby is brought in in a breast carry pouch, either FF or FB depending on age (of baby). 😉

    Swedish mothers are more attentive now than 20 years ago. Then they made me angry with their indifference.

  16. idealist, They leave the carriages outside the stores. Sometimes they leave the towheaded child in them.

  17. I’ll throw out something for all to consider.

    As an American many years ago, I read 2 different class disntinctions.

    Best: talk about ideas.
    Next best: talk about things.
    Third best: talk about people.

    Best: Couples switch partners in social contact.
    Next best: Couples stick with their spouses.
    Third best: Men talk to men and same for the ladies.

    1. @Idealist – We can split up because in most homes, men can hide in the kitchen, or garage (depending on which location has the beer fridge). When it comes to “coupley” festivities, it’s best not to linger too long with one person of the opposite sex too long, especially if you’re a man. Tends to cause bleeding of the right ear on the drive home.

      I’ll get back to our other commentaries later.

      Now for something completely different. In having lived in East Texas, and both sides of Colorado (in more rural locations), people sometimes asked me if I lived on a ranch. So with that in mind, do you know the Swedish Bikini Team? Just askin’! 😀

  18. THEN LOOK OUT EVERYBODY HERE COMES ME. But every mom dressed about the shame, only I can’t see the difference from thrift shop to better couture.

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