AMERICA, OKLAHOMA, AMERICLAHOMA


To me, Oklahoma is one of the most notable American musicals.  I especially like the party scene where Okie farmers and cowmen try to sort out their fundamental differences.  The party threatens to degenerate into a donnybrook, but the redoubtable Aunt Eller keeps things peaceable.

The issue, of course, is that farmers and cowmen have completely different uses for land, and at first glance, these are mutually exclusive.  But when friendship – or at least mutual respect – is established, the territory can be shared, to everyone’s benefit.

Science and religion are locked in a similar kind of battle for the territory of the American mind (“hearts and minds,” is the chic phrase).  The pro- and anti-religious factions (the latter overlaps with, but isn’t identical to, the pro-science crowd) both posit their perspectives, particularly on evolution and creation, as the only valid ones, and seek actively to exclude the other.

This is a battle that neither side can ever win, except by force and, frankly, I find the deep divide it has created in our society terrifying.  I have two reasons for this.  First, it’s a completely unnecessary battle because religion and science occupy different territories, though there is some overlap.  (I should also add that the battle makes both sides looks like idiots.)  Second, this is a time when we should be coming together to focus on healing the rifts that bedevil our society.

So I propose a détente – each sides pulls back, quits acting like a pack crusaders and works on:

  • a better understanding of the boundaries of their respective territories and the (philosophical) overlap,
  • a grasp of the simple fact that the human mind can – and must! – encompass both territories without harm, and
  • a keen understanding why both territories are crucial, I say CRUCIAL! to our country.

Of, note, it is generally accepted that religion is G-d’s gift, but it must also be understood that so is science.  For all it’s worth, my humble musings on this issue are here, in the last few paragraphs.

And then, lo and behold, once the crusadin’ spirit is behind us, cooperation and tolerance and joint focus on real issues emerges; not to mention an opportunity for a science-religion hoedown à la Oklahoma to bring down the house, singing perhaps thusly (with very humble apologies to Messrs Rodgers and Hammerstein):

Andrew:Oh, the farmer and the cowman should be friends,

Oh, the farmer and the cowman should be friends.

One man likes to push a plough,

The other likes to chase a cow,

But that’s no reason why they cain’t be friends.

Andrew:Oh, scientists and b’lievers should be friends,

Scientists and b’lievers should be friends.

One of ’em likes deep thangs to study,

Th’ other sez Gawd made ever’body,

But that’s no reason why they cain’t be friends.

Andrew:Territory folks should stick together,
Territory folks should all be pals.
Cowboys dance with farmer’s daughters,
Farmers dance with the ranchers’ gals.
Andrew:‘merican folks should stick together,
’merican folks should all be pals.
Scientists dance with b’lievers’ daughters,
B’lievers dance with the scientists’ gals.
All:Territory folks should stick together,
Territory folks should all be pals.
Cowboys dance with farmer’s daughters,
Farmers dance with the ranchers’ gals.
All:‘merican folks should stick together,
’merican folks should all be pals.
Scientists dance with b’lievers’ daughters,
B’lievers dance with the scientists’ gals.
Farmer:I’d like to say a word fer the farmer Scientist:I’d like to say a word fer the scholar
Eller:Well, say it! Eller:Well, say it!
Farmer:He come out west and made a lot of changes Farmer:He come out here and made a lot of changes
Man:That’s right! Man:That’s right!
Will:He come out west and built a lot of fences, Will:He come out here an’ sowed a lotta doubt,
Curly:And built ’em right across our cattle ranges. Curly:But that ain’t what b’leavin’s all about.
Cowboy:Why don’t you dirt strangers go back to Missouri where you belong? Cowboy:Why don’t you scienfiyin’ troublemakers go back where you belong?
Will:We got just as much right here! Will:We got just as much right here!
Farmer:Shut up!
The farmer a good in criticism
No matter what the cowman says or thinks
You seldom see ‘im drinkin’ in a bar room
Scientist:Shut up!
The scientist’s a good in criticism
No matter what the churchman says or thinks
You seldom see ‘im drinkin’ in a bar room.
Curly:Unless somebody else’s buyin’ drinks. Curly:Unless somebody else’s buyin’ drinks.
Andrew:Oh, the farmer and the cowman should be friends,

Oh, the farmer and the cowman should be friends.

The cowman ropes a cow with ease,

The farmer steals her butter and cheese,

That’s no reason why they cain’t be friends

Andrew:Oh, scientists and b’lievers should be friends,

Scientists and b’lievers should be friends.

One of ’em studies stars with pleasure,

Th’ other sez Gawd made ‘em all to measure,

But that’s no reason why they cain’t be friends.

All:Territory folks should stick together,
Territory folks should all be pals.
Cowboys dance with farmer’s daughters,
Farmers dance with the ranchers’ gals.
All:‘merican folks should stick together,
’merican folks should all be pals.
Scientists dance with b’lievers’ daughters,
B’lievers dance with the scientists’ gals.
Eller:I’d to say a word for the cowboy– Eller:I’d to say a word for the b’liever…
Curly:You would! Curly:You would!
Eller:The road he treads is difficult and stoney
He rides fer days on end

With just a poney fer a friend

Eller:The road he treads is difficult and stoney
He lives with fear for his soul fer years on end
With just his inmost conscience fer a friend
Annie:I sure feelin’ sorry fer the poney! Annie:I sure feelin’ sorry fer ‘em both!
Eller:The farmer should be sociable with the cowboy
If he rides by an’ ask fer food an’ water
Don’t treat ‘im like a louse
Make ‘im welcome in your house
Eller:The scientist should be sociable with the b’liever
If he rides by an’ ask fer food an’ waterDon’t treat ‘im like a brainless louse
But make ‘im welcome in your house
Ike:But be sure that you locked up yo’ wife an’ daughters Ike:But be sure that you pocket a garlic clove.
Girls:Oh, the farmer and the cowman should be friends.

Oh, the farmer and the cowman should be friends.

One man likes to push a plough,

The other likes to chase a cow,

But that’s no reason why they cain’t be friends.

Girls:Oh, scientists and b’lievers should be friends,

Scientists and b’lievers should be friends.

One of ’em studies stars with pleasure,

Th’ other sez Gawd made them all to measure,

But that’s no reason why they cain’t be friends.

Eller:Ain’t nobody gonna slug out anythin’. This here is a party!
Break it up ya’ two ol’ fools. Alright Andrew sing it!
Dum-dah-dee-um-dum-dum!
Eller:Ain’t nobody gonna slug out anythin’. This here is a party!
Break it up ya’ two ol’ fools. Alright Andrew sing it!
Dum-dah-dee-um-dum-dum!
Andrew:Oh, the farmer and the cowman should be friends, Andrew:Oh, scientists and b’lievers should be friends,
All:Oh, the farmer and the cowman should be friends.One man likes to push a plough,

The other likes to chase a cow,

But that’s no reason why they cain’t be friends.

All:Scientists and b’lievers should be friends.One of ’em likes deep thangs to study,

Th’ other sez Gawd made ever’body,

But that’s no reason why they cain’t be friends.

Curly:And when this territory is a state

An’ joins the Union jus’ like all the others

The farmer, and cowman and the merchant

Mus’ all behave theirselves and act like brothers

Curly:And when this country’s whole once agin

An’ acts like th’ Union ‘t were meant to be

The scientist, b’liever and all th’ others

Mus’ all behave and let others think free

Eller:I’d like to teach you all a little sayin’
And learn the words by heart the way you should
I don’t say I’m no better than anybody else,
But I’ll be damned if I ain’t jist as good!
Eller:I’d like to teach you all a little sayin’
And learn the words by heart the way you should
I don’t say I’m no better than anybody else,
But I’ll be damned if I ain’t jist as good!
All:I don’t say I’m no better than anybody else,
But I’ll be damned if I ain’t jist as good!Territory folks should stick together,
Territory folks should all be pals.
Cowboys dance with farmer’s daughters,
Farmers dance with the ranchers’ gals!
All:I don’t say I’m no better than anybody else,
But I’ll be damned if I ain’t jist as good!‘merican folks should stick together,
’merican folks should all be pals.
Scientists dance with b’lievers’ daughters,
B’lievers dance with the scientists’ gals.
Advertisements

About Michael J. Kubat

I'm a grumpy Czech-born clinical social worker who is vitally interested in the survival in the United States as a viable democracy and a beacon of hope for the rest of the world.
This entry was posted in USA and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to AMERICA, OKLAHOMA, AMERICLAHOMA

  1. Brilliant. Fan-frikkin-tastic. Very creative and illustrating truth in an entertaining manner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s