Who put the bomp
in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp?
Who put the ram
in the rama lama ding dong?
Who put the bop
in the bop shoo bop shoo bop?
Who put the dip
in the dip da dip da dip?
Who was that man?
I’d like to shake his hand.
He made my baby
fall in love with me.
The author Supriya Limaye (“Balle Balle? On a Sunday Sunday?” India Currents, September 2006) is young, so she can be excused. But the point of lyrics is to sound fun when you sing them; meaning is secondary to rhythm and energy. The song above is American, from the 1950s, and proves that Bollywood certainly didn’t invent the nonsense lyric.
By the way, Japanese singers use American phrases in just the same way—for emphasis, and to sound cool.
I hate to break it to you, but your auntie’s right—you are pretentious! Instead of breaking a car window trying to escape, relax and sing along. You may lose the pleasure that comes from imagining yourself superior to other people, but you gain the real pleasure of a good time.
Allie Griffith, via the Internet
BUSH IS NO DEVIL
In his editorial (“The Devil and the Thug,” India Currents, October 2006), Arvind Kumar wrote, “Beneath Chavez’s colorful language, there was actual content. That’s more than can be said for his opponents.” The very fact that you are able to publish this opinion and live to write another one of your diatribes in the next issue is proof positive that Bush is no devil. Were you to do that in any of the “Axis of Evil” countries, you would have been arrested and most likely tortured to death.
Hitler was also elected. So FDR should not have opposed him? To demand that America support every elected leader is the laziest thing to do intellectually. Do you support every elected official?
You wrote, “The British never asked their subjects if they wanted to be ruled.” Do you mean that the thousands that ruled before the British had the consent of the ruled? That concept (consent of the governed) was popularized by the United States. Remember “No taxation without representation”?
Do you really think that admiration alone will change the hearts and minds of the ruthless dictators without the fear of retribution? How many leaders of how many countries have admired the U.S. Civil Rights movement, recognized the rights of their wards, and voluntarily relinquished their grip on the power? Let alone relinquishing, they expanded! Before the American Civil Rights movement, the leaders of the erstwhile U.S.S.R. attacked Hungary in 1956. And, after the movement, they attacked Czechoslovakia in the late 1960s and Afghanistan in the late 1970s. So much for “admiration, not fear.” But, within months of the liberation of Iraq, Libya’s Gaddafi turned himself in on the nuclear issue.
The critics you have quoted do not have so noble a motive you attribute to them. Their motives are of a much baser nature, their visceral hatred of the United States.
Vidyalankar Cotra, Folsom, Calif.
GREEN-CARD HOLDERS, BEWARE!
Readers should be aware of a new law that may adversely impact green-card holders.
Consider the case of Gurdev Singh Gill. Gill arrived in California from India in 1986. He began his American experience purchasing a gas station but soon acquired enough capital to purchase farmland. Like so many other Sikhs who hail from Punjab, Gill’s hard work and love of the land resulted in fulfilling the ‘American dream.’ Within a few years Gill had expanded a small ranch into a thriving 300-acre grape farm. He gained local celebrity status last June, appearing on the front cover of the American Vineyard magazine, and being nominated “Farmer of the Year” for his contributions to the local community.
Gill applied for U.S. citizenship to culminate a successful career as a farmer.
The proverbial shoe dropped when his application for citizenship was denied. Gill had fallen victim of to the draconian new law—One Strike, You’re Out. Fifteen years earlier the Gill family owned a gas station which became the target of drug dealers who would often vandalize his store. One day, Gill became incensed and feeling threatened, took out his gun from his pick-up and fired in the air. Gill was fined and given probation for possessing a firearm. Nothing more happened until he applied for U.S. citizenship.
His citizenship was denied and the court ordered that Gill be deported because his earlier infraction made this frail 82-year-old a “dangerous criminal.”
Bob Jobe, Gill’s attorney, says he has experienced the same selective use of the one-strike rule in many parts of the country. This may well be a new tool to ethnically cleanse non-whites. Lucas Guttentag, who teaches immigrants’ rights at UC Berkeley and Stanford Law School, believes, “This is the most punitive immigration law we’ve seen, I think, for a hundred years.”
I urge readers to contact their representatives in Washington and demand for revocation of Gill’s deportation order and repeal of the One Strike Law. In the meantime, all green-card holders who are eligible for citizenship should not delay their application lest they become victims of the One Strike Law.
Jagjit Singh, Palo Alto, Calif.
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