‘Week Off’ Views On Illegal Immigration,
Gender-Neutral Football Fight Songs

It’s another of those proposed “weeks off” which includes two or three fresh news stories which this columnist can’t resist commenting on while they are still fresh, hoping you will also find them of current interest.

One is serious, one is, I believe, of interest to the zillions of Nebraska Cornhusker football fans.  And a closing item on a subject which seems always to draw good reader reaction—Marian and her love affair with our cocker spaniels.

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Starting with the item of current significant news interest; i.e., disclosure that a Nebraska Congressman, Representative Jeff Fortenberry of Lincoln, is significantly involved in the story of the flood of Central American refugees adding further damage to our country’s already broken southwestern national boundaries.

(Let’s not forget that clearly defined, unbroken boundaries are a basic requirement of nationhood.  Remember also that a nation with defined boundaries can extend compassionate aid to others, as the United States so consistently does.)

Law May Be Applied Beyond Its Intent

Representative Fortenberry told a reporter last week that legislation which he had co-sponsored several years ago may be used in an effort to help those in the current flood of illegal immigrants remain in the United States.

The law was based on Fortenberry’s desire to do something about poverty in Latin American countries.  It is being interpreted now as extending legal protection to at least a significant part of the current flood of illegal immigrants.  Some sympathetic United States citizens are suggesting that the flood of immigrants shows the law is serving its intended purpose.

Surprisingly (I was tempted to say amazingly) this reasoning overlooks the well-documented fact that a major—not the major—reason for the border-busting flood of immigrants is the fact that it is being promoted by unscrupulous, money-grubbing criminals (often referred to as “coyotes”) who aren’t the least bit interested in relieving poverty in Central America but are very interested in charging substantial fees to would-be immigrants.  Immigrants who are eager to seek a better life in the United States—a better life often created by joining family members who are already residing here.  (Family members who, it can be safely assumed, are likely to be among the estimated 14 million aliens living illegally in this country.)

Fortenberry suggested to a reporter that a large percentage of the supposed “poverty-escaping” refugees might be found not to qualify under the provisions of the law which he co-sponsored and thus be returned relatively quickly to Central America.

My reaction:  Don’t bet too many pesos on it.  Refugees themselves, with assistance of well-intentioned U.S. citizens, might be able to resist deportation while pursuing legal protection in U.S. courts.

Stay tuned.  I would say there is, unfortunately, a better chance that the situation will get worse rather than that it will get better.

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Gender-Neutrality Extends Now
To College Football Fight Songs

I don’t consider myself a slow study (he said immodestly), but it took me a while to figure out what I now believe to be the reason for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s approach to the question of school “fight songs,” as reported in The Sunday World-Herald.

A subheadline set the scene for what followed in the story:

“As some other schools update lines in their fight songs, Husker fans stand behind their anthem’s words.”

There was simply no indication that any Husker fans had been interviewed and responded that they “stood behind” a Husker fight song’s words.  And certainly no indication that the song which the school apparently had chosen to show gender diversity in the words could in any way be represented as a “fight song.”

Dear Old Nebraska U. A Fight Song?

The song—“Dear Old Nebraska U—has words and tempo more appropriate to a 50th alumni reunion banquet or perhaps the funeral of a longtime Husker fan.  But the song has today’s requisite reference to both females and males.

The song chosen by UNL describes the student body as one in which “the girls are the fairest and the boys are the squarest.”

I have never heard “Dear Old Nebraska U” played or sung at a Husker football game, and I have attended more than 300 games in Memorial Stadium, starting in 1933 (Nebraska 22, Oregon State 0).

Adding to the questionable choice of “Dear Old Nebraska U” as a gender-neutral acceptable choice as a fight song is the fact that a bit later on in the news story “Hail Varsity”—which the Cornhusker marching band must play a zillion times during every home game—is described as the “official” Husker fight song.

Change One Word In “Hail Varsity”

But “Hail Varsity” does have one gender reference—“Hail to the men of Nebraska U.”

Simply solved.  Make the rarely-sung lyrics read:  “Hail to the fans of Nebraska U.”

And stop trying to make “Dear Old Nebraska U” into a fight song.

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A Rarely-Recalled Real Fight Song

There is another little-told chapter in the fight song story which I will be pleased to share with you next week.

The song is  named “The Cornhusker” and its best-known rendition was when sung as a solo.

The solo rendition is a fascinating story which I’ll share with readers next week.

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I Go To The Dogs Again, Hoping
Cat Lovers Won’t Be Offended

A column-ending upbeat item dealing with Marian and dogs seems to be consistently popular.  (Sorry, cat lovers.  The Andersens can only deal with one species of family pets at a time, and I dare to offer the personal opinion that cats as a breed are usually not as lovable and affectionate as dogs.)

Marian has discovered that our newest cocker spaniel, Ashley, is turning into a partially silver-furred cocker rather than what we thought was going to continue to be entirely a buff-colored cocker.

Apparently there was a silver-colored gene somewhere in the genetic history which Ashley inherited.

I’m pleasured to report Ashley’s presence in the Andersen household—whatever the color of her coat—is still giving great pleasure to Marian and me and enjoyment to a continuing parade of friends who stop by to get acquainted with—including having their face licked with kisses—by young Miss Ashley.

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