We really enjoy Daniel Henniger but recently he went too far. Dan is at the WSJ discussing Does Hong Kong Matter? Well, of course it does but it also depends. Are we going to cause WW III over it? Unlikely. Is Dan going to use a really bad analogy about it to distract us from his reasonable point? Absolutely. Janis Joplin’s version Kris Kristofferson’s of Me and Bobby McGee is our all-time favorite song. Dan should listen more closely.
Sidebar: Sometimes it is Bobbi and sometimes it is Bobby. The Genius site uses Bobby so we are too. End Sidebar.
Dan quotes Kris correctly but too briefly. He says:
Someone once sang that “freedom’s just another word,” and maybe today it is. One casualty of the relentless U.S. political slog is that some important ideas—such as justice, racism, equality and respect—get so beaten into the ground, become so hackneyed, that one feels almost embarrassed to use the words.
The problem is there are lots of kinds of freedom. Economic, political, and personal to make a short list. Kris was talking about personal freedom. The whole verse is:
Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
And nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’ but it’s free
Feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when Bobby sang the blues
And buddy, that was good enough for me
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.
Personal freedom can be a negative as it was when Bobby set the songwriter free. So the song ends:
Well I’d trade all my tomorrows for a single yesterday
Holdin’ Bobby’s body close to mine
Economic freedom and political freedom are positive goods while personal freedom can be positive or negative. Dan needs to understand the difference between dating and Hong Kong. There are different kinds of freedom and Hong Kong does matter.