Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Cautionary Tales

by Tom Bozzo

Following up on Ken's post, John J. Miller expanded the top "conservative" rock songs with a Next 50, h/t (pending future psychotherapy bills) Rude Pundit. I'm with the Rude One in that if the conservatives want the Hooters (*) and/or Billy Joel, they can have 'em. And adding a Very Special #101 to the list from Journey among all of my formative years' piece-of-crap commercial bands can show nothing other than that the conservative movement has jumped the shark, snagged a water ski on the ramp, and long since fed the shark along with whatever array of critters cleans up after the shark's messy dining habits.

The inclusion of the Dead Kennedys on the list made me glad I'd finished my morning cup of tea, since that spared me from wiping a solution of tea and saliva off my monitor. Could there be a stupider selection, short of interpreting "Kill the Poor" as a policy manifesto? The DKs, for sure, take on the liberal establishment once in a while (q.v.), but there's hardly a more anticorporate band to pick.

The DKs actually offer an excellent "Won't Get Fooled Again" reminder, a propos as the media metanarrative of the Democrats being inauthentic — except for the antiwar left, which is authentic but crazy, revs up. Let's also not forget Al Gore, reminding big-city moviegoing audiences of the depth to which Ralph Nader sunk in spreading the lie, sadly accepted by a few too many progressives, that Gore and Bush were just two sides of the same coin. (**)

Anyway, recall "California Uber Alles" (Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, 1980):
Now it is 1984 / Knock knock at your front door / It’s the suede denim secret police / They have come for your uncool niece...
It actually beats me if the overt absurdity of the lyric's suggestion that there's something to fear from the jackbooted thugs of stereotypical California liberalism actually bends all the way back to ironic negation. (To my ears, the answer is, "Not exactly.") Regardless, only one year later, "We've Got A Bigger Problem Now (In God We Trust, Inc., 1981) rewrote the song, presciently for the present condition:
You closed your eyes, can’t happen here / Alexander Haig is near / Vietnam won’t come back you say / Join the army or you will pay... Feeding global corporations’ claws... Making money for President Reagan / And all the friends of President Reagan
And the tone of that last "President Reagan" should leave one with no doubt that Jello Biafra, despite going around with a name like Jello Biafra, really meant it.

Just some food for thought as the Isthmus misguidedly discusses lefty disaffection with the likes of Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, who has been doing God's work keeping the Republicans in the legislature from building us a bridge to the 19th century, as if the alternative is Kathleen Falk, Paul Soglin, or Russ Feingold's secret clone, and not Mark Green. That's Green, the guy whose lameness almost drew Tommy Thompson out of the D.C. revolving door to save the state Republicans from themselves; the guy who, if he gets the job, will owe it to teh Wisconsin Taliban's fear of teh gay as we're forced to try to turn back another one of these efforts to put Republicans in office at the expense of our gay friends and neighbors.

(*) For reasons I can no longer remember, the Hooters played a concert at my high school during senior year, around the time of their first major-label record release. I believe the review in the school yearbook said that A Good Time Was Had By All. "We're on a roll," guitarist Eric Bazilian told the Archmere Patio. The yearbook adviser and I also anticipated this entire line of nonsense, observing:
President Reagan referred to [Born in the USA] during his re-election campaign, misinterpreting Springsteen's dedication to the American worker's plight as ethnocentrism, much to Springsteen's chagrin.
"A good time was had by all" was not the theme of my review of a Meat Loaf appearance for the University of Delaware Review, which a subsequent letter to the editor suggested had made someone from the student program board cry. (The features editor wanted fireworks by sending one of the student radio station's more advanced music snobs to cover the concert, and I obliged.) Unfortunately, that being in electronic prehistory, if I have a copy, it's in an unreadable form. So I hereby offer one million brownie points to anyone who can supply me with the text or e-text of my Meat Loaf review.

(**) While I will grant that the Gore campaign was badly managed, and the long-running major media hatchet job (i.e., "Bush folksy everyman, Gore lame patrician") was arguably more damaging on a nationwide basis, there's no denying that Floridian Naderites formed the shoulda-known-better margin in 2000.
"there's no denying that Floridian Naderites formed the shoulda-known-better margin in 2000."

Well, there is to the extent that all the accurate state-wide counts of the Florida votes give the state to Gore.

John J. Miller is the guy near you at a Dead concert who sits on his hands through an amazing 15-minute "Dark Star" and only really gets energized (and "sings" along) when they sing "Raise that flag/Raise it wide and high."
Re: FL. Strictly speaking, I meant, "...margin in 2000 conditional on being stuck with the inaccurate state-wide count."
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