I’ve been thinking of ways of late to find some escapism or sanctuary from the white noise being spewed out from seemingly every form of media of late in relation to the change of guard in the good old US of A.
I’ll put it out there now, firstly I’m Australian so I neither identify with being a Democratic or Republican (fence sitter you may say ?) Perhaps but, I’ve always evaluated a leader on who would be judged the most responsible designated driver at the time to get the nation home safely.
One thing is certain, great music has often been created as a result of political and social tension. Most of us need to only to flick through our record collection for proof points the MC5, The Clash, Dylan, Neil Young, The Jam, Bad Brains and closer to home for me the likes of Midnight Oil, Spy v Spy to name a few (yes, I’ve left a lot of good stuff of the list but you get the point).
Here is a question of which I don’t know the answer. Can you call yourself a fan of a particular artist without, subscribing to their political views or sharing their passion for a partucular cause ? Yes I saw you enjoying a toasted ham and cheese sandwhich while listening to ‘Meat is Murder’ by the Smiths.
I give you a more realastic case in point, Bruce Springsteen has carved out a long successful career by lamenting and taking up the cause of small town America in his work. Whilst he has never hid the fact that Born in the USA is in fact a protest anthem directed at the red white and blue over its appalling treatment of Vietnam veterans. Despite it’s intended meaning the song is still associated as a rally cry in some quaters as a celebration for all things great about America.
I can’t help but think how much the Trump camp wished they had permission to use the song. Given Springsteen’s scathing view of Trump and all he stands for is most probably at odds with the presumably large demographic of Springsteen fans in the heartlands who bought into the Trump narrative about restoring industry and jobs for the blue collar workers.
Some time the shoe is on the other foot, even artists have to suck it up, in order to pay the bills. Take the case of Johhny Ramone a staunch no nonsense Republican who plugged in and played on”Bonzo Goes to Bitburg” (My Brain is hanging up side down) a slap in the face diretced at Ronald Reagun for his lack of judgement and sensitivity for visiting Nazi war graves in Germany.
So are we phonnys if we rage against the machine from the comfort of the reclincer? I don’t know, but I’ll keep listening to Neil, Bruce, Strummer and Co and tell myself the revoultion is still alive and well from the recliner.