Monday, February 5, 2007

Conservatism for Punks: Round One

I have a piece on today arguing that it is wrong for Hillary Clinton to use the anticommunist song “Right Here, Right Now” by Jesus Jones as one of her two campaign songs, since it’s one of the few anti-left rock songs we have and there are plenty she could pick that would suit her and her socialistic leanings far better.

I should note that I got a few e-mails complaining that by calling “Right Here, Right Now” the only prominent rock song to properly celebrate the collapse of communism, I was slighting the Scorpions’ “Wind of Change.” I probably should have mentioned it, though I think the case can be made that it was more of a German-reunification song than a collapse-of-communism song per se — but as my own article implies, beggars can’t be choosers in the search for anticommunist rock songs, so here’s to the Scorpions.

Welcoming them into the fold will compensate for Duran Duran’s tendency to rant against Bush and global warming in recent years, which may suggest — though it does not in itself prove — that they are less libertarian than I thought and more conventionally leftist. Alas.

My two real regrets concerning the article, though, are that the editor took out (a) the part where I noted my concern back in high school that the cute goth chick who loaned me the Smiths’ Hatful of Hollow might not like my political views and (b) the part where I suggested, perhaps a bit too crassly, that Hillary ought to heed the wisdom of track 8 on Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion I.

P.S. In less than a week, as it happens, I will get to indulge in another important bit of Gen X rock nostalgia as the Police reunite to open at the Grammys.

As Bill Flanagan recounts in the sacred text/band bio, U2 at the End of the World, when the Police played together as an ongoing band for the final time, at an Amnesty International concert in 1986, they exited one performer at a time, handing off their instruments to the members of U2 during the Police song “Invisible Sun,” about the troubles in Northern Ireland. In effect, says Flanagan, the outgoing biggest band in the world literally handed its instruments over to the incoming biggest band in the world, and a song begun by Brits was finished by Irishmen.

P.P.S. Coincidentally, “Invisible Sun” also has the odd distinction of being the one alternative rock song that ever inspired my mom to poke her head into my room while I was listening to it and say, sounding unusually serious, “That’s a great song.” Mom’s right.

UPDATE 2/11/07: Less than an hour to go before the Police come on, and luckily the techno fan upstairs in Apt. 4A is not listening to techno and has stopped watching the deafening war movie or possibly documentary about avalanches and building demolition that he seems to have been enjoying.

No comments: