Felsenmusick - The Weblog of Daniel Felsenfeld
The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader, aspiring
bon vivant, capricorn, shadowy figure, advice for the lovelorn

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Another Load of Shit from the National Review

Curse the Times for giving this deeply stupid list, a citation of the National Review's idea of conservative song, any space in their paper--let alone in the arts section. According to those geniuses out there, liberals are all abortion fans (as opposed to supporters of choice), lovers of mini-mall-style city planning, fans of Stalinist communism, and loathe small towns, families, and Alabama--all those good things that proper conservatives love. So this proves what, that rock and rollers aren't always revolutionaries? And come on, if you read, some of the explanations are so completely misread that you wonder how this list was assigned. David Bowie, singing about kissing at the Berlin Wall in "Heroes," is suddenly some conservative? Dylan, author of what could be the "...theme song for the Bush Doctrine" because he wrote ""He destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad / The bombs were meant for him / He was supposed to feel bad / He's the neighborhood bully," when our president designate never destroyed any bomb factory because there was none? And of course, only a conservative rock song would have something in Latin, like U2's "Gloria." And why not apply "Won't be Fooled Again" not just to conservatives, but to all the disallusioned souls out there--and this might well describe the plight of many conservatives now, but this hardly qualifies the song as being inherently Republican, just universal. Seriously, with so much great art going on and so little coverage, every word matters, and this utter twaddle gets pride of place? Please click only if you have a strong stomach.

And as for revolutions, alas, we're being run by a revolutionary government stronger than any protest march or peace rally. And that side has no rock and rollers screaming on its behalf--so the National Review has to de-facto recruit them?

Pardon my spleen, but in this age--when this particular administration is falling down from corruption, ineptness, fatall incuriosity, and thousands of murders, touching a 29% approval rating--I hate to see anything they don't own co-opted for their cause. Who would want to hitch their wagon to this particular star, let alone to have it inadvertandly hitched by ruthless warmongers?


Blogger Cary Ann Rosko said...

WOW, is this ASININE. I especially love the bit about U2's "Gloria", that CLEARLY the definitive element of the song and what makes it a conservative anthem is the fact that it's in Latin. Could this be more illogical? Furthermore, do they even know who Bono is or what politics the man and his band stand for? What's more asinine is the attempt to characterize non-conservatives as gray-clad bureaucratic automatons and conservatives as Beatles-listening freedom-fighters. Have we really become this reductive? This list would be just plain silly were it not meant in all seriousness. I got to #18 ("Cult of Personality" by Living Colour---Did the editor even read these lyrics? This song, and many others by this particular band, is exactly about the bullshit tactics this administration and its cronies perpetrate every fucking day) before I had to bail. I know this, though---everyone in NYC should now be on the listen for all the convertible Mercedes blaring the Sex Pistols on their way to the Hamptons this weekend. For SURE.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The National Review boys were having a lark and a big laugh at your expense. The list is partly tongue in cheek, of course. This proves that liberals are not only selfish, childish morons but also entirely devoid of humor. Why do we tolerate people like you at all? I wonder sometimes what can be done. By the way, it's the two hundredth anniversary of John Stuart Mill's birth, and I see nothing on your site about that. That is total media bias even down to the liberal blog level. Good work, people. Just shut the truth out and everything will be okay? Well it won't. We're winning in Iraq, and when your grandchildren ask what you did to bring freedom and democracy to the world you can answer that you sat on your asses criticizing brave soldiers and politicians who work to protect your pathetic lifestyles.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Except, Mr. Anonymous, I believe you not to be a person at all but a bot or a search engine gone awry.

Other than that, I shan't dignify your empty criticism with a point-by-point rebuttal; it's too easy, and I've better things to do.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Anonymous may be right about one thing, Danny: This list is mostly a put-on prompted by the new Neil Young album (and last year's Rolling Stones song, "Sweet Neo Con"). The only way you'd know that, though, is to go to the National Review website and read John J. Miller's fascinatingly nerdy introduction.

Honestly, it's just too silly to deserve your righteous ire. And while I would share your anger to some extent had The New York Times published this entire list in its print edition -- where, you're right, there are so many other things that deserve coverage -- in fact the complete list is only available on the paper's website, as a reference service for those who read what actually did appear in print: a decent little reported summary of the National Review article, penned by Times staffer Ben Sisario. (Only the top ten selections on the list made it into print, and those in a small box under Sisario's article.

Sisario also presents opinion to the contrary, BTW, and surely you'll take some comfort in the words of confirmed lefty rock crit Dave Marsh:

"What happened was, my side won the culture war, in the sense that rock and related music is the dominant musical form, not only in the U.S. but around the world. Once you lose that battle, you lose the war, and then a different kind of battle begins: the battle over meaning."

(Of course, Marsh's talk of rock 'n' roll hegemony in popular culture touches off its own small dismay, but that's a different battle.)

Princeton historian Sean Wilentz, author of the outstandingly argued "The Worst President in History?" in the May 4, 2006 issue of Rolling Stone, adds, "Of course there's 'conservatism' in rock 'n' roll. There's everything in rock 'n' roll, just as there's everything in America."

So, my friend, I think your rage may perhaps lend far too much credence to a trifling farce. But please don't think I'm defending Anonymous, who can take his-or-her "We're winning in Iraq" and stick it somewhere deep and dark, before boring the grandkids with stories about defending the free world from the insidious threat of liberal music bloggers.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Jon Swift said...

I've made a list of 50 more conservative rock songs the National Review missed.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous not a bot said...

What? Two different lists of conservative top 50 songs and not one of them listing Rush's Tom Sawyer?

6:25 PM  

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