Posted by purplemary54 on February 22, 2017
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, resistance fighters of all ages, I give you our new anthem!
Okay, so the song is about a year old, released during the presidential primaries last year; it is, unfortunately, still quite relevant. It lacks mainstream publicity, largely because of certain words it uses repeatedly that the FCC takes issue with. I only heard about thanks to an article on Slate. Rappers YG and Nipsey Hussle (who deserves some kind of prize just for his awesome stage name) recorded this as an angry response to the hideously racist rhetoric of the maniac living in the White House. Now this is not the best Rap song I’ve ever heard. It lacks eloquence and style, relying instead on profanity and swagger. Public Enemy this is not. But the raw emotion behind it propels the song and gives voice to the inarticulate anger and fear that so many people of color are feeling (not to mention all the anger and fear emanating from every other group of people threatened by this maniac). “Fuck Donald Trump” becomes not just an epithet but a rallying cry. I recommend playing this one REALLY loud.
Posted in Music, Rap | Tagged: music, news, nipsey hussle, politics, Rap, songs, video, yg | Leave a Comment »
Posted by purplemary54 on July 13, 2016
I’m a couple weeks late on this one, but I had to spend a little time ruminating on the idea that Great Britain is about to go it alone again. I finally settled on my official opinion:
It’s a really bad idea.
I’m not even going to pretend I fully understand all the economic and political ins and outs of the issue. I can’t make heads or tails of those things in the U.S. sometimes, so I’m not even going to attempt it on other nations. But I know that going trying to fly solo in this day and age after being a member of a more or less unified Europe isn’t really smart. GB is going to have to work twice, maybe three times, as hard to achieve the same results they’ve been getting as a member of the EU. Yes, they already have working relationships with the most of the countries that they’re going to be dealing with as an independent nation, but you know they’re former EU mates are going to be just the tiniest bit bitter and will probably make things a little tougher on the Brits than they have to be.
While I’ve never fully grasped the concept of all the separate countries of Europe as “unified” in some way, it makes sense. There’s strength in numbers, and all the smaller countries of Europe working together as one theoretically gives them all a bigger voice and a bigger slice of the pie. It also just seemed kind of nice. After decades of war, uniting together made Europe seem even more like a victory against fascism and tyranny. Years ago, when I told BFF that they were building a WWII memorial in Washington D.C., she commented that “They already have a monument to WWII. It’s called Europe.” That’s always stuck with me. The fact that all these different groups and cultures banded together to save each other from Hitler, et al., said something important about humanity. They believed in freedom and sovereignty. They believed in fighting for human rights and equality. While the EU has always been more a matter of economic convenience, I feel like there was a certain justice to it. A reaffirmation that the only way to conquer ugliness and hatred was together. They were united for the same goals, but they retained their individuality and history.
Of course, the European Union has never quite been the kind of Disney-esque “Small World” that existed in my head. Many of the problems that have always existed with linking more and less successful individual economies were exacerbated by the last great recession. And the ongoing strife, civil war, and terrorism of the nearby Middle East have spilled into Europe, primarily through refugees from war and ISIS attacks on EU countries. But to bail on their fellow Europeans like this seems kind of churlish and selfish.
It’s also fearful. That’s the biggest enemy to unity. Great Britain has shown just how rattled they are by the complicated problems everyone is facing by running home and hiding in the back of the closet. They’ve also shown just why these kinds of decisions, just like civil rights issues, should never be put to a popular vote. Because given the chance, there is always a large portion of any population that will vote against what it is afraid of instead of in favor of what it hopes for. They let fear (along with its attendants, racism and isolationism) win. That’s what makes me the most sad about the whole thing. It’s also what makes this ominous little classic the song that fits the current mood best.
Posted in Music, Punk, Rock | Tagged: brexit, music, news, politics, thoughts, video | 1 Comment »
Posted by purplemary54 on May 12, 2016
Now that my class is finished, I’ve got a bit more time to go back to one of my favorite activities: ranting. (I don’t know whether to envy you poor fools or pity you.)
I’ve actually had a bit of a bee in my bonnet lately (the only one, I swear. . . see what I did there? No? Well, maybe you should go back to some of my older jukebox entries.) So I’ve been listening to They Might Be Giants on the iPod lately, which always makes me smile. But yesterday it dawned on me that they were, scarily, kind of prescient. After all, have you gotten a look at the presumptive Republican nominee for president? Yeah. This song suddenly has a whole new dimension to it.
I wavered between this song and another frighteningly apt TMBG song, but the nasty bitterness of “Your Racist Friend” won out. (By the by, I’d like to extend my thanks to the YouTubers who took the time to create videos to match the narrative in both songs. Really nice work!) And since the Blowhard hasn’t actually won anything yet, anointing him anything, even in jest, would just play into his enormous ego.
My message to anyone who would come to this craven, narcissistic, misogynistic, xenophobic, spray-tanned slime bucket’s defense is simply this: He is just as awful as he appears. He always has been. This man tears down historical buildings and replaces them with ugly phallic symbols (you just know all his skyscrapers and mega casinos are over-compensating for something). And he is a racist. He’s made that clear right from the get go. Some poor deluded fool out there might try to argue he wants to improve our security, but he just wants to pander to the same disgusting ignorance and bigotry that he’s been carrying around his entire life. I’ll give him this, he’s damn good at it.
I honestly thought he’d have imploded by now. That the Republicans would’ve shunned him, and then he’d have run as a third-party candidate and confused all the bigots like him trying to decide which hateful idiot to vote for. (Let’s face it, Kasich was the least objectionable of the bunch, but only because he lacks any sort of personality whatsoever; it’s a miracle he lasted as long as he did.) But he’s managed to
fool bluff hornswaggle convince enough people that he’s got something legitimate to offer this country.
He doesn’t, of course, and I doubt he’ll be able to get enough moderate Republicans and independents to vote for him. He’ll get enough votes that he’ll be able to say that he’s important. But he won’t win. And, hopefully, his mere existence in this political race will wake up enough of the reasonable conservatives (yes, they do exist) to do something about the hideous demagoguery that has been masquerading as the GOP platform for the last few decades.
Posted in Music, Rock | Tagged: donald trump, music, politics, rants, songs, they might be giants, video | Leave a Comment »
Posted by purplemary54 on March 3, 2012
As the utopian dreams of the Sixties dissolved into the 1970s, paranoia rampaged through the counter-culture. With good reason.
“Ohio” was reportedly written and recorded within a week of the shootings at Kent State. For the uninformed, that is when the National Guard turned its weapons on protesters at Kent State, killing four and putting the final nail in the coffin of the Sixties. Since I came of age with full knowledge of Kent State (and Vietnam and Watergate, and any number of horrors that were visited upon the world during these years), I cannot comprehend the full impact of this incident. Our soldiers fired on and killed our citizens. Now, to be fair, the protest wasn’t entirely peaceful; there were rocks and taunts, and the Guardsmen were young and relatively inexperienced. But it was a shocking moment in American history, largely because whether you agreed with anti-war protesters or not, you understood that they were exercising their right to protest the actions of the government. This was the government interfering with First Amendment rights. Violently.
“Ohio” isn’t just an angry song: it’s furious. It’s one of Neil Young’s finest moments as a songwriter. The song is brief but taut. There isn’t a single wasted word or note. “Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming. We’re finally on our own.” “What if you knew her, and found her dead on the ground? How can you run when you know?” The despair and isolation that colors those lines is unbelievable. It’s the refrain the gets me every time. “Four dead in Ohio” over and over, fading out with Stephen Stills crying “Why?”
I still don’t know why. I don’t understand any sort of violence at all. Really. Bombs and guns, murder and war. None of it has ever made sense to me. I am a pacifist. But when I listen to “Ohio,” my face gets tight as I get angry. Angry that those college kids died for protesting. Angry that all those people died in a war that meant nothing. Angry that this song is still relevant today.
Posted in Music | Tagged: artists, crosby stills nash & young, politics, songs | 2 Comments »