Saturday, 24 October 2009

The most ridiculous song list ever

Today, as I was searching for possible blogs on music to make sure I can discuss it better than I have been lately, I found a list that makes me laugh hard because it is so, so, so absurd!

It was titled Top Ten Songs for Obama Haters and was originally written by the Miami New Times. When I saw it I was really curious because I wondered so much what songs of significance would criticise Obama or - if older than Obama's presidential campaign - would have themes coherent with the current opposition to him?

As it turned out, the songs were, with two exceptions, songs that I had never heard of. The full list is:
  1. ‘Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,’ (by Jerry Jeff Walker and written by Ray Wylie Hubbard)
  2. ‘Teach Your Children’ (by Crosby, Stills and Nash)
  3. ‘Ignorant ****’ (by Jay-Z)
  4. ‘Liar, Liar’ (by the Castaways)
  5. ‘Conservative Christian, Right Wing, Republican, Straight, White, American Males’ (by Todd Snider)
  6. ‘Waves of Fear’ (by Lou Reed)
  7. ‘People Putting People Down’ (by Bob Dylan; written by John Prine)
  8. ‘Highway to Hell’ (by AC/DC; written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Bon Scott)
  9. ‘Your Racist Friend’ (by They Might Be Giants)
  10. ‘Rednecks’ (by Randy Newman)
All of these are either unknown joke songs or ones that do not make sense. ‘Rednecks’ could fit the bill because it could be seen as a defence of racism with the use of “n******”, but ‘Your Racist Friend’ is an attack on someone for befriending racists, and thus would be pro-Obama. ‘People Putting People Down’ is analogous, whilst ‘Waves of Fear’ may have been chosen because it reflected fear of loss of personal control under Obama, though nothing in its lyrics is directly anti-liberal.

However, of the top five songs only ‘Teach Your Children’ and ‘Ignorant ****’ are likely to be at all familiar. The former was chosen because it encouraged children to listen to parents instead of politicians - which any sensible person would see as decent advice.

‘Ignorant ****’ is a ridiculous choice even if it is vilely anti-female (which as we shall see is not so politically incorrect as people think), whilst the other three songs in the Top Five are just ludicrously silly conservative pieces nobody except specialised listeners could possibly know and which offer no constructive criticism of Obama.

However, what really amazes me is the inclusion of AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’. For a start, every website of almost any Right faction will deny the justification given for its listing. The real problem is however that, more than any other band in music history, AC/DC have driven Western culture in precisely the direction desired by the modern Democratic Party and almost every party in Europe, Canada and New Zealand. AC/DC, as a result of their catchy songs and populist working-class message of easy fun with not the tiniest restraint, have turned the West towards a libertinism and radical individualism that has no room for any ethical standards. Their songs contrast with even the pre-AC/DC rock era where many singers had a sense that there was a definite “wrong” ethically and that what rock musicians were doing could have consequences, as is noted by JKM here.

The playing of ‘Shoot to Thrill’ on the radio has always startled me because the lyrics quite explicitly say one should kill the defenceless if one desires, especially women. However, AC/DC’s sexism is hardly that politically incorrect. It is undeniable that radical feminists, rather than protest as I imagined they would have back in 1980 when Back in Black came out, instead found clear common ground with AC/DC. They view AC/DC’s songs as a call to completely shed all femininity and create a culture consisting only of males. If we should define Left and Right in terms of defeminisation (left) versus refeminisation (Right), then we can see that AC/DC would be seen as “far left” even if apolitical. Add their cultural influence in turning society towards people like Obama and it becomes a total joke to have a list of songs for “Obama haters” containing anything by them.

All in all, one must see the Miami New Times as having made a list, than which I can hardly imagine anything worse.

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