Many Hollywood leftists consider President Obama a figurative godsend. Some, including Sting, think he was literally sent from God. The former Police front-man told the Associated Press that he believes that Obama is a gift from Heaven, delivered to shepherd the befuddled masses to providence (h/t Ace).
"In many ways, he's sent from God," Sting said in an interview with the AP. He heaped praise upon the President for his ability to lead the country though the "mess" in which we find ourselves. He met Obama recently and "found him to be very genuine, very present, clearly super-smart, and exactly what we need in the world."
"I can't think of any be better qualified because of his background, his education, particularly in regard to Islam," he added. Sting then went on to bash the President's critics as deranged, ignorant, and "medieval".
In case you missed it, MRC’s Tim Graham had an article published on National Review Online titled "Song of Loss." Check it out. There’s a new pro-life song out in stores and on i-Tunes:
The popular all-girl Christian-rock trio BarlowGirl has a brand-new album out with a song about the emotional pain women frequently experience after an abortion. As much as musicians since the Sixties have been hallowed as sensitive souls with a unique vision to diagnose our societal ills, few in the music world have ever wanted to address this tough topic. The three Barlow sisters — Alyssa, Lauren, and Rebecca — worked on this song for two and a half years to try to get it just right.
Tim declared: "How refreshing it is for anyone in the music industry to bring a caring, lifelong perspective into an overnight, casual-sex world."
The baby boomers are trotting out the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the "Summer of Love," complete with all that soggy and groggy Woodstock nostalgia. Perhaps the singular statement of that summer was the music and the open celebration of "free love."
All of which, believe it or not, is preferable to what is on the air this summer.
Start with the big hit "Birthday Sex," which brought quick fame (which is to say, infamy) to a singer named Jeremih. (Why must these people always celebrate illiteracy?) His basic lyric is "Don’t need candles and cake / Just need your body to make / Birthday sex." But Jeremih also elaborates about how he wants sex in the kitchen, on a waterbed, and so on. It’s an audio porn movie.
Interestingly, and sadly, few can be found to disapprove of foisting these "adult situations" lyrics on children. Radio station managers are, as a group, completely apathetic. But school administrators? The Chicago Public Schools enlisted their newly famous alumnus Jeremih in an online Twitter campaign to urge Chicago teens to go back to school this fall.
You know, liberals should be celebrating. Their man, The Won, is in the White House. They have control of both the House and the Senate, and legislation such as cap and trade and nationalized health care may well become reality - European socialism without having to leave the comfort of home. The Brave New World is on the way. Rejoice in mediocrity for all!
So why are they so grumpy? I suppose it’s because the idea that anyone might stray from the reservation is anathema to them, and this little thing in our Constitution called the First Amendment kind of gets in the way of collective happiness and singing Kumbaya around the campfire.
"When they're runnin' down my country [music], man, they're walkin' on the fightin' side of me."
Merle Haggard's most famous lyric could well be adapted to express the reaction country music fans may have upon reading Joe Heim's latest review in the June 30 Washington Post.
Heim's lead paragraph begins with a drive-by attack on the genre as a whole:
Country music has always had something of an image problem, particularly among people who fancy themselves as progressives. Immigrant-trashing, gay-bashing, race-baiting, women-hating songs aren't hard to find in the country catalogue. Heck, sometimes you can find them all on a single album.
Heim set forward this straw man in order to more effusively praise country artist Brad Paisley as a "forward-thinking" artist in the vein of say the Bush-bashing "Dixie Chicks" for his latest album, "American Saturday Night" which "celebrates cultural diversity, lionizes women, stirringly welcomes a black president and, for good measure, whoops it up about drinkin' and fishin.'"
In a classic example of a dog-bites-man non-story, the Associated Press is dutifully furthering the "censorship" whine of a rock band that laments that Wal-Mart won't stock its new album, "21st Century Breakdown."
Of course the discount retailer's standards for music fit for its shelves are hardly new nor are they being applied out of the blue to the rockers. Nonetheless, Moody stacked the deck by quoting two of the band's three members against one Wal-Mart executive.
The big problem with renewable energy is that it just doesn’t renew itself. The sun does not shine enough and the wind doesn’t blow enough to power the towns, cities, factories, hospitals and schools that make our lives so livable. No environmentalist would ever allow their child to be treated in a hospital fully powered by “renewables”. They would not take the risk that the wind might stop whilst their baby was on the operating table. They would insist that the hospital and the life support systems had a fossil fuel powered back-up.
And so it is with “sustainable development”. It just isn’t sustainable. At least it does not sustain a lifestyle that those who promote it would consider acceptable for themselves. But of course that is the key. Renewable energy and sustainable development are for “other people”. Even though environmentalists come from societies and very often families that became rich because of their use of non-renewable energy and unsustainable development they will not allow these opportunities to be extended to the poor in the developing world.
Environmentalists come from wealthy societies and families who cut down forests and burned coal and oil to make their families and societies healthy and prosperous. But, nowadays, for the poor in Africa and Asia and even middle America their path out of poverty must be “sustainable.” No fossil fuels or factories for them. But what this really means is sustainable poverty. It is a system that condemns people to a lifetime of drudgery and subsistence farming because modernity and industrialisation is “unsustainable.”
Which brings me to Bono, the lead singer of rock band U2 and more lately a campaigner for sustainable development in Africa, Asia and south America.
I confess I love popping all over the iTunes Store. On the home page today, they were plugging a new single by Jordin Sparks, a recent American Idol. Click through to that, and they're featuring an "i-Tunes Essentials" playlist called "Hope & Change."
For the iPod-less, there are many playlists that are created by users, but the "Essentials" lists are made by Apple. It says it was posted April 28, but sounds like it was posted January 20. See the goopy Obama-loving text that came with the songs:
Welcome to the beginning of a new era in the U.S. – Barack Obama's history-making win is really a victory for all those who keep the faith and firmly believe that people have the power to make a change. John Lennon was one of rock ‘n' roll's most determined dreamers, and the better world he dared to "Imagine" may finally be within our grasp. ["Imagine there's no Heaven," and Obama makes it happen?]
The latest nuisance is J. Freedom du Lac's analysis of why country music radio is so chock full of songs about small town America. To you and me, the answer might be obvious, but du Lac set out to paint the trend as "divisive" and reactionary. In this excerpt, du Lac sets out to discredit the professional opinion of a D.C.-area country music station programmer:
Says Meg Stevens, the WMZQ program director: "It's a global theme: Wherever you're from, that's your place. You see what's happening with the economy and what's going on in the world, and people are getting in closer to their roots and their community, whether you're from rural Virginia or downtown D.C."
But the Atkins song and others of its ilk -- from Jason Aldean's "Hicktown" and Miranda Lambert's "Famous in a Small Town" to Zac Brown Band's "Chicken Fried" and Josh Turner's "Way Down South" -- are narrowcasting to a specific community: the core country audience, whose roots aren't exactly in America's urban centers.
The symbolism and prideful sentiments of the songs are intended to create a sense of belonging among people with similar backgrounds and lifestyles, or at least people who romanticize life in the rural South. (It's not a place; it's a state of mind.) To some listeners, though, it might sound as if the artists are closing ranks.
Nobody wants to be mocked. And if you’re a rock star, surrounded by sycophants for the better part of 35 years, it must be especially hard to deal with being mocked. It makes sense, then, that Don Henley does not like the parody of his song “Boys of Summer,” penned by Chuck DeVore, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, and Justin Hart, his advisor. But Henley’s copyright-infringement lawsuit is far bigger than one rock star or his feelings. Henley’s lawsuit undermines the First Amendment right to speak freely.
Don Henley makes no effort to hide his political leanings. In addition to performing at scores of fundraisers, Henley has given about $750,000 to partisan, liberal causes, including $10,000 to Barack Obama and $9,000 to DeVore’s soon-to-be opponent, Barbara Boxer. Henley also exploits his music to advance a liberal, political agenda.
Barack Obama’s inauguration was an enormous magnet for the stars of stage, screen, TV, and the radio, the celebrity-stuffed culmination of the goals of the Sixties civil rights movement. Some of the most prominent stars were black musicians. This is an opportunity to raise the question: Whither goest black popular culture, especially hip-hop music, under the new president?
1. Will the Obama presidency drain the swamp of hip-hop hate? Can he remake the dividers into uniters? On Tuesday night, the rapper Jay-Z performed on the ABC Inaugural ball special in a tux and nerdy glasses, toning down the thug-rap with a song called "History." ABC didn’t have to bleep a single word, even if the older demographics in the audience were still wondering why this is called music. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the pendulum of rap music swung away from glorifying the "thug life" of drug dealers, pimps, and gangsters? With a black man in the White House, could rappers be less pessimistic about authority? When talking about The Man, there is no more powerful man in Washington than the black man just sworn in as our 44th president.
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
Read it and weep, Dixie Chicks. Shove it Bruce Springsteen. Put a sock in it Johnny Cougar Mellencamp. Because, in a refreshing change of pace for the entertainment industry, Kid Rock is telling CMT Insider via People Magazine that entertainers should stay quiet on matters political.
How many times have you seen the uninformed blather of some goof from Hollywood, or some crank from the music industry filling your TV screen or oozing from your radio? How many low brow maestros have had your eyes rolling when they imagine themselves to have some prescient insight into matters of politics? Apparently rock singer Kid Rock is signing onto your piquancy because he has said that singers should just shut up about politics.
As the city of Denver prepares for this week's Democratic convention, numerous Hollywood celebs are planning to attend in support of Barack Obama and to advocate for pet issues. Gushes Variety,
When Barack Obama accepts the nomination before some 75,000 people at a Denver stadium on Thursday, he'll be surrounded by a contingent of average Americans from all walks of life --- just not Hollywood performers, musicians and other famous figures who have so publicly championed his candidacy.
So what, exactly, will be the role of celebrity during the week of the Democratic National Convention?
n case you missed it with the Olympics going on, Russia invading Georgia, and the campaign for president in full swing, pop star Madonna started her much-awaited tour in Wales Saturday.
Amidst the requisite autoerotic writhing and gyrating, Madonna managed to bash John McCain -- actually equating him to Adolf Hitler and Robert Mugabe! -- while comparing Barack Obama to Mahatma Gandhi.
I kid you not.
As reported by the Associated Press Saturday (emphasis added, photo courtesy Getty Images, h/t RightPundits via Marc Morano):
Young black activists roared their approval when Barack Obama recently greeted criticism on the trail by dusting off his shoulders, a reference to a rap song by Jay-Z called "Dirt Off Your Shoulder." The media covering the moment went crazy, too. Washington Post reporter Teresa Wiltz hailed Obama’s moves and called it a "seminal moment in the campaign, the merging of politics and pop culture," and noted the lyrics suggest "If you feelin’ like a pimp...go and brush your shoulders off."
So Barack Obama is feeling like a pimp?
Online at "The Root," a Washington Post website for African-Americans, Obama supporter and Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell was sky high. "Like every other hip-hop generation voter in America I went crazy when he did it," she wrote. "I almost couldn’t believe it. It was a perfect moment."
Harris-Lacewell read that moment as a sign of racial swagger and solidarity with "his base of young urban brown and black voters" and they loved it. "He displayed all the familiar self-assurance and bravado of the hip-hop emcee. The people who got it went nuts, while those who don’t know hip-hop just thought he was being funny and confident."
The video went viral and became a YouTube sensation.
If you've always thought her music was hackneyed and dull now you may have another reason to dislike Alicia Keys: she's apparently a racist conspiracymonger:
There's another side to Alicia Keys: conspiracy theorist. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter tells Blender magazine: "'Gangsta rap' was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other."[...]
Keys, 27, said she's read several Black Panther autobiographies and wears a gold AK-47 pendant around her neck "to symbolize strength, power and killing 'em dead," according to an interview in the magazine's May issue, on newsstands Tuesday.
Another of her theories: That the bicoastal feud between slain rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. was fueled "by the government and the media, to stop another great black leader from existing." [...]
Though she's known for her romantic tunes, she told Blender that she wants to write more political songs. If black leaders such as the late Black Panther Huey Newton "had the outlets our musicians have today, it'd be global. I have to figure out a way to do it myself," she said.
Showing that the left doesn't have a monopoly on political music or political videos, a rapper going by the handle DJ Clayvis released an anti-Barack Obama video, inspired in part by Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos.
Here it is:
I'd shorten it up a bit but this is a very good effort, compares very well to the Obama "Yes We Can" video. H/t: TechRepublican.
I am hard pressed to call anything that happens in the Entertainment media "news," but Rolling Stone is reporting that singer John Cougar Mellencamp has told John McCain to stop using his music during McCain's campaign rallies.
At some recent John McCain campaign rallies, John Mellencamp’s “Our Country” and “Pink Houses” have been booming out over the speakers. Uplifting heartland rock must have seemed like a smart pick, but there’s just one problem: Mellencamp is an ardent Democrat. And, until recently, he supported John Edwards – who had been playing “Our Country” and “Small Town” at his rallies. Mellencamp hasn’t yet made a public response, but his reps are quietly reaching out to McCain and asking him to stop playing his tunes.
Aside from the general "who cares" of this incident, it is just one more example of the intolerance of the left in America today.Then again Johnny Cougar always was a guy that took himself waaaay too seriously.
Will this rap song with a positive message get any play in the MSM? Will a rapper that is telling kids to quit acting like a punk and grow up resonate?
Okay, I'm a nearly 50 year-old white dude, so you won't catch me trying to be "all that" with the kid's rap music. In fact, I hate the stuff. [I was listening to Beethoven, Glenn Miller, U2 and The Police today, if that helps pinpoint me] HOWEVER... and this is a big one, too... I am compelled to pass on the latest tune from Mr. Bomani D. Armah, the self-proclaimed "not a rapper" rapper.
You may recall the last time Mr. Armah appeared on Newsbusters? He wrote a tune that appeared on BET TV called "Read a Mo F***ing Book". It was a tune that featured Mr. Armah seeming to attack the thug lifestyle and telling black kids to read a "Mo F'ing" book, brush their teeth, wear deodorant and to raise their own children, etc. It raised quite a stir last year.
Rock musician Todd Rundgren hasn't been prominent as a performer since the 1970s, but his Sunday concert at the Birchmere here in MRC's hometown of Alexandria drew a mixed review in the Washington Post. Tuesday's review by Stephen Brookes ended with this strange paragraph about Rundgren's failure to offend people:
And for a guy pushing 60, Rundgren still works hard, digging into the vocals and closing most songs with a leaping scissors kick. But his promises to "offend each and every person in the room" didn't quite deliver, starting with a tame "Fascist Christ" and ending with a listless jab against -- yawn -- neoconservatives. Sorry; if you want to talk politics in this town, you have to hit a lot harder than that.
Since when is a song viciously attacking American Christians as fascists considered "tame" and inoffensive? The only arguments in the Post's favor: The song is old (from 1993, hardly the zenith of Christian conservatism), and it's a very lame white rap song.
"Stop, hey, what's that sound?" Nuclear power getting put down. Again.
In 1979, musicians such as Bonnie Raitt, Graham Nash, and Jackson Browne were hailed "the energy source everyone had been looking for" to fight against nuclear power. The result of their support was termed a "chain reaction." The group has returned, picking up where it left off nearly 30 years ago.
And what better to bridge the gap into the new millennium than YouTube. (Video after the break)
With Update- Welcome Wonkette Readers
The new album from The Eagles, Long Road Out of Eden, is just one long, sustained attack on the integrity of the United States and is as bad as any loud-mouthed Dixie Chicks diatribe. With songs prosaically about Global Warming and the evil American “empire,” seemingly the only one of the band who just wanted to entertain the fans was Joe Walsh, the others too puffed up with their own sense of superiority to bother. Unfortunately, what we have here just another exclamation from pampered rock stars that they are smarter, more environmentally friendly and more caring than the rest of us... but be sure and buy more albums for gifts folks! This album should have been titled “Long Trip to the Bank” because for much of it the band seems to be on autopilot and too much of it seems like a cynically geared ploy to sell plastic as opposed to a solid attempt to entertain. It seems that they consciously wrote this one to appeal to sectors of the radio market -- the country market, adult contemporary -- so much so that the album lacks freshness. Several of the songs are so obviously written to have a country sound in an effort to get airplay on America’s country stations, for instance, that it’s a bit hard to get past the obvious ploy to enjoy the tunes.
The radical-left Pacifica Foundation's radio stations -- in Berkeley, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington, and New York -- draw about a million dollars a year in federal grants through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. What they put on the air can be some pretty strange brew.
On Friday's "Democracy Now" show -- as they led into a discussion of how viciously demagogic and racist were the opponents of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's plan to grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants -- a rapper blaming the 9-11 attacks as government-detonated was aired. It caught my attention because you seldom hear the words "popping and locking" followed by "Wolfowitz doctrine." The rapper is named Immortal Technique.
Are profane, sexist, and violent rap lyrics harming America? That question was asked at a House hearing convened yesterday to examine the role of the music industry in public affairs:
Lawmakers, music industry executives and rappers disagreed Tuesday over who was to blame for sexist and degrading language in hip-hop music but united in opposing government censorship as a solution.
"If by some stroke of the pen hip-hop was silenced, the issues would still be present in our communities," rapper and record producer David Banner, whose real name is Levell Crump, said in prepared statements to a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing. "Drugs, violence and the criminal element were around long before hip-hop existed."
Even when the Washington Post is covering a Marxist, they have trouble putting an ideological label in the headline. On the front page of Monday’s Style section is a profile of Marxist rock guitarist Tom Morello, but the headline was bland: "Tom Morello, on Tour and on Message: Folk-Rock’s Nightwatchman Plays True to His Roots." Inside, the headline was simply "Tom Morello, Refocusing His Political Rage." Neither headline reflected that he prayed for President Bush’s death:
Onstage, when the Nightwatchman sang, "I pray that God himself will come and drown the president if the levees break again," the Jammin' Java crowd's attitude was chilling. People were praying.
So why isn’t that death-wish directly reflected in the headline, instead of simply being vaguely "On Message" with "Rage"?
Don’t look now, but rock musicians are calling the president an idiot again. Rolling Stone’s latest issue is completely obsessed with promoting Al Gore’s Live Earth concerts, and includes interviews with rockers predictably trashing wars for oil and hailing the Goracle. Roger Waters of Pink Floyd stood out with the Bush-bashing:
"It would help if we could divert some of our resources away from blowing each other to bits and toward think tanks. Something has gone wrong with the democratic process when you can get idiots rising to offices of extreme power, like the presidency of the United States of America. George Bush – you could not make a worse choice in someone to lead the most powerful nation in the free world."