Imagine a movie that 1) sympathetically portrays Occupy Wall Street and 2) features songs by “Weird Al” Yankovic. If you think 1) and 2) seem incongruous, you might get an argument from writer Lynn Stuart Parramore.
In a piece that ran Wednesday on Salon and originally appeared on AlterNet, Parramore claimed that Yankovic’s recent chart-topping album, Mandatory Fun, contains a “deeply moral theme…about how capitalism’s servants — narcissism, greed, vulgarity, and all-around douchiness — have to carry out its orders to beat us into a pulverized pulp of compliance.” She also exulted that in one of her favorite tracks, “Al skewers the corporate capitalism which promised us all the wonders of efficiency, harmony and prosperity, only to deliver us to Dilbert’s cubicle of despair.” From Parramore’s story (emphasis added):
Would right-wingers like a larger presence in mainstream news and entertainment media, or would they rather grumble about the MSM’s liberal bias while patronizing conservative media outlets? To American Prospect blogger Paul Waldman, it’s clear that the second is correct.
Waldman’s peg for his Wednesday post was a National Review piece by editor and publisher Adam Bellow on the need for a conservative counterculture that would produce novels, movies, music, and so on. Apropos of Bellow’s comment that it’s too bad righties have “hived ourselves off into our own politicized media bubble,” Waldman snipes that conservatives want very much to stay inside said bubble, even though it leaves them prone to “all kinds of pathological beliefs and behaviors.”
So how did Good Morning America open its Fourth of July show today? Fighter-jet flyover? Small-town Independence Day parade? Inspiring video of America's beauty from sea to shining sea? Guess again. GMA featured rapper Jason Derulo [I never heard of him either], jet skiing past the Statue of Liberty.
And which song did GMA place at the top of the list when it displayed a smartphone with Derulo's hits? Why, "Talk Dirty" [mistakenly entitled "Talking Dirty" by GMA]. A song so foul and misogynistic we couldn't possibly display the lyrics, but you can read them here if you like. View the video after the jump.
As you probably know, the 1980s were boom years for conservatives. Among the most prominent right-wingers back then: Ronald Reagan, Tom Clancy, Casey Kasem…
OK, Kasem, who died on June 15, actually was a staunch liberal, a supporter in that decade of Jesse Jackson and later of Dennis Kucinich. But during the ‘80s, wrote Scott Timberg in a Sunday piece for Salon, “we had a political and economic revolution, spearheaded by a one-time actor who was often massively popular, that did the same thing as” Kasem’s radio show, “American Top 40.”
The musical wreckage that is Jennifer Lopez’s latest album is one thing; the cultural wreckage that “A.K.A” reflects is another altogether.
J-Lo has risen from the American Idol judges’ table, but her attempt to regain her ‘Jenny From The Block’ glory days has taken a face plant on the pavement. According to ShowBizz 411, the album has only sold 30-35,000 copies during its debut week.
A darling of the lefty entertainment establishment has taken a prosthetic nose dive into hot water. At Macklemore’s May 16 Seattle performance at the opening of “Spectacle: The Music Video,” the rapper lionized for his pro-gay stance appeared on stage in a stereotypical Jewish costume, singing his hit, “Thrift Shop.”
Bad move for a guy celebrated for injecting “tolerance and acceptance and equal rights” into hip hop.
Buyer beware those promising a “Catholic education.”
St. Mary’s Institute (SMI) is the Catholic grade school in my wife’s New York hometown, Amsterdam. It is affiliated with St. Mary’s Catholic Church, whose pastor Father John Medwid pens the opening to the Saint Mary’s Institute annual newsletter.
The Washington Post carried a huge, almost life-size picture of Jay Carney’s head in the Style section on Friday. But it was designed as a pick-me-up for the embattled Obama spinner. It was a story about...Carney and his favorite rock band.
“Benghazi and the IRS have kept Carney scrambling, and he hasn’t had much time to listen to ‘English Little League,’ the latest album from the Ohio indie-rock band [Guided by Voices] he has affectionately name-dropped in more than one news briefing.” Critics want Carney canned, but the Post wants him to feel happy about the “beer-soaked brilliance” of his favorite rockers:
The new Natalie Maines record is continuing to spur music writers to slam the "cowardice" of the country-music industry and the stuffiness of the country-music audience in the aftermath of Maines trashing President Bush at a London concert on the eve of the Iraq war.
On the NPR show "Fresh Air" on Wednesday, music critic Ken Tucker insisted Maines was just ahead of where the majority would arrive on Bush's wrong-headedness:
Rapper Armando Pérez, better known by his stage name Pitbull, used the recent dust-up over liberal celebrities Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Beyoncé Knowles traveling to Cuba to call attention to the awful conditions faced by people in his homeland.
Responding to an earlier “open letter” by Carter in which he defended his trip to the communist dictatorship, Pérez did not condemn the musical couple. Instead, he called attention to the suffering of the Cuban people and how so many have died trying to come to freedom in America.
Music critic Jon Caramanica reviewed country star Brad Paisley's latest album "Wheelhouse," in "Taking Country Less Conservative" for the Arts section of Wednesday's New York Times. Caramanica gave Paisley backhanded compliments for "openmindedness" while insulting the genre of country music as rigidly conservative (Caramanica has previously given backhanded praised to country music itself, for not being as homophobic as some people think).
These are country music’s postmilitarization years. A decade ago, there were songs about strong soldiers and a just war, weeping soldiers and unimpeachable ideology -- the genre latched onto the political moment and held fast like a remora.
The New York Times Magazine profile of young, nontraditional country singer Kathy Musgraves by contributor Carlo Rotella was infected with smug urban liberalism and a stale defense of the defunct Dixie Chicks, "who had a patriotic fatwa declared against them for saying they were against the war in Iraq and ashamed that George W. Bush was from Texas."
You may remember that incident occured happened a few days before the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003, and was proclaimed from a stage in London -- a safer place to indulge anti-war stridency than their home state of Texas.
Just when it seemed like everyone of note in the entertainment industry was enthusiastic about another four years of Obama. Lo and behold, there are some dissenters. Not that the large broadcast media outlets will notice, of course.
Antwan Patton, better known by his stage name Big Boi from OutKast, has sold over 50 million records throughout his career. With a new solo album coming out, Big Boi agreed to an interview request from one of the leading music blogs called Pitchfork. When the discussion turned to politics, the former Obama supporter and wealthy rapper was honest and up front about his disenchantment, showing that he isn't oblivious to the financial struggles of his family, friends, and fans.
It’s kind of sad, really – a novelty pop band with a lone hit 30 years ago trying to make political hay of an incident of about the same vintage. But Devo doesn’t have much else to do these days, and the left will welcome any help in its efforts to slam presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Famous for their 1980 hit single “Whip It,” Devo just revealed their plan to release an Anti-Romney song later this month to Rolling Stone.
On Tuesday’s Morning Edition, National Public Radio promoted an Atlanta rapper named “Killer Mike” and his “politically charged” song called “Reagan.”
Somehow, they left out that Atlanta-based "artist" Michael Render ends the song with “I’m glad Reagan dead” and regurgitates the old conspiracy theory that Reagan and Ollie North imported cocaine into the inner cities:
In her May 22 "Singles File" -- described as "A weekly playlist for the listener with a one-track mind" -- Washington Post music critic Allison Stewart suggested readers might want to download the new single "Reagan" by rap artist Killer Mike.
"The Obama years haven't been fruitful ones for sociopolitically minded rappers, at least until now," Stewart gushed, noting that the Atlanta musician "dusts off some late '80s ghosts on this unblinking and brutal track from his newest [album] 'R.A.P. Music.'" But when you check out the lyrics of the track, and read his May 21 interview with HipHopDX.com, what really becomes clear is Killer Mike's "unblinking" apology for the late terror-sponsoring Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi.
Appearing on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on Thursday to discuss the passing of disco singer Donna Summer, contributor Toure unleashed a viscous rant against those who didn't care for the music genre: "...there was a homophobic, and to a certain extent racist, response against disco....from large group of fans who wanted to proclaim the resurgence of white male power, of rock 'n roll and punk..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Toure began launching his absurd attack by cheering disco as "all about gay exuberance and joy." He then condemned those who criticized it: "I have never seen a movement in America to crush a musical genre in the way that the sort of almost organized anti-disco movement rose up....it reminds me of the discussion around marriage equality, that, 'You can't have this for yourself, you can't have equality, you can't be out and normalized in the public. You must be in the closest and quiet about what you love.'"
In Friday’s USA Today, music critic Edna Gundersen became the latest liberal journalist to hail the new Springsteen album as a 2012 soundtrack for Barack Obama as the Boss goes on “a tear to raze Wall Street and raise Main Street.” (Earth to Edna: Springsteen earns tens of millions a year. Would you dare to check his stock portfolio?)
Gundersen gushed that the new album’s “populist anthems are unlikely to be misinterpreted and appropriated by Republican candidates. President Obama, however, has a ready-made campaign playlist.” She called it his “most politically pointed” work yet."
Super Bowl XLVI was a good football game, marred once again by the bohemian elite at NBC. NBC could have prevented, but failed to stop, the broadcast of a female rapper "flipping the bird" at 114 million viewers during Madonna's halftime show. It was another "fleeting expletive" of the hand-gesture variety, and somehow, despite elaborate rehearsals, no one at NBC could seem to stop it.
The same network skillfully edited God out of a clip of children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during last year's U.S. Open golf tournament.
Proving that not all famous musicians are in the thrall of Barack Obama and his brand of punitive liberalism, Jonathan Davis, lead singer of the heavy metal band Korn made headlines today criticizing the president.
In an interview with the music trade publication Billboard, Davis said that he believed Obama had "basically dragged this country down into the worst it's ever been." Davis made those remarks in reference to a song on the group's new CD "Path of Totality" entitled "Illuminati." His full comments are below the break:
Jessica Lowndes, an actress on the CW show ''90210,'' is trying to break into the music world - by releasing a song where she ridiculously poses as a straight woman wishing she were gay.
Lowndes released a single with the catchy title ''I Wish I Was Gay,'' about a woman reacting to being cheated on by her boyfriend. Lowdnes repeats the words ''I wish I was gay,'' and expresses a desire to ''escape those boys.'' The song also bizarrely suggests that lesbians are more faithful than straight guys, a claim even gay site Queerty mocked.
Government support for the arts can easily go very wrong. "Indie" bands in Canada are often funded by the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR), and Life Site News found this amazing story:
Canadian punk group "Living with Lions" has drawn outrage for its obscene anti-Bible artwork and representation of Jesus Christ on their new album – funded by the Canadian government.
The album, entitled "Holy S—-," is designed to look like a Bible, with black cover and gold writing, yellow, faded pages, and lyric layout similar to Bible verses. It is subtitled, "The Poo Testament," and represents Christ as excrement...
Conservatives agree that public broadcasting no longer needs federal funding. But McCain Republicans are hunting for strange compromises. Former McCain 2000/2008 adviser Kevin Hassett wrote for Bloomberg that NPR and PBS news is wrong-headed, but not its arts and education initiatives (like Big Bird): "Public radio and television, then, are defensible to the extent that they serve the public good by enriching the arts. NPR and PBS, however, wandered far from this mission, providing news content that is mostly indistinguishable from that provided by left-leaning for-profit enterprises."
Let's not assume that taxpayer-supported arts and culture aren't often twisted to support the statist agenda. NPR's "arts" reporting on Monday night's All Things Considered celebrated folk singer Barbara Dane, "a versatile voice with a political purpose." (Have you heard her songs, such as "I Hate the Capitalist System"?) Anchor Robert Siegel announced Dane passed "significant signposts," such as "She was the first white woman profiled by Ebony magazine. And she was the first U.S. performer to break the U.S. travel ban to Cuba."
Within minutes of the news breaking that Jared Lee Loughner had killed six and wounded 12 in a rampage outside a Tucson safeway store, including a critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the news media immediately leapt to the conclusion that the harsh tone of our political discourse – led by conservative talk radio -- surely must be to blame.
That narrative turned out to be hogwash, but another one has emerged during the investigation into Loughner’s psyche, yet virtually no one wants to discuss it. Was the shooter inspired by the entertainment media?
Why would violent movies or music be left out of the rush to judgment? Perhaps it’s because pop-culture defenders never tire of arguing that no one can blame the “artists” – be they musicians, movie-makers or video-game manufacturers – for youth violence. So it becomes awkward, to say the least, that everyone’s discussing the need to curb a national appetite for angry rhetoric, when it was disturbing music and movies that were influencing Loughner’s mind, and they are ignored.
So MTV is holding a "townhall" for President Obama on Oct. 14, at 4 p.m. in Washington, D.C.
In this case, a town hall is short-hand for "an event where annoying questions are asked by unemployed hipsters with vintage t-shirts and edgy eyewear."
But a casting call has surfaced, and this is what it says:
Seeking-Audience Members: males & females, 18+. To ensure that the audience represents diverse interests and political views, include your name...and what issues, if any, you are interested in or passionate about. Also, provide a recent photo and short description of your political views.
So what's the point of this pre-screening process? Well, it serves three purposes:
Is there no end to the many talents of Lady Gaga, already recognized as the greatest Madonna impersonator of this century? Of course we all know her as a singer, musician, fashionista and female impersonator, but recently she has revealed herself as maven in two new areas: military expert and political advisor.
It started at the MTV Video Music Awards. That is ironic in itself since I think that MTV stopped being a music channel sometime in the 1990's. Ms. Gaga, (I don't know if "Lady" is a title or simply the first part of her pseudonym) appeared in a costume made of meat. When asked the meaning of her get-up by Ellen DeGeneres, she explained it wasn't a slam on vegans.
"As you know, I am the most judgment-free human being on the earth," Gaga replied.
Wow! Did the irony of that statement knock anyone else down into their La-Z-Boy? That might be the truest thing she has ever said. It wasn't too long ago that having judgment skills was considered a plus. Not anymore!
The pop-music world is turning into a caricature of shamelessness, childishness and even spoiled-brattiness. To get attention quickly, some pop stars will try absolutely anything. The soul singer Cee-Lo Green has a new album coming out. How's this for art: His first desperate single is titled "F—- You."
The shock value is already working. A video was posted Aug. 19, and within four days, it had grabbed 1.4 million views on YouTube — another sign that YouTube is not a safe website for children. On Aug. 23, YouTube began requiring visitors to sign in to view the video, saying it "may contain content that is inappropriate for some users." That's quite an understatement. But it's also meaningless: it's unrestricted on Cee-Lo's personal website. Clicking on his MySpace page brings the song up automatically.
The entire song is obscene. It's stuffed with 16 uses of the F-bomb in under four minutes, erupting on average once every 14 seconds. It also has 10 uses of the S-word, and even two uses of "nigga." (Don't tell Dr. Laura Schlessinger.)
Washington Post Magazine humorist Gene Weingarten reacted badly in his Sunday column to the discovery that folk singer Arlo Guthrie is now a registered Republican: “By becoming a Republican, Arlo Guthrie has shredded the last remnants of my faith that our hippie principles had any lasting meaning. How can he do this to us? I'm a peaceable man, but if I had a hammer...”
Guthrie didn't become one of those warmongering neocons. He endorsed Ron Paul for president in early 2008. But Weingarten began with his marijuana-baked enthusiasm for hippiedom, which he clearly still loves dearly:
Like many middle-age people, I wear more than one hat. I'm a husband, a father, a journalist, a role model to a generation of idealistic young Americans, etc. But one of my favorite hats, the floppy felt one that still smells faintly of the sweet smoke of a controlled substance, is "former hippie." We children of the '60s tenaciously hold on to this self-image, even though our mirrors tell us that in terms of sheer hipness, we look more like Arlen Specter than Arlo Guthrie.
Editor's Note: The following was originally posted at Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood.
Seeing that George Soros and Sting are working together to “end the drug war” puts me in mind of a story an Army buddy who works in the DEA told me about busting in the door of a drug house only to find three occupants – the oldest four years old, having been left in charge while his “parents” went out to score meth. Yeah, drug use is a victimless crime – if you ignore the victims.
Apparently not content to subsidize the whining of the nonentities at Media Matters, Soros is taking a break from his adventures in currency manipulation and general scuzziness to enlist entertainment celebrities like Sting in his newest quest. The Drug Policy Alliance is the result, a group whose members, as its founder puts it, “come from across the drug use spectrum.” Yes, the junkies, stoners, hopheads, dope fiends, pill-poppers, and Lindsay Lohan are unanimous: Drug laws are bad, and it’s probably BusHitler’s fault.