Saturday, March 29, 2008

You may be a redneck if...

... your rear car window is held up with duct tape.

And today it rained, causing it to fall down.

So there I was, sprinting out to my car during my break, wrestling with the window in the downpour, trying to get it to stay put, so I could tape it back up.

I got pretty wet.

Good Lord.

(Graphic at left from


Where are the antiwar songs? wonders:

An unpopular president, an unpopular war, a restless young generation eager for change — all the elements of a mass protest culture would seem to be present in this election year.

One thing is missing: a mass culture.

The Vietnam era produced an entire genre of anti-war and cultural protest songs, the best-known of which became anthems of the age.

Iraq and the Bush presidency have inspired lots of music in this tradition — but nothing that has gained a large popular audience or is vying to be a generational anthem.

Music, say some sociologists, is just one manifestation of a more fundamental trend. Opposition to the Iraq war, which commands strong majorities in the polls, has not produced mass marches on the Pentagon or shut down college campuses.

The reasons are varied, including the lack of a military draft and much lower casualty figures than were suffered in Southeast Asia 40 years ago. But another big factor is the fragmented nature of how Americans live and communicate — with no clearer example than how we listen to music.

The trend was highlighted this month when Warner Music’s Sire Records issued a 30-song soundtrack for the anti-war documentary “Body of War,” the release timed for the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. The album includes musical heavyweights like Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder and 62-year-old Neil Young, who has contributed to the anti-war songbook for both Vietnam and Iraq.

Despite the project’s star power and its appeal to multiple generations, its format — the concept album — has, for the most part, been left for dead. People today download their favorite songs from multiple albums at a time, unlike in the '60s, when an iPod would have looked like something from the set of Star Trek.

Back then, says Robert Thompson, founder of the Institute on Popular Culture at Syracuse University, protest music was inescapable.

“Those songs, whether you were listening to them in your dorm room or whether parents were upset that their kids were listening to them in the basement, you were hearing them,” Thompson said. “Those songs were the soundtrack of that period. They were in the air literally, and people had to come to grips with them.”

In today’s culture, Thompson added, music consumption tends to take place in a narrow channel.

“Now it’s completely possible for songs that are getting huge distribution one way or another amidst their core fan base to remain completely unnoticed to a fully intelligent and aware American,” Thompson said. “Back in the pre-digital, network era, we all fed from the same culture trough, whether you liked it or not .”

The biggest reason why today’s protest music is failing to echo broadly, some cultural critics believe, is not just a shortened attention span on the part of music fans, but the move to an all-volunteer military. Compulsory military service during Vietnam meant millions more families felt they had a stake in the debate.
Read the whole thing.


I am currently enjoying the DVDs of the first season of the F/X series DAMAGES. Glenn Close is terrific! I realize when I watch a show like this, how starved I am for women characters my own age, even if they're mean cutthroat lawyers.

Obviously, the entertainment situation for women my age is dire.

Me and Mr Daisy are still arguing over whether No Country for Old Men deserved the Oscar for best picture. Mr Daisy still prefers the Coen Brothers' Blood Simple period.

Good movies? Need recommendations!

Listening to: Santana - Everybody's Everything
via FoxyTunes


John Powers said...

Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" (I haven't read the book, just the online discussion of it) really resonated with me. Overwhelmingly, regardless of partisan affiliations, the myth of the positive nature of violence for transformation is shared.

I was listening last night to Dylan Live at the Town Hall NYC 1963. Dylan's songs often shock me to attention. Listening I was musing about how the philosophy of non-violence, the power of soul power, was widely shared then. Dr. King was a great proponent of non-violence, but the movement had deep roots in labor organizing and more broadly in society.

There are many reasons and many ways that we in the USA have neglected the path of Satyagraha.

The lack of a mass media is an important factor for the few anti-war songs, but I also believe that we are a generation infatuated with violence and ignorant of the power of non-violent tactics.

Percy Mayfield was a great poet. I suppose nobody would call Please Send Me Somebody to Love an antiwar song. But it is a powerful anthem of Soul Power. These lines have been in my head for the last few days:

I lay awake night and ponder world troubles.
My answer is always the same.
That unless men put an end to all of this,
Hate will put the world in a flame, (oh) what a shame.
Just because I'm in misery.
I'm not begging for no sympathy.
But if it's not asking too much,
Just send me someone to love.

1950 and the public was sharing a vision for a more peaceful world. We need anti-war songs, but really what's needed most are love songs. soul music.

Vanessa said...

I find the sociology stuff so interesting.

I just watched a movie called "Sugar Cane Alley" that was pretty good.

Dave Dubya said...

There are plenty of anti-war songs out there. Unfortunately Rock and Roll has been corporatized. The consolidated media, radio and TV, are corporate dominated and corporate censored.

What hasn't been censored is now co-opted into commercial jingos.

Heard Imagine on the radio lately?
The music of dissent has been driven underground.

I've done my part and posted my music at my blog. The music is there. "You just gotta poke around."

Daisy said...

"You just gotta poke around."

Hey! I caught that! :)