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Pop Culture vs. War!! (avert eyes)
April 2, 2003 1:27 AM   Subscribe

Pop Culture vs. War!! (avert eyes) So Madonna pulls her anti-war video at the last minute, "never to be seen again". Have to say, it sounds just as finely-wrought a piece of art as G.Micheal's Shoot the Dog. Meanwhile, Lil' Kim attempts some bridge-building between the cultures with this subtle intervention. In times of peace, we expect pop musicians to shoot their mouths off about anything - that's what we pay them for. But I haven't been impressed by anything from rock'n'pop yet in this war. (Micheal Moore's press conference at the Oscars rocked harder than any of them). Is it straight forward fear of career death (see Dixie Chicks)? Or is it just that nobody can do this (dylan) or this (Starr) anymore?
posted by theplayethic (29 comments total)

 
Dixie Chicks: backlink to MeFi discussion. Sorree.
posted by theplayethic at 1:39 AM on April 2, 2003


There's always MC Frontalot.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 2:08 AM on April 2, 2003


And Chumbawumba.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 2:13 AM on April 2, 2003


I wonder what the late lamented Stuart Adamson would have made of it all.
posted by rory at 2:36 AM on April 2, 2003


He was a Big Country member. And I'm sure we all do remember!
posted by Pretty_Generic at 2:39 AM on April 2, 2003


Sorry, shouldn't have been so cryptic in my nod to our thread-poster's Scottish origins. For those who remember Big Country for more than just a single or two from 1983, they were one of the more politically active British bands of the 1980s, and wrote some great paeans to peace. I've wondered more than once whether Adamson's taking his own life when he did was as much a reaction to global events as to his own demons.
posted by rory at 2:46 AM on April 2, 2003


Great. If they pull the song too, then I'll be really happy. There's only so much "Madonna trying to redefine hersef as Missy Elliot" bumpf that I can take.
I've got a mini cooper. It's really super-Duper. I don't know how to rap. This song is really crap..., etc.
posted by seanyboy at 2:54 AM on April 2, 2003


"The most provocative moment has Madonna posing in front of a large American flag, singing "I'm not a Christian and I'm not a Jew/I'm just living out the American Dream/And I just realized that nothing is what it seems."

That's provocative? Other than bad grammar (nothing is as it seems) I'm not seeing it.
posted by DBAPaul at 3:47 AM on April 2, 2003


Reminds me of this Onion story from a while back.
posted by Vidiot at 4:07 AM on April 2, 2003


Pop culture is all for 12 year olds, so what does it have to do with adult issues?
posted by HTuttle at 4:12 AM on April 2, 2003


Ah, I sure as hell wish the Clash or some similar band was coming of age right about now. They'd have much to say, eloquently so, about all of this.
posted by kgasmart at 6:17 AM on April 2, 2003


Now didn't they? And what exactly were they saying at the time? That a dose of Clash-style rock'n'roll will silence the muezzin? Um, cultural imperialism? "Drop your bombs between the minarets/Down the casbah way..." I'm confused. And so were they. Great piano riff. Crap political analysis.
posted by theplayethic at 6:27 AM on April 2, 2003


In times of peace, we expect pop musicians to shoot their mouths off about anything - that's what we pay them for. But I haven't been impressed by anything from rock'n'pop yet in this war.

Perhaps the bubble of Celebrity in which they live spares them no time to learn a whole lot about foreign policy and the complexities of war, and thus they'd feel phony posturing about something they're essentially ignorant of?

Naw that's not it....
posted by dhoyt at 7:05 AM on April 2, 2003


theplayethic,

What about "Boom" from System of a Down? Granted, the lyrics leave a lot to be desired, but I think the video carries the message quite well. I like parts of that video a lot, including the statistic "number of congressmen with a child in the military: 1". I can also watch the "dancing Bush" over and over again (around 1:35 mark).
posted by tuxster at 7:05 AM on April 2, 2003


Tsk. You should be reading MusicFilter.
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:20 AM on April 2, 2003


I'm pretty sure she pulled the video because it sucks.
It really does.
posted by signal at 7:56 AM on April 2, 2003


Mick Jones and Sigue Sigue Sputnik/GenX Tony James have responded with a great, slightly uncomprehensible tune on Alan McGee's poptones label called Why Do Men Fight. Scroll down.
posted by grimley at 8:25 AM on April 2, 2003


Here are two good lists of anti-war efforts by artists:

List 1

List 2
posted by tuxster at 9:11 AM on April 2, 2003


Very few entertainers on today's lyrical left would be able to carry Woody's axe



because they're now in the business of defending fascist dictators. This must bother them some small amount at some level, and may account for their relative muteness compared to the unanimous entertainer-leftie roar contra Viet Nam.
posted by jfuller at 9:29 AM on April 2, 2003


How can anybody be against a war that gets Madonna off our TV screens?

If we invade Iran, will J-Lo go away?
posted by bondcliff at 9:33 AM on April 2, 2003


rory, Pretty_Generic: Prior to Big Country, Stuart Adamson was in the raucous Scottish ensemble 'The Skids.' The lyrics to their biggest 'hit,' 'Into the Valley,' an anti-war song, here; and John Peel on seeing The Skids in a North London pub here. As I recall, at the time, the lyrics to ItV were seen as being a tad pretentious for a punk band, especially one from Scotland ;)

*As he types, carter whistles a tune he has not whistled for twenty years*
posted by carter at 9:53 AM on April 2, 2003


IIRC, someone answered the pic above with one of a gun with, "This machine makes music" on it.

Collapse of thin party.
posted by emf at 1:40 PM on April 2, 2003


*giggles* at Pretty_Generic. Evelyn Waugh must be smiling.
posted by flowerdale at 3:30 PM on April 2, 2003


I'm glad someone got it!
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:05 PM on April 2, 2003


War--huh!
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Say it again...

Edwin Starr died today.

By the way, jfuller, one can be against this war because its cost outweigh its benefits, heck, one can be against this war and not be against a legal under international law war to depose Saddam--that variation on the common slur of calling people who are anti-war pro-Saddam a and it surprises and saddens me to hear it coming from [an Osama enabler like] you. [see what I mean?] I really really doubt Woody Guthrie, Communist Party member that he was, would be for this war, either, considering where coughrightwingthinktankcough and from whom coughtaxcutsfortherichrepublicanpresidentcough it originated.

Talk about revisionism.... and a cheap shot, too.

By the way, slightly offtopic, but you do realize Colin Powell is for affirmative action and so are three former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, (Gen. John Shalikashvili, Gen. Henry Shelton, and Adm. William Crowe), former superintendents of the US military and Air Force academies, and 11 retired four-star generals (including Norman Schwarzkopf and Anthony Zinni) and I'm not putting words in their mouths to point this out to you. If you want to stick it to someone using their putative heroes, that's how it's done: tell the truth.
posted by y2karl at 12:37 AM on April 3, 2003


War--huh!
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Say it again...


[Good God, Y'All!]

War--huh!
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing!
Say it again...
posted by liam at 12:55 AM on April 3, 2003


> I really really doubt Woody Guthrie, Communist Party
> member that he was, would be for this war, either,
> considering where coughrightwingthinktankcough and
> from whom coughtaxcutsfortherichrepublicanpresidentcough
> it originated.

In which case I would expect Woody to change his motto blazoning to read "This machine kills some fascists and supports others." Which was exactly the behavior of other Communists of the period - viz., Stalin-Hitler nonaggression pact. Memories of the last scene in Animal Farm also come to mind.


> By the way, slightly offtopic, but you do realize Colin
> Powell is for affirmative action

Of course I'm aware of it. I have been been itching to vote for Colin as our first black President ever since he was head of the joint chiefs, and as such I have been paying attention.


> and so are three former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (snip)

I am also aware of the amicus brief filed by the military in the U. Michigan case argued Monday.


> If you want to stick it to someone using their putative
> heroes, that's how it's done: tell the truth.

What can I say, y2? I must be what I am out of native wickedness, because it isn't out of ignorance.
posted by jfuller at 6:28 AM on April 3, 2003


Well said, jfuller--and I did not and would not accuse you of ignorance in regards to Colin Powell and the amicus brief. Let us hope that in regards to affirmative action, the brief carries weight and influences the Court.

I do hope this war is soon over and I am glad the Iraqis will be free of Saddam and the cruelties of his minons--who wouldn't? People can be against the war for any number of reasons, from the thought that the eventual costs may out weigh the benefits, for instance. No one here ever was supporting Saddam any more than any one was supporting Osama bin Laden..

To say that tiresome slur either outright or by innuendo was the thing that approached wickedness--Woody Guthrie, affirmative action are side issues--it's a cheap shot, it's voo doo thinking and I was surprised to see it coming from you.
posted by y2karl at 8:25 AM on April 3, 2003


What a wretched song! The video goes right along with it.
posted by zanpo at 1:53 PM on April 3, 2003


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