Thursday, September 17, 2015

For A Song

Everyone is talking about the latest debate, but I want to talk about a Donald Trump controversy--does he have anything else?--that happened last week.  At a rally he used R.E.M.'s "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)." The band tweeted its outrage, making clear they didn't support Trump and didn't want him to use their music.

It's only the latest in a series of such foofaraws--this campaign alone we've had Neil Young, Survivor and Dropkick Murphys complain about Republicans playing their music.  This sort of thing goes back at least to Bruce Springsteen being unhappy with Ronald Reagan using "Born In The USA."

Note these controversies only seem to go in one direction. As far as I can tell, no right-wing act (who--Ted Nugent or some country singer?) has complained that a left-wing politician played their song.  Indeed, most bands seem tickled when Democrats play their music--such as Bill Clinton's use of Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop."

Mostly it means nothing.  It's a chance for the musicians to make some noise, but otherwise no one would care. When Scott Walker played Dropkick Murphy's version of "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" at an event, no one thought "Gee, the Celtic punk band that recorded this song must really be anti-union." They didn't think that of Woody Guthrie either, who wrote the song.  If they even recognized the recording, they'd think "hey, Scott Walker's playing that song from The Departed" and that's about it.

These stories last a day or two and then everyone forgets them--which is too much attention already.  But I expect more from Donald Trump. Doesn't he answer every slight?  I thought we'd hear something like this:

I recently heard R.E.M. complained I played one of their songs--a song, by the way, that didn't make the top forty.  It's sickening to hear this washed-up band, that was never that good to begin with, and which Warner Brothers paid way too much for, try to hop on my bandwagon to get some free publicity.  The truth is someone on my staff liked this song, and though I personally loathe their politics, I was open enough to allow it to be played.  Too bad they can't show similar tolerance.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So since you have styled the words as coming out of Trump's mouth, are we to assume that you think they are pure idiocy.

Because I get that.

PS note to the Donald on last night's debate- the toned-down act (well relatively toned-down) doesn't help- play to your strength. Braggadociousness, for lack of better term, is good. Braggadociousness works.

7:19 AM, September 17, 2015  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

A+. Good to start the day with a laugh!

8:24 AM, September 17, 2015  

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