Photo by manhhai
I grew up and lived in an era of massive changes in America and the world. The year I was born, 1954, saw the inception of McCarthyism, Brown vs Board of Education case (segregation of schools), Ellis Island was closed, Operation “Wetback” began to send 4 million illegal aliens back to Mexico, “Under God” was added to the Pledge, Polio vaccines began, the first US Nuclear Sub was commissioned and Boeing launched it’s 707, and Elvis was in the house with his first demo recording. And it is amazing looking back that many issues on the day I was born are still with us today.
For those of us that were born at the end of the Baby Boom, life and times promised to be explosive, music would be revolutionary and technology was about to enter a golden age. And the world became a lot smaller.
When I was about 9 or 10, music was becoming a huge part of my life. The Vietnam War was heating up and the early boomers, the WWII “war children” were becoming adults. The Big Bands had faded, Dean Martin and Andy Williams were pushed aside by the British Invasion led by the Beatles, that ran smack into the San Francisco sound and acid rock of the Grateful Dead, Santana and Jefferson Airplane. And the music melting pot that collided from east and west in mid America combined with the drug culture and was tempered by the Folk Music which was also effected by the East meets West music and drug phenomenon. People were wearing flowers in their hair, joints in their mouths, Nehru
Jackets and Bell Bottoms adorned with tie dyed psychedelic attachments black light paints.
And while Bob Dylan was telling us “the Times They Are a-changing” I picked up a guitar and the sax. I cut my musical teeth on such a wide variety of musical styles and instruments that was so far away from my parent’s tastes that I was an instant rebel without even trying.
In 1969, Woodstock happened. And man, did it happen. It wasn’t so much an event as it was the “coming out” party for my generation. It declared that we had arrived and there was nothing the world could do about it. A big “F” you to the establishment.
And the nightly news was ablaze with the war every night. And my generation gave a collective WTF??? We were the cannon fodder for the Benny Goodman generation with no clear reason to be fighting. Country Joe and the Fish said it well:
Well, come on all of you, big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
Yeah, he’s got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
Gonna have a whole lotta fun.
And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we’re all gonna die.
Photo by CRLS
The always ahead of his time Bob Dylan mocked the war in 1964 “With God on our Side”.
And groups from the mild and melodic Peter, Paul and Mary to CCR (Fortunate Son) to the Doors spoke against the war.
Barry McGuire sung:
You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’,
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’,
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.
And my generation cheered them on. We screamed and applauded with every note blasting our government for putting us in a useless and endless war. These songs changed the nation, but apparently we have forgotten the lessons.
But what you did not see then were any references to political parties. We realized that they were ALL guilty of profiteering and shared a love of the Military Industrial Complex. Democrats and Republicans alike. Democrat Lyndon Johnson was president for the beginning of this era, up until 1969 when Richard Nixon took over. but the music never changed. The lyrics were party independent.
Our music had a soul, a purpose and our cause was just and right. The music was totally apolitical. We objected to the war. Plain and simple.
But that is not what we see today. We all know most musicians are far left wing liberal Democrats. Which is OK. But in the 60’s and 70’s we left politics out of it. And while it may have seemed like music was political, it wasn’t. The protests targeted the war, not LBJ or Nixon.
But musicians these days have become outspoken Democrat hacks. When George W. Bush was in office it became worse. Musicians and their music moved from the 60’s and 70’s issue oriented music and protests to today’s personal attacks on any and every Republican. Democrats are given a free ride no matter what evil happens during their time in office. Attacks moved from actions to people and party.
When a musician like Madonna goes on a stage and is angry – livid – enough to say she has thought of blowing up the White House because Donald Trump won, it cheapens her music. She loses the moral high ground held by Dylan and the others who looked at policy, not party. Trump had not even had time to enact anything when Madonna ranted and raved and demonstrated her hatred of Trump as a person and his party, the Republicans. And this is the mold that most of today’s entertainers in film, television and music have fallen into. When “Country Joe and the Fish” asked one, two, three,
What are we fighting for the question was intended to ask what we are fighting for in Vietnam. Why are we there. But today when we ponder what Madonna and her ilk are fighting for, the only answer is that they are mad that their candidate lost.
The reason Madonna, Katie Perry and others, who started their anti Trump and anti-Republican hate campaign before and during the last election, are urging others to fight is, what? A war? No. They love Obama and he spent more than Bush on his wars and killed more Americans. So immigration? No. Obama deported over 3 million illegals and bush deported just over 2 million.
Well, what are we fighting for?
Nothing. Partisan politics. Madonna and Katie like Clinton and hate Trump. Why did they lose the election? Because their cause is shallow and completely manufactured. We had a freaking war that was killing us and costing us. We didn’t care which party or which president kept this thing going. They hated Johnson and they hated Nixon. It was about the cause. Not pure politics.
No, Madonna and Katie Perry and the others will probably not be invited to White House parties. Although under Donald Trump it couldn’t be ruled out entirely. But nobody paid them any mind because their cause is a complete fabrication, like much of the left. It is based on hype and complete fabrication. they take everything Trump ever uttered in any context they please and turn it in to something that is drawn out to it’s most absurd and illogical conclusions.
Bands and musicians proved in the 60’s that people will rally behind them if they have a cause that we can rally behind. Madonna and Perry have proved that their own personal hatred of someone is simply not a rally cry people will follow.
It is issues, not people, stupid.
If the cause is racial or social injustice, and if the basis of the cause is true and just, people will follow. If the cause is a manufactured outraged based on fiction and lies, people will understand that and you will lose them. Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street are two examples of causes without a cause. You can attract a few race baiters or drugged out modern day hippies, but the masses will not show up.
Celebrities can attract attention to a cause, but only if the cause has a purpose. And just because Madonna wants to elect Democrats is not enough of a reason for people to follow. When you hear her talk about how offended she was at Trump’s decades old locker room talk about grabbing women by their pu$$y only to see her in a pu$$y hat talking about her “period” on a loud speaker, most people with a brain understand that her outrage is fake and manipulative. And nobody is going to buy that. And they didn’t. And people hate to be used for political purposes. Or any reason.
Most people see Celebrities as an escape from the daily grind. TV shows, movies, songs and concerts are all diversions from the daily bombardment of our lives. Sometimes I put on my headset and Pandora and I just want to escape from the grind, if only for a little while. Or I turn on TV and try to get lost in a show or a movie. But as soon as I hear a Madonna song or see Alec Baldwin all I can think about is the hatred they spew. I can’t concentrate on the art of their craft. My rare moments of self indulging solitude and escape are shattered by the screeching of Madonna in a pu$$y hat or Baldwin just being Baldwin.
I grew up and idolized many of these people. Bruce Springsteen was amazing. Thunder Road, Rosalita (Come Out Tonight), Clarence “Big Man” Clemons wailing sax, in fact the whole “Born to Run” album seems to constantly spin in my head and comes to the forefront of my mind every chance it gets. And I welcome it! Yes, This is My Home Town.
“When you let that genie out of the bottle — bigotry, racism, intolerance… they don’t go back in the bottle that easily, if they go back in at all,” Springsteen said. “Whether it’s a rise in hate crimes, people feeling they have license to speak and behave in ways that previously were considered un-American and are un-American. That’s what he’s appealing to. My fears are that those things find a place in ordinary, civil society.”
Man, Springsteen’s words there are completely out of touch with reality. “bigotry, racism, intolerance,” really?
I have reached the point that I no longer listen to Springsteen much either these days. One by one, musicians are turning their art to garbage with their ignorant rhetoric and intolerant words and alienating their fans. Perhaps they don’t care. Most of these people are no longer “hungry”. They do not have a real “cause” and their fans are only interested in their art. But to most, a Crucifix in urine is what they are producing these days.
My advice, drop the Democratic campaign and stop trying to convince your fans your left wing politics are a cause. They are not. Feel free to vote however you want. A personal political agenda is simply not a cause. We respect your art, not necessarily your politics.