The political conventions are done and so we can look forward to the Presidential campaigns kicking into high gear for the next couple of months. The two parties will spend endless time and money attacking the other side, distorting the smallest and most insignificant gaffes to manufacture outrage. They’ll distort their opponent’s record. They’ll spout bromides while offering no specifics about what they plan to do if elected. The press won’t ask any hard questions to help clarify positions or help the voters make an informed decision. Here’s some music to help keep things in perspective.
Bobby Messano “Politician” (Cream)
There has been a lot said in this election about “Chicago style politics.” And having grown up in Chicago I know a thing or two about political greed and corruption. I also know enough to know that greed and corruption are not the exclusive domain of one political party or the other. Cream’s song makes that point quite well.
Nouvelle Vague “God Save The Queen” (Sex Pistols)
When this song came out it seemed like the inarticulate howling of a bunch of snotty punks, which when I think about it isn’t a bad description. But it’s also something more subtle. It’s not a rant against the Queen, it’s and indictment of the politicians who sell (and the voters who buy) a semi-mythical vision of colonial power and easy wealth in Britain while the youth sees “no future.”
The Genbaku Onanies “Elected” (Alice Cooper)
I had problems finding a decent cover of this song, so I had to settle for this revved-up version. I’ve always liked the line about being a Yankee Doodle Dandy in a gold Rolls Royce.
Richie Havens “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (The Who)
This song is pretty disillusioned with the whole concept of politics in general. Sadly it is too often the case that the new boss is the same as the old boss. But a determination to not get fooled again is vital when it comes time to cast your vote.
The Easy Star All-Stars “Electioneering” (Radiohead)
There’s nothing subtle about this one. I will stop at nothing, it’s just business, I trust I can rely on your vote.