But To Be Honest, Who Even Likes Tony Bennett?
There was some light to come out of those Gore hearings. Buried under the blather about carbon neutrality and organic farming and cotton underwear and penguins getting suntans, was a quote from Roscoe Bartlett, (R-MD), who, like us tends to believe in the whole stewardship of the Earth thing, but doesn’t quite buy Al’s theory that we’re going to get swallowed alive radiation-mutated fish who are currently trapped in ice floes but won’t be when we greenhouse gas the atmosphere into a convection oven. Roscoe said, “It’s possible to be a conservative without appearing to be an idiot.” It is. Its actually possible to be a conservative without actually being an idiot. Its even possible to be a conservative and be hip. We do it all the time. All it involves are a few ironic screen-printed tee shirts, a splash of Sparks, an iPod with music by bands with complicated names, and an air of utter disdain for your fellow human. Its really easy once you get the hang of it.
And yes, thats conservative. If savoring the goodness of the past is traditionalism, then savoring a dry martini is right within our ideology. We’re hip–or as hip as you can be while not flogging a two-year old Kaffiyeh scarf trend (though to have articulable political reasons not to is just as sexy, apparently). And frankly, if we, as a whole aren’t getting the “hippest acts in the music industry” to man our parties, its probably because, well, honestly, they suck. And we can say that. We’re insufferable conservative music snobs.
Pity the poor Republican party planner in a town filled with Democratic entertainers.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) may have a list of singers lined up to croon people into opening their wallets at fundraisers (James Blunt and Alicia Keys have been approached, among other A-listers, to sing for Clinton at her megawatt soiree in Beverly Hills on Saturday). But don’t expect the same treatment when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney comes to town to raise money for his Republican presidential bid the following week.
Unless you’re Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who can provide his own entertainment, the local GOP fundraisers are less like Billboard magazine’s Top 10 and more like late-night music infomercials.
Hold up, lefties. Lets not be so proud of yourselves. We might have soulless Christian rock on our criminal music record, but washed-up sixties staples and whiny 90s rockers aren’t exactly…uh…Lollapalooza (which, ironically, was created by Perry Farrell to be equal opportunity political).
Okay, last we checked, Fergie was totally on the Billboard Top Ten, and if you want to call Fergie any kind of an artist, you’re going to have to expand your definition to include cats with bowel obstructions. If we sat around blogging in our underwear–and who says we don’t–would we become top stars? Probably if someone took pictures. Which is exactly what happened to Fergie, only she got her picture taken while infringing copyright. The named groups aren’t much better–Clinton had Michael Bolton (so last decade’s soccer mom fetish), Michael Stipe (who, while maintaining his street cred, looks far too much like Moby now to officially be interesting), and Natalie Merchant (who’s like Alanis Morisette for people who like more whining)–and some of them make better metaphors for the party’s members than musical acts (reputed felons Wycleaf Jean and Lil Kim), We’ll give them the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but the fact that our older aunt who thinks she hip name drops them to make us believe in her debatable togetherness lends them a certain archaic air. And darned if anyone under thirty who hasn’t spent their lives roasting in patchouli can correctly identify a song by Carole King or James Taylor. Talk about late-night music infomercials. Thats almost compilation tribute album. Lets face it, in a fight, Kid Rock could whup Barbara Streisand, even tag-teaming James Brolin on a good hair day.
Of course, part of the reason that Democrats appear so much “cooler” on the music front is that musicians are suggestible enough to adopt the party line. You don’t meet musicians who have complicated views on things like foreign policy. Back in 1968, someone wrote a phenomenal anti-war song, and since then, its just been inexplicably cooler to be stupid. It doesn’t matter how ridiculously ironic it is watching someone order a thousand-dollar pizza and talk about redistribution of the proletariats wealth, or how obviously outdated their views, their outfits, their superficiality and their pragmatic socialism is, someone told them it was the way to think, and gollygoshdarnit, they’re going to stick to it like hairspray on a Massachusetts Senator. Granted, its usually the liberals on campus who know where to buy the best stuff, and they get you out of class to protest car washes that don’t use biodegradable soap, but ten years from now, when they’re protesting our fabulous big box retail chain, we’ll also be the ones financing their remarkable Grammy-award winning careers.
E.M. is obnoxiously elitist in her views on politics and music every day at The American Princess.
E. M. Zanotti