Music men. Co-opting the tea party. Bye and Bayh. Global corruption. Politcal monsters and more.
A NEW OPTIMISM
Re: Daniel J. Flynn’s How the Knack Conquered Disco:
Funny how one’s memories of a time or event are illuminated by an academic’s spotlight trained on the period decades hence. In 1979 I was eighteen, on my own in happening South Florida and thoroughly tired of disco. I was openly contemptuous of it for all of the usual indictments — cheesy, shallow, chickified, but also secretly jealous because it was primarily the domain of our older boomer sisters and brothers who were moving on from their hippy days and thus what it offered was mostly out of reach to us. What was out of reach about it, as anyone a little too young to fully participate will admit if he’s honest, was the explicit wenching and whoring that beckoned because a man needed flashy clothes, cars, drugs, legal access to bars, dance moves and a rap with the ladies to fully realize the disco scene. After all, wasn’t the allure of Studio 54 making the grade and through the door as much as dancing on its floor? All of those items required (and still do) the most necessary ingredient of all — money, which 18 year old guys working a loading dock didn’t have in quantity enough to be a player. No, I had thrown my lot in with Led Zeppelin, the Stones and all the lesser lights of what we call today “classic Rock” years before. Like anything tribal, our embrace of hard rock or “real rock ‘n roll”, as we called it at the time, was as much an open rejection of the boomer’s disco scene and a self-conscious differentiation as it was an affinity for the music.
And then came The Knack with a new sound. Out of nowhere. I loved My Sharona, still do and I have it on my gym workout mp3 playlist. Until today I never knew Doug Fieger’s name and still couldn’t tell you who the other guys where. In fact, I remember stories at the time circulated over the airwaves of real rock stations, defined as those that played the rock greats when their stuff was new (103.5 WSHE- Miami- “She’s Only Rock ‘n Roll”), that they were all highly talented studio pros who had gotten together for the express purpose of releasing a hit album to make a fortune after which they would vanish. They were to be one hit wonders and proud of it. And that’s about exactly how it went and more or less confirmed by Mr. Flynn.
Was The Knack single handedly responsible for dethroning disco? Perhaps, but there were other forces gathering strength at the time so I suspect if not The Knack, some other group would have come along and done the job. For as Mr. Flynn notes, disco was as much a cultural phenomenon as a musical genre and thus, as all cultural moments are, of finite mortality. Disco had played out its string. Journey, The Cars, The Talking Heads, Divo and even Blondie along with The Knack and many others were elements of a new sound we called “New Wave” and consciously recognized as the departure from disco and 60’s style rock, the two sides of the same boomer coin, we were waiting for. New Wave fully blossomed in the early '80s, not incoincidently, during America’s reinvigoration and a palpable optimism in the air of “morning in America” and perfectly suited the times. It is fully consistent that as America rejected the malaise and defeatism of the '70s it created a new soundtrack of upbeat optimism to go with it and New Wave was that. It was a new land for a new tribe and lots of us, particularly those of us who would come fully of age in that decade, de-camped to it.
One quibble I do have with Mr. Flynn’s critique of My Sharona’s
“slightly less catchy guitar riff”, however. He must have heard
the “radio edit” version which tragically cuts out approximately
one minute, and the very heart, of the riff. I’d invite him to
listen to the full album version for a reappraisal.
— Mark Shepler
BREAKING THE LOCK
Re: W. James Antle, III.’s Conservatism’s Constitution:
This is all well and good but someone should tell the Republican establishment about it. The Republican establishment is already trying to co-opt the tea party movement through the likes of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.
I was initially a fervent supporter of both of these people but Palin’s campaign support for John McCain and Rick Perry have revealed her to be just another establishment front person. Likewise for Glenn Beck who recently revealed himself to also be a tool of the establishment by criticizing Debra Medina for her failure to give a definitive”no” when she was questioned by Mr. Beck about truther movement. She actually gave the same answer I would have given, that she didn’t have enough information to give an opinion. This is exactly what I would have said because I, like most Americans, view it as a non-issue.
That’s not to say that I have dismissed it completely, after all we have what amounts to a one party gangster government in Washington, D.C. A government that is as corrupt and dictatorial as the old Soviet government. They are just more sophisticated and instead of using terror to control the populace they use propaganda, bread, and circuses. ( welfare, food stamps, televised sporting events, the MSM, and our educational system).
Let me just make a prediction: The Republicans will retake
Congress in 2010 and the presidency in 2012. Once in office the
Republican establishment will re-assert itself and we will have
more open borders, illegal immigration, outsourcing of our jobs
and manufacturing base, more affirmative action, importation of
more cheap labor via the Visa and refugee rackets, bigger
government, more wars, more borrowing from abroad, a failing
educational system, increased spending and a growing budget
deficit. It will be business as usual but the upside is that this
will finally lead to the formation of a third party strong enough
to break the lock that this one party system has had on our
government for the last century.
— Paul Martell
Re: RiShawn Biddle’s Election Boilermakers:
One fact of life in Indiana is that the weather changes about every 15 minutes, but nothing much else ever does.
This year is shaping up to be one of those exceptional years where everything could change.
This year, unlike many others election years I’ve seen, the response of average voters isn’t a barely concerned “Oh, I don’t know…” but a determined “Let me tell you something…” Normally, the average Indiana voter is far more concerned this time of year with basketball rivalries and hasn’t given any thought to politics. So when someone around here who isn’t one of the usual political animals starts telling you about politics, you’d better sit up and take note.
Much of the anger I’ve seen is focused — people know what they’re angry about — but they haven’t quite figured out what to do about it. One thing is certain; any candidate that in our eyes offers more of the same is in for one helluva fight this time around. One of the challenges any political hopeful faces is that the BS filters around here are cranked up to max. Any politician who thinks the party talking points will carry him through is in for a rude surprise in short order.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?