What should I be doing instead of this?
Home · Articles · Music · Minimum Gauge · RNC, Politics and Lennon

RNC, Politics and Lennon

By Mike Breen · March 4th, 2009 · Minimum Gauge


You Down With the RNC?
Republicans keep throwing everybody against the wall to see who sticks in terms of a revolutionary leader. Though a hypocritical radio blowhard seems to have emerged the winner, in the recent past the party has slung a plumber and a beauty queen/moose killer at the public to no avail. At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, conservatives showed more desperation, showcasing a bright 13-year-old Karl Rove-in-the-making.

But our favorite new awkward Republican has to be Hi-Caliber, a construction-worker-turned-rapper from New Jersey who was at CPAC spittin’ about our country’s socialist President and rhyming Nancy Pelosi with “phony baloney.” This comes on the heels of MC M-Steele (a.k.a. Michael Steele, chairman of the RNC) saying “We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-suburban Hip Hop settings.”

We don’t think it will work, but the prospect of an Ann Coulter/Sean Hannity feud (a la Biggie and Tupac) is more than a little exhilarating. In response, Sean Penn has announced he’ll be racing NASCAR, Bruce Springsteen is doing a duets album with Toby Keith and Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon are set to begin work on the next film in the “Left Behind” series.


The Politics of Stealing Songs for Politics
With the number of times a songwriter has gotten pissed over a political campaign’s inappropriate use of one of his or her tunes, perhaps it’s time for the politicians to start using public domain songs.

Proving that there are worse things in the world than having one of your tunes used in a Preparation H commercial, a federal judge recently shot down a motion by John McCain and the Republican National Committee to dismiss Jackson Browne’s lawsuit claiming copyright infringement.

McCain is accused of using Browne’s “Running on Empty” in a presidential campaign commercial without permission. As it turned out, the song was more appropriate than McCain knew.

And it’s not just American politicians looking to unauthorized tunes to bolster their campaigns: Indie Electro Psych duo MGMT is asking to be paid for French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP party’s use of their song “Kids” in online videos and at their conference. The party at first apologized and made some statements about how all artists should be fairly compensated. Then they offered the group a whopping 1 euro for their trouble. In a fine show of political hypocrisy, the claims come just a week before Sarkozy’s party tries to sell the French parliament on new, stricter penalties for illegal file-sharing and pirating. We figure Sarkozy is just angling for the job of RIAA president.


Imagine That
Religious types apparently aren’t above copping a song inappropriately either. In the case of the Church of England, it’s the song of one of its one-time foes … and the song is anti-religion!

Acting like the stupid couple that does their first dance at their wedding reception to The Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” the Liverpool Cathedral this summer will begin ringing out the sounds of John “Bigger Than Jesus” Lennon’s 1971 classic “Imagine” — you know the one: “Imagine no religion/ It’s easy if you try.”

Though the intention is noble — a spokesperson said they wanted to use the song because Lennon’s involvement in the peace movement is in line with true Christian values — even “Yellow Submarine” would be more fitting. This puts the church in sketchy company: The last entity to misinterpret a Beatle-related song so wrongly was Charles Manson, who decided “Helter Skelter” would make a good killing-spree anthem.



comments powered by Disqus