Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Let's Get Political

I read the newspaper, yes I do: paper of record, The New York Times.

This is what caught my attention today:

Bono, the lead singer of U2 and a self-proclaimed nonpartisan, has just made an intriguing hire to his operation: Matthew Dowd, a former top adviser to George W. Bush.

You can read more about it in The NY Times and draw your own conclusions.

It may all be spin, and Bono is really good at it... but if it is for real... then music (be it alternative, rock n roll, and punk rock and all the other genres) has the power... because of its role in projecting the appearance of a unified, galvanized common thought...by dint of having an avatar upon which to hang one's political hat.

Brings me back to some of my favorite political punk rock spokes-voices:

sham 69 live
Sham 69, on tour now in the USA

and

dils chip jumping
The Dils seen here in their 1978 San Francisco glory

avengers BW
and The Dils good friends and frequent gig partners, The Avengers.

Punk Rock had its own fair share of political acts and inspirations.

In Los Angeles Punk Rock circa 1979, it was all about the Elks Lodge Riot. This fabulous poster from that event comes courtesy of one of the longest-running zines in punk rock and in California - Flipside.

This riot was definitely a case of the cops over-reacting to kids whose culture they knew nothing about, didn't understand and didn't want to and in a Riot On The Sunset Strip kind of way, just wanted to shut it down.

Some things never change.

But as Sham 69 tells us: "If the kids are united, we will never be divided." Words to live by. And let's not forget the Avengers putting into sharp focus what it means to be living in politically-motivated America in The American in Me.

And from a totally different genre, but punk in its own way, Fight the Power! Word up, Chuck D.


I just hope that by Bono recruiting someone from George W. Bush's world, the power is being fought from within and there's some kind of sensible unification in the fight against poverty - which should be against the phenomenon of poverty itself, the endless and stupid cycles of government hypocrisy that perpetuates poverty and not become another war on poor people.

People have the power! Thank you Patti Smith for those words of encouragement!

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