Published 6 September 2008
America , Art & Culture , Politics & Policy
Tags: Ann Wilson, Barracuda, Bill Clinton, Celine Dion, Clinton, copyright, Fletwood Mac, Frankie Valli, Heart, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, implied endorsement, intellectual property, Jackson Browne, John Hall, John Mellencamp, Lanham Act, McCain, music, Nancy Wilson, Obama, Orleans, Palin, piracy, PUMA, Republican National Committee, RNC, Stevie Nicks, Tom Waits, trademark, Van Halen
The McCain-Palin campaign is having a hard time getting its groove on.
For politicians, every public event features a soundtrack of popular music, selected by the campaign staff as anthemic of the message du jour. Bill Clinton used Fleetwood Mac’s Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow until we all ripped the Stevie Nicks posters from our bedroom walls in violent fits of overload. Hillary Clinton held an internet-based, you-select-my-theme-song contest which, after more than 200,000 electronic votes, somehow chose Canadian schlock diva Celine Dion’s You and I. PUMA must stand for Positively Unlistenable Musical Aesthetics.
But seemingly each time McCain and Palin put the needle to vinyl, they receive a cease-and-desist demand from the recording artists.
Continue reading ‘McCain Doesn’t Rock’
… I’d give a major speech on gender in America, just as he did on race in his brilliant Philadelphia address.
Of course, this was something that Hillary Clinton should have done, while she was still in the campaign. But she was too busy decrying her victimization – which was, sadly, not invented – and galvanizing her feminist base around the insult. The positive, inspirational route was not in Ms. Clinton’s political playbook.
An Obama address on the evils of persistent sexism would not only have intrinsic value, it would also help to ease Ms. Clinton’s army of wounded feminists into his fold.
No one is looking forward to today’s announcement by Hillary Clinton that she will withdraw from the presidential race more than I. (Okay, maybe Barack Obama; but I’m a very close second.)
Ms. Clinton appalls me, and has ever since she first started running for president back in 1999, as she triangulated her way through conservative upstate New York to earn her Senate-seat-launching-pad. Or before then, during her husband’s presidency, when her delusional, ham-handed political instincts offered a precursor to the Bush-Cheney cult of secrecy, and reminded the rest of us that the cover-up is often worse than the alleged scandal. I find her to be the archetypal politician: a person who believes in nothing so much as their own accession to (or retention of) power, and who will say or do whatever is required in the service of that belief.
I loathe Ms. Clinton. But I also abhor the way in which she has been treated during her impressive (if often impressively Machiavellian) campaign for the presidency, and what that treatment continues to say about America.
Continue reading ‘Being Rid of Hillary’
Published 5 June 2008
Art & Culture , Canada , Sport
Tags: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC, crisis, Hillary Clinton, hockey, Hockey Night in Canada, music, television, theme song
Sure, America is facing international isolation, an economic recession, a declining dollar, a crumbling infrastructure, incessant constitutional crises, a military stretched too thin to advance its objectives or act as a deterrent to the whims of rogue states, and Hillary Clinton. But that ain’t shit compared to what’s hitting the fan in Canada!
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation looks to be abandoning the theme song to Hockey Night in Canada, after declining to pay the license fee demanded by the copyright holder. Canadians are duly outraged.
Continue reading ‘And You Think America Has Problems’
There is rarely a shortage of things to get depressed about in American politics, but today I feel especially low. Samantha Power, who had been an advisor to Barak Obama on foreign policy issues, resigned from his campaign following a remark to a journalist that Hillary Clinton is “a monster,” referring to the Clinton campaign’s incessant smears of Obama. Professor Power is one of the bright young voices of foreign policy, and her work has focused on the ethical dimension of foreign interventions. Her book, Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, won a 2003 Pulitzer Prize. To see her depart from the Obama camp, over something so stupid, is disheartening.
When her remark was published, the Clinton campaign immediately called for Professor Power’s head. They were shocked (SHOCKED!) and outraged (OUTRAGED!) at such callous name calling. Ms. Clinton’s surrogates demanded that Mr. Obama sack her. The outcry of Representative Nita Lowey of New York was typical: “We’re here today to ask Senator Obama to ask Samantha Power not to be part of his campaign. It’s really a test for Obama, a test of character.”
It was indeed a test of character; and Mr. Obama failed it. He accepted Professor Power’s resignation, giving credibility to the foolishness of the feigned insult and losing an amazing advisor in the process.
Continue reading ‘Obama Fails a “Test of Character”’
Published 25 June 2005
America , Politics & Policy
Tags: American flag, Bill of Rights, desecration, Duke Cunningham, Easy Rider, First Amendment, flag, flag burning, free speech, Hillary Clinton, House of Representatives, lingerie, Patriot Act, Peter Fonda, political speech, Suporeme Court, Texas v. Johnson, William Brennan
It has been threatened ever since the Republican party took control of all three branches of government, but the full-frontal assault on the Bill of Rights has finally begun in earnest. I’m not talking about the legislative embarrassment called the U.S. Patriot Act, pushed by the Bush (be-afraid-be-very-afraid) administration and passed by legislators who would have read it, really, had they the time. I’m talking about a full-on constitutional amendment to abolish free-speech rights granted by the First Amendment, as passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday. It looks as though, before long, the “physical desecration” of the Amrican flag will be a criminal offense.
Continue reading ‘These Colors Don’t Burn’