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Saturday, May 20, 2006

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Steve the LLamabutcher

I disagree totally with the list order: as one who possesses dog-eared copies of the complete works of Friedrich Hayek and went through college with a framed poster of Milton Friedman over his bed, I would argue that song #38 completely captures the zeitgeist of Austrian/Chicago economic libertarian/conservatism as filtered through a post-Goldwater sagebrush Reagan lens.

Followed closely by #20---darn if that isn't one of the all-time greatest licks at the beginning.

I just saw on your sidebar you listen to PFunk---did you ever see the movie PC U? Hilarious scene in it with George Clinton out of his gourd.

fish

I remember, hanging out in the basement with my friends. A stolen six pack of Micky's big mouths, firing up the Apogee bong and rocking out to Tammy Wynette cranked up to 11. Man, those were the days. Real rebels we were.

kabuki

Oh for god's sake. If anything proves conservatives don't get rock-n-roll, this is it. Bob Dylan? Bowie? CCR? This is why he had to do a top SONG list instead of a top singer list, because it's easier to cherry pick one song's lyrics than try to convince us those people are conservatives. A singer list would be left with Sammy Hagar and Ted Nugent, and how sad is that?

I'm particularly irritated by the entry from the Cranberries, when they wrote one of the better PRO-CHOICE songs, "Free to Decide". "I live as I choose or I will not live at all"

Scott

This is why he had to do a top SONG list instead of a top singer list, because it's easier to cherry pick one song's lyrics than try to convince us those people are conservatives. A singer list would be left with Sammy Hagar and Ted Nugent, and how sad is that?

I thought it most notable and extremely amusing that the best known far-right conservative rocker of them all, the aforementioned Motor City Madman, Ted Nugent, didn’t make the list at all. What the--?! No "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang"?! How can that be?!

Hm. Spellcheck didn’t seem to recognize the word "poontang." I obviously need to elevate my writing somewhat.

Aaron

Cult of Personality... Isn't this line, "Neon lights a nobel prize / A leader speaks, that leader dies" a comment on the MLK, Jr. assassination?

Pablo Picasso

Kabuki completely misses the boat with his comments.
The list is a list of SONGS, not singers.

The 'reason' it is a list of songs is because:

A) that happens to be the stated intention by the columnist whom made the list.

B) it is NOT a referendum on the personal politics of "singers", as you refer to them, or artists, or songwriters...it is a collection of individual songs.

Additionally, Kabuki, you have a very narrow minded approach to interpreting art, as does Mr. Left of the Dial.

Go to your local art museum, and ask someone what they "see" in a particular painting. I bet you it will be different from what you "see."
That's the beauty of art---is it all in the eye of the beholder.
(well, except for Communist & Islamist regimes, where freedom of expression gets your butt thrown in jail, but that's a discussion for another day.)

Scott

Kabuki completely misses the boat with his comments.
The list is a list of SONGS, not singers.

Ah! Well, that clears that right up.

The 'reason' it is a list of songs is because:
A) that happens to be the stated intention by the columnist whom made the list.

Yes but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re bound to interpret it that way, does it?

B) it is NOT a referendum on the personal politics of "singers", as you refer to them, or artists, or songwriters...it is a collection of individual songs.

Oh. Well, why didn’t it say so at any point?

I might oh so hesitantly suggest that you may have mayhap missed Kabuki’s point, which was that, yes, indeed, this was a list of SONGS, not singers—he or she never, in fact, disputed that. His or her point was that it was a list of SONGS, not singers, not only because that was more interesting, but because the writer would have been unable to compile 50 Great Conservative Rock Singers/Writers. That’s all

At least, that’s how I interpret what Kabuki wrote. Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps, however, that’s not what Kabuki actually meant. Or perhaps that’s not what I actually mean, it’s merely what I think I mean. At this point in time.

Kabuki, you have a very narrow minded approach to interpreting art, as does Mr. Left of the Dial.

Oh, please, no need to be so formal—Mr. Left of the Dial is my dad. You can just call me Left.

As for my having a narrow-minded approach to art, you might be right, but it’s certainly no more narrow than, say, putting together a list of songs you believe conform to the conservative mindset. I mean, jeez, talk about narrow and restrictive.

Then again, maybe you’re just not interpreting my interpretation correctly, and wouldn’t that be a hoot and a half?

Go to your local art museum, and ask someone what they "see" in a particular painting. I bet you it will be different from what you "see."

A very good chance indeed. Which explains how the compiler of this list can so completely twist the obvious interpretation of so many of the songs listed here. Perhaps, regardless of the artist’s stated intent and/or divorced from the rest of the artist’s body of work, there is no one right interpretation of, well, anything. I mean, it’s all so relative, isn’t it?

That's the beauty of art---is it all in the eye of the beholder.

Huh. Of all the wonderful things I love about art, it’s never occurred to me that the beauty of it was that it has no real inherent meaning, but is rather completely and totally dependent upon the observer’s POV. Perhaps some art is, or at least can be, but all art? All art is completely subjective?

So it can be argued that Hamlet, say, or the Pietá or the Grosse Fuge are actually about gay marriage? Or perhaps at their very core they’re actually all about whelks. I mean, if that’s what a given beholder thinks, then they are, right? [And, really, when you come right down to it, isn’t everything all about whelks?]

In other words, it seems that you think Art is nothing more than a Rorschach test, designed to reveal something about you, whereas I would have thought that, interesting as that might sometimes be, the point of Art, or at least most art, is to reveal something to you. The artist has something he or she wants to say, and doesn’t create a given piece of art merely to find out what you think of it.

Hm. I reckon I’ll have to ponder this more.

Then again, perhaps I’m just misinterpreting you. Or perhaps you only think I am. Perhaps you’re misinterpreting yourself.

I’m so confused. All this relativism! Being a somewhat religious liberal, I'm not used to it.

Finally, I would make a Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers allusion to your name but I wouldn’t want to be, you know, misinterpreted.

Cam

This list is a joke. To pick a few words, out of context mind you, and try to connect them to the conservative movement is absolutely ludicrous. Maybe, MAYBE, 5 of the artists listed above had any rightward leanings, and most of these songs are either apolitical or even liberal in tone. A true list of the best conservative songs would have to stoop to John Ashcroft and Prussian Blue. Sad...

John

RE: Sweet Home Alabama

The line referred to in Sweet Home Alabama is actually a direct response to "Southern Man" by Niel Young. From the research I've done the entire song is a response to Neil Young's song.

joking_guy

From this list I gather John Miller thinks that being against the Cold War automatically makes you a Conservative in everything? I think there were a few liberals who weren't too happy about the whole incident.


Quoting things out of context makes anyone sound smart.

Name one, John. ;)

The Beatles

You left out the relevant line in 'Revolution' - 'if you're talking about destruction, don't you know that you can count me out'.. Nice to find out that all you conservatives are anti-war after all! Finally.

jason

I think it's a shame that Miller did not bother to solicit comments from the songwriters. Most of them are still alive.

Then again, an interview with some of these artists might have revealed, as Bill Hicks surmised, that all of the best songs were written by people who were "rrrrreal high on drugs".

dmc

Many times in this list, the author has quoted lyrics representing a POV that the song writer is condemning, to be the POV of the song writer himself. Rather moronic.

U2 quoting Latin is an expression of their catholicism not politics, Iron Maiden quoting S.T.C. I think you need to perhaps acquaint yourself with a little of the debauchery that coleridge did in his lifetime.

Foolish at best

algertman

Jesus Jones man, JESUS JONES!

Cleveland Bob

If it hasn't been said already:

Two words...cognitive dissonance.

Conservative Rock is an OXYMORON.

Conservatives don't know HOW to rock.

Conservatives are uncool fascists.

Conservatives are your parents banging on your bedroom door, shouting "TURN DOWN THAT NOISE".

Dubya thinks an Oxymoron is a particularly stupid draft animal.

nikto

What about "The Green Berets" by Barry Sadler?
Very righty-Jingoistic.

And the most rightwing tune of all:

"WAR PIGS" by Black Sabbath--It's f'n ABOUT CONSERVATIVES,
fer Chrissake!!

HDBiker

This proves conservatives need to be talked to like two year olds. They can't even get the meaning out of songs! That explains why bush is soooooooo god damn patronizing. He is talking to his ignorant base! How about that! I am part of the eddumacated elite!

Where is Janice Joplin? She was praying in Mercedes Benz.

heads

"...as one who possesses dog-eared copies of the complete works of Friedrich Hayek and went through college with a framed poster of Milton Friedman over his bed, I would argue that song #38 completely captures the zeitgeist of Austrian/Chicago economic libertarian/conservatism as filtered through a post-Goldwater sagebrush Reagan lens."

Priceless sentence, was your major "Contrived Writing" with a minor in "Pointless Referencing of Academics?" And a framed Friedman poster? Perhaps they were all out of signed lithographs...

JamesE

This list is unbelievably puerile and uninformed; its author is implicitly admitting that, since conservatives are virtually without creative allies, it's necessary to willfully misconstrue a few lines from particular songs to enlist them in their "cause."
The inclusion of about 95% of these tracks could be effectively contested, but a few are conspicuously bizarre: Iron Maiden's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner?" Because it has Coleridge as its source? Though Coleridge may have employed a somewhat conservative (in literary terms) prosody, have you known many conservatives to read much more than the latest Anne Coulter book and the like? Or are literary classics now the domain of Republicans? Anyway, aren't they always bashing "literary and cultural elites?"
The inclusion of The Clash amounts to a smear. Nor do I really see the connection, unless Miller perceives "Rock the Casbah" as being "politically incorrect" and thus to his liking. Strange and more than a little pathetic.

Samurai Sam

He left Bob Seger off the list too. "Her Strut" is a fine conservative anthem.

Scott

So several folks have complained that I said Rush was, at their very best, a seventh-rate band. After much reflection, I have decided that these folks are correct. Feel free to delete Rush in that sentence and replace them with Sammy Hagar or The Rainmakers (who I actually liked for a while in college—we even covered one of their songs in our eleventh-rate band). Rush is more like a third-rate band at their very best and I regret the slur and any hurt feelings I’ve caused the band or their fans.

Oh, but I did want to add—and maybe I should do this in an update to the main piece—that some of the songs were picked because they advocate getting and/or staying married. As though divorce is purely a liberal thang.

I guess that’s news to Ronald Reagan.
And Rudy Giuliani.
And John McCain.
And George Allen.
And Newt Gingrich.

Meanwhile, Hillary Rodham Clinton was pilloried for "standing by her man" through all his mortifying peccadilloes (mortifying because the Supreme Court absurdly ruled that it was only meet and just that their dirty laundry be aired posthaste and mainstream media insisted upon airing said dirty laundry continuously for years—but discussing actual presidential lawbreaking? Oh, heavens to mergatroid, we can’t have that…).

So, to recap:
When liberals divorce? Evil.
When liberals remain married? Evil, or at least conniving.
When conservatives get divorced? [Crickets chirping, and then] Look! Osama bin Laden!

David Flores

Bah... the "National Review" likes these dorky lists, mostly because they know they'll piss of Lefties who understand how absurd of an interpretative spin they're putting on these songs. I remember way back when NR did a "top conservative movies" of all time list. The said, for instance, that "The Bycicle Thief" was some sort of paean to the inalienable right to private property. As if a movie about a poor man who is driven to despair when the bycicle he needs for work is stolen bears any relation whatsoever to an American CEO's "inalienable right" to earn a $200 million paycheck.

List stories are all abouy the reaction to the list. The list itself is more of an afterthought.

HDBiker

Where is "Lola" by the Kinks? I mean come on, that totally describes the White house now!!!!

JamesE

AHAha, or maybe the opening lines of The Kinks' "Wicked Annabella" could be interpreted as a prescient and vivid glimpse into today's White House: "In a dark and misty house/Where no Christian man has been..." Why not? It would certainly be consistent with this list's tendency to twist lyrics so grossly out of context that they can mean pretty much anything.

Xaq Fixx

a great anti-welfare state song is the Flametrick Subs - "Government Issue Bathroom Tissue"
Well the old man never liked to work
The very thought of it drove him berzerk
He said the workin' man ain't nothin' but a fool
He said he'd never punch the clock
He'd punch his boss and then he'd walk
He'd be damned before he'd ever lift a tool

So with the help from some of his veteran friends
He sent some letters to some Congressmen
He'd check our box everyday for a reply
Well first they sent a government letter
Then the things they sent started gettin' better
And now you can see we're livin' far and wide

Chorus:
'Cause we got government issue bathroom tissue
Five pound blocks of cheese and powdered milk piled in the hall
U.S. Army surplus jeeps, big bags of beans, donated sheep
And so many God-damned food stamps that they're piled up wall to wall
(Yeah we got it all...y'all)

So if you're the type that don't like to work
Wanna sit around your house like a lazy jerk
Then listen real careful to my daddy's plan
Yeah come up with a story real pathetic
And write it down real poetic
Then send it to everybody in Congress, man

Chorus:
They'll give you government issue bathroom tissue
Five pound blocks of cheese and powdered milk piled in the hall
U.S. Army surplus jeeps, big bags of beans, donated sheep
And so many God-damned food stamps that they're piled up wall to wall

Lexslamman

How ironic, considering that most of these artists detested conservativism, as the faux-liberal republican right describes the ideology, anyway.

In fact, I don't think the author of this article has any clue what conservativism is, nor much of a clue as to the intentions of the songwriters whose work he has terribly misinterpreted.

Tomato Observer

Uh, that NRO piece has to be a joke. I mean a real joke. Get a sense of humor!

Paul Lyon

Scott:

The Grosse Fuge? How elitist of you! How many people are there who have even heard of the finale of op. 130, nevermind actually like listening to it :-) The last bits of the piece are, to be sure, wonderful, and especially the way it ends: the shortest, but one of the most satisfying of Beethoven's triumphal endings. (IMHO, the quartet goes just as well with its original ending, so no fair reminding me that the Grosse Fuge got detached.:-)

Fossilhippie

A real conservative top 50 list should include "Das Lied der Deutschen", otherwise known as "Deutschland Uber Alles" as well as the theme song from the classic Peter O'Toole movie, "The Ruling Class".

Dale

HOw about 'Police Truck' by the Dead Kennedys ?

Check the lyrics...

Scott

The Grosse Fuge? How elitist of you!

I try to leaven my transgressions at least sporadically by listening to a certain amount of Britney Spears. Hey, it's better'n being on the highway as the same time as she is.

How many people are there who have even heard of the finale of op. 130, nevermind actually like listening to it :-) The last bits of the piece are, to be sure, wonderful, and especially the way it ends: the shortest, but one of the most satisfying of Beethoven's triumphal endings. (IMHO, the quartet goes just as well with its original ending, so no fair reminding me that the Grosse Fuge got detached.:-)

The Grosse Fuge got detached. Oh, dammit! I wasn’t supposed to say that, was I? I can’t get nothin’ right…

I enjoy all of LvB’s quartets but particularly gravitate towards the late ones. The Grosse Fuge, however, is absolutely is my favorite of all his pieces for string quartet. It is an awe-inspiring creation.

…but I still prefer Shostakovich’s quartets. :)

trialsanderrors

24. "Der Kommissar," by After the Fire.
On the misery of East German life: "Don’t turn around, uh-oh / Der Kommissar’s in town, uh-oh / He’s got the power / And you’re so weak / And your frustration / Will not let you speak." Also a hit song for Falco, who wrote it.

Falco was Austrian, he wrote the song about Austrian drug subculture, and there wasn't even a police rank named Kommissar in East Germany. They truly lie about everything.

Eban Crawford

I will take a diferent track on my comment. Forget Conservatives and Liberals, this is a case of lists, and all lists suck.

I wonder why journalists that come up with these assinine top 50 and top 100 lists even get paid. They obviously can't come up with anything worthy for a deadline and thus resort to this.

Remember the horrible Rolling Stone top guitarists list that had Jack White, who is arguably a good songwriter, near the top of the list. Jack White as one of the best guitarists of all time?

The fact is, most, if not all, of these lists are complete wastes of time and space. In a world where we can't agree on big or small things, what gives these journalistic lightweights the idea that they can speak on anything with the authority to list the top anything?

People that read these lists as if they mean anything are part of our world problem today, many can't even motivate themselves to think or have an original thought.

BTW, I am neither Republican or Democrat, I am 100% Crawford, and totally full of myself.

Eban Crawford

I will take a diferent track on my comment. Forget Conservatives and Liberals, this is a case of lists, and all lists suck.

I wonder why journalists that come up with these assinine top 50 and top 100 lists even get paid. They obviously can't come up with anything worthy for a deadline and thus resort to this.

Remember the horrible Rolling Stone top guitarists list that had Jack White, who is arguably a good songwriter, near the top of the list. Jack White as one of the best guitarists of all time?

The fact is, most, if not all, of these lists are complete wastes of time and space. In a world where we can't agree on big or small things, what gives these journalistic lightweights the idea that they can speak on anything with the authority to list the top anything?

People that read these lists as if they mean anything are part of our world problem today, many can't even motivate themselves to think or have an original thought.

BTW, I am neither Republican or Democrat, I am 100% Crawford, and totally full of myself.

DAS

Jumping in and adding my $0.02 worth:

This list is indeed a list of conservative songs if and only if a certain definition of conservative is used -- an anti-communist who likes art that is, in a certain sense, 'classical'/allusive and who rejects moral relativism and change for the sake of change."

This definition applies to more than a few left-wing, beyond liberal moonbat Democrats and does not at all apply to many a neo-con.

This sort of thing is, however, a mere example of the sort of thing many conservatives do all the time: they claim to stand for, as "conservatives" certain things, but really many liberals stand for those things while the thrust of the conservative movement is to oppose those things. It's amazing how "conservatives" are able to so misrepresent and even delude themselves, ain't it?

Ben

For years, the social conservative movement has ceaselessly attacked rock music, and now they have the unmitigated gall to attempt to co-opt it for the sake of ham-handedly furthering their narcissistic fantasy-world agendas? If I wasn't so insulted by such this light-weight b.s., I would be laughing myself to the point of injury.

Ben

For years, the social conservative movement has ceaselessly attacked rock music, and now they have the unmitigated gall to attempt to co-opt it for the sake of ham-handedly furthering their narcissistic fantasy-world agendas? If I wasn't so insulted by such light-weight b.s., I would be laughing myself to the point of injury.

Don't they mean songs by liberal artists co-opted and interpreted by conservatives. Why don't they list the best conservative artists ever.... oh, wait, conservatives can't write music, understand art, or independent thought whatsoever... my bad.

A bass is a kind of guitar, dumbass.

Scott

A bass is a kind of guitar, dumbass.

Ha!

Good try, my anonymous friend.

Y’all are just so cute when you try (in vain) to defend the indefensible!

LL

I need to go vomit with disgust as how mentally undeveloped and inept John Miller is. In other words: what an absolute RETARD. I especially love how conservatives say that liberals are spin doctors.....when this asshole has done more than spin some discs of music. He has misinterpreted some of the most OBVIOUSLY liberal (hence intelligent) messages.

One of my favorites:
Beach Boys - Wouldn't it be nice "pro abstinance, pro-marriage"....uhh....or they can't do each other because of their neo-nazi-frigid-ASEXUAL-religious fundamentalist parents.

Fyish

Not to mention that Johnny from the Sex Pistols said that 'Bodies' wasn't pro- or anti- abortion. :D

CB

Some songs happen to sit better with conservatives than others, I guess. It's easy to interpret "Wouldn't It Be Nice" or "Bodies" as conservative on the subjects being discussed (marriage and abortion, respectively). For the most part, however, it does seem like a big joke. "Heroes"? "Rock the Casbah"? Not so sure...

scott

Okay, I give: can someone coming here from The Rude Pundit please explain to me why I'm again getting hundreds of hits per day on this, nearly three years after I originally posted it?

Ron Torget

Never mind your politics. Callling Rush a 7th rate band is unforgivable.

BTW, progressives continue to demonstrate their deranged thinking about this rather meaningless article from NR. Check out the update.

http://article.nationalreview.com/435185/conservative-rock-songs-deconstructed/john-j-miller

Please apply your own (supposedly) principles and be open minded about other groups of people. Just because we have different political beliefs doesn't mean with automatically have different cultural tastes.

arenao

I especially love how conservatives say that liberals are spin doctors.....when this asshole has done more than spin some discs of music. He has misinterpreted some of the most OBVIOUSLY liberal (hence intelligent) messages.

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