Top Fifty "Conservative" "Rock" Songs: An Effort in Mass Delusion:
Now the Rude Pundit's pretty sure that the lyrics to the song "Sweet Home Alabama," by proud Confederate flag wavers, when not going down screaming on a crashing plane, Lynyrd Skynyrd, contains these lines: "In Birmingham they love the governor" and "The governor's true." See, problem is that the governor of Alabama at the time the song came out, in 1973, was George Wallace, elected in 1970, well before the vile segregationist became born again and repudiated his doorway-blocking past. Of course, his major accomplishment around that time was learning to piss from a wheelchair. Still, the song's reference to Wallace and the baggage of the band's symbolism don't matter to the desperate-for-relevance tools at the National Review and their list of the top 50 "conservative" "rock" songs, an effort so pathetic and craven that it is easily one of the stupidest things ever. Ever.
Check out Michael Long, spinning like a member of Congress caught with three dead Thai child hookers, a brick of Peruvian blow, a machete, and bundles of hundreds, justifying the view of the South in "Sweet Home Alabama," the number 4 song on hell's countdown: "Things aren’t perfect here or anywhere else, they seem to say, but we’ve been known to pick a song or two, we have ourselves some blue skies, and the road will always carry me home to see my kin. We have secrets and shames, but so do you, so don’t dare preach to me. That’s far beyond a singularly southern sentiment. That’s what every free man ought to say." Unless, of course, you're a black student trying to attend the University of Alabama. Of course, considering the National Review's opposition to the civil rights movement back in the day, perhaps it's not so surprising a choice.
The entire list - fuck, the entire effort - is sad and embarassing, like watching Grandpa do the Macarena now, thinking that he's still hip, that he's been hip for the last 30 years. Because to come up with fifty songs, the readers and editors of the National Review had to neglect, almost entirely, the politics and lifestyles of nearly every single one of the music acts on the list, like, say U2, the Clash, and the Sex Pistols, just for kicks, or noted cross-dressing androgyne David Bowie. They had to twist the meaning of lyrics so that vague references to "freedom" all of a sudden became calls to a modified libertarianism (you know, no taxes, but also no fucking). And, of course, the mention of every fucking song they could find that seems to oppose abortion or alludes to the fall of Communism or doesn't like taxes. This leads them to have to include the Scorpions, Kid Rock, Rush, Creed, After the Fire, Sammy Hagar, and Jesus Jones in a great huge pile of suck.
For, truly, what madness does it take for a magazine that not only supported the Vietnam War, but viciously attacked the anti-war movement, to include Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Who'll Stop the Rain?" as the 35th best conservative rock song? And then justify it by saying that it "takes a dim view of Communism and liberalism" in the line, "Five Year Plans and New Deals, wrapped in golden chains." Does it even matter to say that the point of the song is, would somebody, fucking anyone, make the insanity of the war end?
Of course not. It's best just to point and laugh at how simple-minded and, yes, again, pathetic the whole effort is, like when Ronald Reagan played Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" on campaign stops (hell, at least the National Review didn't include that). And enjoy the mad manipulations: The Pretenders' "My City Was Gone" (#13) is really about "a conservative’s dissatisfaction with rapid change." The Georgia Satellites' "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" (#32), which seems to the Rude Pundit to be about the deep desire to fuck a girl, actually seeks to "affirm old-time sexual mores." The Crickets' "I Fought the Law" (#15) ain't about rebellion against authority, oh, no - it's a "law and order classic." And let's not even get into the myriad sins, misinterpretations, and outright delusions in putting the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" as the #1 conservative rock song.
It all starts to seem like the soundtrack to the lamest orgy ever at, say, the Dartmouth College Republicans annual retreat, where Muffy blows Drake as Scott Stapp growls out "One" on the stereo, high-fiving Blaine, who's getting blown by Jessica, when "I Can't Drive 55" comes on, screaming in orgasmic delight when they blow their loads on "The Trees" by Rush, crying and holding each other on Ben Folds' "Brick," and then promising to marry each other for one more scrotum tongue scrubbing, smiling that they're not breaking any hymen as "Wouldn't It Be Nice" by the Beach Boys plays on and on.
Right now, for the American right, an earthquake is rumbling, and the ground below is about to tear open and swallow them whole, crushing the entire movement into a viscous goo that'll poison the ground when it closes, but at least the planet won't heave them forth again. And in the midst of this earthquake, in their house, conservatives are scrambling around, wondering what they can save, what they can keep before the whole structure collapses. Sure, sure, they can grab the scrapbooks, the laptop, the dog. And while they may take those things with them into the crumbled ruins of their city, it's nice to know they'd pause to take the iPod so they can rock, dancing dementedly, grotesquely, into the dust-filled darkness of their own unending night.