Republican Party Dance-Mix

by John Holbo on May 21, 2006

The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Conservative rock anthem. File under: complex irony, I guess.

Will someone be so kind as to email or post the whole list? Also, is there significant, er, hermeneutic analysis, above and beyond the short bit Adler quotes, or is it just the list? Also, this is funny:

Listeners get to decide what the song means, not the creator. The audience got Springsteen’s “Born In The USA” was pro-America, even if Bruce was too dense to figure the matter was out of his hands.

Never mind that concern for the plight of the working man need not be anti-American, I think liberals should push back against rampant conservative ‘lyrical activism’, running rough-shod over the original intentions of our nation’s founding playlists.

I assume “Okie From Muskogee” made the cut. Also “Sweet Home Alabama”. Lots of country music. (I’m reading a book about Laibach. Maybe some Rammstein?) “Material Girl”. Any number of bling-themed songs? The Smiths? “Shoplifters of the World”? Something by Stryper?

Ah! Turns out Bruce Bartlett did his top-40 a couple years ago. The criteria are debatable, as ‘religion’ is deemed an “unambiguously conservative value”.

Gateway books discussion thread

by Henry on May 21, 2006

Something I’ve been thinking about posting on since I read the opening sentence of this “post”:http://maxspeak.org/mt/archives/002168.html by Max Sawicky on J.K. Galbraith.

bq. Like Robert Heilbroner, another giant, John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006) wrote books persuading people like me to enter a profession dominated by analysis quite unlike their own.

I had a very similar experience with political science; I decided to do a Ph.D. after reading and loving Benedict Anderson’s _Imagined Communities_, which I later discovered to be completely atypical of what most political scientists do and talk about. Do other academics (or indeed non-academics) have similar experiences? What were the books (or other works) that made CT readers decide to enter a field, and did these books (or whatever) give the right or wrong idea about the field that readers entered?

Republican Party Animals

by John Holbo on May 21, 2006

Just so Henry does not have to doing anything undignified, like remind you all again that he’s over at Firedoglake later today, discussing Perlstein’s Before the Storm [amazon] … well, now I’ve done it for him. And doesn’t it seem like it’s about time for some kind of anti-Perlstein backlash? (Don’t look at me. I don’t have an unkind word. Great book. No kidding.)

Here’s a fun bit from p. 372. It’s time for the Republican National Convention in 1964, at the Cow Palace, in SF:

Across town, at the intersection of Haight and Ashbury streets, a new kind of bohemia was taking shape, although many of its most flamboyant representatives were occupied with a cross-country trip on a bus called “Further,” whose riotous exterior decoration included a sign reading, “A VOTE FOR BARRY IS A VOTE FOR FUN!” A stop along the way was the commune of former Harvard professor Timothy Leary, whose The Psychedelic Experience had come out that year. These were Ken Kesey’s “Merry Pranksters,” later to be immortalized as the first hippies in a book by New York Herald Tribune writer Tom Wolfe. The delegates, mostly gray old factory owners and club women – the butt of cabbies’ jokes that San Francisco banks were running out of nickels and dimes – would have been altogether disgusted by the goings-on at the Haight, were they aware of them; but the folks who would fill the Cow’s spectator galleries – the YAFers and Young Republicans – might have been amused. They were packing North Beach nightclubs dancing the swim (some might have taken in the country’s first topless dancing act), snapping up comic books lampooning such trendy dances by inventing new ones like the “Eisenhower sway” (“sway back and forth. But end up in the dead center. Do not speak while performing this exercise.”, and heckling lefty comedian Dick Gregory at the hungry i when they weren’t laughing at his cracks at the expense of Scranton (“He reminds you of the guy who runs to John Wayne for help”). They did think a vote for Barry was a vote for fun. They exulted in each other, rejoiced, felt an electricity they would not experience again in their lives; it was their Woodstock.

I think it’s rather interesting the way conservatives – particularly movement conservatives – have gotten so adept at being both the party of fun and the party of traditional moral values; while managing to tar the left as both too relativistic and hedonistically permissive (take that, you big hippy!) and too morally authoritarian (politically correct). It’s a good trick when you can make the opposition carry the weight of your own contradictions, as it were.