Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rage Aginst the Nugent for Change (aka Politics and Music)

Well, you know, lots of people complainin' that there is no work.
I say, "Why you say that forWhen nothin' you got is U.S.-made?
"They don't make nothin' here no more,You know, capitalism is above the law.
It say, "It don't count 'less it sells."When it costs too much to build it at homeYou just build it cheaper someplace else.
Well, it's sundown on the unionAnd what's made in the U.S.A.Sure was a good idea'Til greed got in the way.

--Bob Dylan, Union Sundown

It's not easy being both conservative and a music fan. Almost every time you fire up the iPod or go to a live show, you're selling a little piece of your soul. Truth is, there aren't many artists or bands out there pushing the conservative platform and singing about the virtues of capitalism, the need for lower taxes or why the United States is the greatest country in the world.

Perhaps it's because being a conservative musician would be boring. Fighting the man and rioting in the streets makes for much better song topics than welfare reform or cutting the size of our government. Or maybe it's because modern liberalism is rooted in emotionalism. Today's liberals are the way they are because they are highly emotional and react accordingly. Isn't a song also a highly emotional reaction to something? It seems only fitting then that most artists are (far) left of center.

Before this turns into a liberal vs. conservative diatribe, let me get to my point. I love music. I'm also conservative. The two shouldn't be mutally exclusive. If I let my politics dictate my CD collection, my shelves would be empty. I shouldn't dislike System of a Down just because they're a bunch of socialists. I enjoy listening to (and looking at) Jewel even though she's a tree hugger. I wonder how many other music fans can say the same thing?

Would Neil Young's fan base desert him if he did a 180 and aligned himself with the Republican Party? How much hate mail would Bruce Springsteen have received if he headlined the Vote for George W. tour instead of the Vote for Change tour? Would anyone listen to Rage Against the Machine if they sang about the benefits of trickle down economics? I wish I would've thought of this stuff during my 6th grade science fair. It'd be a much more interesting experiment than lighting fabric on fire.

My guess (or hypothesis) is that, yes, some of these artists would see smaller fan bases if they weren't bleeding hearts. But I don't think it would be that signifcant. At least I would hope so. I hope that we're not that uptight and unreasonable of a society that we use politics to determine our musical tastes. But I do have to admit that as a conservative music fan, it does feel good to hear Ted Nugent insult Hillary Clinton. However, Nugent's appeal to me is more as a novelty act. It's so rare to see a loud and proud conservative on stage that I can't help but get a little fired up when I do.

In the end, an artist's political views have no influence as to whether I plunk down my hard earned money to see a show. If I want politics, I'll turn on Fox News, not Johnny Cash.

1 comment:

AC said...

What a great post. The author of this post really knows what he's talking about. Ha. Just checking to see if this comments section actually works.