Thursday, June 3, 2010

Masterpieces to Avoid

Reading this list of the 50 greatest "conservative" rock songs reminded me why I strive to avoid National Review Online -- it's so moronic it hurts:

2. “Taxman,” by The Beatles.
A George Harrison masterpiece with a famous guitar riff (which was actually played by Paul McCartney): “If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street / If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat / If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat / If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.” The song closes with a humorous jab at death taxes: “Now my advice for those who die / Declare the pennies on your eyes.”
Um ... yea.

I love the Beatles, mostly, but sweet Jeebus in blue jeans, that song is wretched. Harrison came close to masterpiece with "Here Comes the Sun" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and maybe a few others, but he also wrote "Savoy Truffle," "Within You Without You," and, well, "Taxman," which only a whiny right-winger could love, and only then for its stupefyingly unimaginative lyrics.

The rest of the 50-song list is no better. I recommend avoiding it.

5 comments:

Sheldon said...

Well I looked at the list, and there may be some decent songs on there, but too bad for conservatives, because of course they interpret the meaning of many of the songs poorly. They actually think "My City was Gone" by the Pretenders is conservative? Conservationist maybe, but not politically conservative.

Dale said...

Sheldon, agreed. I was going to pick on Iron Maiden's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," which they mentioned because it cites the poem, and the poem is a "literary classic," and therefore ... conservative?

As a song, though, it's really awful. (I actually like it, but only because it hit me at a delicate age when I didn't know any better.)

So, George Harrison -- who doesn't fondly remember him? But not for his songwriting, but for the more subtle ways he contributed to the Beatles sound.

It's just a fact -- conservatives don't relate to art. They don't get it. They don't like it. It bothers their lust for sharp boundaries and clean binaries. Anything more ambiguous than straightforward adoration/condemnation is beyond them. "Taxman" = good. "Dear Prudence" -- unmentionable because, er, it doesn't bitch about taxes, kick hippies, or praise the war machine.

John Carter Wood said...

Anyone who listens to 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' and concludes that it's merely a hymn to being 'Pro-abstinence and Pro-marriage' has no heart.

And...'Rock the Casbah'? Yeah...100% GOP.

So much for NR being the intellectual wing of modern conservatism.

Morans.

Sheldon said...

Another thought. The list is good evidence of conservative contradictions. First they cite a song for being a tribute to respect for law and order, and then they cite Sammy Haggar's "I can't drive 55". (and is really an awful song)! Go figure.

Sheldon said...

So I felt compelled to remind myself of what the Pretender's song was about. I have never heard any conservatives promote policies that would have stopped the types of changes sung about by the Pretenders. Just the opposite in fact.


I WENT BACK TO OHIO
BUT MY CITY WAS GONE
THERE WAS NO TRAIN STATION
THERE WAS NO DOWNTOWN
SOUTH HOWARD HAD DISAPPEARED
ALL MY FAVORITE PLACES
MY CITY HAD BEEN PULLED DOWN
REDUCED TO PARKING SPACES
A, O, WAY TO GO OHIO

WELL I WENT BACK TO OHIO
BUT MY FAMILY WAS GONE
I STOOD ON THE BACK PORCH
THERE WAS NOBODY HOME
I WAS STUNNED AND AMAZED
MY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES
SLOWLY SWIRLED PAST
LIKE THE WIND THROUGH THE TREES
A, O, OH WAY TO GO OHIO

I WENT BACK TO OHIO
BUT MY PRETTY COUNTRYSIDE
HAD BEEN PAVED DOWN THE MIDDLE
BY A GOVERNMENT THAT HAD NO PRIDE
THE FARMS OF OHIO
HAD BEEN REPLACED BY SHOPPING MALLS
AND MUZAK FILLED THE AIR
FROM SENECA TO CUYAHOGA FALLS
SAID, A, O, OH WAY TO GO OHIO