Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where Have the Musical Dissenters Gone?

Where have the musical voices praising freedom gone? Where have all the influential new-age voices from the 1960's gone? Have they sold out? Have they recognized the hill as too steep to climb?

It has been disconcerting to see otherwise reliable dissenters side with establishment forces that continue to undermine true freedom in America. Whereas it used to be chic to be truthful through music, today it seems it is safer to side with the powerful. Bruce Springsteen, a songwriter who has written many "blue-collar" anthems, headlined at the Inauguration "party" and performed at halftime of the Super Bowl. It could be that he really believes that this time the Administration wants to navigate the country in the correct direction. Or it could be that cooperation is just too profitable to pass up. Public relations people have astutely noted the feeling aroused by his music and have hitched their political agenda to it hoping for the same kind of blind faith from the electorate and polled masses. For the tradesmen who enjoy his music after a hard day's work, this alliance is an especially cruel, ironic joke.

Other heroic musicians, such as Bob Dylan, have just decided to take corporate money. Recently, Dylan allowed his Forever Young used in a Pepsi commercial glorifying soldierhood in a time of needless war. One has to believe the 1960's Dylan would tell Pepsi, "Why ask me, I'm only bleedin'!"

Aside from this apparently huge contradiction from his 1960's work, Dylan has inexplicably chosen to side with a gigantic soft drink company. The health risks associated with soda pop have been well-documented. Now, it seems, mercury has also been found in soft drinks which can increase the chance of kidney disease in women.

It's time for somebody to step forward. After watching the Grammys, the situation appears very grim. It's not widely expected that Justin Timberlake in a extra-high voice or Kanye West with the most expensive wardrobe money can buy will harmonize for an end to fraudulent tyranny. Peace isn't selling records anymore and for the establishment, that's fine....

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