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for April 18, 2003


Say it Ainít So
by Stiffy Biceptz

This last week brought two new and interesting tidbits from the world of pop music, both of which amused me, Stiffy Biceptz. Let me ruminate on each.
 
At a recent Pearl Jam concert, a bunch of fans left angrily after lead singer Eddie Vedder went off on an anti-Bush tirade. Apparently the soon to be ex-fans did not appreciate Eddieís acidic attack on our commander in chief. Whether Eddie then immediately apologized is unknown, but one thing is clear. He certainly felt comfortable making his generally left-of-center comments to the crowd, in the assumption that Pearl Jam fans must all be liberals, democrats, or some flavor of lefties. After all, werenít those the kind of people who carried them to the big time some eleven or twelve years ago?
 
But it isnít as simple as that Eddie. Teens and twenty somethings tend to be as politically diverse as any other age group. Despite this fact, most still seem to connect youth with liberalness. This is true in many regards, like with sex, drugs and daddyís money. But these have less to do with being liberal as they do with being horny, rebellious, and somewhat stupid, all largely a function of age and hormones.
 
Most young people, certainly American ones, have a general "screw the Man" attitude that finds compassion for anyone on a stage or on TV yelling, "screw the Man." After 12 years of Republican rule, it was easy to be a lefty in 1992. It all made sense then. But as the political pendulum swung to the left and stayed there throughout the nineties, the Man became the "not pot smoking not having sex in the Oval office guy" whose name I canít remember. And as the pendulum swung back, not everyone under the age of 30 (including some of the pot smokers and some of the gleeful fornicators) was gonna vote democratic, simply to say, enough of you, Man. And likely a lot of those young, gung-ho lefty types got jobs and made a lot of money during the nineties, and donít feel guilty about it. Like Pearl Jam. Anyway, I thought it was funny. Iím sure Eddie was a bit surprised.
 
And that brings us to Madonna. Last week she premiered her new video from her forthcoming album "American Life", where Bush ends up with a grenade in his lap. After only a few days, she decided to pull it, after the reaction to it had been fairly hostile. Immediately, the pop pundits were all in a lather, pronouncing that the queen of shock had lost her nerve, and had lost her edge.
 
Up to that point Madonna had never really been overtly political, with or without her music. Sure she had been controversial, or even blasphemous, but not really partisan. Sexual rebelliousness had always been her schtick, carefully balancing shock with titillation for maximum commercial effect. Sex is the universal political position, and sheís been the president for two decades.
 
Had it been a sex themed video, Madonna would never have pulled it. But being somewhat political in nature, she got cold feet, not having played that game before. Besides, Madonna has never renounced being the Material Girl, and as a savvy business woman, she saw the dollar signs on the wall. Another failure on the heels of the not Oscar nominated "Swept Away" could have finished off any chance to conquer the youth of another decade. Anyway, most horny teens would prefer to fantasize about Christina or Britney, not some lady as old as mom.
 
Take Stiffyís Advice, Madonna. Keep your mouth shut and show us some skin -- Iím too old to think that way about Avril. (And I appreciate sexy moms.)
 

©2003 Stiffy Biceptz

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.

 







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