FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

ABSOLUTELY NOTHIN’!

by Dave Marsh

Clear Channel radio network issuing a list of 150 “questionable” (i.e., banned) songs to its multitude of programmers in the wake of the terror attacks is far less remarkable than the response to it.

I don’t mean Clear Channel’s insistence that the list represents nothing more than “guidelines.” The company’s stations being among the most stupidly programmed in history, how many times a decade do you figure they play “Disco Inferno” or “Dead Man’s Curve” under any circumstances?

Two other things are what grabbed people’s attention. First, the way the list lumped together songs that might genuinely hurt or enrage somebody-Third Eye Blind’s “Jumper,” Filter’s “Hey Man, Nice Shot”–with songs that might even be healing: “Enter Sandman,” “”My City Was Gone,” “Morning Has Broken,” “Rescue Me.” If you suspect the people who program the radio are by-and-large morons, here’s proof.

Second is the ideological nature of the list. Rage Against the Machine is banned in its entirety; the only act so honored. Forbidden are “War” in either the Springsteen or Edwin Starr version, Cat Stevens’s “Peace Train,” Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.” How they forgot either Pearl Jam or Bob Dylan’s version of “Masters of War” is hard to figure.

I suspect it is this political aspect of the potential ban that really fascinates. After all, it is the beginning of what we would expect in war time. And since few of us have ever lived in the U.S. in an actual war, we don’t know what to expect.

We’re not about to be given the time to figure it out, either. The reasons for the terror attack and the options for response need open debate. Instead, we have a stampede. Of the 535 members of Congress, only brave Barbara Lee of Oakland, CA refused to sign the blank check giving the Bush administration the right to tear off in any direction it wants to, using any degree of force. The barrage of propaganda that makes this seem inevitable is so ceaseless that I’d rather watch reruns of the previous nadir of Western civilization, Seinfeld.

Listening to antiwar music-or even “action” stuff like “Another Bites the Dust” or “Some Heads are Gonna Roll,” both on the list-would cause people to reflect. Which might lead to wondering why we are just going to do as we are told by the same people who created the mess that led to the attacks and the total lack of readiness for them.

That there ought to be some response to the terror bombings is entirely obvious. That our options are exclusively military, that we need to rush into who knows what kind of war against who knows what and who knows where, and surrender fundamental civil liberties in the process, without changing a single other aspect of our foreign or domestic policy, is anything but obvious-if you stop to think. We haven’t been given much chance to do that-the Clear Channel list, whether it’s put into effect or not, gives us a chance to do that.

To think thoughts that are not approved. It is this that the government and the corporations really fear about popular music. And should. CP

Dave Marsh is the editor of Rock and Rap Confidential.

Dave Marsh edits Rock & Rap Confidential, one of CounterPunch’s favorite newsletters, now available for free by emailing: rockrap@aol.com. Dave blogs at http://davemarsh.us/

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Burkinis: the Politics of Beachwear
Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
Andrew Stewart
Did Gore Throw the 2000 Election?
Vincent Navarro
Is the Nation State and Its Welfare State Dead? a Critique of Varoufakis
John Wight
Syria’s Kurds and the Wages of Treachery
Lawrence Davidson
The New Anti-Semitism: the Case of Joy Karega
Mateo Pimentel
The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism?
Roger Annis
In Northern Syria, Turkey Opens New Front in its War Against the Kurds
David Swanson
ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders
Norman Pollack
American Exceptionalism: A Pernicious Doctrine
Ralph Nader
Readers Think, Thinkers Read
Julia Morris
The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation
George Wuerthner
Caving to Ranchers: the Misguided Decision to Kill the Profanity Wolf Pack
Ann Garrison
Unworthy Victims: Houthis and Hutus
Julian Vigo
Britain’s Slavery Legacy
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail