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/

Weekend Edition
November 27-29, 2015
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Karl Grossman
Our Solar Bonanza!
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Elliot Murphy
Cameron’s Syrian Strategy
Gareth Porter
How Terror in Paris Calls for Revising US Syria Policy
Michael Perino
The Arc of Instability
Yves Engler
Justin Trudeau and Canada’s Mining Industry
Tom H. Hastings
ISIS and Changing the Game
John Halle
A Yale Education as a Tool of Power and Privilege
Norman Pollack
Syrian “Civil War”?: No, A Proxy War of Global Confrontation
Sheldon Richman
Let the Refugees In
Ron Jacobs
Rosa Luxembourg–From Street Organizer to Street Name
James A Haught
The Values of Jesus
Binoy Kampmark
British Austerity: Cutting One’s Own Backyard
Ed Rampell
45 Years: A Rumination on Aging
November 26, 2015
Ashley Nicole McCray – Lawrence Ware
Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving
Joseph Grosso
The Enduring Tragedy: Guatemala’s Bloody Farce
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Imperial Myths: the Enduring Lie of the US’s Origin
Ralph Nader
The Joys of Solitude: a Thanksgiving!

Joseph G. Ramsey
Something to be Thankful For: Struggles, Seeds…and Surprises
Dan Glazebrook
Turkey Shoot: the Rage of the Impotent in Syria
Andrew Stewart
The Odious President Wilson
Colin Todhunter
Corporate Parasites And Economic Plunder: We Need A Genuine Green Revolution
Rajesh Makwana
Ten Billion Reasons to Demand System Change
Joyce Nelson
Turkey Moved the Border!
Richard Baum
Hillary Clinton’s Meager Proposal to Help Holders of Student Debt
Sam Husseini
A Thanksgiving Day Prayer
November 25, 2015
Jeff Taylor
Bob Dylan and Christian Zionism
Dana E. Abizaid
Provoking Russia
Oliver Tickell
Syria’s Cauldron of Fire: a Downed Russian Jet and the Battle of Two Pipelines
Patrick Cockburn
Trigger Happy: Will Turkey’s Downing of Russian Jet Backfire on NATO?
Robert Fisk
The Soothsayers of Eternal War
Russell Mokhiber
The Coming Boycott of Nike
Ted Rall
Like Father Like Son: George W. Bush Was Bad, His Father May Have Been Worse
Matt Peppe
Bad Policy, Bad Ethics: U.S. Military Bases Abroad
Martha Rosenberg
Pfizer Too Big (and Slippery) to Fail
Yorgos Mitralias
Bernie Sanders, Mr. Voutsis and the Truth Commission on Greek Public Debt
Jorge Vilches
Too Big for Fed: Have Central Banks Lost Control?
Sam Husseini
Why Trump is Wrong About Waterboarding — It’s Probably Not What You Think
Binoy Kampmark
The Perils of Certainty: Obama and the Assad Regime
Roger Annis
State of Emergency in Crimea
Soud Sharabani
ISIS in Lebanon: An Interview with Andre Vltchek
Thomas Knapp
NATO: This Deal is a Turkey