Subjectivity in art and politics

11:47am Wed Oct 15, 2008

I recently found a review of my album, “All About The Burn”, that some dude put on Amazon. He trashed it at two stars, and one criticism made me think. He felt “Anybody but that Guy” (the closing track, which effectively communicated my feelings about the 2004 presidential election) “must’ve sounded clever four years ago.”

I suddenly realized that those four long years, and the prior four years referred to in the song, are finally over. Election day is less than a month away now. And even W is sick of his imperial reign now. Don’t think he couldn’t manage to stay another term? Look at how many people are planning to vote for McCain. Same puppeteers, George Junior is just tired of his old toy.

I know, I know, McCain is a “maverick”. His “differences with the White House are well known.” He does not “want to keep our troops in Iraq a minute longer than necessary to secure our interests there,” maybe 100 years, “As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.” He also does “not support Roe versus Wade.”

He knows that those of us who own half a dozen or so fewer houses than he does are “doing what is necessary - working a second job, skipping a vacation,” he knows how to “win wars” and how to “capture Osama bin Laden”. He knows that waterboarding is “a horrible torture technique,” and that, while he remains opposed to it, voting against the Intelligence Authorization Act was not inconsistent with this stance since “We always supported allowing the CIA to use extra measures.” Hey, did you know he was a P.O.W.?! His campaign should really emphasize that.

He knows that “history will judge the president” on the Katrina disaster and that “Never again, never again, will a disaster of this nature be handled in the disgraceful way it was handled.” I don’t know for sure, but I’m confident that he also knows how much better it was to be sharing his birthday cake with the president in a photo op than to be eight feet underwater with most of the Lower Ninth Ward at the moment.

He knows how tough some members of the press can be, as he fought valiantly for a scaled down version of the estate tax reform package a few days later while some members of the press were mocking Sean Penn for being down there, literally in the shit, in a boat somewhat less adequate for the job than the Celine Ashley, the yacht rented by Raffaello Follieri which McCain celebrated his next birthday aboard.

So, to you and the armchair critic who didn’t find “Anybody but that Guy” relevant, you have my pledge that I will continue to make my sincerest effort to write songs and produce albums with the poignant staying power of The Lakehouse soundtrack, awarded his five stars, or at least make the baby steps to reach the three-star pertinence of Bolton Swings Sinatra. I believe Barack Obama will, at worst, make an honest and unhypocritical effort to lead by example and lift us up from the arrogant failures of the conservative agenda, much in the same way that I would try to lift up banjo prodigy Bela Fleck from his one-star “soundtrack for an intestinal illness,” Ten from Little Worlds, if I ever met the poor hack.

Feel free to rate All About the Burn yourself - on my distributor’s site or iTunes, not Amazon, where all my CDs for sale appear to be not-for-resale promotional copies, clearly resold by radio music directors who apparently felt the same way as the Amazon guy. Hey, I can take criticism 🙂