Tea Party Blues

October 3, 2010 at 4:38 pm (Uncategorized)

Never mind today’s New York Times magazine article on Glenn Beck. The big news for me this week was a video clip making the rounds from rallies about tax day in the US

Now who’s that appearing at a Tea Party rally? Maureen Tucker.  Could it be the Maureen Tucker from the Velvet Underground? 

Is it Mo?  Well it sure looks and sounds like her. There she is very near the end of the clip complaining about the drift to “socialism” and that there’s no money left for the important things.

Now I know the Velvets were 40 years back, but you’d think a legacy of songs about S & M, heroin, amphetamines, sex changes, homosexuality and much much more would have some residual effect.

 There’s your coolness factor shot to hell. It’s never really a surprise to find out the people you admire are not always the people we hope them to be, but it’s often a disappointment.

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3 Comments

  1. Richard S. said,

    I’ve realized in recent years that we can’t count on good political instincts (especially not sustained good political instincts) from people whom we once might have considered “revolutionary” strictly on the basis of their contribution to counterculture, especially if most of what they talked about had nothing to do with politics. Maybe some of the subject matter that you mentioned might have broken a few cultural barriers many years ago, but what were these preoccupations good for in the long run? To quote Edwin Star (who probably actually had more significant things to say than the Velvets), “Absolutely Nothing!”

    This isn’t to discount the artistic significance and excitement of some of the things that impressed us middle-aged folk in our youth. I mean, Johnny Ramone’s guitar sound was very new and thrilling, even if the guy was politically a Republican jerk. But (as my last sentence just illustrated), we can’t mistake one kind of newness or excitement for another.

    I like the Velvets strictly because of the innovations in the sounds they created – the best of which, I now realize, had less to do with inventing punk rock (and singing about all those seedy subjects) than with further building upon The Beatles’ preoccupation with Hindustani classical music. 🙂

    Anyway, personally, I’ve had it with the old “countercultural” forms of rebellion. All that stuff was easily sold and coopted. I don’t expect much politically from the rebels of our youth… Except those who actually had something to say politically (a standard which might involve some subjective interpretation, but I wouldn’t stretch it a lot these days). If I ever spotted Pete Seeger, the members of The Mekons, Billy Bragg, or, say, Boots Riley supporting some right-wing Tea Party-style rally, then I would get disappointed. 🙂

  2. james said,

    Dammit I was just getting back into the VU.

    • fischerzed said,

      A longer reply is necessary, but for now, I’ll say I pretty much agree with Richard S’s comment.

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