[lbo-talk] labor bitchiness

andie nachgeborenen andie_nachgeborenen at yahoo.com
Sat May 26 10:38:04 PDT 2007

I wrote to B.:

There has been lots of "good left protest music" done since the early 70s -- Springsteen, the Clash, Gang of Four, etc., but stuff that is useful as an organizing tool and usable as anthems like the songs in the Little Red Book or the great civil rights songs are in another league altogether. No one is going to use a hip hop song to unify, inspire, or electrify a demo. You can't exactly sing along, any more than you can to the songs on Sandinista.

Maybe you are right about "young people," but I don't see it with my kids or their friends.

--- "Mr. WD" <mister.wd at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 5/26/07, andie nachgeborenen
> <andie_nachgeborenen at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > If we can't formulate kinds of political
> expression
> > that were apt for our own era, as, in their time,
> Marx
> > or Bakunin or (fill in your favorite leftist
> writer),
> > or, in music Joe Hill or Pete Seeger and Woody
> Guthrie
> > or the Freedom Singers or John Lennon did work
> that
> > resonated then, we are going to continue to fail
> to
> > influence our future in contrast to the way they
> > influenced theirs.
> >
> > Give Peace A Chance is great song and the idea is
> not
> > going to date, but it's sad for us that forty
> years on
> > it's the centerpiece of rallies _and we don't have
> > anything like it since._ I really think that if I
> go
> > to another demo where they sing Give Peace A
> Chance
> > and We Shall Overcome one more time I will scream.
> I think there's a lot of good left protest music
> being produced right
> now -- particularly amongst hip-hop artists. When
> the Legendary K.O.
> put out "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black
> People" (
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOu_zIiihPI ) a few
> days after
> Katrina, I was convinced the best protest song of my
> generation had
> just been written. I'll play it for my children
> someday when they ask
> me about what happened in New Orleans. And then you
> also have Dead
> Prez, whose rhymes can veer towards the overly
> didactic, but they've
> still been able to flirt with the mainstream
> (appearing in "Dave
> Chappelle's Block Party," etc.). An exemplary ditty
> of theirs can be
> heard here:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24_19_O6k9g
> (although the
> video itself is the perfect example of
> left-nostalgia). There're
> plenty more.
> Now, I don't really foresee a day when everyone's
> going to be rapping
> at anti-war protests, but younger people are way
> more comfortable with
> hip-hop, so who knows. We could improve on the
> tired old speeches and
> old folk songs protest format anyway.
> -WD
> ___________________________________

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