It's "Born In The USA" All Over Again

by: Paul Rosenberg

Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 22:25

For Your Friday Night Rockin' Pleasure

If the real thing don't do the trick
No, you better make up something quick
You gonna burn burn burn burn it to the wick
Ooooooohhhh, barra barracuda.
    --Heart, "Barracuda," 1977

Nancy Wilson, now:

"Sarah Palin's views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image. The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late 70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The 'barracuda' represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there's irony in Republican strategists' choice to make use of it there."

But the irony's even deeper than that....

Paul Rosenberg :: It's "Born In The USA" All Over Again

Ann Wilson revealed in interviews that the song was about Heart's anger towards Mushroom Records attempted publicity stunt involving sisters Ann and Nancy and a made up lesbian affair. The song particularly focuses on Ann's rage towards a fan who came up to her after a concert asking how her "lover" was. She initially thought he was talking about her then boyfriend, band member Michael Fisher. After he revealed he was talking about her sister Nancy Wilson, Ann became angry and went back to her hotel room to write the song.

So it's quite literally a song written in anger at deliberate corporate deception.

So, on further reflection:  Not so much ironic, more an act of astonishing, though inadvertant honesty.

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It's all part of the Republican plan .. (4.00 / 1)
of picking on "elites" ... the Hollywood liberals .. all that stuff .. I mean .. how many non-Nashville musicians are conservatives? .. not many .. it's all part of the culture war shit the Republicans are so good at

Yup. (4.00 / 1)
Nancy Wilson is just helping rally the GOP base. Nice work.

The GOP is better at developing coded themes (community organizers is the latest) than we are at developing any themes. They play three-dimensional chess while we blunder at checkers.

Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans

[ Parent ]
Im sorry? LOL (4.00 / 4)
If anything is an example of unbelievable incompetence its the last few days, oh yes, the last few weeks, obviously, and the last few years of complete lack, complete ineptitude. Who would better prove that 'abstinence only' policies we want, nay need to force on your children. The vetting, the checking, the venal crimes of Palin's Alaska office. The fact that she didnt just support earmarks and her own personal bridge to nowhere, even laughing about it on camera, but that she hired a lobbyist and raised his wage to reward his good works getting so much pork from her Republican buddies in Congress. Oh yeah its so competent to not these things when you want a "reformer"

The only thing the Republicans have to their advantage is a pandering class of spineless pseudo-journalists.

And now Palin, who's completely (not)ready to serve at this level, those shameful near treasonous self serving frauds. Protecting and leading America is the number one priority, and they put Sarah Palin not a just "a heart beat away" from the missiles, but "McCain's heart beat away."

I assume you were being sarcastic about their 'skill' level, but its funny in a ick way, not a hahah way.


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
No, I'm dead serious (4.00 / 1)
Actually I was speaking of their theme development, message delivery, ability to embed dog-whistle coded messages within their broader messaging, to develop clever ads that generate free media and drive political discourse. Etc.

Of their courage to make bold moves without regard to how the media will react, their ability to punish and contain the media, their ability to simply not care about hypocrisy/lies and push forward with new themes/arguments -- as contrasted our constant hand-wringing over how anything/everything might be taken the wrong way by the press. Etc.

Cackle all you want about their supposed incompetence in choosing Palin, how her examples contradict her rhetoric. Etc. They don't care. They push forward. Remember, they nominated and nurtured a moron idiot from Texas. And they won. Twice. Scoreboard.

I wish we had their creativity and balls...

Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans

[ Parent ]
They have no creativity. Stealing someone's work is plagiarism. (4.00 / 4)
They've done it time after time in this election

The only reason YOU think they have balls is because there is no acoountability for all the times they do stuff that is outrageous.

They do have tenacity, I grant you that

Joe Biden did a good job hitting back yesterday because he called up a universal truth: he created an image that they they are a bunch of high school wise asses who strut around with vicious quips and said : THEY HAVE NOTHING ELSE.

That's how you talk about these people

They aren't so tough ...just bullshit coming out of their mouths

[ Parent ]
Winning is the only measure that matters (0.00 / 0)
Stealing, sleaze, lying etc. really doesn't matter if they win. If being right means losing, I don't want to be right...

...Adding, if there's "no accountability" that's the Democrats fault alone. The GOP is better at making us answer for things we haven't done than we are at holding them accountable for things they actually do.

Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans

[ Parent ]
And they use coded messages.... (4.00 / 1)
....because they know their real values are repulsive to the vast majority of Americans.

Democrats don't have to hide their values.

However, I agree Democrats have to get better at calling out the coded language and telling Americans what it really means.

[ Parent ]
Songs, schmongs... (0.00 / 0)
Did anyone realize that "Only In America," the song that closed Barack Obama's speech in Denver last week, was by the country songwriting duo Brooks & Dunn? Bit of trivia: They played the Republican Convention in 2004.

"This ain't for the underground. This here is for the sun." -Saul Williams

[ Parent ]
I guess Brooks has no problems with both parties using it.... (0.00 / 0)
....and one of the co-writers, Don Cook, is a founder of "Music Row Democrats"

[ Parent ]
No, Brooks & Dunn Asked The Dems Not To Do It Again (4.00 / 1)
That's the only example I know of the Dems doing what the Reps do all the time. (Rush Limbaugh, anyone?)

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
who ever listens to the lyrics? (0.00 / 0)

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

The Fans Who Sing Along, Perhaps??? (4.00 / 1)
Certainly not the suits.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Let 'em have it (0.00 / 0)
They deserve it...

At least they did license Barracuda for Guitar Hero (0.00 / 0)
That's one of my favorite songs to play. Wonder how the Wilsons feel about the female singer character...

"I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that."
-Lawrence Summers

GOP Song Contest (4.00 / 2)
Since the GOP is now, what, 0 for 4 in choosing songs. They've had all four song writers contact them pronto to tell them to cease and desist. Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen, Heart and, I forget. There was one more. Anyway maybe they could use some suggestions about a suitable song for them to use from an artist who might allow them to use it for keeps. Bing Crosby? Pat Boone? Anita Bryant? Lawrence Welk? Ted Nugent?

actually, at least two more (4.00 / 1)
John Mellencamp - small town, pink houses, possibly others
(Rep.) John Hall, formerly of Orleans, - Still the One

[ Parent ]
They better stick to songs that are in the public know (4.00 / 1)
the boring OLD ones

[ Parent ]
Well... (4.00 / 1)
Considering how much you're written here about how Republicans and Democrats tend to think, and how the former tend to be limited to far more unreflective and uncritical thinking, I imagine that the irony will bounce right off them, like Stephen Colbert.

Reminds me of the movie Fletch, in which the Chevy Chase character keeps using the names of famous people for himself, and the simple-minded people he tells them to don't get the joke (Hi, I'm Igor Stravinsky--Nice to meet you, Mr. Stravinsky!).

The people for whom these songs were played are literally incapable of understanding the irony on top of irony here, and always will be. That's why they vote Republican.

Or as my imaginary folksy old grandpappy might have said, if god had intended them to have brains, he'd have made them Democrats! Yeeehah!

Teh stoopids will always vote Republican. And they breed. A lot. Sigh.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

Of Course, I Wasn't Expecting The Reps Base To Get It (0.00 / 0)
Just one more drip, drip, drip in the way of chasing the Susan Eisenhowers out of the party is all.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Susan Eisenhower is a Heart fan? (0.00 / 0)
I would have pegged her as more of an Ike and Tina Turner fan.


But yeah, with all the talk about how Palin's energized the base (which she has) and will appeal to indies (partly, yes, but I'm unconvinced that it will be enough to make up the gap), few people have considered that it's going to lose them some moderate Repubs and right-leaning indies, which I think will more than make up for the votes she gains them.

They don't serve mooseburgers at the Greenwich country club Ski-Do drive-thru.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
Dixie Chicks (0.00 / 0)
Gee, maybe if the Republicans ask really nicely the Dixie Chicks will let them use their rendition of The Star Spangled Banner that they sang before the Superbowl in 2003. Ya think?

I think the Wilson sisters (0.00 / 0)
are right to raise hell, but you really can't compare the use by the GOP of Born In The USA to this. Born was a scathing rejection of Reaganomics, written by someone who understood the death of small town America that Reagan accelerated. Mellencamp's Little Pink Houses, very similar. Mellencamp was addressing the numbing of the lower middle class psyche and it's channeling into fantasies of home and family life by the GOP.

Barracuda was a response to a personal insult, plain and simple. Mushroom Records, Heart's home at the time, was NOT a media conglomerate, it was a tiny little indy label that had gotten lucky and was determined to milk it's cash cow any way it could. If it compares to another song, it's to Fogerty's Zantz Can't Dance (but he'll steal your money. Watch him or he'll rob you blind.), written about Fantasy Records head Saul Zantz. (I may have the name wrong. I think his name was Zantz, but it could have been Vantz). While feminism is there in Barracuda, it's much more a revenge thing. And, of course, the Barracuda in the song was the male execs who began the entire episode by trying to stretch a single hit into a record label.

It's once again become obvious that not only do the hardcore GOP not read, they can't even listen to a pop song and get the references right. But the political aspects of the two episodes are entirely different. Slam them for appropriating someone else's intellectual property, which obviously means little to the GOP unless the songwriter is a stupid GOP dwarf member of congress who runs into trees while skiing, but at least this time they didn't pick a highly political song written to bring attention to the evil they do to represent themselves.


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