Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Politics of Music



How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?
Psalm, 137

It's amazing how belligerent right-wing reactionary types can get when the connection between music and politics is brought up.

I know why.

It's fear.

They're afraid to admit how closely linked artistic expression and small-l liberal ideals are.

They're afraid to look at their own music collection and realize that the vast majority of the artists they love, hate the ideology they hold so dear.

Ask yourself, when was the last time you heard a musician issue a cease-and-desist order to The Democratic Party for using one of their songs?

Ask yourself, when have you ever heard a pro-Margaret Thatcher song?

There is an inherent disconnect between artistic expression and right-wing reactionary ideology.

Music, so often, encourage free expression, the sharing of cultural experience as well as the acceptance of the new and the different. Right-wing ideologies, however, frequently demonize free expression, push for the homogenization of culture and condone the bullying of the different. Of course, there have been reactionary musicians from Richard Wagner to Ian Stuart and many more throughout history but their numbers have not grown stronger over the years.

Look at the paltry play list of wash-ups and go-nowhere lunatics that make up the musical right in America (Ted Nugent, Hank Williams Jr., Kid Rock, Big and Rich et al). It's as laughable as the measly list of 'scientists' the oil industry trot out to the media for the sole purpose of delaying the acknowledgement of man-made climate change.

I grant you it is impossible to speak to the views of all musicians. Surely their numbers would encompass a wild range of views from libertarian to non-partisan to Bacchanalian but the paucity of artists in the Republican tent and the abundance of them in the Democratic one must have some significance. 

It seems fair to say that music has long been the province of the outsider, of the marginalized. In some cases the musical talent itself might lead to marginalization and in others the punishing reality of marginalization may encourage people to use an instrument as a means of escape. Either way, many musicians have early experience with bullies who seek to hold and consolidate power with all forms of intimidation.

But they sing and play anyway.

The young Robert Zimmerman had the curtain pulled on him by his high school principal during a performance at Hibbing High school* but Bob Dylan changed the world anyway.

Then, since, as Walter Pater said, "All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music" those musicians refusal to play the silent victim helps inspire the painters, the dancers, the writers, the actors, the cartoonists, the meme creators and multitudes of others to express themselves.

So art untrammeled shows the power that those oft-considered weak can wield - see Sword v. Pen, (1839) - it reminds us all that there are more bullied then bullies. Hence why so many right-wing reactionaries are afraid of the arts and show such contempt for them.

Artists know of this contempt and as a result a great many artists recognize that in that strange land, that right-wing Shangri-La Republicans and their brethren around the world seek to force us into, that they would only be subservient shills for the powerful.

So, the majority of musicians and artists either try to avoid politics or stick together in ragged, often shaky big-tent political coalitions, such as today's Democratic Party in America.

These alliances of the marginalized are not so much about fear as they are about recognizing that self-preservation is not served by throwing your lot in with those that hate and despise you in the vain hope that they'll pass you over when they consolidate power. It's about recognizing that, contra Margaret Thatcher, there is such a thing as society and that when it works, civil society may in fact be humanity's greatest creation.

If I’d thought about it I never would’ve done it, I guess I would’ve let it slide
If I’d lived my life by what others were thinkin’, the heart inside me would’ve died
I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity
Someone had to reach for the risin’ star, I guess it was up to me

Bob Dylan, "Up To Me"


Wiser minds than my own have pondered the role of art in the political sphere, so I'll finish off by simply asking readers for their own take on the intersection of art and politics.



59 comments:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnToK3kSKKg

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  2. I was ecstatic to see that amazing song used in the Iron Lady, though the faux-Beach Boys arrangement and the farcical lyrics ('Margaret Thatcher is so sexy') are pretty obviously poking fun. So, I'll give this one as the lightest-hearted anti-Thatcher song.

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  3. The more political the act, the less listenable they become (best example: Springsteen, next example, Mellencamp).

    You might OD when Romney wins :) :)

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  4. The entire history of American music from Stephen Foster to Billie Holiday to Woody Guthrie to Bob Dylan and Green Day is dominated by artists who fought for everyday people's right not to be controlled by a wealthy, privileged aristocratic elite.
    Perhaps the Wall St. bankers and corporate CEO's will help Romney/Ryan grab even more power and wealth from American people on November sixth but do you really want to help them do it?
    It's not to late to vote your own interests, Rev, remember divide and conquer!

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  5. With you Evil Rev. Big surprise a comin' Springsteen not in my rotation because of his mouth. The Obama Justice Department wants bloggers in jail.

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    1. You can take Springsteen out of your rotation (though you lose such a repository of America's musical history!) but that doesn't change the fact that so many of his musical peers believe in protecting the working classes (middle and lower) against the greed of the monied elites.


      "The Obama Justice Department wants bloggers in jail."
      Please,listen, Rupert Murdoch (AUSTRALIAN billionaire, ENGLISH pres Baron AND Fox/WSJ owner) will tell you all sorts of salacious lies (without ANY proof apparently) to get you to not notice that he and his people are trying to wrest control of American democracy.
      You too can still vote your interests, regardless of your user name!

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  6. Don't forget Bob Dylan's favourite politician is Barry Goldwater, and he considers Obama 'Just Another Politician Pumping Out The Piss'. Springsteen hasn't made a good album since Nebraska.

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    1. That Goldwater quote (comparing him to Tom Mix!) is classic Dylan-ism but I'm not sure it should be taken as any kind of endorsement of the man's politics.
      Hell, I even took Dylan's surprisingly uncagey endorsement of Obama* with a grain of salt and you might want to take the parsing of modern Dylan lyrics for political content with a a whole box of salt.


      * http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2008/06/06/Bob-Dylan-endorses-Obama/UPI-88231212730170/

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    2. He is quite straight about Goldwater, but you are welcome to delude yourself all you want, alluding to everything as a Dylanism that you can twist into what you wish to believe, which ultimately exposes a strange need on your part to achieve the endorsement of this man for your viewpoint. As for your very old, in terms of contemporary politics, 'endorsement' by Dylan, of Obama, this was when the man was only about to be chosen as the candidate, and Dylan is merely giving a total unknown the benefit of the doubt. This would be understandable as he was greatly attracted to the idea of a black president. It is beyond dispute in his recent Rolling Stone interview that he does not endorse Obama now in any manner or form, and in his recent receipt of that presidential award from Obama, his silence and body language spoke volumes.

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    3. Wait in the middle of an argument where you're claiming that Dylan's comments on Barry Goldberg are pertinent to today you call my reference to Dylan's praise of Obama 'very old, in terms of contemporary politics"
      "Go on, Governor"!

      Then you claim this, "(you) twist into what you wish to believe, which ultimately exposes a strange need on your part to achieve the endorsement of this man for your viewpoint" before trying to unstraighen Dylan's clear endorsement to fit YOUR viewpoints.
      Again, I believe Dylan has allegiance to himself primarily and a secondary allegiance to who he perceives to be the underdog and little more, politically speaking!

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    4. "Again, I believe Dylan has allegiance to himself primarily and a secondary allegiance to who he perceives to be the underdog and little more, politically speaking!":

      This is certainly a big reversal from your claims in your article above that he changed the world, and is somehow on your side. Conservatives are people who support the little guy against the totalitarian-tending state, as exemplified classically by your outgoing president(I am not American, but Irish).

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    5. Reversal?

      Not if you read ALL the words.

      I said, "The young Robert Zimmerman had the curtain pulled on him by his high school principal during a performance at Hibbing High school* but Bob Dylan changed the world anyway."

      Are you contesting that Dylan's songs and his actions during the civil rights movement were not world-changing?

      That part you added about "And that he is somehow on your side" is just you trying to put words into my mouth.

      "Conservatives are people who support the little guy against the totalitarian-tending state."

      Even if you're using an outdated definition of conservative this is patently untrue. According to Wikipedia conservatism " is a political and social philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions.
      That means, at least, working to keep the little guy in his place!
      And with the Republican version of conservatism it means actually working to ensure that more money and more power accrue to the top members of society.

      As for nationality, I'm not American either. So here we are, an Irishman* and a Canadian arguing American politics; only on the internet, eh?


      * if that's still a correct term for one person from Ireland.

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    6. If the liberal Hobbesian grand political scheme comes to fruition, I assure you that apart from the all-powerful, all-knowing 'intellectual' elite, there will be nothing but isolated, atomised little guys with nowhere to turn. You won't be able to turn to your family, because they won't exist in any way we might now imagine. You won't be able to turn to your Church,because it doesn't exist, or is just an extension of the all-powerful State. There will be no other institution you can turn to for help, if some faceless bureaucrat has taken a dislike to you, and wants to put you in some gulag (probably a mental institution, where you will be treated compassionately). The best of luck with your Utopia.

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    7. Funny, this isn't what happened during the Clinton administration. Maybe this is why he wasn't mentioned during the RNC. But then again, neither was Bush...

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    8. Anonymous
      What in the hell are you talking about? This 'liberal Hobbesian grand political scheme' is entirely a product of your mind and seems to come from too many bad post-apocalyptic science-fiction films and not from any political reality.


      Jerry lee
      The right tried to destroy Clinton and now they lionize him...bizarre!

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  7. "I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity":

    Don't forget this line of Dylan's cuts both ways, and is more likely to refer to the left/liberal ideologues who try to impose their new 'values' on the traditional status quo. Have liberals never heard 'Another Side Of Bob Dylan', which had a primary theme of rejecting and attacking leftism/liberalism. There are none so deaf as those who will not hear. And Bob was for the Vietnam War.

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    1. That line does cut a lot of ways. But Dylan circa ASoBD wasn't 'rejecting and attacking leftism/liberalism' so much as disavowing the old folk guard's doctrinaire socialism and that's a huge distinction to me.

      While I too have read that cagey line in a Dylan interview about Vietnam that you allude to but I hardly think of it as a ringing endorsement of the war

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    2. Hey, you never know? And you can't accuse Dylan of being cagey when he told the homosexual community of San Francisco they were going to Hell, if they didn't repent, in 1979. It's all there in the bootleg recordings. Neighbourhood Bully shows clearly he doesn't follow the liberal line on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. And what about all those advertisements he's lent himself and/or his songs to, in support of those nasty capitalist banks, suv-manufacturers and ladies-underwear-manufacturers, not to mention his denial of global warning to Jan Wenner?

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    3. 1) You don't really believe that Dylan is still a fundamentalist born-agan Christian do you? While he is now VERY cagey about his religious beliefs almost no one would argue that his views have not changed.

      2) Again at no point did I argue Dylan was an absolute follower of any ideology but certainly one who'd stick up for the weak and, at some point anyway, he must've seen Israel as the underdog. Also of course around that time he is said to have returned to his Judaic roots, which returns us to point 1).

      3) Now you're just grasping at straw-men. Liberals (both classical and modern) are not opposed the the marketplace just unregulated corporate rule.

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    4. 1). He is certainly still a Christian (multiple references to Our Lord and His Mother in Tempest; personally I suspect he has moved very closely to Catholicism, not a new thing, it was very evident as far back as Oh Mercy). He has certainly evolved, but has never, even cagily, attempted to recant the opinions I mentioned.
      2).Invalid, even though Christianity doesn't really require a Jew to abandon very much of his previous religion. Messianic Jews are very common, and Dylan's family and inner social circle remain Jewish in religious terms, as far as I know, so it would be natural for him not to disconnect all the cables.
      3).Maybe you are not opposed to the marketplace, but many liberals are, and Obama's state claim on self-employed businesses ('you didn't build that') is, in practical terms, creepily close to Bolshevik expropriation, and very unAmerican.

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    5. 1) "Here's the thing with me and the religious thing. This is the flat-out truth: I find the religiosity and philosophy in the music. I don't find it anywhere else. Songs like "Let Me Rest on a Peaceful Mountain" or "I Saw the Light" – that's my religion. I don't adhere to rabbis, preachers, evangelists, all of that. I've learned more from the songs than I've learned from any of this kind of entity. The songs are mylexicon. I believe the songs".
      Bob Dylan, 1996
      I've always hoped that Bob didn't just abandon his faith outright but there a few Dylan scholars I've read who would write "He is certainly still a Christian", never mind claim that he's become Catholic.

      2) Seems to be less then 300,00 'Messianic Jews' (and if I understand correctly members do not have to be ethnically Jewish) between American and Israel. Not really what I'd call very common. In my understanding of Jewish culture, conversion to Christianity is still strongly discouraged.

      3) I call bullshit.
      Find me these anti-free market American liberals.
      Assuming they once existed, the Clinton era pretty much wiped them out.
      People that believe in the free market can also believe in regulations - hell even Romney says that now that he's trying to put some daylight between him and the Crazies!
      And speaking of the Crazies please don't use bad faith arguments like this "You didn't build that" garbage. Anyone who's read TWO SENTENCES of that speech knows that those words were ripped out of context. Seriously, look at how well the Stock Market has done under Obama and please be wary of comparing the American President to Soviet leaders like Joseph Stalin.

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    6. 1).Clinton Heylin, Michael Grey, christopher Ricks, Paul Williams and Sean Wilentz, whom I would consider the cream of Dylan scholars accept his continued Christianity, not to mention his own declaration to his interviewer, Bill Flanagan, in the context of the release of Christmas In The Heart, that he is '...a true believer'. But I'm sure you'd only describe that as a mere 'classic Dylan-ism'!
      2).300,000 is not a small number in the context of the number of believing Jews in the population.
      3)."You didn't build that" is plain and begrudgery-ridden enough to reveal the undeniable closet socialist beneath the urbane mask. He may be no Joseph Stalin, but he shares the same teacher, mediated through Frank Marshall Davis, and it certainly isn't Groucho Marx. As Dylan describes him:

      Another politician pumping out the piss
      Another angry beggar blowing you a kiss
      You got the same eyes that your mother does
      If only you could prove who your father was (!)

      I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree. Conservatives are people who believe in an authority higher than man, liberals are those who believe authority is to be found within Man. The gulf is unbridgeable, but the unwinding of History will prove who is right. I do hope the Stock Market will enable the US to repay that $6 trillion that the outgoing president added to her national debt, before the Chinese come knocking on her doors looking for it. I bid you adieu.

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    7. Adieu?? After insinuating that President Obama's a Marxist (and offering no proof), and then claiming he's influenced by a man whose writings called for tolerance for racial and economic difference as if that's a character flaw? Why is it that people like you would be very happy to see Obama and the US fail just to prove yourselves right? Good riddance to more Conservative lies and hatred.

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    8. 3.) What does Mitt Romney's 47% remark, and the Hispanic remark reveal about his character? Elitist, racist, clueless come to mind.

      How can you vote for a man who has no positions or convictions? According to a report compiled by John McCain's people in 2008, Romney's changed his views on EVERYTHING, including his favorite book and movie. Read it here:

      http://tinyurl.com/77zpm5w

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    9. I assure you, I am a great admirer of the USA, and hope that long she will prosper, and that is why I hope Obama fails. I don't think much of either presidential candidate, but Romney seems the least worse choice. I said to Jeffen I was Irish, by the way, and note that Jeffen and I had a long robust discussion, without insulting one another.

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    10. 1) you'd need quotes to cite those authors as being in agreement with almost anything never mind the assertion that 'He is certainly still a Christian '.
      A true believer in what? He never says, though in the next paragraph he says his record label made him do the Christmas album.

      2) In a population of almost 14 million 300,000 (and remember they are not all ethically Jewish) is quite small.

      3) begrudgery — n
      informal ( Irish ) resentment of any person who has achieved success or wealth
      (I learned something today)
      Speaking of learning you know there is no truth to be found in fact-free, painfully-mixed metaphors such as this 'reveal the undeniable closet socialist beneath the urbane mask" right?

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    11. P.S. You think Dylan's a birther now? one who believes Obama has not proved who is his father is?

      I realize you may have departed this conversation but I still wished to add some factual responses to the charge you have offered.

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    12. Insults:
      "you are welcome to delude yourself all you want"
      "which ultimately exposes a strange need on your part"

      Lies:
      "Conservatives are people who support the little guy

      "Maybe you are not opposed to the marketplace, but many liberals are, and Obama's state claim on self-employed businesses ('you didn't build that') is, in practical terms, creepily close to Bolshevik expropriation, and very unAmerican."

      Hatred:
      "If the liberal Hobbesian grand political scheme comes to fruition, I assure you that apart from the all-powerful, all-knowing 'intellectual' elite, there will be nothing but isolated, atomised little guys with nowhere to turn. You won't be able to turn to your family, because they won't exist in any way we might now imagine. You won't be able to turn to your Church,because it doesn't exist, or is just an extension of the all-powerful State. There will be no other institution you can turn to for help, if some faceless bureaucrat has taken a dislike to you, and wants to put you in some gulag (probably a mental institution, where you will be treated compassionately). The best of luck with your Utopia."

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    13. You've got an odd way of expressing your admiration. Here's why I hope Romney fails, and why I think his victory would be the worst possible thing to happen to the USA:

      http://tinyurl.com/98dqu2y

      http://tinyurl.com/8xunra8

      http://tinyurl.com/d74xrak

      http://tinyurl.com/9xdpc4m

      http://tinyurl.com/bvek3s6

      And the link to the John McCain report I cited above.

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    14. @ Jeffen: (definitely not this Jerry Lee who can't differentiate between debate and insult, or between admonition and hatred)

      Curiosity brought me back, not to mention you're a dogged opponent! I think the birther interpretation is one that can't be discounted, although it also makes sense if one assumes it is Christ; or it could be this man that emerged recently, claiming Dylan as his father. I think we could both agree, even if about little else, that Mr Dylan keeps us all going, and provides plenty ammunition for debate. Mr Jerry Lee thinks I have insulted you, I hope not, and that you take my little barbs as part of the normal cut and thrust of debate, but if I have, I apologise.



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    15. @ Jeffen:

      About the Messianic Jew thing:

      I said 300,000 wasn't small in the context of 'believing' Jews, since it is surely safe to assume the Messianics are believers in something. Also, they are most likely predominantly adults, so if one adjusts for these variables, they are not insignificant.

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    16. Actually, I thought you insulted everyone with even a mildly liberal outlook. I've seen the "little barbs" far too often from Conservative commentators, bloggers, and their supporters. It's not "normal cut and thrust", it's just nasty, arrogant, and tiresome. It's always ironic how those who throw the most barbs are the first to cry foul.

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    17. Anon
      "I think we could both agree, even if about little else, that Mr Dylan keeps us all going, and provides plenty ammunition for debate.'
      Well-put, sir - it's interesting how with both politics and religion Dylan likes to be cagey despite at one point having been very outspoken.
      I certainly do not feel any apologies are necessary as I enjoyed our discussion.
      That said, Jerry Lee's point that perhaps you (or I!) may be more insulting than we realize is a good one. I do try and edit my posts to excise the bits that put snark over ideas. Sure it doesn't always work - a bit of snark is all in good fun - but I think it helps keep things civil.

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    18. P.S.
      You first said "Messianic Jews are very common".
      300,000 (a high estimate) out of 14, 000, 000 is .02%.
      That is, mathematically, uncommon.
      While I can accept your second assertion that Messianic Jews "are not insignificant" your first one is demonstrably false.

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    19. Jerry Lee
      God, I appreciate you having my back here as the overwhelming response was pro-Romney.
      Not that I have a problem with that, it's just nice to have someone helping me bring the facts!

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    20. Hey, I'm not God...yet! That got really weird, I wasn't sure how many different people were "Anonymous". That bit about the "Hobbesian scheme" was totally bizarre! I probably could have toned it down a bit, but some of these arrogant jerks just piss me off. I'm surprised that most people were pro-Romney, but they could be in the same troll group. I wonder if they bothered to skim any of the articles I posted? Fight the good fight!

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  8. In my view/experience there are two types of people in this world - givers and takers. Musicians (artists) by and large tend to be givers - wanting to SHARE their music and ideas, getting paid for it is nice but thats not their main motivation (at first anyway). The takers tend to be the managers, agents record companies etc.

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    1. Obviously there a lot of exceptions to that generalization but I agree that that tendency to value expression in and of itself is very common to artists.

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  9. Liberals I've talked to generally don't hold those that have been born again in high esteem.

    "You've got a lot of nerve to say you are my friend".

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    1. Well with the disdain in which you hold them it's not surprising that your seemingly few conversations with liberals have gone so badly.
      Liberal I have conversed with don't so care about a person's religion as they do about their policies for the poor and the middle class. Hell, it was liberals who helped elect Jimmy Carter the first 'Born Again' politician*.

      "No, I do not feel that good
      When I see the heartbreaks you embrace"


      *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_again_%28Christianity%29

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    2. Prehaps you missed their reaction last month at the convention.

      It isn't 1976 anymore.

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    3. 'their reaction' 'the converntion.
      What are you talkign about?
      Do you mean the Democrats warm applause for the video salute to Jimmy Carter? If so, it sure beat the hell out of the Republicans GWB denial-ism.
      Well I'll grant you that it's not 1976 anymore (which was never my point), I stand by my assertion that in liberal circles policies are the litmus test not religion!

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    4. Don't assume Dylan agrees with you.

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  10. It just so happens that "born again" Jimmy Carter, recently said he didn't like Dylan's born again period. Hmmmmm...

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    1. A LOT of people didn't like those albums (I do, by the way) because they got preachy and over-heated, deal with it!

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    2. Remember when Paul Ryan said he liked Rage Against The Machine? You think they're still on his iPod?

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  11. Let's just forget for the moment about the Rolling Stone interview where Dylan was so driven crazy about being pushed to say he loves Obama that he actually used the "F" word to get the guy off the topic.(It almost came off like he was trying hard not to say anything bad about him) You can't deny that "My Back Pages" is a scathing attack on the left. "Self ordained professors", "mongrel dogs who teach", "lies that life is black and white". He's refering the universities with their left wing agenda which he seemed to be buying for a moment, but figured them out pretty quickly... "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now". (I was getting close minded like an old person, but now open to reality like a young person) And BTW, he was 23 at the time.

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  12. I grew up on the left, and changed my mind when I studied public policy in college and saw how shallow and unnuanced contemporary liberal discourse has become. I am still the same concerned, compassionate person I always was -- I have simply come to another conclusion than you.

    Musicians are entertainers who touch people's dreams. It's perfectly well to be idealistic, but that doesn't mean musicians have some special insight into and expertise about the world. I don't say that out of hear, but out of conviction.

    Please don't judge or dismiss others like me without at least giving us a thoughtful hearing. It's the exact demonization of which you accuse others.

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    1. Please thoughtfully reread this:

      "If the liberal Hobbesian grand political scheme comes to fruition, I assure you that apart from the all-powerful, all-knowing 'intellectual' elite, there will be nothing but isolated, atomised little guys with nowhere to turn. You won't be able to turn to your family, because they won't exist in any way we might now imagine. You won't be able to turn to your Church,because it doesn't exist, or is just an extension of the all-powerful State. There will be no other institution you can turn to for help, if some faceless bureaucrat has taken a dislike to you, and wants to put you in some gulag (probably a mental institution, where you will be treated compassionately). The best of luck with your Utopia."

      Delete
  13. Well, jeff has the right to write about what he likes on his blog and when he gets confronted with rude responses to that he has the right to defend himself and also write about it. It´s not demonization because he doesn´t generalize and claim that all who lean to the right in politics behave like that just those who are reactionaries and some of them have a tendency to behave like bullies. Otherwise I´m a bit surprised that Bob Dylan are taken so seriously just because he was quoted in the original post, I mean that guy seems to be as inconsistent and irrational as ____ ______ (insert your artist of choice here!).

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    1. Anon
      I respect your right to come to your own conclusion but can you really argue that contemporary American Republican discourse is less shallow and unnuanced than contemporary liberal discourse? I mean university turned me against some elements of the left too but when I saw how little power those people had in the real world, I kind of forgot about it.
      I think if you read my comment section (or any ones's) you'd be hard-pressed to call the right-wingers deep and nuanced.

      Your point about the musicians is fair (though ' I don't say that out of hear" is an awesome typo! - and I say that as someone who has typos of his own to account for).

      I was going to ask you what examples of demonetization you found in my text. I do try to avoid that sort of thing so I'm curious if there was something that I wrote that brought you to use that word.




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    2. FYI
      Thanks for the support it's been kinda lonely here, even thoguh I don't mind the fight!
      Part of the Dylan derail was my fault as I linked to it on Expecting Rain, so the Dylan-o-philes (like myself)came here expecting to talk Bob.
      That said, I'm still amazed that so many readers took only the (modest-sized) Dylan part and then added it to things I never said and then got angry.
      Such is life!

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    3. I am the anonymous poster from before. I agree that mass-market liberalism and conservativism are equally pandering and dumbed-down -- which is why I don't think either side has the right to be so contemptuous of the other.

      When you dismiss people on the right that you dislike as "reactionaries" ruled by fear who want a dystopian future ruled by the super-rich, it's the same as when a conservative calls a liberal a communist. It's an attempt to make someone who thinks differently into an object worth ignoring.

      Please know that I once fully agreed with you on nearly everything -- and I changed my mind when I opened my heart. Keep an open mind and don't judge people by the candidate they may choose to support.

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    4. Thanks for a clear response.

      I do not believe all political ideologies are equal, they range form the evil to the benign to the empowering*.

      This current Republican iteration of 'conservationism' (an ideology that is important) seeks a return to the laws of the past in terms of things like women's health, financial regulations, tax policy and foreign affairs. The more accurate term for that set of ideas is 'reactionary'. By specifying that that is who I'm opposed to and not everyone who is to the right of me, I am trying to keep dialogue open.

      I do try and keep an open mind but how is lowering taxes on the rich, ending social services the the poor, denying women the health care they need and driving LGBT people back to the closet a result of an open heart?

      I mean those may not be YOUR positions but the candidates you choose to support will do everything in their power to make those things happen.

      I realize at one point in your life you had an epiphany but take a look around at those people who's side you now find yourself on remember that even epiphanies need to be refined over time to adapt to new developments.


      * Never fond of that word but this was a s good a use for it as I may ever find.

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  14. Folks may be wiser than you, but few more eloquent on the topic. Suffice to say that, from the first attempts of humans to fix their place in the firmament through objective expression to the present media-besotted day, all art is political.

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