Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Random Mainstream Media Ska Reference

I've always been a huge fan of David Rees' "Get Your War On" strip, which started right after Dubya attacked Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11. Always highly critical of the Bush Administration's so-called "War on Terror," Rees ended the strip when Bush finally left the White House. However, since the Afghanistan war rages on two years into the Obama Administration, he's back with some sharp commentary. These two panels are from a great two-page spread in this week's New York Magazine. The ska references are kind of jarring and remind me of the 3rd wave's cheesy, cringe-inducing tendency to wedge 'ska' into words and phrases where it simply didn't belong (Skanksgiving, anyone?), which made people outside of the scene think all the less of us.

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Now for the overtly political segment of this post.

It's surreal to see Rees' strip all these years later and to be reminded of the nightmarish things that went down while the Bush Administration was at the helm (incredibly horrific things like all the people murdered on 9/11--and how the attack might have been averted; Bush, Cheney et al lying that Iraq was behind 9/11 and/or had weapons of mass destruction in order to justify the invasion of that country; all the people on both sides that didn't have to be maimed or die as a result--particularly Iraqi civilians who didn't sign up for combat; the billions upon billions Bush borrowed to finance two wars while simultaneously giving everyone tax cuts--where were the GOP deficit hawks and tea party types during all this extraordinary accumulation of debt? Oh, that's right, a white man was doing it!; the torture--and waterboarding is torture--and indefinite imprisoning of suspected terrorists; the policy of extraordinary rendition; the "unitary executive" and use of Presidential signing statements; the illegal wiretapping of Americans' e-mails and phone calls--and the Bush Administration's deliberate misinterpretation and shredding of our nation's laws; the color-coded fear weekends when everyone bought duct tape and plastic sheeting to keep out the dirty bomb/bio-chemical attack that never came; the fact that Bin Laden escaped Tora Bora and is still at large; and now Bush's blatant attempt to re-write history).

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Since I've gotten all that out of my system, it's time to go back to writing reviews of new ska releases and putting together The Duff Guide to Ska's "Best of 2010" list!


I Like Melons said...

That's cute. I'm particularly fond of the way you made it a racist thing with the comment about W's dumb acts being committed by a white guy. Good work.

Now, back to the present, what is O doing to end all the W nonsense?

As far as I can tell he's not doing too much.

Steve from Moon said...

Obama is not doing nearly enough to undo all the bad done during Dubya's reign of terror/error. There is no question about that.

I love and support him (heck, he's our President!), but I wish he would fight much harder for his party's values and on behalf of the Democratic base (and with the Republicans doing their darndest to alienate anyone who isn't rich, white and powerful, Obama should spend a whole lot of political capital on behalf of some or any of these other groups and he'll be sure to be re-elected in 2012...).

Anonymous said...

Well, at least the ska reviews are good.

I think you are pretty misguided in your opinion, mostly because Bush was too dumb to be the evil mastermind that you seem to think he was. I agree with the first poster, there is no race issue here, even people in the south are not mad that Obama is black, they are mad because he doesn't do anything at all, about anything. I like the guy, I voted for him, but he is going to have an upward battle getting reelected in this instant gratification society we have. Oh, by the way, I actually think a president who does little in regards to domestic policy is a good president. That is the way the constitution was designed. Unfortunately, the president has become a poster child of the United States, and is expected to do much more than they are really supposed to. Bush used executive power to its full extent, I think Obama tries to use it too much also. The thing is, there are many people in an administration - it would be foolish to think that any one person could be responsible for every mistake / policy during a term. To the second poster - last time I checked the nation had a Republican base, not a Democratic (as of the 2010 elections) I think Obama is trying to compromise so he has a chance to get reelected. I am moving to Canada when mama bear becomes our president.

Lastly, although I was never in a band that had "ska" cleverly inserted into its name, many of us grew up in the third wave and still appreciate the humor. If the music is to survive we need all the fans we can get. Perhaps in places that still have ska, we can alienate people, but not throughout the country. Try living in Texas and craving Ska - it just doesn't happen there. When living there, I would have rejoiced to be able to even hear bands that had that cheesy third wave attitude.

Steve from Moon said...


Thanks for your comments--I do appreciate hearing your point of view.

To be honest, Bush wasn't running things--he was the propped up figurehead. Cheney had all the power, connections, and vision--and he was the one responsible for many of the vile and dangerous policies of the Bush Administration (check out the Frontline documentary "Cheney's Law" for many examples: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/cheney/).

As to whether racism is motivating the anti-Obama people, I do think it fuels the rage behind some (but not all) of the so-called "birthers" (the people who don't think Obama was born in the US), and Tea Partiers who want to "take our country back" (from whom exactly?), and the "states rights" people who deny that the Civil War was chiefly about slavery and are forever pissed at the federal government for forcing them to dismantle their genteel way of Jim Crow life. And, of course, the white supremacist militias aren't too happy that a black man is in the highest office in the land...

On the other hand, many other people dislike him simply because he is the leader of the Democratic party...and are happy to use the anger of the fringe on the right...

Even though the Republicans, Tea Partiers, and the like would never let it happen, I do think that we need some massive public works programs (like FDR's WPA) to a) help re-build our nation's crumbling infrastructure (and how about constructing a world-class passenger rail system in the US--flying anywhere is expensive and nightmarish), and to b) put millions of unemployed Americans back to work. (If we have to raise taxes to do it, so be it--the tax rates were much higher under Clinton--and the economy did very well during his administration.) US corporations, even though they are sitting on trillions of dollars, are not hiring--just figuring out more ways to automate things or ship jobs overseas. Who exactly is going to be left to buy anything to keep the consumer-driven economy going if all of us are permanently out of work?

We're definitely spoiled living in NYC--there are lots of great ska bands here...so I appreciate what you're saying about getting ska in any form you can!

Hope you have a great 2011!