21 December 2009

The Most PC Thing You'll Ever Read

Go on, have a look. It's basically a guy whining that Rage Against the Machine don't deserve to be Christmas #1 because he doesn't share their opinions. How so?
  • They have "images of books" on their website. He doesn't like the books in question.
  • They also like Che Guevara, Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore.
  • Their guitarist, among other things, once said "A great song should destroy cops and set fire to the suburbs", which Edmund Standing takes very literally indeed
You'll notice in the article, there is zero analysis of Rage's music or even lyrics. You wouldn't expect similar for the fucknut right's artists. You don't hear Edmund Standing laying into W.B. Yeats for his politics, or Wagner for his fruity views on Jewish people. Does he refuse to watch Briget Bardot films because of her disgraceful views on Muslims? When he was at university, did he start yelling in the lectures every time someone mentioned Heidegger? I imagine if we were getting 'Peaches in Regalia' to Christmas #1, he wouldn't be condemning Frank Zappa and listing the faults of libertarianism. His objection to Chomsky is especially nasty, slandering him as a "pseudo-academic" despite the article he links to, '200 Chomsky Lies', only making one passing reference to linguistics. Would he also refer to Chris Brand as a 'pseudo-psychologist' because of his views? Actually, speaking of racist gobshites, hasn't Dannii Minogue said enough stupid shit to disqualify the X-Factor from another Christmas #1?

This is a textbook case of what the right-wing call 'political correctness'. Getting all oversensitive about certain opinions, making some athletic leaps of logic and then coming over all censorious towards anything associated with anything they disagree with. Deciding who should be where in the charts based on their politics, using a bad Brecht play you saw a few years ago to dispute Marxism, that sort of thing. That Chomsky one's a classic actually, I've come across that before. Some horse's arse with zero interest in L1 acquisition disputing his professional credentials because of his privately held beliefs. At least when Kilroy got sacked, he'd had a shit chat show anyway.

I always wondered why these people saw 'PC' everywhere, why they were so disgusted at writers like Polly Toynbee, who they seem to imagine as fifty feet tall with Communist lasers for eyes. Now I know. It's because they imagine we lefties think just like them, and are just doing exactly what they would do in the same position. The only reason they're ever upset about PC is because it's happening to them.

Of course, I've just completely failed to mention Rage's music or lyrics, so I should point out that 'Sleep Now in the Fire' has the best lyrics (which, isn't really saying much from my point of view) and (apologies for the youtuber visuals) 'Ashes in the Fall is just generally an awesome, awesome piece of music. Especially the Gang of Four-ish bit in the middle.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for your comments - I always enjoy provoking a good rant. I'm well aware that numerous musicians I like have political views I wouldn't agree with, but they don't stick them right there in their songs. My issue is a band that promotes these ideologies being used as the band in this Christmas campaign. My reaction would be the same if for some unaccountable reason a Skrewdriver song got to number one.

    I object to Chomsky's widely held status as a scholarly writer on politics - I don't have an issue with his linguistics work. And yes I do consider IQ based 'scientific racism' to be pseudo-scholarship. Watch 'Race and Intelligence: The Last Taboo' for a good debunking of that (it's on Daily Motion).

    Ah, I see you're a fan of Lenin's Tomb. SWP eh? Well, of course I'm one of those nasty right-wingers from Harry's Place...

    Cheers,

    Edmund

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  2. Of course, the other reason not to like RATM as Christmas number 1 is because they're shit

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  3. "I always enjoy provoking a good rant. I'm well aware that numerous musicians I like have political views I wouldn't agree with, but they don't stick them right there in their songs. My issue is a band that promotes these ideologies being used as the band in this Christmas campaign."
    It's sort of a fair point, but is there anything in that particular song you object to?

    "My issue is a band that promotes these ideologies being used as the band in this Christmas campaign."
    Which is basically my point. You object to song by a band whose opinions you disagree with being used in the campaign, despite none of those opinions being expressed in the song itself. PC gone mad etc. etc.

    "I object to Chomsky's widely held status as a scholarly writer on politics - I don't have an issue with his linguistics work."
    Surely 'psuedo-scolar' is really not the word to use for him then.

    "And yes I do consider IQ based 'scientific racism' to be pseudo-scholarship."
    I quite agree. But would you say his scientific racism devalues his psychological work in other areas, or should that be subject to examination in and of itself? Maybe I've read too much into a throwaway comment, but there's been some nasty dismissals of Chomsky as a linguist that really don't involve much linguistics.

    "Watch 'Race and Intelligence: The Last Taboo' for a good debunking of that"
    Have been meaning to, might just when I get a chance.

    "Of course, the other reason not to like RATM as Christmas number 1 is because they're shit"
    Apart from the fac that that's a fairly subjective opinion, could you please name me a Christmas #1 that wasn't.

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  4. I think if someone buys into scientific racism, then his other work would have to be looked at carefully to see if the same lack of scholarly credibility applied there.

    In terms of that particular song - the line about the police and the KKK seems pretty unfair. I'm not aware of any evidence of widespread police involvement with the Klan in modern times. The James Elkin case this year, for example, stood out because it was so rare.

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  5. could you please name me a Christmas #1 that wasn't

    Yes, I could.

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  6. "Yes, I could."
    Well, I guess that settles it then.

    "I think if someone buys into scientific racism, then his other work would have to be looked at carefully to see if the same lack of scholarly credibility applied there."
    Looked at carefully, but not dismissed. Though considering how closely linked Brand's racism is to his field of study, and how unrelated global politics and developmental linguistics are, I'm not sure how well this functions as an analogy. Even so, referring to him as a 'pseudo-scholar' based on his personal opinions is nothing short of libellous.

    "In terms of that particular song - the line about the police and the KKK seems pretty unfair. I'm not aware of any evidence of widespread police involvement with the Klan in modern times. The James Elkin case this year, for example, stood out because it was so rare."
    You have to take into account that that album came out the year after the LA riots and the whole Rodney King thing, and that they do say only "some" of those who work forces. Besides, "they're a bit mean about the police and it's not entirely fair" isn't quite the same argument you were putting forward. You're also being extremely literal in your readings - it's more likely to be a general point about institutionalised police racism that a straight set of KKK accusations. Similarly with the quote about destroying cops and setting alight to the suburbs - if a song had to do that to be great, music would be pretty bleak.

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