Them Damned Conservative Short-Hairs and Their Rock and Roll Music

At first I thought this story was a bit of satire. The National Review, the preferred rag of every trickle-down hipster looking to be part of the vanguard, published its list of the Top 50 Conservative Rock Songs of All Time.

Here is the complete list for your delectation and incredulity:
  1. "Won't Get Fooled Again," by The Who
  2. "Taxman," by The Beatles
  3. "Sympathy for the Devil," by The Rolling Stones
  4. "Sweet Home Alabama," by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  5. "Wouldn't It Be Nice," by The Beach Boys
  6. "Gloria," by U2
  7. "Revolution," by The Beatles
  8. "Bodies," by The Sex Pistols
  9. "Don't Tread on Me," by Metallica
  10. "20th Century Man," by The Kinks
  11. "The Trees," by Rush
  12. "Neighborhood Bully," by Bob Dylan
  13. "My City Was Gone," by The Pretenders
  14. "Right Here, Right Now," by Jesus Jones
  15. "I Fought the Law," by The Crickets
  16. "Get Over It," by The Eagles
  17. "Stay Together for the Kids," by Blink 182
  18. "Cult of Personality," by Living Colour
  19. "Kicks," by Paul Revere and the Raiders
  20. "Rock the Casbah," by The Clash
  21. "Heroes," by David Bowie
  22. "Red Barchetta," by Rush
  23. "Brick," by Ben Folds Five
  24. "Der Kommissar," by After the Fire
  25. "The Battle of Evermore," by Led Zeppelin
  26. "Capitalism," by Oingo Boingo
  27. "Obvious Song," by Joe Jackson
  28. "Janie's Got a Gun," by Aerosmith
  29. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," by Iron Maiden
  30. "You Can't Be Too Strong," by Graham Parker
  31. "Small Town," by John Mellencamp
  32. "Keep Your Hands to Yourself," by The Georgia Satellites
  33. "You Can't Always Get What You Want," by The Rolling Stones
  34. "Godzilla," by Blue Oyster Cult
  35. "Who'll Stop the Rain," by Creedence Clearwater Revival
  36. "Government Cheese," by The Rainmakers
  37. "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," by The Band
  38. "I Can't Drive 55," by Sammy Hagar
  39. "Property Line," by The Marshall Tucker Band
  40. "Wake Up Little Susie," by The Everly Brothers
  41. "The Icicle Melts," by The Cranberries
  42. "Everybody's a Victim," by The Proclaimers
  43. "Wonderful," by Everclear
  44. "Two Sisters," by The Kinks
  45. "Taxman, Mr. Thief," by Cheap Trick
  46. "Wind of Change," by The Scorpions
  47. "One," by Creed
  48. "Why Don't You Get a Job," by The Offspring
  49. "Abortion," by Kid Rock
  50. "Stand By Your Man," by Tammy Wynette
Now some of these obviously work ("Sweet Home Alabama") and others are clearly aimed at liberals who have solved the rest of the world's problems and now have free time to take the bait ("Revolution"). Then there are others that are just hilarious. If libertarians want "I Can't Drive 55" to be their official broadside against government encroachment on personal liberties, then they should knock themselves out. I'll even throw in the tequila-sopped "Red Rocker" for a poster boy, no charge. Once you gleefully appear on Emeril Live you effectively renounce Rock Star Status anyway. Good riddance. Interestingly, the song featured in the most blatant exercise of willful pop culture ignorance in the history of the world, Reagan fave "Born in the USA," did not make the list.

The scary part about this list is not how audacious or absurd some of the choices are, but that some of the arguments might work on people. Take "Cult of Personality," for instance. The National Review argues that the song rails against blindly following and worshipping leaders like Stalin and JFK. This is true. Hey, that does sound like something a conservative would do! Wow. Nevermind the fact that half of the staff of the National Review is probably still hung over from the necropalooza that followed Ronald Reagan's death. That's of no consequence other than it being true.

In politics, everyone co-opts ideas, personalities, and anthems that they have no right to claim. This sucks, and is occasionally downright abhorrent, but it's the way it is. The Right is brilliant at it. Karl Rove is a Reactionary Rumpelstiltzkin, spinning bullshit into gold. There is a BS Gap in America today. Where the right foists it all on the public like they were descended from the lovechildren of Billy Graham and Ron Popeil: they turn baseless assertions into gospel, then convince you that you life will be so much easier once you buy it (and clean up will be a snap!), the Left nominates a bunch of Willy Lomans of ideas. In sum, things are bad when some stupid list that puts Creed and Everclear in the Top 50 of anything makes me even more despondent about our collective future.


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