Thanks to Jon for pointing me to this rather amusing list of the “Top 50 Conservative Rock Songs” from the National Review. Now, some of their selections have defensible conservative themes. But others are blatant misreadings. I guess it’s a good example to support the idea that all texts are polysemic and that resistive readings are possible. But seriously. Calling U2’s “Gloria” reactionary because it has latin in it? That’s outrageously ignorant of both church and Irish history. I don’t think either party can really claim the catholic church, its issues fall on both sides. And that’s their number six pick. Also sketchy is their number 8 – The Sex Pistols “Bodies”. Because the word abortion is used in a negative light. That makes it a “searing anti-abortion anthem.”
I realize it’s hard to find conservative anthems. I mean, really, what’s it gonna be? “dude, we should keep everything the same. The man ROCKS!” But apparently “the Rime of the Ancient Mariner” counts as conservative because it’s old. Hey! You know what else is old? Karl Marx. Just sayin’.
It’s also interesting to me that they chose a number of songs that have “conservative sexual mores.” I think reducing conservatism to a position on sexual behavior is not necessarily productive. Is abstinence political? On the whole, this list does not help me believe that conservatives are not stupid.