Saturday, June 03, 2006

conservative rock anthems

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.


Katherine said...

Bethany, this post is so, so very funny. And more than a little incisive. Tee hee.


Gordon Hackman said...


Discovered your blog while looking for reviews/critiques of Debbie Maken and her book "Getting Serious About Getting Married," which I loathe. Appreciated reading your comments on her Boundless article, which is basically a shorter version of the nonsense from her book.

I saw this list of 50 songs the other day. My impression is that it's meant to be at least somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Also, I think the definition of conservative is more than just political, it's also social or moral, hence the inclusion of abstinence.

Lastly, I feel I have to call you on this comment: "On the whole, this list does not help me believe that conservatives are not stupid." I think it's uncharitable. I get really tired of watching people from both sides of the conservative/liberal debate bash each other and call each other names, especially when they're Christians.

Anyway, thanks again for the comments on Debbie Maken.