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EWB All Around The Horn


Maxx
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**Note: Its like Around the Horn, but this isn't about sports...its about slews of other topics, hence the "All Around" in the title...pretty clever I'd say..**

Welcome on and all to the thread of competitive banter, its EWB All Around The Horn. 5 posters will debate 10 topics from the realm of all things newsworthy, I'll score their responses and at the end of each set of topics, I'll drop the lowest score untill the 2 remaining posters face off in a head to head show down! So lets meet our contestants.....

First up, the lord of the roundtable discussions himself..good god, its Beatnik!

Secondly, a literal living legend its...umm...Living Legend!

Our third contestant needs no introduction, but he'll get one anyways, its Clawson's arch nemesis, the man they call Kou.

And for added controversy, our fourth contestant is none other than the Barrie native himself, Claaaaawson

Finally, representing for the pop stars all across the world, B to the S to the I to the G, its BritneySpearsIsGod!

Now its time to start the show with...THE FIRST WORD..

The first word today is Music. The second word, Politics. With the United States Presidential Election just a few months away, many in the world of music are becoming more politcal than ever before. Green Day's scathing criticism of the world's current state of affairs, American Idiot hit shelves next month and bands such as Pearl Jam, The Roots, Dave Matthews Band and REM hit the road on the Vote For Change Tour.

So, the question is, how do you like your rock stars? Political thinkers or sex crazed drinkers? And if you had to chose one band to tell you about politics, who would it be? 2 paragraphs or less...BEATNIK!

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Oh Jesus don't get me started on musicians in politics. Green Day goes from "Blood, Sex and Booze" on one album to "American Idiot" the next. Even Good Charlotte was going to appear on that first Rock Against Bush album, but I guess the recording sessions were past their bed times. I know Punk is steeped in politics, but the early punk bands had one thing on their descendants, THEY ACTUALLY KNEW WHAT THE FUCK THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT! The Dead Kennedys didn't take their information from a combination of Michael Moore and the John Kerry for President Website. But I think what bothers me most is their intentions. If you want to believe that it's all about changing regimes then you go ahead with your naive assumptions, but that first Rock Against Bush album sold more than most of the included bands' albums do. It was a great promotional tool for their music, and I'm sure they all stand to benefit from its MTV-driven exposure. What it comes down to is knowledge and intention. If you actually know what you're talking about, and are genuinely a politically inclined person, then fine. But as long as we have these pubescent morons trying to influence kids with their generic anti-Authority messages, I'd prefer if musicians keep their big mouths out of politics.

If I had to choose one band to do politics, it would be System of a Down, and on a lesser extent Rage Against the Machine. With SOAD, there's a clear intention of change - namely the American acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide. They're also not so ridiculously one sided in their opinions, as proven by Serj's cries of "Science has failed our world" on the "Toxicity" track "Science". With Rage Against the Machine comes an overwhelming sense of entitlement. Two of its members are Ivy League educated in Political Science, and both Zach and Tom come from highly political backgrounds (Zach's father a political muralist, Tom's a Mau Mau Guerilla). There is no doubt about their qualifications, and the only reason I don't suggest them first and foremost is their obviously one sided opinions. Still, in a world where bands like Green Day are topical for political views, one can't help but wish for an unrelenting band like Rage to make it's return. As we approach this election, the "Testify" video reigns more and more true.

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Perhaps it was a bad example on my part, but Green Day's new album is more of a reply to what America has degenerated into since 9/11 than an out and out bashing of George Bush, but Billie Joe is a fan of Michael Moore, so its open to interpretation.

7 points for Beatnik and don't worry, Mr. De La Rocha's solo effort is due soon.

Next up....LEGEND

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Alright, here's my take on it. Politics and music don't match. They never have, and they never will. Bands using politics as a motive to sell records is ridiculous. Bands like Green Day don't need to touch on a subject that is being paraded around the mainstream already by a bunch of anal lawyer-types who have nothing better to do. All they probably are gonna do is alienate the fanbase they already established for years. Do they think they're gonna get new fans just because they talk about how America is being flushed down the toilet? No. They have every right to voice their opinion on the current state of the country, but leave it out of music. Politics really hasn't had a place in music even when Rage Against The Machine used it. Now, although RATM was brilliant in their approach to politics, the fact that politics is in the music doesn't interest me at all. No matter how good a band is at the deliviring the message, it's just a tired subject that shouldn't be involved in any form of entertainment unless it is a politics based show or a form of show that pokes fun at politics. With that said, although it disturbs me greatly, there is one more dimension to it that really pisses me off. Those bands that deliver the message with the worst bits of information that is probably based on some thirteen year old kid's opinion on what president is "cooler". They tell us not to conform to Bush.. yet... ask us to conform to what they say? It doesn't cut it with. In fact, that's the only real thing that pissed me off at my trip to the Warped Tour.

As for who I would pick as a band to preach to me about politics? How about none. I will restate my claim that politics and music don't match. They are seperate entities that just don't mesh. Keep music and politics in their own area and you should be fine. Now, if you don't mind, I'll be listening to some sex crazed drinkers.

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But what do most musicians write songs about? Their life and their experiences. What goes on in Washington influences peoples lives and for musicians that means it influences their song writing and thats something thats been going on for a long time.

5 points to Ledge, because can you imagine if RATM wrote like Poison? Not something I want to think about, do you?

Around the Horn to...Clawson

Edited by Maxx
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Quite frankly I am one of those people who don't really care for messages in music. Musicians try to get messages across to people through "powerful" lyrics but come on, do they actually believe that singing about how big of an asshole Bush is that people will actually change their vote? Why won't albums like Rock Against Bush affect votes? Because people that buy those albums already dislike him. Why would a Bush supporter buy an album that hates on their man? Seems like a waste of time.

As for a band to discuss politics of my choice I can't really think of one. I've been told RATM does a good job but I really don't disect lyrics so yah...

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Sorry, I was away. Let me speak my vocal power to y'all. I probably will suck, but then everyone says they suck. The fact that everyone does suck doesn't deter me :shifty:

So, Music and politics. What a fun combination. It's a tough one for me to call to be honest. It's not a question you can answer clean cut. There are so many pros and cons for this argument, and even if you go through them, new questions arise. So let's do this the old-fashioned way and consider both sides of the argument.

PROS

Music, as an artform, is here for expression. So what's to say an artist can't express their viewpoints on the earth. If they can sing about love, hate, fear, bravery, joy, sadness, gain, loss, sex, drugs, money and everything inbetween, why can't politics be added to the list? Sometimes, we need an artist to come step out and be our leader, and sometimes we need them to be political. Some of the best bands we've ever known have been political. It's in their blood. NOFX are renowned for their politically-charged songs every so often. Goldfinger are well known Vegetarians who make it a concious effort to defend the rights of all of the world's creatures. Even Sir Paul McCartney has dabbled in politics, although he hasn't done it a lot in his music. I couldn't really care to be fair, as he sucks the big one anyway. Politics has played a part in music, and vice-versa. So why can't it continue? It's the soundtrack to our lives, after all. It's apart of us, and so it politics. So it can be said, the two make a good pair together.

The media - who controls it? Ultimately, it's up to themselves, but government influence makes sure the media pay attention to what they are safe with. And what are they safe with? America The Brave and all of that stuff. So what is the way to divert this lockdown? The internet, and music. Music is a great tool to help get your message across where other methods can't. If someone writes a note, it gets thrown away. You can't help but take notice of a song - it's a great medium to spread the word. To propogate your views to a wider audience. And if it helps us all for the better, isn't that a good thing?

It's also something of substance. It's not your bling-bling stuff, or your "Love me true" poppy bullshit (sounds ironic coming from me, no?) - it's real. It's something we've all seen and dealt with. It's something we can unite under. It's helping to bring us together. Isn't it? So isn't that a good thing? I thought so. The sex, drugs and rock and roll stuff is good for the time being, but we sometimes need to be told the white truth to keep our perspective straight.

CONS

Music has always been universally recognized as the artform that brings us all together. And while it may bring all races together, it just divides us all back up again into genres, because we can't comprehend it when someone hates our musical tastes. It's like politics - it's all become so important to us, that we can't accept it that we might be wrong, or that we aren't listening to the same thing by choice. Yet we all strive to be equal - so why do we let something that should make us equal turn us against each other?

Then there's the argument Jar Jar Beatnik brought up - knowledge of the chosen topic. All the political messages coming from musicians seems to come directly from the Rock/Punk scene, more specifically the latter. In the past, the people who spoke about their beliefs were geninually disillusioned with the world and finally had a real chance to speak their mind. Some never made it past the hardcore scene, and some literally made a career out of it. Some revolutionized music because of it. But others seem to take it and use it as a way of druming up interest. It's not that they're not interested in politics - it's just that, well... do they really understand what they are speaking? The generation of today (and to an extent, the last generation - that being generation X I believe) have little to fight for. There's no big war to fight. There's no big event to bring us together, or to give our lives meaning. But we do have the big fight to wage a war on - the media. The government. The annoyance of people's lives not feeling as if they mean anything manifests into listening to the guys who had a real gripe against the wrongs of the world, and they find that now, they have meaning. And that's good. It's good to understand what's wrong with our world.

But the problem is, they don't TRULY understand. They spout off the facts, they read a few autobiographies and they listen to a few tunes... but they don't read the facts. THAT'S the biggest detriment to any argument possible - the cold hard facts. They just assume because Johnny Rotten sang it in a song once, it must be true. They do the exact same as everyone else that they bash does - they buy into the propaganda. These people aren't any better than the rest of us who watch our TVs and wonder what's wrong with the world. I mean, take Papa Roach* - they got that new song "Getting Away With Murder" out. It's obvious that, by watching the video, the song is based on current affairs. Yet you watch the video, and it's all anarchy and hot girls making out. Okay, so the song is vague and it can be based on many things, but you see the point - some bands think this is being edgy. This isn't proving a political agenda - this is playing politics itself, and I was under the impression that wasn't what these bands wanted. One action speaks a thousand words - so why do these artists speak so many words that doesn't represent the action they want?

There's also the "Escape from reality" idea - I mean, after a hard day of work/school/life, you don't exactly want to be reminded of the problems you've suffered necessarily, do you? If you've just broken up because your girlfriend was so Pro-Bush it made you hurl, what would make you want to listen to some Country singer talking about how he "dealt with dem bastards" or something of a similar effect? Alternatively, if you think Blair's doing a good job in the UK, why would you listen to a rapper rhyme about Blair being an idiot and not having a clue? On the flip side still, if you've had to talk about how your closest friend died in a dribe-by shooting, would you neccessarily want to listen to Ice Cube talking about the hard times he's had on the streets? Not many people really would. Music offers an escape for people, so those people aren't always going to want to relive their troubles through a song, are they? Although on the reverse of that, you do have the idea that listening to songs like this helps you feel like it's not just your trouble, but that's another argument for another day.

Looking at both sides of the argument, it's still harder to tell. All it comes down to is whether you want to escape reality, or if you want to listen to one man's take on the world today.

Either way, the world is yours.[/uselessnaslyricsquote]

*For the record, I love Papa Roach.

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