Mellencamp’s Melody

In Friday’s Dixie Chicks post, I speculated that an anti-war song performed by a popular artist wouldn’t get much air time. It looks like that theory may be put to the test with John Mellencamp’s new song, To Washington.

So far, it looks like I was right. The song doesn’t seem to be getting much air time or favorable reaction. According to the administrator of Mellencamp’s website, feedback is 60% in favor of the song; but I would assume that feedback on his own site is going to be skewed in his favor. A more typical reaction is that of talk show host Greg Garrison, quoted in an Indianapolis Star article: “John Mellencamp, like every other American citizen, is entitled to his own opinion — no matter how uninformed that may be. He’s fortunate to live in the United States of America, where men like Colin Powell and women like Condoleezza Rice and presidents like George Bush look outward with enough vigilance, so that he can keep on saying whatever simple things come into his mind.” And John Ivey of Clear Channel Radio says “I don’t think anybody is looking to fill up the airwaves with songs about the war.”

I suspect what Ivey really means is that his corporate owners don’t want to play anything that might irritate their sponsors, or contradict the ignorant beliefs of their listeners. They have shown no hesitation to play songs about the war as long as they are pro-war. The airwaves are full songs of hate and prejudice thinly disguised as patriotism. There’s nothing wrong with singing about whupping Saddam’s ass; it’s just suggesting that maybe killing people is wrong that upsets corporate America and the media they control.

For example, just this morning I heard Darryl Worley’s latest, Have You Forgotten. It’s outrageous for anyone to call Mellencamp uninformed while Worley is topping the charts with lyrics like: “Don’t you tell me not to worry about Bin Laden; Have you forgotten?” No, Darryl, I haven’t forgotten about bin Laden, no matter how hard Dumbya tries to make us forget by bombing Iraq. Have you forgotten that neither bin Laden nor any of his hijackers were Iraqi?

But Worley’s song, and flag-waving Arab-hating songs like it from Toby Keith, Lee Greenwood, etc. are acceptable to the corporate radio moguls. They don’t really object to songs “about the war”, as long as they promote the “correct” viewpoint. It’s just songs against the war, like Mellencamp’s, that are a problem. Promoting war is just fine; it’s apparently better for business

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