i-09aa909df9ca3e8791a6132d38247e57-YGS_220x200.jpgI’ve been following Roy Zimmerman‘s output of musical satire since his 2004 album Faulty Intelligence, and I was certainly not disappointed by the recent You’re Getting Sleepy. The CD’s title is shared with the opening song and refers to the hypnosis that must be going on when half of the US electorate votes for the increasingly insane Republican Party. (Remember, Mitt Romney is their low-key, sensible and uncontroversial alternative!) As resident of a country whose entire spectrum of mainstream politics lies to the Left of Barack Obama, I of course have no problem with Zimmerman’s stance. But nor do I really need to have my anti-Conservative flame fanned. I listen to Zimmerman for his razor wit and his musicianship.

These qualities are particularly in evidence on the blues tune “The Unions Are To Blame”, the slickly soulful “Citizens United” (I had to look that up) and the country send-up “I’m So Friggin’ Country”. Zimmerman knows his Americana styles and moves effortlessly among them, which makes for nice variety. I sometimes feel bad for him when he lavishes this kind of attention on a topic that will only be notable and comprehensible for a few years (“Mister Bush Sends His Regrets”), but such of course is the nature of political satire. It buys a hard punch in the present at the price of a short shelf life.

So Dear US Reader: if you have a chance, definitely catch a Roy Zimmerman gig when he plays in your state! He’s touring all 52 of them during the run-up to the presidential election. And everybody else, buy the album!

Comments

  1. #1 Eric Lund
    February 3, 2012

    He’s touring all 52 of them during the run-up to the presidential election.

    Did we add a couple while I wasn’t looking? Or does that total include Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia?

  2. #2 JG
    February 4, 2012

    Great stuff! Many thanks.

  3. #3 Tacitus2
    February 5, 2012

    Martin, as an apparently honest skeptic I do assume you are allowing for the possibility that the projected image of American politics may be distorted by those with a vested interest in doing so. As Gilbert and Sullivan once said “Things arn’t always as they seem…”.

    I give you points for recognizing your perspective may be influenced by your own native politics. I would not presume to comment on Swedish politics although I loosely keep abreast of them.

    Cheers

    Tacitus

  4. #4 Martin R
    February 5, 2012

    Who, in your opinion, is the sensible, sane GOP candidate?

  5. #5 Tacitus2
    February 5, 2012

    Martin, there are several issues right now. 1) after 8 years of a mediocre to failed Republican presidency the crop of upcoming Republican talent has been thinned out a great deal. In American politics taking a job as a cabinet secretary or being an active legislative leader for an unpopular president will blight your future prospects. If there is a second Obama admin this will be a factor for the Democrats in about three years. 2) several very appealing candidates, sane by most standards, are opting not to run. Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie. For various reasons, such as perhaps sanity, they have said no this time around. (Maybe next time). 3) Our primary system is flawed. It forces candidates to pander to the least reasonable of their potential supporters. It is generally recognized that after the nomination there is a shift to the middle. 4) our news media is about 80% slanted towards open advocacy of the Democrats. And about 10% nonsense from Fox. You should not put much faith in either.

    Romney does not excite anybody. He at least has some past administrative experience and has governed a state with divided politics to generally favorable reviews.

    I have not decided how I will vote yet.

    Here

    http://detritusofempire.blogspot.com/2012/02/american-politicsroman-imperial-style.html

    This explains it in a more archeological sense.

    Cheers

    Tacitus

  6. #6 Martin R
    February 5, 2012

    Well, not every GOP candidate is able to reach the level of unreasonableness that characterises this campaign season.

  7. #7 Syera
    February 5, 2012

    Ah, Roy Zimmerman never fails to be awesome. :D

  8. #8 Birger Johansson
    February 6, 2012

    While there are reasonable, pragmatic Republicans, they are being purged as being “RINOs” (presumably as bad as being a kulak in the Soviet Union).
    .
    The “Rockefeller Republicans” of old have either left or are bullied into silence. See the fate of David Frum when he dared claim that Obamacare (Romneycare) was not the end of the world. Five minutes later he was forced out of the American Enterprise Institute, after pressure from the donors.
    And the guy who helped Reagan plan his tax cuts was shunned when he said tax cuts are only effective in particular circumstances (as distinct from being a panacea).
    .
    When a stampeding herd starts moving in one direction it is buggerall you can do to stop them, and that applies to politics too. I find it hilarious that the Republicans manifest the same kind of ideological rigidity as existed in the Swedish left in the seventies and eighties.

    As for the current rifts in the GOP, it is natural that alliances eventually fall apart. Even the Byzantine-Khazar alliance fell apart after 400 years.

  9. #9 Jan T
    February 6, 2012

    As one who grew up in the US South, I know how I will vote. And it will not be for the party or the man who says that corporations are people. I mean, how stupid can some workers be to fall for the Republican rhetoric, and their smoke and mirrors? They have no platform except to beat Obama. The ones in control are manipulating the masses who are gullable enough to believe Foxx “news” shows, which Foxx classify as entertainment, btw.

    I appreciate your post, Martin. It’s your blog, you can say what you want.

  10. #10 Birger Johansson
    February 6, 2012

    BTW Martin, thank you for the CD!
    [Long Rant warning]
    — — — — — —
    Going off on a tangent, on the issue of conservatism vs. right-wing populism.
    The Swedish Moderate Party qualifies as a conservative party since they stand *for* something.
    Populists are generally *against* something (see Pierre Poujade in France in the fifties, and assorted movements since).
    Denmark had a clown named Glistrup who wanted to do away with all taxes (he suggested the army should be replaced with an answering machine saying in Russian “This is Denmark. We surrender”)
    -The most smelly populist movements are those like Enoch Powell and his National Front in 1970s Britain or the similar movement by Le Pen in France (Austria had Jörg Haider who not only played the xenophobia card, he even used his position to steal money before dying while driving drunk).

    .
    While not all Republicans are populists, it is clear some are. Gingrich’s supporters are not held together by similar ideologies, but similar *resentments* (this explains how religious non-Catholic voters can support someone with his history, also he is forgiven for being an “insider”).

    In my opinion, once someone plays the “The darkies (or heebs) are the cause of everything bad” card he should be disowned by every serious politician, regardless of party loyalities. The Swedish conservatives have chucked out all such loonies and thus maintained more cred than many sibling parties elsewhere (even if I wouldn’t vote for them). Populists are rarely bothered by principles.

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