Stranger Fruit

Don’t really know what to make of this. National Review Online has unleashed its “top 50 conservative rock songs of all time” featuring such noted conservative thinkers as The Who, The Beatles, The Sex Pistols, and Blink 182. By the time I read ?Rock the Casbah? by The Clash (#20), the sound of Joe Strummer rotating in a grave was clear; when I read ?Rime of the Ancient Mariner? by Iron Maiden (#29), I couldn’t get my jaw to remain closed. Taking “proof texting” and quote mining to a whole new level, this is a freekin hilarious list of songs that “really are conservative”. Check it out.


  1. #1 mike price
    May 30, 2006

    Umm.. what? That article wasn’t even coherent. Simultaneously arguing against a “nanny state,” while promoting the desire to police moral values… Oh! I know the perfect conservative rock song: “Walking Contradiction” by Green Day.

  2. #2 Mark Paris
    May 30, 2006

    I don’t think – I really don’t – that it’s necessary to be a moron in order to be what they call a conservative. But then they keep on doing stuff like this. This list is as stupid as when the republicans played Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” as their theme at Reagan’s big love-in convention.

  3. #3 Rob Knop
    May 30, 2006

    Actually — I suspect the motive isn’t to appear cool to the kiddies, but rather that there are plenty of people in an editorial and writing capacity at National Review now who grew up loving and still listen to that sort of music.

    A lot of people (particularly, it seems, on the left) seem to have this idea that if people like the same kind of music that they do, then they must share their enlightened and open opinions…. This is probably just the right try to use that tactic for their own purposes. (If you remember back 10 years ago, Hollywood briefly wasn’t evil when Forest Gump was declared a conservative movie.)


  4. #4 CanuckRob
    May 30, 2006

    No question it is a stupid list but most of these things are. However part of the problem with this list is that the criteria (The lyrics must convey a conservative idea or sentiment, such as skepticism of government or support for traditional values.) no longer fits well the current manifestation of the “conservative” Republicans. While the songs may express some conservative ideas as defined above it is pretty clear that many of these songs were not written by persons that would be conservative in the current US republican sense. I also have to question which traditonal values Mr. Miller is on about, sounds like the usual religous right crap, forced child birth, control all secxuality (especially womens)and somehow he equates liberalism with communism. Oh well, I hope the list makes him happy. I still listen to songs because I like them and don’t make the mistake of thinking that a song (or any work of fiction) necessarily expresses the politics of the writer. It should express the views of the narrator or protaganist but that is not necessarily the views of the author.

    I admit I loved the reference to Canadian arrogance in the commentary on “Sweet Home Alabama”, we canucks are so well known for our arrogance and of course Neil Young speaks for all Canadians. Mr. Miller, rock music don’t need you around anyhow.

  5. #5 coturnix
    May 30, 2006

    Amanda had a great funny post about this list the other day.

  6. #6 Lab Cat
    May 31, 2006

    I had to laugh at the comment about Gloria by U2. Do they really think singing choral music in Latin makes it conservative? That’s all it takes?

    As for some of the others, further proof that certain Americans (is this a conservative American trait?) fail to understand irony and sarcasm, especially the British and Irish kind.

  7. #7 windy
    June 2, 2006

    They forgot Paranoid.

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