Thursday, July 10, 2008

ethics and music

On an interview at Measure for Measure, Michael McDonald [of Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers fame]is quoted as follows:
MICHAEL: I was never an ambitious piano player or singer. If I ever rolled up my sleeves and put my energy into anything, however good I may ever be at it, I hope it would be songwriting. In my family — an Irish Catholic family — the two best things you could become was a priest or a songwriter.

I always admired these guys like Don Henley and Neil Young who could take the events that are going on around them and so poetically put them forth and make us all think about the world around us — events and politics. To lasso your own view of the political climate into something poetic and clever and musical. But for me I don’t really think it was the level where I write the best.

If I was going to write a song like that, the first line would go:

When did Halliburton’s advancement of its own enterprise
become the sole focus of the foreign policy of the United States?

You know, you’d lose people. The song would be over by then.
So. How do you say something - in art - about the role private corporations and contract military organizations play in the conduct - and conflict - of our nation?

I've written before about the apparent dearth of protest songs. It would appear to be an area of growth opportunity.

Meanwhile - man I wish my hair would turn that colour of white!

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