culture crit music politics

Smack Those Political Campaigns

Eyes unopened, tangled in sheets and the morning light, the sound invades my waking mind. “Smack that, all on the floor, smack that, give me some more, smack that, until you get sore, smack that, oh oh oooh . . . “ It can’t be inside the room, and it isn’t coming from the window. Synapses slowly begin to fire in order and I realize it’s coming from another sector of my brain where the absent DJ left a record spinning. Smack that, la la la laaa, smack that, la la la laaa. I flop out of bed and step into the shower, but the song continues…

All day, I caught myself whistling, humming, and strutting to “Smack That.” See, I have this unconscious musical recorder that’s something like muscle memory. I hear music through the window of a passing car, and 10 minutes later, I’m whistling it. But waking up with a song in my head is rare. I imagine the political ads that pummeled me the night before while watching Law & Order SVU could have knocked something loose. No commercials for iPods, movies, or shampoo. Just wall to wall political propaganda. Just thinking of all the money that goes into convincing voters makes me ill.

A troubling trend in the campaign wars has to do with “family values.” I picked up this pamphlet at a church in Escondido. It’s from and at first glance, appears to list candidates and their opinions on the issues. But several things are a little off kilter. The only Democratic candidate whose responses appear is Phil Angelides, and every Republican candidate agrees on the issues, making this anything but a comparative study. It’s real purpose becomes clearer when you notice that drivers licenses for illegal immigrants (against), oil tax for alternative energy research (against), political campaign reform (against), and raising property taxes (against) are all now apparently family values issues. The only issues that seem remotely related to families are parental notification for abortion (supporting a YES vote), limiting marriage to one man and one woman (supporting a YES vote), and paid preschool for all children (supporting a NO vote).

If this wasn’t odd enough, the issues for congressional candidates include school choice vouchers (YES), voting against raising taxes (YES), registering firearms (NO), legislating to limit abortion (YES), parental consent for abortion (YES, note that this time they used the term “consent” not “notification”), gay marriage (NO), censoring libraries (YES), and amnesty for illegal immigrants (NO). Ok, since when did immigration status start threatening family values? And how does NOT requiring gun owners to register and license weapons protect families? The whole idea is absurd. A shameless attempt to influence conservative Christians into voting Republican or family values in this country will be lost.

Didn’t Jesus teach loving your neighbor as yourself, giving to the needy, and nonviolence? Christianity would be a lot more attractive if Christians worked a little harder to practice the fundamental principles rather than promoting political agendas that include military action, eliminating services for the poor, and selfish tax laws.

3 replies on “Smack Those Political Campaigns”

Unfortunately, (mis)use of religion in politics is an old, and effective game. Alliance with particular “values” has also been a blunt instrument for political change. Personally, I find the strict association of “family values” with a particular segment of religion more than a little insulting.

I think that most people would be shocked at what a filthy hippie Jesus really was. More to the point, and just how far people are from living like him. SoMA has a good article on the subject: Betraying Jesus

If (when) there is the second coming, will Jesus not be allowed into the country (no visa, suspicious background [subversive activities in the Middle East], ideologue)? Or if he appears here, will we label him as an illegal, arrest him, interrogate him, torture him (oh wait, it is not torture if we say it isn’t), and hold him indefinitely?

That might piss off his father. And he can be pretty mean (see Old Testament).

“That might piss off his father. And he can be pretty mean (see Old Testament).”

I’m pretty sure those Jews were under their own volition to do those things. Because it happened so long ago, its easy to place blame or purpose on a diety, cause hey, who wants to be labeled a murderer. But in more recent times with the crusades, the inquisition etc, did we not learn that ultimately its a few human douchebags responsible for these horrors?

I’m still against drivers licenses for illegal aliens. Unless they can totally prove they have insurance. Why are they here in the first place anyways? You can be all for DLs for them until your car is hit by Mexican immigrant who leaves the scene, like mine was, then you might change your mind.

Really I’m not sure what the benefit is to our country to be giving rights to people that are non-citizens like that. You can’t even file that under ‘decent human civil rights’.

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