Tuesday, September 08, 2015


I'm sure you've seen the clip:
Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign organized a rally this afternoon in front of the jail where anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was being held in the custody of U.S. Marshals after a federal judge found her in contempt of court for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

As fate would have it, Davis was released from custody just hours before Huckabee’s rally, so she came out to speak alongside Huckabee, Staver and her husband, taking the stage to Survivor's “Eye of the Tiger.”

Obviously, "Eye of the Tiger" is a fist-pumping anthem about defiant toughness. But it's also about a 98 on a 100-point scale of meat-and-potatoes arena-rock whiteness. The guitars, the drums, the chord changes, the song structure -- in a changing world, they all sound like home to suburban white people (even, I suppose, suburban white people who like country music -- after all, a lot of the attributes of classic rock have made their way into modern country).

There's no rap here. There's no disco or dance music. (Disco was the first style of music to pose a threat to rock's hegemony, a few years before "Eye" and other guitar anthems reestablished rock's primacy in the Reagan/MTV early '80s.) There's certainly nothing ethnic here, nothing weird, nothing alt-rocky or arty or gay.

A phrase from a recent Thomas Edsall essay in The New York Times seems relevant. Edsall's subject is Donald Trump:
Trump is going directly after those Republican voters who seek to protect what some scholars call “compositional amenities” -- the comfort of a common religion and language, mutually shared traditions, and the minimization of cultural conflict.
That's what conservatives want -- more than they want a Christian nation or a politically conservative nation, they want everything to be just the way it was when people like them seemed to control everything and people they didn't like were relegated to the margins. This song is that feeling, with guitars.


Chris Lark said...

I think I know why the GOP/Conservatives like "Eye Of The Tiger." Isn't Sylvester Stallone a Republican? Didn't he beat a Black Man (Mr. T) in Rocky 3?

To be fair there aren't many choices for "aren't I victorious?" songs to use in this situation. Just consider the following:

"We Are The Champions" by Queen - Gay lead singer
"I'm Still Standing" by Elton John - Again, gay
"You've Got Another Thing Comin'" by Judas Priest - Again gay lead singer
"I'm Winning" by Santana - Hispanic group
"We're Not Gonna Take It" by The Who - They're English. Why would any red-blooded white Mid-Westerner/Southerner/Conservative/GOP lovin'/Govt. hatin' Amurkun use a song by the people we fought the Boston Tea Party over?
"We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister - Dee Snider is supposedly "conservative" and actually sang this tune when he stumped for Ah-nuld when he "won" the Guvernuh of Gullyfornia but still what red-blooded Con Amurikun type would identify with him?

I can only think of a few other songs that might fit better but there'd still be problems:
"Cult Of Personality" by Living Colour - They're Black/African American.
"Fuck The Police" by NWA - Again they're Black/African American.
"Speak English Or Die" by Storm Troopers Of Death - Problem here is I was never sure if this band was being ironic or not.

Nope the only other choices for Davis here is either a Country tune like "My Baby Is American Made" by the Oak Ridge Boys or ofc the eternal conservative chestnut "God Bless The USA" by Lee Greenwood.

I'm still surprised they didn't use that one when she came out of the jail.

Ten Bears said...

Wasn't that a one hit wonder? Never heard of 'em before, never heard of 'em again.

At least Patty Benetar makes the county fair. Out here.

This is almost as much fun as making babies.

Unknown said...

Video looks like more than one of the featured playuhs has been indulging for some time in Essence of Eye of Newt, lightly faux martyred over the projected image of a brazier.

Wishin' & hopin', dreamin' & schemin' now for market to open on a political betting site for how long 'til Ms. Davis makes her triumphal return visit to Judge Bunning's chambers. If the thing coalesces anywhere above 10 days, I definitely plan on taking the under.

Curt Purcell said...

In fairness to Survivor, apparently the lead singer has condemned and disavowed this "misuse" of the song. You also missed the best angle on this story: the report that one of the Huckster's aides PHYSICALLY BLOCKED Cruz from getting in on the action. It won't be much longer before belligerent supporters of rival GOP candidates break out in fisticuffs at one of these events. I only hope (in vain, I know) they vent most of that nastiness on each other and get it out of their system before the general.

Unknown said...

CP, the part I liked best was where Survivor put on their Facebook page: "I would not grant her the rights to use Charmin!"

Owen said...

If you step into a Home Depot, you'll hear a lot of examples of that genre of music that I like to call Reassuringly White.

Ten Bears said...

Actually, I heard it recently in the elevator of an ... ahhh ... independent living facility.

Belvoir said...

I found the immense datedness, staleness of "Eye of the Tiger" weirdly appropriate. Literally some Kentucky wingnut operative's idea of "cool" is.

"Eye of the Tiger"- the title sounds pretty pagan, doesn't it? Christ had nothing to say about tigers, or their eyes. Because he didn't know they existed.