All in all, this depressive tone is often historically to be found in the bread belt, which brought us decades earlier books, like An American Tragedy and the revolts on Indian reservations in the heartland near Wounded Knee.
The British pathos of the punk spin-off band, THE CLASH, hit America's Midwest 25 to 30 years ago-just as Britain was getting tough on Argentina in the Falklands War!Songs like the following were on the bands albums-one of the albums was even named Sandanista!
How anti-Reagan and anti-Thatcher such sounds were to our ears back then.
Yet, in all the end-of-the cold war back patting, many Americans and Brits forgot in the 1990s about the bad-old days of Thatcherism and Reaganism.Those were the days when the prophetic ROCK THE CASBAH cried out-just before 220 U.S. servicemen died Beirut under Israel's occupation:
Now the king told the boogie men
You have to let that raga drop
The oil down the desert way
Has been shakin to the top
The sheik he drove his cadillac
He went a cruisnin down the ville
The muezzin was a standing
On the radiator grille
By order of the prophet
We ban that boogie sound
Degenerate the faithful
With that crazy casbah sound
But the bedouin they brought out
The electric camel drum
The local guitar picker
Got his guitar picking thumb
As soon as the shareef
Had cleared the square
They began to wail
Now over at the temple
Oh! they really pack em in
The in crowd say its cool
To dig this chanting thing
But as the wind changed direction
The temple band took five
The crowd caught a wiff
Of that crazy casbah jive
The king called up his jet fighters
He said you better earn your pay
Drop your bombs between the minarets
Down the casbah way
As soon as the shareef was
Chauffeured outta there
The jet pilots tuned to
The cockpit radio blare
As soon as the shareef was
Outta their hair
The jet pilots wailed
He thinks its not kosher
Fundamentally he cant take it.
You know he really hates it.
NOW, MANY YEARS LATER
Wow, so many tough Americans rocked to that, "Rock the Casbah", tune as they dropped bombs, uranium tipped weapons and daisy-cutters 20 years later in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Now, in 2008, after dropping more bombs than in the whole of WWII America and its allies are still not winning many hearts and minds of people in the Middle East or in Americas Midwest.
The distant civil wars continue in Asia now as they did throughout the 1950s and 1960s.The only contrast, is that our current image of the jet pilot, George W. Bush, (who orders dropping of bombs) is famous for having ridiculously claimed, "Mission Accomplished" half a decade ago.This mistaken statement now echoes in incredulity across American- (and global-) memory.Meanwhile, in America, Pakistan, Egypt, Cuba, and other countries on the globe, another CLASH song -"KNOW YOUR RIGHTS"--echoes true or at least omnisciently accurate.
"KNOW YOUR RIGHTS" sounds like this:
This is a public service announcement
Know your rights all three of them