Tag Archives | Pop Culture

Lost Classics Of Right Wing Folk Music

CONELRAD keeps alive the memory of one of the strangest of pop music subgenres--conservatism-themed folk music artists of the 1960s who were promoted in an unsuccessful attempt to counter the Bob Dylans and Peter Paul & Marys of the scene. Perhaps most fascinating is Janet Greene, a former children's television personality in Ohio who was discovered by the right wing organization Christian Anti-Communism Crusade, which had Greene record a series of propagandistic songs and marketed her as the "anti-Joan Baez".  The most entertaining work in her catalogue is "Poor Left Winger", a tale of woe concerning a naive girl seduced by a communist beatnik "bearded singer" mocked for his "espresso", "demonstrations", and dirty shirt:
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Damnation’s Eternal Soundtrack

Sean Beaudoin lists the ten bands he’ll be forced to listen to in hell, at Salon (thanks to Richard Luckett for the link):

I’m going to hell. You know it and I know it. But I’m fairly sure it’s not going to be of the William Blake-etching variety. There will be no eternal fire, three-headed dogs, or seas of percolating sinners. There will be no cloven hooves or torture racks or rounds of cribbage with Pol Pot and Hitler. No, my hell will almost certainly take place in a windowless basement room buried deep in the purgatorial nethers. The ceilings and walls will be slathered an institutional shit-brown. I will be in the center of a wet cement floor, Duct-taped to a broken lawn chair, with old Victrola megaphones stuffed in each ear.

And I will sit there. Forever.

Listening to scratchy mp3s at top volume.

For untold millennia.

Not only do I know this treatment is coming, I know I deserve it.

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The Military-Entertainment Complex Hits Summer Cinema Screens

What do you get when the Pentagon joins into a symbiotic relationship with our major entertainment industries? The birthing of the ever-growing baby that we call militainment. The military grants filmmakers access to high-powered technology and in return, Hollywood propagates films that make warfare seem legitimate. Al Jazeera discusses Act of Valor, an $80-million-grossing action film released earlier this year which was commissioned by the Navy’s Special Warfare Command and goes "beyond propaganda":
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Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake”: A Video About Monarch Mind Control

samborowski (CC)

Here at disinformation we always enjoy a wacky critique of popular music videos and the motivation of the artists who made them, such as the Illuminati conspiracy featuring Eminem, Lady Gaga and Jay-Z. Now Vigilant Citizen “explains” (we’re not sure if they’re serious…) how Katy Perry joins the cabal of overachieving recording artists with a video about Project Monarch mind control (a supposed offshoot of the CIA’s MKULTRA program):

Many articles on this site described how many items of popular culture conceal within their symbolism references to an unknown, horrendous practice: Monarch programming. This technique of mind control seeks to create fully “programmable” individuals and is used by the shadowy elite in fields such as the military, politics and the murky underworld (for detailed information on Monarch programming, read the article Origins and Techniques of Monarch Mind Control). Another area in which mind control (especially Monarch programming) is used is the entertainment business – not only because some celebrities are actual victims of mind control, but because entertainment is used to subtly normalize and glamorize this awful practice through symbolism.

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Corporate Hip Hop, White Supremacy and Capitalism

Steven Lopez www.ikeepmoving.com

Solomon Comissiong, writing at Black Agenda Report:

It is undeniable that hip hop culture is one of the most powerful marketing tools America has seen in quite sometime. Had hip hop been around during the earlier part of the 20th century the unscrupulous public relations pioneer, Edward Bernays, would have probably also used it to promote the smoking of Viceroy Cigarettes to women. Various aspects of hip hop culture, mainly rap music, generate billions of dollars. However, who is generating this wealth, where is it going and at what cost?

“Their unfettered corporate feeding frenzy was similar to that of the European conquest of lands inhabited by people of color.”

Hip hop culture (rapping, djing, graffiti art, and breaking, etc.) was unequivocally created by youth of color in the Bronx during the early 1970s. Even though the origins of hip hop are entrenched in black and Latino communities throughout New York City it is currently pimped/used by large white owned corporations (media, record labels, etc.) to create astronomical bottom lines, reinforce capitalistic ideals, and adversely mass program black and brown youth.

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Pop Music Getting Sadder, Longer, Slower

Are the pop sounds jingling in our ears increasingly ripe with sadness and/or emotional ambiguity? So argues the Pacific Standard… although it’s impossible to decode with certainty a “meaning” of minor keys and slow tempos:

Over the past half-century, pop hits have become longer, slower and sadder, and they increasingly convey “mixed emotional cues,” according to a study just published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts.

“As the lyrics of popular music became more self-focused and negative over time, the music itself became sadder-sounding and more emotionally ambiguous,” according to psychologist E. Glenn Schellenberg and sociologist Christian von Scheve.

Analyzing Top 40 hits from the mid-1960s through the first decade of the 2000s, they find an increasing percentage of pop songs are written using minor modes.

“The present findings have striking parallels to the evolution of classical music from 1600 to 1900,” Schellenberg and von Scheve write.

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Beheaded George W. Bush on HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’

Via WFLA 540 AM:
In the DVD release for HBO's Game of Thrones, Episode 10, showrunners Dave Benioff and D.B. Weiss admit to using the severed head of former president George W. Bush in the scene below. The show-runners statement follows: "The last head on the left is George Bush. George Bush’s head appears in a couple of beheading scenes. It’s not a choice, it’s not a political statement. We just had to use whatever head we had lying around." — Dave Benioff & D.B. Weiss You can see the footage at the 1:10 mark in this video:
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How What It Means To Be Cool Has Changed

The definition of the cool individual has shifted. Decades ago, he or she was a rebel who challenged convention and bourgeois, conformist ideals. Today, it means being friendly, physically attractive, and successful. Via the University of Rochester Medical Center:

Do rebelliousness, emotional control, toughness and thrill-seeking still make up the essence of coolness? Can James Dean and Miles Davis still be considered the models of cool?

Research led by a University of Rochester Medical Center psychologist and published by the Journal of Individual Differences has found the characteristics associated with coolness today are markedly different than those that generated the concept of cool.

“James Dean is no longer the epitome of cool,” Dar-Nimrod said. “The much darker version of what coolness is still there, but it is not the main focus. The main thing is: Do I like this person? Is this person nice to people, attractive, confident and successful? That’s cool today, at least among young mainstream individuals.”

In research that has developed over several years, Dar-Nimrod, currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry, and his colleagues recruited almost 1,000 people in the Vancouver, British Columbia, area, who completed an extensive questionnaire on the attributes, behaviors and individuals they associated with the word cool.

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The Strange Story Of Nazi Jazz

Nazi-propaganda-posterJazz aficionados may think they know cool jazz, bebop, hard bop, and every other style, but what about Nazi bop? Though they had already passed laws criminalizing “Jewishly gloomy lyrics”, drum and horn solos, “Negroid excesses in tempo”, and plucked bass lines, the party realized that dance music was needed to reach the masses. Via Smithsonian Magazine:

Hitler’s propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels’ strangest effort was the creation of that oxymoron in four-bar form: a Nazi-approved, state-sponsored hot jazz band known as Charlie and His Orchestra [headed by] Karl “Charlie” Schwedler, an employee of the German Foreign Ministry, who discovered he had a talent for crooning.

As “Charlie,” Schwedler—who at least posed as a convinced Nazi—penned lyrics that generally followed a fixed pattern. The first verse of each song would remain untouched, perhaps in the hope of luring in listeners. But the remainder of the lyrics would veer wildly into Nazi propaganda and boasts of Aryan supremacy.

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