Saturday, November 5, 2016

Tired Of The Election? Try Lesbian Sex

I caught a touch of the non fatal strain of election fatigue this week so it was a breath of fresh air to see Black mega super star Beyonce performing with the Dixie Chicks at the Country Music Association awards show the other night.

Not only was it not the election, it was a breath of fresh air because Beyonce is the wrong color and nothing like a hillbilly and her musical style is far from country music, and because the Dixie Chicks were actually banned from country music in 2003 when lead singer Natalie Maines criticized George W Bush's warmongering -- onstage and in another country fer crissakes -- right at the height of America's post 9/11 blood soaked orgy of nationalistic ecstasy.

The other two Dixie Chicks stood by Maines and they survived their banishment from country music thanks to non country music fans like me causing their next album, Take The Long Way, to go gold not to mention the fact that they're pretty talented. And the group has never backed down and Maines has since come out as gay -- yes, ho-mu-sex-shul -- but there they were Wednesday night, and there Maines was up there on country music's biggest stage with her gay looking hairdo and they were with that uppity big city black girl who honored Black Lives Matter at the Super Bowl and who Wednesday night was practically on her way to the big I'm With Hillary Clinton concert in Ohio Friday night, and from what I could hear and see the country music people loved them, most of them did, the people in the front row seats who the video cameras showed, the big stars of country music today.

The Big Ism Not Lesbianism

I guess things sometimes do change for the better because not only were the Dixie Chicks and Beyonce on that big CMA stage but the Cubs won the world series, which I got interested in having been a big Cubs fan in my youth, and neither of those things, Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks or the world series and the Cubs, had anything to do with the election.

Then again, professional baseball and country music are big businesses and we only think of them as entertainment because, as Marx pointed out, Capitalism creates the material conditions we live under and therefore creates our reality.

What's that you say? But sports and music are really entertaining. Yes, but before any ball players walk onto the field and before any records are recorded or any awards shows go on the air, the business arrangements have all been made. The deals have all been cut, the accounts have all been set up, and the contracts have been signed with the banks that will closely watch the money as it comes in, and those business arrangements that are put in place before anything else happens are the actual real cause of records being made and of baseball being played, and are what dictate what we see on the field and hear on the radio and even the fact that we see and hear it. It's not there because we wanted that kind of entertainment. It's there because someone found a way to make money from it, and not just anyone but someone with wealth and power in most of the cases despite what you hear about entrepreneurship, and besides, entrepreneurs get their money from where?

Capitalism is what sets the tone and calls the tune. We tend to think of things like baseball, country music, folk music, Tejano music, basketball, golf, tennis, quilt making, tortilla making, pie making, milk drinking, as arising out of American culture, as being expressions of who Americans are, and they do arise out of American culture but that culture is Capitalism, and we are Capitalism. If you don't believe me go down to the place in your town where the art galleries are. In Albuquerque there's a lot of them in Old Town and Nob Hill. What you see there by and large isn't what the artists feel like painting, it's what sells. Capitalism makes sure most artists feel like painting what sells, what pays the bills, and due to the way the creative process works our brains work, even artists who don't sell their work paint pretty much the same things in the same way and it's the same for all the arts.

If we weren't caught up in this Capitalist system that dictates the terms of society and of our relationship to it we might be able to create our own entertainment and our own culture, for free, and some people do create some of it in small ways but it's always influenced by the dominant culture created by Capitalism. For instance, to do it people have to buy things anyway so it's influenced by Capitalism in that way, but in many other ways its terms and conditions are dictated by the overwhelmingly dominant culture created by Capitalism, which because it dictates what the economic realities are and defines all our social relations is what creates the physical and psychological conditions of our existence -- the material conditions, as Marxists say -- and thereby creates our reality.

The same reality by the way, the same material conditions, the same American culture, created the 2016 election. You can't get away from it. It's you. It's the environment that created you and constantly re-creates you. It's who we are. But have a listen anyway.


1 comment:

  1. Good point, about how even artists who consider themselves outside of the mainstream are to some extent (a larger extent than they may imagine) dependent upon and influenced by the prevailing capitalist-dominated culture. I buy paint that's been made in some huge factory somewhere, and the canvases are woven on big mechanical looms owned by some multinational corporation, probably located in some country where workers are paid a dollar a day to reload the automated looms with new spools of cotton every few hours.

    Saturated in this capitalist-dominated culture, most painters tend to paint their reactions to it whether positive or negative, along with whatever personal truths they can share, consciously or otherwise.

    That said, I have been enjoying Beyonce's music for years. I love the Dixie Chicks too. I think they're doing the best they can with what they've got. They may be singing through corporate megaphones, but their voices are authentic.

    But I also try to find, appreciate, and support less famous local artists who don't have any kind of corporate sponsorship. We're fortunate to have a fairly healthy number of local venues where such people can play/sing their music and/or display/sell their visual art. I would encourage everyone to seek these out -- the art fairs and local clubs and festivals in your area -- and help support them.