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Re: Music is not political (Was Re: music is political)

Nice post, Stephen.  It reminds me of the old saying "If all you have
is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."

Personally, I feel that music & art in general have the ability to
move people, to alter their emotions, to stir them up or calm them
down.  (It also has the ability to make people think, but that is not
as relevant here as politicos don't want thinkers, they want
followers.)  As an emotional tool, art can be used and misused to
influence large masses of people.  Movie soundtracks are the obvious
example.  Watch a love scene with no music and it feels less powerful
than it does with the strings swelling behind the action.  When it's
well done the music's influence is almost subconcious.  It's so
powerful an influence that it must be rule #2 in the propagandists
handbook right after the rule of repition.

So, even if there is no inherent political intent in an artist's work,
as Mark says, it's all too easy to incorporate the emotional strength
of a piece into a larger message of propaganda.  (Hell, look at all
the car commercials in the past few years that use Led Zeppelin &
Rolling Stones songs to sell SUVs.  These songs aren't about selling
cars, they're about a freedom of the spirit, about Rock & Roll, but if
that's the image you want to attach to your product you've got a
powerful propaganda tool.)  Ultimately, it doesn't matter what the
artist intends.


On 4/3/06, Stephen Goodman <spgoodman@earthlight.net> wrote:
> I continue to have little patience for anyone who needs to define their
> universe as "political", because it is these folks who want everyone to
> operate on that basis, involving "deals" and "transactional 
> Great for the medium of know-nothing middlemen and career politicos with
> nowhere else to go, not so great for everyone else....