By Hans Ebert
Here that? Listen carefully. That’s the sound of silence. Hello, darkness, my old friend, indeed. And, of course, there’s been a darkness ever since The Orange Buffoon and his crooks and cronies lumbered into the White House spewing forth his own brand of fake news, vitriol and racism and just about everything we have not come to expect from any previous leader of The United States Of America.
Joe McCarthy was never President, but what we have been seeing is far more fearful than McCarthyism, especially when you throw Chief Advisor and the puppet master Steve Bannon into the mix.
What’s scarily quiet is the lack of any intelligent music to address this problem. Forget those jumping on their Rapper pulpits and blasting out that Black Lives Matter. That’s almost Spinal Tap and not that far removed from Orange Peel preaching fear from the bully pulpit about “bad hombres”.
It says much about the divisive state of America when a latter day carnival barker, who starred in a reality television show becomes the President of the United States of America, makes the country insular, makes it suddenly look weak, and where the reality show has become a frightening and long-running version of Big Brother.
Where’s the new “A Change Is Gonna Come”, “Brother Brother”, “What’s Goin’ On”, “Blowing In The Wind” etc- songs that might not have changed the world, but resonated with people and inspired them to bring about change- not through hashtags, but through action? The world is in dire need of inspiration. We should make this a priority. Thank you, Beth Hart for keeping the flame alive.
As usual, John Lennon was right: Instant Karma’s going to get you. Just look at every negative thing that has happened since Hate entered the White House.
Hell, forget all the talk about hacking, fake news, whether Russia was involved in the elections, the major upheavals in the White House staff, the role of Putin in all this, the murder of Kim Jam-Nam, the rise in hate crimes in America, the threats of travel bans and the rise of President Duterte of the Philippines, who, no doubt, sees himself as his country’s Donald Trump. What about The Oscars? They couldn’t even get the right envelopes opened, which has opened up another can of conspiracy theories. Karma. Bad karma.
Then, think about this: Kanye West goes to Trump Tower to make nice with The Big Orange and he’s almost disappeared from sight. It’s like Yeezy is in a witness protection programme.
What the hell were all those meetings with Kanye West and other celebrity businessmen about anyway? Just some photo opportunities for a narcissistic celebrity businessman with a number of questions hanging over his past, present and lack of tax returns?
Just as quiet as Yeezy are the Kardashians- and we must be thankful for that-Taylor Swift, and every other artist with a Voice. But maybe these are different times, where there’s too much money at stake and with no one wishing to rock the boat and incur the wrath of their President? Fear causes shrinkage, and perhaps why it’s embarrassingly quiet out there. Right, Yeezy? But perhaps we’re looking at the wrong country to bring about Change and how to silence a bully.
At his first speech yesterday to the US Congress, one saw Donald Trump play and try out a different role- trying to look humble, trying to replace fear mongering with some semblance of optimism, and back-pedalling on a number of subjects he had tried to steamroll his way through like Hannibal Lechter on amyl nitrate.
Gone was the arrogance and conceit. They had been reined in. It was as if those behind the ascension to his new role had told “Biff” to drop the tough guy talk. It might not have pissed off his followers in America, but it was going down like a led balloon throughout the rest of the world. And America cannot be great or anything again without trading partners, foreign friends, and those who will be there when the Dow Jones eventually collapses.
There’s something very fake about the rise and rise of the stock market and many countries, especially Mainland China, are following what’s going on in Wall Street with inscrutable interest, and remembering what happened before the Great Depression.
The music that’s going to inspire Change and tackle arrogance might never come from America, but if still an executive with a music company in this region, I would be urging our artists to not speak out, but create anthems against this pox on the world in Mandarin, Russian, Swedish, Bahasa, Arabic and, sure, English, and take the bull by the horns and expose the rampant fakery. Late night hosts in America taking digs at Donald Trump have run their course. They’ve become as tiresome as the enemy they’re attacking.
Donald Trump is a serial liar playing a role, and, perhaps us, away from speech writers, Fox News, non-stop analysts of American politics, and finding his showboating, showbiz tribute to fallen Navy SEAL Ryan Owens to sound mawkish and dripping in insincerity, can see through the sham.
And unlike Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan, we’re able to know what’s a hollow speech and how to do the maths without meaningless words and sound bites getting in the way.