Music and politics (1st covid): Who’s not gonna take it?

Florida man–and others–march maskless through a Target to protest wearing masks, urging byshoppers to drop their own masks and join the pandemic. In the background, you can hear another shopper taping and commenting. (Yes, there’s a curse.)

In the background, you’ll also hear Twisted Sister”s “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” an appropriated anthem for the cause.

Twisted Sister’s frontman, Dee Snider, who wrote the song decades ago, was appalled and scatalogical, tweetingNo…these selfish assholes do not have my permission or blessing to use my song for their moronic cause. #cuttheshit.”

Nothing so new here; once art of any kind goes public, people attach their own purposes, and the creator often has little influence on how something is used. Copyright law provides some protection for songwriters–and the list of musicians who’ve demanded that Trump stop using their stuff at his rallies is long, including The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Adele, Aerosmith, and R.E.M.

Sometimes, though, the artists are pretty intentional. It’s hard to find any ambiguity in the new songs Van Morrison is releasing to protest restrictions on public life in the UK. He sees public health efforts aimed at reducing the Covid carnage as infringements on his freedom.

Sigh.

Truth: My appreciation for Morrison as a musician and composer has only grown over the decades, and I’ll pull out old songs and find new things to like. I think I can separate the politics and the art.

But I may also give Twister Sister’s stuff another listen.

About David S. Meyer

Author and professor of Sociology and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.