“Rock ‘n’ roll is an attitude; it’s not a musical form of a strict sort. It’s a way of doing things, of approaching things. Writing can be rock ‘n’ roll, or a movie can be rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a way of living your life.” - Lester Bangs
“Conservatism too.” - John Brodigan
One of the things I like to do in my blogging/podcasting/drunken rambling is to point out the hidden conservatism in places where people don’t realize it (like HGTV’s “Property Brothers” for example). In recent years, it got to where people thought conservatism was all Terry Schiavo and embryonic stem cells. We’ll call that “our bad.” But the way people live their lives can be a lot more “conservative” than they realize.
This is most evident, and most frustrating, when it comes to music. Music will always be my first love and my life blood, even if most of the bands I chop up from bumper music on “The Right Hook” tend to disagree with me on the issues. I had posted Taking Back Sunday’s “El Paso” on the New York State Young Republican’s Twitter page as our “Song of the Week,” and it was retweeted by guitarist John Nolan, who seemed surprised that YRs liked his music (in a cool way, not an Adam Levine way). My response was that if we only listen to people who agreed with us, Toby Keith would grow tiresome.
(Side note: If you haven’t picked up TBS’s last album with the reunited line-up, I can’t recommend it enough. It’ll rock your socks clear off, plus it gives us Long Islander’s some musicians to claim as our own other than Billy Joel).
But the frustrating part is that music, from the first time you pick up a guitar to your first world tour employing hundreds of people, is all about conservatism. I recently read an article called “Punk Rockers Make Good Conservatives” that looked at all the different ways rocking is conservatism. The one I find most relevant, especially when the main campaign issue this year is jobs, is how D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) is entrepreneurship…
“The term “Do It Yourself” was hardcore punk’s balls-out code of honor. If you wanted a band to come to your town, you’d write them a letter, agree on a portion of the door, and plaster the city with flyers. It didn’t matter if you were only a teenager. You made it happen no matter what. At 17 I got a call from some bureaucrat at the public transit authority who said they were prosecuting me for vandalism because my show’s flyer was pasted to a bus-stop shelter. I knew they had no proof it was me so instead of confessing, I explained that the bands on the flyer have many devout followers and it must have been one of them. This is a great lesson for a future entrepreneur.”
Think about it: you form a band. You start playing shows, making whatever money you can to buy recording studio time (or the software to D.I.Y.) to record songs. You put those songs up on your website to build a fan base, to come to your shows and spend money. You then take that money, invested it in merchandise, to make more money and to have your fans help you promote your band, which drives more people to your shows and helps you make more money.
Now you have enough to go on your first tour. You budget, invest in a van, then hit the road selling your music and selling your merchandise, so that even more people discover your band (or your “product”), telling more people who check out your website, buy more of your music, more of your merch, go to more shows… little by little, until one day you’re doing stadium shows and go from being a rock band to being a corporation that employees thousands of people and also has its hands in fashion, a restaurant or two, and even an energy drink.
That’s conservatism 101.
The government coming in and taking half of it because they arbitrarily decided that you’ve made too much and been too successful is liberalism 101.