Sarah Palin = REO Speedwagon

Kevin Cronin lookin' Sarah like, you betcha

One of the more remarkable components of the so-called "Right Wing Entertainment Complex" (Fox/AM Radio/a gazillion reactionary websites) is the agonizing and complete predictability of its content. Barack Obama is the most evil, traitorious, illegal usurper, Muslim, Kenyan Socialist dictator alive and the besieged heroes of American patriotism are outnumbered and will be outgunned when Obama seizes their weapons, Obamacare will kill every member of your family assuming they haven't committed suicide after it bankrupted them, Benghazi was worse than 9/11, Iraq and the 1962 Mets combined and the IRS only hates the brave and fierce Republican Party. Who are the only ones that can keep you safe against the fifth column of baby-killing Hollywood liberals that will brainwash your son into marrying a barnyard animal.

(Also remarkable is however much you try to lampoon their cray-cray, they're inevitably more out there than even a parodist can dream of).

Flip on any of these mediums and this is what you get and if I know this in advance, so do their fans and they like it that way. Like a soothing wash of a New Age mixtape in the foyer of a yoga studio.Except that the whoosh of the mixtape is familiar in form and not content.

Nope, the real parallel between the RW Entertainment Complex and its musical equivalent would be the aging classic rock dinosaurs of the 70's and 80's and the state fair/shitty casino/low rent rally circuit. Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, the battery of Sunday morning news show dildolatry and especially the Mega MILF of Moosery Sarah Palin are completely and totally identical to the slog it out warriors of faceless corporate FM rock--Foreigner, Journey, Styx, Nightranger and REO Speedwagon.

Think about it--what do Kevin Cronin (REO), Mick Jones (Foreigner, not the Clash's Mick Jones) and whomever is left in the other bands do for a living? They mount the boards and play their hits--period. And vamoose off to the next hellhole whose main fiscal purpose at this point is alimony, child support and back taxes. 12 tunes, maybe, paycheck and screw. They try not to think about their better days, one imagines, and just do their jobs--which consist now of rote recitation. In that, they are exactly like Palin or Glenn Beck--who hit all the talking points, massage the prejudices of their chosen audience and remind them that only they understand their plight (and then batter them with ads for merchandise and books). Like peas in a pod.  

Except that at one time, these bands were cranking out hit songs and even if you don't like their hits, writing a hit is hard to do. Regurgitating "the best of Joe McCarthy" only replacing "Communists" with "Muslims" or "libs" is all these verbal midgets need do to cash in. "Hot Blooded" or "Don't Let Him Go" or "Babe" may sound trite and brittle and overwrought to some, but they had to be concocted, recorded with care and sung in tune. That is a hell of a lot more than these repulsive mountebanks on the right are capable of. 

(And there is, of course, the gent that straddles both worlds with ham-handed, blockheaded glory, the Nuge himself--except he's third on the bill beneath REO and Styx this summer and is but a mere guest on FOX at best. Sorry, Ted).

Lastly, the rock bands who are on rickety stages this summer outside Lincoln NE or Bakersfield or Dothan Alabama next to livestock and ferris wheels are fucking honest men and women. They travel endless hours for vastly less pay than they used to get. They have seen their expected annuities disappear via digital downloading and YouTube. They look into the smaller crowds and see their reflections in the once fist pumping but now worn looking fans. And they still have enough pride to deliver the goods, because that's what they do--not chauffered from their expensive mansions to TV and radio studios to spew out the party line that has been focus group and poll tested to perfection. And then home to mansion. I may not like the dino bands but I respect 'em--I have no respect for these reactionary carny barkers at all.



Nobody ever drafted legislation based on Mr. Roboto lyrics. Michelle Bachmann is on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

That was yesterday......

Posted by JohnnyW on May. 28, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

You're more out of touch than I thought you were.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 28, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

At no point in that OpEd did it say I listened to AM radio.

Posted by JohnnyW on May. 28, 2013 @ 3:34 pm

This whole piece is based on the unholy trifecta of the conservative media machine and you specifically mention AM radio. Are you now saying you're writing on topics about which you have little-to-no knowledge?

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 28, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

The entire world knows that right wing talk is on AM radio. Does the whole world listen to it

I know that "CSI" is on TV. And have never seen it.

I know that pizza places have anchovies in stock. Never had an anchovy pizza.

 I know where the Transamerica pyramid is. Never been in it.

And "are you (now) saying" is the straw man argument. You're pitiful.

What is your problem, do you wash your psych meds down with moonshine? 


Posted by JohnnyW on May. 28, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

even though you don't listen to it.

You should become a book critic - write reviews of books you don't read, maybe criticize films you've never seen too.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 28, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

Game, set and match.

And no--even if I wasn't a talk show host, I know that AM radio is home to reactionaries.

And now I remember something fascinating for the lurkers--"Lucretia" was invited years ago to participate in a tete a tete podcast with either myself of Tim Redmond. Really give us a piece of his/her mind.

Amazingly enough, Lucretia--with a chance to finally lay into Tim or me without filter--declined.

Without ever proffering an explanation.

Now that I have your attention, why did you chicken out?



Posted by JohnnyW on May. 28, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

you or Tim - that's why. Like you said - you get paid to do this while I, like Anonymous, am simply a collective. There was no benefit to me to appearing on your "radio show." The advantage would have been all yours - no thanks.

Again, for a self-proclaimed SME on the right-wing noise machine your admission of ignorance as to its actual content is pretty sad.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 28, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

Your name is Lucretia Snapples and you talk smack to someone else?
let's talk about your parents.... and their inability to recognize that they are giving their daughter the most horrific name of all time............

I think I am going to go call an AM radio show and sound off on that... sheesh....... are yuo SERIOUS?

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 8:20 pm

That's what a name is designed to do.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 28, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

Yes, your name got everyone's attention the way someone drinking a bottle of Nyquil and then telling everyone on Facebook that they're trying to kill themself does. It's a desperate cry for attention without any actual substance behind it. You keep f*cking that straw man though, okay?

Posted by CCFK on May. 29, 2013 @ 12:09 am

What Lucretia wants - Lucretia gets.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 29, 2013 @ 10:01 am

You'll have to forgive Lucretia, JW--he hasn't been out of her house since a Sylvester club date. It's THAT old!

Posted by Scott on May. 28, 2013 @ 4:33 pm

Since when? I should alert David Campos to this travesty.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 28, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

being old, white, wealthy, straight, male and conservative.

Didn't you know?

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

He strikes me as overtly hyper-masculine which usually means there's a little homo lurking down deep. He's not bad looking (although not nearly as cute as Steven Jones). I'd prolly still hit it.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 28, 2013 @ 5:23 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

endless political jabberings?

Few things can kill off the mode more than a single minded true believer.

Posted by matlock on May. 28, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

progressives are too concerned about "equality" during sex. I'm all about "positions of power" instead.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 28, 2013 @ 8:17 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

More no-life twink speculation. Get off the Internet, out of your Section 8 apartments and spend some of your SSI cash and LIVE

Posted by Scott on May. 28, 2013 @ 5:53 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

Wendell's name and picture are up here, you are a twink in momma's basement and therefore, at least he's got a nutsack

Posted by Scott on May. 28, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

ditching your late 90s "oh Mary" gay slang and leaving the ghetto sometime. Newsflash - while the Midnight Sun is STILL open Daddys closed a while ago.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on May. 28, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

Haven't listened to AM since 1980 (God Bless 'HFS, DC101 & 98Rock) but I have heard all of these conservatives. Perhaps you may have heard of a modern invention called cable TV. When you sign up, also check out this groovy new thing called the internet. You can get it bundled.

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:00 am

"Tax the rich, feed the poor, until there are no rich no more" - Ten Years After

"Now you're working, and you think that you're gonna advance;
Turn around you got Uncle Sam, he's got his hands down in your pants
But I see changes, happenin every day" - Loggins and Messina

Posted by Richmondman on May. 28, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

income tax in the UK was 98%. Didn't do the rest of the population much good though, as a 35% tax rate applied to almost everyone.

The Beatles "Taxman" song expressed it well, as did the endless procession of British rock stars who simply left to avoid the tax.

Tim wants that type of taxation back again, but of course the same thing would happen. Those affected would decamp to Switzerland or Bermuda, and the rest of us would end up paying more tax.

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

like REO Speedwagon.

That makes progressives akin schlocky Psuedo new wave bands like Kajagoogoo.

Now who represents Sigue Sigue Sputnik in the political spectrum?

Posted by matlock on May. 28, 2013 @ 7:44 pm

I really like this story... but some of the people posting comments...... sheesh... I thought I needed a life for spending so much time on- line reading news and opinions... I rarely ever read the comments..much less make them because- althought its not fancy- I do have a bit of a life...
Lucretia Snapples... WORST.NAME. EVER. worst personality too
I thought at first it was a lady....... but after reading the comments LUCRETIA is a guy......

I wonder if you are living in your parents basement- or grandparents........
either way you really should try to get out more

Posted by Guest on May. 28, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

Oh wow,I totally feel ya dude.Yeah,writing a blog for some SF rag is top flight world changing shit. See ya in about 6 years when you're writing the horoscope for that leisure world retirement community.Keep the faith,brougham

Posted by Guest heavynumbertaco on May. 29, 2013 @ 7:02 am

This piece is I suppose, crafted to offend. It's internally inconsistent, because it claims that musicians who work extremely hard at their craft are only going through the motions and that their songs have no meaning. Why is that? Is it because their music is popular? Is it because their music doesn't suit your personal taste? Why should anyone but you care about your personal taste? It's equally designed to offend the conservatives who make up a good part of this country. Are you aware that Kevin Cronin is a liberal, who urges his fans, who are typically moderate to conservative - to listen to one another with respect? That's what we need in this country, to really listen and understand the emotional drivers behind the right wing media. We need to come together and support one another! Not throw cheap insults like this column does.

Posted by Susanna Gross on May. 29, 2013 @ 7:56 am

Whenever you see "why should anyone but you care about your personal taste?'', you know you've miffed a fan.

There's no inconsistency here. That band plays their hits. Palin et al play their hits. The difference is, REO had to come up with their hits on their own, Palin et al are like very predictable cover bands. REO works hard, she and hers do not.

How do you know what the political leanings of REO's fans are?



Posted by JohnnyW on May. 29, 2013 @ 10:15 am

People enjoy hearing songs they know, and therefore that's what musicians play. Providing something people want, is at the heart of nearly every job people have, from architect to construction worker to sales clerk. Sarah makes money by offending liberals and affirming the beliefs of her listeners, she has far more in common with the writer of this column, who offends conservatives and affirms the beliefs of liberals. Sarah Palin's half term in office illustrates her lack of work ethic, and it's natural that she takes the lazy way out, and attracts attention by offending people. It's far easier to write to offend, as Sarah does, than it is to get your facts straight, like a real journalist.

I think most REO Speedwagon fans are right of center because of the reaction on Facebook when Roll With The Changes became an Obama campaign song. REO Speedwagon is a midwestern, middle aged, white band, and all those groups lean Republican. The band members have diverse views, and they have argued with the right of free speech comes the responsibility to listen to the other side. Touring with Crazy Uncle Ted is certainly annoying. I heard that in some song introductions this spring, but it does bring people together from across the political spectrum. Styx fans are more left of center, and have been really offended by Ted, but some have learned that Ted's fans are still normal Americans. I am a liberal and I have learned that just because Ted's fan's enjoy a song that celebrates rape, they are not rapists. Some of them are perfectly decent people.

Posted by Susanna Gross on May. 30, 2013 @ 7:34 am

More succinct analysis from Johnny here, His blog is truly a pleasure to read.

Posted by Phil on May. 29, 2013 @ 8:30 am

plain yet pithy "repulsive mountebanks on the right," you are certainly responsible for putting a few more gold flecks into the Guardian's pan here, JAW.

And while the yeomanlike corporate rockers of yesteryear can be faulted for what what they weren't, perhaps there is a lesson to be learned in analyzing the wider pop music scene of the era: remember disco?

I think that that former "battle" is *directly* analogous to the modern Dem/Rep show we're currently being subjected to.

As for Lucretia, you know you'd be better off ordering up an anchovy pizza and attempting to have an intelligent discussion with it.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 29, 2013 @ 10:09 am

Comment sections have quickly become the battleground where people who can't write post ideas they can't articulate about articles that they haven't read.

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