Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Do They Ever Listen?

Every election season, it's the same story -- a politician (or at least someone in the campaign) decides that a certain song fits the image he or she is trying to sell and starts playing it at campaign rallies, and the songwriter immediately turns around and says, in sum, stop ruining my song by associating it with your dirty politics.

Michelle Bachmann -- Meet Tom Petty.

The really funny thing about these incidents is how often whoever chooses the songs for campaign rallies pays no attention to the lyrics of the song. Michelle Bachmann wanted to identify herself as an "American Girl." Does that vision include these lyrics:

"God it's so painful when something that's so close is still so far out of reach."

The complexity is one of the things that has made Tom Petty interesting throughout his career. You reach for a dream, you never get it, but the jingle-jangle goes on.

Somehow I don't think that a lonely girl thinking desperate thoughts on a balcony far from home is exactly the image Michelle Bachmann wanted to go for, but maybe she's deeper than she looks. Maybe she spends her time during Botox treatments thinking about the meaning of life. Maybe she's already planning to end up losing, and is planning what music she'll listen to after she gives up and goes home.

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