Tag Archive: politics


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Image by Chris Jackson / Getty Images
Margaret Thatcher served as the prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990. Nicknamed the Iron Lady, Thatcher was known for her steadfast conservative politics. Thatcher’s term coincided with a boom in English music in the wake of the punk movement, and much of this music harshly criticized her policies or straight up attacked her on a personal level. Bands tapped into the atmosphere of anger and discontent in Thatcher’s England, singing about everything from high unemployment rates to the Falklands War. Here’s the list made by Angela Meiquan Wang for buzzfeed.com:  

1. The Not Sensibles, “I’m in Love with Margaret Thatcher” (1979)

Though most songs about Thatcher make her out to be a villain, this song, released shortly after she was elected to office, is rather lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek.

2. The English Beat, “Stand Down Margaret” (1980)

Two-tone ska legends The Beat were among the first to condemn Thatcher in song with this cut from their album I Just Can’t Stop It.

3. The Blues Band, “Maggie’s Farm” (1980)

This tune rewrites Bob Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm” — itself a rewrite of the folk standard “Penny’s Farm” — as a commentary on Thatcher’s government.

4. The Specials, “Ghost Town” (1981)

Another ska classic about Thatcher. “This town’s becoming like a ghost town / Government leaving the youth on the shelf.”

5. Poison Girls, “Another Hero” (1981)

Maggie Thatcher‘s patching up her makeup in the broken glass.” From the albumTotal Exposure.

6. Klaus Nomi, “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” (1982)

NYC-based New Wave eccentric Nomi turned a song from The Wizard of Oz into a commentary on Thatcher’s politics.

7. Newtown Neurotics, “Kick Out The Tories” (1982)

This underrated punk band’s third single focused on working-class struggles in Thatcher’s Britain.

8. Pink Floyd, “The Fletcher Memorial Home” (1983)

Roger Waters envisions “The Fletcher Memorial Home for Incurable Tyrants and Kings” in this song from The Final Cut, naming Margaret Thatcher as one of the tyrants in residence.

9. The Varukers, “Thatcher’s Fortress” (1984)

Fast and loud, The Varukers rage against Thatcher in this cut from their Massacred Millions EP.

10. The Larks, “Maggie Maggie Maggie (Out Out Out)” (1985)

“MAGGIEMAGGIEMAGGIE, OUT OUT OUT!”
This charged punk anthem is based on the English Miner’s Strike protest chant, “Maggie Out,” and is featured on the Miners’ Benefit LP Here We Go.

11. Crass, “How Does It Feel?” (1986)

These anarcho-punk legends are famous for their scathing critiques of Thatcher’s regime, and this song from Best Before 1984 is a prime example. “How does it feel to be the mother of a thousand dead?”

12. Thatcher on Acid, “Guess Who’s Running the Show” (1987)

Formed in 1983, this anarcho-punk group chose to reference Thatcher explicitly in their band’s name.

13. Morrissey, “Margaret on the Guillotine” (1988)

This song from Morrissey’s debut solo album Viva Hate, which calls for Thatcher’s death, made him the subject of an official investigation by British police.

14. Elvis Costello, “Tramp the Dirt Down” (1989)

Costello fantasizes about stomping on Thatcher’s grave in this harshly condemning cut from Spike, singing “And when they finally lay you in the ground / I’ll stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down.”

15. Kitchens of Distinction, “Margaret’s Injection” (1989)

“Never relished violence, but Margaret, it’s time for your injection.” From the albumLove is Hell.

16. Sinead O’Connor, “Black Boys on Mopeds” (1990)

This sobering song from I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got digs at Thatcher in its opening verse, before going on to assert that “England’s not the mythical land of Madame George and roses.”

17. VIM, “Maggie’s Last Party” (1991)

Thatcher’s own words are used for a darkly comic effect on this ironic rave track.

18. Billy Bragg, “Thatcherites” (1996)

Billy Bragg comments on Thatcher’s legacy in this song released after she left office, which jabs at succeeding Prime Minister John Major. “Your leader she has gone, but she’s left us little John.”

19. Hefner, “The Day that Thatcher Dies” (2000)

“We will laugh the day that Thatcher dies, even though it’s not right,” Darren Hayman sings in this song, which went on to become one of his band’s most famous tunes. This song also calls back to “Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead.”

20. Frank Turner, “Thatcher Fucked the Kids” (2006)

Turner reckons with the lasting influence of Thatcher in this cut from Campfire Punkrock singing, “Blame the folks who sold the future for the highest bid / That’s right, Thatcher fucked the kids.”

21. Pete Wylie, “The Day that Margaret Thatcher Dies” (2011)

Not to be confused with the Hefner song of the same name, this party-rock tune revels in its hatred for the former prime minister: “She’s gone! And nobody cried!”

 

The Pirate Bay: Kicked Out Of Norway, Welcomed In North Korea?
Just yesterday, former b-baller and reality TV juggernaut Dennis Rodman arrived stateside after a widely publicized hangout with North Korean leaders Kim Jong Un, saying, “I love him. The guy is awesome. He was so honest.” Apparently, Kim’s generosity extends to torrenting sites as well.As of this morning, notorious file-sharing site The Pirate Bay has been offered virtual asylum in North Korea after being kicked out of Norway, according to the site’s most recent blog post.

Having lost its hosting from the Swedish Pirate Party last week, The Pirate Bay jumped to pirate parties in Norway and Catalonia. That brief relationship ended this morning, when the Norwegian Pirate Party ousted the file sharing site as well, with party leader Geir Asalid claiming that party doesn’t have the economic muscle necessary to fight for the right to torrent. Read more here: http://bit.ly/13B9YLD

After some very brief downtime, the site popped back up, though at the same address and with no indication of the new hosting location until a traceroute for the site was tracked back to an ISP located in the Potong-gang District of Pyongyang, North Korea. Following a handful of initial reports, The Pirate Bay posted its blog post acknowledging the switchover.

Is The Pirate Bay Messing With Us?

It’s not always easy to believe what The Pirate Bay says. If this turns out to be a joke, it wouldn’t the first time The Pirate Bay has pulled such a hoax about its virtual whereabouts. In 2007, the site pulled an April Fool’s Day joke revolving around this exact situation, writing at the time, “We would like to thank Kim Jong-Il for the opportunity and we would like all of our users to review their current feelings towards this great nation!”

This time around, a number of colluding circumstances make this announcement sound considerably more legitimate. Not only has The Pirate Bay switched out its homepage image (seen above), but the ISP is in fact being traced to North Korea only hours after the Norwegian Pirate Party’s announcement was released. It it is a hoax, this would certainly be an elaborate one.

Those within the torrent news network also seem to believe the situation – to a degree. “A Pirate Bay insider informs TorrentFreak that they had been working for a while to get connectivity in North Korea,” reports TorrentFreak. “We’ve been in talks with them for about two weeks, since they opened access for foreigners to use 3G in the country…TPB has been invited just like Eric Schmidt and Dennis Rodman. We’ve declined up until now,” the source went on to say.

For those not inclined to travel to the site’s blog, you can read an excerpt from The Pirate Bay below:

This is truly an ironic situation. We have been fighting for a free world, and our opponents are mostly huge corporations from the United States of America, a place where freedom and freedom of speech is said to be held high. At the same time, companies from that country is chasing [sic] a competitor from other countries, bribing police and lawmakers, threatening political parties and physically hunting people from our crew. And to our help comes a government famous in our part of the world for locking people up for their thoughts and forbidding access to information.

Steven Spielberg has crafted a literate, heartfelt film about Abraham Lincoln’s second term in office and his battle to end slavery, with a masterful central performance

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Lincoln trailer. Link to video: Lincoln: watch the exclusive international trailer

Abraham Lincoln‘s second term, with its momentous choices, has been brought to the screen by Steven Spielberg as a fascinatingly theatrical contest of rhetoric and strategy. It is a nest of high politics for the white ruling class, far from the brutality and chaos of the battlefield. At its centre is a gaunt Shakespearian figure, somewhere between Caesar and Prospero.

Spielberg has made a moving and honourably high-minded film about this world-changing moment of American history, his best for many years: I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to see it, and to experience the pleasures of something acted with such intelligence and depth. There is admittedly sometimes a hint of hokum; how you react to the film may depend on how you take the opening sequence in which Lincoln, seated like the famous statue but with an easy smile, listens to two black soldiers telling him how they see the war – a slightly Sorkinian scene that ends with one reciting the Gettysburg address while walking away from the president. It is a flight of fancy, not strictly plausible, but very effective in establishing a mood music that swells progressively throughout the picture.

Lincoln exerted a grip on me; it is literate, cerebral, heartfelt, with some brilliantly managed moments and, of course, a unique central performance from Daniel Day-Lewis. He portrays Lincoln as a devastating master of charm and exquisite manners, skilled in imposing his authority with a genial anecdote, a man with the natural leader’s trick of making people want to please him. He speaks in an unexpectedly light, clear voice that is nonetheless shading off into the maundering monologue of an old man, exhausted by war and personal catastrophes.

Day-Lewis, like Olivier before him, is a master of the voice and the walk: it’s almost as if he has alchemised his body shape into something different: bowed, spindly and angular, gnarled as a tree, exotic and yet natural as his tall hat, often holding the straight right arm at the elbow with the left behind his back: the civilian equivalent of military bearing. His Lincoln is aware that his strength is ebbing; he is on the point of ossifying into a legend incapable of action. He is often seen in semidarkness, his face turned down in contemplation of possible, terrible defeat, or the certain terrible cost of victory: like the Shikler portrait of Kennedy.

His political capital, though great, is a deteriorating asset, and as the civil war grinds on, Lincoln begins his second term wishing to stake it all on rushing through a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery before defeating the South. To get it through the system, he must do business with truculent radical Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones), and at the same time entreat conservative Republican Preston Blair (Hal Holbrook) for his faction’s votes. Blair’s condition is that Lincoln must swallow his pride and accept, or appear to accept, some sort of secret, provisional peace mission from the rebels in Virginia, a risky gesture that the president must conceal from his trusted secretary of state, William Seward (David Strathairn). Dangerous evasions and compromises are made, but the rebels stay strong; they do not surrender as Lincoln hopes and the awful, unthinkable truth is that he may have to abandon his anti-slavery amendment as a sop to get them to talk peace, end the bloodshed and preserve the Union. Has he gambled and lost?

There are some heartstoppingly good setpieces. The moment in which Lincoln has to raise the flag outside a naval building, after a short, self-deprecating speech that he has written on a piece of paper – kept in his hat – is a superbly managed scene: modest, undramatic, gently comic. Sally Field is outstanding as Lincoln’s wife, nursing rage and hurt that almost boils over as she must bandy words at a White House reception with Stevens, whom she detests: Spielberg shows Abraham in the background, chatting diplomatically but then noticing how Mrs Lincoln is about to damage his chances with a key ally. Read more here http://bit.ly/10V5OOs

 

by peter bradshaw for guardian.co.uk

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President Barack Obama’s second inaugural ushered in some of music’s biggest names, and while cold temperatures typically turn these events into pea coat parades, this year featured both gorgeous formal and casual attire on stars like Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry.
Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson Add Soaring Voices to Obama’s Inauguration

The inauguration of the United States president is a celebrated event indeed, even if it’s effectively tjhe follow-up to what was a landmark occasion four years ago. But if there’s anyone who can bring the (white) house down, it’s one of America’s most beloved singing ladies, the first American Idol, a songwriting legend and a showstopping choir.

The Marines are backing away from an eye-opening claim that Beyonce “did not actually sing” the national anthem at President Barack Obama’s inauguration on Monday.

The jig is up. It took less than 24 hours for news to break that Beyoncé‘s striking live performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the inaugural ceremonies for President Barack Obama on Monday might have merely a lip-synced run-through of a track she recorded earlier.

The news is a shocker, considering the R&B queen is no stranger to big stages and annihilating them in real time. It’s important to note that she did sing the National Anthem at the 2004 Superbowl live (at least, wethink she did).

It’s a big deal. In a musical feats of strength contest, the National Anthem is arguably one of the heaviest weights to lift. Artists ranging from the likes of Christina Aguilera to Steven Tyler to Roseanne Barr can vouch for that. It’s understandable that any artist who doesn’t think they could do it justice pre-record their performance. Read more here http://bit.ly/VYOGU0

10 Worst National Anthem Performances Ever

Still, it’s the anthem. A song about the strength of its country should always be sung live to prove that very point over and over again — especially on a stage that is reinstating the nation’s leader. Not to mention that the leader is a man she’s supported since he decided to make his first term run.

 

According to RollingStone.com, HBO has purchased the rights to Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin’s new documentary about Russian feminist collective Pussy Riot.

Premiered over the weekend at Sundance Film FestivalPussy Riot – A Punk Prayerchronicles the arrest and trial of three members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich. The women were sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility” stemming from a “punk prayer” protest at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral. Read more here: http://bit.ly/WcCUVE

 

image from consequenceofsound.net

 

(Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

(Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

fun. recently took a break from skiing to chat with 96.5 TIC/Hartford about their upcoming performance at President Obama’s Inauguration and confessed that they still get starstruck. It happened recently, as the band had the chance to play with Counting Crows, and there’s more artists they’d love to collaborate with in the future.

Paul McCartney would be pretty cool,” Nate Ruess confessed.

Jack Antonoff added an explanation for what he feels makes a great artist team-up, saying, “Playing with someone is like [seeing] a free show with a band you love. It’s cool to do things that you would have paid money for.”

Read more fun. interview with 96.5 TIC/Hartford here fun. Reveal Nerves On Performing At President Obama’s Inaugural Ball « 96.5 TIC FM – Hartford’s Best Variety.

fun. will be star struck in a very different way soon, as they approach their big appearance at the White House for one of President Obama’s Inauguration events. They’ll get the chance to shake hands with the President but fans shouldn’t expect any Al Roker situations. The newscaster admitted publicly last week that he had an accidental bowel movement at the White House, which was news to the guys from fun.

The Inaugural events will kick off on Saturday (January 19) in Washington, D.C.

 

-Bill Sencio, 96.5 TIC/Hartford

 

NRA goes on offensive as Americans mourn school shooting

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(Reuters) – The powerful U.S. gun rights lobby went on the offensive on Friday arguing that schools should have armed guards, on a day that Americans remembered the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre with a moment of silence.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association, noting that banks and airports are patrolled by armed guards, while schools typically are not.

His remarks – in which he charged that the news media and violent video games shared blame for the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history – were twice interrupted by protesters who unfurled signs and shouted “stop the killing.”

Speaking in Washington, LaPierre urged lawmakers to station armed police officers in all schools by the time students return from the Christmas break in January. LaPierre did not take questions from reporters.

Earlier on Friday, church bells rang out in tree-lined suburban Newtown and up and down the East Coast at 9:30 a.m. EST in memory of the victims of the attack on December 14 in which 28 people, including the gunman, were killed.

LaPierre’s comments came at the end of a week when President Barack Obama commissioned a new White House task force to find a way to quell violence, a challenge in a nation with a strong culture of individual gun ownership.

“We have to have a comprehensive way in which to respond to the mass murder of our children that we saw in Connecticut,” Vice President Joe Biden, who heads the task force, said on Thursday.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms and hundreds of millions of weapons are in private hands.

About 11,100 Americans died in gun-related killings in 2011, not including suicides, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some U.S. lawmakers called for swift passage of an assault weapons ban.

Some Newtown residents have already launched an effort aimed at tightening rules on gun ownership.

“What I feel is a sense of guilt because I’ve been a strong advocate of gun control for years,” said John Dewees, 61, who was in downtown Newtown, where a makeshift memorial rose several feet around two Christmas trees with teddy bears and flower bouquets. “I wish I’d been more vocal. You wonder, had we all been, could we have averted this?”

SHATTERED ILLUSION OF SAFETY

The attack, which killed 20 first graders ages 6 and 7, shattered the illusion of safety in this close-knit town of 27,000 people where many residents knew someone affected by the attacks.

“There’s just so many connections,” said Jay Petrusaitis, whose son was in the same high school class as the gunman.

Churches as far south as Florida and at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., rang their bells.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy had called for residents of his state to observe the moment of silence to mark a week since a 20-year-old gunman killed his mother and then stormed Sandy Hook Elementary School. He killed a total of 28 people that day, including six school teachers and staff in a rampage that ended when he turned his gun on himself.

Governors in Maine, Illinois, Michigan and several other states also called for moments of silence.

The gunman, Adam Lanza, used a military-style assault rifle and police said he carried hundreds of bullets in high-capacity magazines, as well as two handguns. The weapons were legally purchased and registered to his mother, Nancy, his first victim.

(Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Will Dunham and Vicki Allen)

Martin Scorsese To Make Documentary About Bill Clinton For HBO

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Scorsese will give former President Bill Clinton a documentary treatment at HBO. The pay cable network has teamed with the Oscar-winning director for a documentary spotlighting the 42nd President of the United States. Made with Clinton’s full cooperation, the film will explore his perspectives on history, politics, culture and the world, with Scorsese producing and directing, and Steve Bing producing. “A towering figure who remains a major voice in world issues, President Clinton continues to shape the political dialogue both here and around the world,” Scorsese said. “Through intimate conversations, I hope to provide greater insight into this transcendent figure.”

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Added Clinton, “I am pleased that legendary director Martin Scorsese and HBO have agreed to do this film. I look forward to sharing my perspective on my years as President, and my work in the years since, with HBO’s audience.”

Scorsese is a long-time Democrat with ties to the Clintons. He supported Hillary Clinton’s 2000 and 2006 Senate campaigns.

William Jefferson Clinton, the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice, served as President of the United States from 1993 to 2001, leading the U.S. to one of the longest economic expansions in American history. After leaving the White House, he established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote healthier childhoods and protect the environment by fostering partnerships among governments, businesses, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and private citizens to turn good intentions into measurable results. To date, more than 2,100 Clinton Global Initiative commitments have improved the lives of 400 million people in 180 nations.

The Clinton documentary marks Martin Scorsese’s fourth collaboration with HBO, following the documentaries Public Speaking (2010) and the Emmy-winning George Harrison: Living In The Material World (2011), and the period drama series Boardwalk Empire, on which he serves as an executive producer and won an Emmy for directing the pilot.

By Nelly Andreeva for Deadline.com

President Obama Makes a Statement on the Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut

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