As perhaps a slight departure to our usual blogs, we have been inspired to comment on a current issue following some interesting debate in the Red Dog Office…
In a current news-light political story, Johnny Marr has forbidden David Cameron from liking The Smiths’ This Charming Man. Well, he might have done. In an article in The Guardian, he is quoted as saying: “He’s entitled to like whatever he likes, as long as he doesn’t say it. It’s a good song. I do forbid him to like it.” So, is he entitled to like it, or is he forbidden to like it? Come on Johnny! Be clear!
Isn’t music supposed to be democratic? Aren’t we allowed to like what we like? Shouldn’t music be allowed to cross the boundaries that continue to exist in modern society and provide some common ground? Shouldn’t Marr and Cameron use this to set a magnanimous example to us all?
Johnny Marr was quoted as saying “I do forbid him to like it. He shouldn’t like us because we’re not his kind of people.” Isn’t this type of comment helping to cement our class boundaries rather than helping to break them down?
Now, we’re sure that plenty of politicians have said that they like a particular song because a team of highly-paid advisors have told them that liking that song will increase their appeal amongst 21-30 year old men who earn between £12k and £19k a year, which is quite reprehensible, but that’s perhaps a subject for another post…
Music, and the arts in general, has been an incredible medium for making political and sociological statements, but are artists concerned that they are losing credibility if their songs are liked by the ‘ruling classes’? Isn’t it better that they like the song, and are exposed to the message? Surely the ruling classes credibility is in jeopardy if they have to pose with One Direction…
As a potentially glib political aside, should we not also mention that it seems as though many musicians who build a career based on the plight of the have-nots go on to become quite wealthy themselves, and that some of those move abroad to avoid paying their income tax here? Just a thought.
We’re not saying we agree or disagree with the political views of particular individuals, or that we are, or are not, fans of The Smiths. The relationship between music and politics has given us some outstanding songs over the years, it would seem a terrible shame if we told certain people that they weren’t allowed to like them.
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