"What's Going On" is the stupidest protest song ever

Seeing What's Going On listed as classic protest music, please note that the title song in particular has perhaps the most ignorant, trite excuse for a lyric of any major pop song.

Marvin Gaye was no war protester, or civil rights activist. He gave not a rat's ass about politics. I don't recall him marching in Selma. This is not a criticism; there are other things in life than social protest.

In 1970, however, he apparently felt the need to be "socially relevant" as the wind was blowing in those days. So, he got some words expressing a broad liberal position, and VOILA! He's a protest singer.

Now, the tune is great, the production and performance are spot on. He was a singin', songwritin' SOB. You really can't argue against the record. Marvin was a talented musician. I've spent a good many hours listening to Marvin, and I'm glad of it.

Father, father, we don't need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer, for only love can conquer hate

However, "only love can conquer hate" constitutes a really stupid, cheap SENTIMENT, just as trite and deleterious to your ability to deal effectively with reality as the mushy love songs Frank Zappa bitched about. It's absolutely, objectively factually not true. Often the only thing that can conquer hate is getting a big gun and shooting the hater. Why, if we would just get together with Hussein and Bin Laden, hold hands and sing Kum-ba-frickin'-ya, it'd all be fine.

Then, consider such lyrics as "Who are they to judge us just because our hair is long?" Really. When did Marvin have long hair? He was just sucking up to the hippie establishment, trying to be cool.

Then consider the cheap supposedly "progressive" laundry list that gets pasted in for lyrics in the rest of the album. Particularly egregious to any proper sense of Theology and Geometry, "Let's save the children. Let's save all the children." Oh, HELL no. I'm against that. I say we feed 'em to the whales- then we EAT the friggin' whales!

Truly, it's generally asking too much to make any kind of specific political arguments in a song. Music is about emotional expression, not logical argumentation. If you want to make a serious political statement, write a book or a newspaper column or something.

Smooth grooves, though.



Holla Back!

Music Sustains the Soul

MoreThings Blog

MoreThings Home


Link Soup
alcasts morethings master photo gallery index boutique MP3 new album releases sammy davis shirley temple photos little richard photos buddy holly pictures fats domino images chuck berry pictures Jesus pictures leann rimes lucille ball images clint eastwood pictures beach boys janis joplin images team america pictures robert mitchum photos bruce springsteen pictures bugs bunny pictures ann coulter photos loretta lynn pictures adrian monk beatles pictures white stripes pictures andy griffith pictures kill bill pictures beverly hillbillies pictures michael jackson frank zappa pictures jerry lee lewis pictures richard pryor photos june carter johnny cash pictures u2 photos four seasons images james cagney images pulp fiction pics snoop dogg lying shysters elvis presley pictures dolly parton pictures olsen twins photos cheech&chong tori amos pictures David Bowie photos roger rabbit reese witherspoon pictures rolling stones photos adrian monk kim novak images ray charles photos marx brothers pictures prince rogers nelson pictures blazing saddles images steve martin eddie murphy photos aretha franklin photos south park  pictures homer simpson images bob dylan pictures elizabeth taylor photos alice in wonderland pictures madonna images saturday night live pictures willie nelson images lynyrd skynyrd hee haw pictures james brown images pete townshend photos tina turner pictures dixie chicks photos bill murray pictures elton john images emmylou harris images guns n roses pictures jodie foster photos eminem frank sinatra photos van halen images satan blondie photos merle haggard images rocky horror pictures monty python martin luther king watchmen pictures sarah palin