Sunday, January 18, 2009
It’s only days before the inauguration of the 44th American president, Barrack Obama, so it’s last chance time.
It's last chance for irony, for a few hundred miles anyway. The election of Obama has, strangely, mimicked the effect of 9/11, when rumours of irony’s death were widely circulated.
And it does seem like everyone’s in a sincere mood these days doesn't it? It’s kinda like watching that besotted couple who, in their first flush of passion, offer loud, wild promises that make you wince with the pain of regret to come. So, when the inauguration spectacle is packed away, when the word historical gets a well-deserved rest, there’s gonna be some ugliness. The American Right thinks everyone(but them) is a communist and the American Left thinks everyone (but them) is a fascist and they both love political bloodsport. America may well be in a better place in four years but by then the axe-grinders that dictate public discourse in the U.S. will have tossed all this non-partisan sincerity aside.
Then, back to punk rock, it’s also, temporarily, the last chance for anti-presidential outrage. After all, a Rock Against Obama movement is unlikely. However all artists do thrive on dissatisfaction and therefore creative protest will resume soon (despite all the quasi-Socialist Realism coming out of the hip-hop camp lately).
So now, in celebration of The Tenacity of Irony, Punk Rock and the Bush Clan (Jeb anyone?) here is Coffin Break’s Kill the President.
Seattle’s Coffin Break (David Brooks,drums, Peter Litwin, guitar and vocals and Rob Skinner, bass and vocals) were, depending on the vocalist, a punk or metal band from the early 90’s who wrote some good songs but only one great one.
That great one, 1991’s “Kill the President”, isn't exactly a punk song (though, ironically, it starts out that way), it’s not actually even anti-Bush Sr. song; it’s a bright pop song about insanity. The narrator is like Travis Bickle just as the Prozac wears off. Again and again the cheery melody clashes with the hostility of the words of the narrator who is “so happy, the world’s gonna ex-plode”.
So any U.S. secret service who have a Google Alert on "kill the president", can rest assured this is not a song about assassination but a catchy novelty tune that one can return to again and again.
Now, sing along and remember that irony, like punk rock, isn’t dead; it just smells that way.
Download Kill the President single