Posted tagged ‘Paul McCartney’

Christmas is coming, not (yet)!

October 31, 2012

One of the hazards of being in public buildings with PA systems in late October or thereabouts is that you are transported into a weird world where Rudolph is pushing his red nose through a winter wonderland in which Slade wishes everyone a ‘merry Christmas’. Roy Wood’s dream has nearly come true, and it more or less is ‘Christmas every day’.

Right now I am waiting for a rather delayed plane in Edinburgh airport. And my mood is not helped by the Christmas music. Paul McCartney may be ‘simply having a wonderful Christmas time’, but I’m not, nor am I intending to for nearly two months. I hope I can find a corner in which the music cannot be heard. Now.

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The right and wrong Michel(l)e

March 26, 2011

In June 2010 Paul McCartney was awarded the US Library of Congress Gershwin Prize, and to celebrate the award was invited to sing in the White House. As part of the concert he sang the Beatles’ song ‘Michelle’, in the presence of Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. McCartney quipped that he might return regularly to the venue. Speaking for myself, if he were to do that and give the song another outing, I only hope that its addressee would still be Michelle Obama, and not another Michele [sic] currently hoping to make it into the White House: the extraordinary (and I don’t particularly mean that in the good sense) Michele Bachmann.

If you have no idea whom I am talking about, you may need to take a moment to acquaint yourself with her. Michele Bachmann is Congresswoman for Minnesota, currently serving her second term. On her website she presents herself as ‘a principled reformer who stays true to her conservative beliefs while pushing for real reform of the broken ways of Washington’. Others may see her just a little differently: she is often seen as bizarrely rightwing, and somewhat confused in relation to the US history she likes to cite. Among the political positions she has adopted are phasing out social security and considering a nuclear strike on Iran. She wants the United States not to be ‘part of the global economy’ (whatever that means).

Anyway, this wonderful cocktail of half-baked lunacies may be about to launch itself as a presidential manifesto. Bachmann is apparently contemplating setting up an exploratory committee, the first step towards a potential White House bid. And if you tend to raise your eyebrows at the thought of Sarah Palin as American President, she would be a model of moderate reasonableness and cerebral intelligence next to Bachmann.

There may be something more profound for us to come to grips with here, however, and it is not necessarily just an American phenomenon. There is a tendency right now for the political right – that is, the ‘respectable’ right outside of the overtly racist and xenophobic brigade – to reinvent itself in political terms that owe nothing to the global post-War political market economy consensus. And that may be something to worry about.

For now, whether it is Bachmann or indeed Palin, I doubt that this sort of message will find a majority in the electorate. In fact, before it gets traction in a bigger way it probably needs a rather more intelligent advocate. But it does have support, and we may need to engage with a political spectrum that is changing dramatically, and in very strange ways.

But in the meantime, I hope that Paul McCartney returns to the White House to serenade Michelle Obama in three years or so.

Beatlemania

August 27, 2010

According to an interpretation of the selection of the 100 best Beatles songs¬†by Rolling Stone magazine, John Lennon (rather than Paul McCartney) was the leading Beatle, and the songs he wrote were the most significant. On balance I would agree, though this is the kind of issue which probably doesn’t get to be determined objectively.

I guess that what is really remarkable is that, some 40 years after the Beatles broke up and 30 years after John Lennon died, this sort of question is still exciting people.