Saturday, June 30, 2007

No, it is NOT Hammer time

Vast Left discusses MC Hammer's unfortunate "anti-war" song(via Avedon.):

If MC Hammer can help save our troops with his new video, "Bring Our Brothers Home," why should I quibble?

Well, because it's deeply dishonest.

Still, I agree with the chorus, which is actually pretty catchy:

Bring 'em home
Bring our brothers home
Too much dying
They've been gone too long
People crying
That this war is wrong
Right or wrong, it's time to come home

Also, the endless montage of war footage and flagged-draped caskets is quite moving. How could it not be?

Unfortunately, Hammer has been Hannitized for our mutually assured destruction.

I have to agree with "Vast Left." Hammer has bought in to the idea that domestic criticism of the war is "hating the troops." Another sample:
Man it must be hard
With all the things you're going through
Got the world on your shoulders
Everybody watching you
Keep us all safe
And out the same mouth we hate you.
and Hammer seems to be saying that the problem with the war was just that we stayed there too long:
You did what we needed
In our darkest hour
While our peoples was dyin'
In them burning twin towers
Never before have we seen it like this
The enemies we looking for
Was living in our midst
So we brought it to 'em
And we hit 'em where it hurts
Stuck they heads in the sand and knocked they dicks in the dirt
They know what it is, sir,
Job well done
Now pick up the phone and tell our boys
Come on home.
"Stuck they[sic] heads in the sand and knocked they[sic] dicks in the dirt, They know what it is, sir, Job well done?"

Apparently he's decided to be a racist to boot. Too bad. The title is "Bring Our Brothers Home," and you can look for it if you are determined; but like hell I'll embed the Youtube video here.

I wonder how many people will also decide, years down the road when(and if) the Iraq occupation is finally over, that it was the right thing to do, but we "just stayed over there too long." For all I know it may already be a common sentiment among the blood-n-guts crowd that keeps buying those damn bumper stickers. (If I displayed a bumper sticker that said "I support the troops, except the deranged and sadistic ones," I imagine I'd be compromising my safety, even though it strikes me as a pretty reasonable sentiment. What if I also specified "And I support extensive mental health treatment for the deranged ones?" No, I think it still would be unwise...)

Anyway: as I said the other day, our mass media operators seem pretty determined that people don't make connections and don't put the pieces together, and Hammer's view is tailor-made for giving a way for people to unreflectively square the sheer waste of the war with the aims of the once and future war machine. It's not that different, if you stop and think about it, from John Kerry's "message" in 2004 that the problem with the war was that it was prosecuted badly.

It wasn't always this way. Remember when Jon Voight and Jane Fonda won the lead acting Oscars for Coming Home? I'm not saying the Oscars are or ever were a meaningful measure of film art (clearly they're not, and if they ever manage to be it's only coincidentally so), but they are a measure of what the Hollywood elite holds up as valuable, and it's unimaginable that a film like Coming Home, were it made today, would receive that kind of conferred legitimacy. Today Hollywood courts Hillary Clinton and (to a lesser degree) Obama, with their "all options on the table" talk viz-a-viz Iran, and even in the last cycle they wouldn't touch Howard Dean when he still seemed viable in late 2003.

If you want another reason to see Hammer's view as small and mean, consider this, from another era:

Ataturk's plaque at Gallipoli
(larger image here.) photo courtesy "Rom Tobbi"

(a total of about half a million soldiers died at Gallipoli in a few months' time, roughly half on each side, the British and French, and the Turkish. The custom of sending soldiers' bodies back to their home countries is a comparatively recent development. Incidentally the man who wrote the words fought there too.)

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