Thursday, October 27, 2011

Songs about the 1%

Have you seen the news from the front lines of Occupy Oakland? Jesus H. Christ, it's a war zone downtown. Tear gas, rubber bullets, beat-downs--an eruption of brutal violence on what was essentially a peaceful protest. These are dark times for a very large portion of the U.S. population. Don't add to the total darkness, city police departments!

If nothing else, the Occupy movement may cause the 1% to stop focusing on the Democrats and instead change their refrain to, "Get your hands out of my pockets...everybody." What are the songs the wealthy will sing during their sit-ins? Here's a helpful list. I live to serve!

Motorhead - Eat The Rich. From the 1988 film of the same name. The movie was a low-budget satire on class and cannibalism. Though not a box-office winner (satires rarely are), its caustic tone embedded itself into my brain at an impressionable age. RIP, Lemmy, you rocked.

Hall and Oats (and his mustache) - Rich Girl. I didn't understand where this song was coming from, back in '77. I grew up in a Northern Californian suburb full of soon-to-be middle-class families, where the goal was to be as much alike as possible. Or else. If you were too wealthy, like a doctor or a lawyer, you moved to Danville. If you were struggling, it didn't matter as long as you wore the correct clothing and had the right haircut to fit in. When MTV came along, it helped break up the monotony somewhat. But I didn't know any rich people nor did I deal with rich-people problems. I still don't.

The Beatles - Baby You're a Rich Man. A Lennon/McCartney production, supposedly about their manager Brian Epstein, with two melodies because rich people just want more and more—one melody won't do, my dear, won't do at all!

Baby You're a Rich Man - The Beatles from feliXart on Vimeo.

Cyndi Lauper - Money Changes Everything. Oh hey, speaking of which... Man, Cyndi Lauper is fierce. Watch her rise above the audience in a not-so-deluxe garbage can at 4:40 while never losing her tone. I didn't appreciate her during her pop stardom. There were lots of women to watch in the 80s musical landscape. I just saw her on a "My Life on the D-List" episode and she was a hoot--a true individual.

Kanye West with Jamie Foxx - Gold Digger. See? Money just brings on a whole set of enviable problems that most of us can only fantasize and/or completely care less about. Plus, if you're extra-wealthy, Lemmy wants to EAT you! That can't be good.

Funkadelic - Funky Dollar Bill. The things we do for a dollar bill. Some of my past jobs: baby-, dog- and housesitter, housecleaner, telemarketer for bowling lessons and unaccredited reading-comprehension courses, ice cream scooper for a psychopath, busboy for more psychopaths, sandwich-maker, office temp on an epic scale, nonprofit arts administrator and live/work housing database operator, development assistant for private art school, after-school art teacher, preschool teacher, continuity and editing assistant for film shoots, arts journalist, freelance photographer, cartoonist, film-archivist assistant, childcare library administrator, editor, Web designer and content provider, housewife, Internet toiler, to be continued...

Oh PLEASE let the 1% make The Flying Lizards' version of Money be their official protest song. This is all I ask of the cultural cosmos.

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