No Wrong Notes
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No Wrong Notes

365 Days of Song Recommendations: Feb 13 (Acquittal Edition)

365 Days of Song Recommendations: Feb 13 (Acquittal Edition)

I’m So Bored With The USA—The Clash

When it comes to the hand-wringing, head-bending, heartrending world of national politics, it can be said that The Clash have an answer for everything.

As we sit back and sample the senatorial stench befouling the air about us this evening, blown in on an ill wind from Washington, I can think of no better song to capture the moment than this one:

I’m so bored with the U.S.A.
I’m so bored with the U.S.A.
But what can I do?

The Clash perfected a sort of impassioned cynicism that evolved over time from raging debut-album snark to the heartbreaking pathos of Combat Rock’s Side 2. Even as the guitars rip along in de rigueur late-70’s Sex Pistols-by-way-of-The Ramones fashion, and even as Strummer howls and snarls his way through lyrics like: …

Yankee dollar talk
To the dictators of the world
In fact it’s giving orders
An’d they can’t afford to miss a word

… the actual chorus expresses not anger but ennui, and this is the real genius of the song, and the real genius of its take on America.

What can we honestly feel about Trump and lackeys at this point but boredom? Did we honestly learn anything new from the new trial? Matt Gaetz is still no smarter than a pet rock, Lindsey Graham still wears hypocrisy like fur at a vegan buffet, and Devin Nunes leading the House “Intelligence” Committee continues to lead the list for the “Oxymoron of the Year” award.

Maybe we did learn one thing. Marco Rubio is more willing to play stupid than we might have thought. Remember, this is person who has a graduate-level law degree. Who graduated cum laude. Who said, and I quote:

“Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a President from office.”

In other words, just because he meets the standard of impeachment doesn’t mean we should impeach him.

When there’s been so, so, so much of this, what can we feel but boredom?

Yankee detectives
Are always on the TV
’Cause killers in America work
Seven days a week

By the time of Give ’Em Enough Rope, The Clash had clearly gotten a bit of the ol’ Americana bug, and never again would they so flagrantly blast the US as they do here, but tonight, as I sit on my couch, too spent to even care anymore what happens to any of these congressional bastards, it’s this song that’s the soundtrack for my mood:

Never mind the stars and stripes
Let’s print the Watergate Tapes
I’ll salute the New Wave
And I hope nobody escapes

For the record, I have the record. Bought it when I was in my teens, and still listen to it all the time.

I let Side One play out, and as the last strains of I Fought The Law fade away, I grab an old detective novel off the shelf and look forward to getting in bed and disappearing off to another world. In my head, I’m still humming this song:

Move up, Starsky
For the C.I.A.
Suck on Kojak
For the USA

Hear this song, and every other 2021 recommendation-to-date, on the #365Songs playlist!



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Preacher Boy

Preacher Boy

Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist , poet, writer. Vintage guitars, vintage typewriters, new Moleskines.