At risk of dating myself, I can recall the Jeanette McDonald/ Nelson Eddy and Louis Armstrong movies and the accompanying love songs from the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1950s, How Much Is That Doggie in the Window had pleasant and innocent references to hearth and home and family, but contained no political message, and was a national favorite. In the 1960s, the car songs (Dead Man’s Curve, Little Deuce Coupe, Daddy Took the T-Bird Away) were a close second in popularity to the love songs of the era, and all of the songs were polite, fun and optimistic.
What is the equivalent of the 1960s songs today? I’m asking because I have no idea. Sunday I saw Beyoncé perform for the Super Bowl half-time wearing hard-core, suggestive clothing, singing songs I couldn’t understand (although I’ve heard that the words praised hateful, racist groups and intentionally offended many people) and performing dance moves that used to be reserved for strippers or satanic rites rituals. Such things, done for their shock value, were not done prior to the 1970s, when leftists took over the universities and the media/motion-picture industry. The bottom line is that the current fare of movies and songs no longer reflect respect, good times and youthful fun.
How about the song titled Yellow Polka-Dot-Bikini and all of the Funicello/Avalon beach movies? They were innocent and cute, but those entertainment selections are reminiscent of California when it was growing, wealthy, optimistic and fun, not the increasingly poor, rundown, Mexico-north state of Governor Moonbeam and his crowd of anti-capitalist and anti-American leftists with their high taxes and criticism of anyone who wants to live free and enjoy themselves. The good times have gone away with the passing of California. Maybe California, or at least the idea of California with its former vitality, youth and wealth, were all that made the 1950s and the 1960s memorable, because the current negative attitude of America seems to follow the former boom, and now bust, cycle in California.
Also prevalent in the 1960s and 1970s were social- and geography-neutral songs like Twelve Thirty, In My Garden and, in reference to the previous paragraph, California Dreaming by the Momas and the Papas. Their music was sweet and melodic and didn’t try to influence radicals to take up arms against the police, although they did take a position in favor of drugs to make them feel more laid back and “cool”.
The Vietnam War in the 1970s gave us the protest songs that turned the nation around politically and socially (The Eve of Destruction, The Balled of the Green Beret, Favorite Son). Whether or not you supported the war or were against it, there were songs about it, and they were generally pleasant to listen to. Where are the songs about Kuwait, Iraq or Afghanistan? If there were any, I’ve never heard them. World Wars I and II had loads of music and movies, but not our current military conflicts (maybe the word “conflict” says more about the conflicted attitude of Americans toward the idea of fighting than the actual conflict itself). But our balancing act of indecisive saber-rattling, where we kind-of commit troops to battle today but then sort-of don’t commit them tomorrow, will come to an end and our leaders will get serious about defending the nation when ISIS fully engages us here at home; in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta, in ways that will make Paris and San Bernardino look like a computer war game. It’s amazing how the thought of chemical bombs in our own neighborhood can awaken us to the threats that have formerly only existed far away and have impacted only foreigners “Over There”, as the World War I song by George M. Cohan referred to that engagement. “Over there” will soon be “right here” at home, and possibly in our own back yards, and Obama and his pretend “containment” of our sworn enemies and his studied avoidance of any serious, militarily advisable opposition to them, will be responsible.
At my current age I only listen to oldies radio stations (the fact that I listen to the radio and not to an iPod says a lot about my position on things, I suppose) so I don’t know if love songs are even recorded for young people to listen to any more. I remember distinctly a few years ago that rap music was full of references to “bitches” and “Hos” and killing police, and based on this downward trend in the music industry, I fear what performers say about women and police today (aside from the media lie of “hands up don’t shoot” and “black lives matter”).
We definitely live in a coarser, meaner, less accepting nation with the coming of Obama and his radical, intolerant, leftist, progressive, feminist and LGBT allies. And did I mention that we live in a more dangerous world under Obama? We do, and the threat is only just getting started.