Anybody But Bush (ABB) movement has a new recruiter. Rapper Eminem has
released a new video “Mosh” that urges America’s disaffected youth to do
their civic duty to remove Bush by engaging in the revolutionary act of
Directed by Ian Inaba of the
Network website, the anti-Bush video has all the accoutrements of rebel
chic and revolutionary images that are appropriated and safely channeled
into the government-approved outlet of obediently voting for the
State-sanctioned candidates in a rigged game. Eminem wants you to fall in
line and play their game on their terms. This sort of inside-the-ballot-box
thinking is as daring and revolutionary as a Britney Spears Pepsi
commercial. I’m sure it will complement MTV’s superficial “choose or lose”
campaign quite nicely.
As Inaba recently
explained, "The goal was to make a video that inspired young people to
vote because they too often disregard it as a powerless exercise." He
further added that, “voting is the most powerful act we all have to voice
our opinion and effect change.”
This sort of thinking mirrors the naïve and self-delusional rhetoric
emanating from the
Punkvoter.com crowd who traded in their do-it-yourself ethic to play a
subservient role within the fold of the Democratic Party. The very punk
culture that often attacked the decadent institutions of American Empire and
the bankrupt political system is now engaged in a campaign to prop up and
support those very institutions. They are urging pissed off youth to channel
their rage and hatred into the very system that generated it. They’ve gone
from declaring the system is rotten and deserves to crumble to the system is
legitimate and deserves to be rescued – we just need to get rid of a few bad
apples. Not to mention taking advantage of the opportunity to sell lots of
CDs and anti-Bush paraphernalia in the process.
With a rebel yell Eminem has joined the ABB parade and vowed to remove
George Bush. He has registered to vote for the first time in his life and is
encouraging others to participate and validate this rotten system by voting.
Although Eminem hasn’t decided who he is voting for, he recently told
Rolling Stone magazine he likes some of the things Kerry has said. The
same Kerry that columnist William Safire declared as the “newest
neoconservative” whose positions on foreign policy were “more hawkish than
President Bush.” The same Kerry that not only supported the Patriot Act, he
actually wrote parts of it!
The culture industry is in the business of recuperating and co-opting
efforts that might directly confront the system. It is more than happy to
dish out a generous supply of rhetoric and images of resistance and
revolution to the masses so long as it is safely channeled into activities
that do not aggressively question the prevailing orthodoxies and do not
openly challenge the legitimacy of the system itself. Order must be
maintained and subservience to authority must be upheld. Despite all the
radical imagery, Eminem's video fits this role quite well.
In the “Mosh” video, Citizen Eminem sees himself as the vanguard leader of a
youth rebellion and he is determined to mobilize these disaffected citizens
for action. He leads an army of angry, disenchanted youth in black
bloc-style hooded sweatshirts through rain-swept streets. The
dangerous-looking crowd continues to grow larger as Eminem’s army marches
towards the White House. The video eventually builds to a climax where his
massive army of threatening radicals storms the White House. But what do
they do? Do they try to tear down and remove the oppressive institutions
responsible for much of the misery and alienation in their lives and
communities? No. The mob quietly gets in line in an orderly fashion to vote.
The video ends with “"Vote Tuesday, November 2."
Regardless of who wins, we lose. Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?
Thomas Wheeler is a contributing editor to Alternative Press
You can visit his blog at:
http://beyondthemainstream.blogspot.com. He can be reached at:
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