Ed Driscoll

Individuality is Fine as Long as We All Do It Together

The slogan of the Independent Film Channel blog is “Keepin’ it Indie since 1994,” but for some reason Brandon Kim, a blogger there, is channeling the spirit of Frank Burns from TV’s M*A*S*H. Burns (or Larry Gelbart, who likely wrote the line) once mumbled that “Individuality is fine as long as we all do it together.” That’s been the tradition of Hollywood and rock music since the 1960s. Thus when Maureen Tucker of the Velvet Underground wants to keep government out of people’s lives, so they can “keep it indie” themselves, this does not compute:

I’m still in shock from reading this news on Stereogum about primitivist drummer and doll-voiced Velvet, Moe Tucker being a Tea Party fanatic. Say it ain’t so Moe.

It’s like finding out that Henry Rollins has just been wearing a fake muscle suit all these years and he’s really a skinny, mild-mannered pushover. Moe’s strayed a long way off from being in a band at the center of 1960’s and 70’s American counter culture. She’s best known for her unrelenting, tribal drumming style of the time — opting to take her bass drum, turn it upright and pound away on it with mallets like a maniac.

Now she’s out at rally’s with poorly dressed people who can’t get their facts straight, yelling about socialism. This is one of the farthest falls from cool in music history.

But the Velvet Underground was, at their best, always about shocking the bourgeois, the ruling class, the gentry. But these days, the radicals of the 1960s and those they influenced are literally running the country — they are the bourgeois. Finding a target to rebel against, Moe’s simply carrying on in the tradition that her band was founded in.

Quite successfully it seems, as this Victorian Gentleman at IFC getting a case of the vapors proves yet again.

Update: Dan Mitchell of the CATO Institute asks, presumably rhetorically, “Where are the ’60s Hippies Now that They’re Needed to Fight Keynesianism?”

They’re still the conformists they always were. But perhaps the anti-hippies are slowly starting to emerge.

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