Although I don’t think I’ll read the new Keith Richards biography, I am enjoying reading about it, especially this piece by Tom Watson (via), which describes Keef as looking like a “hipster Beaux-Arts Bing Crosby”.
Everyone seems to want to write about this, and it makes me sad that the book came out so close to the election, because otherwise Bobo or Ruth Marcus or some other conservative culture scold might write a “this is everything that sucks about 60s liberalism” type column. The best part would be the “I hitch-hiked to see the Stones back when I had more hair and less disposable income” part. (It’s also possible that someone at NRO has already written a “Keith Richards: Conservative?” column or that Bobo will ultimately do so.)
The strange Village hatred of the Colbert/Stewart rally comes from the same place: pundits desperately want to be seen as hip, so they’re not going to like a rally devoted to making fun of the media.
All of this gets me thinking…at some point, is there going to be another attempt soon to make conservatism “cool again”? We’ve seen a few tentative steps: Meghan McCain’s tweets, Nick Gillespies attempts to look good in leather, Peter Suderman’s desire to tell the world he’s meh about Gorillaz, this strange piece in The American Scene, but it seems kind of directionless to me. Is John Thune going to go on SNL and say “sock it to me” to capture the youth vote in 2012?
The guitarist Keith Richards is perhaps most famous for having constructed a short and very simple rhythmic musical phrase, over the top of which his colleague Mick Jagger expressed an increasing irritation at being unable to acquire, in both general and specific terms, any kind of ‘satisfaction’ — despite, as he proceeded to explain, repeatedly attempting to do so. Or, at least, that’s what he should be most famous for. That almost insultingly simple ‘riff’, plus a slightly more complex one a few years later, over the top of which Mr Jagger, in a more ebullient frame of mind, expounded upon the pleasures of whipping black women at midnight. Both of these songs were perceived as being ‘counter-cultural’ and therefore, de facto, of the left. I suppose you might argue that ‘Satisfaction’ was in essence a plea for more stringent regulation of the advertising industry, perhaps via a quango rather than direct legislation — which is a slightly leftish position. But it is hard to stretch the lyrics of ‘Brown Sugar’ to resemble something which approaches those of the ‘Internationale’.