Friday, March 03, 2006



After Rickie Lee Jones sent in her comments about why she would never support Joe Lieberman for any elected office, a number of other artists sent me their thoughts including the two re-printed below (with the artists' permission) by Jill Sobule and Steve Barton, two thoughtful songwriters, both of whose works have always reflected an intense interest in the kind of "real lives" of people that those who spend their own lives Inside The Beltway, like Lieberman, are utterly clueless about. Ladies first:

It's always a sad sign when politicians focus on video games and "foul" language. Lieberman, I think, would rather have middle America think of him as a moral caped crusader, as opposed to the Democrat that staunchly supported the administation's failed Iraq policies. History does not look so favorably on these folk (the Hays commission and the prohibitionists, for example).

On a personal note: I have greatly benefited from censorship. "Kissed a Girl", my MTV/ queer lite semi-hit, would not have had the recognition it had, had it not been for the moralists who thought it was unfit for the airways. Go, Lieberman, go!

I want to write a little disclaimer before I publish Steve Barton's comments. His original band, Translator, was on the indie label I co-founded and ran in San Francisco in the early 80s, 415 Records. Today Steve has a career as a solo musician and his old band Translator is re-uniting for a concert at SXSW in Austin.

I remember when my Grandmother stopped talking to an old friend of hers. Let me say first of all that my Nana’s house was a cute little place in West Hollywood (before it was called West Hollywood). I spent so many wonderful days and nights there. Sometimes my parents would drop me and my sister off to spend the night. Nana would drive us to the Farmers Market in her always-less-than-two-years-old VW Bug, always a stick shift. Or, maybe we would go to Beverly Park, an amusement park that was torn down to make room for the Beverly Center Mall. Ah, yes, progress. Ponyland was next to Beverly Park. We would ride on the sad ponies as they walked in their tethered slow circles around a large pole. I loved it as a little boy. We would drive back (probably up San Vicente and turn onto Ashcroft Street) and watch TV. She would get us Lipton Ice Tea, which she always served in different colored metal glasses. I liked it. She always referred to her neighbors by their last names. The woman with the pretty garden across the street was called “Pape”. The old German woman next door was “Sonnenthal”. I would ride my bike up and down the cracked sidewalks. My Grandmother was a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat. She had parakeets as pets. They were all named after President Johnson’s family: there was Lady Bird, Lucy Bird and her final pet, Lyndon. One day, one of her neighbors let it slip that she was a Republican. That was the day that my Nana refused to speak to her again. So, even though I have never spoken to Sen. Joe Lieberman, if I ever run into him I must follow in my Grandmother’s footsteps and refuse to speak to him…beacuse that's what you do with Republicans.


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