Thursday, 15 September 2016


I recently saw a commercial for the MTV Video Music Awards. I must confess, I was momentarily transfixed. In this commercial, an astronaut approached a rocket ship as it landed in the middle of an empty, celestially illuminated, auditorium. Elegant classical music played as the announcer talked about artistic creation taking place in "a whole new space." It reminded me of some Alt-Right thinkers who view our political movement as the first step towards space travel and eventual galactic colonization. Man's conquering of the solar system, I realized, is not just a scientific endeavor, but also an aesthetic one: our work would metaphorically be using the solar system as our canvas - just as it had been depicted in the commercial.

This was the chimeric notion that I entertained for a brief moment before it dawned on me that this commercial was using the aesthetics of space travel to market a channel whose programming is doing everything in its power to subvert civic nationality, race realism, and common sense. The "M" in MTV, which initially stood for "Music" ought to now stand for "Materialism" – not only is music almost nonexistent on the channel, it has even been documented that MTV’s commercial blocks are significantly longer than those on network television. If this transition from artistic idealism to calculating trend-mongering and commercialism strikes you as malevolently ironic, I suggest that you map this arc onto the political trajectory that occurred during the rise and fall of MTV, from its amateurish inception during the Reagan era, its apotheosis during the Clinton era and its descent into stagnancy and irrelevancy during the W. Bush era.

In this respect, the Obama era can rightly be regarded as an attenuated post-mortem on the spectacle that had been music oriented television. The administration and the channel are reflective of each other and the reflection is that of a consumer culture hollowed out by the cultural Marxist agenda that is celebrated by all the lackluster celebrities, whose milieu occupies this channel. In an inversion of the interstellar travel model, it is MTV, the channel itself, has become the canvas for the artistically inept.

Granted, support for and dependency on the station has dwindled, as your average pop star has become more of an Instagram model than an entertainer, and rivalries involving celebrities like Kim Kardashian have more to do with squabbling over tweets than artistic rivalry. In the midst of this fluff passing for culture, individuals should of course still be accorded the privilege of bonding with their friends and supporters over music they grew up with.

However, in light of recent events I have come to conclude that popular music, especially rock music, must be abandoned by the Trump campaign, that and a similar moratorium be adopted by the Alt-Right in general.

In the case of Trump, the situation is obvious: he wants to play celebratory rock music that appeals to his supporters. The downside of this is that the bands whose music he is using (The Rolling Stones, Queen, etc.) are generally outraged over this use and publicly complain whenever it occurs. Never mind the fact that these bands generated their revenue and fame off the hardworking backs of the people who are Trump supporters. Bernie and Hillary supporters are far more likely to pay lip service to these bands (as well as more obscure ones), but far less likely to actually endorse them in a way that would subsidize the bands in the way that a "fan" would, i.e., actually purchasing music.

He will, he will rock you. But should he?
He will, he will rock you. But should he? In the scenario that is unfolding, over-exposed aging baby-boomer arena acts are playing the part of the multi-millionaire elitists totally divorced from the reality of the poor people who listen to, and support them. A clear-cut example of this is an interview David Bowie did with MTV in 1983 where he chastised thestation for not playing enough black artists. (A clip of this interview was circulated widely after his death; however, the irony is lost if we don’t take note of the fact that those “artists” Bowie was championing did not care in the least about Bowie or his music.)

This is emblematic of the aesthetic cultural disaster that has already begun. As the white demographic recedes, rock music as a viable genre suffers proportionally to that descent. The great irony is that the candidate who offers the greatest promise of mitigating that demographic decline is the one that professional musicians are railing against the hardest. Nearly every signed act from the highest Green Day to the lowliest of Fleet Foxes loathes Trump, and yet they seem completely oblivious to the fact that they are slowly losing the only people who are willing to buy their music or see them play live.

As the demographic shifts, unlistenable acts like 2 Chainz, Nikki Minaj, and whoever the hell sings that "I’m in love with the cocoa" song will become the norm, and that enjoyable, or even innocuous, music you enjoyed while grocery shopping will be gone. Of course Whole Foods will still play whatever Whole Foods plays and that will cause all culturally sensible white people to rush into the arms of a form of retail that is aimed at gentrification. But that kind of gentrified retail is marginalized, and no matter what kind of growth it enjoys in the coming years, it will likely stay marginalized.

All the bands who decry Trump yet bank on the people who would benefit from his presidency are sitting on a branch of a tree they themselves are sawing off. These people are primarily interested in virtue-signaling, and this by its very nature entails some sort of half-baked (emphasis on the baked) condemnation of Trump. It’s time for Trump and his supporters to return the favor. The amount of money to be made by playing music has dwindled massively over the last twenty years, a fact that makes decisions like signaling against Trump, or refusing to play states that don’t have transgender bathrooms merely self-congratulating spectacles that are meant to desperately keep the bands, not their music, relevant in the public’s consciousness.

During Reagan's first inauguration the event coordinators played Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and various classical pieces. At the time it seemed out of touch with the masses. In our situation however, such a revival would demonstrate a turning away from vapid pop culture, as well as the inflated celebrities who are desperately trying to maintain visibility within that swamp.. Let’s return to the image I opened this essay with: the VMA commercial. Now, rewrite the whole scenario keeping the classical music and throwing the rest away.

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