Nancy and Ann Wilson, co-founders of the 1970s hard rock band Heart, are apparently a little perturbed that the song they made into a classic-rock staple, “Barracuda,” was used at the Republican National Convention last week. The song had become something a trademark for Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, an association that dates back to her days as a high school basketball star in small-town Alaska. Now that Governor Palin is a household name – and has affronted the sensibilities of the antediluvian feminist class – she will apparently have to find another theme song – that is, if the Wilsons have her way.
Prior to John McCain’s acceptance speech on Thursday evening, Heart had publicly requested that their song not be used at the convention. (No doubt the Wilson sisters were a tad surprised that the convention playlist was light on Hank Williams and Boxcar Willie). The sisters, of course, didn’t come right out and say that they were sickened to hear their precious creation used at a congregation of bigots, fat cats, war mongers and homophobes, but they did say that “the Republican campaign did not ask for permission to use the song, nor would they have been granted that permission.”
By Thursday evening, when the next President of the United States had finished his speech and the balloons were falling all over the assembled masses, the song was showcased again. This prompted a fuming Nancy Wilson to respond by saying, “I think it’s completely unfair to be so misrepresented. I feel completely f—ed over.” How eloquent.
Could this be a royalties issue maybe?
Following Thursday night’s convention activities, she and her sister issued yet another statement – this time with a touch more lucidity – saying, “Sarah Palin’s views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song ‘Barracuda’ no longer be used to promote her image.”
Why not just say that in the first place?
Their objections had nothing to do with copy infringement. It wasn’t about getting permission to use their song. The sister’s opposition focused squarely on the political chasm that exists between them and the gun-wielding, moose burger-eating, bible-pounding wilderness woman from Alaska who wants to destroy the environment and call Messiah Obama names.
The Wilsons went on to explain, “The song ‘Barracuda’ was written in the late ’70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The ‘barracuda’ represented the business.)”
Interesting. If this were an episode of “Behind the Music,” I might even find it relevant.
My initial thought after reading their protestations was to try and shed light on specifically what it was that put such a twist in their knickers. Which “values” and “views” relevant to American women did they believe Governor Palin was an affront to? Achievement? Leadership? Capitalizing on equality of opportunity? Rising from humble working-class beginnings to become a Vice-Presidential candidate? Funny, I thought those sorts of things were foundational tenets of the feminist creed. I thought that was what the Steinem constituency of American womanhood had been championing for years.
The sad reality is that to the Wilson sisters – and almost everyone still entranced by the feminine mystique – politics trumps all. Governor Palin’s remarkably impressive resume is nothing to admire for the left-leaning ladies of the ensemble because she is not a liberal. Palin’s conservatism, by default, invalidates her womanhood, belittles her accomplishments, and opens her up to personal attack from the compassionate ones. Whereas her achievements and successes would have been the very underpinnings of her status as a hero had she been a liberal, they instead amplify her inexperience and gross disqualification as a conservative. Ironically, Palin is assailed on non-political matters precisely because she is on the right. Because she is not a liberal, she is a fraud.
Speaking of fraud … I have to assume the Honda Corporation has more “soul” in their “corporate nature” than the “music business” that made Nancy and Ann millionaires, seeing as Heart’s song “Barracuda” was featured in Honda’s ads for the fossil-fuel burning Odyssey minivan this year.
I wonder if Governor Palin – or any other conservative – has ever driven a Honda.