I know it's been a few days since Hillary Clinton dropped the news that Celine Dion's "You and I" was the winner of her campaign song contest, and also did that stupid Soprano's takeoff video.It's taken me that time to process the news, really, and to come to terms with the fact that the campaign didn't just go with "Don't Stop Believing" as a last minute trendy option, to spare us two years (and possibly longer, shudder to think) of a song that was originally written as a commercial for Air Canada.
Now, just to be clear - I take this upcoming election seriously. For the running joke that politics can be, the reality is that the people who end up in charge do have a major impact on us all, and on the direction and attitude the world is taking. And I also consider music pretty important, so I actually voted in this contest. I get Hillary's e-mails (which are frequent) and when the list came I thought it was interesting that they were trying to jump on the Web 2.0 bandwagon full-force. I would really like to support a woman for president, but not just for that reason, and I haven't made up my mind yet, obviously, because it's just too soon.
But I also take music seriously, and all of that said, I cannot abide Celine Dion's. She scares me, a little bit, when she sings, and I don't care for bombastic screaming in general, unless it's of the arena rock variety, where it sort of works. She always looks like she's lunging at you when she's onstage, like she's going to beat the crap out of her accompanist, and I have absolutely no emotional reaction to her ballads. I've probably heard "Because You Loved Me" a hundred times, unfortunately, it's always been just "eh", and I am a sap who cries at anything remotely emotionally affecting.
So I find it really surprising that 200,000 people voted for "You and I," especially given some of the other options. We couldn't REALLY thumb our noses at censorship and artistic intimidation by choosing the Dixie Chicks' "Ready to Run"? Here's the list, and all I have to say is, Jesus Jones, friends. Was that intended to bring out the religious right? "Right Here, Right Now," with those engine revving sounds, doesn't call anything current or inspiring to mind, and Shania Twain certainly doesn't either (Shania Twain. Eesh.) And Smashmouth's "I'm A Believer"??? When "Allstar" was an option? Come on, folks. "I'm a Believer" is not just dreck - it's also inseparable from....yeah it rhymes...Shrek, and given that he's already an ironic, morbidly obese shill for eating healthy at one of the most unhealthy establishments on the planet, the poor little ogre is just too busy.
I know civilization is declining when our pop culture figures are confused from overuse, and one of the top presidential contenders has to dip back into the '90s pop music catalog to choose nominees for a "signature song". A friend of mine and I had decided that Brandi Carlile's "Story" would have been a perfect choice, but that was passed over for a rack of ancient and largely unoriginal tunes. Even a retread of the old Clinton campaign tune, "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" would have been preferable to this stuff. I'm a Fleetwood Mac fan from way back - such a one, in fact, that I don't even turn off "Tusk" - so it seems that if we were going to go with something old, "Don't Stop" would have still fit the bill nicely. They could have even asked Stevie to rework something, to emerge from a haze of peyote smoke somewhere in Santa Fe and get together with the old folks like they do every few years, I guess when the stocks fluctuate or something.
And even though I usually don't care about such things, I think it is odd that the song of a Canadian citizen was chosen for this enterprise, albeit a Canadian person who lives in the United States and has made a trillion dollars here, so I guess that makes sense if we're going with the corporate take on things. It just seems sloppy to me, the whole thing, besides the fact that it's a crappy song. I have no problem with Canada, and in fact it's looking like a better than decent option these days, but there are so many better than decent musicians in this country, and the entertainment industry has been lined up to support the Clintons for years. Couldn't she have commissioned something?
All I know is that if politicians are going to keep co-opting songs for their own use, they should at least be good. Or maybe, as it's been said before, it's just me.