Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Very Recent History: When Prince Missed "We Are The World"

Apparently a bunch of musicians have re-recorded "We Are The World" to benefit Haiti? I had a ton of thoughts about this last night, particularly about the original recording of "We Are The World," and how its lyrics seem so the product of a very different era in which we were supremely confident in our strength as a nation, probably because we didn't realize that we were completely eradicating our manufacturing base and putting ourselves on the remarkably destructive course which has brought us to where we are today. (A related thought: Doesn't the phrase "the war against the middle class" contain within itself the false suggestion that there has not been an even more brutal "war against the poor"?) But anyway, who the hell wants to hear my disorganized hippie thoughts? Instead, I will give you the benefits of my aged but not yet completely destroyed memory: This "SNL" skit, which came out right around the time of "We Are The World" 1.0, may amuse you, even if many of its cultural references leave you baffled.

18 Comments / Post A Comment

jolie (#16)

"But anyway, who the hell wants to hear my disorganized hippie thoughts?"


jolie (#16)

Okay and wherethefuck is mathnet??? CHO!! DID YOU FORGET TO PACK HER DURING THE MOVE???

KarenUhOh (#19)

Does it still have any resonance if we'd sort of talked ourselves into used to being?

Brad Nelson (#2,115)

Roast beef salt retrieves the disorganized hippie in all of us. Where have we put our stuff? We don't know, but we do know that people are chewed into blood and dross daily by the industrial maw.

johnpseudonym (#1,452)

As a true American I despise aristocracies and therefore refuse to acknowledge Prince.

Brad Nelson (#2,115)

He is prince of the goddamn worm in yr soul. That is a country to be conquered by him and him only.

belltolls (#184)

Is that Billy Crystal doing Sammy Davis Jr. in that video?

Dickdogfood (#650)

"The War Against the Middle Class" takes "The War Against the Poor" as a given. TWATMC gains its rhetorical power from the idea that while a war against the poor is predictable, even expected, a war against the middle class is almost perverse, anti-American, possibly even self-defeating.

Screen Name (#2,416)

I remember when I was in Special Forces… seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a neighborhood of McMansions to innoculate the middle class against signifiers by giving them David Yurman bangles. We left and at a Starbucks this old man came running up to us and was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every Yurman bracelet arm. They were in a pile, all those silver and gold bracelets with the little twisty ridges. A pile of little bracelets. And I remember… I… I cried, I wept like some label whore's grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out, but didn't want to lose the gold fillings; I didn't know what I wanted to do! And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it… I never want to forget. And then I realized… like I was shot… like I was shot with a diamond… a diamond right through my forehead. And I thought, my God… the genius of that! The genius! The will to do that! Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we, because they could stand that these were not signifiers, these were just bracelets… fashion bracelets.

Van Buren Boy (#1,233)

The Simpsons did a good take on this back in the day when the show was still funny.

Dickdogfood (#650)

Also: there were plenty of thinkers–Daniel Bell comes to mind–who by the 80s had realized that America was undergoing a shift from an indsutrial to a "post-industrial" society. It hadn't gone unnoticed, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Oh, and while –to take one example–nothing I'm wearing right now was made in the USA, we'll have a long way to go before we've compLETEly eradicated our manufacturing base.

One could also say that a (still very small) part of the country is beginning to work in opposition to this decay/eradication.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

The second civil war.

Mindpowered (#948)

Of course it's for Haiti, which is why it's going to be debuted on NBC's for the winter Olympics opening ceremony. It all makes sense.

HiredGoons (#603)

Needs more Michael Jackson.


Matt (#26)


Rw (#1,458)

Quite possibly the wort Prince impression I have ever seen. Prince has a song where he mentions this whole thing, it's called 'Hello', I think it's a b-side to some single version of Raspberry beret but it pops up as a b-side on a few things around that time.

Hippiechick (#3,305)

We are the world, you are all children…

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