Friday, February 22, 2008

"Change We Can Xerox": The Pot Calls The Kettle Black

Last nite Hillary misfired going all super-stupid on us with a weak, poorly timed Obama "Xeroxed change" bash. She topped her gaffe liberally borrowing from John Edwards for her eloquent closing (see above vid). Obama wisely refrained from listing Hill's own obvious snatching of bits from John Edwards (health care well, hello?), her husband and others. This is what politicians do. People do it too.

In my perfect twisted little world Obama's response to Hillary's "Xerox" charge (with apologies to Mel Brooks) would be:

Obama: Come on, you do it. You love to do it. We all do it. You do it...
Hillary: No, I don't!
Obama: I do it, I love to do it. I just did it and I'm ready to do it again, don't tell me you don't do it!
But seriously folks...I like Hillary Clinton. With a few exceptions the Hillster has done an outstanding job representing the Empire State. She should have realized it's a far too late in the game to so lamely attack Obama's strongest point, public speaking. It's not as if Obama was lifting whole passages of Thomas Jefferson, René Descartes, The Dali Lama, Thomas More, mon héros absolu François-Marie Arouet, Frances Hutcheson or James Patterson without attribution.

Barack is a wordsmith (or wordsmythe in OE). He incorporates words into his speeches suggested by trusted advisors. Obama modifies others' tried and true phrases making them his own. No need to dial 911 -- This is what orators, musicians, painters, authors and other artists do. They have done so since the fucking dawn of language.

Let's use music as an example. One of these things is a lot like the other:

The VU's "Sweet Jane" lent its chords to The Who's "Baba O’Reilly"

The Chiffons' "He’s So Fine" begat George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord"

The Who's "I Can’t Explain" inspired "Clash City Rockers"

ELO's (and The Move's) "Do Ya" was lifted for It's Too Late by Bob Mould

Bob Marley copped the Banana Splits Theme "Tra La La" for "Buffalo Soldier"!

Without Iggy's "Lust For Life" there would be no "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" (Jet)

The Beatles' "Lady Madonna" imbues "What I Got"'s Sublime melody.

Oasis’ greatest songs are chock full o’ glorious melody & riff rip offs.

That's just off the top of my head on this mad snowy Friday. I'll try to slip some music links later. Other than George Harrison and Led Zep (who were repeatedly popped for their shameless plundering of the criminally under appreciated Robert Johnson, Willie Dixon, Hownlin’ Wolf, etc.) artists rarely confront other artists over it. This is what artists do. People do it too. It's human nature.

In Obama's case plagiarism is a serious unwarranted charge. Methinks this is the last we'll hear Hillary speak of Obama's "Xerox." But you can bet your bippy John McCain and the GOP are already taking notes.



Liesl said...

What... are we just supposed to pretend that no one ever said it better than we can or that history is dead and buried? Gah.

Anacher Forester said...

The truly new idea is rare but there's no limit to how we can recycle old ones .


Liesl said...

And why shouldn't we? There have been some big brains out there. Gah, I am annoyed by everything tonight. Politicians are especially irksome tonight. Or, maybe it's just that I'm bored.