When @jlw posted this three and a half years ago, there wasn’t a lot of response on BB. Originally released before election day 2016, the music video touched on a lot of things we all knew but, in all fairness, does so with a sledgehammer and an infectious melody. Punk in a candy wrapper. It is book-ended by the Armageddon-invoking “Daisy” political ad that led to LBJ’s trouncing of Goldwater in the 1964 Presidential election. Both the song and the ad conclude with the vision of a nuclear blast and Johnson’s words,
“These are the stakes. To make a world in which all of God’s children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other, or we must die.”
Yeah, heavy handed.
In hindsight though? Worth a re-watch.
If you’re up early on Sunday as I am, maybe wait until you’ve had some coffee or rubbed the sleep from your eyes.
I’ve recently been talking with the band, one of whom edited the video which is jam packed with disturbing Americana. In particular I was drawn to a very short but complex animation that goes for 5 seconds right in the middle of it. I’ve played it back on ultra slow just to catch it all. After one second on Gitmo, it features several simultaneous loops of overtly racist American cartoons surrounding a burning cross while a few words of the lyrics rotate among the squares.
Those toons were both a reflection of mainstream white beliefs, and a tool for ingraining members of then-future generations (including Trump) with the same poison. The editor thanked me for noticing and said this took longer than the entire process of the rest of the video. It starts at 1:47.
Incidentally, on the word “stakes” from President Johnson, there’s 1/4 second of Trump taking a bite from his failed steak venture.