Music

Hadji Girl: Politically Incorrect Music for a War

What's the most disturbing music news of the week? Is it that EMI and Warner Brothers are trying to gobble each other up in a cannibalistic feeding frenzy that would make Axl Rose jealous? Is it that after pinning their hopes on music downloads making up for declining CD sales, it may turn out that label-approved downloading is now in a slump itself? (thanks to the fact that people don't dig copying restrictions and have already bought the music they want) Nope, not even close...

The winner/loser this week for the most disturbing music news comes from the Center for Media and Demo-cray with this story: American Soldiers' Hatred Breeds ' Girl' Song and Video. The song in question can be heard here at the the Council of American-Islamic relations website.

While some apologists might say this is just a joke and a military guy just fooling around and blowing off steam, it's also a piece of media that's floating around the Net. As such, it's fuel for the fire of anyone who questions America's presence in that region and the many others who already hate America. As any good officer could tell you, wars aren't just won on the battlefield but also in a little region called 'hearts and minds.' If the impression is that American soldiers are insensitive jerks who think it's a hoot to make fun of murdering civilians, how much better do they look than the insurgents that they're battling then? Forgetting the wingnuts who actually salute "Hadji Girl" (I'm sure Ann Coulter has it on her i-Pod right after "They're Coming To Take Me Away"), the message that such a song/video sends out about American troops (and Americans) is very damaging, much more so than the supposedly treasonous New York Times' report on bank data being used to track terrorists (which was already public knowledge anyway).

Even if you opposed the Iraq war in the first place (WMD my fanny), the fact of the matter is that there are still thousands of troops there and they'll be there for a while. While it's coming out now that some atrocities were committed on civilians and to the Army's credit, they're taking steps to investigate and prosecute anyone involved, they should also realize that little "jokes" like Hadju Girl" do as much (maybe more) damage to their reputation.

So far, the military's decided that they won't crack down on the would-be singer/songwriter who did the song which is a shame because it then sends the message that this kind of behavior is acceptable. That might mean that we'll have other would-be troubadours making politically incorrect songs about Muslims and getting the populace there and in the rest of the Arab world even angrier at America.

Believe me, I want the troops out of Iraq even more than John Murtha does but while they're stuck there (thank you, GOP), I'd also hope that they don't inflame all of the smouldering hatred that's already leveled at the States, justified or otherwise.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Film

The Dance of Male Forms in Denis' 'Beau travail'

Claire Denis' masterwork of cinematic poetry, Beau travail, is a cinematic ballet that tracks through tone and style the sublimation of violent masculine complexes into the silent convulsions of male angst.

Music

The Cradle's 'Laughing in My Sleep' Is an Off-kilter Reflection of Musical Curiosity

The Cradle's Paco Cathcart has curated a thoughtfully multifarious album. Laughing in My Sleep is an impressive collection of 21 tracks, each unapologetic in their rejection of expectations.

Music

Tobin Sprout Goes Americana on 'Empty Horses'

During the heyday of Guided By Voices, Tobin Sprout wasn't afraid to be absurd amongst all that fuzz. Sprout's new album, Empty Horses, is not the Tobin Sprout we know.

Film

'All In: The Fight for Democracy' Spotlights America's Current Voting Restrictions as Jim Crow 2.0

Featuring an ebullient and combative Stacey Abrams, All In: The Fight for Democracy shows just how determined anti-democratic forces are to ensure that certain groups don't get access to the voting booth.

Music

'Transgender Street Legend Vol. 2' Finds Left at London "At My Peak and Still Rising"

"[Pandemic lockdown] has been a detriment to many people's mental health," notes Nat Puff (aka Left at London) around her incendiary, politically-charged new album, "but goddamn it if I haven't been making some bops here and there!"

Music

Daniel Romano's 'How Ill Thy World Is Ordered' Is His Ninth LP of 2020 and It's Glorious

No, this is isn't a typo. Daniel Romano's How Ill Thy World Is Ordered is his ninth full-length release of 2020, and it's a genre-busting thrill ride.

Music

The Masonic Travelers Offer Stirring Rendition of "Rock My Soul" (premiere)

The Last Shall Be First: the JCR Records Story, Volume 1 captures the sacred soul of Memphis in the 1970s and features a wide range of largely forgotten artists waiting to be rediscovered. Hear the Masonic Travelers "Rock My Soul".

Music

GLVES Creates Mesmerizing Dark Folktronica on "Heal Me"

Australian First Nations singer-songwriter GLVES creates dense, deep, and darkish electropop that mesmerizes with its blend of electronics and native sounds on "Heal Me".

Music

Otis Junior and Dr. Dundiff Tells Us "When It's Sweet" It's So Sweet

Neo-soul singer Otis Junior teams with fellow Kentuckian Dr. Dundiff and his hip-hop beats for the silky, groovy "When It's Sweet".

Music

Lars and the Magic Mountain's "Invincible" Is a Shoegazey, Dreamy Delight (premiere)

Dutch space pop/psychedelic band Lars and the Magic Mountain share the dreamy and gorgeous "Invincible".

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" Wryly Looks at Lost Love (premiere + interview)

Singer-songwriter Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" is a less a flat-earther's anthem and more a wry examination of heartache.

Music

Big Little Lions' "Distant Air" Is a Powerful Folk-Anthem (premiere)

Folk-pop's Big Little Lions create a powerful anthem with "Distant Air", a song full of sophisticated pop hooks, smart dynamics, and killer choruses.

Music

The Flat Five Invite You to "Look at the Birdy" (premiere)

Chicago's the Flat Five deliver an exciting new single that exemplifies what some have called "twisted sunshine vocal pop".

Music

Brian Bromberg Pays Tribute to Hendrix With "Jimi" (premiere + interview)

Bass giant Brian Bromberg revisits his 2012 tribute to Jimi Hendrix 50 years after his passing, and reflects on the impact Hendrix's music has had on generations.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

Shirley Collins' ​'Heart's Ease'​ Affirms Her Musical Prowess

Shirley Collins' Heart's Ease makes it apparent these songs do not belong to her as they are ownerless. Collins is the conveyor of their power while ensuring the music maintains cultural importance.

Books

Ignorance, Fear, and Democracy in America

Anti-intellectualism in America is, sadly, older than the nation itself. A new collection of Richard Hofstadter's work from Library of America traces the history of ideas and cultural currents in American society and politics.

By the Book

Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto (excerpt)

Just as big tech leads world in data for profit, the US government can produce data for the public good, sans the bureaucracy. This excerpt of Julia Lane's Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto will whet your appetite for disruptive change in data management, which is critical for democracy's survival.

Julia Lane

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.