Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hillary Blew It

Washington D.C. - Hillary chose Celine Dion’s You and I as her theme music over Journey’s Don’t Stop Believen’. A few thoughts on why this choice was a disaster:

Origin of the Artist. Celine Dion is from Canada! Her website has options for English and French. Worse, when you click buttons on the website, Celine Dion’s music starts playing. Do you know how embarrassing that is when you’re at work? I had to get up and close the door to my office.
It is not that I’m anti-Canada. Anyone who has read my book knows that I like Canada and even posed as a Canuck under different periods of duress. Despite my distaste for those Canada patches that our northern neighbors sew to their backpacks (to make sure they aren’t mistaken for Americans), I think Canada is a nice, clean place and I wish we had their health care system. Even better, every twenty years, Canada sends Pittsburgh the greatest hockey player to walk the planet. I like that.
Journey, on the other hand, is from San Francisco. They are a quintessential American rock band – hits in the 70s and 80s, long hair, and mullets! That’s an image Hillary should want to identify with. The more pictures she rolls out, like the one of her in that paisley shirt (which may be velour), the better. The Midwest wants to see a human Hilary, not someone in glitter.

Sound and Lyrics. I can’t listen to You and I without worrying that someone is going to catch me and I’ll have to explain that I’m doing research for a blog post. I listened to Don’t Stop Believen' once last night and I’m humming the chorus at my desk, bobbing my head, and dreaming about big hair coming back.
As for the lyrics, Don’t Stop Believen’ blows You and I out of the water. It is about tough times, people on the margins, and hope for the future. You and I is about flying, together. As far as love songs go, that could be nice. This is theme music, though, and I don’t like the image of America and Hillary engaged in a love affair, flying together above the clouds.
Let’s go to the telestrator and examine the lyrics up close.

Don’t Stop Believen’ opens with:

Just a small town girl, livin in a lonely world
She took the midnight train goin anywhere

Who can’t identify with this? We’re all chasing dreams here. The song’s chorus is great:

Dont stop believen'
Hold on to the feelin . .

Bill had “Don’t Stop” (thinking about tomorrow),” and Hillary could have had “Don’t Stop Believin.” Part of Hillary’s appeal is the return of Bill and the optimism of the 90s. The Hilary people missed.

Let’s take a closer look at the lyrics of “You and I.” The song opens with:

High above the mountains, far across the sea
I can hear your voice calling out to me
Brighter than the sun and darker than the night
I can see your love shining like a light

Huh? We’re talking about our next choice for President, not the love of my life. The chorus:

You and I
Were meant to fly
Higher than the clouds
We'll sail across the sky

I don’t get it. The flying thing seems overly ambitious. If we were meant to fly, can someone please make our airlines start serving food on the plane again? It isn’t so much that I mind eating at Potbelly’s before take off. Rather, I can’t stand the assorted smells of a mall food court emanating from the row behind me. McDonald’s and Kung Pow mixed at 30,000 feet is a recipe for nausea. Someone should do a study of the increase in the number of incidents of vomiting since airlines dropped food service. And another thing, don’t bring that big cookie around and try to sell it to me for $4. That’s just insulting.

The Titanic Factor. You say Celine Dion, I think Titanic. Maybe that’s because I lived in the Middle East for a year and had an ungodly number of conversations about Celine Dion, Canada, and Titanic, but I can’t be alone in this. I have to ask the question, “What campaign wants to be associated with the Titanic?”

So, Hillary made a mistake. She used a democratic process on her website to determine her theme music. I’m sure more people out there like Celine Dion than Journey these days, but democracy isn’t good for all situations. Democracy is good for decisions that impact the common good or the majority of the people. Choosing theme music is something entirely personal, like the clothes you wear. Is Hillary going to post potential outfits for the convention on her website and let her voters choose her wardrobe too? I hope they don’t choose an oversized Clyde Frazier throwback jersey or a Zoot suit.

It is going to be disappointing to have to hear Celine Dion over and over again for the next year and a half. The only thing that will make it tolerable is if Hillary’s team can rig it so that she swoops in from the rafters, on Batman-like wires, at future campaign appearances as they play the music. If they can do that, then I take it all back and You and I was the right choice.


Anonymous said...

Well, it seems I am visitor #49. which is great. I always wanted to be 49 at something. looks like it is a point shy of half way. just not good enough. or a reminder of the 49ers. whichever. or the year the war of Independence officially ended. (did it really end?)
right. waiting for you in the holyland. beer, arabs, jews, and all.

Anonymous said...

I'd always thought she'd do well to use Van Halen's "Right Now" -- if anything, she needs to project strength as well as optimism. Opening the choice up to public opinion pretty much guarantees you get something ephemeral, saccharine, and bland. Curious process.

Eric Martin said...

Welcome to the 'sphere Ben. I think it's a good fit for you.

-Eric Martin

Anonymous said...

nice design; good color combination--it is easy on the eye. I am looking forward to heart what you have to offer.

Anonymous said...

Bill used Fleetwood Mac, a band revered by his generation, and Hillary uses ...Celine Dion? I think I might have forgotten about the band Journey were it not for The Sopranos. Unfortunately, it also reminded me of "Open Arms."

Sandi DiMola said...

It's the American Idol(ization) of Hilary's campaign. I agree: democracy is not an appropriate process for all choices. Of course, considering that in the last few days Hilary also appeared in a video as one-half of American's favorite organized crime couple (not quite the American Gothic, but gothically American), perhaps her advisors have embraced the strategy of appealing to the lowest common denominator of the population. Personally, I'd look forward to voting on her wardrobe choices; but then again I'm still pining for Geraldine Ferraro!