Monday, April 8, 2013

The Passing of Iron Peg

Regarding the death of Margaret Thatcher, and the accompanying revival of Reaganolatry, I have to observe that I was a bit young to follow the minutia of Iron Peg's career. For a better dissection of her legacy, I defer to YAFB, who lived in Thatcher's UK. My opinions of Thatcher's career were all filtered through a pop-culture lens, so I figure I'd better serve my readers by posting a couple of videos.

Looking through the archives, I find a paucity of posts about New Model Army, whose album "No Rest for the Wicked" formed, along with Gang of Four's "Entertainment", my "Bush Era Coping Soundtrack". New Model Army's Spirit of the Falklands is among the most scathing indictments of the Thatcher era, and it's definitely the most hard-driving. Turn the speakers up to eleven for this one, it's thunderous:





Another song that we played the hell out of in high school was Stand Down Margaret by the band we 'Murican kids called The English Beat. It's a perfect example of one of my favorite musical styles, the jaunty little number with depressing lyrics:





Of course, the most appropriate song for this day is Uncle Declan's Tramp Down the Dirt, which anticipated this day:





Jewish Steel reminds me in "Rumproast" comment of this number by the Mekons, and zrm would disown me if I didn't post it:





Through the Gang of Four's website, I found a New York Times opinion piece by A.O. Scott concerning Margaret Thatcher as an "anti-muse". Following a link in this essay led me to a wicked takedown of Iron Peg's legacy:





Personally, I always prefered Sid's version, but that's not germane to this post. The real takeaway is that the Margaret Thatcher hagiography, like that of Saint Ronbo, must be countered with real evidence of her legacy. When Shakespeare wrote "The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones", he got it half right- while the lasting legacy of the austere, free-market loving supply siders of the 80's still haunts the Anglophone world to this day, the reality of their regimes has largely been shoved down the memory hole.

I don't celebrate the passing of Margaret Thatcher, but I sure as hell don't celebrate her legacy.

UPDATE: Lot of great "Death of Margaret Thatcher" music out there... I'd never heard this number before:


10 comments:

mikey said...

Meh. Let them jack off on the graves of ancient rulers. I WAS there (I remember sitting in Teds having a late lunch the day Reagan got perforated in DC). It's all every bit as pointless as arguing over which movie or band is "more conservative". In a sense, it's even MORE pointless.

Because here's the thing. The eighties were thirty years ago, a generation on, and more importantly, NOTHING about the 20-teens is remotely similar to anything about the 80s. The policies, the actions, the words, from "tear down this wall" to Maggies take on Gorbachev - "We can do business together", none of it has any bearing on the world we find ourselves in today.

They offer us nothing but filler for highbrow films, dusty tomes and spittle spewing political blogs. The so-called "conservatives" look to the past for answers, because the world of today truly befuddles them, but alas, there are no answers to be found there, not for them, and not for us...

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Meh. Let them jack off on the graves of ancient rulers. I WAS there (I remember sitting in Teds having a late lunch the day Reagan got perforated in DC).

I remember having a beer in a bar the night Gulf War One started and thinking, "Holy shit, we're at war, and it's on T.V." Then I had another beer.

Substance McGravitas said...

That Stand Down Margaret has a great ending. I support covering your audience with crap.

mikey said...

The initial reports had Reagan not making it out alive. So we went straight to the whiskey because somebody was likely to do something horrifically stupid.

But the old fucker didn't die after all...

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

The Mekons did even better.

Also, my sadness about her passing is that it seems to be forty years too late.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

the jaunty little number with depressing lyrics:

I did a long, soul-baring intense post about seeing them on one of their Resurrection tours, where I pointed out that almost ALL of their lyrics were bleak or depressing, while the music was poppy and upbeat.

I am with you, though, I love cheerful sounding songs that are horrible. I also like depressing songs that sound just as depressing as they are.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

NOTHING about the 20-teens is remotely similar to anything about the 80s.

Really, mikey?

The rich are still getting richer.
~

mikey said...

That's nothing more than as it has always been. It's like saying we still breath oxygen. The WAY the rich are getting richer, the speed and opacity of technologies like algorithmic and high speed trading, the blatant kind of savage corruption and the willingness to starve the people who represent the 'market' - the overall short-term focus at the cost of any sort of sustainability is what makes now different from then...

paleotectonics said...

the overall short-term focus at the cost of any sort of sustainability is what makes now different from then

Mikey, I really think that this crap in both the UK and US started with both of these creeps. By today's standards, they, in their times, would be considered unconscionably liberal (although I am sure they would have adjusted quite successfully to today's environment), but in their times they were very hard right turns, made room at the table for the Birchers and old guard Tories (and in Ronnie's case, the fundagelicals), and really created the basics for today's garbage barge.

squirrel_e_girl said...

"I Confess" that I am beyond ignorant of anything to do with the late great(?)/not-so-great(?) Margaret Thatcher.

HOWEVER...

I do love the The English Beat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnAQRodZNp0

Thank you for inspiring me to spend the afternoon bouncing around my house whilst listening to my EB collection.