Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Bleak Song for a Bleak Time

Given the pretty bleak mood of the country this week, how about an appropriately bleak song? I have long been a fan of the English band Gang of Four, as longtime readers will know. The band's songs are all good lefty polemics, critical of war, the media, consumerism, sex roles... a wide range of topics, but they were all as danceable as all get out- righteous rage with a serious groove.

One of there least danceable tunes, one with a noticeable lack of throbbing bass, is 1978's Armalite Rifle, a scathing ode to the AR model series of rifles, made famous by the nightly news of mass shootings, which was favored by members of the Provisional IRA back in the not-so-good old days. The song, with barbed tongue firmly lodged in cheek, catalogues the 'virtues' of the eponymous rifle:

It sounds like an ad for the weapon, and some of the Y00t00b comments reveal that there are a bunch of people who don't realize that the song is a perfect example of Juvenalian satire, as topical today as it was back in '78.


ButchPansy said...

You slay me.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I love a man in uniform.

mikey said...

Armalite was the company founded by Gene Stoner and funded by Fairchild. They produced a number of designs - all designated by the AR-XX construct - not all of which were the AR-15/M-16/M-4 design we see today. Included, for example, was the ingenious AR-7 takedown survival rifle - an amazing, inexpensive design that is nothing like the ARs.

The Provisional IRA favored the AR-18 that was produced in the UK after Armalite sold the manufacturing license. It was similar in many ways to the AR-15, but was build much more cheaply, to much looser tolerances, which made it less accurate but more reliable. Interestingly, the AR-18 eschewed the number one most disparaged feature of the AR-15/M-16 design - rather than using the direct impingement gas system that can cause fouling and jamming, it uses the more traditional gas piston system.

The more you know...