Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paul Ryan's musical limitations

Last night I happened to hear part of Paul Ryan's speech at the RNC on the radio. Toward the end he made a little joke about the music that Mitt Romney preferred was the sort he tended to hear in elevators, and then he distinguished his tastes by noting his iPod "starts with AC/DC and ends with Zeppelin."

And my brain, being the way it is, thought, His collection doesn't have any artists alphabetically after L?

I have several albums of "Zeppelin" in my library, but when sorted by artist iTunes puts them under "Led Zeppelin"; perhaps Paul Ryan knows of some secret sorting option that goes by euphemisms (Rolling Stones under S, Beatles under F, etc.). Of course, if that's the case, he may want to keep that level of technical savvy under wraps; it's not that the GOP doesn't appreciate smarts but they don't appear to be allowed to acknowledge it publically.

Yes, clearly he was going for a nice A to Z rhetorical balance. While I concede starting with Abba wouldn't fit in with the image he wished to project (although you know he has "Money, Money, Money" on some other playlist), are we to conclude they've never heard of ZZ Top in Wisconsin? Unlike the referenced bands in the line, they are American, and unlike the alpha in Ryan's line they have a song explicitly mentioning Jesus; AC/DC, of course, tends to be a bit heavier on allusions to hell (in a non-condemning way), which would seem to be less than advisable with the evangelical part of the Republican base.

(Granted, given the assertions he made in other parts of the speech, perhaps we should think of "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.")

The other aspect of this that came to mind: Ryan is two years younger than I am, and I recall what were the popular songs of the day out here in California back when I was in high school in the mid-'80s, and they didn't include AC/DC or Led Zeppelin. I guess the '70s didn't make it to that part of the country until deep in the '80s.

Reading that much Ayn Rand, he wouldn't have gotten into the Violent Femmes, despite that group being from his home state.

They do have more songs about Jesus than AC/DC.

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