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Basslines and Protest Signs

Basslines and Protest Signs Part 90: Happy New 2022

Maybe it’s time to get a little humble. 2020 was such a dreadful, COVID-dominated year and we marched into 2021 hopeful that it would be a lot better. In fact, the Delta variant determined that it would be worse. At least we wouldn’t have Trump to deal with, right? Wrong! The imbecilic dolt is pulling the strings of Marjorie Taylor Marionette and the rest of his faithful zombies, leaving the rest of us struggling to keep up with their evil rhetoric. Honestly, contemporary American politics on the GOP side is a giant game of racist Whack-A-Mole. The inaction from the majority of the Democrats, plus Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema’s ability to slam on the brakes for Biden’s agenda, are massively frustrating too. 

So maybe we edge into 2022 without any bold statements. Because, honestly, I don’t have a clue what this year is going to be like. I hear the experts on the news say they’re hopeful the pandemic will become endemic this year, meaning the numbers become less severe, but, like influenza, we will deal with seasonal spikes while going about our business. I have to believe that at some point, that will be the case. But Delta and Omicron have taught me to be very wary when feeling hopeful. Who knows what the next variant will look like? It does seem inevitable that there will be one.

This week, though, marks the one year anniversary of the attack on the Capitol. First of all, I can’t believe so much time has passed. It seems like only last week, I was staring at the TV in disbelief, watching the marauding insurrectionists and traitors attempting to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power through violence and spreading their shit on the walls.

Photo: Tyler Merbler from USA via WikiMedia Commons

Conversely, it kinda does seem a long time ago because the mass exercise in gaslighting in the 12 months since has been exhausting. We all watched the events unfold and we’ve been able to rewatch them countless times. But the bullshit started pretty much the night of January 6. First line of bull: It was ANTIFA activists in MAGA cosplay that actually caused the trouble. When the arrests started and that theory went to dust (though not entirely in some quarters, it has to be said), then we started hearing about how the arrested traitors were in fact political prisoners, that they were being unfairly treated, that Jan 6 was the same as the race riots that happened during the previous summer. All of it is crap.

A year on and there’s a committee investigating January 6. Arrests have been made. Yet progress seems agonizingly slow. On January 2, Liz Cheney (a member of that committee and a Republican) appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation and said, “We can be loyal to Donald Trump or we can be loyal to the constitution, but we can’t be loyal to both.”

That’s such a key point, and it should strike at the heart of everyone within the GOP. Their behavior is treacherous to that which they say they hold dear. But it won’t. They’ll keep doing what they do, shamelessly.

This year, we’re going to see women’s rights come further under attack, led by the law in Texas which has essentially deputized all of its citizens. Other states are watching closely and we’re going to have to keep an eye on them because this could get ugly. At least Governor Gavin Newsom in California, fresh from surviving an insane recall effort, is striking back by using the same law to go after gun manufacturers. Not all heroes wear capes!

And then, as we build up to the Midterm elections that pundits are already calling for the Republicans, as they seek to take back the House and Senate; we hope we will see further twists yet. The Republicans are doing everything they can to suppress the people’s right to vote. They’re making it as difficult to vote as possible, openly so. Again, keep your eye on the bastards.

So here we are. Happy New Year! It’s 2022 and we peer suspiciously towards the months ahead but not without hope. We’re going to need people to feel inspired to vote in the midterms. And we need to keep encouraging people to get fully vaccinated (boosters included) and wear a mask (three-ply, not cloth). Hopefully, that way, we can safely attend indoor concerts again.

It’ll all continue to affect the music that gets released in a variety of ways. New York via L.A. feminist poet-pop artist Bitch (her stage name) told me recently she can’t fail to be influenced by everything going on around her.

“The song ‘Easy Target’ I wrote during the Kavanaugh hearings,” she said. “That was such a crazy time to witness. We’re still dealing with the effects of Trump and his influence on the Supreme Court. It’s hard for me as an artist to not be affected by the world.”

There are positives, as there always are. We’re currently in the midst of a golden period for women in hip-hop, led by the likes of Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, and Saweetie. The latter recently told me that, “What’s really important about this golden era of music is, not only is it great that we’re all succeeding but representation is really important. The little girls consuming music in their homes, they need to identify whether it’s me, Doja, Cardi, Nicki, Meg, Coi — I’m a gamer and it’s like Playstation. They get to choose the girl they want to listen to. I think it’s a whole lot of fun.”

That’s the key, isn’t it? The human spirit has to rise above the crap that gets thrown at it — history shows us that it does. We’ll keep fighting for our rights and the rights of those around us. And one day, we’ll win.

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