Ry Cooder’s Election Special

9 thoughts on “Ry Cooder’s Election Special”

  1. Obama obviously has a problem – but he has had 4 years – unfortunately it coincided with the economic crash, but what did he do about getting out of Afghanistan? What has he done about the banks? He will have lost a large number of enthusiasts on the “left” [things are relative in the USA]. He has pushed his medical insurance programme through [against the sort of opposition that confirms your original question “maybe the US electorate isn’t sane”] and after all, he is the better alternative of the two by a mile. Perhaps he will feel freer in the second term, knowing he cannot be re-elected? Let us hope also the Tea Party , the religious right etc screw things up enough to push voters into voting Obama?

  2. Gerry you have inspired me to download this album (are they still albums if you download it? Oh for a 12 inch gate-fold sleeve) it sounds inspirational and forthright. How many Americans will hear it…well not enough that’s for sure. As for Obama, wasn’t it Graham Nash of CSNY, who said at the time of Obama’s election that ‘he’s been handed a bucket full of shit and we’re asking him to make biscuits out of it.’ I think, like our own electoral system, America’s has run its course, not fit for purpose, if it were a horse, it would be compassionately put out of its suffering. It’s pretty scary how many copies of Ayn Rand’s books (I confess, never read one) still sell in the USA and how people selectively take parts of her philosophy to use as and when. (Paul Ryan, Mutt’s mate….would that be Dick Dastardly?)) George Monbiot had an article or two on this subject and the fascinating series screened last year, ‘All watched over by machines of loving grace’ made my hair stand on end with reference to the un-Holy trinity of Rand/Greenspan and Clinton and the alleged connections and consequences.
    As Barry Lopez says in his short book ‘The re-Discovery of North America’ we cannot look to the politicians, environmental groups etc., we have to look to each other. No one in either party here or the USA seems prepared or has the guts to fully acknowledge the climate/environmental problems and our bio-diversity loss, perhaps once Shell and everyone else has piled into the Arctic, raped and pillaged the resources and we get ‘live’ pictures, like a ‘reality TV show’, of the last surviving Polar Bear diving into the sea searching for food and our innocent children cry in despair, will we turn the tide. But by then it may be too late.

    1. Cheers, Les – it is scary how many Americans have read Ayn Rand. Like you, I haven’t read any of her books, but wonder if I should, just to see what might be coming. Like you, I watched the brilliant series ‘All watched over by machines of loving grace’ and shivered.

  3. I like Ry and think he has a good heart. Unfortunately I also think his faith in Obama is misplaced. Know a man by his actions not his words. Obama has not shifted from the Bush politics except to be even more extreme in key areas. His so called health reforms were weak and compromised, and remember that he had a 60/40 majority in the Senate for his first two years, but still said he wanted Republican support. If you want a full critique of Obama read Glenn Greenwald on the ‘Guardian ‘ website and his older ‘Salon’ website.

  4. Thanks for this, the album spounds very interesting, love the words.
    Unfortunately the bulk of Americans are convinced by the “rightness” of their cause.
    It is disturbing that Gordon Brown worked in such co hoots with George W, and that extradition to America for British Citizens is significantly easier now than it was before. America has (in some ways) become a selfish paria, spreading around the world.
    As a committed follower of Jesus I was APALLED by some of the attitudes i saw on two trips to the states and to several churches.
    However, just as Ry Cooder, CSNY, and others oppose this view there are many other Americans who grieve over American attitudes and Policy.
    Brian McClarens book “Every thing Must Change” highlights the oddness of a nation whose money says in God we Trust , but that spends $250,000 a minute on defence.
    Obama is not in many senses a good President, but I was staggered how many Americans baulked at the social reforms he introduced.
    Attitudes “over there”, are however reflected over here to some extent too.

    1. Andy and Yossi: from a distance – that is, in Europe – Obama has been a big disappointment. Is he a prisoner of the American political system and a culture where even ‘liberal’ is a dirty word (‘socialist’ being beyond the pale), or could he have pushed more, fought harder, taken more risks? I like to think the latter, but I can see how Ry Cooder senses there is an awful lot to lose if Romney & Ryan win this time.

  5. Dear Gerry, I was glad to see this. I just got the album as a result of reading it and I was not disappointed. I’m a big fan of Ry Cooder, been listening to his music since 1970 or thereabouts, but felt let down by some of his recent efforts. This record is more than a return to form, it could be his best yet, its wonderful, familiar, vernacular music with new words. And thanks for all those video links too. I discovered your blog whilst following stories about Robert Hughes, then found we have lots of common interests and I’ve been coming back for more. Keep up the good work. I’m pinning your blog to my homepage. Best wishes, Chris.

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