September 5, 2011

Revisiting Ray Stevens, Part 10...

Labor Day Monday! Ray hasn't recorded too many songs that could be classified in the working man sub-genre of country music but he's recorded a few songs that tie in with it. I use the phrase "working man" because that's the most often used description even though everyone knows women work, too. Although Ray hasn't did too many working men songs I'd qualify some of the songs he's done about the country's economy part of that genre because the overall economy has to do with money, income, taxation, debt, and deficits...and there's not too many people who work for nothing and so songs about working and songs about the economy sometimes go hand in hand.

The song I always make reference to right away is "Working for the Japanese", a song Ray recorded in 1991. I reference this song because it's the first one he did specifically about the nation's economy and it's trading practices. The song, quite amusing and satiric, actually created some controversy among advertisers afraid that the song would offend Japanese businesses from sponsoring American radio programs. The song is harmless, actually, but if you're highly emotional and prone to hyper-sensitivity over practically anything then you may have issues with the song. That same year Ray recorded "Juanita and the Kids" which skewered the I.R.S. and had fun with the decades long stormy relationship between the I.R.S. and the working class. In the song the I.R.S. is auditing Ray and it's revealed who makes up his family...much to the embarrassment and disgust of the Government workers (as seen in the music video).

Two years later, in 1993, Ray recorded "If 10% Is Good Enough For Jesus". This particular recording takes aim at the I.R.S. again by wondering why Uncle Sam can't just settle for 10% and leave everyone alone. It originally appeared on the CD titled Classic Ray Stevens which I feel a lot of people over-looked given it's unusual title. A lot of people, even today, when they see it listed on Amazon or Itunes assume that the CD is filled with previously recorded songs. The fact is all 10 songs were brand new at the time. The CD's title was a reference to the classical music design on the CD's cover.

Meanwhile, "If 10% Is Good Enough For Jesus" was re-recorded by Ray in 2008 and released as an Mp3 single. The re-recorded song would appear on Ray's 2010 CD, We The People. Around this same time Ray recorded "Sucking Sound" which spoofed the political climate and Ross Perot specifically. Originally available on the CD, Hurricane, the song would end up being among the 22 songs on 2010's We The People. You almost get the feeling that slowly but surely Ray was gravitating toward political humor by the middle of last decade but he wouldn't completely submerge himself in it until 2009's music video release of "We The People".

The latest on-line numbers for the "Obama Budget Plan" music video are 642,806. The so-called big speech from the President is suppose to occur on September 8th...this coming Thursday...where he unveils what some call a jobs plan. Obviously such a speech taking place in September 2011 means that all of his plans and policies of the last 2 and a half years never worked. We all knew this but there are a lot of people who would have you believe otherwise. Now he's going to put on a show on September 8th and all of us feel that he's going to blame Congress and but the blame on a lot of other people...curiously leaving himself out of the equation except when it comes to casting himself as the mediator-in-chief and creating a storyline where Congress is to blame for everything while he's sat helpless watching it from the sidelines. Without the speech having aired that's my theory of how everything will be spun.

There are a lot of other theories as to what he'll say on the 8th and how he'll attempt to emotionally manipulate practically any scenario and recite sob stories from a sob family from sobville, U.S.A. He's not above using people's misfortunes to bolster his own potential political fortunes...he's did such things before by using children and using the disabled to emotionally manipulate an outcome or to serve as human props on stage while he's spewing venom against who he sees as "filthy rich and greedy". So, frankly, this September speech from Obama isn't going to change people's opinions or change people's feelings or their mood. He'd have to be delusional to think otherwise...and maybe he is?!? I believe he feels that people are going to just overlook all of the laws and policies that he's set in place (how anyone can overlook Obama Care is beyond me!) but nevertheless he's going to hope that people set aside all of that which is why he's always ridiculing those who challenge the things he's said or done.

He wants people to think everybody who disagrees with his views are from another planet or aren't living in reality. The truth is Obama's not living in reality and I feel he wants people to shrug off the realities of unemployment and high anxieties and simply vote for him again on the promise that "we just need more time to get things done". Yeah...he needs more time alright...more time to damage the country with his radical, economically destructive policies.

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