Neocon Artists

Neocon Artists

Neocon Artists

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
Aug. 10 2005 6:00 PM

Neocon Artists

Bloggers are singing the praises and questioning the motives of the Rolling Stones' new anti-neocon song. A judge's decision to uphold Michael Ovitz's fat severance package from Disney is also a hot topic, as is the arrest of parents who supervise parties for their teens.

Neocon artists: The usually apolitical Rolling Stones take a shot at the Bush administration in "Sweet Neo Con," an anti-war song on their upcoming album. "How come you're so wrong, my sweet neocon?" sings Mick Jagger in the refrain, according to the Daily News. "You call yourself a Christian, I call you a hypocrite/You call yourself a patriot. Well, I think you are full of s---!"

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But to many bloggers, it's the Stones who are full of it. Says D.C. gossip maven Wonkette: "Clearly a somewhat desperate move to remain relevant, it's at least a year too late. ... Or perhaps we're being cynical. Maybe the song is a genuine artistic product that emerged out of writing what they know: a song by old white men about old white men."

Political Dogs' Dave, a conservative-leaning blogger and media-bias hound, is focusing on the media's case of the August blahs: "A woman is camped outside Bush's ranch. The Olding Stones have recorded an anti-Bush song. Hillary has an opponent - one the left thinks she can beat, easily. ... (The media are) not biased in any way," he writes, tongue-in-cheek. "To think they are biased is to buy into all that neo-con mind control crap, right?"

The Stones aren't known for their politics, but Chungking Express, a film and music blogger in Brooklyn, says there is some history here. "(U)nder the knighthoods, coke habits, bisexuality and children out of wedlock lies the band that wrote Street Fighting Man which became an anthem for the Paris riots. Radio can turn on them like they did the Dixie Chicks and the Stones won't give a damn, it'll only make them more rebellious looking."

Jerlayn Merritt at TalkLeft, reminisces about the '60s and laments the demise of the protest song: "Back then, Vietnam War protest songs on TV had to be disguised to get by the CBS censors because protest was not tolerated. ... Back then it was fear of Richard Nixon and the FCC. Today is is fear of the Neo Cons. The more things change the more they stay the same."

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Read more about the Rolling Stones.

Goofy verdict: Disney's $140 million severance package for Michael Ovitz did not breach the company's fiscal responsibilities to shareholders, even though he was terminated after just 14 months, a Delaware judge ruled Tuesday. The verdict will be appealed to the state supreme court.

The decision is considered a triumph for corporate boards of directors everywhere, although Disney's board was bloodied by the embarrassing trial. "The board members will not pay cash to reimburse the company for Ovitz payments ... but they have paid and will pay more," says Dale Oesterle's Business Law Prof Blog. "Their reputations have been permanently and publicly sullied. ... No, this was no victory for the defendants."

For an educated, technical read about the case, check out the Conglomerate Blog, which has convened a forum of law professors. In it, Sean Griffith, a professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law, opines pessimistically on whether boards will now behave in better faith: "(M)y prediction is that despite all of the talk about good faith, at the end of the day, it won't mean much."

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Incidentally, UCLA corporate law professor Stephen Bainbridge—who has his own blog and is also in the Conglomerate Blog forum—wonders how so many experts have already commented on the opinion so quickly: "Given that the opinion weighed in at 170+ pages, how could these experts possibly have read and digested it in time to provide informed commentary? Short answer: they're shooting from the hip."

Read more about Disney and Ovitz.

Keep your laws off my liquor: In an effort to prevent teenagers from drinking and driving, some parents are serving alcohol themselves to kids at supervised parties. One Rhode Island couple did it last year—collecting keys at the door—and got arrested for it.

This is insane, says Julian Sanchez on Reason's Hit and Run staff blog: "Especially appalling is that among the biggest supporters of multi-year jail sentences for these responsible parents are local MADD chapters. I suppose we have to chalk that up to professional jealousy: Given that it's pretty much inevitable that teens will drink somewhere, they're doing exponentially more to prevent drunk driving than the umpteenth Blood on the Asphalt knock-off public service announcement."

Likewise, Chicago blogger Mark Draughn at Windypundit offers a personal testimonial and takes the activists to task: "I'm shocked! Why would a driving safety group like MADD be acting like a bunch of old-time prohibitionists? … MADD has drifted far from their original goals."

Read more about the matter.