First of all, if you're living in the United States, vote tomorrow. That's what's really important.
Now on to matters at hand. I was watching one of those "totally 80s" countdown shows on VH1 the other day, when I heard the Twisted Sister anthem, "We're Not Gonna Take It," start blaring. It was such a blast from the past, especially seeing lead singer Dee Snider all decked out in the band's drag-show-gone-wrong regalia. I never was much of a Twisted Sister fan myself, though several of my friends had a penchant for drawing the band's "TS" logo all over their notebooks when we were in junior high. Even so, there's something so wonderfully anti-establishment about "We're Not Gonna Take It" that it always manages to put a smile on my face.
Or so I thought. The "We're Not Gonna Take It" clip also included a "where are they now?" segment, which focused mostly on the comings and goings of Dee Snider since the heyday of Twisted Sister. Evidently--and perhaps this is news only to me, since I live in Indiana--he's a staunch Republican who's campaigned for Arnold "the Govinator" Schwarzenegger and other Republican candidates. I was shocked to hear this, not only because of the song's message (and here I'm reminded of the adage, "the politics of media texts aren't inscribed in media texts..."), but also because of Snider's resistance to the Parent's Music Resource Center or PMRC. For those of you who don't remember, the PMRC was founded in the mid-1980s by spouses of prominent US senators (then-Senator Al Gore's partner, Tipper, chief among them) who campaigned to censor "explicit" music. One of the more intriguing moments that I can recall from my adolescence is seeing images of Dee Snider emerging from the US Capitol after testifying on behalf of musicians opposed to the PMRC. Talk about dissonance.
I suppose it was naive of me to assume that Snider's resistance to media censorship would carry over into a more general, left-leaning politics. Beyond that, I'm also reminded of the fact that the PMRC was composed of both Republicans and Democrats, so I guess there should have been no reason for me to assume that Snider would have been a Democrat, anyway. I guess that all just goes to show how formal governmental politics and the politics of culture aren't always commensurable and how, conversely, they sometimes make strange bedfellows.