Tuesday, February 15, 2011

See Mo’ Green

The 53rd Grammy Awards, broadcast last Sunday on CBS, featured more than the best and brightest musical artists of our time. Today’s performers mean to do more than entertain. Sounds like they want to teach.

More and more musicians seem to be tapping into our present zeitgeist. Music and lyrics now heard across all musical platforms transcend the visceral. Pop has gone cerebral.

So da rappers have gone political on us?

Just look at this year’s Grammy winners and decide for yourself. President Obama could not have asked for a better opening act to his budget proposal this week.

Lady Antebellum, who brought both shock and awe to the Grammy’s this year, won big for their song, “Need you now.” Equally showing shock and awe the president this week proposed his $3.7 trillion budget for 2012. The leadership from both political parties rained down criticism. Obama is going to need, at the very least, the help from his own Democratic Party.

President George W. Bush shocked us in 2002 by proposing a $2 trillion dollar budget. The trillion-dollar marker was first crossed back in 1967. It would not take another thirty years to add another trillion. Obama crossed into $3 trillion just six years later. Combined with historically high deficits today’s outrageous budget numbers make Lady Gaga look down right dull.

President Obama and his budget team are attempting to pass off these record deficits and debt by assuring us we were just “Born This Way.”

Strangely, the Republicans seem to be channeling Eminem. His most recent effort “Recovery” was the top selling album of 2010. The same could be said of the Republican Party. Aided by the Tea Party, Republicans have recovered their majority of the House of Representatives.

With their newfound confidence Republicans are “Not Afraid” to take a stand against the president and his “monsters.” Resurrecting memories from the Carter administration, House Speaker Boehner can be heard crying out, “Holla if you feel that you’ve been down the same road.”

The Grammy artist who seems to have touched closest to our nerves, however, is singer-songwriter Cee Lo Green. Some might remember him as vocalist of Gnarls Barkley and the smash hit “Crazy.” We were singing that song just as the unknown Barack Obama was deciding to run for president four years ago.

Today Cee Lo Green is singing a different tune.

He is no longer crazy. He is angry. The new normal is unacceptable.

His monster hit can be song in many different ways. Even Gwyneth Paltrow covered it during an episode of “Glee.” Cee Lo Green’s “Lady Killer” lyrics reflect the angst of our age.

President Obama is singing about mo’ green. You can understand if our first reaction is “Forget you.”


  1. I can't believe that Obama proposed a budget of almost 4 trillion dollars! In times like these, we need to focus on reducing our budget rather than expanding it farther than ever before. It Obama does not start to seriously take America's deficit of 12 trillion (and growing) into account, it will be a definite that America will "forget Obama" in the next election and turn to a new president (probably Republican who promises to better control our spending.

  2. I agree that it is ridiculous that Obama proposed a budget SO high. It makes Bush look good with his 2 trillion dollar budget proposal. I also agree that artists are starting to incorporate their music with subtle hints at what to do with our country. Like the ones mentioned above also Will.I.Am at the super bowl dedicated a whole line of his song "Where is the Love" to Obama..."In America we need to get things straight / Obama, let's get these kids educated / Create jobs so the country stays stimulated."Obviously people/artists want to be heard about their ideas and music is a good way to get those ideas through to the public. I think that Obama should start listening to the people because digging up in to a deeper deficit definitely does not sound like the right call.

  3. The 3 trillion dollars budget is very surprising. Maybe, Obama wants to put into effect many of the areas that he supports such as the health care bill. Maybe he is confident that more and more jobs will be created. Either way, it is a great shocker. With this budget, the national debt will keep growing. Right now, even though U.S. is suppose to have been out of the recession but the availability of jobs are still not back up. So many people still have no jobs. I find it unlikely that the Republicans will be okay with this. I think there will be some sort of a compromise in the numbers. Even with the democrats support, I think this will be hard on Obama to get it approved.

  4. 3 trillion dollars is an alarming figure as far as budgeting goes. Although the Bush tax cuts have been extended, the Government relies on one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world to help balance the budget. With the massive budget in place I don't see how the Obama administration could risk lowering the business tax rate and thus the US will continue losing industry to foreign countries. Furthermore, increased taxes to compensate for the budget will discourage investment. This causes an even greater cause of concern for the prevention of job creation. With the republican take-over of the House, the budget is in jeopardy.
    As far as the musicians go, they should probably just stick to music.

  5. i was under the impression that we were in a recession so i dont know where Obama has been because i think your supposed to watch your spending in times like these. i think he is asking too much of our country and needs to be realistic about the situation.

    jenna przybyla
    4th period

  6. Like everyone else, the proposed 3 trillion dollars budget is shocking and alarming. It's scary to think that our generation is going to have to be the one's to deal with this massive and ever growing deficit. At times, it seems as though those running our country are not in the same situation as the rest of the country. It is interesting to see that musicians are starting to take action and speak up for the everyday American. Many of these stars make unimaginable amounts of money, yet they see the importance of creating change and helping the average person who may otherwise not have a voice.

    Erica Loken
    Conneen- 1st Period

  7. This amount of money is alarming for the fact that over the next couple of years we will see our currency decrease in value. The norm people were used to in their daily expenditures will change significantly and take a long time to find solutions to.

    Max Kozak
    Conneen- 7th perioed

  8. If President Obama and his budget are trying to pull a we were “Born This Way,” he has a long way to go before being reelected once more. Honestly, if American's were "born this way" is he trying to imply that all Americans are stupid and wasteful. But then again, we are taking things out of context, and I would like to see the actual sentence from that. Also, 3 trillion dollars... Is Obama insane? America doesn't have that kind of reckless money to spend... Bipartisanship in the government is the best thing that has come out of Obama's presidency so far...

  9. a 3 trillion dollar budget is staggering. I learned in my macro class that if the Federal Government is spending that much money, then the "crowding out effect" will occur. This means that when the government spends so much money, that there is not a lot left for consumers and corporations in the money supply, increasing the demand for money and causing interest rates to rise. All that will do is discourage people and firms from investing money which is the exact opposite of what we need to get us out of this recession

  10. Obama may not have been thinking straight, or his judgment may have been somewhat impaired, but too many people hatin' on him. I think Obama is the s***. 3 trillion, 2 trillion, 5 trillion, whatever it is, at least he's got some kind of confidence (kinda) to say that out loud in public. 3 trillion, or whatever he's proposing, is a lot to gamble with, and I'd like to see politicians who really are somewhat confident/bold. Better than sitting back and have no changes to expect the economy to bounce back or alleviate. As long as what he does is better than what we had before he got here, I'd be happy

  11. When it comes to managing my own finances, my view has always been to spend less than what I make. It’s common sense right? I have never been able to understand why America, the richest country in the world, has debt. Maybe some day it will make more sense, but I think the U.S.’s budget deficit is mind-boggling. Although I do realize that the U.S. has a lot of expenses, I think the government should be more careful with our money and not just spend like crazy. I am a big Obama fan, but I think government spending is getting a little out of hand.

    Scott Siegel
    Conneen - Period 7

  12. For "The richest country in the world" we sure are quite a bit in the red. I believe the government needs to face facts and propose a way to reverse the debt trend rather than impose budgets that merely slow it down. Of course, such a ridiculous amount of money can't be paid back overnight, but a strict limit on government spending coupled with some strategic taxation may serve to help diminish the deficit.

    Mike Wilner
    Conneen p. 7

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  14. It makes absolutely no sense to me why our president, who we elected to help get us out of our economic problem, is finding more ways to hurt our economy. He seems to be focusing way too long term, to "help" our economy when the problem is currently going on. Obviously everyone has their own opinions on their political parties, however they shouldn't be so "shocked" when the president doesn't always accomplish what he claims he will in his campaign speeches. They do what they do to get elected, similar to artists singing what they need to do in order to win a Grammy.

    Nikki Penherski
    Conneen Period-4

  15. On a different note, I think it's interesting how the most popular music is related to what's going on around us. Instead of music lyrics being degrading or inappropriate, it's shifted to a sense of urgency, hope, and just simply throwing out our worries- "need you now", "not afraid', and "forget you". To quickly discuss our budget, clearly we're on complete debt and seems like we'll never get out of it. I think we need to take a step back and see what our money is actually going towards. They're many programs that are being funded that don't need the money. By cutting money, we'll end up saving in the long run. (of course, making products more environmentally friendly will definitely help...but I'm biased towards that.)

    Mallory Rasky
    Conneen Period-7

  16. maybe, obamas right. much thought goes into serious propositions such as his three point seven trillion dollar budget for 2012. and it's true what they say, you must give to gain.

    brian m. kim
    period 1