I was going to resist a post on the success of the internet campaign to get ‘Killing in the Name’ by Rage Against The Machine to the coveted Christmas number one spot in the charts. However, I do want to quickly direct readers to the excellent blog Marxist Theory of Art, which today carries a great analysis of the small victory for the counter-culture.
Is ‘The Climb’ art? Of course. But it is art degraded by its submission to commercialism. Almost every aspect of such art — lyrics, music, singer, performance, cover art, distribution, etc — is determined by its ability to generate profit for the bourgeoisie. Whereas ‘Killing in the Name’ is an outburst of sincere human emotion, ‘The Climb’ is kitsch: the mass reproduction of cheap, pre-packaged emotions.