Ani Difranco – Self Evident

Difranco gets a lot off her mind in this 2002 poem of a song. It highlights the anger many artists felt about U.S. policy in the 2000s. It covers 9/11 and terrorism, abortion, energy policy, the media and technology, elections and more… all with a hate on for George W. Bush.

The scope is impressive, though could one wonder if the singer appreciates the depth of detail to be an authority on so much? It could be seen as a laundry list of political issues and areas many of us could be better informed about.

The style is similar to another Difranco song, Amendment.

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Midnight Oil – Blue Sky Mine

With the Keystone Pipeline in the US and the Northern Gateway/Enbridge Pipeline in Canada, both making many headlines in both countries, let’s turn back to Aussie political rockers Midnight Oil.

Protest songs about mines are common folk tune subjects, going back at least to Woody Guthrie.

This 1990 song is actually about asbestos mining. Asbestos is cancer-causing, and it rankles many that it is still exported in Canada. There is even a town in the province of Quebec named Asbestos, where is also located one of the world’s largest asbestos mines. Political debate frequently comes down to banning the extrication and exportation of this blue substance, but the trade off of foregoing the economic value of it has typically trumped such a decision.

The balance between jobs and health, or jobs and the environment, or jobs and safety or… and so on… is a routine political challenge.