Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Women Who Rock and/or Make History: The B-52s and Helen Thomas

March is Girl Women's History Month.

Fact: girls can do things too!

Fact: girls can't do rock and roll, or so one might conclude from the paucity of females inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (motto: "We've got Randy Newman!"). Real fact: girls can do rock and roll (some of them).

Since I am enjoying getting on my high horse (or getting high on horse), I'm going to double dip with a series of girl-on-girl posts. It's a combination of a female musical act (or a band with a female member [possibly more]) that merits* induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and a female who did something like bake a cake or killed a guy (Laura Bush killed a guy).

There are a couple of seminal punk and new wave bands that I erroneously thought were already inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The B-52s is one of those bands.

I feel like the band shouldn't need much introduction, but perhaps that's from being alive during the last 40 years and/or listening to music during that time. The band, whose distinctive sound relies considerably on the vocals of both Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson (I point this out because Wilson took a break from the band and her absence was noticeable [which is a polite way of calling it bad]).

The B-52s changed their name from The B-52's in 2008 (probably to make Erin happy). 

They are considered the greatest party band in the world, and they're a reminder that there's a place in rock musical for whimsy. Not a big place, mind you, but that's okay. I've seen them four times now, and they're an act worth seeing live, before one of them breaks a hip.

Helen Thomas is a pioneer for women in journalism. She was an ass-kicking journalist who forced her way into the all boys club of the Washington press corps.
 "Thomas, a fixture in American politics, is outspoken, blunt, demanding, forceful and unrelenting. Not only does she command respect by the highest powers in the US, her reputation is known worldwide." When Cuban leader Fidel Castro was asked in the early 2000s what was the difference between democracy in Cuba and democracy in the United States, Castro reportedly replied, "I don't have to answer questions from Helen Thomas."--Wikipedia
At a time when most of the Washington press corps had become fucking stenographers for the Bush administration, Helen Thomas challenged their actions. She called Bush the "worst president in American history" but then she died before Trump's inauguration.

Thomas had the audacity to question anything Israel did and thus is an antisemitic monster who must be forgotten. Why were those stupid Palestinians even living in that country to begin with? They're the ones who're wrong, thinking they deserved to keep their homes and be treated with dignity... that's just crazy talk. Israel is the best because, Bible.

* There is a wide spectrum of rock & roll gravitas for the artists included in the 31 I will include. I feel like a reasonable case can be made for each, and everyone one of these is at least as worthy as Randy Newman, 2103 inductee.

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