February 12, 2008

Beat of the Week (2-12-2008)

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Super Tuesday was the first big leap into the election fray, and things should cool down for a little while in the national arena before the next round of important primaries hits in March. However, if you were planning on enjoying a few weeks of peace and quiet, think again.

Cornell’s Student Assembly will be holding their elections in two weeks time, so don’t be surprised when someone on Ho Plaza hands you a piece of candy and a quarter card that says “STEVE SUPPORTS SUSTAINABILITY. VOTE FOR STEVE!!!” Oy.

There might be no more obnoxious a form of electoral politics than the kind that takes place during student elections. I like to imagine that’s what Radiohead are thinking of when they perform the song “Electioneering,” off of their genre-redefining late-nineties prog-rock masterpiece OK Computer. Ominous rattling and eerie “ooooOOOHs” start things off, before Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead’s resident new-school virtuoso) begins tearing it up on his electric guitar.

Quick, heavy drum beats and a nasty bass line kick in as the band sets the proverbial fire underneath politicos the world over. Can you feel the rhythm? CAN YOU FEEL THE HEAT?

By the time Thom Yorke starts singing “I will stop/I Will stop at nothing,” you don’t even care that you can’t make out a single word that’s coming out of his mouth.

After three-and-a-half incendiary minutes, the song’s final refrain is a warning to voters in elections big and small. “I go forwards/You go backwards/And somewhere we will meet.” How ’bout we try not to step too far back this time, guys?