What do you do when you’re a has-been band that needs to wear weird headgear for people to recognize you? If you’re Devo you sell out by doing Swiffer Wet Jet commercials. And when that’s done you insult Sarah Palin. Devo has long talked about the theory of “de-evolution”, and in a recent interview they state that Sarah Palin’s popularity is proof of that theory.
One wonders what “evolved” humans like Devo believe. Perhaps in their world it’s okay when the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Management and Budget, and the U.S. Department of Treasury report soaring deficits. Our national debt isn’t going to be the end of us—it’s just “evolving.” Likewise, universal truths and rights aren’t enshrined in the Constitution; it too “evolves,” (preferably to a New Wave soundtrack).
Spinner magazine’s Mike Doherty must really like Devo, because the tried-and-true method for any liberal past their prime is to screech about the conservative target de rigueur. Searching for relevance? Today’s target is Sarah Palin. Asked about Palin’s bus tour, Devo’s Gerald Casale replied:
Say no more. We rest our case. We’ve often said this, but if somebody in 1980 with a crystal ball had showed you the world in 2011, you would have thought it was a cheap, B-movie sci-fi dystopia that would in fact never happen, and dismissed it. Now it’s here, in all of its horror. You talk about stupid, you can’t beat Sarah Palin!
Sarah Palin travels around the United States, speaking extemporaneously on a number of public policy issues. She does so, knowing that the media is recording every word—waiting for her to slip up—so that they can push the perception of her as a dolt through yet another news cycle. Devo? They have “Whip It” on constant rotation for friendly audiences looking to relive the 80’s, if only for a few hours. And why wouldn’t they? The 80’s were a great time. Ronald Reagan was busy getting the economy back on track, winning the Cold War, and rebuilding the military so it could be prepared for the wars of the 21st century. Critics called him stupid too—and then the Berlin Wall came down.
According to Devo, human evolution peaked, “right after the A-bomb, a last hurrah.” That’s interesting, considering some of the gems that took place in the decades that followed. I’d ask Devo if they thought the Great Society and the “War on Poverty” were the marks of enlightened men, or if they just contributed to burning down the house?
Everyone knows who Sarah Palin is. Devo? They’re lucky if someone confuses them with The Talking Heads, which is why they’re relegated to taking pot shots at her in online Canadian magazines.
Good luck on that new album, guys. If you want some exposure maybe you should consider opening up for Sarah Palin.