A few mornings ago when I was pre-coffee the first song I heard was Elvis’s Blue Christmas. It was the studio version with the psychedelic background vocals. They sounded like fairies that enjoyed just a bit too much of their own dust. I liked the melody so much I immediately started writing this blog post in my head.
While thinking about how much I liked the tune I noticed something. A strong dose of cognitive dissonance. My conscious mind presented thoughts of disgust with the racist whiteness that Elvis has come to embody for some. Cracker was the first word that came to my mind. But somehow I still love the voice of Elvis.
“Elvis was a hero to most / But he never meant shit to me / Straight up racist that sucker was simple and plain / Motherfuck him and John Wayne / Cause I’m black and I’m proud. / I’m ready and hyped plus I’m amped / Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps.”
Fight the Power, Public Enemy
Ya gota take the icons of race seriously. In this context it doesn’t really matter what kind of person Elvis was or for that matter Chuck D. What is relevant many years on is the lasting images that pop icons leave behind. To be truthful the icons themselves don’t contribute every part of their image. Many fans actions help to create what their idols stand for. We all have to be peace and place our adoration with care.
Elvis unplugged doing Blue Christmas
Full video for Public Enemy’s Fight the Power