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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    A playlist for the 99 (and the 1) percent: Songs inspired by Occupy Tucson

    Inspired by the Arab Spring demonstrations, including the widely publicized protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the Occupy Wall Street movement against economic inequality started in mid-September and has now spread to more than 100 cities in the United States alone. In honor of the Occupy Wall Street movement hitting Tucson, the Arts & Life staff has selected six songs with tracks for both the 1 and the 99 percent to serve as a possible soundtrack for the demands.

    Songs for the 99 percent

    For those more sympathetic to the occupiers:

    “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy feat. Bruno Mars

    An ode to getting rich and helping out those around you, McCoy, with the help of the smooth stylings of Bruno Mars, sings about adopting babies like Angelina and Brad Pitt and helping out people better than FEMA: “I’ll probably take whatever’s left and just split it up / So everybody that I love can have a couple bucks / And not a single tummy around me would know what hungry was.”

    Surely there are a couple of occupiers that wouldn’t mind Travie giving the 99-ers a couple of extra dollars.

    “Dollars and Cents” by Radiohead

    A perfect metaphor for the dollar, cents, euro or whatever oppressive force that represents the “man” pushing down the working class, “Dollars and Cents” works well to represent the conflict seen in the protests today.

    “Quiet down? / Why won’t you quiet down? / We are the dollars and cents, the pounds and pence” is a rallying cry against the suits (and their failure to understand the power of the people) — one that the occupiers surely wouldn’t be against taking up now.

    “Spaceship” by Kanye West feat. GLC and Consequence

    With the first line of the song starting with “Workin’ this grave shift and I ain’t made shit” is about how people feel in the midst of what could be a double-dip recession. Although the verses by GLC and Consequence belittle the point a little (I mean, are the people on Wall Street really haters? Depends on how you look at it, I guess), there’s nothing wrong with daydreaming about buying a spaceship to get out of current dire straits. No one would blame someone in the 99 from that.

    “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits

    From the perspective of a blue-collar worker in the hardware department of a home appliance store, the lyrics of Mark Knopfler echo the thoughts of many who think the grass is greener on the other side.

    “Now look at them yo-yos / That’ s the way you do it / You play the guitar on the MTV / That ain’t workin’ / That’s the way you do it / Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free.”

    Sounds like high times when the living was easy to the 99 percent, at least in the good ol’ days before bank bailouts and staggering unemployment rates in the new millennium.

    Songs for the 1 percent

    And if you are really sympathetic to the big guys on Wall Street, here’s a couple for you too:

    “Mo Money Mo Problems” by The Notorious B.I.G.

    The iconic chorus says it all: “I don’t know what they want from me / It’s like the more money we come across the more problems we see.” Being bigger than the city lights down in Times Square has got to be a lot of pressure, so maybe it’s OK to give the big guys a break because as Diddy (or, back then, Puff Daddy) said, the rich have a “bag a money much longer than yours / and a team much stronger than yours” … or at least so they think.

    “Why Don’t You Get a Job?” by The Offspring

    It’s easy to see why the 1 percent might say something like this: “I guess it ain’t easy doing nothing at all, oh yeah / But hey man, free rides just don’t come along every day,” or like this, “I won’t pay, I won’t pay ya, no way / na-na, why don’t you get a job?”

    Now sometimes it sounds good getting more dinero just to stay at home, but for the 1 percent, there’s nothing better than being able to tell a complaining 99 percent-er: Get a job.

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