From the pages of

All That Glitters is Not Gold
by Martin Lewis
(First published October 11, 2000)

A few months ago, Hillary Clinton was the target of a sustained attack by conservative Fox News TV host Sean Hannity over a seemingly innocuous incident in which a lowly campaign worker chose an obscure Billy Joel album track ("Captain Jack") with a slightly salacious lyric as part of the warm-up music played at her formal candidacy announcement.

The tenacious Hannity - who is like Rush Limbaugh without the charm and reserve - harangued Clinton for "allowing" the song to be used - and the deplorable message it sent to children.

One wonders what Hannity will have to say about the choice of a tune now playing on a regular basis at campaign rallies for George W. Bush. The lyrics - such as they are - are certainly innocuous. But the artist whose singing is used to stoke up the faithful is a man recently convicted of downloading child pornography from the Internet.

In every other respect one would have nothing but admiration for the Bush campaign's selection of "Rock & Roll Part Two" by Gary Glitter as a rabble-rousing tune. It not only kick-started the fledgling glam-rock movement of the early 70's - which helped the young David Bowie find his chart feet - but it also became a staple at American sports stadiums. (Covering several of Glitter's kitsch anthems also gave Joan Jett her only hits with more than two chords.)

But three years ago the hapless Glitter saw his 25-year career (well 3 year career and 22-year nostalgic afterlife) disintegrate when his personal computer crashed. The local cyber-store to which he took his PC to found some distinctly non-PC images on his hard drive. Over four thousand sexually explicit photos of very young boys and girls.

The British were not amused. After the computer crash it was Glitter's career that crashed and his music has been stricken from public life ever since.

Whether the Bush campaign is blissfully ignorant of this fact (in accordance with its official policy on most foreign dignitaries) or perhaps displaying true compassion - is helping a pioneering glam-rocker convicted of possessing kiddie-porn getting back on his feet - we just don't know.

But this commentator is starting to sense the great cultural and spiritual benefits that might accrue to us with a Bush victory.

Instead of boring old Fleetwood Mac playing at the Clinton inauguration or presumably Crosby, Stills & Parole Officer at a Gore inaugural - just imagine the Bush coronation in January.

"Ladies and gentlemen! Direct from London's Wormwood Scrubs Prison - please welcome the spirit of the new Bush frontier.... a reformed devotee of child pornography.... a reformee with results.... Like our new President - he's Born-Again - it's GARY GLITTER!

"Rock and roll, rock and roll - HEY! Rock and Roll!" (repeat ad infinitum)

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