‘Merka Party: 4th of July Playlist

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In the United States of America today, “patriotism” is a volatile term, as Americans have begun to realize that the word – along with “freedom” – has been hijacked and grotesquely manipulated by political interests. In the ever-intensifying world around us, what it means to be American is in a state of endless fluctuation in 2015. Does true patriotism call for singularly celebrating the high points of American history and our greatest accomplishments, or is there a greater calling in the spirit of love for country, to question the most transformative decisions and legislation of our generation by a government increasingly seen as a menace to its own citizens?

These are tough questions, ones which have begun to bleed into our casual reading, our entertainment. In times like these, a song like Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World” or Rage Against The Machine’s “Freedom” takes on a particularly heavy new poignance and urgency – and you can stay the hell out of it, Donald Trump. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the party, now does it? 

We’ve sung of sea to shining sea and star spangled splendor for hundreds of years, but pop culture has added a grotesque level of cheese to our anthems of national celebration in recent years. That version of ‘Merka can keep their cheap Lenny Kravitz cover songs and vapid Miley Cyrus party anthems, high on the idea that pop culture is the only kind of culture they’re ever going to have. To celebrate true independence on this 4th of July, to push the envelope on awareness and honesty amidst the party ruckus, we’ve compiled a playlist of songs that both celebrate the undying fire of American patriotism as well as those who would push to improve upon it by asking the tough questions. Where else will you see Rage Against The Machine alongside Peter, Paul and Mary?!

As we celebrate another Independence Day, enjoy this 4th of July Playlist with a side order of food for thought.