I hate Paul Ryan’s iPod. No, not Paul Ryan, although I don’t necessarily agree with his stance on women’s rights and gay rights, his association with the Tea Party, or his allegiance to Ayn Rand’s belief in rational egoism. My hatred lies solely with Ryan’s iPod. In some kind of misguided political talking point, Ryan and the Republican Party have made it a point that we all know that Mr. P90X owns an iPod (and somehow, this means he’s the young/hip counter balance to straight man Mitt Romney).
TIME Magazine’s recent release of a photo shoot taken with Paul Ryan lifting weights caused a little bit of commotion in the media and a lot of ridicule on the internet. When asked why a vice presidential candidate would be caught wearing a baseball hat backwards, the Romney camp responded that they wanted to make sure Ryan’s earbuds were a focal point of the photos. The result is quite possibly the douchiest image ever captured on film.
But my hatred of Paul Ryan’s iPod isn’t even based on the Republican think tank’s use of white ear buds as a symbol of youthfulness. What bothers me is the mysterious contents of the famed iPod. Not much is known about what exactly is on Ryan’s playlist other than what was said at his RNC speech:
“We’re a full generation apart, Governor Romney and I. And, in some ways, we’re a little different. There are the songs on his iPod, which I’ve heard on the campaign bus and on many hotel elevators. He actually urged me to play some of these songs at campaign rallies. I said, I hope it’s not a deal-breaker Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC, and ends with Zeppelin.”
Guess what? There are people who have actually bought into this tactic. Check here, here, or here and you’ll see that American’s are not all as keen to manipulation as you might expect. This one statement is the sole fire that burns at the core of my annoyance with this strategy. Here are my top three reasons why I hate this quote, and more importantly, his iPod:
1. A to….L?
I understand what he was going for with the whole “AC/DC to Zeppelin” line, but it technically doesn’t float. The band’s full name, of course, is Led Zeppelin which would mean that Ryan’s iPod only contains bands between the letters A to L. This means that Mr. Rock N’ Roll senator himself doesn’t own any Metallica, Nirvana, Ozzy Osbourne, Pink Floyd, Rage Against the Machine, Slayer, Tool, U2, Van Halen, The Who, X, Yes, or ZZ Top (let’s at least hope he has some Black Sabbath or else he’s a hopeless case).
2. Hotel Elevators?
While this comment was intended to reflect the fresh face of Paul Ryan by comparing his music to Romney’s love of elevator music, the two bands he chose to represent his hip playlist are both over 30 years old. This is hardly the progressive image that was intended with his statement. Don’t get me wrong, Romney is the wet towel who said his favorite song is “America the Beautiful” and his favorite comedians are Laurel and Hardy, The Three Stooges, and The Keystone Kops. Then again, comparing your taste in music and comedy with Romney is like trying to compare The Sex Pistols to Green Day. Ryan’s choicest selections are both more ancient than Reaganomics for Christ’s sake (Side note: If he listens to post-Bon Scott era AC/DC, he’s dead to me).
Speaking of elevator music:
3. Buy American?
Of the two bands listed, neither is an American band. Not that it matters, but for a guy who touts that we should “Buy American” and bring jobs back to the USA, you’d think his staff would have the foresight to use a couple of homegrown acts to represent his alphabetical breadth. Aerosmith to ZZ Top didn’t roll off the tongue easy enough? How about Anthrax to Zappa? Instead, we get an Australian act and a group of Brits.
I guess we can hold out hope that if elected, Ryan limits his outsourcing to his iPod.