News that doll-voiced Velvet, Moe Tucker, spoke to a TV reporter at a Tea Party rally took many people by surprise when her identity was confirmed. Since it’s so rare that a figure (even a fairly obscure one) from 1960’s counter culture comes out as an angry spokesperson aligned with the political right it caused a bit of an uproar. Tucker has finally spoken out about the whole thing, telling the St. Louis Riverfront Times she’s “amazed” at the reactions.
She also makes it very clear she is no Palin or Bush supporter, nor affiliated with the local Tea Party — just that the rally was “within striking distance and I wanted to be counted,” she says. What about her angrily railing against socialism?
“I am not oblivious to the plight of the poor, but I don’t see any reason/sense to the idea that everyone has to have everything, especially when the economy is so bad,” she explains very reasonably. “My family was damn poor when I was growing up on Long Island. There were no food stamps, no Medicaid, no welfare. If you were poor, you were poor,” she goes on, before descending into a bit of madness. You didn’t have a TV, you didn’t have five pairs of shoes, you didn’t have Levi’s, you didn’t have a phone; you ate Spam….”
Now I’m sure that was all said for emphasis and I think most people would agree with the implied sentiment that taxpayer money funding poor people to buy five pairs of shoes is not tax dollars well spent. But the extension of the argument is folly. What shall we do — Go back to the no phone, spam eating good old days? If you want a Mad Max style apocalypse on your hands that might be fun, but otherwise, people need basic things to contribute to society — for the good of all. They don’t need five pairs of shoes, but they do need phones and some measure of healthcare. And steady diet of spam is a quick way to drain tax payer dollars on emergency room visits full of people with goiters so huge that they have to be given names like Kuato.
Tucker’s stated political posture is comfortably in vogue. “My philosophy was and is all politicians are liars, bums and cheats,” she declares, favoring none. “I make decisions on an issue by issue basis. I’m far more of an independent than a conservative or liberal. I don’t agree with all of either side, and I think anyone who claims to is either a fool or a damn liar.”
Ever a bad ass, you must admire her candor. But what’s with getting all fired up suddenly after eight years of an administration drumming up excuses to drain our coffers on a war we didn’t need to fight in Iraq, while not properly funding one in Afghanistan? Providing huge tax incentives to corporations that dump Americans jobs overseas? And gutting this precious money surplus while giving tax breaks to the wealthiest people? Obama has been in office for like as long as the unedited version of the Velvet Underground’s “Sister Ray,” a long time, yet nothing compared to the length of time that it took the prior administration to blow it every chance they got and lead us into this fiscal squalor in the first place.
Tucker is certainly more reasoned than many of the Tea Baggers she is aligned with, but there remain plenty of absurdities in her sudden political activism. Read all of Tucker’s comments, right, center, and left field here.