Best song on the album.matedog wrote:I don't know, I understand why they did it. It seems kinda petty for a bunch of rich kids whining about cops being "not too smart", especially after 9/11. Catchy song though.
And, while the NYPD certainly showed its best on 9/11, this is still the force that systematically terrorizes and oppresses minorities, the poor and the otherwise marginalized with a vindictive glee in a regular and pervasive fashion. And, yeah, most cops are pretty fuckin' dumb.
It was an early example of ceding cultural ground to the post-9/11 power and authority worshippers. It bugged the shit out of me then and time hasn't made the decision seem less weak. It's worth remembering this in the context of the time, when any criticism of state power and institutions was met with extreme hostility (I remember being literally attacked by schoolmates for being insufficiently pro-War and pro-America around this time), and the Strokes deleting that song from their LP for the U.S. release was a signal that pop culture was going to go right along with the mindless power worship that was running rampant at the time. The first cultural artifact that offered any kind of pushback against the forces of fear and endless war that I remember having access to was Anti-Flag's Mobilize LP - released in early 2002 - and I can remember the sense of overwhelming relief that accompanied picking it up. There were other voices out there! I think the Strokes, even if their own song was slight on the political commentary and not specifically about 9/11, could have created a space earlier on for alternative viewpoints to start finding their way into the larger cultural dialogue. Instead, they were on the vanguard of an extreme wave of self-censorship in our post-9/11 society that remained the dominant sentiment for a long, long time and did, I think, a lot of damage to this country and to many others, both in a physical and existential sense.
Also, as a post-script, usually forgotten is the fact that the Strokes changed the original album art for the U.S. release after they became worried that they'd get pushback for it being too sexually explicit. So, cave-ins to the Authority Worshippers and the Moral Majority crowd. Very, very lame.
Addendum: For the historical record, my recollection is that the lead track off Mobilize - "911 for Peace" - was actually released as a free digital download prior to the release of the album, sometime in late 2001 I believe.