In the good old days, before Auto-Tune and marketing tactics destroyed rock-and-roll, it took talent to have a hit song.
Now, all you need is a big budget and the backing of a propaganda machine.
The federal government, which is required by the Constitution to protect U.S. states from invasion, is using a hit song to slow the flow of illegal immigrants across our southern border.
According to an article on The Daily Beast , the U.S. hired an advertising agency to come up with a song in Spanish that would discourage Central American residents from trying to sneak into the country.
As I wrote here in May, the U.S. is currently not doing a very good job at stopping illegal immigration. Federal agents are dropping some women and children they catch breaking the law off at bus stations and churches.
According to The Daily Beast article, "people throughout Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador call their local radio stations to request this song, a harrowing tale of violence and death set against the backdrop of Central America’s traditionally upbeat cumbia music."
The people requesting the song likely have no idea the U.S. government paid for it.
The song's title, "La Bestia," means "The Beast" in English and refers to a series of "death trains" that immigrants ride on top of to get within walking (or swimming) distance of the U.S.
Riding atop a moving train is very dangerous, of course, especially for the women and children that seem to make up the bulk of recent immigrants, so the song seems to have both humanitarian and pragmatic goals.
I can't find audio, but the lyrics allegedly include this line: "They call her the Beast from the South, this wretched train of death. With the devil in the boiler, whistles, roars, twists and turns."
"La Bestia" is part of a $1 million scare tactic created by U.S. Customs and Border Protection .
The "Danger Awareness Campaign" was awarded to Washington D.C. advertising agency Elevation and the song was written by Elevation creative director Rodolfo Hernandez.
As The Daily Beast tells us, "[Hernandez] then enlisted the help of New York City musician Carlo Nicolau to compose the music. Wedding and Bar Mitzvah singer /voice-over artist Eddie Ganz provided the vocals. And, voila! Propaganda is made."
Will the song be effective?
This isn't the U.S. government's first propaganda song, according to an old Associated Press article , which says an earlier tune, "The Biggest Enemy," contributed to a "steady decline in crossing deaths from a record high of 492 in 2005 to 390" in 2009.
I'll post audio of the song once I find it. Until then, enjoy some Los Lobos, which was probably created without taxpayer dollars.
Note: George is on vacation until July 23
More news I found on Monday's Interwebs:
- Anti-Obama parade float investigated by U.S. Department of Justice
- Pope: 2 percent of priests are pedophiles
- Insurance company spends $3 million to not pay $25,000 to replace wrecked Jeep (but loses and pays $18 million more in damages)
- German government may start using typewriters to stop NSA spying
- Small S.C. town rallies to save gay police chief's job
- Target security officer fired for reporting deputy shoplifting
- Man contracts deadliest form of plague from family dog