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We Are the World.

Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Kenny Rogers, Bill Clinton, James Ingram, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, Dionne Warwick, Michael Bolton, children's choruses, adult choruses, and more, more, more: "We Are the World," An American Reunion (HBO, January 17). It may be that behind the great good feeling of this performance lies only propaganda, a fabulous sheen of communitarian self-recognition disguising a new government that means to leave the country as it found it. But as John F. Kennedy proved against his own will, or for that matter his thoughtfulessness, false promises can be taken up by those who only hear the tune and don't care about the copyright. If, as Robert Ray of the Vulgar Boatmen puts it, "The sound of Dylan's voice changed more people's ideas about the world than his political message did," then the same can be said of the sound of Kennedy's voice and his political acts. The same may prove true of Bill Clinton's demeanor and his political instinct--as opposed to his personal instinct--to pull back at the first sign of trouble. The double-hearted rule but do not govern; desires have been loosed in the air and there's no telling where they'll light.
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Author:Marcus, Greill
Publication:Artforum International
Article Type:Sound Recording Review
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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