music as social action ::
Tim Heidecker is an actor, comedian, and musician. In addition to his comedy duo and roles in TV and film, he makes occasional recordings and tours. His music, in a variety of styles, also leans toward the comic but in a topical, social-messaging way. A year after President Trump's election, he released the album Too Dumb for Suicide: Tim Heidecker's Trump Songs.
This week, he rush-released a track online in response to the escalating legislation against abortion in many states throughout the country. (Many musicians have, if not yet rushed songs out about it, weighed in through social media etc. about the issue.) A simple song featuring strummed guitar and a basic verse structure (a good model for those planning to write a song for their final project!), "To the Men" addresses lawmakers who voted for the bills by narrating details of young women in the targeted states.
Hear the song here, and lyrics are here ...
Participation! "To the Men" is about women — but not specific women. Instead Heidecker writes his characters loosely as a kind of composite. Instead of telling an individual tale that names a victim and describes a subjective situation, he broadens the narrative and rounds the characters. How does this tactic contribute to or detract from his messaging? Which of our criteria does it serve, and for whom?