In Thatcher, a Bounty of Fodder for Art and Song ; from '80S Political Rock to Current Theater, an Icon Both Divisive and Rousing

By Schuessler, Jennifer | International Herald Tribune, April 11, 2013 | Go to article overview

In Thatcher, a Bounty of Fodder for Art and Song ; from '80S Political Rock to Current Theater, an Icon Both Divisive and Rousing


Schuessler, Jennifer, International Herald Tribune


From '80s political rock to a current theater, Margaret Thatcher was an icon who was both divisive and rousing.

"The lady's not for turning," Margaret Thatcher famously said in an early speech. But almost from the moment she moved into 10 Downing Street in 1979, Mrs. Thatcher, who died Monday at 87, was most definitely for filming, recording and generally excoriating by British artists and writers who saw a rich target in her stiff- necked conservative politics and stiffer coiffure.

From the beginning, some of the toughest depictions came from musicians. Opposition to her free-market ideology infused albums like Gang of Four's 1979 "Entertainment!" and, in the same year, the Clash EP "Cost of Living," the cover of which Joe Strummer reportedly wanted to include a collage featuring Mrs. Thatcher's face and a swastika. Robyn Hitchcock, in the song "Brenda's Iron Sledge" (1981), imagined Thatcher's Britain as a surreal dog-sled ride to hell. The Beat's "Stand Down Margaret" (1980) called on her to resign. In 1985 Billy Bragg, Paul Weller, Kirsty McColl and other musicians founded Red Wedge, a collective aimed at forcing her to do just that.

When that effort failed, some turned to dark fantasies. In "Margaret on the Guillotine" (1988), Morrissey trilled "People like you/Make me feel so tired/When will you die?" Elvis Costello, in "Tramp the Dirt Down" (1989), promised "When they finally put you in the ground/I'll stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down."

Literary depictions were hardly kinder. The Thatcher-era ethos was skewered in novels like Martin Amis's "Money," Jonathan Coe's "What a Carve-Up!" and Salman Rushdie's "Satanic Verses" (where she was mocked as "Mrs. Torture"). Other writers took more direct aim at the lady herself. Angela Carter once mocked her "braying tones." In Alan Hollinghurst's 2004 novel, "The Line of Beauty," she shows up at an upper-class country-house party "looking like a country and western singer."

Sometimes she hit back. In his memoir, "Hitch 22," Christopher Hitchens (who once called himself "sexually but not politically" attracted to her) gleefully recalled the time he invited her to spank him with her parliamentary-order papers after a fight about Rhodesia/Zimbabwe policy. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

In Thatcher, a Bounty of Fodder for Art and Song ; from '80S Political Rock to Current Theater, an Icon Both Divisive and Rousing
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.