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Antony Blinken’s Wonk Rock is all a DC. Papa could dream
Antony Blinken’s Wonk Rock is everything a
The hastily thrown together portraits of Antony Blinken that various media published this weekend after US President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement that he would appoint his longtime adjutant foreign minister painted a fairly consistent picture: that of an urban, French-speaking professional diplomat; a loyal substitute and reserved team player; A moderator with a penchant for intervention and multilateralism In fact, only one incongruence stands out from his otherwise flawless references
Most Americans Probably Never Heard of Wonk Rock It’s a Native American subgenre and graciously restricted to Washington, Metropolitan Area The city that gave the world go-go, the local music that depends on the invocation and response of a predominantly black audience, also gave it this, perhaps the whitest music imaginable As the name suggests, Wonk Rock participants are morbid dweebs that haunt the myriad think tanks, media institutions, consulting firms and other government bastions of nerddom during the day.Wonk rockers gather at events like the annual Journopalooza, where they play bands with moaning names like Suspicious Package and beats workin ‘up and doing covers of songs that rocked when they were young sparkling-eyed wonklings
It may be humanizing that men who are able to craft the national media narrative, conduct domestic surveillance operations, and bomb campaigns in Libya still feel compelled to produce and share middle-aged guitar solos in their downtime, or like me you might find it bothersome Can world historical decisions really be made in a context of such utter lameness? Does the banality of wonk rock reflect the same everyday indifference that marks the life and death of millions in D? C Offices? One thing is certain, however: A wonk never really leaves his job behind. Although it may seem harmless, Wonk Rock is always informed by the wonk’s day job Under the funky bass lines and power chords, there is always a passion for a comprehensive data report, a finely crafted proposal for a directive, a pragmatic cross-party compromise
That is why I spent several hours last night – possibly more time than anyone but Blinken himself – listening to Blinken’s tape and trying to guess the future of that country’s foreign policy, like the artistic works of those in power elsewhere, they must be carefully analyzed The expected Foreign Secretary has two songs on Spotify under the name “ABlinken” (understood? “Abe Lincoln” ??) They are, as others have noted, surprisingly good. “Lip Service” is a bluesy, zeppelin-sounding jam that appears to be a describes failed carnal encounter while the acoustic ballad “Patience” gets wistful and in love I’m sorry to report that on both tracks it is easy to imagine US’s future shaper Power worldwide soulfully closes his eyes as he sings lyrics like “So give me the chance to let you feel what I feel / because my heart sighs” in a hoarse baritone
In the following I have highlighted selected texts from “Lip Service” and “Patience” as well as my interpretation of what they mean for the next four years of international relations
It wasn’t long before it was established that “lip service,” which on the surface appears to be a direct account of sexual rejection, actually tells the story of Blinken’s frustration with President Barack Obama, under whom he served as deputy Undersecretary Blinken, who is open to the intervention, was reportedly upset when Obama failed to keep his promise to intervene in Syria after the Bashar al-Assad regime crossed the “red line” with chemical weapons against civilians Just lip service from Obama talking about the red line?
“Patience” is more reflective than “lip service”, suggesting Blinken has rethought its passionate pro-interventionist stance. “Patience” came out the same year Blinken signed an open letter with a number of other foreign policy wonks, calling for an end to American support for the Obama-led Saudi bombing campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen.The campaign that Blinken supported quickly turned out to be a major humanitarian disaster. Will Blinken adopt this nuanced view of intervention in his new job?
It took me a while to figure this out, but on Jan. Or so it finally clicked: This line is about the South China Sea The desire to resolve the conflict in the South China Sea and the nine-dash line lies deep in the heart of every foreign policy wonk, expect Blinken to take a stand on the Spratly Islands as soon as he takes office
With Blinken set to take on one of the most powerful and challenging jobs in the world, we may not get much more from ABlinken, but if the journey resumes after the coronavirus, there may be an opportunity to take the show on a tour of what could be more do to promote the idea of America as a basically benevolent, dorky power than get the Secretary of State to serenade foreign leaders? Like former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin’s penchant for breaking into “Love Me Tender” on international occasions, this could be soft power in its softest form
World News – FI – Antony Blinkens Wonk Rock is all a DC. Papa could dream