The times have a-changed. This generation's Bob Dylans, Joan Baezes, and Ramblin' Jack Elliotts aren't gathering in locales like New York's legendary Washington Square Park to swap chords and licks. They're busily congregating in the gigantic public park that is the Internet, via social media.
And, as a recent video makes clear, YouTube, Facebook, and other such sites seem also to be taking the place of street corners or truck beds when it comes to providing a stage for budding protest singers and their songs.
Forest Gibson and Zachary Cohn's "The Day the LOLcats Died" (embedded below) is certainly not the first Internet protest song, or even the first anti-SOPA tune to wend its way across the Web. ("Firewall" and "SOPA Cabana" are but two other anti-antipiracy screeds that have come before--with "Cabana" even suggesting Dylan and his "Subterranean Homesick Blues" via handwritten lyrics on cards).
But the presentation and form of "LOLCats" call to mind, in a way these other tunes don't, the stereotypical image of the protest singer: a lone soul busily killing fascists with his or her acoustic machine.… Read more