George Michael gets political with new single
Out British singer George Michael admitted on Monday that his latest song--depicting British prime minister Tony Blair as a poodle to President Bush--is his most controversial career move to date. "Shoot the Dog," released in the United Kingdom on Monday, is a political satire in which the singer presents his views on the state of world affairs, taking a critical pop at the "special" relationship between Bush and Blair. "I'm fully aware that people don't really like their pop music and politics mixed these days," Michael said, describing himself as "truly a patriotic man." "Nevertheless, I have strong opinions about Britain's current situation, and I feel that in a time when public debate is being suppressed, even something as trivial as a pop song can be a good thing," the singer said in a statement.
The cartoon video sees Bush on the White House lawn petting a smiling poodle-shaped Blair and also depicts the two leaders dancing the tango, Blair in a flowing dress. The song, which was originally written before the September 11 attacks on the United States but shelved until now, is an attempt by Michael to get people thinking about what is happening in the world. "[It's] intended as a piece of political satire--no more, no less--and I hope that it will make people laugh and dance and then think a little, that's all," Michael said.
Michael told the London Daily Mirror that his inspiration came from watching late-night news on television. "I noticed a lot of stuff about the growing fear of a war between the secular world and the fundamentalist world," he told the tabloid newspaper. "The more I learned, the more fearful I became. And I simply wanted to write a song that said to everybody, 'People, let's be aware of this situation and understand that there are some very pissed-off people out there.' " The song's release is bound to spark controversy and, by the singer's own admission, could "make my experience with a certain policeman in Los Angeles look like a tea party." It was in 1998 that Michael was arrested in a Los Angeles rest room after exposing himself to a police officer.