By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Red Bank had a tea party of its own on Sunday, although it was far from the pot-banging, Palin-esque affairs of recent vintage.
This one was a retort to the Tea Party movement, and leading the party was Linda Chorney, a politically involved Bostonian who assembled some of her closest friends and strangers to shoot a video for her song, “The Teabag Party,” at NovelTeas on Bridge Avenue Sunday.
Rather than scathing political criticism, this party took a lighthearted tone, with song lyrics such as, “Socialist/Communist/ We’re gonna teabag you while we do the twist.” Chorney has taken her music in a new direction since the Bush years: “I used to just watch cartoons. Now I just watch the news and cartoons.” (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)
Video extras sipped tea, made funny faces and did silly dances; they stomped their feet and clapped their hands; they flashed signs promoting peace and art. By the looks of it, the shoot was the most fun you could have with a teacup and camera.
But the video, featuring a song on her forthcoming record, was also a way for Chorney to air her grievances with the movement that’s taken America by storm. “You can’t make a stand with your mouth shut,” she said.
Chorney said she’s been particularly frustrated by the media’s coverage of Tea Party rallies, and by what she sees in many instances as an outlet for violence.
“Everybody’s entitled to their point of view. I’m also entitled to mine, and this is my way,” she said. That, she said, was the point of the video.
Before the shoot got started, Chorney reminded her volunteer cast what they were there for — besides the free tea and scones. “We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda. It is a form of the truth,” she said, quoting President John F. Kennedy. “This is what we’re doing here, guys. We’re not propaganda. We’re truth.”
It was something her pals, including a couple Republicans, could get behind. Oakhurst-based musician Kevin John Allen made sure he was there to show a bit of solidarity, both politically and communally.
“It’s good as an artist to support another artist,” he said. “I’m in favor of her efforts here.”
The shoot at NovelTeas was only a portion of the upcoming music video. Chorney’s got stops in Boston and Washington, D.C. to take care of before it’s edited and ready for public consumption. She anticipates it being ready for viewing within a month, when it can be seen on her website.