If you, like me, were watching night one of the Democratic National Convention on television, then you were bombarded by pundits yapping after former First Lady Michelle Obama’s closing speech. But if you were watching online, perhaps you caught this far more interesting conclusion: Pose actor Billy Porter singing the Buffalo Springfield 1966 counter-culture classic “For What It’s Worth.” He performed the song in a flowing sleeveless robe, accompanied by Buffalo Springfield founding member Stephen Stills in what can only be described as pure camp.
Well, it was certainly an interesting way to end a relatively dull night. But who was it for? I can see a lot of older viewers being moved by the protest imagery and the song choice, which upon its release was regarded as an anti-Vietnam War protest song. But the green screen and dancing might have come across as a goofy sort of satire to younger viewers. I, myself, was left to wonder if this was something I was supposed to watch as a laugh or not. Someone on my Twitter timeline said it looked like something out of a Comedy Central sketch; hard to disagree!
Either way, whether you cringed or found Porter’s performance delightful, I think we can all agree that it’ll probably be better than whatever musical fare the Republican National Convention will procure. I mean, what are they going to offer? Kid Rock featuring Smash Mouth for a covid-19 denial collab? Three Doors Down performing on some aircraft carrier? Or maybe they’ll just call in a favor to USA Freedom Kids.