Rock Stars Go Meddling Again

Weeks after Bono address the Labour party conference on the perils of ignoring the plight of Africa’s starving, aging rockers go on the road in the name of politics. This time however, it’s not Africa’s starving that’s the issue but the US elections. Sometimes, just sometimes, rock stars should stay away from politics – at least Africa is a good cause. Imagine my surprise when I got back from work one day to find a full page picture on the front page of the Guardian’s Friday Review supplement of Michael Stipe (a scary thing at the best of times) grinning somewhat manically and proudly showing off his Kerry t-shirt.
‘But Kerry’s the good guy! Right?’ I hear you cry and, whilst I’ll agree that Bush sucks a lot, I’m prepared to argue that Kerry’s just as bad. OK, maybe I’m slightly biased due to Kerry’s pledge to give Kosovo to the Albanians (a very bad fucking thing giving a whole country to Muslim fundamentalists), but he’s dangerous. So there we have REM campaigning for a change from the Republicans to Democrats when there would really be much change – funny how he only became anti-war when he saw it would gain him votes. I had tried explaining to my bloke (who loves REM) why it’s so bad all these high profile bands and musicians are virtually saying vote Kerry. He didn’t understand.
The problem is, in the States especially, the fact that most Americans aren’t too bright, and they just tend to accept what they’re told. With the media it’s bad enough, but rock stars mouthing off is even worse, whole groups of people are likely to listen to a star like Michael Stipe or Bruce Springsteen (touring with REM on the Vote for a Change tour). I get the feeling that Stipe, Springsteen and all the others involved in that projects are either being very idealist or don’t really understand what’s going on.
And so, they’re encouraging people to vote for a political party that thinks it’s OK to drop depleted uranium on another country. Illegally. I despair.

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5 Responses to Rock Stars Go Meddling Again

  1. Anonymous says:

    that you and you alone are in possession of all the facts, and that the likes of Springsteen and Stipe just blindly have a pro-Kerry stance?

    let’s not forget, Bush also has his celebrity supporters. it all balances out.

    just because you don’t agree with someone doesn’t make them wrong.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well I think ‘dog in the manger’ tactics have a lot to answer for here, and for that reason I would broadly agree with Natasha.

    After all, when Blair got elected it didn’t take long for our musicians to realise that they’d simply been trying to get the Tories out of government…and that in fact now they had Thatcher Mk 2 in charge.

    In this case, there is a strong ‘get rid of Bush at any cost’ sense running in the election. Stipe and Springsteen are (IMO) backing their traditional ground, i.e. the Democrats. But I think it will backfire and they’ll be left with as little reason to back Kerry as they would to back Bush.

    Just listen back to Bill Hicks’ stuff post-Clinton’s election and then his ‘One of the boys’ piece a little later for that sense of “WTF?” that I think will be as true here.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Whilst I won’t apologise for my views, I will agree with what’s being said. However, some people can be really impressionable and that’s what worries me. If it wasn’t for the Balkans thing, I’d probably be more inclined to be pro-Kerry but still, to use that time old cliche – i think he’s wolf in sheeps clothing.

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