As my regular readers would know, one of my favourite dictums about politics is the oldie but a goodie that the right thinks the left is wrong, but the left thinks the right is evil. This certainly explains so much of the left’s rhetoric and actions, including the shaming, blacklisting and intimidating any artist foolish enough to have signed up to perform at Trump’s Inauguration party. This ceaseless hounding has caused pretty much all of them to back out over the past few weeks, including Andrea Bocelli, the blind opera singer who received death threats for his trouble. Ponder on that for a while.
Possibly the next one to pull out will be the rock band 3 Doors Down, if the reaction of their fans is anything to go by:
This is just a selection of the top comments under the announcement on their official Facebook page of their participation in “‘Make America Great Again!’ Welcome Celebration”. It amuses me to no end, because when I think how many artists and bands I would have to abandon listening to on account of our political differences, my collection would be much thinned out (anything from U2 and Bruce Springsteen to some of the punk favourites like Anti-Flag and Rise Against).
But this is of course the crucial difference in action – I disagree with these performers about their politics and their support for various people and causes (which is quite often reflected in their lyrics, videos and album artwork), but I’m quite happy to look beyond these disagreements and still find their music anything from great and spine-chilling to fun and entertaining. That’s because I think they’re wrong in one aspect of their lives and work. By contrast, if you read the comments above, for the left-wing 3 Doors Down fans (or ex-fans), the band might as well be playing for Hitler at the Opening Ceremony of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. I never knew 3DD’s politics, and I don’t recall any of their lyrics striking me as particularly political, but clearly the mere fact of performing at the Inauguration makes them evil by association with the Evil President Elect.
Personally, I think there is one song that should be played at the Welcome Celebration – the metal legends Avenged Sevenfold’s “Critical Acclaim”, the first single from their 2005 self-titled number one album:
So how does it feel to know that someone’s kid
In the heart of America has blood on their hands
Fighting to defend your rights
So you can maintain a lifestyle
That insults his family’s existence
Well, where I’m from we have a special
Salute that we aim high in the air
Towards all those pompous assholes
Who spend their days pointing fingers
All the way from the east to the west
We got this high society
Looking down on their very foundation
Constantly reminding us that our actions
Are the cause of all their problems
Pointing their fingers in every
Direction, blaming their
Own nation for who wins the elections
They’ve never contributed a fucking thing to the
Country they love to criticize
You can easily forget that this song was written in the middle of the Bush Jr presidency and the Iraq War, because the lyrics above about the gaping chasm between the self-righteous elites and the Middle America are clearly still evergreen 12 years later.