Elton John has said stars are scared to speak out against war in Iraq because of “bullying tactics” used by the US government to hinder free speech.
Strike One! Sorry, El. No one in the government is censoring you. It is real easy to figure out when that happens. The “government” is the one with the “guns” that they stick in your “face” when they tell you to “cease and desist”. When someone just says, “screw off” to you and ignores you, that isn’t censorship.
“There’s an atmosphere of fear in America right now that is deadly. Everyone is too career-conscious,” he told New York magazine, Interview.
As opposed to… not giving a damn about your career? You are an entertainer. We expect you to entertain us. We don’t expect to have to listen to your half-baked crackpot theories. That is what we have blogs and columnists for. They are much better at it than you. They, for example, often know how to define “censorship.”
Sir Elton said performers could be “frightened by the current administration’s bullying tactics”.
Strike Two: What bullying tactics?!? Name one. Just because you want them to be bullying you so you can claim the “martyred victim” status doesn’t make it true.
The singer likened the current “fear factor” to McCarthyism in the 1950s.
You mean back when Hollywood and entertainment really was under a concerted attack by the KGB and international communism and there really were anti-American communists in all branches of entertainment? That 1950s?
“There was a moment about a year ago when you couldn’t say a word about anything in this country for fear of your career being shot down by people saying you are un-American,” he told the magazine.
The singer said things were different in the 1960s.
The 1960s bought us the loss of Vietnam. I don’t think we want to lose another war.
“People like Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, The Beatles and Pete Seeger were constantly writing and talking about what was going on.
Riiiiight. Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney are who we are supposed to base foriegn policy on.
“That’s not happening now. As of this spring, there have been virtually no anti-war concerts – or anti-war songs that catch on, for that matter,” he said.
That is because no one wants to see an anti-war concert. I guarantee you, that as much as you think big corporations just LUV war, they love money more. If there was money to be made with an anti-war concert, there would anti-war concerts all over the country. You would be getting free tickets with 8 gallons of gas. If anyone wanted to hear anti-war songs, they would be all over the place. Hell, even if no one would sell them, they would still be all over the place because of the internet.
Face it, El. No one gives a shit about anti-war songs. If they did, they would finding them. They aren’t. That giant silence isn’t the government censoring you. It is America in general giving you the finger.
He voiced concern that it appeared acceptable to speak out if you were pro-Bush, using the example of country singer Toby Keith, but not if you were critical of the President, as in the case of country rock band, the Dixie Chicks.
You know why Toby Keith’s song sold well? People wanted to hear it. You know why the Dixie Chicks killed their careers? Because no one wanted to hear it. Do the fucking math.
“On the one hand, you have someone like Toby Keith, who has come out and been very supportive of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq – which is OK because America is a democracy and Toby Keith is entitled to say what he thinks and feels.
“But, on the other hand, the Dixie Chicks got shot down in flames last year for criticising the president. They were treated like they were being un-American, when in fact they have every right to say whatever they want about him because he’s freely elected, and therefore accountable.”
Strike Six! They were treated like they were being un-American because they were being un-American. Yes, they have every right to say it. We have every right to get pissed off at what they said. We have every right to say, “I swear to God, upon everything that is holy, I will never buy another record that has a single note of Dixie Chicks material on it for as long as I live.” That is how rights work. You exercise your rights, and you pay the consequences.
The president is accountable for what he does? Here’s a news flash, El: The Dixie Chicks are accountable for what they do also.
Sir Elton is currently in New York playing a series of concerts.
Funny that he isn’t playing, say, Atlanta or Houston.