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coming up next: Bono named Pope

Looks like tomorrow night will be open mic night at The Grammys, as CBS has stated that it will not block musicians from making anti-war statements.

Musician Sheryl Crow, who made headlines when she wore a "War Is Not the Answer" T-shirt at the American Music Awards in January, plans to hand out 300 "No War" buttons tomorrow.

"If we can't turn to our artists, who can we look to?" Crow told the Daily News.

Don't know about you, Sheryl, but I don't look to musicians or artists to guide me in times of political turmoil, especially stars who rant on and on about this nation's dependence on oil and then fly off to all their special events in their private jets.

Should prove for some interesting tv tomorrow night at any rate, when you consider the whole music industry is just one big Bono suck up, kissing the collective asses of the political left.


Bono hasn't actually come out against the war. And he does do a lot more than just TALK about causes, so he might not be the best focus for your hostilities.

I ask this (and not even to be a wise-ass, I'm really just curious)... What would you do if a bunch of musicians or celebrities came out for the war? Would they be as reprehensible? Or are just the "liberal" leaning celebs bad? I mean, what about the highly-paid, celebrity level pundits with conservative views? Are they talking out of turn too? Or are they just more qualified to make statements because Fox News Network or CNN gave them their stamp of approval? Ronald Reagan was an actor. Somewhere along the line he started to think and talk political -- should he have kept his mouth shut instead of using his popularity and prestige as an unfair advantage to have his views heard? And what about Chuckie Heston?

Again, this is strictly a curiosity question. I understand that some celebs know nothing about these things and would probably help their causes more by keeping quiet, but some of these people are actually quite intelligent folk with good intentions who are trying to use their ungodly amount of money and attention for something other than bling bling. Money talks in America and these people have got it... how does that make them any different than anyone else whose voice is heard? Because they're entertainers? They should just stick to that niche? Sounds rather fascistic to me...

(I know, there are typos, deal with it...;-)

We can turn to Donald Rumsfeld? Dick Cheney!!

Reagan turned political but spent many years studying political and economic matters, something that has recently come out from the discovery of handwritten documants he prepared for a radio program he did in the '50s.

Celebs have the right to speak out. I wish so many would not say such stupid things, but that is their choice. We have the right to criticize them until the cows come home. The lefty celebs seem to think they are owed deference because they are celebrities, and hysterically complain about censorship when they are cirticized for the inanity of their remarks.

Union officials are generally thought to gain some grasp of public affairs from their work. Quick, who was the only President of the US also to have been the president of a labor union?

If it weren't for George Clooney, Sheryl Crow would win awards for "Most Moronic Quasi Politico." She had this quote in the Philly Inquirer:

"I think war is based on greed, and there's huge karmic retributions that will follow ... the best way to solve problems is not to have enemies."

As I wrote then: Yes ... all those Kurdish women and children who were gassed to death in their homes simply made the mistake of choosing an enemy in Saddam Hussein. Same for those 14 million Jews and Hitler. Perhaps they were all paying some "huge karmic retribution."

Dimit. Fine singer, but first-class dimwit.

If we's can't turn ta our artists, who can we's peep ta?????? That makes nahh sense!
Sharon Crowe iz not an artist or uh musician. She iz uh pawn fo' an industry dat iz larger than her run by capitalists dat burn cash ta keep warm at night. slap mah fro!
And tru dat about Reagan! He din't jet Hollywood ta be in politics! He larned it! He be goin ta skoo. It iz fashionable ta be on da other side an' root fo' da underdog. I believe dat dey wants peace. BUt I do not th'o't dey know why or at what cost, yo. what chew trippin foo.

"Quick, who was the only President of the US also to have been the president of a labor union"

Reagan. President of the SAG.

I find very little difference in America between politicians, pundits, rock stars, actors, anchorpersons, etc. They're all just a bunch of voices in a position to be heard, neither more or less qualified than the other and all with the same right to use the means at their hands as provided by the rights of the free market, etc.

So Reagan did prepare for his political life (he must have to eventually become president of the U.S.) -- but who's to say that many other celebrities aren't knowledgeable about what they're saying (Cheryl Crow not withstanding -- she does seem a little heavy in the clueless department). Bono, for instance, has developed a wide breadth of knowledge in the causes he espouses. Aside from visiting Ethiopia and Central America in the 80s and Africa recently he also has studied up on various areas of history and politics (from what I've gathered from interviews with Charlie Rose and other sources -- the guy knows his shit... to an extent that he can discuss it with knowledge).

Anyway, getting back to the point, I get a big chuckle out of people who get so irritated when celebs shoot their mouths off. What makes them any different than any other televised idiot who yammers on about what they think? (have you ever watched Chris Matthews' Hardball? It's enough to suck IQ points straight from your head, especially when you get some moron like Anne Coulter or Bill Maher. Why should we care what THEY think?... but that's another argument).

Point is, it's all just a big moronic show brought to you by GE, Disney, Viacom, Newscorp and all of their proud sponsors.

I know I won't be watching, I have better things to do with my time.

"I know I won't be watching, I have better things to do with my time."

Despite everything I've said, when it comes to any silly awards show I'm with you, Brent. It's all just a bunch of self-congratulatory pap, anyway.

Well at least didn't crow play for our troops?

An Irish pope, YEAH, right.

Earl I feel very comfortable hating political celbs on both the right and the left.

I can hate Reagan for turning members of the actors guild over to the House Unamerican Activities committee, I can hate Sheryl Crow for her ideas both in and out of her music (are you dumb enough to be my man?) I can hate idiotic Sean (Saddam's my man, and I inspected all the weapons from my hotel room) Pen.

For good measure I hate Madonna, just for being talentless, pretentious and successful - if I could get paid that well for masturbating on MTV I would...

Actually I hate all sorts of know nothing pretentious assholes, including Earl here so I feel pretty well balanced!


I know I won't be watching, I have better things to do with my time.
Yes, I have bleach the grout on my shower tile. Seriously, how insecure can you be, to hold these events where you gush at each other for a night, clearing all the brass trophies from the local sports award shop, abusing the world "genius" until it loses all meaning?

So you made a mediocre record and suckered millions of teens into buying it. Yep, that "genius" ranks right up there with splitting the atom or inventing the polio vaccine.

It's not just that their political rants lack coherence; these peoples' actual "careers" are often pointless and shallow, too. Of course there are great actors and musicians working today. However, the number of awards won is a poor indication of talent, as these shows so amply demonstrate.


It's not the fact that they're celebrities. It's that they've come to regard the public eye and ear as their rightful due, not because they're propped up by by a multibillion-dollar entertainment industry, but because they think that they are actually persons of greater worth. That's what happens when multi-million dollar productions revolve around you, and you've got a staff, and people always take your calls, etc., etc.

So they react with genuine anger when they say something stupid with conviction and are promptly told to sit down and shut up. They are no longer surrounded by people who think just like they do, and are surprised when agreement with their heartfelt words is not immediately forthcoming. It's the "with conviction" part, coupled with the impression of entitlement, that gets them mocked. Poor Jessica Lange! Nobody told her that the real world was so nasty and mean and contrary.

But it's really what they say, not what they are, they makes them targets of ridicule. I have yet to read the anti-war comments of any of the recent celebrity-activists and think, "Well, this is a quite intelligent person with good intentions." Instead, the impression I usually get is, "Well, this is a famous adult who sounds like a senior in high school, doesn't know jack shit, and needs to shut up right now."

Dennis Miller, BTW, is for the war (unless he's just being really, really ironic, but I don't think so). I don't ridicule him because he seems to actually think before speaking, and generally is an intelligent fellow. Sean Astin (aka Samwise Gamgee) is another celebrity who, while he hasn't come out and said "I'm for the war!" is doing his part and is supporting US troops by making PSAs on behalf of the Army, and has made public statements that he regards such support is his duty. He is also a civilian aide to the to the secretary of the Army. I get the impression that he's not quite "for" the war in a political sense, but he doesn't expound upon his views because he has a sense of duty to his country that trolls like Sarandon, Robbins, Penn, and the rest of the shallow-sequin crew do not demonstrate with any grace or true depth of feeling.

It's a matter of exceeding limits, and celebrities often come to believe that they haven't got any. Also called hubris.

I was going to say a whole lot of what Ian said.

There is a big difference between spouting your political views - however uniformed they may be and whichever side they fall on - and stating, like Sean Astin did, that you support the troops.

"Actually I hate all sorts of know nothing pretentious assholes, including Earl here so I feel pretty well balanced!"

Oh Joshua! Take thy beak from out my heart. Oh your venomous words do sting...LOL. I mean, was that really necessary, here I'm just engaging in an actual discussion and you call me a pretentious idiot. You poor poor fellow you... ;-)

And to Michele and Ian, thank you for your answers to the question without the unecessary vitriol. Again, while I don't fully agree with you I see what you're saying. Furthermore I can see where some celebs do feel overentitled and should probably shut up. However, in my postmodern view, I feel that way about everybody in the public eye. The whole public sphere is a like a Chinese food menu -- take what you want and leave the rest...

I gotta say though, you guys are actually getting me excited to watch this BS tonight.

Earl, I was almost ready to grant you the point about venom and vitriol, and then you went and admitted to being postmodern.

I can think of nothing more offensive and reprehensible, so I now believe you deserved all the invective. When you abandon morality and responsibility, you deserve what you get.

The only intelligent comments from a musician on the threatened attack that I have seen were from Brian Eno at http://www.time.com/time/europe/magazine/2003/0120/cover/view_eno.html

Troy... ??? I was using post-mod in a loose (almost self-effacing) sense, but... um.. okay... rrright...

Troy, are we working with different definitions of post-modern? I'm used to using it in the SANE media-studies, Roland Barthes, Neo-Marxist context involving the perception of semiotics and what have you, but whatever...

I wasn't aware that I've abandoned morality and accountability. You're probably right though, I eat babies for breakfast and I blame it on other people...


Holy hellfire!!!

Earl, it's the same crowd I'm speaking of -- postmodern neo-Marxist, ending up with the likes of Derrida, Lacan and even Said. The ones responsible for justifying the modern European (and especially French) "complex" view of the world -- where there is no right nor wrong, just "differences in opinion" (and what you can get away with), and reality is in the (doubtlessly constructed by oppressive statist narrative) eye of the beholder.

Yeah, Marxism and its bastard children are without morality and accountability... and if you can't perceive that for yourself, you're pretty far gone. But I never proposed burning you or anyone else who believes in that bankrupt intellectual masturbation -- they tend to crash and burn all by themselves, just as almost all the Twentieth Century socialist states did. As, in fact, France, Belgium and Germany appear to be setting themselves up for.

Believe whatever you want. Just don't expect the rest of us, on the winning side of history, to forego pointing at you and hooting from time to time at your self-immolation... you had plenty of warning.

Wow, Troy. You're an angry guy -- the subtext of anger and hatred in your prose is near impossible to miss. Have you ever considered the fact that the human mind is capable of using one frame of thought while not fully subscribing to all of its implications? For instance, I, an educated man like yourself, am interested in the writings of lacan, derrida, marx, et al... I find some of it applicable to thought. Yet, I have a clear sense of right and wrong that adheres almost strictly to most judeo-christian principles.

I can perceive many things for myself. I can perceive that one can subscribe to certain viewpoints of post-modern criticism without surrendering "morality and accountability." In fact, if you add some morality and accountability to the equation, you've got some good ideas there. But I'm wasting my time, as apparently, you're one of those people who need your theoretical viewpoints to be clear and simply delineated so that you can soak them in wholeheartedly. Broad values like "America, right or wrong..." fit that mold. Yet the smart, analytical mind is able to work within and without various viewpoints rather than just spit vitriol at one aspect of a multi-dimensional paradigm.

What gave you such a feeling against post-modernism? Were you attacked by a post-modern thinker? Did you go to a class on post-modernism and they said some mean things about capitalism and how it's not fair to some people in a democracy? So you said, "IT CAN'T BE, SAY IT AIN'T SO! I HATE YOU!!!"

Presumptuous of me? Sure, but no more presumptuous than the shit you flung at me, pal.

I expect to get attacked for a lot of things when I post here... but Troy, you've unleashed a big surprise....

I'm being lectured on Morality and accountability on a fairly conservative website that is mostly pro-Bush. That is pretty funny (and don't start with the "oh you're pro Clinton crap," because I didn't care much for him either).

"Wow, Troy. You're an angry guy"

Not at all -- I just called a spade a spade, and you apparently filled in with projection... I'm not in general an angry man, although some things I have little tolerance for. Nor is "lack of tolerance" equal to "hatred" -- I don't hate the mad dog which attacks me, for instance, although I'll kill it if I can. And then my humor is considerably drier than yours, so you might also misread some things I write.

It's not that I lack interest or even curiosity in things Marxist -- at the moment, I'm re-reading Ken MacLeod's "Fall Revolution" tetralogy, and Ken's a thoroughgoing Marxist if ever there was one. Nonetheless, the books are among my favorite science fiction novels, and he among my favorite sf writers -- despite the fact that his novels sympathetically present several different socialist societies. But MacLeod recognizes socialism's failures, and he's trying hard to come to grips with them; he's struggling and I give him credit for it, but he still calls himself a socialist and I frankly call that an idiotic belief system, and him the fool for clinging to it despite his acceptance of its failures. That doesn't stop me from enjoying his work, though.

"...apparently, you're one of those people who need your theoretical viewpoints to be clear and simply delineated so that you can soak them in wholeheartedly."

Hardly. My degree's in physics (astrophysics and cosmology the specialties), and that's neither clear nor simple. Along with that, my formal education includes large gobs of philosophy, anthropology and theology (the latter despite the fact that I'm atheistic). At one point I myself was something of a socialist, and before that a Christian preacher; but time and introspection revealed the error of my ways...

You don't know me, so I'll forgive your "scared by a pomo" presumptions. My problem with postmodernism is that, at its very roots, it's completely unsound -- irrational, actually antirational -- and I suspect many of its major supporters are aware of this. When pressed to its logical conclusions, it ends up sounding exactly like Alan Sokal's Social Text parody paper... which would be absolutely hilarious but for the fact that they claim to actually believe that stuff! I can think of nothing more immoral and unethical than such a persistent denial of reality, compounded by the deliberate hijacking of the educational system for the continued promotion of such fallacies, and in the cause of world socialism to boot. Then there's the abandonment of accountability which comes with extreme moral relativism...

"I'm being lectured on Morality and accountability on a fairly conservative website that is mostly pro-Bush."

Ironic, isn't it? I'm by no means a Bush supporter -- I didn't vote for him (nor for Gore, who is worse by far), but his actions with respect to the country's crises is something I can support. I'm old enough to remember the post-WWII changes in Europe and Japan, plus the entire Cold War; the historical development of the second War should be enough to show us the error of ignoring the present Radical Islamicist/Ba'athist problem; and Bush is obviously getting some fairly decent advice from folks who are paying attention. I want to see the US survive, and so I support Bush's efforts to that end -- not from any love of the man.

And finally, I would never accuse you of something so low as supporting Clinton; there are limits, after all...

Well, that makes a little more sense. I'm not fully "post-modern" as I've made clear before. Certain aspects of that paradigm, however, are interesting ways to look at the world, not for everybody. But I stand by the fact that most of what we consider "common sense" and the status quo are basically human constructs to which we attribute god-like quality (some small historic examples: "the invisible hand" or, this one's almost too ridiculous and easy "manifest destiny" -- and those are just broad examples -- language, thought, metaphor, culture are all human constructs that are taken as absolute biblical truth). I tend to believe (and this is just my opinion) that basic premises of "right and wrong" and morality are basically universal, I'll certainly admit that.

You said you're a physics major? I see certain parallels between aspects of post-modern, neo-Marxist thought and quantum mechanics. Parallels in that we make the world exist by observing it (I'm certainly no expert in physics and only know what I've read from certain books written for the lay person) and the inter-connectedness of things. It's the idea of learning that there is more to the world than Newtonian physics -- there's more to the world than the basic "common sense" constructs that have been rammed down are throat for years.

Any post-modern thought that I deal with is more influenced from a questioning of "common sense." I ascribe a certain degree of that questioning to Marshall McLuhan. I can take or leave some of his writings, but one thing I do get from him is the ability to question societal reality. He's actually never really lumped into the post-modernist picture, yet his ideas parallel. Perhaps it's because he was a devout catholic who believed in morality as a defining factor of human existence. But it enhanced a basic life-long questioning of mine -- "why do we think the way we do?..." "why do we speak the way we do? What biases does that speech betray?" etc. How do environment, interpersonal relationships, class relationships and our technological extensions dictate our constructions of reality? -- that type of thing.

So Troy, I don't expect you to agree with me on this stuff (and I'm certainly not going to be swayed by somebody on an internet comment board). But at least I better see where you are coming from.