Editors Note: This post was originally written August 5th in longhand on the porch at the cottage while on vacation overlooking beautiful Christie Lake near Perth, Ontario. A great way to write, guaranteed.
It is somewhat ironic that after just finishing an article on John Lennon’s political activities of the early seventies in the May issue of Mojo magazine that I read in the local paper about the big anti-Bush “Vote for Change” concerts planned for this fall. The irony lies in the fact that as I read about the aborted tour that Lennon was supposed to embark on in the election year of 1972, haunting Richard Nixon from campaign stop to campaign stop, I thought to myself that in this day and age in the United States why hasn’t anybody stepped forward and done something similar for this election? Has rock and roll lost its radical edge I thought? Now I am the first to admit that rock and roll and politics sometimes make strange bedfellows and often times political rock and roll gets real dated real fast but it is nice to see Bruce Springsteen and friends getting up off their collective celebrity asses and doing something constructive. I mean, what the hell can you expect Ben Afleck to bring to the table? No matter what side of the fence you find yourself sitting on (or perhaps you are straddling the middle of the fence or even worse you have no idea what the fence is all about) the current political landscape in the United States is so polarized that it is difficult to actually debate the issues. When Springsteen was asked whether people were tired of celebrities “telling them who to vote for” he simply stated that they are all citizens just trying to do their part to build awareness. After all, healthy debate is the lifeblood of democracy and no mater whether you are Republican or Democrat, Green or Libertarian, understanding what an election is about and participating in the process is important now more than ever. Ya these are a bunch or rich rock stars, so what. Just as they mount their soapbox so can you. Reasoned political debate seems to be dying in North America. Maybe this will breath some life into it. Hope springs eternal.