Thursday, July 29, 2010

For the Record, I Expect Nothing Less From Kanye West

What are bands accomplishing from boycotting Arizona? Are the legislators going to be so hurt by not being able to see Maroon 5 in concert in Arizona? Does the state of Arizona really suffer from lack of bands performing live in their state?

And howabout boycotting all of the states that have refused to pass gay marriage?


This is a fantastic reason to never listen to celebrities when it comes to politics. Especially when they try to take an asinine stand like this. I bet some of these bands didn't want to boycott but were bullied in to it. How many of them actually fully understand everything in the bill? Why do celebrities think that being famous means they should be political?

I think if I was famous then I would never reveal my politics. It's alienating to a lot of my fan base. I want to bring entertainment to people, and I want them to enjoy it without feeling like I have something against them. I wonder how it must feel to be a fan of someone and what they do, either acting, singing, or any kind of art, and then find out they are very against things you believe in. Do they still appreciate you as a fan? How could you enjoy what they produce without the feeling that they don't like you, or that their anti-whatever sentiment is more than just political, it's personal? The things they say often feel pretty personal.

I'm a fan of civil discourse. Erik and I disagree politically on a lot of things, but honestly as I type that I don't know how true it is any more. Through our discussions, we have found a lot of common ground. That's because we don't argue to win, we argue to find the truth. We understand where we're both coming from, and that sort of understanding does not come from statements like "Republicans/Democrats are stupid." Whenever anyone starts a sentence like "Those Republicans/Democrats..." I cringe. Grouping everybody under one lump sum and assuming they're all this or that or think this or that is unfair and immediately puts people on the defense. Now you're not arguing to come up with a solution, you're arguing to the death.

So when celebrities take what I so often assume is an ignorant and knee-jerk reactions, like not touring in Arizona because of a bill they want to pass, I get angry. This doesn't accomplish anything politically, it just hurts your fans. It not only hurts your fans because they won't get to see you, it hurts the fans who disagree with you. It's a betrayal to the money and support they've given you. And honestly, it's a betrayal to the fans who feel more strongly about other issues, like gay marriage. How do you justify not touring in Arizona when gay people are not equal citizens in most of the United States? What makes this issue worthy or your time, and not the others?

I say Arizona fans boycott music. Show them that you don't want to hear their opinions, you want to hear their music, but if you have to hear their opinions, then you won't bother with their music. You're more than the politics of the state you happen to live in.


  1. I think there are two reasons celebrities like to get political: first, it gives them a chance to catch the public eye, which... Celebrities and all. It doesn't seem to be an uncommon goal.

    Secondly, and much more reasonably... Maybe it's just me, but if I was in a position where people looked up to me and trusted me, and there was something I strongly believed in, I'd try to take advantage of my position to promote something I thought was worthwhile.

  2. I understand that, but why can't they promote things that are more universally agreed upon? Like fighting cancer or domestic abuse. They're still doing a lot of good without upsetting or alienating their fans.

  3. Maybe a mix of the two? No one cares if someone makes a stand and says, "I think that we should NOT eat babies!" no one really cares. 'cause... well, it's not really interesting. But on the other hand, if they're really passionate that we SHOULD eat babies, and they go ahead and make their modest proposal, then they'll get attention and be supporting a cause. Yes, they may alienate some fans, but hey... I still like Thriller even if I'm opposed to child molestation and all that jazz.

    I guess what I'm saying is, celebrities are usually celebrities because, at least to some degree, they want to be. If they want to do something they'll feel good about, it's not surprising that it'll be in the context of celebrityhood.