Maybe Pearl Jam should move to Iran to get some Perspective

Pearl Jam is one of my favorite bands and in my opinion, after U2 they are the best rock band on the planet (let the debate begin!). As is often the case with musicians, their worldview and thus their politics leave a lot to be desired but that does not take away from the talent they have been blessed with. Lead singer and chief lyricist Eddie Vedder is a master songwriter,  lead guitarist Mike McCready is amazing and drummer Matt Cameron is quite possibly the best drummer of his generation.
They are in the news due to the apparent censoring of their webcast by AT&T, click here to read the story.

To no one’s surprise, Vedder made some comments regarding President Bush and this is the part that was cut from the webcast. Here are the comments (taken from the band’s statement regarding this incident),

During the performance of “Daughter” the following lyrics were sung to the tune of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” but were cut from the webcast:

– “George Bush, leave this world alone.” (the second time it was sung); and

– “George Bush find yourself another home.”

Vedder has the right to say whatever he wants but I do hope he remembers what happens to his colleagues in Iran who dare to even hold a rock concert.

I posted about the story from Iran a few days ago, and closed with the following:

I hope American rock stars appreciate how good they have it here as opposed to their fellows over in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

I guess it’s too much to ask from Pearl Jam, or at least Ed Vedder.

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16 Responses to Maybe Pearl Jam should move to Iran to get some Perspective

  1. osipov says:

    I’d like to comment . . . yes, they do have a right to say how they feel. I’m very proud of them for having the conviction to stand up and say something. With all that’s going on in this country, more of us should be screaming in the streets.

  2. alisbasement says:

    I agree with Eddie, I don’t really agree with you critizing him but I guess that’s your right just like it’s his right to say something about our idiot of a President. Don’t judge me, it’s my right to say that.

  3. Laz says:

    Ali, it is not my place to judge you or anyone else.

    Did either of you guys read the article on Iran?

  4. Brian says:

    Give me a break….you’re giving us the whole at-least-you-don’t-live-there-so-you-better-appreciate-here routine?!

    They should not be censored for singing a song about an elected public official. The President is not above that.

  5. Hahahaha… Are you seriously saying that it’s OK to have your freedom of speech squelched in the US because in the fascist Islamic state of Iran they don’t have freedom of speech? What kind of argument is that?? There is NO excuse for the censoring no matter WHAT they were saying as long as it wasn’t indecent. You can disagree with what the band said / sang but to say they should get some perspective by moving to Iran? No need. Apparently they’re getting censored just fine in the US and apparently that’s OK with you. Sounds like Iran is more like your kind of place.

  6. joe nathan says:

    ok, american rock stars won’t get massacred for singing out against their currrent administration but, no, american rock stars DON’T have it any better. two words: WARNING LABELS.

  7. Laz says:

    Brian,
    I didn’t say they should have been censored, I’m sorry if you got that impression. You are correct the President is ‘not above that’, and he has been liberally criticized by all sorts of folk who haven’t felt or been censored.

    Mike (no relation?),
    Again, I never said that what happened was ‘OK’. In fact I believe AT&T apologized to the band for the incident.

    The band said this,

    AT&T’s actions strike at the heart of the public’s concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media

    I guess that ‘power’ doesn’t extend to the band’s website where they did post the comments which were cut out from the webcast. I’ll chalk it up to emotionalism when you said this,

    Apparently they’re getting censored just fine in the US and apparently that’s OK with you. Sounds like Iran is more like your kind of place.

    Why were they able to post the comments on their website if they are ‘getting censored just fine in the US’?

    Frankly Mike, we could all get some perspective by moving to Iran. We do take the freedom we have here for granted. I hope you read the story about Iran I included in the post, you can see what real censorship looks like.

    Joe,
    You’re equating what happened to the rock band in Iran to a sticker? The asinine fatuity of such a statement speaks for itself.

    Thank you all for your input

  8. Thanks for the clarification. Pardon the emotionalism. Cheers.

  9. Brian says:

    It boggles my mind that people think the goal of a nation is to be a little better than that other nation that is really bad.

    Instead of land of the free and home of the brave, it could be “America: Better than living in Iran”

    this country is great because we constantly criticize it….that’s what makes it awesome, that’s why people all over the world want to (or used to, anyway) live here

  10. Laz says:

    Brian,
    Last time I checked, more people are still coming to the US than leaving it.

    It boggles my mind that people think the goal of a nation is to be a little better than that other nation that is really bad.

    What people?

  11. Brian says:

    My comment about people ‘wanting’ to move to America is more a reference to how we are perceived on the international stage regarding issues of freedom (like censorship, for example, which is what this post is about). I didn’t mean it to specifically reference population statistics.

    The global perception of America is indeed still good overall, but has been declining in the last several years. So, perhaps my hyperbolized statement implying no one wants to emigrate to the U.S. is unfair…I’ll concede that.

    But, there is growing distrust around the world towards America.
    http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/06/27/news/pew.php?page=1

    Isn’t the whole point of your post that when we compare our system to Iran, that we should be grateful? Okay…I understand that point. Fine.
    But to suggest that Vedder ought to experience a level of censorship that is worse than here, so that he might appreciate how ‘less bad’ he has it is dangerous.

    You say: “I guess it’s too much to ask from Pearl Jam, or at least Ed Vedder.”

    Do you really expect Vedder to say ‘oh gee, i got censored…but, hey, at least we don’t live in Iran’. I think Vedder does indeed appreciate how good he has it. That is exactly why is exercising it and getting so ticked off about he being censored!

    I still don’t really understand the message of your post. What do you expect Vedder to do?

  12. Laz says:

    Brian,
    The point of the post was to think about our way of life here in regards to other places (Iran to be specific). Yes it was directed at Pearl Jam but I think it would be well for us all to take stock. While the US might not be a utopia (what system composed of human beings will ever be?), things are considerably better here than other parts of the world.

    We don’t have to experience real censorship (like these rock bands did in Iran, did you read the article?) to appreciate what it is that we have here in the States. Just like one does not have to go into the slums of México or India to appreciate our way of life here (whether or not this way of life is good or not is a topic for another post).

    Some perspective can be gained by being aware of the plight of others around the globe and examining our ‘plight’ here in these United States in light of theirs.

    I don’t agree with AT&T’s censorship (if that is what the company’s intent was) and they did apologize.

    Like I told Mike above, the band complains about the censorship but either forget or ignore the fact that they were able to post the censored comments on their website without consequence.

    I cannot speak for Ed on whether or not he’s appreciative or not, but I hope he did notice that no one censored the band’s website.

    I don’t expect Ed to do anything, he does not have to answer to me or to any other human being.

  13. Brian says:

    “Just like one does not have to go into the slums of México or India to appreciate our way of life here”

    Unless, of course, you live in the slums here. Then you can experience slums and our way of life….bonus.

  14. Laz says:

    No doubt, Brian, no doubt about it.

  15. raszputini says:

    Freedom is relative. The United States was founded on the idea of individual freedom and there is an inherent quality to “government” that places it at odds with that idea sometimes. The trend is becoming scarier and scarier in the Bush andministration and it is important for the citizens of this country to fight so the pendulum swings back the other way. It doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate what we have, on the contrary we know its value very well and know how quickly it can be eroded away. Thanks Ed for making a statement. Of course, Ed makes a statement at every show.

    While I realize there is a very different situation in Iran, it is up to the citizens of that country to do something about it. The fact that we Americans are in a better situation can largely be traced back to people 200 years ago who had the courage and persistence to take whatever position or power they had to speak out when they saw things they objected to. Even if he’s just a rock star, Ed is doing the same thing.

    Does that mean he or we aren’t appreciative of the things we have? Certainly not. The difference is that in America we consider those things the RULE, not a priviledge. When we start considering those things priviledges, that is when it all starts crumbling down. When priviledges are taken away, it isn’t a deal-breaker, but when rules are changed without popular support, it’s time to raise hell.

  16. Laz says:

    Raz, the government didn’t censor the webcast, AT&T did (unless of course, you believe that the President forced them to censor it, but if you believe that, well…) By the way, AT&T did apologize for what happened.

    Can you say that freedom is relative and at the same time be troubled by what goes in in countries like Iran? I think the Iranian musicians who were arrested for merely holding a rock concert would tell you that no, freedom is not relative.

    The difference is that in America we consider those things the RULE, not a priviledge.

    I believe the people who founded this nation said it something like this,

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Thank you for your comment.

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