Matthew Reid: Frightening Times
by Matthew Reid
These certainly are frightening times.
Flip on the TV, open up a newspaper or go to a show-everywhere you look there's some Hollywood hot shot or music biz bigwig taking a courageous stand against the 'Bush/Blair Bomb Squad.'
The latest to join the debate is rock n' roll bad boy and self-proclaimed redneck, Kid Rock-although you probably haven't heard about it, since, true to his rebellious reputation, the multi-platinum artist isn't toeing the party line.
At a pre-Grammy party, Kid answered a reporter's question about the War in Iraq, and made it clear that he isn't part of the music industry's anti-war faction. "Why is everybody trying to stop the war? George Bush ain't been saying, 'You all, make sh*#%y records.' Politicians and music don't mix. It's like whiskey and wine. We ought to stay out of it."
Kid knows he's no policy wonk or geo-political strategist, but couldn't resist adding, "We got to kill that mother-f@cker Saddam," he says. "Slit his throat. Kill him and the guy in North Korea."
Asked about innocent Iraqi civilians casualties, Kid answered pragmatically, "Yeah. But [Bush] is doing the right thing. You got money; you sit around talking about peace. People who don't have money need some help."
In what may have been the most ironic moment of the 45th Annual Grammy Awards, Kid Rock joined Sheryl Crow on stage for a performance of her single, "You're An Original." (Kid and Crow also have the Number 6 song in America this week, "Picture," which appears on Kid's latest CD, Cocky.)
Crow has made several not-so-subtle statements against military action in Iraq in recent months, wearing t-shirts emblazoned with antiwar catchphrases to several high profile events. Her Grammy appearance was no exception, she performed wearing a guitar strap with the words, "No War" conspicuously inscribed in shiny, tacky sequins successfully creating the made-you-look effect she was, no doubt, going for.
The appeasement proselytizer passed out "No War" buttons backstage on Sunday night, and like most of her recent recordings, they flopped. By my count, only two people-Sheryl and one of the N'SYNC boys actually put one on. (Hey, 4 out of 5 boy band members can't be wrong.)
Sheryl's journey from sweet little USO Girl to Saddam's Little Helper is hardly the exception among Hollywood's conscientious objector class. Despite comprehensive probing, and we looked everywhere, there is scant evidence of a similar celebrity outcry at Democratic President Bill Clinton's military excursions in Bosnia, Haiti, Somalia, and yes, Iraq.
Earlier this week, actress/activist Janeane Garofalo bluntly admitted that it just "wasn't hip" to protest back then. Apparently, war is not a problem if the U.S. President has a (D) next to his name. (LBJ must be cursing in his grave.)
In fact, when Clinton deployed U.S. Armed Forces in Bosnia, Sheryl Crow seemed to support the policy-even accompanying First Lady Hillary Clinton to the frontlines, where she performed for the troops.
Don't think the hypocrisy ends there. In addition to her guitar strap sloganeering, Sheryl's Grammy ensemble featured an oversized, diamond-encrusted peace symbol dangling from her neck.
And even more embarrassing than the 40-something singer's tight white mini-skirt and inch thick makeup were her pre-show red carpet comments about the jewelry. The blissfully clueless Crow inadvertently ate some when she told Joan Rivers, "Nothing says peace like diamonds."
Oops. Sheryl and her people are, evidently, unaware of the politically incorrect nature of supporting the diamond trade. So much for her 'enlightened' global sensibilities.
And while I would be inclined to slap her a high-five for such chicanery, someone in such obvious pursuit of that Utopian level of PC consciousness is likely to get a much different response from even her own friends. Like a slap in the face or a kick in the tush. (Good thing she runs with the non-violent crowd.)
Blood diamonds, as any good liberal can tell you, are the product of third world violence and oppression, often resulting in the exploitation of women and children. In fact, purchasing diamonds may even rank higher than driving an SUV on the liberal's list of unacceptable behavior-although not quite as bad as watching the Fox News Channel.
Plus, those blood diamonds support terrorism. Seriously. Bin Laden and the al-Qaeda gang use them to move money around the globe and launder cash. Of course, if word gets out that they advance the cause of the 'freedom fighters' of the world, diamonds may soon be cool again.
Not yet, mind you. "No War" is the new black this season.
Matthew Reid is an internationally syndicated radio host and freelance journalist based in San Francisco, CA. He's broadcast in Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., as well as hundreds of cities across the globe on the SupeRadio Network. He is also the editor of www.Rice2008.com. Mr. Reid can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Note: This Column Also Published @ FrontPageMagazine.com on February 27, 2003