Rock Stars or Rock Heads?
by L. Brent Bozell III
Something you almost always have to take with at least one
grain of salt is entertainers commenting on politics. For the cover story of
the November 12 Rolling Stone, you need a whole shakerful.
In this nine-page symposium, more than forty celebrities,
most of them musicians, offer their "thoughts" on Lewinskygate. The
participants (with a handful of exceptions, such as Tom Wolfe) are below even
the level of overwhelming factual ignorance. They inhabit a nether region
where the intellect virtually shuts down, leaving only emotional spew.
Since so much rock-era popular music has endorsed or
condoned sexual license, it's completely unsurprising that many of these
performers seem to approve of Bill Clinton's promiscuity. To wit -- or,
better, to witless - rap star Noreaga: "All work and no pleasure? That
never amounts to s-t... Clinton bent the rules the way he's supposed to. Your
wife can't give you [oral sex] while you're on the job, 'cause that's your
wife, ya smell me? The person you gotta be [receiving oral sex from] has to be
a professional. It's gotta be all business."
And, in case you're wondering what an MBA program at Noreaga
University might involve, here's a hint: "Monica Lewinsky said, 'I lifted
my skirt up and showed him my thong.' She was lap-dancing when she did that.
She was stripping. That's professional!" Oh.
Marilyn Manson: "There's no reason why [Clinton]
shouldn't be getting laid just like a rock star would... I don't even consider
[his affair with Lewinsky] a mistake. In fact, [oral sex is] right there with
handshakes and autographs as part of the job. It's like kissing babies... It's
more comforting to know that the president can get an erection. I wouldn't
want an impotent president."
To certain symposium participants, the problem is this awful
moralistic Puritan nation of ours. U2's Bono: "To the rest of the world,
America [responding to the scandal] looks like a teenager in a masturbatory
frenzy of voyeurism and Schadenfreude." Robbie Robertson,
formerly of the Band: "I'm in Europe right now, and people here are
baffled and horrified that someone could actually peek in someone's underwear.
It's time for everybody to mind their own f---ing business. Just deal with
your own [penis] and leave everyone else's alone."
Others avoid dealing with Clinton's conduct; instead, they
criticize his enemies. Willie Nelson remarks that Kenneth Starr "looks
like some Sunday-school teacher who I didn't like. He can do all these
horrible things and smile. How can you trust a guy like that?"
Singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams charges that Starr is "hung up
sexually... He's an attention freak." Rapper Fat Joe opines, "This
is a personal vendetta... I mean, not even Kathie Lee Gifford went through
this s-t." Uh, Joe, don't you mean Frank Gifford?
Former Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir now appears to be
virtually brain-dead, declaring, "What we're seeing now is a coup attempt
from the religious right... using their tried and true methods, such as
pillorying and lynching." Weir also takes the nastiness prize for this
shot at Paula Jones: "That girl looks like a dachshund - or looked like a
dachshund before her right-wing-funded nose operation."
Still others condemn Clinton's conduct, then
criticize his enemies more harshly. Michael Douglas: "I'm so disappointed
in [Clinton] that I can't see straight, but... is Starr acting responsibly? I
don't think so. This has been a witch hunt from Day One." Phish guitarist
Trey Anastasio: "Clinton may be guilty of a lapse of judgment, but Ken
Starr is a politically motivated, narrow-minded dirt bag."
Actress/comedienne Janeane Garofalo: "Beyond Clinton's obvious
personality defects, I think some major issues are at work with Lucianne
Goldberg, Linda Tripp and Kenneth Starr. There's definitely something
wrong with those three."
Finally, two symposiasts are in categories of their own.
Patti Smith laments, at this late date, the end of the 1960s: "When I
look at the crucifixion of Clinton, I look at the crucifixion of my
generation. They are finally nailing us for introducing new ideas about sexual
mores, sexual freedom, personal freedom." And British singer/songwriter
Billy Bragg speaks for the hardcore pragmatists: "If [Clinton] could
contribute to a lasting peace in Northern Ireland, he can be having sex with
Buddy for all I care."
Wow. Jesse Ventura could body-slam these people and it still
wouldn't knock any sense into them.
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