August 9, 2004

Celebrity politics: a compliment to Dave Matthews.

We've heard various accounts over the years about celebrities--the Dixie Chicks, Linda Ronstadt--using their concerts to make political pitches, sometimes in a quite nasty form that leaves a segment of the audience feeling betrayed or annoyed by a person they'd chosen to see because they love their art. They didn't pay to attend a political rally and they don't even want to be at a political rally or at that political rally. I don't remember ever going to a concert where that happened to me. I do remember feeling indescribably outraged when I attended--along with 20,000 other people--the campus memorial for the September 11th victims three days after 9/11 only to find speaker after speaker turning the occasion into a peace rally.

I went to the Dave Matthews Band concert at Alpine Valley last night, and I knew Dave had recently signed up for the "Vote For Change" concert tour and was capable of saying things like:

A vote for change is a vote for a stronger, safer, healthier America .... A vote for Bush is a vote for a divided, unstable, paranoid America. It is our duty to this beautiful land to let our voices be heard. That's the reason for the tour. That's why I'm doing it.

But the Alpine Valley folks had not bought tickets for a political tour concert. I was prepared to hear some unappealing politicking from the stage, so I was quite impressed that the only political content occurred when Dave came on stage to introduce the band (Gusher) that played before his band. Dave just said:
There will be a break after they play and before we come out and play, so if you have to take a leak, when you go up to take a leak, you can also register to vote. If you really have to go bad, then first take a leak, and then register to vote. But if it's just a twinge, you can register to vote first.

And vote for whoever you want. Vote for whoever you want. And if you don't know who to vote for, vote for who I want. You know who I want. But vote for whoever you want.
Well said, Dave. Appropriate use of the forum.

1 comment:

April said...

Agreed. Well said. :-)