August 9, 2005

"I'm from the school that considers it impolite to comment on other people's elections."

But I'm starting a world tour and I need some publicity.


I'm Full of Soup said...

In my book, Mick and the Stones can do no wrong. Have you heard the new song they have? They borrowed some licks from the past, but they still got it!

It's not the same as the incoherent, lame and self-serving criicism from the Dixie Chicks.

Mark Daniels said...

Apart from the question of motives, the problem with being someone like Jagger--or being a blogger for that matter--is that you have a backlog of quotes that can be used against you at a later date. (This applies to most public figures except, perhaps recent or current nominees for the US Supreme Court.) It's really tough to say, "I changed my mind" and most people caught in the crossfire between past and current statements try to prove that they're being consistent. Consistency may be a bit overrated.

Jinnmabe said...

If a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, what is a foolish inconsistency ?

Mick Jagger looks like a hobgoblin. Is that a clue?

P_J said...

Of course people can change their minds upon reflection and changing circumstances, but Mick's comment dates all the way from last October.

It's not like we're surprised that rock stars dislike Bush. It's that only 10 months ago Mick wanted the benefit of appearing to take the high road and now wants the contrasting benefit of trashing Bush to sell concert tickets. Because you know, the worst thing that could happen is a rock star's silence being interpreted as support for Chimpy McHitlerBurton.

Beth said...

If he made that comment last October, then he was speaking specifically of the election. That's past, and Bush won't be running for office again, so why not speak freely now?

Mark Daniels said...

When I brought up the matter of changing one's mind, I said "apart from the question of motives."

I'm not so sure that Jagger dislikes Bush because Jagger is a rock star.

I'm not even sure that he dislikes Bush.

A far liklier motive for his new song than disliking Bush is to stir a bit of ticket-selling controversy, as Ann suggested in her initial post. (This is the same thing McCartney tried to do a few years ago, picking a fight over rough language he used in his song, 'Big Boys Bickering.')

But I wanted to lay aside the question of motives--about which none of us can really know ultimately, to address the problem of "paper trails" that celebs who are constantly interviewed leave behind and the way that can result in people playing a "gotcha" game over inconsistency.

Yeah, Jagger made his statement about not commenting on the American elections just last October. So he may have some questions to answer for what can be seen as a sudden change of mind. I will point out, however, that he only said that it was impolite to talk about other people's elections, not about who the other people elected or their animating philosophies.

I'm not defending Jagger. Claims that he fronts the greatest rock and roll band have always made me want to barf. (And that's a position from which I am completely unlikely to change.) The Beatles and U2, two bands I love, not to mention Led Zeppelin, the Who, and others have greater claim to such accolades. Twice in my life I've bought Rolling Stones records (yes, vinyl): the single 'Get Off of My Cloud' back in '64 or '65 and the LP 'Goat Head's Soup' in '83.

So, I'm not a fan. While I have my suspicions about Jagger's motives or whether he's that political at all, I go back to my original point: "I may disagree with your flip-flop, but I defend your right to do it."

P_J said...

I, too, am tired of the endless "gotcha" games in the press. I don't care so much that Jagger decided to open his mouth or that he dislikes the current Administration. What really bugs me is that Jagger's original comments seemed designed to present himself as a mature and polite adult. But Mick couldn't keep up the adult act for very long, and it only took the need for some pre-tour publicity to jump on the bandwagon of artists bashing Republicans.

This has nothing to do with whether Jagger has a right to say these things. Nobody said he didn't. But he's the one who volunteered to keep his trap shut as a sign of his maturity.

Mark Daniels said...

Would Jagger only be polite if he refrained from criticizing politics and pols with whom he disagreed?

People certainly can disagree disagreeably. But disagreement is not inherently impolite.

And sometimes being polite is not the appropriate way to give witness to one's opinion. Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers at the Temple comes to mind.

Again, it does seem likely that Jagger's motives are, shall we say, less than pure. But, just as I wondered whether we cannot flip flop, I wonder whether we must always be polite and further wonder exactly what constitutes "impolite."

I appreciate your comments.


P_J said...


Thanks for the discussion and your kind words. I've been discouraged by all the angry invective on a number of Althouse threads lately, so I appreciate the civility.

We live in a free country and there's nothing wrong with Jagger expressing his strongly-held opinions. (I might question his credentials to judge Bush's faith, but that's another issue). I just wish Jagger hadn't decided to air his criticisms after having publicly espoused the virtue of polite silence. There are so few people willing to bite their tongues, and Lord knows, Jagger's is more than a mouthful.

Do we always have to be polite? Reading Jesus in Matthew 23 is an interesting exercise. I think Jesus hated arrogance and hypocrisy (especially religious hypocrisy) more than anything, and he wasn't very polite about it.

Ultimately, Jagger and his comments don't matter in the grand scheme of things. What matters is what I found on your blog from Romans 10. Now that's worth talking about.

Mark Daniels said...

I love Romans 10! Thanks for taking a look at the blog, Jeff.


Meade said...