I’ve been waiting to voice my opinion about a particular infestation of nonsense that’s been bothering me for a little over a year now. However, I’ve been waiting for the opportune moment to do so. There’s nothing that’s more frusterating than someone who whines, complains, and critiques about a particular concept and does nothing to provide a better solution or a more admirable path to follow. So, the post that you find right above this will be my suggestion. This post…is me playing finger pointing games.
The peace sign. What comes to mind when you see the peace sign? The 60’s? Free love? The Beatles? Certainly not Warped Tour or boys who dress like sailors in drag. Definitely not guys who sing songs about their ex-girlfriends. Well, then how the hell did we end up there today?
Now, I’ll admit. I’m biased. I’ve never been one to peddle peace. I don’t feel as though I’ve been put on this earth to write about honeysuckle, tree sap, and the power of a rainbow. I believe I’ve been put here to pick up the communal rug that blankets the earth, and violently reveal all of the secrets and shame that everyone sweeps under there in hopes that no one was watching. I get personal from time to time, but I’m human. Everyone falters. That’s the course I aim to stay on. Despite most of my endeavors being, well, “hippieless”, I’ve done my part with quite a few different causes, and I don’t parade “peace & love” around like it’s a political candidate with a shit-eating grin and a trophy wife.
So what is all this about? I’ve got a big problem with this Never Shout Never kid and all these other peace pushing, brainless, neo-hippies. I get it. You’re selling the same shitty songs that every other sappy, scrotum-less little boy out there is selling, but because you wear a sailor hat and throw up a peace sign…it’s worth their hard earned cash. The sad part is…and this is always the depressing element to these stories…kids eat it up. They don’t know any better…so they eat it up.
Now here’s the deal. I can deal with the haircut, the hippie garb, and the I-just-want-everyone-to-love-each-other-because-life-is-butterflies-and-rainbows attitude, if this kid would stop writing about his pathetic love life and say something. Say anything. I don’t care. Say ANYTHING. Stand for something. Tell me WHY I should be peaceful. Sell me on it, kiddo. Do you have a plan? Do you have a suggestion? Better yet…do you own a book? Any book. And no, the fact that you’re a vegetarian isn’t enough. Making peace with the animals can’t possibly be your message. I’m gonna need more than a PETA bumper sticker on your guitar case, buddy. GIVE ME SOMETHING.
So, by now, if you don’t agree, you’re probably asking, “Who the hell is this guy? I think this kid’s got some good songs and does a hell of a cover of ‘Imagine’. What’s this dude’s problem?” Who is the role model that I suggest? What is the example that I will hold up? I’m not going to speak from personal experience because in today’s music world, unless you’re a rapper or a metalhead, confidence is just plain arrogant. Begging for attention, and starving for popularity is the only way to really convey sincerity these days, right? So, I’ll use someone else. I’ll use two people that I look up to. I’ll give you two individuals who I only wish I could amount to someday…
The above article about Nate Henn does enough to explain how incredible his work in Uganda was. A side note for you: the man who wrote the article, my friend Andy, spent 2 years in jail standing up for his beliefs.
Ladies and gentleman, be smart about where you spend your money. There is intelligent music out there made by intelligent people. Next time you see an Om symbol, a peace sign, or a “GO GREEN!’ t-shirt, make sure there’s actually something or someone behind it.
P.S. If you think you have a solid argument against this rant, please use your discretion. I support you speaking your mind, but if you decide to post a response that is visible on my page…I will come back at you. I will not be leniant as I have been with people in the past who have posted responses on this page. Yes, I can read them, and this time I will come back at you. Let’s all play nice and hold hands.
I briefly got to know Nate Henn while I was in Uganda two years ago. He was a great man who did great things. Indeed, there is no force stronger than love.