Sundays are usually the days when I tackle a larger issue that encompasses a lot of smaller incidents. I usually like to title my blogs in such a way that I know they’ll grab everyone’s attention. Since you’re here, I’m sure you’re interested in what I have to say.
I’ve long been a fan of P.O.D. I was a fan before anyone else knew who they were. Snuff the Punk was the first Christian rap/metal/thrash album I ever bought, and from there I bought every single piece of everything they sold. StP came out so long ago that I bought it on casette tape. It’s even autographed. Now, however, it’s in the trash. The band that I’ve followed and supported since I was in 7th grade has done something that has made me so angry that I will never, ever buy into anything they are involved with ever again. I’ve even removed all of the songs I had on my iPod. Why? Check out these lyrics, from their song “Tell Me Why” on the new album:
The lies on your tongue
A hand that kills the innocence who quit to do wrong
your belly is full
While we fight for what remains
The rich getting richer
While the poor become slaves
We kill our own brothers
The truth is never told
If victory is freedome
Then the truth is untold
Surrender your soldiers
Like everyone else
If love is my religion
Don’t speak for myself
Tell me why
And why must we fight
And why must we kill in the name of what we think is right
And no more
Is how do you know
In case you can’t tell, they’re singing about the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I guess I shouldn’t expect anything better from a band that emulates Bob Marley (they played a Marley song on the MTV “New Year’s Cover Song” several years ago). But what astounds me is that they’re singing so openly against both the troops AND the mission. It’s a trend that’s becoming more and more chic with musicians and moviemakers as times goes on.
P.O.D. are certainly not the first guys to ever put a piece of “art” out there that is anti-war and anti-military. Recently, a lot of movies have been released as well that espouse the notion that the military is evil and our troops are murderers. Redacted, Lions for Lambs and In the Valley of Elah paint an incomplete picture, as does Stop Loss. Some of you may have never heard of these films–reason being, they’re not getting much popularity. In part it gives me hope that the entertainment industry hasn’t completely hijacked reality the way they did back in the ’60’s over Vietnam.
War is unpopular. Who in their right mind wants to go to war? It doesn’t just cost money, it costs lives. Those who come back alive are never the same. The surviving relatives both at home and in the other affected countries are left with holes in their lives that will never be filled again. War truly is hell, and nobody can honestly say that they enjoy it.
My favorite bands and artists aren’t politically involved. They may support the troops, but they don’t make comments on the politics involved in the wars that our troops are fighting. They don’t come out in support of one candidate or the other–they make their music and sell albums without the courtesy political involvement you see from Bon Jovi, P. Diddy (or whatever he’s calling himself now), Green Day and U2. I have a very hard time enjoying music put out by someone who has actively campaigned for any political candidate.
My favorite movies have been written and filmed so that they reach the denouement without offering a guilt trip for not believing in some moral that the filmmaker wishes to foist on me. We Were Soldiers tells the story of the battle at LZ X-Ray and ends without giving commentary on whether Vietnam was right or wrong. Black Hawk Down does the same with the battle of Mogadishu in 1993. The Brave One was even able to do it, much to my surprise, even though the filmmaker has the opportunity to push the anti-gun argument.
We do have the freedom to speak, the freedom to express how we feel and what we believe. But the freedom to do a thing does not mean you should, wherein lies the question: should fame be used to popularize a political ideal? I’m not suggesting we make it illegal, just to answer those who may accuse me of such nonsense.
I’m suggesting that we stop going to the movies, stop buying the albums or single songs on iTunes, and stop caring about those people in the entertainment industry who use their considerable clout to push their politics on the rest of us. P.O.D. asks, “how do you know you’re right?” I’d ask you the same question. How do you know that you’re right and everyone else is wrong? Are you really asking a question, or are you making an accusation? How do you know that with your limited view of what’s going on that we’re not doing the right thing? Have you talked to the people who are directly affected by this? Did they tell you to beg us to stop killing them?
More importantly, are you acting out what you know intelligently to be right, or are you merely doing something to make yourself feel better?
I can say, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that America is NOT the cause of all the world’s ills. That’s not what Code Pink, World Can’t Wait, and other such groups would have you believe, though. They display pictures of dead bodies and call our troops murderers–then they turn around and say, “support our troops, bring them home!” Hysterical politicians like Jack Murtha condemn our troops before the whole story is known, then refuse to retract their remarks when the truth is revealed. And the entertainers who make more money than Allah latch onto these attitues, spewing them back at us in an effort to make us follow them.
Tell me why we should follow you. How can you tell us to be individual when you’re demanding that we be like you? You’re no better than those you’re pointing the finger at.