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Elton John's Alternate Reality

Sir Elton John, reflecting on the shortage of successful pop songs condemning the invasion of Iraq, tells Interview magazine: "There's an atmosphere of fear in America right now that is deadly. Everyone is too career-conscious. They're all too scared… Things have changed. I don't know if there's been a time when the fear factor has played such an important role in America since McCarthyism in the 1950s as it does right now."
Allow me. F911 Ignites Box Office Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1 Celebrities Lash Out Against Bush Coalition of Celebrities Against Bush Celebrities Work with MoveOn.org Russell Simmons Unites Anti-War Stars Celebrities Challenge Bush Howard Stern Lambasts Bush Morrisey Slams Bush American Stars Slam Bush My god, can you feel the chill wind of fear blowing? The crushing of dissent, the blacklisting of celebrities....it's so frightening! It's a police state, I tell you! Anti-Bush movie stars, directors, producers and musicians are cowering in fear! The silence is damning. Has no one a bad word to say about the president or is everyone being stifled? Elton, please spread the word quickly. But be careful, or the black helicopters will come for you! Don't forget your tin foil sunglasses!


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Elton John's Alternate Reality:

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Uh isn't he the same genius who said "American Idol" was racist because one (of the three) black girls was voted off? While at the same time defending Eminem as not homophobic?

He should revisit the 70's where he made good music, snorted mountains of coke, and kept his pie hole shut about politics.

When did you miss the part about this?

"Sir Elton John, reflecting on the shortage of successful pop songs condemning the invasion of Iraq..."

How about the links to the pop songs that comdemm the war? This is what he was referring to. Not celebrities attacking Bush, but the lack of horrible anti-war songs.

You take a comment on pop songs and make it out as an all out conspiracy attack on the so called celebrity chill wind scenario.

Your response isn't bias, this is pure, reactionary emotionalism.

All of a sudden he knows American politics. HaHa

What the old queen really means is "Bernie don't take my calls no more so I'm stuck in nostalgia mode."

Your response isn't bias, this is pure, reactionary emotionalism.

You mean like saying "There's an atmosphere of fear in America right now that is deadly. Everyone is too career-conscious. They're all too scared… Things have changed. I don't know if there's been a time when the fear factor has played such an important role in America since McCarthyism in the 1950s as it does right now."

Nothing emotional or reactionary about that.

In any case, Michele makes a valid point, one which you seemed to have missed. Sir Elton says pop stars are scared... but as Michele shows, they're NOT scared. In fact, they won't shut up. They just aren't writing songs about it.

She's right, Elton is wrong, and YOU are wrong.

I don't trust John Ashcroft as far as I could throw Ruben from American Idol, and I think he would try to do McCarthy-type things if left to his own devices. However, he is NOT free to pursue his fondest desires. As Michele points out, we do not see celebrities being blacklisted or hauled before Congressional committees for maing anti-war comments.

Elton John is the boy who cried wolf - comparing the current situation to the McCarthy era will only serve to desensitize people to the dangers of REAL McCarthyism.

"I don't know if there's been a time when the fear factor has played such an important role in America since McCarthyism"...he's correct, of course, but in a very different way from what he means. On college campuses all over America, students and faculty are afraid to speak out against the leftist orthodoxy. This is also true in certain industries, specifically the entertainment industry.

Great Caesar's GLAVIN! What an ID-I-OT Elton John is!!!

Thank you, Michele, for dutifully (and with your usual aplomb) pounding another looney hack like a pinata, 'til only pulpy fragents remain. :-D

Someone pays attention to Elton John? I thought people only paid him to plagarize his own songs and sleep at the foot of the bed. Gimme a break.

That's some band they've got locked up in Joliet right now.

Excuse me while I throw-up at both Elton's cluelessness about this era being just like McCarthyism [cue the horses screaming in fear], and the cluelessness of people who think nothing has ever been as bad in the US as McCarthyism [cue the horses screaming in fear].

I'm always curious about the assertation that John Ashcroft would, if left to his own devices, introduce the new McCarthysm. It must be true, people keep saying it. There must be a secret mailing list that I'm not on giving out the evidence of such. Poor me, all I get to see is a poor schlub trying to enforce the laws as written by others, even the laws he doesn't personally agree with. It's funny. A Democrat member of the FCC goes after Howard Stern and we hear the bellowing. BUSH! ASHCROFT!

I think he's been sniffing too much glitter.

But then, he's a pop star. Who gives a shit what he thinks?

It's like taking Donald Trump's opinion on Iraq seriously because he's Donald Trump. Ah, no.

Like my father used to say: Who gives a shit? He never bought me a drink.

The funniest part about these idiots is that they are completely blind to the irony of publicly complaining about how they are being silenced.

goodbye Bill of Rights, though we never, understood you at a-ll...

Hi. My name is Robert McClelland and I am not welcome here. My comment has been changed to reflect that.

Green Day has an anti-Bush song and CD coming out soon. The message is severely undermined by the fact that it's Green Day though ;-)

Elton is assuming of course that a majority of pop stars would be against the Iraqi invasion, as if "Pop" stars were anti-popular opinion and trends. As someone who grew up during the 60's and 70's I could attest that pop stars do not take on divisive subjects for their songs. Rock stars led that music movement because it was acceptable for them to do so and finacially lucrative considering their audience.

Elton John is in the Rosie O'Donnell dillemma. His only potential fan base comes from "Red America" so he either has to shut up and play the piano at nostalgia shows at the fairgrounds or become some sort of drag show fixture like Boy George. I guess the former pays better.

Rosie had the same problem when she did her talk show and cultivated her image as "Queen of Nice". As soon as she got political (read leftist) her ratings and magazine sales would go down. Remember how when things were looking real bad, she all of a sudden became a (temporary) Bush supporter? She also took great pains to mislead her talk show audience about her sexuality and only really came out after her show was cancelled.

If pop stars and comedians want to voice their opinions, then they have to understand that there are consequences and people who may disagree or be offended will complain to their patrons and their patrons may cancel their contracts.

"Sir Elton John, reflecting on the shortage of successful pop songs condemning the invasion of Iraq..."

When have pop songs been about current affairs or is Britney's 'Toxic' a cutting attack on chemical waste?

What Sir Elton forgets is that freedom of speech is not the right to say something and for everyone to listen respectfully I silence. Free speech is there to allow dialouge.

I have just as much right to call a celeb a prat as they have to call Bush it.

Worse than that, Ral. Sir Elton and others think that not only are we required to listen respectfully, we are required to continue throwing money at them.

Sir Elton also seems not to grasp the possibility that the reason there are few anti-war songs is that perhaps few people want to write them this time.

I like to tease the left that they see McCarthy under every bed (lefties used to say that McCarthy saw a communist under every bed.

Elton's interpretation of "McCarthyism" apparently is that Whoopie can't endorse SlimFast anymore and get paid for it. Obviously members of the entertainment industry have become the Winston Smiths of our time...

[cue the horses screaming in fear].


Best laugh I've had all day..

Frau Blucher errr Tink

Peter, John Ashcroft by his own admission stands squarely against a wide array of civil rights in which I strongly believe. He has shown a proclivity to go after enemies when he thinks he can get away with it. The man clearly dreams of the old South rising again, having contributed to publications that advocate for that very thing. I believe he is sincere in his beliefs - the problem is those beliefs are antithetical to mine and to anyone else who doesn't think the government has any business watching and controlling our lives. I'm sure many folks in the libertarian wing of the Republican Party have problems with him, as well. Ashcroft is just about as trustworthy as Michael Moore, in my book. The difference is, Ashcroft is a government offical. He is largely held in check by an array of contraints, but that doesn't mean he's harmless.

His statement is still valid. He never said America today is JUST like McCarthyism. He said America hasn't had this much fear SINCE mccarthyism... which is true.

Using fictional numbers, if fear / silencing was 90% during mccarthyism, and its 40% now, but had been around 10 for the entire duration between the two periods, then yes, there hasn't "been a time when the fear factor has played such an important role in America since McCarthyism".

The statement is true...

fear since mccarthyism <= fear now <= fear during mccarthyism.

fear since mccarthyism <= fear now <= fear during mccarthyism

Wow! I must bow to your k1ll3r m@+h 5k1llz, but aren't you forgetting

October, 1962: Cuban Missile Crisis
1949 - 1991 (approx): Cold War
1964 - 1973 (approx): race riots, draft riots, SLA et al
11/04/79 - 1/20/81: Iranian hostage crisis
9/11/01: 9/11/01
October 01: anthrax mailings

I probably forgot a few myself. But I remember some of them, and they were pretty scary.

What Elton John means is that people are afraid of saying what they think. Here, too, he is full of shit. What he really means is, "My spoiled over-privileged entertainer chums are worried that if they express their generally ill-informed opinions about current events, they will lose their cushy gigs with SlimFast and MasterCard and other eccentrically-spelled corporations. Since most of these people are currently living off past fame rather than present popularity, this is a major worry. How can a person maintain his fashionable Hollywood radicalism while not offending the rubes who will still part with their cash at the sound of his name? Woe is us! Dissent is crushed!"

Maybe in the music world Elton does have a point. I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the Dixie Chicks so far (if some has - then I apologize).

They were at the peak of their careers and then they criticized Bush and - poof - they were done. But it wasn't the government that silenced them - it was their fans.

The people who buy CD's (I almost wrote records and dated myself) are more in tune with an artists politics than say a movie goer to an actors politics. If an artist's politics aren't in tune with the fan - then the fan drops the artist from their personal playlist. Pretty straight forward.

I think Sean Penn was an idiot for his pre-war trip to Iraq and his "blood on his hands" comments. But that doesn't mean that I didn't think he was great in Mystic River. John Cougar Melloncamp used to be a personal fave but I pretty much scan past him now mainly because I think he's an idiot. His music didn't change but my perception of him did and my likelyhood of buying anything from him certainly has.

What Elton confuses is McCarthyism with Consumerism. If a fan doesn't like an artist as a person (and that includes their politics) then they won't listen to them or buy their CD's. It's not complicated.

It's not a matter of censorship - it's a matter of free choice and free markets. The fact that people aren't forced to listen to what some of these artists have say and that the artists have repercussions for unpopular stances drives these children of priviledge crazy.

BTW - I still listen to Cat Stevens if I scan past one of his songs (I'm an enigma).

Elton's off his rocker or his meds. I'm pretty sure Fear Factor is Joe Rogan's fault.

Odd that Elton isn't offend by the industry whispering campaign to silence Dennis Miller.

more chill wind B.S. remember how THIS one got distorted?

"There are reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do."

here's what fleisher said, with context:

"I'm aware of the press reports about what he [Maher] said. I have not seen the actual transcript of the show itself. But assuming the press reports are right, it's a terrible thing to say, and it unfortunate. And that's why -- there was an earlier question about has the President said anything to people in his own party [Cooksey}-- they're reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do."

Elton has never had much common sense. You notice Bernie Taupin is stupid enough to say anything this daft. Wonder if all the years of about are catching up with Elton...he going senile maybe?

I am in the entertainment industry. In this industry, if you do not toe-the-fascist-party-line you are an outcast.

I recently left an independent film job because the director kept spouting anti-Bush crap. I had a choice to make, either express my views and risk physical harm or leave.

I left.

Elton's voice is an example of how fascistic entertainers are using fear in order to control the collective masses.

In my opinion, Ashcroft is an angel when compared to 'artists' who are dictating how we think, say, feel and live.

I noticed MikeR making some assertions about the evil intent of Ashcroft if he were ever to be "unleashed".

Are there any links supporting those assertions?

I'm not taking potshots. I'm curious to see the root/sources of all the "Ashcroft is evil" rhetoric.

You wingnuts won't be satisfied until Ashcroft and his puppet Bush hang every minority and liberal from every tree in America!

OMG, you're disagreeing with Elton! Crushers of Dissent™! Fascists! Kiss Elton! He wants to be kissed when he's being fucked over!* Attica! Attica! Attica!

*No really, he does.


did you leave your sarcasm tags off? Or just trolling with foilhat superglued to your head?

By the way, MikeR, I've heard that the A$$croft Monster can be appeased by throwing a couple of Gay Democrats under the bed. Or if you don't have any on hand, a pound of ground chuck will do.

JBeez, the tinfoil crowd has already hung minorities from a tree. Look at how they have managed to hang Condeleeza Rice, Colin Powell and every minority within the Bush adminstration from the proverbial tree.

They have also moved minorities to "the back of the bus" in order to simply accomplish a specific agenda. I refer to Air America as an example and NAACP as another.

These days, your idea of 'liberal' is not considered at all to be liberal.

"My god, can you feel the chill wind of fear blowing?"

I feel it, but I can't, quite, reach it.

Are you guys nuts? Time you woke up and smelt the coffee.


Paging Sir Elton John!
Paging Sir Elton John!

Your flight on Chill Wind Express
is ready for take off.

Please sit back and relax while your half way flight to Dublin takes off. Oh, whats that you say you actually wanted to take your personal jet all the way to Dublin? We are terribly sorry, Mr. Aschroft had your flight plans changed. Now that we have reached maximum cruising altitude above the Irish Sea please observe that the doors on this black helicopter have been opened, thus allowing an unrestricted view. We hope you have enjoyed your flight with Chill Wind Express. The stewards will now help you exit the aircraft...

FWIW, I lived in Missouri when Ashcroft was governor, and while I didn't follow state politics closely, had no idea that he was a fundamentalist Christian, or was anything but a garden variety politician. He did not make an issue of his religious views. He did nothing extreme, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing even particularly controversial.

I cannot fathom why he now engenders such hatred and distrust. It truly baffles me.

One further thought: we reall need to teach civics again in high school, so that leftists will come to realize that the First Amendment relates to an individual's free speech vis-a-vis the Government, not other individuals. There is simply no Constitutional right to say whatever you like and not face consequences from other individuals or organizations other than the Government.

If SlimFast doesn't like what Goldberg says, they have every right to pull the plug on her. This is not censorship, nor repression, nor anything else except SlimFast exercising its right to correct what was probably a grievous error in judgment in the first place.

John Ashcroft is a great Attorney General. He's done a magnificent job. He's even helped save the lives of the very barking moonbats who believe they've been targeted by him.

festevich- Elton denounced Dennis Miller on stage in Vegas. I don't want to go off on a rant here, but...

MikeR: Which "civil liberties" does Ashcroft oppose, again? Care to name them, and provide evidence of his opposition?

(And are they defined as civil liberties by law or common belief, or is their portrayal as civil liberties a new minority belief? The two cases are different; calling something a civil liberty doesn't automatically make it so.)

the fact is that we've got a fascist government couched in the IMAGES of democracy, in which a whore of Cheney/Halliburton and the Saudi royals - military industrial complex - yep! Ike's warning was right - IS dominating/co-creating a culture of fear, ignorance and self-defeatism.

Mussolini himself defined fascism as "it's better called corporativism, as it's really the rule by corporations"

There ARE plenty of anti-war songs both new AND all too currently applicable old that apply... however, they are NOT getting played except on alternate stations, and those usually only have certain times they play such (or any) music... and there's few and far between the stations owned by the corporate monoliths controlling the airwaves. And people are afraid, and with good reason... since Bush-gang took the crypto out of crypto-fascist.

The songs are there, in just about all genres... but try to hear them played!