Tuesday, August 10, 2004


The antipathy of the White House toward any kind of dissent or opposition seems to have seeped into parts of our popular culture.

First, the audience boos Linda Ronstadt when she injects a Michael Moore political note into her a performance, and then the hotel bans her from its premises. Now, normally objective talk show hosts rant against political statements from Bruce Springsteen and others. One thread running through the comments is that just because these are popular performers we should not have to listen to their political thoughts. Well, why not? They are citizens also and have every right to express their views to their followers.

Of course, no one has to agree with them, just as we need not, and probably should not, ever pay much attention to the likes of Ben Afflack or Charleton Heston.

But silence our muses? From the earliest of times, the writers, poets, and singers of the world have effected positive change in our culture and body politic. Think Walt Whitman, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez. Think benefits such as Farm Aid.

Let them sing. And let them talk.