It Is After Considerable Contemplation....

It is after considerable contemplation that I have lately arrived at the decision that I must withdraw from the two performances scheduled in Israel on the 30th of June and the 1st of July.

One lives in hope that music is more than mere noise, filling up idle time, whether intending to elate or lament.

Then there are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.

I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security.

I am also keenly aware of the sensitivity of these themes in the wake of so many despicable acts of violence perpetrated in the name of liberation.

Some will regard all of this an unknowable without personal experience but if these subjects are actually too grave and complex to be addressed in a concert, then it is also quite impossible to simply look the other way.

I offer my sincere apologies for any disappointment to the advance ticket holders as well as to the organizers.

My thanks also go to the members of the Israeli media with whom I had most rewarding and illuminating conversations. They may regard these exchanges as a waste of their time but they were of great value and help to me in gaining an appreciation of the cultural scene.

I hope it is possible to understand that I am not taking this decision lightly or so I may stand beneath any banner, nor is it one in which I imagine myself to possess any unique or eternal truth.

It is a matter of instinct and conscience.

It has been necessary to dial out the falsehoods of propaganda, the double game and hysterical language of politics, the vanity and self-righteousness of public communiqués from cranks in order to eventually sift through my own conflicted thoughts.

I have come to the following conclusions.

One must at least consider any rational argument that comes before the appeal of more desperate means.

Sometimes a silence in music is better than adding to the static and so an end to it.

I cannot imagine receiving another invitation to perform in Israel, which is a matter of regret but I can imagine a better time when I would not be writing this.

With the hope for peace and understanding. Elvis Costello    May 5, 2010


Al responds:

Dear Elvis,

I don't know how to express how disappointed I am to see this kind of nonsense from you.  I generally don't give a rat's ass about the constant flow of cheap moral grandstanding from spoiled pop singers and celebrities, but you in particular are just way too smart for this kind of BS. 

In the first place, it speaks to an unfortunate trait of self-aggrandizement that you sometimes show.  This jumped out at me a couple of years ago when you were getting some free speech award and talked about how dangerous it was now (the Bush era) to be an artist speaking out on "matters of conscience."  Of course, I can imagine how you'd be a little fearful after that evil Bushitler had the Dixie Chicks shot. 

Oh right, now I remember - that never happened.  This intimidation and oppression was purely a cheap fabrication on your part so you could imagine that The Man would give a damn about anything you could possibly say when you think you're speaking truth to power.  Sorta like the "Radio, Radio" thing on SNL back in the 70s where you imagined that you would have to go rogue because the evil suits at GE would never allow you make such a scathing indictment on their air (as if they would even care) - but not as cute, nor having the excuse of youth. 

"One lives in hope that music is more than mere noise, filling up idle time"  Yeah, I'ma have to call bullshit on you right here specifically.  Of course music is more than mere noise, although it certainly is good for filling up idle time with life giving art and joy.  Music is an important art form - the most important one, if you asked me.  But you're jumping all the way from "more than mere noise" into being the Conscience of the Nation or some such pretentious nonsense.  Be grateful simply to be "God's Comic."

It's not enough to be one of the greatest songwriters and singers in the history of recorded music, admired by millions.  Making Imperial Bedroom and The Delivery Man isn't enough, you apparently also have to be some self-appointed Gandhi, a voice of conscience.  Why, just you showing up and doing your job singing songs in a country whose policies you disagree with would be a political statement in their support.  Your mere presence would "resonate."  Hey, everybody, look - Elvis Costello is playing in Israel.  He must be supporting the policies of Netanyahu.  You seriously need to get over your bad self there.  Jumpin' Jehosophat!

Further and much worse, you now choose to indulge this self-aggrandizement through a thoroughly morally repugnant expression of supposed "conscience" to rebuke some of the very finest and most compassionate people on the planet on behalf of absolutely the worst and wickedest.  Your moral "instinct" to support the weak and downtrodden is made pretty seriously perverse and out of whack in that you simply disregard any accountability for them. 

For one part of that, I'm less than impressed with what you try to get away with in that phrase about how the Jews are supposedly oppressing the poor Palestinians "in the name of national security."  That phrase clearly implies that you summarily reject Israeli concerns of security as just a made up excuse.  They claim to be acting "in the name" of something - but why do you think the Jews are really busting heads? 

What, the Jews don't really seriously need to take any military actions or place naval blockades and such to protect themselves?  They don't really have bomb makers embedded into schools and mosques?  The Jews should make nice?  How's THAT worked out for them in the last 20 years and more?  Has giving up land gotten Israel MORE peace or LESS?

The Palestinians deserve and to a large and perverse extent actually actively desire every bit of the misery that they suffer.  If you worry for the innocent Palestinian children (disregarding the innocent Israelis they constantly and purposely slaughter) then you might better address that indignation to their parents who volunteer their young children as human shields for Hamas bomb makers, just for starters.  Noticing actual behavioral facts does not constitute racial prejudice (pre-judging based on race without knowing actual facts of behavior) or bigotry, so save it, m'kay?  By their actual behavior, the big majority of Palestinians show far more interest in spiting and killing Jews than in having anything positive for themselves. 

In short, being powerless and weak does not in any way imply any presumption of superior moral stature.  Nor does suffering necessarily imply oppression.  If you look up from your cheesy ideologies to see how your map fits the actual road, you'll see something way different than the pampered view from your nice gated community.

Now, if you're done jacking off your fourth circuit there Mr Voice of Conscience, can you kindly get back to work?


Your Biggest Fan



PS If you were concerned and wanted to talk about actual fearful oppression of free speech, you might better address some of your moral indignation to the Muslim backers and cousins of your poor oppressed Palestinians.  You might ask Trey Parker for a little update on that situation sometime.

I also observed that the fact that they were poets made them think that they had a perfect understanding of all other subjects, of which they were totally ignorant - Socrates



child molester PIN BIG KEY Mohammed cartoon PIN BIG KEY

Danish Muhammed Cartoon by Kurt Westergaard MUHAMMED BIG KEY 





Holla Back! 

Elvis Costello Is King

Music Sustains the Soul

MoreThings home



Link Soup
morethings master photo gallery index boutique MP3 new album releases sammy davis shirley temple photos little richard photos buddy holly pictures fats domino images chuck berry pictures Jesus pictures leann rimes 24 lucille ball images clint eastwood pictures lena horne images beach boys janis joplin images team america pictures robert mitchum photos bruce springsteen pictures bugs bunny pictures mariah carey pictures ann coulter photos loretta lynn pictures kanye west images beatles pictures white stripes pictures andy griffith pictures kill bill pictures beverly hillbillies pictures michael jackson robin williams frank zappa pictures jerry lee lewis pictures richard pryor photos june carter johnny cash pictures u2 photos four seasons images james cagney images pulp fiction pics snoop dogg elvis presley pictures dolly parton pictures olsen twins photos brandy cheech&chong tori amos pictures David Bowie photos roger rabbit reese witherspoon pictures rolling stones photos fiona apple images kim novak images ray charles photos marx brothers pictures prince rogers nelson pictures blazing saddles images steve martin eddie murphy photos aretha franklin photos south park  pictures homer simpson images bob dylan pictures elizabeth taylor photos alice in wonderland pictures madonna images saturday night live pictures jewel kilcher photos willie nelson images india.arie pics lynyrd skynyrd hee haw pictures james brown images pete townshend photos tina turner pictures dixie chicks photos bill murray pictures elton john images emmylou harris images in living color pictures guns n roses pictures jodie foster photos eminem frank sinatra photos van halen images satan blondie photos merle haggard images rocky horror pictures monty python martin luther king watchmen pictures sarah palin