Monday, December 17, 2007


I heard that Eddie Vedder and John Legend will contribute music to a documentary miniseries based on Howard Zinn's book A People's History Of The United States. People have recommended Mr. Zinn's book to me, so this is as good a reason as any to check it out.

Eddie Vedder gets bashed a lot for his politics. I, for one, often feel proud to be a fan when he speaks his mind. I know he's been a "fan" of Zinn (I don't think "fan" is the right word) for a long time: Pearl Jam's song "Down" quotes Mr. Zinn. I think the line is, "You can't be neutral on a moving train." Ain't that the truth.

I'm a big fan of John Legend as well. I interviewed him a few weeks before his debut album came out. I was equally impressed with his music and his politics, and how eloquent he was at voicing his motivations behind both. Not a lot of artists in the pop/R&B/hip-hop arena want to say much more about politics than vague stuff like "vote or die" (did anyone actually die from not voting?) but when John Legend talks, you can see him running for office at some point. I saw John Legend perform earlier this year, he was really great. I'll have to write more about him in the future.

There's been a lot of talk in the media recently about celebrities being unqualified to discuss politics. Well, if you want to discuss qualifications, you can start with the current president, he's not qualified to discuss politics, as he proves whenever someone puts a mic in his face. Plus, "political commentators" like Bill O'Riley are as much entertainers as anything else.

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