Re: Impossible Dreams and Unapologetic Idealism
posted at 1/22/2013 2:58 PM EST
In response to yogafriend's comment:
In response to polar123's comment:
There are many musicians that get criticized for being idealistic and unapoligetic. Two that immediately come to mind are Bruce Springsteen and Bono. Both have donated countless hours to causes that most people agree with, yet for some reason, many find fault with the way they go about it. Yes Bono is a bit of a blowhard, yes, Springsteen is a bit of an opportunist, but their goals are the same, to help out their fellow man.
Bono's goal of reducing third World debt, thereby increasing the standard of liviing in those countries is in my mind, noble. Yet the argument is, how much of Bono's estimated fortune does he actually give to charity, and the tax breaks he enjoys in his native Ireland, cause some to call him a hypocrite. And yet, everyone from Presidents to other World leaders seek him out on these issues.
As for Springsteen, we all know his story, and the time he takes to help folks in need, especially in his home state, or region. He is a viewed by many as a modern day Guthrie, who writes about the working man, and issues related to suffering and hardship. Yet for some reason, some view this as shallow, because unlike Guthrie, he never really suffered the way the working man has, and therfore cannot relate.
There are merits to both arguments for each artist, yet neither is apoligetic about being idealistic, nor should they be. In their own way, both have used their enourmous wealth and fame towards good ends.
Frankly, I think it's just a sign of the jaded world we live in that people criticize artists that devote time, talent and yes, money, to social causes. I remember posting about Springsteen's support of kid with cancer (put myself out on a limb with that one, too) and getting a few snide comments, not that I minded. I only admire him more as time goes by, not less. Funny how that works.
I said in another thread recently, where someone commented that Springsteen was in the grouping of the dreaded "over-rated", that perhaps, if anything, he's suffered from over exposure, at times, and part of that is his involvement in social causes, similar to Bono. Bono has not been in the public eye much lately, at least not in the USA.
The ironic aspect of criticizing rockers like Bono and Springsteen for being involved in social causes, and supporting and going to bat for them, is this: if that's the worst thing you can say about someone, then bring it on. :) I'd be perfectly thrilled if the reason people poked fun of me was due to my support of social causes. Can't imagine a better reason to dislike me. :)
BTW, I love her as a singer / songwriter / musician, therefore, it used to upset me that Sarah McLachlan was ridiculed for being a spokesperson for the ASPCA. Why people had such a jaded view of her support was beyond me at the time. I suppose there are many other examples in this realm, but McLachlan is another example for me, because I think so well of her efforts. Thanks. :)
I"m glad that you mentioned Sarah McLachlan. I am a fan as well. She gets a bad rap sometimes, and really there is no reason. What she is doing is pretty useful. It is an interesting contradiction, on the one hand we love our celebrities, but we just don't want them to tell us what to do. Most folks roll their eyes when a celeb starts pontificating, yet, we rush to the TV to watch them perform, take out our wallets when they gather for any type of crisis, and spend gobs of $$ to see them live.