Monday, April 30, 2007



John Mellencamp didn't play "Texas Bandido" or "Rodeo Clown," two songs he wrote about George Bush, a few nights ago at a concert he did for 200 wounded veterans and their families at Walter Reed Hospital. He did a sweaty 14 song set featuring bipartisan crowd pleasers like "Jack & Diane," "Hurts So Good," "Small Town," and "Little Pink Houses." According to the Washington Post "one can apparently appreciate Mellencamp's music even while disagreeing with his personal politics-- just as it's possible for the singer to support the soldiers while opposing the war they're fighting." The Post writer doesn't mention how he ascertained that the wounded men disagree with Mellencamp's "personal politics." But it's the Post, where an Establishment hack like David Broder is honored and esteemed as though he were a real journalist.

Mellencamp has been an outspoken populist-oriented opponent of Bush's worst excesses. He talks about and he writes songs about it. I doubt any of the tunes from Freedom's Road are on Bush's iPod with "My Sharona." It would have been great, however, if whoever loads the iPod would have stuck the whole album on it since the hidden last track, "Rodeo Clown," pans Bush mercilessly. "I didn't want to write about blame," Mellencamp explained to a journalist asking him about it. "With freedom comes certain responsibilities. You can't put Lady Liberty in a position by herself. To be above reproach she has to live up to certain ideals or the rest of us are screwed. I said it in 'Rodeo Clown.' It's always the same. It's rich guys making young kids fight their battles."

His concert at Walter Reed shows how very straight-forward it can be to support the young men and women fighting on behalf of the U.S.-- our troops-- while not supporting the war or the warmongers like Cheney and Bush. In fact, Mellencamp said it himself: "You can support the troops and not support the wa. If I can entertain these kids and get the people watching to think about who's making sacrifices for their country, well, mission accomplished."

If you missed Mellencamp on MSNBC's countdown, here's a 5 minute piece during which he explains what he did and why.

If you haven't heard John lately, here's a video always worth watching:

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At 11:04 PM, Blogger O'Brien's Briar Patch said...

I'm glad I read this. For the last few months I've been disappointed with Mellencamp because of the Chevy ad, but this really impressed me.

At 1:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a great hoosier

At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you mean another great hoosier


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