Matt Ashare of the Boston Phoenix, on TV On The Radio recent appearance at a free Boston gig supporting the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
TV on the Radio had to go and ruin the good vibes by ending their set with a salvo against the Marines, who had signed on as one of the event’s sponsors. Now this is no place for a political rant, but it’s worth noting — no, it’s crucial to understand, lest we fully repeat the mistakes of Viet Nam — that the Marines, Army reserves, and Navy and Air Force pilots currently fighting George Bush’s wars in the Middle East are doing just that, carrying out plans handed down by their commander in chief and doing their best not to get the asses blown to hell in the process. Soldiers take orders: they don’t make policy. To blame them for the mess in Iraq is to tacitly let the bureaucrats and politicians really responsible for the debacle off the hook.
I wasn’t at the gig, so I’ll have to take Ashare’s word about the rant in question. But differentiating between George W. and the rank & file doesn’t address the issue of whether or not TVOR — or any band with a conscience, brain or guts — should be a-ok with a military recruiting presence at their show. If the Phoenix has no problem with it, that’s their decision to make, but if the band wanted to disassociate themselves from the sponsor, I’m not unsympathetic.
It should also be mentioned there’s a sure-fire way to avoid carrying out the plans of the Commander In Chief and not get your ass blown to hell in the process : don’t join the military.