Saturday, March 7, 2020

Who Is Roger Waters?

You might have gotten the impression that Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters is a sage, a man of discernment and good judgment, an authority on foreign policy and even international law.

You would be excused if you had, but you would do better to examine the words of the America-hating anti-Semitic Waters… a man who is notable only for his radical leftist crackpot opinions.

Perhaps you are not so concerned about anti-Semitism. Let’s try some of what Waters had to say about the United States and President Trump. From Rolling Stone, a few weeks ago, regarding his concern film, Us +. Them:

We’re living here in a fool’s hell,” Waters said. “The United States of America is not a fool’s paradise; it’s a fool’s hell. And watching [the film], it reminded me that the great battle is the battle between propaganda and love. And propaganda is winning. And sadly, the buttons of the propaganda machine are being pushed by people who are fucking sick. These sick, sociopathic fuckers, all of them, every single one of them. Believe it or not, Donald Trump is somewhere down here, floundering around in the muddy water at the bottom of the oligarchic pool.

Since Waters has scheduled a concert in Nashville in August, the Jewish Federation of Nashville has called for a boycott:

Though he denies it, Roger Waters (of Pink Floyd) makes no effort to hide his anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. He says he's not anti-Israel or biased against Jews, yet the imagery and props he often uses tell a different story - like a huge, inflatable pig he hangs off the rafters with stars of David and dollar signs. He also frequently and publicly harasses other artists who go to Israel to perform. Waters plays at Bridgestone Arena on August 13 and we want as many people to know what kind of bigot is coming to our diverse, wonderful city.

Thus, we should be concerned that Roger Waters is coming to Nashville. We don’t want him here and we certainly don’t need him here. Waters is also a very prominent and vocal proponent of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions targeted against Israel. The BDS movement was started by Palestinian activists. The real goal of BDS is not to change Israel’s treatment of Palestinians through economic and political pressure; rather it is the elimination of the Jewish State of Israel. Its leaders have said so themselves. You could look it up.

It continued:

Roger Waters always takes the low road and encourages other prominent musical performers to refuse to perform in Israel. For example, he tried to persuade The Rolling Stones and more recently Radiohead to cancel performances in Israel. Fortunately, most musicians have ignored, and some vocally and forcefully rejected Waters and they have been warmly and enthusiastically received in Israel. Who knows, maybe Waters is doing us a favor by creating more Israel advocates to counter his campaign of bigotry.

So, what shall we do about all this? We could join Waters on the low road and encourage you to boycott his concert that will be staged at the Bridgestone Arena. But then we are reduced to his level. If you want to waste your money to support a bad dude that’s your business.

The Jerusalem Post reported on Waters’ political activity last May:

Roger Waters took to social media on Thursday afternoon to express his pride in a Swiss petition that demanded Eurovision "pull out of the finals in Tel Aviv," during which he compared Israelis to aliens, although "it's giving aliens a bad name."

Waters spoke of a conversation he had with BDS founder Omar Barghouti, who told him about the petition, which was signed by 136,000 Swiss people.

Of course, Waters accepts the Palestinian line, to the effect that Israelis are racists.Tablet Magazine reported on some political slogans that Waters displayed on a Jumbotron in Hyde Park in July, 2018:

Tablet noted that a Waters concert had been canceled in Germany because of his anti-Semitism.

“Resist Israeli anti-Semitism,” read one of his signs.

What to make of this missive? It’s certainly not surprising, coming from a vocal champion of the BDS movement whose public statements were deemed sufficiently anti-Semitic by German broadcasters to cancel his concert in that country last year. But Waters’ latest statement represents a departure, even for a practiced bigot like him. In his latest iteration, the problem isn’t just that the Israeli government is guilty of objectionable policies. It isn’t the occupation, or violence against Palestinians, or any of the other items that Israel’s critics tick off when enumerating its sins. In Waters’ imagination, the problem is that the world’s only Jewish state is guilty of Jew-hatred.

It’s not only an idiotic statement, but an astonishingly pernicious one as well. It begins with Waters appointing himself the arbiter of what passes for anti-Jewish persecution, which is the sort of wildly offensive pretense any moderately liberal person would dismiss as unacceptable. And it continues with the rock star searching for evidence of anti-Jewish bigotry and finding it in the only place in the world where Jews are fully responsible for their own collective destiny.

Blaming the Jews for their own misfortune, of course, isn’t a new trick. It’s been a seminal feature of anti-Semitic rhetoric for millennia, and it served well squadrons of hissing haters who argued that if so many people want to exterminate the Jews, well, it must be for some good reason. But the modern incarnation of this ancient hatred is particularly grotesque: Speaking the hollowed-out language of the regressive left, Waters not only blames the Jews for their own troubles, but does so while claiming to be a champion of human rights. He’s telling his fans that it’s very important to take anti-Semitism seriously, and then adding that the only way to do it is to target the Jews.

You could dismiss it all as the rantings of a pompous rock star. Or you could argue that an artist whose tour ranked in the top-10 grossing acts last year, and who played for 734,000 Americans in 63 cities, earning $89 million, should suffer some consequence for sounding like a grotesque modern take on Torquemada. In an age when entertainers can lose their livelihood for one gauche tweet, you can only wonder why no one seems too eager to censor this singing anti-Semite.

These are but a few instances of Waters anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism. The next time you feel tempted to accept him as an authority on anything, think again.


Sam L. said...

Do the other band members agree with Roger, or are they just in for the money? I have to wonder...

UbuMaccabee said...

A surprisingly large number of people you meet get their view of the world from rock musicians and movie actors. Go to the average home, notice something? No books. Where would a person with no books get their notions? Roger Waters, that’s where.

Anonymous said...

I'm an Englishman and have admired the Pink Floyd'd music since I was introduced in 1970 at the age of 16. But Rock Musicians tend not to be particularly intelligent folk in a general sense and often talk a lot of rot about music, even their own music, let alone anything else!

Roger Waters had always been what you call a Pill. He was interviewed in 1973 when he discarded the worth of the fantastic music that so many fans enjoyed (you can imagine how they felt about that!) In 1986 he was reported as saying that the other three members of the band were useless do nothings - David Gilmour said it was 'insulting'.

Roger Water's opinions betray him as a bombast and an egotist and should not be taken as authoritative by anybody.