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Stick to the music, Raine!

Just got home from an amazing Our Lady Peace concert at the Bell Centre. My ears are still ringing. What a show!

But then Raine Maida had to interject a comment about how he wishes our prime minister “would get some balls and tell the US to stay the fuck out of Iraq!” The band then proceeded to play a cover tune (Drive, by the Cars – which seems to have no relation whatsoever to Raine’s political commentary). I’m not sure if all the people who cheered at that comment agreed with him or were just cheering because they’d scream at anything he said. Not that it matters.

Of course, he’s entitled to his opinion. And I guess I’ve known for a while that he and his wife (Chantal Kreviazuk, whose music I also love) have been involved in organizations to end the sanctions on Iraq, and other related activities. But I filed that away someplace at the back of my mind, figuring it shouldn’t affect my enjoyment of OLP’s music.

As it well shouldn’t. Except that I was really enjoying tonight’s concert as a form of escapism from everything. And just at a point when I was most into the music, this threw a bucket of wet sand on everything. Suddenly, it was an in-your-face challenge: how to scream and cheer for music sung by someone who just lost all my respect from a political point of view.

This is what’s wrong with celebrity politics, in a nutshell. I can’t stop listening to all music or watching all movies by musicians and actors with whom I disagree politically . . . or else I’d have nothing left to listen to or watch. But it does present a challenge.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Damian P. 02.06.03, 7:51 PM

    Why, Sari, it makes *perfect* sense that he’d sing “Drive” after making his anti-war statement. Because when you drive a car, you burn gas, and this war is all about ooooooooiiiiiiilllllll!!!

  • Otter 02.06.03, 7:57 PM

    Celebrities are as entitled to opinions as everyone else, of course. What I find distatsteful, from celebrities or not, is that sort of in-your-face politicizing of ordinary human interaction.

    There’s a basic lack of respect for others and their views, and no recognition that other opinions exist. It’s not surprising that it’s almost exclusively leftists who conduct themselves that way. The rest of us nod, go home and vote. And win.

  • segacs 02.06.03, 8:58 PM

    He’s entitled to his opinion. But announcing that in the middle of a concert implies that from then on, cheering for the music is like participating in a big rally against war in Iraq or something. I didn’t buy a ticket for a political rally, and I certainly don’t want to add my voice to that message. That’s what gets me. It’s like using fans to imply that everyone in the Bell Centre last night was in agreement with Raine Maida’s politics simply because we like his music.

  • Rohan 02.07.03, 3:33 AM

    Raine isn’t Rage Against the Machine. And the guy was actually IN Iraq, and had the good grace to note the absolute repression Saddam uses, in the feature of his trip in Macleans. So after being actually exposed to the suffering of the Iraqi people, without whoring for Saddam, I can’t say I entirely hate him for his political views, and certainly not for his music.

    I just wish SOMEONE would take him aside and explain how Saddam ruling a sanctions- free Iraq is bad for EVERYONE!

  • Me 02.10.03, 1:51 PM

    The personal and the social IS the political.

    If your ‘escape’ from the real world slapped you in the face hard with the truth, that’s great.

    Maida would’ve been happy. That’s just the type of effect he might have hoped for.

    Remember, Iraqis can’t afford the luxury of ‘escape’ from a fate which is being shaped for them by others.

  • segacs 02.10.03, 10:48 PM

    Me, I realize you have a hard time seeing the problem here because you happen to agree with Raine Maida in this case. But imagine if you had gone to a rock concert by a band you liked, and in the middle of the show, the lead singer made some kind of pro-Israel political statement. How would you have reacted?

  • Me 02.11.03, 3:45 AM

    Point taken.

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