A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Standing For Something

The world is burning. We have gas poisoning and acid attacks in the UK, Russian meddling in politics and mother nature taking back her lands via fires, volcanoes, hurricanes/twisters and earthquakes. We have a problem with pollution in the air and plastics in our waters. We have people carrying out mass shootings or people driving vehicles into crowds of people. We still have wars over religion and poverty/famine in Africa is still happening and as much as big business wants to deny it, climate change is real.

The past is littered with bands and music in general taking a stand against a problem, a situation, injustice and war. But what about now. What is upsetting musicians enough that they feel compelled to write about it?

King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” is a powerful anti-Vietnam War statement while “Khe Sanh,” by Cold Chisel portrayed the damage that the Vietnam War did to a soldier after he came back. Meanwhile, Black Sabbath focused on the fallout of nuclear war with “War Pigs”.  Metallica also touched on this topic with “Blackened” while Megadeth protested nuclear warfare with “Rust In Peace”.

Bob Dylan sang about about the injustice of imprisoning an innocent man in his song “Hurricane” while Midnight Oil sang about the corruption of corporations in poisoning its workers with asbestos in the song “Blue Sky Mine”. Rush challenged religion in “Freewill” and how people use god as an excuse for their own lack of accountability.

Today, artists who speak out or write about social issues suffer blowback from “fans”. And as soon as they get blowback, the accountant speaks to the manager who then speaks to the artist. And the artist then remains silent.

Robb Flynn spoke out about racism and Trump America and he suffered death threats and hate mail. Meanwhile Metallica kept quiet on the issue, choosing financial perseverance. Even Mustaine, who normally has an opinion has kept his mouth shut. Maybe the lyrics for the upcoming Megadeth album, might reference the current social situation in a cryptic way.

Nikki Sixx is all over Twitter in his anti-Trump tweets. He’s getting told off and told to stick to music, but he doesn’t care. He’s got skin in the game and he’s shouting at the devil. Meanwhile, a lot of other artists from the 80’s are keeping their opinions to themselves. Jon Bon Jovi said something negative about Trump and he got some backlash from Jovi fans that voted for Trump. So he stopped talking about politics.

Kiss’s Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley don’t care if the world is going to hell, as they continue their stand against piracy and streaming payments. At least they have an issue they are taking a stand on and they are sticking with it.

Dee Snider has always taking a stand on issues in the past and even today, he’s still taking a stand. He’s anti bullies and anti crap talkers and anti-oppressors. Even though he’s not writing the lyrics for his recent solo albums, he’s the voice who is delivering the middle finger salute message to the rest of the world.

Maynard Keenan from Tool and A Perfect Circle fame has always shared his views in songs. Sometimes he’s been very cryptic about it, but on the recent APC album “Eat The Elephant”, he’s not holding back at the Government and as usual, religion.

If you want to hear truth and people taking a stand, go watch a comedy show. Comedians are always commenting on government officials, products, companies/business people and commercials. And by taking a stand, they are selling their show and routine in the process. Comedians tour in clubs and theatres to great success. Meanwhile the majority of musicians are buying up space in the suburb of conformity, too scared to be true to themselves because of the blowback. Remember, you can’t be liked by everyone.

Take a stand.

Music, My Stories, Stupidity

Invasion Of Our Privacy

Heritage artists are outraged that people have moved to streaming and piracy instead of buying CD’s and vinyl. So they speak up about it and take a stand. But when it comes to their internet privacy being sold to a corporation, there is nothing. Not even a word. Is it perfectly acceptable to them to have their ISP giving up their browser history for profit?

Where is the anger, the protests, the outrage?

People are outraged that a reality TV show actor has become President and all they talk about are his links to Russia. But when it comes to their internet privacy there isn’t a word. Nothing. It must be perfectly acceptable to them to have the Republican’s allow their ISP to sell their browser history.

Where is the anger, the protests, the outrage?

Governments pass laws that discriminate against minorities and people speak up. Bruce Springsteen cancelled a show. So did Pearl Jam. But when governments pass laws abusing our privacy, nothing.

Where are the music heroes now, standing up for the majority of the citizens, instead of the minority?

Governments issue executive orders banning certain races from travelling to their country and there’s an uproar. But when that same government allows their own citizen’s browsers history to be sold for profit, there is nothing heard from the people.

Where is the uproar?

Metal and rock artists rallied to save the staff at Team Rock when they were all made redundant before Christmas 2016. But nothing from no one around internet privacy.

Why is it when it comes to protecting ourselves as individuals, we remain silent.

Governments deny climate change and people scream in protest. Governments take away our privacy and there is silence.

The reason why we have anti-consumer rules in the first place is because of corporation corruption. Verizon (along with other ISP’s around the world) decided it was a good idea to secretly change the wireless packets of its customers, so Verizon could track them on the internet without telling them. Or about how other ISP’s like AT&T and Comcast (along with other ISP’s around the world) who decided it was a good business model to charge their customers a higher premium for privacy. Or how CableONE thought it was a good idea to use the financial data they have on their customers to provide their customer service. If a customer had a good credit rating that meant good customer service and a bad credit customer meant bad customer service.

Geoff Tate/Queensryche nailed it with “Speak”.

The rich control the government, the media the law

Laws are getting written every day to benefit corporations who already have billions. And a little bit more of our privacy disappears more and more each time. And right now, elected officials worldwide are enacting laws that allow corporations to invade our privacy a little bit more, figuring we just didn’t care and are not paying attention.

So what happened to the voices now? The artists who decided to stand up against censorship, but not privacy.

We need more of them to speak up for our rights, like how in 1985, Dee Snider spoke up against censorship while the rest of the metal heads remained silent.

But in the end, the lyrics from Cog’s “Problem, Reaction, Solution” sum it all up.

At the end of the day I know,
That we work all our lives to pay for a cage they own
It ain’t no coincidence that the whole world is caught in an endless debt