Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Nope, No Bias Here Either

Via Australian pundit, auto enthusiast and all-'round fine gentleman Tim Blair came a pointer to a furor arising from a rock magazine interview with Iced Earth singer/songwriter Jon Schaffer. It seems the published article and Schaffer's denunciation of it caused such an uproar that the magazine decided to post the whole interview to let readers decide for themselves.

The interviewer (labelled BW&BN) is Canadian; Schaffer is American. But that's the least of it!
BW&BK: "Do you think 9/11 will be viewed as the first event in the US empire's decline and fall?"

JS: "No. This is not an empire, first of all. If the United States was an empire, your country would be our 51st state."

BW&BK: "I understand."


BW&BK: "So you don't see the Bush regime as being cultural imperialists? You don't see them as trying to force the American way of life on to a nation that maybe doesn't want it?"

JS: "No. If you think that's true, then why are 70 or 80 percent of the people are thrilled to have us there. Have you not seen that? And it's not a regime, by the way. You keep up that kind of language I'm going to end the interview right now."

BW&BK: "Ok. I understand."

JS: "I'm serious."


BW&BK: "Well, sometimes Americans believe they're very free, when they're sometimes not. There are a lot of authors, especially a guy like Noam Chomsky, who believes a lot of consent in the US is manufactured by politicians and corporations --"

JS: "Talk about one of the fuckin' ultra leftist spin doctors of the world, Noam Chomsky. You buy into that crap?"

BW&BK: "Well, I read a lot of his stuff."

JS: "But do you believe it all?"

BW&BK: "I have a degree in political science, so I believe some of it."

JS: "Hmm. Yeah. Well. And how old are you?"

BW&BK: "I'm 22."

JS: "22 years old? That's a lot of wisdom there! Come on, man. You know where I live? In the real world. When I was 16 years old I was living in abandoned houses and making my way into a career. Building things up from nothing without any kind of... well... socialist system to help me. That made me a very strong, independent person. I'm an independent thinker. Just because I get certain things shoved down my throat, I don't follow. I lead. Y'know what I'm saying? I look at the facts, and I base my opinions on the facts. Not the political rantings of someone like Noam Chomsky. I've got some of his books in my library. I think they're unbelievably over-the-top, like dangerously so. But that's you've got out there."
There's a lot of talk about America and empire, as well as going out on your own at 16 to make your way in the world. Schaffer talks about making mistakes, falling down and getting back up. It's a great interview actually, though not so much about music.

You can read the concommitant flame-wars on the magazine's message boards here.

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