T Nation

Eddie Vedder Anti-War

For anyone who hasn’t heard about this story, Eddie Vedder made some controversial statements/actions at a recent Pearl Jam concert in Colorado. Here’s the link to one article:


Personally, I’ll never spend another red cent on a Pearl Jam album just like I’ll never spend another minute on anything touched by Michael Moore. But I would like to hear what people have to say about this…

I haven’t read what Eddie Vedder allegedly said yet…however…I have one comment and question: WHO GIVES A FLYING FLIP WHAT MUSICIANS OR HOLLYWOOD ACTORS SAY???..why should we care? These people can’t even manage their emotions…they routinely use drugs and alcohol to help in this area and usually have failure after failure in the relationship department!! Who appointed them braintrusts anyhow??? No offense to the person who posted this…but think about it!


This issue is a dead horse. Read a book.

Why do you guys resort to this foolishness? If you like Pearl Jam’s music then buy the music. If you don’t like the music then don’t buy it. Save the childish tantrums.

If you didn’t already know that Pearl Jam was a liberal/leftist band, then you’re a little on the dense side, or you were never really a fan of theirs to begin with.

Next you’re going to tell me that you’re boycotting Snoop Dogg because you found out he smokes pot…

In any case, in response to your personal boycott…ZZZZZZ

Vedder is a has-been flannal wearing pole-smoking, taint tickling faggot

Damn, I have Pearl Jam tickets for June…anyone want them?

Wait, Snoop Dogg smokes pot? Doesn’t he know it’s bad for him? Doesn’t he know he’s a role model for many impressionable young people?

11:31 PM

I haven’t read what Eddie Vedder allegedly said yet…however…I have one comment and question: WHO GIVES A FLYING FLIP WHAT MUSICIANS OR HOLLYWOOD ACTORS SAY???..why should we care? These people can’t even manage their emotions…they routinely use drugs and alcohol to help in this area and usually have failure after failure in the relationship department!! Who appointed them braintrusts anyhow??? No offense to the person who posted this…but think about it![/quote]

I agree. I don’t care what Hollywood or muscians think. In fact, rather than having temper tantrums in support of the war or against it, why not just say, “I support our troops irregardless of my personal opinion of the war.”

Actually I heard Snoop quit smoking pot.

I agree with PTrDR and Nate. I don’t care what EV’s political views are. Why would anyone pay any attention to Pearl Jam except to listen to their music? Pearl Jam put on one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen a few years ago, and I’m going again this summer, even though I probably disagree with his political leanings. What’s interesting about Eddie is that when Ten came out, he was this kind of happy, smiling guy in most interviews and his cameo in the movie Singles. Then when Pearl Jam had some success, he turned into an angst ridden depressed looking guy. Too bad, I hope it’s an act and that he really enjoys life. He has earned some happiness.

Dude. I mean what kind of crap is that? Someone says something you
disagree with and you boycott them. Isn’t he entitled to his opinion? Is it really
a news flash that Pearl Jam would be against this war? Are you that
politically vaccuous that you spend your time worrying about what celebrities
think about current events? Jesus. Grow up. I happen to like some David Allen Coe
songs but I don’t think we’d agree on much in a political converstaion. Arnold,
The Oak himself is a conservative Republican. Does that somehow mean he is NOT
the man? No. So shaddap already.

I knew Vedder is a very liberal person, no problem with that. I think he is a talented artist as well, as I own quite a few of their CD’s. I think its tasteless what he did thats all.

I’m boycotting Nate cause he said IRREGARDLESS haha From now on, I refuse to read anything Nate has to say and I am going to burn my “I Love Nate” t-shirt and bumper sticker and… well you get the point. So, irregardless, in case you were wondering, I don’t care what Eddie Vedder has to say, but good on him for saying whatever he wants. I didn’t like what he said, but he’s got a right to say anything he damn well feels like saying.


Here’s a counter argument.

Vedder or any other celebrity has a right to say what they want, no problem there. Vedder used the concert venue (his business and for the sake of this argument, I will often refer to actors and celebrities as a business because their celebrity status is their goods and service/livelihood etc. Call it the economist in me) as a forum to express his opinions to a large group of people. Okay, that’s fine, again, no problem, it is his first amendment right to do so. However, if Tyler, or myself doesn’t like what he is saying, we have a right to leave. I think so far we are all on the same page: Vedder can speak his mind, and we can leave if we want or stick around for the show, the choice is ours.

Okay, now I would like to take it a bit further. If Vedder, or another celebrity is going to use his or her job as a means to spread their political message, we have a right to not support that message beyond simply leaving. I’m not suggesting that people boycott celebrities or businesses that don’t have the same political views, but a business can not take a political stand and expect a neutral reaction from people, when the very nature of their stand is to move itself out of neutrality.

Michael Jordan was once asked why he didn?t take a bigger stand in politics, as such a popular icon; he could potentially have a lot of influence on the public. His answer, “Republicans buy sneakers too.”

You see, it is our right as consumers to spend our money how we wish. Okay, that’s nothing earth shattering. As a parallel, if the corner store in your neighborhood had a sign out front that said something that you didn?t agree with, let’s say you are pro-choice and right outside the store the sign said “Abortion Kills Children.” You may choose to not shop there, or you may decide to hell with it, it is too far to the next store, ignore the sign, buy what I need and be on my way. The point is though; the store went from a neutral place for people to purchase their goods (or entertainment in the case of a performing artist) to a place with a political message. That message will either positively or negatively influence people much more so than if the store owner simply voted for his own politics and didn’t campaign.

People often donate money to their political party. That is why around Fall-Winter, we are flooded with all those horrible election commercials. However, who here would donate money to the other political party? If you are passionate about politics, you wouldn’t send a check to the rival political party. Likewise, when a business or an actor decides to campaign on behalf of their politics, I won?t be sending money to support their campaign.

Again, to clarify, I am not suggesting that people boycott businesses that don’t support their political views, but if a business is going to take a political stand in an effort to positively influence its political belief, that is to move out of neutrality, it can’t expect a neutral reaction from the public. Or in other words, when a business becomes a political campaign podium, it has to expect a drop in revenue from the other party.

Snoop quit smoking pot?

I’m paying $50 to see Pearl Jam play music, not to hear Eddie Vedder’s warped political views. I too will be one of the people yelling “shut the fuck up hippie” if he decides to throw a tantrum on stage. I’ll be exercising my right to free speech.

Your logic is right on! Very astute. I too am a businessman, and I avoid going too public with any of my political views. Mine would only piss off both conservatives AND liberals though. Then I wouldn’t have ANYONE to buy shoes from me! If some celeb wants to move off the neutral position it is up to them if they want to lose a portion of their potential sales.

Enjoyed reading your assessment, and I appreciate your point of view from some of the other threads that I have read your posts in as well.

Anderson that was a lucid and well thought out reply. Excellent point
on all counts. If you make your opinions a part of the public domain, you
should expect a backlash of some sort. However the fact that your hypo-
thetical store has an opinion on abortion has no bearing on it’s primary function:
it’s there so I can buy stuff in case I need it. Therefore, the fact that the
store’s owners chose it as a forum for their political views is irrelevant to it’s
value to me as a consumer. I can understand the logic of wanting to boycott;
it may take some discipline to overcome the first impule that may strike
someone upon reading something so contraversial in such an ordinary place
(i.e. “take your pro-lifer store and stick it!”).

I will also add that once that the views of the owners start affecting it’s
function is where the line should be drawn. IF the sign said “no blacks”, and
I’m not black, it shouldn’t matter if I’m black or not, I won’t be shopping there.
That line between it’s objective function as a store and the subjective views
of the ownership has blurred.

So a person should be able to say whatever it is they want to say, as long
as the primary duty of the entity is being performed and is available without
discrimnation, we should treat the entity in the same way: without discrimination.

Roy and Jinx, I appreciate your replies. It’s nice to have a discussion and hear opinions without it turning into a flame war.

Jinx, getting back to the store, I agree, the purpose of the store doesn’t change, it is still there to provide you with something you need and in the context of the original topic, Vedder is still on stage to sing to the crowd. I hope my hypothetical store doesn?t take away from the context of my argument.

To put my argument in the context of your post, that the store has now taken on two primary duties. Sure it is still there to sell goods, but it is also a podium for political messages with a purpose to influence people beyond simply “buy my stuff” or “listen to my music.” Now it is, “buy my stuff and vote pro choice” or “listen to my music and don?t vote for Bush.” The question for each consumer is to decide if they wish to support that other primary duty which is now to spread a rival political message?

In my previous post, I asked if people would send money to the rival political party, knowing that the money will be used to put commercials on TV to spread the message and influence people in favor of that rival party? Other examples, would you put a sign in your front yard or a bumper sticker on your car supporting a rival political party to help spread their message? I think most people would not.

I read your post and came away with the message that as long as there is no racial discrimination, we should not discriminate against the store.

However, I don’t think an astute politically conscience person would support the message of a rival political campaign and that is where I differ with you. By keeping the store in business, or making it profitable for Vedder to tour and speak in front of large groups of people, as a politically conscience consumer, we would be doing the equivalent of sending a check to a rival party to put commercials on the air.

I am making the connection that a business or a celebrity with a political axe to grind, may still be there to provide us with a good or service, but by making a political statement, the business is trying to influence people to vote a certain way, much the same way a political commercial attempts to get people to vote the same way.

For some, the cost/benefit of the primary purpose, buying goods at the store or listening to the music of Pearl Jam is worth supporting a rival political message by buying a ticket or a loaf of bread. To others, it is worth forgoing the benefit of that primary purpose in an effort to not support the dual purpose of spreading the message. Where this line is, is subject to each individual.