Category Archives: Politics

An Open Letter to Josh Homme

Requesting the rocker (pictured above, in the rear) to finally step up and do the right thing regarding Eagles of Death Metal bandmate Jesse Hughes’ cruelty this week towards the Parkland massacre survivors.

By Fred Mills

Dear Josh Homme, of Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, and in particular Eagles of Death Metal:

Your silence thus far (as of this writing, at 7:25PM, 3/28/18) regarding your Eagles of Death Metal bandmate Jesse Hughes’ recent, reprehensible stroke of cruelty inflicted upon the survivors of the Parkland massacre – literally, younger, smaller, weaker humans than Hughes – has been deafening. As a fan and supporter of yours going way back to dusty desert rock days (I was living in Arizona and circulating around the Southwest during the same time you were getting your own career off the ground in the region), I can understand the urge to steer clear of socially- and politically-charged areas, as it’s the music that is both our focus.

But sometimes you have to step up (I started to say “man up,” but I’ve decided that’s no longer an appropriate epithet; Parkland survivor Emma González is braver and has a bigger heart than I’ll ever be able to lay claim to) and do the right thing. Loyalty to a band member is understandable, but common human decency and a willingness to call out affronts to that decency has to trump mere “loyalty.” (It was heartening to see your friend Mark Lanegan stepping up to condemn Hughes earlier today. Perhaps he’ll inspire you to do likewise? I noticed that both Piers Morgan and Danko Jones weighed in recently as well. And my journalistic peers at Britain’s NME had a few choice words about Jesse.)

With that noted, a friend of mine and I are offering this open letter to you in the spirit of combating the aforementioned cruelty. We propose that you publicly issue the statement, below, regarding Hughes’ recent actions, or at very least, a statement containing similar sentiments. I think it speaks for itself.

I hope your fellow band members in the Eagles of Death Metal, in Queens of the Stone Age, and in Them Crooked Vultures, along with your management, booking, and promotional teams (Silva Artist Management, the Richard De La Font Agency, Inc., Nasty Little Man, WME Entertainment, The MGMT Company, etc…. probably several I’ve missed here), will applaud your response as regards Hughes. Put in less emotional and more prosaic, commercial terms: the longer you or any of your business partners are associated with Hughes, the more it will hurt everyone’s brand. And that’s something that, judging by the thousands of comments I’ve read on social media this week, isn’t to be taken lightly. If you’re uncertain about that, or think I’m bluffing/exaggerating, I suggest you go check out the thousand-plus comments that have been logged at the most recent posting at the Eagles of Death Metal Facebook page (the one dated March 24, from your recent concert in Tempe, Arizona). That’s more than a thousand comments at one single FB post. Check out some of the comments at your QOTSA page while you’re online, as well.

Below is a draft statement for you to issue through the appropriate channels. I sincerely hope you will consider issuing such a statement.

All regards,

Fred Mills/ human/ editor, Blurt Magazine

***

From Josh Homme, Eagles of Death Metal, Queens of the Stone Age, & Those Crooked Vultures:

As you know, I have defended my former bandmate in the past and even called him my friend. But his statements this week involving the Parkland kids and their supporters has crossed a line and our friendship will not continue nor will our musical collaboration.

As a human, I am torn and still will support any effort to see that Jesse gets the mental and physical care he needs to re-enter society. With that noted, I will only do so by having no direct contact with him.

As a show of good faith, I will donate 10% of all my future shares in any of my upcoming musical projects to fight the sale of assault rifles, to promote the imposition of gun sale background checks, and to declare the National Rifle Association an illegal terrorist organization.

And I would like to personally extend an apology to the Parkland survivors for the emotional pain they have experienced at the hands of Jesse Hughes.

Thank you,

Josh Homme

Eagles of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes Can Go Fuck Himself

Perhaps it’s also time for Josh Homme (above, in the rear) to walk away from the douchebag.

By Fred Mills

You’ve already heard the news: Yesterday Jesse Hughes from Eagles of Death Metal decided for some reason to go off on the March For Our Lives kids via five scathing, sarcastic, and overtly cruel Instagram posts. (His Instagram handle is @fatherbadass.) No explanation was given, and unlike another incident that occurred over the weekend (in which Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike also appeared to take the marchers to task via a video that NRA TV put into the spin cycle, necessitating a clarification and an apology from Mike), it doesn’t appear very likely that anyone will be particularly “understanding” of Hughes if and when he does offer an explanation.

Put another way: Go fuck yourself, Jesse Hughes. I don’t care if you were drunk, high, off your depression meds, or pulling some kind of perverse publicity stunt or performance art piece. You’re an asshole, and I take back any sympathetic or empathetic comments I might have made about you and your band in 2015 following the Bataclan tragedy in Paris.

Do I have a problem with someone who deliberately picks on and acts cruelly towards someone who’s smaller, younger, and weaker? Particularly without prior provocation? You’re goddamn right, I do.

Over at The Guardian there’s a pretty good breakdown of the social media posts and a timeline of Hughes’ actions. To summarize, though: Hughes posted images along with commentary, including a “joke” equating turning in guns to stop violence to chopping off penises to stop rape; an already-discredited hoax-Photoshopped image of Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez ripping up a copy of the US Constitution; a taunt that “our guns aren’t going anywhere”; a pro-Second Amendment patch; and a ceramic eagle. Three of the offending posts have already been deleted, but not before plenty of Instagrammers grabbed screenshots. The Guardian was able to preserve the images and text for posterity as well.

Among Hughes’ choicest comments was one in which he chastised the Parkland kids for  “exploiting the death of 16 of our fellow students for a few Facebook likes and some media attention”, along with “Long Live Rock’n’Roll….. and may everyone of these disgusting vile abusers of the dead live as long as possible so they can have the maximum amount of time to endure their shame….and be Cursed….”

Hughes also, bizarrely, played the victim card — for himself, referring to the Bataclan massacre: “As the survivor of a mass shooting I can tell you from first-hand experience that all of you protesting and taking days off from school insult the memory of those who were killed and abuse and insult me and every other lover of liberty by your every action.”

It takes a major douchebag to try to pull off a cruel crack like that. But then, Hughes is no stranger to douchery, having mocked France’s stringent gun control regulations after the Bataclan tragedy shortly after it happened, and then a few months later claimed that the Bataclan security team was complicit.

Hughes eventually apologized for the latter comments. But in light of his latest rant, that apology now seems pretty insincere, the sound of someone who was told by management he needed to do some damage control, and fast. I don’t think he’ll be able to apologize his way out of this one.

Appropriately enough, at the most recent post to the Eagles of Death Metal Facebook page, dated March 24 about the band’s recent show in Tempe, Arizona, the comments section, as of this writing, had hit 257 individual comments and 38 shares, nearly all of them negative. “Kiss your careers goodbye, schmucks” is one of the top comments, and I’ll just close here by saying, “Amen.”

After Josh Homme comes out of his daze and realizes it’s time to walk away from this clown, maybe Hughes can form a band with Ted Nugent and Kid Rock. They could call themselves The Douches of Death Metal, or Eagles of Douche Metal, or even, I dunno, The Amboy Douches…

Here’s some contact info that perhaps we can all put to good use:

About
Official site: www.eaglesofdeathmetal.com
Twitter: @EODMofficial | @jesseEODM
Instagram: @EODMofficial | @fatherbadass
General Manager
Marc Pollack & Brian Tomasini | The MGMT Company: themgmtcompany@gmail.com
Booking agent
U.S.: WME/Robby Fraser: rfraser@wmeentertainment.com | INTERNATIONAL: X-Ray Touring/Steve Strange: steve@xraytouring.com

Killer Mike Apologizes for NRA Flap; El-P Issues Statements

By Barbi Martinez

We’re huge fans of Run the Jewels here at Blurt, so it was troubling, to say the least, when the NRA posted an interview video Saturday – coinciding with the March For Our Lives rally in Washington and at smaller rallies across the US – that made it appear as if Mike was taking the marchers to task. You can watch the clip below.

As it turns out, though, the NRA was putting their own spin job on the interview with Mike, subtly removing the specific context within which he was framing his remarks – he was talking about gunowners and gunowners’ rights in the African-American community and some of the realities of living in that community. Inevitably, a significant backlash ensued, so on Sunday he issued a clarification and an apology.

Explained Mike in a pair of  social media videos, “I did an interview about black gun ownership in this era. That interview was used a week later by NRA TV to disparage a very noble campaign which I actually support.” And to the marchers, he noted, “I wanna say first, I’m sorry guys. I’m sorry that an interview I did about a minority — black people in this country — and gun rights was used as a weapon against you guys. That was unfair to you and it was wrong… “Keep organizing. Lead the way. I do support the march, and I support black people owning guns. It’s possible to do both.”

Not long afterwards, his partner in Run The Jewels, El-P, also issued a statement via Twitter, stating that while the pair often have differences (“he stumbles and he makes bad decisions sometimes,” he said, of Mike), he “can not and will not ever turn my back on this man. He wouldn’t turn his on me.” El-P then expressed intense praise for the March For Our Lives marchers and the Parkland survivors, saying he was “incredibly inspired and blown away by the bravery and emotion of an entire generation of young people standing up and trying to change the world.” You can read the twofold statement at the above link. (More coverage here.)

Watch Peter Himmelman’s anti-AR 15 Video

“My God, I’ve been purified, I’m a human vaccine Gonna save my race with my AR 15.”

By Fred Mills

It’s called “Mass Killin’ Gun,” and it’s a new song that Peter Himmelman wrote in direct response to the Parkland massacre and the ensuing heated debate about guns and gun control. With over the top lyrics such as the ones quoted above, it should be clear to everyone except Ted Nugent and Wayne LaPierre that, here, Himmelman’s dripping with sarcasm towards the pro-gun lobby and Americans’ love affair with guns. Check it out:

Um, add YouTube to that list featuring the Nuge and the NRA maniac – as The Wrap points out, Himmelman received a takedown notice from YouTube that indicated he had violated the platform’s community standards. They stuck to their decision even after he queried the specifics of their decision, telling him, “After further review of the content, we’ve determined that your video does violate our Community Guidelines and have upheld our original decision.”

The fact that I am posted the video to the site does suggest something had been resolved between this morning and the time of The Wrap’s original post on Feb. 22, of course. But there is the larger issue of exactly what YouTube defines as their standards; overt hate speech and beheading videos would certainly qualify. But a socio-political statement in which the singer is playing a cartoonish character? Even the Parkland shooting survivors would “get it” and they’d probably applaud Himmelman for trying to make a statement; don’t forget, these were the folks who were standing and applauding at the CNN town hall meeting while Senator Marco Rubio was doing his level best to insert his size 10 wingtips into his mouth.

Himmelman told The Wrap, “It was meant to be ironic. Obviously I don’t endorse going around killing people with an AR-15. It wasn’t gun control that spurred the song. I was just trying to imagine someone so derange dand what was going through his mind.

“It’s not a shining moment for YouTube [which] claims it’s trying to give people a voice, but when you of peek behind the curtain all you see is the Wizard of Oz, and it’s just one big machine. They’ve grown so much, they’ve become just another giant bureaucracy, everything they’ve been trying to disrupt has come full circle and now they’re just the man.”

The truly ad part about all this, though, is not that YouTube took down a video by a popular artist just because they feared it might be too controversial – it’s that we have in America a pretty significant percentage of the population who will read the lyrics and not see them as ironic – and be supportive of them as a result. Why is that little voice in my head telling me that Ted Nugent will be covering this song in concert soon?

The lyrics:

The right to bear arms is deeper than my bones It shall not be infringed upon, a law set in stone Yeah I know it’s about militias, but details are such a bore And anyway, I’m getting ready for the next civil war…

I’m holding a thing of beauty, an incredible machine Makes me feel like a man, a more powerful human being I keep it oiled, polished to a shimmering sheen I’m in love with my AR 15

I don’t use the thing for hunting I don’t keep it around for fun When society breaks down I’ll grab it and I’ll run I’ll head for the hills when the war’s finally begun You can’t kill en masse if you ain’t got a mass killin gun

There’s so much to hate, so much that is obscene Am I the only man, with no thought that is unclean My God, I’ve been purified, I’m a human vaccine Gonna save my race with my AR 15 

I don’t use it for hunting I don’t keep it ’round for fun When society breaks down I’ll grab it and I’ll run I’ll head for the hills when the war’s final years begun You can’t kill en masse if you ain’t got a mass killin gun

I’m holding a thing of beauty More deadly than a guillotine It’s more than a weapon, it’s my semi-automatic wet dream With it I am invincible, I get higher than a shot of morphine You know I love my AR 15

I don’t use it for hunting I don’t keep it ’round for fun When society breaks down I’m gonna grab it and I’ll run I’ll head for the hills when the war’s final years begun You can’t kill en masse if you ain’t got a mass killin gun

Chandler Travis Philharmonic Posts a Video Message to Trump

By Fred Mills

Nobody’s going to accuse brainy, eclectic weirdo Chandler Travis of resting on his laurels (or fertilizing his laurels, take your pick). The self-described “king of the world” has never made an uninteresting record, his twisted brand of (what I almost hesitate to describe as) Americana encompassing the entirety of the Great Songbook – and then some. His latest album: Waving Kissyhead Vol. 1 and 2.

He’s not shy about social and political statements, either, and with his Chandler Travis Philharmonic he recently got in the van, headed to DC, and filmed a special message to the President. Check ’em out in front of the White House and Lincoln Memorial in the resulting video. The Salvation Army Band ain’t got nothin’ on these folks. (Fun hint: turn the YouTube subtitles/caption function on.) Good luck, everybody.