Full disclosure: This author is a fan of the metal genre in general and has been a Korn fan since their first self-titled album released in 1994 featuring their hit songs “Blind” and “Shoots and Ladders.”
Its nothing new or surprising that most entertainers, to the extent they weigh in on political issues at all, usually come down in favor of the Left. In the world of rock music (of all varieties including metal, punk, classical, 80’s hair bands, etc.), most acts promote anti-establishment or anarchistic themes.
But even these rebels, with or without a cause, all too often favor the Left or at the very least, save their harshest criticisms for the Right. Its easy to be critical of a politician and political party the MSM already hates (often assuming the public and the MSM have the same values). Being critical of President George W. Bush at the height of the unpopularity of the undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the USA PATRIOT Act, the signing statements, torture, Gitmo, takes very little courage. But being critical of a President Barack Obama, who the MSM loves, even as he continues and expands upon many of the same policies of Bush? To me that takes more courage*.
While these concerns may still be present among these artists, it seems that their criticism of these policies is much more muted since Obama became president. With the raising concerns about how President Obama has abused power, it seems that at least a few bands like Megadeth** and now Korn are telling the music world that it’s okay to attack Obama through their art.
Korn frontman Jonathan Davis explained to Rolling Stone the meaning behind their latest music video for “Spike in My Veins” taking aim at Obama, the NSA, and the MSM’s focus on such things as the latest antics of Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, the Kardashians, Kayne West, etc:
“We are all so caught up in watching crazy media on the internet and TV that we are manipulated into ignoring that our privacy has all but disappeared…”
For those who want to know what the lyrics are, I posted them at The Liberty Papers
Elsewhere, Davis told TMZ that he believes that the prominently featured in the video Bieber, Cyrus, and West are puppets being used to distract the American public and the government itself is the marionette:
The thing with the whole Miley Cyrus stuff at the VMAs, when that went down Obama passed a law that made him basically a dictator. He can imprison whoever he wants. He doesn’t have to charge them, he can hold them as long as he wants.
In other statements by Davis, he expressed concerns about the Illuminati, the New World Order, and other conspiracies he believes in (I might suggest a book to Davis: The United States of Paranoia by Jesse Walker — my review of the book here).
While I have to express some skepticism here and apply Occam’s Razor, Davis does have a point on the nature of the news media as well as the news consumer. The real question is to the motivations of both. Would the MSM purposely distract the public with these salacious celebrity stories because someone in the Obama administration instructed the MSM to do so or could the MSM being doing so on its own accord to protect Obama? I tend to think its the latter.
I’m inclined to think that perhaps the MSM is giving the lazy news consumers what they want. That said, I cannot help but think the Snowden story, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the NSA, and the IRS scandals would still receive a great deal more coverage, even in a world where Miley Cyrus swings naked on a wrecking ball and Justin Bieber pisses in a mop bucket/drives drunk/goes to court, if this happened during a Republican administration.
Maybe the best message that one can get from Korn’s latest video is that we, the news consumers, must be our own filters to seek the news that is most relevant to us. Maybe this video will reach fans who don’t normally have these concerns? Those who only get their news from one website (Left, Right, Libertarian or whatever), the local evening news cast, The Daily Show/The Colbert Report***, whatever is trending on Bing, Google, Yahoo!, need to expand their horizons. I would suggest reading news from foreign outlets as well such as Russia Today, The Guardian, maybe even Al-Jazeera. Beyond these, there are great news aggregators for those who have specific interests such as foreign policy and war (recommendations: ForeignPolicy.com and Antiwar.com).
Wherever you get your news, apply some healthy skepticism and ask the very questions the journalists are supposed to ask: who, what, when, where, why, and how. At the end of the day, its up to each of us to decide to be informed to resist tyranny or be uninformed to be easily manipulated.
*Maybe “courage” isn’t quite the right word. I’m not talking about courage in the face of any mortal danger but more daring to go against the grain and taking career risks.
**Full disclosure again, this author is a huge fan of Megadeth.
***I enjoy these shows too, but they should never be a substitute for “news.” These programs do have an agenda, but the main goal is for the audience to laugh. For the edited segments especially, take everything with a grain of salt as these segments are designed to make people they don’t like look like fools. Ask Peter Schiff.