Eddie Vedder: Kids dying saves me the trouble of wishing it upon gun-owning Pearl Jam fans

Eddie Vedder Pearl Jam guns

I have been a Pearl Jam fan since the early 90’s. I’ve seen countless shows. I’ve spent gobs of money buying PJ’s albums. I’ve written glowing reviews of documentaries about the band. I’ve found ways to promote its videos through my blog. And so, I find it rather odd that Eddie Vedder goes out of his way to say incredibly mean things about me, my friends and all the other Pearl Jam fans out there who also happen to be staunch defenders of the Second Amendment.

Here is what Mr. Vedder said in an interview with professional surfer Mark Richards:

“I get so angry that I almost wish bad things upon these people,” Vedder said. “But I don’t have to because it seems like they happen anyways. It seems like every week I’m reading about a 4-year-old either shooting their sister, their dad, their dog, their brother or themselves, because there’s fucking guns laying around. But I guess it’s ‘fun.'”

Break down Vedder’s logic, and what you get is a man who is so angry that he can’t even see how twisted he is. “I don’t have to” wish sorrow and misery upon people who disagree with me because there are enough bad things already happening to them that I can sit back and stew in my schadenfreude with like-minded surfers. Vedder essentially admits that dying children are a sick salve that soothes his inner frustration and prevents his mind from traveling down darker roads of intention.

If the members of Pearl Jam really want to change minds, do they think Eddie Vedder musing on the “bad things” that he “almost” wants to happen to gun owners will accomplish that goal? Is “almost” wishing pain and misery on someone like being “almost” pregnant? One could argue that divorce wreaks more havoc on society’s children than hand guns ever will, but I would never “almost” wish that upon those who I disagree with on social issues.

Perhaps even more bizarre is that Mr. Vedder can not see that his opposition to guns might stem from his own personal demons; he wants laws meant for mentally unstable individuals that he would apply to himself to now apply to an entire population of law-abiding Americans.

“If I didn’t have music to kind of at least get some of the aggression out or take the edge off, you wouldn’t want me having a gun either.”

Now we get to the heart of the matter: Eddie Vedder doesn’t trust himself with a gun. He has weird aggression issues, so the rest of us should pay the price with thousands of new local, state and federal regulations to pile on top of the thousands that are already in existence.

Question for Mr. Vedder: Are guns or NSA programs supported by gun-control advocate Sen. Diane Feinstein more dangerous to the nation? I would argue that the woman who a.) wants to limit access to guns on a large scale while b.) simultaneously arguing that she must spy on innocent Americans because they “might” become a terrorist “in the future,” deserves more of Pearl Jam’s attention than me — the former Army guy who loves his country and believes in the rule of law.

Finally, I’ll refrain from commenting at length about Mr. Vedder’s assertion that “90%” of the population want new gun laws, when it can be debunked with one question: “How many politicians do you know who would vote against a bill that 90% of their constituents supported?”

I really wanted to get excited about Pearl Jam’s new album. I was hoping to catch a show with my brother or my wife. Since Eddie Vedder had decided that needlessly alienating long-time fans is going to be a part of his promotional strategy, I think I’ll be sitting this one out. Sad.

Pearl Jam Twenty: A Conservative Review

Pearl Jam Twenty is made by a fan, for their fans (even the conservatives). If you never liked Pearl Jam, Cameron Crowe’s documentary is…not for you.

Cameron Crowe’s documentary, Pearl Jam Twenty, is a film about a great band. It’s also about a liberal band, which is why it demands a fair conservative review. I read a review upon its release, written by an ideological ally, that I thought was a blatant hit job. Since I don’t like political hacks on either side of the aisle, here now is my attempt to play The Fixer.

Pearl Jam Twenty is made by a fan for their fans. It’s really that simple. If you didn’t like Pearl Jam from the get go, you’re probably not going to be swayed by anything Cameron Crowe brings to the table. If you hated Eddie Vedder when Ten came out, you’re probably not going to be able to see evidence of an Evolution over the past few decades (which is Sad, because one has certainly occurred).

If you’re a close-minded conservative, then Pearl Jam Twenty is Not For You. If you’re open-minded, then consider the following quote by Eddie Vedder:

“I think we’ve always just fallen into ways of doing things the way we felt they should be done. And whether they were right or wrong they were just our ways of doing it,” (Eddie Vedder, PJ20).

Despite Pearl Jam’s politics, they’ve blazed a trail any conservative can be proud of. The bottom line is, Pearl Jam has been great because they’ve gone against the grain. They’ve done what they felt was right. They never wanted to be told what to do, and they only wanted to do what was best for their music, the band, and the fans.

They’ve been rewarded for it with a loyal fan base and millions of dollars.

What makes Pearl Jam Twenty interesting is that besides all the stories you’ve heard before with any band that’s been around for as long as they have (e.g., drug overdoses, power struggles), this documentary examines how fame and success can turn what was once a purely-artistic venture into a business-art hybrid. How do you stay true to the music when millions of fans demand t-shirts and hoodies and sweatpants? Can you be solely an artist when you’re selling out stadiums and the logistics involved with getting tickets bought and everyone seated means you have to deal with the “monopolistic” likes of Ticketmaster? Pearl Jam Twenty confronts these issues and, while it doesn’t really ever come to a concrete conclusion, the answer seems to lie in the quote above; the best any band can do is to exert control where they can and do what they feel is right.

Where Pearl Jam Twenty misses an opportunity comes in around the time they cover the events that transpired during an April 30th, 2008 show. During a concert at Nassau County, New York, Eddie Vedder donned a George Bush mask, pranced around, sang Bushleaguer, and made some points “in a way that was antagonistic,” according to guitarist Stone Gossard. Bassist Jeff Ament commented that three-fourths of the crowd booed, and Mike McCready remembered how a fireman just flashed his badge in protest.

Cameron Crowe could have asked how a political band goes about making its points heard while respecting the portion of their fan base that doesn’t always agree with the message. As a fan, I have been to numerous Pearl Jam shows and bought quite a bit of their merchandise over the years. (Does anyone doubt Pearl Jam are members of the “1%” the Occupy Wall Street crowd complains about?) I love their music and agree to disagree on the politics. Why then would Eddie Vedder go out of his way to alienate me and countless other conservative fans who have been loyal for almost two decades? We don’t know because Cameron Crowe didn’t ask. Exploring that question a little bit more would have added something new to the cookie-cutter band documentaries we’ve become accustomed to.

With that said, it’s hard to deny that Pearl Jam Twenty was a labor of love. A great amount of care went into its making, and any fan of the band will probably have it on their Christmas Wish List. If you’ve followed Eddie and Co. since the beginning I highly suggest buying it for someone else who loves them like you do, and then watching it again before their next tour comes to your neck of the woods.

Barack Obama Wishes Sentient Water Molecule, Christopher Hitchens, a Happy Easter.

President Obama used his weekly radio address to wish all of us a Happy Easter. He even had a little message for our atheist friends:

“While we worship in different ways,” the president said, “we also remember the shared spirit of humanity that inhabits us all — Jews and Christians, Muslims and Hindus, believers and nonbelievers alike.”

While I don’t fault the President for reaching out to atheists—he is the President of all Americans—I wonder if non-believers would have put up a stink if he had not thrown them a bone (or if he had, and it happened to be a rib…) After all, I would think that

I'm Christopher Hitchens, sentient water molecule...in the shower! That's insane!

someone who essentially believes everything cosmically fell into place so we, the sentient water-molecules of the universe, could exist for a brief moment in time before once again becoming part of the Big Wave, shouldn’t really get bent out of shape if they’re ignored. I mean, after all, when they’re gone they’re gone, right? That’s it. No coming back and no spirit left behind to worry about, correct? So why should they get angry? Well, they do. But at least it makes for great debate. Although, if you’re not up for a debates then I highly suggest reading Dinesh D’Souza’s fabulous book What’s So Great About Christianity this Easter (notice that’s not a question).

[Stephen Hawking states]: “If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have recollapsed before it even reached its present size. So the odds against us being here are, well, astronomical.” And yet we are here. Who is responsible for this? (What’s So Great About Christianity, 131.)

If you’re unsure, I suggest reading D’Souza’s book. And Christopher Hitchens, if you’re right, I’ll see you in the oceans…

The Mullah Baradar Pearl Jam Curiosity

The capture of Mullah Baradar in Pakistan is great news for the United States and people who despise jihadi head-choppers everywhere. I’m a little bothered that the numbers “two” and “three” always seem to turn up instead of “ONE”…but perhaps I’m just being impatient. And, while on many levels I wish he would have assumed room temperature like our old friend Al-Zarqawi (who probably died in part because he had no clue how to fire his own weapon), I’m happy that someone, somewhere, is gleaning intelligence from this clown.

But that once again begs the question: How do we get intelligence from him once his laptop and computer treasure trove is empty? Right now he’s in Pakistani custody, so I assume they have their “own ways” of getting people to talk, but what if they were to take a few suggestions from their US counterparts. Are REM, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, and Rage Against the Machine on the table?

Recently, a number of rock bands from the 90’s were upset that their music was used to annoy murderers who scream “Allah Akbar” as they chop off heads (instead of at the microphone). If I remember correctly, Michael Stipe has a few regrets about penning Shiny Happy People, so why not atone for it by getting under the skin of a terrorist mastermind and moneyman? I suppose I shouldn’t have used the word ‘atone’ because of it’s religious connotation, right Mike?

Why not show a montage of famous “infidels” while playing Pearl Jam’s Alive? Sure, the lyrics of Alive don’t really lend itself to that…but a deeper reading of Eddie Vedder’s lyrical talent would be lost on Mullah Baradar anyway. Perhaps we could even incorporate strobe lights as images of George Bush flashed across a big screen TV. Think about it, Eddie!

The point is, artists and liberal “intellectuals” (defined as anyone who disagrees with conservatives) live in a world where we’re all a big multi-cultural safety circle of “Shiny Happy People.” Guys who actively seek chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons to detonate in downtown Los Angeles, Chicago, or New York should be subjected to Michael Stipe’s worst offerings if the intelligence gathered will save countless American lives. To the CIA I suggest anything after Bill Berry left the group due to a brain aneurism. They haven’t been the same since.

*note* Eddie, if you read this, I already know what your response is going to be: Shut yo mouth… But I’m just talking about Dirty Frank…urrrm, Mullah Baradar.