A few weeks back we had the massed intellectual might of British popular music eloquently making the case for "peace" at the Brit Awards . By "peace", of course, they meant letting the fuzzie-wuzzies die quietly and slowly away from our TV screens, rather than conspicuously and in rather smaller numbers with someone from CNN in designer fatigues in the foreground.
My favourite pop pundit was Coldplay's lead-singer Chris Martin (current celebrity boyfriend of Hollywood actress and sobbing stick-insect Gwyneth Paltrow). He collected the award for "Best Band". As he stepped up he was quoted by the BBC as saying:
Awards are basically a nonsense and we’re all going to die if George Bush has his way, but thanks for these two awards anyway.
Once again Martin demonstrated the worth of his extraordinarily expensive education (Sherbourne private school, fees £11 000 p.a.).
The gathered "stars" gestures included politically charged acceptance speeches and changes to the lyrics of the songs they performed to reflect their "pacifist" message.
Ms. Dynamite's reworked version of George Michael's "Faith" went like this:
"I don't wanna see children die no more
So I gotta make a stand
Can you hear my voice?
Taking a life is only God's choice
I don't want blood on my hands"
Beyond argument, I'm sure you'll agree. Over the past decade God has chosen to take many children's lives in Iraq, and Saddam Hussein has, humbly, concurred—but oh! the arrogance of the White Man with His Plan. And as for the blood, Pontius Pilate had a great way of dealing with that problem and—for those on this planet lucky enough to live lives of luxury and security—it's still as effective today as it's always been.
Of course, it's understandable that British musical performing "talent" should be coming out against our invading other people's countries since it's been all of twenty years since they managed to invade any other nation's charts on a regular basis.
Actor Daniel Day-Lewis has also had to wrestle with adversity and obscurity to attain greatness (he is the son of Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis). His hard-won insights are worthy of our attention. In today's Guardian he is quoted as saying:
It would be kind of obscene if we were there flouncing up the red carpet, grinning and waving, and people were dying somewhere in the world.
That's funny, Daniel, old bean. In 1988 Saddam launched a military operation called "Anfal" which caused the deaths of between 50 000 and 100 000 people in northern Iraq and used chemical weapons, mass executions and forced relocation to terrorize the area; he killed 5 000 residents of the Kurdish town of Halabjah with poison gas and nerve agents (thanks Policy Almanac). Oh yes, and, in other news, you gave the performance that won the Oscar for Best Actor, pretending to suffer the trials of one handicapped person.