Music superstars and other celebrities have been making political statements for many years, so doing that is nothing new. But the level of decency while doing so has definitely hit a new low with the latest antics of one very popular rock band.
Pearl Jam, a band that made it big with a distinctive sound and many hits years ago, introduced a shocking and disturbingly graphic poster for their Montana concert this week. The so-called art depicts in cartoon format a White House that is burning down and engulfed in flames. Even worse though, it includes a lifeless person who is obviously President Trump, flat on his back, spread out on the ground in front of the White House. An eagle is poking at him, and nearby is a briefcase with the communist hammer and sickle emblem on it. To add even more drama, the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial are cracking.
Meanwhile, Senator Jon Tester flies through the air on a tractor. And his political opponent in the upcoming election, Republican candidate Matt Rosendale, has a hand that looks like a lobster claw. There are many other disturbing details in the cartoon.
What would prompt Pearl Jam to such hatred and such a disgusting visual? It’s their way of supporting Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in his upcoming election bid, and the concert was a ploy to encourage people to vote for him.
The band’s bassist, Jeff Ament, and artist Bobby Draws Skullz were the masterminds behind the cartoon, which was posted to Pearl Jam’s Instragram account. Ament wrote a note there endorsing Tester.
Despite all of this, these tactics will likely backfire. Even people who have been fans of Pearl Jam for many years are not going to be okay with violence. It would be interesting to know if Pearl Jam considered that many of their fans are likely Trump voters and supporters, and the band will lose some fans over the obscene incident. Plus, many people are definitely turned off by the use of violence and hatred to sway opinion.
And here’s another puzzling aspect of the whole thing: Pearl Jam seemed to be a peaceful type of group who would promote spreading love, not hatred and violence. Apparently, they just showed their true colors.
“Used to be one of my favorite bands and I always knew you guys were a little far left, but this takes it to a whole new level,” a fan wrote on Instagram. “I never realized you supported hatred and violence, always thought you were about love and peace. I have no problem with a difference of opinion, but this is disgusting.”
It’s fine to disagree when it comes to politics. In fact, disagreement and debate happen all the time and become even more heated leading up to elections. But what is absolutely not acceptable is the encouragement and depiction of violence and hatred. And even if an American citizen disagrees with the current U.S. president, it is not acceptable to portray him the way Trump is portrayed in the cartoon.
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter