Keep on Rocking in the Enslaved World
Conformity, censorship, and reprisal in the music industry
On August 10, 2021, the Los Angeles Times published a long feature on “the indie-rock singer-songwriter,” Joseph Arthur. The headline—”He was a celebrated singer-songwriter with famous fans. Then he started posting about the vaccine”—instantly reminded me of the New York Times feature on the French medical doctor and microbiologist, Didier Raoult, headlined, “He Was a Science Star. Then He Promoted a Questionable Cure for Covid-19.”
The formula for both stories was identical—namely, recount the exceptional achievements of the subject while marveling that such a brilliant man would embrace such crackpot ideas. Nothing in either feature even allowed for the possibility that the subjects had made valid points. The reporters apparently started with the assumption that the official orthodoxy was entirely correct, while the heterodox views of the great professor and great musician were entirely false.
For Professor Raoult’s advocacy of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, he was relentlessly criticized and harassed by France’s official medical establishment. Because Joseph Arthur questioned the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and the morality of vaccine mandates, he suffered a similar fate in the music industry. As was reported in the Los Angeles Times feature:
Being the relentless voice of what he considers a disaffected minority has cost him. This year his longtime music manager dropped him as a client, followed by his booking agent. Arthur’s newly formed band quit en masse and he says he lost a record deal that would have distributed a new double album to his fans.
What happened to Mr. Arthur raises an urgent question: When did blind obedience to authority become a prerequisite for making a living as a popular musician?
To phrase the question in a more provocative way: When did the vast majority of professional musicians—long celebrated for their individuality, nonconformity, youthful rebelliousness, and free expression—become a parcel of craven weenies?
Apart from a handful of luminaries such as Joseph Arthur, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison (as well as James Hetfield, Post Malone, Kid Rock, Johnny Rotten, Maynard James Keenan, and Brad Skistimas of Five Times August) the music industry has become a place of shocking conformity.
Neil Young once sung the imperative to “Keep on Rocking in the Free World.” Joni Mitchell once exhorted farmers “to put away their DDT.” In December of 2021 they were outraged that Drs. Peter McCullough and Robert Malone were allowed to speak on the Joe Rogan Experience (on Dec. 13 & 31 respectively) about the risks of experimental medical products that many were being forced to take in order to retain their jobs. The manufacturers were making billions while bearing no liability for injuries or deaths caused by their products. Did Mr. Young and Ms. Mitchell really believe that no one should be allowed to question this situation?
By now it should be clear to all reasonable adults that Joseph Arthur, Eric Clapton, and their small band of nonconformist brothers will be vindicated. They upheld the highest standards of brave individuality and freedom of expression, while the rest of the recording industry fell in line like draft inductees reporting to a Military Entrance Processing Station.
Joseph Arthur recently honored me and my co-author, Dr. McCullough, with a humorous little ditty.
He also interviewed me on his TNT radio show about a wide range of subjects. As the listener will hear, he has a sparkling intellect and the coolest voice on radio.
Eric Clapton was a poster boy for staying away from the jab. Could they not see what it did to him? He thought he might never be able to play his guitar again. Musicians should have sided with him and carried the mantra to stay away from this toxic soup they want to inject into us. But, mass formation psychosis grabbed everyone. I still see people wearing those masks and touting the jab.
Dr. McCullough deserves that awesome musical homage - and so, so much more. I hope Peter knows how much he is loved and admired by us.