Strange days have found us.

Via The Anchoress :

Pounding his piano in blue-tinted sunglasses before nearly 50,000 screaming fans, Elton John took center stage in a battle over Israel’s image.

The legendary British rocker’s concert on Thursday night followed a string of cancellations by artists like Elvis Costello and the Pixies. Resisting a growing wave of calls from pro-Palestinian activists to boycott the Jewish state, John gave Israelis a rare reason to smile amid their increasing sense of international isolation.

“Ain’t gonna stop me from coming here, baby,” he told the cheering crowd in Tel Aviv, saying he believed music should spread peace and bring people together: “That is what we do. We do not cherry-pick our consciences, OK?” he added, in an apparent swipe at the artists who have canceled concerts in Israel. (source:  Big Hollywood)

Elton John has become a revolting parody of himself —  not in appearance or politics, but in his sound.  I heard “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (ahem, on The Muppet Show ) the other day.  Didn’t even listen to the words, but the tune was startlingly moving.  That wasn’t kitch, that was real music.  Even performing with Miss Piggy, decked out in spangles and maribou feathers, it was obvious he was in the arms of the Muse.  I don’t even know what new work he’s put out lately, but I’ve heard how he sings, and it’s just embarrassing — so exaggerated, so unbearably schmaltzy, you want to cover your head and run away.  

So now we have Rush Limbaugh, who is supposed to be some kind of arbitor of wisdom, a shining knight in the Righteous Order of Mom and Apple Pie, at his, koff koff, fourth wedding.  And some people are all mussed up because he gets this gay guy to sing at his, koff koff, fourth wedding.  Then the gay guy, who was banned from performing in Egypt, goes and sings in, koff koff, Israel.  Which recently set itself apart from the rest of the Middle East by allowing a gay pride parade .   Without even lashing them! 

What’s a poor conservative to do?   I’m getting such mixed signals here, I forget what I’m supposed to be outraged about today.   I think the only answer here is to give up politics altogether and listen to more music.  My current favorite is The Black Keys, which I discovered courtesy of Pandora Radio

Pandora is an astonishing free service perfect for someone like me:  too cheap and lazy to look for new music, but sick and tired of my old college days soundtrack.  You tell it what you like, and it finds things you will probably also like — and it’s usually right.  I think it identifies chord sequences or irony levels or something.  Hey hey, it’s Saturday!  Let’s turn off the monitor and just listen to some music.


Simcha Fisher


Simcha Fisher is a cradle Hebrew Catholic, freelance writer, and mother of eight young kids. She received her BA in literature from Thomas More College in New Hampshire. She contributes to Crisis Magazine and Faith & Family Live!, and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She is sort of writing a book.

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