By Nate Buchik
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, November 4, 2004
There was one group that campaigned harder and longer for Sen. John Kerry than any other. They donated their time (which is more important than yours), talent (which they have more of than you) and money (which they have so much of, you wonder why they aren't Republican) to the loser in this election.
They were frustrated with President George W. Bush's administration and everything they created (songs, films, comedy, etc.) cried for a "fresh start" in this country.
Eddie Vedder stopped hoping for a Nader miracle, punk rockers stopped smoking weed and got organized (or at least found a way to do it high), and Ben Affleck kept showing up on television.
So what will the celebrities do now?
It's a depressing moment for Kerry's famous supporters and Hollywood must be shell-shocked. Think of how irrelevant the Rock Against Bush or the Vote For Change tours will look now that they couldn't get enough kids to rock anything for the Democrats.
All this celebrity involvement was supposed to influence the kids (voters ages 18 to 24), who were supposed to turn out in record numbers thanks to P. Diddy's "Vote or Die" threat and other, less violent influences (Future Soundtrack for America, Eminem's "Mosh").
How could Kerry lose? How could these celebrities not be followed?
Sure, John Fogerty and Susan Sarandon are pretty lame, but Sean Penn is talented, and Death Cab for Cutie had to influence all the "O.C." viewers.
Kerry's star-studded team was campaigning in every city and every concert venue across the country. I can't begin to estimate the number of times I've heard Bush-bashing at a show in the last couple years.
It's possible that John Mellancamp and Bruce Springsteen were preaching to the choir, only getting Kerry supporters more excited and hopeful.
It's possible that celebs for Bush, like Ted Nugent and NASCAR drivers, helped his cause. (Editor's note: not very possible.)
The most likely reason is that kids, although they'll watch and listen to musicians and actors, are really lazy.
After all, the reason people watch MTV's "Total Request Live" is because they are lazy. They don't want music to be difficult, and so they find the simplest pop available. When the VJs told them to get out and vote, they listened and they may even have registered, but they didn't act.
Although the politically active youth and older liberal artists want kids to care about their country and vote for a new leader, the youth are still apathetic.
Some are happy with their lives and aren't yet thinking about the future. Many are disillusioned with America's underhanded political system.
One friend told me the election had already been decided by the Illuminati and so he didn't bother.
So many great lyrics and brushstrokes have been devoted to defeating Bush. From painters to sculptors to singers to actors, the artists came through for Kerry in record numbers.
It seemed like the artists could change the world, but they must be beginning to get discouraged.
And now the celebrities have some work to do.
Like W, they're going to have to try to win back the hearts of America.
Artists won't continue to churn out the same anti-Bush work they have been working on for so long. More than 50 percent of the country disagrees with them, and they pissed off a lot of others (Trey Parker and Matt Stone, in particular) because they had no business getting that involved in politics.
The artists took a chance and shouted their political views to the world. They lost. And now, if they don't reach out and win back the Republicans, they're going to lose a lot of support.
If they keep crying out for change, we'll see how Affleck's next summer blockbuster (if there is ever such a thing) does in red states. And we'll see how Diddy's next album fares among upper class white adult males.
Celebs better shut up and hope for the best.