Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mike McCready Speaks Out About Webcast

The following is taken from the Pearl Jam website. Lead guitarist Mike McCready writes:

Thoughts of an American.

I grew up in a democratic system of government. This is what was taught all through Kindergarten through College. Freedom of thought and expression were hallmarks of my early education. These concepts and theories integrated my belief in an American system of democracy. Consequently, I became a musician because of these inalienable rights. Make no mistake I am an artist and a capitalist because of this system that I believe in and our country. I don't however believe that a capitalist corporation such as AT&T has the right to subvert the first amendment of the constitution to which we all are accountable. This happened on the night we played Lollapalooza. I was dismayed to hear that the act of censoring free speech was used to edit our song Daughter for a webcast. Surely the American listening public can discern for themselves what they deem acceptable to hear. This is a hallmark of our American way!! The freedom to listen to what you want or don't want to. The American public was duped as was I in believing that I can speak freely without censorship.

I can only look to historical figures who are above reproach in my mind, such as Thomas Jefferson "I hope we shall it's birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." I feel that corporations can still exist without worry of a few words at a rock concert and need not trample upon our constitution for the sake of profit.

Another example that I believe is relevant is a George Orwell quote from Animal Farm. "If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." Some people don't want to hear our political beliefs in a song but that too is the beauty of America. WE CAN DISAGREE and still function as a democracy. When one person or company decides what others can hear, that is totalitarian thinking! This runs contrary to America and threatens the core of our freedom. We can think for ourselves, AT&T. I had the great pleasure of seeing the Space Shuttle launch live in Florida today. This gave me a feeling of excitement and patriotism in my country today.It showed me a future of ingenuity and promise for a better America.

With that I will leave you with a last quote from the quintessential American "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." This is an example of my belief in what Ed was saying the night we were censored during Daughter. You can't get more American than Mark Twain!!! Say no to censorship, it leads to dictatorship!

Mike McCready