Paul McCartney

I’m writing to show my support for you at this difficult time. I would like you to know that I very much hope the Russian authorities would support the principle of free speech for all their citizens and not feel that they have to punish you for your protest. Many people in the civilized world are allowed to voice their opinions and as long as they do not hurt anyone in doing so I believe this is the best way forward for all societies. I hope you can stay strong and believe that I and many others like me who believe in free speech will do everything in our power to support you and the idea of artistic freedom.

2 thoughts on “Paul McCartney

  1. shinichi Post author

    Paul McCartney is pledging support for Pussy Riot, the Russian all-girl punk trio facing up to seven years in prison for “hooliganism.”

  2. shinichi Post author

    From Johnny Cash through the Beatles to Public Enemy, a sense of rebellion seems as intrinsic to the job description of being a musician as being able to hold a tune. Painters, writers and actors might adopt the stance of the agitator, but little can land a shocking punch to the psyche so immediately or so viscerally as a blast of music can.
    Punk music particularly, following the three-chord principle of the Ramones, prided itself on putting blunt truth and attitude before technical accomplishment.
    But despite plenty of two-finger salutes to the Establishment, most pop stars in the West have found it pretty hard to get arrested for their music. Run-ins with the law have most often related to narcotic predilections followed by liaisons with guns or under-age girls. The Sex Pistols were banned by the BBC for God Save the Queen, but avoided arrest after their Silver Jubilee boat prank in 1977. On her latest tour, Madonna has been trying her hardest to bait everyone from the Roman Catholic Church to the Israeli authorities, with little effect on anyone but Marine Le Pen.
    The current trial of three members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot for a guerrilla performance in an Orthodox church, with the threat of a seven-year jail sentence, makes Madonna’s posturing seem rather tame. While rap and folk music have been the underground soundtrack to the Arab uprisings, the all-female collective has turned to the full-throttle attack of Seventies skinhead Oi! bands and the feminist DIY politics and imagery of Nineties Riot Grrrl groups like Bikini Kill.
    Arguably, that kind of brutal racket is never going to sell as many records as Madonna or Lady Gaga, who might argue that their popularity is subversive, reaching repressive nations around the globe with their mantras of sexual liberation.


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