And Now, Some Good News
A sign of hope at a punk-rock concert in Southern California.
12:00 AM, Oct 7, 2002 • By LARRY MILLER
Anyway, every band that day had gotten huge cheers in between songs by shouting things like "ANARCHY!" or, "F--- CORPORATIONS!" or just, "S---!" and all fifty thousand kids would scream their approval, whoop, and shove their fists into the air. Typical, I guess. But then, Jack said, a band called "blink 182" came on, and one of them stepped forward and shouted this (Jack wrote it down) into the mike: "F--- YOU, GEORGE BUSH! DON'T LISTEN TO HIM. WE HAVE NO BUSINESS BEING IN IRAQ, NO MATTER WHAT HE SAYS." And here comes the good news.
There was a long, silent pause. And then they started. The boos. One here, one there. Then everyone. Boos! Louder and louder, ceaselessly rising, until the band just blasted into their next song. (My publicist, the astonishing Michael Hansen, tracked down the manager of "blink 182," who confirmed the sentiments and the words and the boos. In addition, in the October 17, 2002, issue of Rolling Stone, the entire concert was reviewed, and "blink's" anti-war feelings and "F--- you, George Bush" and other niceties are reported.)
Boos. Whew. Not bad, eh? I know, it's not exactly Patrick Henry rising in the Virginia House of Burgesses with "Give me liberty, or give me death," but it's not bad. (By the way, what in the world is a "burgess," and why did those guys need an entire house of them?)
But that was a heck of a nice surprise from these kids, wasn't it? Black boots and nose rings and tattoos, but they knew what was right. They might not be able to point out the no-fly zones on a map, but they knew what was right.
If we Americans fight terror all the way it'll take many years, and it's time the left and the right were honest about something: Neither Trent Lott's kids nor Tom Daschle's kids are going to fight this war, but it'll be fought by a lot of the kids at the "Blockbuster" Pavilion. They'll be part of the group we're all praying for. There's an old rock lyric they probably don't know, but they should. Maybe, in a way, they already do. "I ain't no senator's son." Remember?
Jack's oldest just signed up a few months ago out of college. A five-year hitch for an Army specialty. An important one. Jack's a little scared. Wouldn't you be?
Ah, well, let's keep praying for more good news, shall we?
Larry Miller is a contributing humorist to The Daily Standard and a writer, actor, and comedian living in Los Angeles.
Correction Appended, 10/21/02: The article originally misidentified the band that was booed by the crowd as Buzzcocks. The band that was booed was blink-182. A correction was published here and updated here on 10/10/02.