Tuesday, July 11, 2006

There's A War Going On

Note from the Colonel: I don't usually retract things I write in this blog, given the whole stream-of-conciousness diary-esque nature of these things. But someone called me out on the following post, and it turns out they were absolutely right. I'll leave the rant as-is for posterity, but check out the comments below it for a follow-up reality check (the first two comments anyway...the latter two are just typical point/counter-point ramblings from Akroyd and Curtain).

Last night I saw Pearl Jam at the Forum in LA.

At the beginning of the 3rd encore (yes, in true 70's arena rock fashion, they came back for THREE encore sets) Eddie Vedder announced that a percentage of the ticket sales were going to a very special charity. He then went on to talk about this "place a little bit south of here", a place they call Trestles, and how all these "people with a lot of money want to put a toll road right through the middle of unspoiled California nature that's a part of surfing history."

And my very first thought was, "Uh, Eddie, there's a war going on."

I don't mean to sound like an Orange County surfer who doesn't give a shit, but Jesus-fucking-Christ, there's a WAR GOING ON.

Does anyone else feel this way? I mean, 10 years ago I might have been a bit more concerned with the Trestles Toll Road. Times were good. American soldiers weren't getting shot and blown up daily, and shooting and blowing up other people in retaliation. 19 year-old Army Rangers weren't crawling through caves in Afghanistan looking for guys with beards and AK-47s. And we weren't all walking around in some semi-permanent, paranoid daze, images of giant fireballs and burned, screaming bodies falling 82 stories from the twin towers permanently charred into our collective consciousness.

But there's a war going on now.

I know that doesn't mean the Surfrider Foundation isn't important. And I know that the Trestles Toll Road is pretty lame. But if you were big rich rock star and you had the ear of millions of fans around the world and you wanted to make a difference, what would you do right now? What would you tell a sold out crowd at the Forum in LA?

Don't put a toll road through my favorite surf spot?

There's a WAR GOING ON. There's an ASSHOLE in the Oval Office who has been there for 6 FUCKING YEARS now. He has filled up the government with hundreds, if not thousands, of OTHER ASSHOLES. And in the past 6 years they have...I mean...um...

There's a war going on.

I don't want to turn this into some sort of political tirade. But fuckin' A, people, there's a war going on. There's global warming, an AIDS epidemic in Africa, a crazed, out-of-control administration that's tapping our phones, monitoring our Internet access, and marking up the Bill of Rights with a red pen like it's Little Larry Sellers' Social Studies homework (you're killing your father, Larry). We've got North Koreans testing intercontinental missiles, Iranians harboring terrorists, an oil crisis in the Middle East, and an entire 3rd World that's spewing enough pollutants into the air that pretty soon Hong Kong is going to be shrouded in fog circa Jack-the-Ripper London.

There's a war going on.

And last night, while a sold out crowd at the Forum pumped their fists and cheered and Eddie told us all how we could "make a difference", I shook my head and starred at my feet, embarrassed to be a surfer.