Remember Pearl Jam? They were a popular rock band back in the 1990s, and apparently they’re still kicking around. They’re currently on tour (which is terrific, good for them). And this week, after many years out of the spotlight, the geriatric grungesters have managed to make news again. But alas, it has nothing to do with their music.
Republicans seeking to unseat Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) in one of this year’s most contentious Senate races are trying to tie his campaign to a Pearl Jam poster. It features an image [of] President Trump’s dead body, and was used in the promotion of an Aug. 13 concert that helped raise money for Tester’s campaign…
Tester’s campaign did not immediately return a request for comment from Variety, but a spokesman told The Washington Post that they did not have input on the poster’s design.
“We never saw the poster before the show, and we don’t like it,” spokesman Chris Meagher said. “And we don’t condone violence of any kind. Period.”
Here’s the poster:
— Pearl Jam (@PearlJam) August 14, 2018
And here’s the part that’s got people up in arms:
Looks like that’s supposed to be Trump’s skeleton. See the red tie and thatch of combed-over hair? That is #edgyAF.
Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament has put out a defiant statement about it:
“The role of the artist is to make people think and feel, and the current administration has us thinking and feeling,” Ament said in the statement. “I was the sole conceptualist of this poster, and I welcome all interpretations and discourse.”
Now, I’m a free speech kinda guy, so I don’t have a problem with this. If you don’t like a politician and you want to depict bad things happening to him, or you want to otherwise criticize him, go right ahead. Make a faux documentary about George W. Bush being assassinated. Write a novel about people plotting to kill him. Make a comic book about a superhero murdering him. When you get tired of going after Dubya, do a photo collage of a chimpanzee crapping on John McCain’s head, or hang Sarah Palin in effigy, or hold up a bloody mannequin head that looks like Trump, or otherwise lash out at whichever Republican is making you angry today. You have the right to do that because this is the United States of America.
But I also can’t help but recall some of the other times people criticized the president, and it was reported as if it were the end of the world.
Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair. Remember that, during the 2012 GOP convention? Eastwood went onstage and pretended that Obama was sitting next to him, and he roasted “Obama” for a little while.
It was a joke. Maybe not the best-thought-out joke, definitely not the best-executed joke, but a joke. Of course, all the lefties pretended Eastwood was going crazy or senile or whatever because otherwise, they’d have to feel the shame of supporting such an awful president. And of course, they called Eastwood racist.
That rodeo clown who wore an Obama mask. Back in August 2013, Obama had been safely reelected, and yet his acolytes were still mindlessly swarming to his defense. Nobody was going to disrespect King Barry on their watch. Not even a rodeo clown in Missouri who wore an Obama mask.
That same rodeo had done the same thing with previous presidents, but it didn’t matter. And of course, the rodeo was called a bunch of racists.
Pretty much every other criticism of the president between 2009-2016. I mean, come on. It was just a few years ago. Did everybody get lobotomies or something?
But now it’s cool again to say awful things about the president because he’s not a Democrat. This sort of thing happens every time a Republican wins and nobody ever learns anything from it.
Anyway, it’s good to hear from Pearl Jam again. Now that was when music was music, boy. Hey, whatever happened to Candlebox?